The Latest: Cowboys’ Witten tops TO for 7th on catches list

December 19, 2016 GMT
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) makes his third catch of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) makes his third catch of the game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2016, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)

The Latest on the NFL’s 15th Sunday. (all times Eastern):

10 p.m.

Dallas tight end Jason Witten has passed former teammate Terrell Owens for seventh place on the career receptions list.

Witten caught a 6-yard pass from rookie Dak Prescott early in the second quarter to pass Owens with his 1,079th catch. He had two more catches on that touchdown drive and finished the first half with eight catches for 47 yards, giving him 1,084 for his career.

The 34-year-old Witten, in his 14th season, is one of two NFL tight ends with at least 1,000 catches and 10,000 yards receiving. Tony Gonzalez is the other.

Owens spent three of his 15 seasons with the Cowboys.

Dallas led Tampa Bay 17-6 at halftime.

— Schuyler Dixon reporting from Arlington, Texas


9:30 p.m.

Dallas rookie quarterback Dak Prescott has set a franchise season record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback with his sixth.

Prescott’s 2-yard run on a quarterback draw broke Don Meredith’s mark from 1966. The touchdown gave the Cowboys a 17-3 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Prescott also had a 15-yard scramble on the 64-yard scoring drive in the second quarter. He set up his scoring run with a 21-yard throw on the run to Brice Butler at the 2.

— Schuyler Dixon reporting from Arlington, Texas


5:25 p.m.

New England running back LeGarrette Blount barreled in from a yard out in the second quarter against Denver for his 15th rushing score of the season. With that, he set a franchise record for most rushing TDs in a single season.

Blount was tied with Curtis Martin, who had 14 in 1995 and again in ’96.

— Pat Graham reporting from Denver


4:55 p.m.

Move aside, Dirty Birds.

The Atlanta Falcons have set a franchise record for points in a season with a 21-point outburst against the San Francisco 49ers in the opening quarter.

That pushes the Falcons to 449 points with two weeks still to go in the regular season, breaking the mark of 442 set by their 1998 Super Bowl team.

Atlanta is also on pace to set a franchise mark for total yards. The Falcons came into Sunday’s game averaging 402.3 per game, far ahead of their record of 378.2 set two years ago, and they put up 157 yards against the woeful 49ers in the first quarter.

— Paul Newberry reporting from Atlanta.


4:55 p.m.

This is how bad it’s gotten for Broncos punt returner Jordan Norwood: The crowd applauds when he cleanly fair catches the football.

Norwood has struggled to field punts over his last two home games. Things have gotten so bad that he recently was replaced by Kalif Raymond, who was surprisingly inactive Sunday against New England.

Norwood’s latest fumble occurred early in the first quarter when the football simply slipped through his hands on a frigid day.

At least this time, Aqib Talib didn’t shove Norwood as he trudged off the field. But Talib did walk within talking distance of Norwood.

The defense did its part, though, holding Tom Brady and the offense to a field goal.

Norwood struggled to field two punts in a 30-27 overtime loss Kansas City on Nov. 27. His second one led to a turnover — and a shove by Talib.


4:25 p.m.

Call it the Relocation Bowl?

The Oakland Raiders, whose owner Mark Davis wants to move them to Las Vegas, are facing the San Diego Chargers, whose chairman Dean Spanos appears set to move them to Los Angeles.

The crowd at aging Qualcomm Stadium is heavily pro-Raiders, as it often is. When the PA announcer said, “Now taking the field, your San Diego Chargers,” he was greeted by boos.

— Bernie Wilson reporting from San Diego


3:40 p.m.

The Atlanta Falcons are wearing black throwback jerseys for the second time this season. If they lose to San Francisco, it may be a long time before they’re seen again.

The Falcons’ first “modern interpretation” of their 1966 uniforms didn’t go well as they lost to the Chargers 33-30 on Oct. 23 after leading by 17 points.

The Falcons wore red helmets with their black jerseys in their inaugural 1966 season but are using their normal black helmets due to NFL safety rules.

— Charles Odum reporting from Atlanta


3:33 p.m.

Pittsburgh’s Chris Boswell has made his sixth field goal, tying the club record. His kicks of 45, 49, 49, 40, 49 and 30 yards have accounted for all of the Steelers’ points as they trail the Bengals 20-18 early in the fourth quarter.

Jeff Reed and Gary Anderson also kicked six apiece for Pittsburgh.

The NFL record is eight field goals in a game, by late Titans kicker Rob Bironas in 2007.

— Joe Kay reporting from Cincinnati


3:20 p.m.

The cold weather is causing all kinds of problems at Arrowhead Stadium, and not just to the Chiefs and Titans.

The fuses in the scoreboard froze on Saturday, when the cold weather and snow arrived in earnest, so worker replaced them early Sunday. But they have frozen again, a team spokesman told The Associated Press, and the result has been a blanked-out lower-left corner of the west scoreboard.

The temperature was 1 degree at kickoff, making it the coldest game since Kansas City began keeping track of records in 1994. The wind chill was minus-9.

— Dave Skretta reporting from Kansas City


3:10 p.m.

Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters left their game against Tennessee with what appeared to be a groin injury midway through the third quarter.

Peters went down away from the play but walked off the field on his own power. But he promptly lay down on a table holding his groin area, and several members of the training staff examined him.

Tennessee lost defensive tackle Karl Klug to an ankle injury earlier in the second half.

— Dave Skretta reporting from Kansas City


2:35 p.m.

The Indianapolis Colts have jumped all over the Minnesota Vikings with a dominant first half. They lead 27-0 at the break and out-gained Minnesota 281-69, had 21 first downs to the Vikings’ two and held the ball for 23 minutes and 32 seconds of the first 30 minutes.

Andrew Luck has thrown for 183 yards and a touchdown and Robert Turbin has two scores for the Colts.

Adrian Peterson has four carries for 16 yards and a lost fumble in his return for Minnesota.

— Jon Krawczynski reporting from Minneapolis


2:20 p.m.

The Titans had gone a franchise-record four straight games without a turnover.

They had two in the first half Sunday.

Rishard Matthews fumbled the ball away in the first quarter after hauling in a 35-yard pass from Marcus Mariota. Then in the second quarter, Mariota coughed up the ball while trying to escape the pocket.

Tennessee had been plus-eight in turnover differential over the past four games.

— Dave Skretta reporting from Kansas City


2:10 p.m.

The Detroit Lions probably will be without top cornerback Darius Slay the rest of the way.

He aggravated a hamstring injury in the second quarter and his return is questionable.

The Giants had their top cornerback Janoris Jenkins leave earlier in the quarter with a back injury. His return also is questionable

— Tom Canavan reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey


2:05 p.m.

Houston quarterback Brock Osweiler has been benched for Tom Savage in the second quarter against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Osweiler was benched after throwing interceptions on consecutive drives in the second quarter to help Jacksonville take a 13-0 lead against the Texans, who are tied with the Titans for first place in the AFC South.

Osweiler has struggled in his first season in Houston after signing a $72 million contract to join the Texans from Denver.

He has 16 interceptions and 14 touchdown passes.

When Savage entered the game he received a loud ovation from the crowd, which had been booing Osweiler all afternoon.

— Kristie Rieken reporting from Houston


1:50 p.m.

The Steelers-Bengals rivalry remains as contentious as ever.

Cincinnati running back Jeremy Hill scored on a 4-yard run to put the Bengals up 17-3 Sunday.

Someone tossed a Steelers Terrible Towel on the field behind the end zone. Hill picked it up, tried to tear it, and then tossed it on the ground .

The Steelers knocked the Bengals out of the playoffs last season in a controversial 18-16 game.

— Joe Kay reporting from Cincinnati


1:40 p.m.

The Titans lost cornerback Jason McCourty to a chest injury midway through the first quarter of their game in Kansas City. He was questionable to return.

His injury leaves rookies Kevin Byard and LeShaun Sims to play alongside Rashad Johnson.

The Chiefs have already attacked the Tennessee secondary. Alex Smith hit Jeremy Maclin for a 44-yard reception that set up a touchdown run by the quarterback, giving Kansas City a 14-0 lead.

— Dave Skretta reporting from Kansas City


1:20 p.m.

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has surpassed 1,000 yards rushing for the fifth time in his eight-year career.

He passed the milestone with a 24-yard run on the Bills opening drive against the winless Cleveland Browns. McCoy began the game with 976 yards rushing.

The last time McCoy broke the 1,000-yard mark was in 2014, his final season with the Philadelphia Eagles, when he ran for 1,319 yards. McCoy also leads the NFL in averaging 5.25 yards per carry.

Knee and hamstring injuries limited McCoy to just 895 yards last season, his first in Buffalo after being acquired in a trade with the Eagles.

— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York


12:15 p.m.

Tyreek Hill is already warming up the Chiefs fans at Arrowhead Stadium.

The flashy rookie wide receiver lined up in the backfield on the Chiefs’ second offensive play against Tennessee, started to his right as if it would be an option, then took an inside handoff and ran untouched 68 yards for a score. He even made a cutback that sent the last defender in his way sprawling to the turf.

The big play came moments after Hill recovered his own muff of a punt.

It was Hill’s second TD rushing this season. He had already become the first rookie since Gale Sayers in 1965 with touchdowns on the ground, through the air and on punt and kickoff returns.

— Dave Skretta reporting from Kansas City


1 p.m.

The Chicago Bears are playing one of the coldest home games in franchise history.

The game-time temperature for their matchup against Green Bay on Sunday was 11 degrees with a minus-4 wind chill.

Chicago hosted the Packers in 3-degree temperature and a minus-15 wind chill — the lowest ever for a Bears home game — on Dec. 18, 1983. The Bears’ coldest home game, temperature-wise, was against Green Bay on Dec. 22, 2008, when it was 2 degrees with a minus-13 wind chill.

Green Bay, of course, played the coldest NFL game on record when it beat Dallas in the 1967 NFL championship game — the “Ice Bowl.”

— Andrew Seligman reporting from Chicago


12 p.m.

Want to see the Titans-Chiefs game at Arrowhead Stadium? There’s still time, and it won’t even break the holiday budget.

With an hour left before kickoff, the ticket site cheaptickets.com had four seats together in the upper corner of the stadium for $2 apiece — less than a cup of coffee at most places. Or, if you’re willing to pony up double that, a family of four could sit in the upper deck right at the 50-yard line.

Of course, that’s assuming you can handle the minus-15 wind chill.

Parking will still set you back $40.


The NFL’s 15th Sunday opens with several early-afternoon matchups between teams in playoff position against those trying to finish on a good note or to keep their unlikely postseason hopes alive.

Green Bay travels to struggling Chicago, the 2-11 Jaguars play at Houston and the Steelers play Cincinnati. 5-7. Other 1 p.m. games include Browns-Bills, Lions-Giants, Eagles-Ravens, Colts-Vikings and Titans-Chiefs.

The best matchups are later, including the Patriots at the Broncos at 4:25 p.m. EST. Other late-afternoon games are Raiders-Chargers, 49ers-Falcons and Saints-Cardinals.

Tampa Bay travels to Dallas for the prime-time game.


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