Lions win on final play, end winless string 29-27 over Vikes
DETROIT (AP) — The Lions finally found a victory when Jared Goff threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown as time expired, lifting previously winless Detroit to a 29-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Not only was the finish dramatic, it was stunning. Goff led the Lions on a 75-yard decisive possession without a timeout after Kirk Cousins threw a go-ahead 3-yard touchdown pass to Justin Jefferson with 1:50 left. The Vikings failed on a 2-point conversion for the third time; those missed opportunities proved costly.
Goff threw two touchdown passes in the first half to put Detroit ahead by 14 points, its biggest lead this season. Then he turned over the ball twice in the second half to help Minnesota rally.
He came through in the end, leading the long drive and delivering a sharp pass to the rookie receiver, who took advantage of the Vikings secondary playing too deep in the end zone.
The Lions (1-10-1) ended a 15-game winless streak that lasted 364 days since winning at Chicago last season, giving first-year coach Dan Campbell his first victory with the franchise.
The Vikings (5-7) hurt their chances of earning a wild-card spot in the playoffs by losing a game they were favored to win by a touchdown — and led until the very last tick of the clock.
CARDINALS 33, BEARS 22
CHICAGO (AP) — Kyler Murray threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more in his return from an ankle injury.
The Cardinals (10-2) got back Murray and three-time All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins after both players missed three games because of injuries, then rolled to an easy victory over Chicago (4-8). The NFC West leaders, who have the NFL’s best record, intercepted Andy Dalton four times.
The Cardinals, who were coming off a bye, improved to 7-0 on the road, with each win by 10 points or more.
Jalen Thompson and Budda Baker picked off passes that deflected off the intended target on Chicago’s first two possessions. The Cardinals took advantage.
Murray completed 11 of 15 passes for 123 yards, giving him 10,092 in three seasons, on a cool and soggy afternoon. At 24 years, 120 days, he became the fourth-youngest player with 10,000 career yards passing, according to NFL research. Drew Bledsoe (23 years, 299 days), Jameis Winston (23 years, 303 days) and Dan Marino (24 years, 63 days) are the only younger players to reach it. Murray also joined Cam Newton as the only players in NFL history with at least 10,000 yards passing and 1,500 rushing in his first three seasons.
BUCCANEERS 30, FALCONS 17
ATLANTA (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 368 yards and four touchdowns — two of them to longtime favorite target Rob Gronkowski — and the Buccaneers moved to the brink of clinching the NFC South title.
The Bucs (9-3) won their third straight game and pushed their division lead to four games over Atlanta, Carolina and New Orleans (all 5-7) with five games remaining.
Brady improved to 10-0 in his career against the Falcons, including four straight wins over the last two seasons since moving from New England to Tampa Bay.
The 44-year-old Brady completed 38 of 51 throws, including touchdowns of 27 and 11 yards to Gronkowski — their first scoring passes since Week 2 against the Falcons. The prolific duo has combined for 90 regular-season TDs, passing Phillip Rivers and Antonio Gates for No. 2 in NFL history. Only Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison have more, hooking up for 112.
Brady shook off a huge blunder in the final minute of the first half, when 278-pound defensive lineman Marlon Davidson picked off a short pass and glided 3 yards into the end zone for a touchdown that cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 20-17 at the break.
STEELERS 20, RAVENS 19
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh thwarted a 2-point conversion attempt after Lamar Jackson’s touchdown pass to Sammy Watkins got the Ravens within one with 12 seconds to go.
Rather than turn to star kicker Justin Tucker for an almost automatic 35-yard extra point, the Ravens (8-4) went for the knockout punch. Baltimore tight end Mark Andrews couldn’t haul in a flip by Jackson. The Steelers (6-5-1) recovered an onside kick to seal it.
Pittsburgh ended a three-game winless streak behind the 39th fourth-quarter comeback engineered by Ben Roethlisberger. The 39-year-old quarterback threw for 236 yards and two second-half touchdowns to Diontae Johnson, the final one a 5-yard catch-and-run with 1:48 to play that gave the Steelers a 20-13 lead.
Jackson took the Ravens 60 yards in eight plays, the last six coming on a tumbling grab by Watkins in the back of the end zone. The offense stayed on the field for the 2-point conversion, opting to do it even after a surprised Pittsburgh called a timeout to reset.
The Steelers brought pressure on Jackson — a constant for three-plus hours — and his hurried throw was too far out in front for Andrews to bring it in.
CHIEFS 22, BRONCOS 9
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The resurgent Kansas City defense shut down Teddy Bridgewater and Denver, Daniel Sorenson returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown, and the Chiefs won their fifth straight.
Patrick Mahomes had 184 yards passing with a touchdown run and an interception for the Chiefs (8-4), who now lead the Chargers by a game and the Broncos and Raiders by two in their race for a sixth straight AFC West championship.
Things went haywire for the Broncos early in the game, when a 20-play drive ended with a failed fourth-down play rather than an easy field goal. And they didn’t get a whole lot better when Bridgewater threw a pair of second-half interceptions, including the one that Sorensen picked off with 9 1/2 minutes left to put the game away.
Bridgewater was held to 257 yards passing for the Broncos (6-6), who have lost 12 in a row to their longtime AFC rival dating to the 2015 season. Javonte Williams started in place of injured running back Melvin Gordon III and had 102 yards rushing along with a touchdown catch late in the fourth quarter.
Thanks to his defense, Chiefs coach Andy Reid improved to 20-3 after a bye.
SEAHAWKS 30, 49ERS 23
SEATTLE (AP) — Russell Wilson played his best game since returning from finger surgery throwing for 231 yards and two touchdowns, and the Seahawks made a late goal line stand.
Seattle (4-8) snapped a three-game losing streak but it wasn’t easy as a number of mistakes gave the 49ers a chance for a tying touchdown in the final moments.
Gerald Everett fumbled at the San Francisco 2 with 4:03 remaining and Seattle on the cusp of a clinching score. Jimmy Garoppolo led the 49ers 95 yards to the Seattle 3. But his third-down pass for Trent Sherfield was broken up by Sidney Jones, and his fourth- down pass was deflected at the line of scrimmage by Carlos Dunlap.
It was the second big play by Dunlap, who sacked Garoppolo for a safety early in the third quarter.
Newly signed running back Adrian Peterson moved into a tie with Jim Brown for 10th all-time with 126 career touchdowns, scoring on a 1-yard run in the second quarter for Seattle.
Travis Homer also ran 73 yards for a touchdown on a fake punt on the opening possession of the game for Seattle.
San Francisco (6-6) saw its three-game win streak snapped and was swept by Seattle this season. The 49ers were unable to get their run game going as in recent weeks, with Elijah Mitchell rushing for 66 yards on 22 carries.
George Kittle had nine catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns.
WASHINGTON 17, RAIDERS 15
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Taylor Heinicke threw two touchdown passes and set up new kicker Brian Johnson’s winning 48-yard field goal with 37 seconds remaining to lead Washington to its fourth straight victory.
Heinicke threw a 7-yard TD pass to Logan Thomas on the opening drive and a 4-yarder to Antonio Gibson early in the fourth quarter after extending the drive with a key third-down scramble.
But Washington (6-6) then allowed the Raiders (6-6) to score on successive drives to take a 15-14 lead on Daniel Carlson’s 37-yard field goal set up by Nate Hobbs’ interception of Heinicke.
Heinicke responded and drove Washington down the field to set up the kick by Johnson. who was signed earlier this week after Joey Slye went down with an injury.
Coordinator Jack Del Rio’s defense then sealed it to give him the win in his first game against the Raiders since being fired by the team following the 2017 season.
RAMS 37, JAGUARS 7
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. caught touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford, and the Rams snapped their three-game losing streak.
Stafford passed for 295 yards while Sony Michel rushed for 121 yards and a score for the Rams (8-4), who rebounded from a winless November with a solid all-around effort against a struggling opponent. Kupp had his 100th reception of a remarkable season among his eight catches for 129 yards.
Stafford also snapped back into form, playing turnover-free football after giving the ball away six times during the three-game skid that threatened to derail the Rams’ playoff plans. Los Angeles still has never lost four straight in coach Sean McVay’s half-decade in charge.
Rookie Trevor Lawrence passed for 145 yards for the Jaguars (2-10), who have lost four straight.
Jacksonville turned over the ball twice and struggled to get anything going offensively against LA’s star-studded defense, managing just 197 total yards. This defeat means Urban Meyer will lose at least twice as many games in his rookie NFL season as he ever did in any of his 17 seasons as a head coach at the college level.
CHARGERS 41, BENGALS 22
CINCINNATI (AP) — Justin Herbert passed for three touchdowns and Tevaughn Campbell returned a Joe Mixon fumble 61 yards for a score.
Herbert was 26 of 35 for 317 yards as Los Angeles (7-5) bounced back nicely after losing 28-13 at Denver last weekend. Mike Williams had five receptions for 110 yards, and Keenan Allen caught two of Herbert’s TD passes.
Cincinnati (7-5) stormed back after falling behind 24-0 in the second quarter. Mixon’s 7-yard TD run made it 24-22 with 7:10 left in the third. But Mixon was stuffed on the 2-point conversion try and Campbell’s fumble return in the fourth helped close it out for Los Angeles.
The Bengals committed four of the game’s seven turnovers. Battling a hand injury for much of the day, Joe Burrow threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
EAGLES 33, JETS 18
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Gardner Minshew started in place of an injured Jalen Hurts and led the clock-eating Philadelphia Eagles to scores on their first seven possessions.
Minshew was 20 of 25 for 242 yards and two touchdowns to Dallas Goedert. Kenneth Gainwell ran for a score, Jake Elliott kicked four field goals and the Eagles (6-7) improved to 12-0 all-time against the Jets (3-9).
With Hurts out with an ankle injury, Philadelphia bounced back from a 13-7 loss to the Giants last weekend at MetLife Stadium to slice through the Jets’ defense drive after drive. The only possession on which the Eagles didn’t score was their last.
But the win might have come at a cost as running back Miles Sanders left in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury after running for 120 yards on 24 carries. Center Jason Kelce also limped off the field at the two-minute warning.
It appeared the Jets and Eagles would be in for a slugfest as they both scored touchdowns on their first three possessions. It was the first game since the Elias Sports Bureau began tracking in 1978 that each team scored TDs on their first three drives.
Things slowed considerably after halftime as the Jets held the ball for only 70 seconds in the third quarter — just three plays for 3 yards. Meanwhile, the Eagles had 24 plays for 81 yards over 13:50 in the period. Philadelphia held the overall edge in time of possession: 35:36 to 24:24.
DOLPHINS 20, GIANTS 9
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla (AP) — Tua Tagovailoa threw a pair of short touchdown passes, and the Dolphins extended their winning streak to five games.
Isaiah Ford and Mack Hollins had the scoring grabs for Miami (6-7), which has shaken off a 1-7 start. Jaylen Waddle had nine catches for 90 yards for the Dolphins, and rookie Jaelan Phillips had two more sacks — giving him five in his past two games.
Tagovailoa completed 30 of 41 passes for 244 yards and the two scores.
Mike Glennon started at quarterback for the Giants (4-8) in place of Daniel Jones, who was sidelined with a neck injury. Glennon completed 23 of 44 throws for 187 yards, and Saquon Barkley had 55 rushing yards on 11 carries.
Glennon finished the game, and the team said he was diagnosed postgame with a concussion.
New York never found the end zone against a defense that has yielded only 55 points during the five-game winning streak. Graham Gano had three field goals for the Giants.
COLTS 31, TEXANS 0
HOUSTON (AP) — Jonathan Taylor ran for 143 yards and two touchdowns and the Colts rolled.
The Texans turned over the ball twice in the first quarter and quarterback Tyrod Taylor was benched in the third quarter as Houston (2-10) lost for the ninth time in 10 games.
Indianapolis’ Taylor, who leads the NFL in yards rushing, has 16 rushing touchdowns this season, which ties the franchise record set by Lenny Moore in 1964. It’s the 10th straight game when he’s ran for a touchdown, the longest streak in the NFL since LaDainian Tomlinson did it in 18 straight in the 2004 and 2005 seasons.
Carson Wentz threw for 158 yards and a touchdown for the Colts (7-6) before being replaced by Sam Ehlinger with five minutes left in the fourth quarter and the game long decided.
Things went wrong for Houston immediately with Tyrod Taylor throwing an interception on the team’s first play. It was initially ruled an incompletion, but the Colts challenged the call and the review showed that Kenny Moore grabbed it just before falling out of bounds.
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