NFL Week 2 roundup: Brissett spoils Titans’ opener, rallying Colts to 19-17 win
NASHVILLE — Another quarterback, another victory for the Colts against the Titans.
Jacoby Brissett became the latest Indianapolis quarterback to top Tennessee, throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to T.Y. Hilton with 4:38 left to lead the Colts to a 19-17 victory Sunday in the Titans’ home opener.
Brissett had come up empty for Indianapolis against Tennessee, losing both games he started against the Titans in 2017. After Andrew Luck retired with a perfect 11-0 record against the Titans, Brissett picked up right where Luck left off. He passed for 146 yards and three TDs.
The Colts (1-1) also sacked Marcus Mariota four times on a day when Adam Vinatieri, the NFL’s oldest player and career scoring leader, missed two extra points. It was Indianapolis’ 14th win in its last 16 games against Tennessee overall.
The Titans (1-1) missed their chance for payback against Indianapolis after losing the 2018 regular-season finale, along with a playoff berth on the line for the winner. They haven’t started 2-0 since 2008 when they won their first 10 games and last won the AFC South.
The Titans had one last chance, getting the ball back with 1:07 left. But Mariota threw incomplete to rookie A.J. Brown on fourth-and-2 with 11 seconds left.
Texans 13, Jaguars 12
HOUSTON — Justin Reid stopped Leonard Fournette on a 2-point conversion attempt with 36 seconds left, and the Houston Texans held on to edge the Jacksonville Jaguars 13-12 on Sunday.
Houston led by 7 in the fourth quarter when Jacksonville rookie Gardner Minshew led a long drive that included an 18-yard run on fourth-and-10, and he capped it with a 4-yard TD pass to D.J. Chark.
Instead of trying to tie it with an extra point, Jaguars coach Doug Marrone opted to go for the potential win by having Fournette attempt to run it in for the 2-point conversion. But the big running back was stopped by Reid. The play was upheld by video review, giving the Texans (1-1) the victory.
Early in the fourth quarter, Whitney Mercilus used a nice spin move to evade a blocker and sacked Minshew to force a fumble, which was recovered by J.J. Watt on the 11-yard line. Carlos Hyde had an 8-yard run on second down, but was stopped short of a first down on the next play to bring up fourth-and-1. Deshaun Watson then scrambled in from 2 yards out for the touchdown to make it 13-3.
Watson threw for 159 yards, and Hyde had 90 yards rushing for the Texans.
Bills 28, Giants 14
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Somewhat maligned Josh Allen ran for a touchdown, threw for another, and the Bills claimed the bragging rights of New York with a 28-14 victory over the Giants on Sunday.
Buffalo has its first 2-0 start since 2014 and only the third in 11 mostly fruitless years.
Devin Singletary scored on a 14-yard run and Frank Gore iced the game with a 1-yard plunge into the end zone with 5:53 to play as the Bills completed the New York/New Jersey sweep at MetLife Stadium. They beat the Jets last weekend.
Allen finished 19 of 30 for 253 yards in becoming Buffalo’s first quarterback to pass for 200 or more yards in seven straight games since Hall of Famer Jim Kelly in 1992. His touchdown pass covered 14 yards to Isaiah McKenzie and his TD run was 6 yards.
Giants coach Pat Shurmur gave Buffalo bulletin-board material earlier in the week when he said he felt Allen had the potential to be an NFL starter coming out of the 2018 draft. The Bills felt it a slight for the No.7 overall pick and posted it.
Allen, who had no turnovers after making four last week, played like a quarterback with something to prove.
Patriots 43, Dolphins 0
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Antonio Brown caught a 20-yard touchdown pass in his debut for the New England Patriots, and they scored twice on interception returns in a two-minute fourth-quarter span Sunday to beat the Miami Dolphins, 43-0.
Brown also made an 18-yard catch on his first play for the Patriots, who signed him Monday. He finished with 56 yards on four receptions, all in the first half.
The NFL allowed the four-time All-Pro receiver to play despite a civil lawsuit filed Tuesday by his former trainer accusing him of sexually assaulting her on three occasions.
New England’s defense outscored Miami with interception returns for touchdowns of 54 yards by Stephon Gilmore and 69 yards by Jamie Collins Sr. The Patriots totaled seven sacks and four interceptions and earned their most lopsided win in the 108-game history of the series.
Tom Brady threw for 264 yards and two scores for the Pats, who are 2-0 for the first time since 2016, winning by a combined score of 76-3. The Dolphins are 0-2 for only the second time since 2012, with their losses by a combined score of 102-10.
Bill Belichick didn’t let up against his former assistant, Dolphins rookie coach Brian Flores. Brady kept throwing to help the Patriots drive 59 yards for their final touchdown with 2:10 left.
New England was an 18½-point favorite but led only 7-0 late in the first half before Brady’s touchdown throw to Brown. The Patriots newcomer celebrated by vaulting into the first row, where she landed on an 18-year-old college student wearing a Brady jersey.
Lions 13, Chargers 10
DETROIT — Matthew Stafford threw a go-ahead, 31-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay midway through the fourth quarter and Darius Slay made an interception in the end zone with 1:03 left, allowing the Detroit Lions to beat the Los Angeles Chargers 13-10 Sunday despite a slew of mistakes.
Detroit (1-0-1) overcame Stafford’s two interceptions, Slay giving up a lot of receptions and Matt Prater missing an extra point and a field goal.
The Chargers (1-1) were in a position to attempt a 45-yard field goal to tie the game, but Philip Rivers tried to force a pass to Keenan Allen and Slay picked it off.
Stafford was 22 of 30 for 245 yards with two TDs and two interceptions. Rivers was 21 of 36 for 293 yards and an interception.
Austin Ekeler leaped over the goal line for a 1-yard TD on the Chargers’ second drive. Ekeler finished with 67 yards receiving and 66 yards rushing for his second straight game with 100-plus yards from scrimmage.
Detroit scored a TD on the ensuing possession with a screen pass that Kerryon Johnson bobbled before securing and sprinting for a 36-yard reception, but Prater muted some of the cheers by missing an extra point to the left. Prater also missed a 40-yard field goal to the right in the second quarter.
Cowboys 31, Redskins 21
LANDOVER, Md. — Dak Prescott carved up the Washington Redskins’ defense with his arm and his legs, completing 26 of 30 passes for 269 yards and three touchdowns and rushing for 69 yards in a 31-21 Dallas Cowboys victory Sunday to improve to 2-0.
A week after putting up a perfect 158.3 QB rating, Prescott responded from an interception to lead Dallas on consecutive touchdown drives of 97, 83 and 75 yards. He’s the first Cowboys quarterback to compile seven touchdown passes in the first two games of the season since Don Meredith in 1966.
On the verge of a contract extension that’s expected to guarantee him over $30 million, Prescott connected with three receivers on the touchdowns: Devin Smith, Jason Witten and Amari Cooper. Less than two weeks removed from ending his holdout and agreeing to a $90 million, six-year deal, Ezekiel Elliott had his workload increased to 23 carries for 111 yards and ran for a touchdown.
It was a game that felt like it was being played deep in the heart of Texas — an entire side of the lower bowl was full of blue and white Cowboys jerseys, who just about outnumbered Redskins fans. Sounds of “Coop” filled the stadium after Cooper’s catches, and there was a loud “DE-FENSE” chant when Washington had the ball.
The Redskins (0-2) got a rushing touchdown from Adrian Peterson and passing TDs from Case Keenum to Paul Richardson and rookie Terry McLaurin. But their banged-up defense playing without two starters struggled to contain Prescott or cover his receivers.
Packers 21, Vikings 16
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers threw two early touchdowns and the Green Bay Packers held on for a 21-16 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
On a day when the Packers honored late Hall of Famer Bart Starr at halftime, Rodgers put on quite a show — particularly early. Rodgers completed nine of his first 10 passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns and had a perfect 158.3 rating through the first quarter. He finished 22 of 34 for 209 yards.
The Packers improved to 2-0 under new coach Matt LaFleur after opening the NFL’s 100th season with a victory at rival Chicago. They also beat the Vikings (1-1) for the fifth time in the past seven games at Lambeau Field.
Kevin King intercepted Cousins late in the end zone to preserve the win.
Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook had a career-high 154 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. It was the third-year back’s second consecutive game with over 100 yards rushing.
After throwing the ball just 10 times in the season opener, Kirk Cousins finished 14 of 32 with 230 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Rodgers and Davante Adams connected on a 39-yard completion on the Packers’ first offensive play and LaFleur’s offense was off and running. Rodgers found running back Jamaal Williams for a 15-yard touchdown to cap a four-play, 75-yard opening drive.
Chiefs 28, Raiders 10
OAKLAND, Calif. — Patrick Mahomes bounced back from the first scoreless opening quarter of his career in the regular season by throwing four touchdown passes in a near perfect second period.
The Raiders (1-1) held Mahomes in check for the opening 15 minutes before he carved up an overmatched defense with big play after big play in the second quarter for the Chiefs (2-0).
Mahomes didn’t take long to strike, finding Demarcus Robinson open on a blown coverage for a 44-yard touchdown pass on the first play in the second quarter. He didn’t slow down from there.
Mahomes finished 30 for 44 for 443 yards. Robinson had six catches for 172 yards and two scores and Kelce had seven catches for 107 yards and a TD to give the Chiefs their ninth win in the past 10 meetings in this long-time rivalry.
Bears 16, Broncos 14
DENVER — Eddy Pineiro kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Chicago Bears a wild 16-14 win over the Broncos and their former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio, whose gutsy 2-point call 31 seconds earlier had given Denver the lead.
The Broncos (0-2) thought time had expired when Mitchell Trubisky stepped up and threw a 25-yard pass to Allen Robinson on fourth-and-15 from his 40-yard line. Robinson was tackled at the Denver 35 by Chris Harris Jr.
The clock showed all zeroes and both teams milled around on the field not knowing whether to celebrate a win or lament a loss. Then referee Adrian Hill announced there was 1 second remaining and Chicago was using its last timeout.
Pineiro’s winner sent the Bears (1-1) streaming back onto the field in celebration of a victory that seemed so unlikely after they’d surrendered the lead moments earlier.
In a whipsaw of emotion, cornerback Kyle Fuller, whose goal-line interception with five minutes left seemingly sealed Chicago’s win, surrendered a 7-yard tiptoe TD to Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders barely got both feet toes down in the right corner of the end zone.
Rams 27, Saints 9
LOS ANGELES — With Drew Brees watching from the sideline with an injured hand, the Rams didn’t need a no-call to beat the Saints again.
Jared Goff passed for 283 yards and a touchdown and rushed for another score, and the Rams (2-0) stopped New Orleans from scoring an offensive touchdown for the first time since 2016.
The much-anticipated matchup changed dramatically when Brees was injured late in the first quarter. His throwing hand collided with Aaron Donald’s outstretched hand while he threw an incompletion on the Saints’ second drive. The NFL’s career leader in yards passing spent the afternoon on the Coliseum sideline with his thumb heavily wrapped.
Teddy Bridgewater went 17 of 30 for 165 yards and Alvin Kamara rushed for just 45 yards for the Saints (1-1), who seemed discombobulated without their longtime quarterback. New Orleans didn’t score an offensive touchdown for only the fourth time in 13-plus seasons under coach Sean Payton, who got a lengthy contract extension before the game.
Todd Gurley rushed for 63 yards and scored his first touchdown of the season late in the third quarter of this rematch of the Rams’ 26-23 overtime win in New Orleans last January. That game turned on the infamous uncalled pass interference late in regulation by Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, who had six tackles in the rematch.