Drew Brees throws 4 TDs as Saints dominate Tom Brady's Buccaneers
Josh Allen leads Bills past Seahawks; Steelers remain undefeated
Drew Brees threw for 222 yards and four touchdowns, regaining the NFL career TD pass lead and lifting the New Orleans Saints into first place in the NFC South with a 38-3 rout of Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday night.
The three-time defending division champion won their fifth straight game, intercepting Brady three times and completing a season sweep of the Bucs (6-3), who also suffered a double-digit loss at New Orleans in Week 1.
The Saints (6-2) weren't perfect — turning the ball over twice themselves — however the offence was extremely efficient with receivers Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders back in the lineup, and the defence played its best game of the season.
Brees was 26 of 32 passing, including first-half TD throws of 14 yards to Tre'Quan Smith, 8 yards to Adam Trautman and 12 yards to Sanders, who missed the previous two games while on the COVID-19 list. The 41-year-old added a 3-yarder to Josh Hill to make it 38-0 with just over nine minutes remaining.
Brees regained the league career TD pass lead with 564, three more than the 43-year-old Brady, who had thrown for 17 touchdowns and just one interception over his previous six games. The Saints intercepted Brady twice in a 34-23 season-opening win, with Janoris Jenkins returning one for a TD.
Defensive Tackle David Onyemata and safeties Marcus Williams and Malcolm Jenkins picked off Brady this time — the last on a throw the six-time Super Bowl threw wildly into the middle of the field as scrambled to avoid a relentless pass rush.
Things people sleep on <a href="https://t.co/gdojxCiQht">pic.twitter.com/gdojxCiQht</a>—@Saints
Brady was sacked three times and finished 22 of 38 for 209 yards, including three completions for 31 yards to Antonio Brown, who made his debut for Tampa Bay in his return from an eight-game suspension for violating the NFL's personal conduct policy.
The Bucs ran the ball just five times, including Blaine Gabbert's kneel-down on the final snap of the night.
The Saints scored on five of their first six possessions to build a 31-0 halftime lead, and the Bucs were fortunate the biggest first-half deficit of Brady's career wasn't larger.
Jared Cook fumbled at the Bucs 2 with the Saints looking to build on an early 7-0 lead. But with Tampa Bay's offence sputtering and one of the league's stingiest defences unable to slow down Brees, New Orleans pressed on.
Brady's first interception, ending a Bucs franchise-record streak of 200 consecutive pass attempts without a pick, led to Alvin Kamara's 1-yard TD run that made it 28-0 midway through the second quarter.
The Saints outgained the Bucs 241 yards to 36 up to that point. They added Will Lutz's 36-yard field goal and a second interception, with Marcus Williams snaring a deep throw intended for Brown in the closing minutes of the opening half.
Tampa Bay avoided a shutout with Ryan Succop's 48-yard field goal with 5:52 remaining.
Josh Allen shines in Bills' win over Seahawks
Josh Allen regained his early-season groove by throwing three touchdown passes and scoring one rushing, and the Buffalo Bills beat the Seattle Seahawks 44-34 on Sunday.
Buffalo's defence played a major role in rattling Seattle's Russell Wilson, who was sacked five times, threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles.
Buffalo (7-2) matched its best record through nine games since 1993, a season that ended with the Jim Kelly-led Bills making their fourth consecutive, and final, Super Bowl appearance.
Allen finished 31 of 38 and equalled a career best set earlier this season with 415 yards passing, becoming the first Bills player to top 300 yards four times in one season since Drew Bledsoe did it seven times in 2002. The Bills offence came alive after Allen combined for just 846 yards passing and five touchdowns — including one rushing — in splitting the previous four games.
Josh Allen is the 1st QB in the Super Bowl era with 400+ pass yds, 3+ pass TD, 0 INT & a 130+ passer rating in multiple games in a season<br><br>Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers & Patrick Mahomes are the only other players with multiple such games in their careers—@NFLResearch
The 44 points allowed were the most in coach Pete Carroll's 11 seasons in Seattle and the most for the franchise since a 48-10 loss at Green Bay on Dec. 27, 2009.
Wilson finished 28 of 41 for 390 yards with two touchdowns.
Though Buffalo never trailed, the game was decided in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, when the Bills scored touchdowns over a span of 2:49 to open a 41-20 lead. Zack Moss scored on a 1-yard run, one play after Allen converted a third-and-16 by hitting John Brown on a 33-yard catch-and-run.
Facing third and 25 on Seattle's next possession, Wilson threw his second interception. Tre'Davious White broke off covering tight end Jacob Hollister to jump in front of a pass intended for DK Metcalf. White returned it to the Seattle 3, and Allen scored on a sweep on the next play.
Wilson provided the Seahawks a breath of life with a 55-yard touchdown pass to David Moore. But on Seattle's next possession, linebacker A.J. Klein burst around the left side of the line untouched and blindsided Wilson to force the fumble, which he recovered at Seattle's 19 with 6:30 remaining.
Set up by Andre Roberts' game-opening 60-yard kickoff return, Allen needed three plays to hit Isaiah McKenzie for a 25-yard touchdown.
On the next possession, the Bills faced third down just once on a 10-play, 75-yard drive Allen capped by hitting tight end Tyler Kroft in the back of the end zone.
Through 3 Pass TD today, Josh Allen now has 19 Pass TD this season, tying Joe Ferguson (1981) for the 2nd most by a Bills QB through 9 games in franchise history. <br><br>The only Bills QB with more is Jim Kelly (20 Pass TD in 1991). <a href="https://t.co/1nrHc77wxu">pic.twitter.com/1nrHc77wxu</a>—@ESPNStatsInfo
Buffalo's third touchdown drive featured Allen going 5 of 5 for 75 yards, including a 4-yard TD pass to a wide-open Gabriel Davis over the middle.
Allen's 24 completions and 282 yards passing in the first half alone were both the most by a Bills player since at least 1991.
Steelers top Cowboys, improve to 8-0
Ben Roethlisberger threw all three of his touchdown passes after shrugging off a knee injury, rallying Pittsburgh to a 24-19 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday and keeping the Steelers as the NFL's only unbeaten team.
Pittsburgh is 8-0 for the first time in the storied franchise's history despite an upset bid from the Cowboys, who were the biggest underdogs they've been at home in at least 31 years.
The Steelers erased a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter with three scoring drives, the last two aided by Dallas penalties that kept drives alive. The go-ahead score was an 8-yarder to Eric Ebron with 2:14 remaining.
The Steelers are now 8-0 (best start in franchise history), securing a 17th straight season w/ a .500+ record since drafting Ben Roethlisberger in 2004<br><br>Roethlisberger now owns the record for most career seasons without playing on a sub-.500 team in NFL history<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/SteelersNation?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#SteelersNation</a>—@NFLResearch
Roethlisberger's first touchdown came after he injured his left knee after a throw on a hit from defensive tackle Neville Gallimore. Limping and grabbing at the left knee between plays, Roethlisberger still completed four straight passes, capped by a 17-yarder to James Washington for Pittsburgh's first points late in the first half.
Roethlisberger went to the locker room after the TD, and Mason Rudolph had to replace him when rookie Dallas receiver CeeDee fumbled after a catch. The Steelers settled for Chris Boswell's franchise-record 59-yard field goal for a 13-9 halftime deficit.
Roethlisberger returned in the second half and finished 29 of 42 for 306 yards as the Steelers overcame a 46-yard rushing day.
Garrett Gilbert's first touchdown pass was a 20-yarder to Lamb for a 10-0 lead in the second quarter. He was the second straight Dallas quarterback to make his first career start after rookie Ben DiNucci last week and finished 21 of 38 for 243 yards.
The Cowboys led 19-15 and were driving early in the fourth quarter when Gilbert was hit as he threw by Cameron Heyward, and Fitzpatrick intercepted the fluttering pass in the end zone.
Starting at the 1 and getting help from an illegal contact penalty that erased a potential turnover on a fumble by Roethlisberger, the Steelers drove and Boswell hit a 43-yard field goal to get within a point.
Chiefs escape with win against Panthers
Patrick Mahomes threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill each went over 100 yards receiving, and the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat Carolina 33-31 on Sunday when Panthers kicker Joey Slye missed a 67-yard field-goal attempt wide right on the final play.
The Chiefs (8-1) were left clinging to the lead when Christian McCaffrey, just back from his ankle injury, scored from a yard out with 1:26 to go. The Panthers' onside kick was recovered by Kansas City, but they used their three timeouts to get the ball back, and Teddy Bridgewater's 23-yard pass to Curtis Samuel with 9 seconds remaining gave them hope.
Carolina (3-6) tried to get a bit closer with a pass to McCaffrey, but the incompletion brought on Slye, who had plenty of leg with the wind behind him. His kick dropped just outside the uprights, though, allowing the Chiefs to escape.
McCaffrey finished with 18 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown while catching 10 passes for 82 yards and another score. Bridgewater threw for 310 yards and two TDs with Samuel catching nine balls for 105 yards and the other score.
Kelce had 10 catches for 159 yards and Hill had nine for 113 and a pair of scores, helping the pass-happy Chiefs climb out of an early 14-3 hole and head into their bye with a bunch of new milestones and a big surge of momentum.
THE DEADLIEST COMBINATION THIS GAME HAS EVER SEEN!!! <a href="https://twitter.com/PatrickMahomes?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@PatrickMahomes</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/cheetah?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@cheetah</a> <a href="https://t.co/ZHKJxFjelw">https://t.co/ZHKJxFjelw</a>—@tkelce
It was the 23rd straight game the Chiefs have scored at least 23 points, breaking their own NFL record, and Mahomes beat Hall of Famer Dan Marino's mark for fewest games to 100 career touchdown passes. Mahomes did it in 40 games, Marino needed 44.
McCaffrey carried four times and caught two passes in helping Carolina mount a 75-yard scoring drive. It took nine plays and consumed nearly nine minutes before McCaffrey reached the end zone, keeping the potent Kansas City offence on the sideline.
The Panthers drilled deep into the playbook, too. There was a hook-and-ladder play that set up a field goal late in the first half, and a fake punt that gave Carolina a first down and ultimately led to a touchdown and a 14-3 lead.
The Panthers still led 17-13 after the teams traded missed field goals to start the second half, but the Chiefs finally hit their offensive stride. Mahomes hit Kelce for a big gain to set up Clyde Edwards-Helaire's TD catch late in the third quarter, then Hill baffled the Carolina secondary to get wide open for a 28-yard touchdown catch to start the fourth.
Bridgewater answered for Carolina by running for 15 yards on fourth-and-14, a scramble that ended with his cart-wheeling dive for a first down, then taking a quarterback draw 4 yards for a touchdown to get within 26-24 with 10:22 to go.
Rather than kick it deep, though, the Panthers tried an onside kick and recovered it too early. That gave the Chiefs a short field, and a couple of third-down conversions to set up another TD pass to Hill that stretched the lead again.
Ravens set record in win over Colts
Lamar Jackson turned up the tempo in the second half Sunday and then went right back to work breaking records.
After Gus Edwards' 1-yard plunge gave Baltimore the lead midway through the third quarter, Jackson sealed the 24-10 win over Indianapolis with a 9-yard TD run that gave the Ravens the NFL record for most consecutive 20-point games.
The Ravens (6-2) have done it 31 straight times — breaking a tie with Denver, which set the mark from 2012-14.
When Edwards scored with 5:43 left in the third, Baltimore (5-3) led 14-10. Jackson sealed it with a brilliant fake that allowed him to jog around the left side for the milestone 9-yard TD run early in the fourth.
Baltimore's defence also did its usual part, extending its streak of consecutive games with a takeaway to 21. They finished with two and Baltimore converted both into touchdowns.
Jonathan Taylor gave Indy a 7-0 lead with an early scoring leap. But he gave it right back when Marcus Peters ripped the ball out of Taylor's hands and Chuck Clark scooped it up and sprinted 65 yards, hurdling Philip Rivers, to tie it at 7.
Indy made it 10-7 at the half on Rodrigo Blankenship's 43-yard field goal.
Titans defeat Bears, snap losing streak
Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes, and the banged-up Tennessee Titans never trailed in snapping a two-game skid by beating the Chicago Bears 24-17 Sunday.
The Titans (6-2) avoided their longest skid since Tannehill took over as starting quarterback and stayed atop the AFC South going into Thursday night's division showdown against Indianapolis.
Cornerback Desmond King picked up a fumble and ran 63 yards for a TD only days after the Titans picked up the 2018 All-Pro from the Chargers for a sixth-round pick. King didn't join Tennessee until Saturday after clearing COVID-19 testing protocols and put the Titans up 17-0 late in the third quarter.
Nick Foles made it interesting with a pair of TD passes within the final minutes. Amani Hooker recovered the Bears' (5-4) onside kick attempt for Tennessee with about a minute left.
Foles was playing behind an offensive line missing centre Cody Whitehair currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Foles threw for 335 yards.
The Titans' defence got a big confidence boost on Chicago's first drive. Foles hit Allen Robinson II for a 4-yard pass, but Robinson was marked out just shy of the first-down marker. The Titans stopped David Montgomery for no gain, sparking a big celebration by Tennessee defenders.
Tennessee settled for a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter from Gostkowski. Then the Titans started their best drive by giving the ball to Derrick Henry five straight times, and they converted four third downs on a 12-play, 91-yard drive.
Tannehill capped the drive with a perfectly thrown ball to A.J. Brown covered by Buster Skrine, and Brown scored by reaching the ball out to the goal line. Tannehill also found a wide-open Jonnu Smith for a 2-yard TD in the fourth quarter.