Vikings keep Rodgers off field late, nip Packers 34-31
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Greg Joseph made a 29-yard field goal as time expired to give the Minnesota Vikings a 34-31 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, finishing a classic back-and-forth with Aaron Rodgers by making sure the three-time NFL MVP didn’t get to touch the ball last.
Kirk Cousins passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings (5-5), who watched yet another game come down to the final play after Rodgers threw three of his four touchdown passes in the second half.
Unable to practice much at all this week because of a toe injury, after missing much of the first half of the month with COVID-19, Rodgers finished 23 for 33 for a season-high 385 yards for Green Bay (8-3).
Justin Jefferson had eight receptions for 169 yards and two scores, including a third-down catch against rookie Eric Stokes that Cousins delivered for a 23-yard touchdown while being decked on a blitz by Darnell Savage.
On the next play from scrimmage, Rodgers threw a rainbow to Marquez Valdes-Scantling streaking past safety Xavier Woods for a 75-yard score to tie the game just before the two-minute warning.
Cousins then led the Vikings into position for the winning kick.
Green Bay had given up just 34 points over its previous three games.
CHARGERS 41, STEELERS 37
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Justin Herbert threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to Mike Williams with 2:17 remaining and Los Angeles held off Pittsburgh.
Los Angeles (6-4) had a 27-10 lead going into the fourth quarter before the Steelers (5-4-1) rallied to take a 37-34 lead on Chris Boswell’s 45-yard field goal with 3:24 left. Los Angeles took over at the 25 and scored four plays later when Williams was wide open and went untouched up the left sideline.
Herbert was 30 of 41 for 382 yards and three touchdowns. He had 90 yards rushing, which is the most by a Chargers quarterback in a game. Keenan Allen had nine receptions for 112 yards, and Williams had 97 yards on five catches.
Austin Ekeler scored a career-high four touchdowns. Ekeler, who had 115 scrimmage yards (65 receiving, 50 rushing), is the ninth player in the Super Bowl era with at least two rushing and two receiving scores in a game.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns for Pittsburgh after missing last week’s game against Detroit after testing positive for COVID-19.
TEXANS 22, TITANS 13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tyrod Taylor ran for two touchdowns and threw for 107 yards and Houston snapped the NFL’s longest active skid, beating Tennessee to end the league’s longest winning streak.
The Texans (2-8) came in having lost eight straight since winning their season opener and hadn’t scored a TD on the road since Sept. 19.
Desmond King had two of the Texans’ four interceptions — three in the fourth quarter to snuff out the Titans’ attempted rally. Houston turned those and a fumbled punt into 13 points. The Texans also had two sacks.
The Titans (8-3) snapped their six-game winning streak with their first loss since Oct. 3. That came to the then-winless New York Jets.
Tennessee outgained Houston 420-190. But the banged-up Titans couldn’t overcome their mistakes on a day when wide receiver A.J. Brown was knocked out of the game in the third quarter with an injured chest.
The Texans took a 3-0 lead on their opening drive and never trailed again.
CHIEFS 19, COWBOYS 9
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 63 yards and a touchdown in his return from injured reserve, Chris Jones and the Kansas City defense made life miserable for Dak Prescott, and the Chiefs beat Dallas.
Patrick Mahomes was 23 of 37 for 260 yards with an interception and a fumble for Kansas City, but he was bailed out by a defense that played its best game of the year. Charvarius Ward picked off Prescott in the end zone near the end of the first half, and Chris Jones had 3 1/2 sacks while forcing and recovering a fumble.
The result: The Chiefs (7-4) improved to 4-0 against the NFC East with their fourth straight win overall.
Prescott was held to 216 yards passing and two interceptions for the Cowboys (7-3), though he was missing a whole lot of help. Left tackle Tyron Smith missed his third straight game with an ankle injury, Amari Cooper tested positive for COVID-19 and fellow wide receiver CeeDee Lamb sustained a concussion just before halftime.
COLTS 41, BILLS 15
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Jonathan Taylor set a franchise record by scoring five times and took over the NFL lead in both yards rushing and touchdowns as Indianapolis routed Buffalo.
Taylor scored three times in the first half, including a 23-yard catch, en route to the first five-touchdown game in the league this season.
Taylor finished with a season-high 185 yards rushing and four touchdowns and has 1,122 yards this season after beginning the day tied for the league lead with the injured Derrick Henry of Tennessee. Taylor has 14 touchdowns, moving ahead of Arizona’s James Conner, who began the day with 12.
Taylor topped 100 yards from scrimmage and scored a touchdown for the eighth consecutive game, matching an NFL record set by Lydell Mitchell of the Colts in 1975-76 and the Chargers’ LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006.
The Colts (6-5) continued their roll by improving to 5-1 in their past six games. Indianapolis had gone 0-5 against opponents who made the playoffs last year, including two losses to AFC South rival Tennessee.
The Bills (6-4) fell a half-game behind New England in the AFC East.
RAVENS 16, BEARS 13
CHICAGO (AP) — Subbing for star quarterback Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley led a winning drive capped by Devonta Freeman’s 3-yard run with 22 seconds remaining, and Baltimore beat Chicago.
Jackson was sidelined by illness for the AFC North-leading Ravens (7-3), who ruled him out 90 minutes before kickoff. The 2019 MVP was a full participant in practice Friday after being held out the previous two days. Coach John Harbaugh said Wednesday the illness was not COVID-19.
Justin Tucker kicked three field goals for the Ravens, who rebounded from a loss to Miami. The Bears (3-7) lost their fifth straight.
Chicago’s Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes after Justin Fields left the game with a rib injury in the third quarter.
The Bears appeared to be in good shape after Dalton found Goodwin deep down the middle on fourth-and-11 to put Chicago on top 13-9 with 1:41 remaining.
But the Ravens answered with the 72-yard touchdown drive. Freeman ran it in after Huntley’s 30-yard pass to Sammy Watkins put the ball on the 3. Huntley completed 26 of 36 passes for 219 yards in his first career start.
CARDINALS 23, SEAHAWKS 13
SEATTLE (AP) — Colt McCoy was outstanding filling in for Kyler Murray, throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns, Arizona beat Seattle.
For the second straight season, McCoy was a backup thrust into a starting role at Seattle and walked away with a victory. Last year, McCoy was with the New York Giants. This season, it was with Murray missing a third straight game due to an ankle injury.
McCoy went 35 of 44 and outplayed Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who made his first home start since undergoing finger surgery. McCoy threw touchdown passes of 1 and 2 yards to Zach Ertz in the first half, got a bit of luck in the third quarter when a potential interception was overturned on replay, and had his first 300-yard passing game since 2014.
Arizona (9-2) had scoring drives of 92 and 82 yards in the first half that ate up 16 minutes.
After 20 straight offensive drives without a touchdown, DeeJay Dallas scored on a 2-yard run with 7:08 left to pull Seattle (3-7) within 16-13.
But McCoy put the game away with another terrific possession. James Conner capped the drive with a 1-yard run with 2:20 left.
WASHINGTON 27, PANTHERS 21
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Taylor Heinicke threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns against the league’s top-ranked pass defense, and Washington beat Carolina in Cam Newton’s return to Bank of America Stadium.
Terry McLaurin had five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown for Washington (4-6) and former Panthers coach Ron Rivera, who won in his return to Carolina.
Newton, making his first start since signing a one-year contract to return to the Panthers, threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a 24-yard score. But Newton’s final two potential game-winning drives ended when the Panthers turned the ball over on downs. Daron Payne and James Smith-Williams sacked Newton with 1:11 left to seal the game.
Christian McCaffrey combined for 119 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown for the Panthers (5-6).
After Newton connected on a 27-yard touchdown pass to McCaffrey down the seam to tie the game at 21 midway through the fourth quarter, Heinicke led Washington into Carolina territory behind a fourth-and-2 completion to tight John Bates. That set up former Panther Joey Slye’s go-ahead 36-yard field goal with 4:13 left in the game.
Slye added another field goal after Carolina turned the ball over on downs.
EAGLES 40, SAINTS 29
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jalen Hurts ran for three touchdowns, Darius Slay returned an interception for a score and Philadelphia beat New Orleans.
The Eagles (5-6) have won two in a row for the first time this season and rookie coach Nick Sirianni earned his first victory at home in five tries.
The Saints (5-5) dropped their third straight since losing quarterback Jameis Winston to a season-ending ACL injury. Trevor Siemian threw three touchdown passes and two picks and ran for a score without several missing starters around him.
The Eagles led 20-7 with under a minute left in the second quarter when Slay stepped in front of Siemian’s pass intended for Deonte Harris and returned it 51 yards for his third TD in four games.
Facing the NFL’s top-ranked defense, the Eagles racked up 242 yards on the ground.
Miles Sanders ran for 94 yards, Hurts had 69 and Jordan Howard added 63. The Eagles have surpassed 175 yards rushing in four straight games, including 200-plus in three victories in that span.
BROWNS 13, LIONS 10
CLEVELAND (AP) — Nick Chubb caught a touchdown pass and ran for 130 yards as Cleveland Browns held on to avoid a season-wrecking upset and keep Detroit winless.
Chubb returned to Cleveland’s lineup after a one-game absence due to COVID-19. He caught a 5-yard TD pass from Baker Mayfield and then helped the Browns (6-5) run out the clock. Chubb gained 36 yards on the final drive.
Wide receiver Jarvis Landry ran for a score as the Browns bounced back after being blown out last week at New England.
The Lions (0-9-1) made some critical mistakes while growing their winless streak to 14 games.
D’Andre Swift ran for a career-high 136 yards, breaking off a 57-yard TD run in the second half to keep the Lions close. Aldrick Rosas made a 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to pull the Lions within 13-10. However, Detroit couldn’t come up with one more big play to put more pressure on the Browns.
The Lions played without injured starting quarterback Jared Goff. Tim Boyle finished 15 of 23 for 77 yards with two interceptions in his first NFL start.
BENGALS 32, RAIDERS 13
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Joe Mixon rushed for 123 yards and scored two touchdowns and Cincinnati beat Las Vegas.
The well-rested Bengals (6-4) came out of their bye week and snapped a two-game skid to climb back into the AFC North race, while the Raiders (5-5) lost their third straight since their bye.
Joe Burrow was 20 of 29 for 148 yards and a touchdown pass to Ja’Marr Chase for Cincinnati. Chase leads all rookies with eight touchdowns this season.
Bengals kicker Evan McPherson became the 13th player with three field goals of 50 yards or more in a game. McPherson was perfect on four field-goal attempts.
Cincinnati’s defense limited the Raiders to 278 yards, the second time the Bengals held an opponent to fewer than 300 yards in a game. It was the third-lowest tally for Las Vegas this season.
Derek Carr finished 19 of 27 for 215 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Tight end Darren Waller caught seven passes for 116 yards.
49ERS 30, JAGUARS 3
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes for the third consecutive week and San Francisco dominated Jacksonville for its third win in four games.
Coming off their best game of the season — a 31-10 stunner against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night — the 49ers (5-5) traveled cross-country on a short week and looked every bit like a playoff contender for the second time in six days.
They scored on their first five possessions, including opening the game with a 20-play field-goal drive that took more than 13 minutes, and set the tone for what would be another long day for the Jaguars (2-8).
San Francisco ran 33 of the game’s first 37 plays and had more first downs (14) than Jacksonville had yards (12) midway through the second quarter.
Garoppolo completed 16 of 22 passes for 176 yards. He connected with Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle for scores. It was Kittle’s third TD in as many weeks. Deebo Samuel ran eight times for 79 yards and a touchdown.
The Niners were equally stout on the other side of the ball, sacking Trevor Lawrence three times.
DOLPHINS 24, JETS 17
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa threw a go-ahead 5-yard touchdown pass to Myles Gaskin early in the fourth quarter and Miami hung on to beat New York for its third straight victory.
A week after an impressive win over Baltimore, the Dolphins (4-7) overcame some penalties — and the Jets had some sloppy plays of their own — to get their first three-game winning streak since winning five in a row in the middle of last season.
With the game tied at 14, Tagovailoa was facing heavy pressure when he got a throw off to Gaskin, who held onto the ball to put the Dolphins ahead 21-14 with 10:15 left despite getting hit by both C.J. Mosley and Elijah Riley in the end zone.
The Dolphins took a 24-14 lead with 1:57 remaining on Jason Sanders’ 24-yard field goal.
Tagovailoa finished 27 of 33 for 273 yards and touchdown passes to Gaskin and Mack Hollins with one interception. Receiver Jaylen Waddle had a 1-yard TD run for Miami.
The Jets (2-8) couldn’t make key stops late. And they couldn’t get anything going consistently on offense. Joe Flacco made his first start in place of the injured Zach Wilson and went 24 of 39 for 291 yards and two touchdowns.
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