NFL Week 4 roundup: Patriots hold off Bills to remain unbeaten
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins forced Buffalo’s fourth turnover by intercepting backup Matt Barkley’s pass with 1:27 remaining to seal New England’s 16-10 win over the Bills on Sunday.
J.C. Jackson had two interceptions and blocked a punt, which was returned 11 yards by Matthew Slater for a touchdown. Brandon Bolden scored on a 4-yard run in a defensive slugfest between previously unbeaten AFC East rivals.
New England is off to its first 4-0 start since 2015, and fifth time during Bill Belichick’s 20 seasons as coach.
The Bills (3-1) not only blew an opportunity to open a season with four straight wins for the first time since 2008, but now face questions at quarterback.
Barkley took over after starter Josh Allen sustained a head injury after being brought down by a helmet-to-helmet hit by Jonathan Jones in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. Allen was briefly evaluated under a tent on the sideline before being escorted up the tunnel.
The game wasn’t decided until Buffalo’s final drive with Barkley facing third-and-9 at the New England 39.
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy applied the pressure by driving in from Barkley’s right, and got a hand on the quarterback’s chest. Barkley’s follow-through was affected causing the ball to pop into the air, which Collins easily secured.
Though Tom Brady didn’t play much of a factor, he upped his career record to 31-3 against Buffalo — extending the NFL career mark for most victories by a quarterback against one opponent. New England won its sixth straight against the Bills, and improved to 34-5 against Buffalo since the start of the 2000 season.
Scoring didn’t come easy in a game in which the teams combined for 14 punts.
Another key Patriots stop came on the drive Allen was hurt. With Buffalo facing fourth-and-goal from the 2, Barkley threw a high pass that glanced off receiver Zay Jones’ fingertips five minutes into the fourth quarter.
New England’s 16 points all came off Bills turnovers.
Bolden scored after Allen threw his first interception. He was picked off by Devin McCourty after forcing a pass deep over the middle into double coverage.
Two series later, the Patriots went up 13-0 when Jackson was untouched coming off the right side to block Corey Bojorquez’s punt. The ball bounced into the hands of Slater, who ran in untouched.
New England was on the verge of running away with the game before Brady threw an interception facing third-and-goal from the 2 with under five minutes left in the second quarter. His pass intended for Julian Edelman was picked off by safety Micah Hyde.
Brady was held in check in being limited to 18 of 39 for 150 yards and an interception.
The Patriots were held under 30 points for the first time this season. They allowed their first points in the first half this season on Stephen Hauschka’s 46-yard field goal with 1:55 left in the second quarter. And New England then gave up its first offensive touchdown of the year when Allen capped Buffalo’s first drive of the second half with a 1-yard dive over the middle on fourth down.
Patriots kicker Stephen Gostkowski hit a 23-yard field-goal attempt, but was wide right on his first of two extra-point attempts.
Chiefs 34, Lions 30
DETROIT — Darrel Williams ran for a go-ahead, 1-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left for his second score in the fourth quarter, lifting the Kansas City Chiefs to a 34-30 win over the Detroit Lions.
Detroit drove to the Kansas City 44 on the final drive and Matthew Stafford heaved two passes toward the end zone that were incomplete, ending the game.
The Chiefs (4-0) went ahead for the first time Sunday early in the third quarter when Bashaud Breeland recovered Kerryon Johnson’s fumble and returned it 100 yards, taking advantage of everyone on the field appearing to stop momentarily and the officials not blowing a whistle. The pivotal play stood after review.
The Lions (2-1-1) scored the first 10 points and, after Kansas City pulled into two ties, went back ahead late in the second, third and fourth quarters.
Stafford threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Kenny Golladay with 2:26 left to give Detroit a 30-27 lead. The call on the field stood after a review, which showed Golladay got both feet in the end zone. Golladay had a touchdown overturned by review early in the third because he appeared to lose control of the football as he hit the turf.
Kansas City started the winning drive on its 21. Patrick Mahomes converted a fourth-and-8 from his 34 with a 15-yard run to help him finish with a career-high 56 yards rushing and he completed just enough passes to set up Williams for a short run to take the lead for good.
Mahomes was 24 of 42 for 315 yards. The reigning MVP had thrown at least two touchdown passes in 14 straight games, one short of the NFL record set by Peyton Manning.
Stafford was 21 of 34 for 291 yards with three touchdowns, including two to Golladay and one to T.J. Hockenson. Stafford’s second touchdown pass of the game — and first to Golladay — put Detroit up 23-20 and followed a fifth fumble in the third quarter. Johnson had 125 yards rushing on 26 carries.
Raiders 31, Colts 24
INDIANAPOLIS — Derek Carr led the Oakland Raiders to touchdowns on three of their first four possessions Sunday, and Erik Harris returned a late interception 30 yards for a score to seal a 31-24 victory at Indianapolis.
Oakland (2-2) snapped a two-game losing streak and won in Indy for the first time since 2001.
With starting receivers T.Y. Hilton and Devin Funchess out with injuries, the Colts (2-2) gained 346 yards — most coming in the final quarter when they were scrambling to get back in the game. The inability to sustain drives took a toll on Indy’s defense.
Carr threw an 18-yard TD pass to Foster Moreau on the game’s opening drive. On the Raiders’ next offensive play, Trevor Davis took the pitch on a jet sweep around the left side and sprinted 60 yards for a touchdown to make it 14-0 less than seven minutes into the game.
Justin Houston’s fumble recovery on the Raiders’ next possession set up a 5-yard TD pass from Jacoby Brissett to Jack Doyle. Carr answered with a 19-yard TD pass to Tyrell Williams in a stark contrast to the team that stated the game with only two scores on the last 18 possessions.
The Raiders’ defense made sure it held up, though Brissett’s 4-yard pass to Chester Rogers with 5:27 left cut the deficit to 24-17. After Oakland forced a punt, Harris jumped Zach Pascal’s route, came up with the interception and jogged into the end zone.
Brissett threw a 48-yard TD pass to Eric Ebron with 1:10 to play, but the Colts didn’t get the ball back.
Panthers 16, Texans 10
HOUSTON — Kyle Allen threw for 232 yards and the Carolina Panthers overcame his three fumbles with help from a big defensive play late to get a 16-10 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday.
The Panthers (2-2) took a 13-10 lead with a 55-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. The Texans (2-2) were driving with about four minutes left when Deshaun Watson was sacked by Vernon Butler, who caused a fumble that was recovered by Eric Reid at the Houston 33.
Carolina pushed the lead to 16-10 when Joey Slye added a 26-yard field goal with 31 seconds left. Houston had a chance for the win, but Deshaun Watson’s desperation throw as time expired was knocked down in the end zone by Reid.
Allen was making his third career start and second this season in place of Cam Newton, who is out with a foot injury. Allen lost the ball three times on sacks, but the Texans were only able to get points out of the last one to allow the Panthers to keep it close until their defense came through with the big play late.
Allen had four touchdown passes last week to help the Panthers to their first win against Arizona. On Sunday, he didn’t have a touchdown and relied heavily on running back Christian McCaffrey, who had 93 yards rushing and a touchdown and led the team with 86 yards receiving.
Watson threw for 160 yards on a day the Texans had trouble sustaining drives even when given a short field after turnovers.
Giants 24, Redskins 3
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Daniel Jones worked his magic again, Saquon Barkley’s replacement Wayne Gallman scored two touchdowns, and Jabrill Peppers scored on a 32-yard interception return to lead the suddenly revived New York Giants to 24-3 victory over the winless Washington Redskins on Sunday.
The Redskins’ 0-4 start is their worst since losing their first five in 2001. The start also has seriously put coach Jay Gruden’s job in jeopardy after five-plus season, a 35-49-1 record and one playoff berth (2015).
Jones (23 of 31 for 225 yards) has sparked the Giants (2-2) since replacing two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning as the starting quarterback. He rallied New York from an 18-point deficit in his first start against the Buccaneers last week and was solid early, leading New York to touchdown runs on its first two series.
Gallman, who is going to start for the foreseeable future with Barkley battling a high ankle sprain, caught a 6-yard TD pass and scored on a 1-yard run to stake New York to a 14-0 lead.
Gruden tried to spark the mistake-prone Redskins, who had 12 penalties for 58 yards, by benching Case Keenum (6 of 11 for 37 yards) for first-round draft pick Dwayne Haskins Jr., midway through the second quarter. That move came after Quinton Dunbar picked off Jones on consecutive passes, but the Ohio State product went just 9 of 17 for 107 yards and could produce only a 21-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins on his initial series. He was picked off three times, the last two by Janoris Jenkins.
Washington finished with 176 yards on offense and was 2 of 11 on third downs.
Titans 24, Falcons 10
ATLANTA — Marcus Mariota threw three first-half touchdown passes, two to A.J. Brown, and the Tennessee Titans defense had three fourth-down stops to beat the Atlanta Falcons 24-10 on Sunday.
Tennessee (2-2) used Mariota’s big first half and strong defense to snap a two-game losing streak. Derrick Henry, who ran for 100 yards, helped the Titans dominate the clock and hold the Falcons to only a field goal in the second half.
Ito Smith’s 1-yard touchdown run in the first quarter pulled the Falcons (1-3) even at 7-7. Tennessee outscored Atlanta 17-0 the remainder of the half, and the Falcons heard boos as they left the field.
Matt Ryan passed for 397 yards, but the Falcons were stopped on three fourth-down plays. Julio Jones had only four catches for 52 yards.
Devonta Freeman, who was held to 28 yards on 12 carries, was stopped by Jurrell Casey on a fourth-and-1 run in the second quarter. Ryan was sacked on two fourth-down plays in the second half.
Mariota has not thrown an interception this season, but he faced growing criticism after managing only one touchdown pass in two straight losses.
Chargers 30, Dolphins 10
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Philip Rivers threw for 310 yards and two scores Sunday to help the Chargers win in Miami for the first time in 38 years, 30-10.
Rivers completed 24 of 30 attempts with no interceptions and directed a 10½-minute drive in the third quarter that helped Los Angeles take control.
The Dolphins (0-4) held a lead for the first time this season, but it lasted only 3 minutes, 49 seconds. They’ve been outscored 163-26 this season, which is the NFL’s worst four-game point differential since at least 1940.
The Chargers (2-2) had lost eight games in a row in Miami. Their last victory came in an overtime playoff thriller in January 1982 that’s regarded as one of the greatest games in NFL history.
Their latest win was less dramatic, and came in a stadium that was more than half empty. The Chargers led 17-10 and scored on their first three possessions of the second half to take command against the outmanned Dolphins, who have been outscored 81-0 in the second half this season.
Austin Ekeler scored one touchdown receiving and another rushing. Desmond King led Los Angeles’ defensive charge with 2½ sacks, a tackle for a loss and two quarterback hits.
Seahawks 27, Cardinals 10
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Russell Wilson threw for 240 yards a touchdown, Jadeveon Clowney returned an interception for a touchdown and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-10 on Sunday.
The Seahawks (3-1) scored two touchdowns by early in the second quarter, one on Clowney’s spectacular 27-yard interception return and another on a 9-yard pass from Wilson to tight end Will Dissly.
After that, Seattle controlled the game’s pace with Chris Carson, who ran for 104 yards on 22 carries. The Seahawks also leaned on their defense, which forced Cardinals rookie quarterback Kyler Murray into another up-and-down day.
Arizona’s problems were a familiar story. The Cardinals (0-3-1) moved the ball fairly well in the first half, but couldn’t convert that success into touchdowns. To make matters worse, Zane Gonzalez missed two field goal attempts from 43 and 48 yards and the Seahawks led 20-3 at halftime.
In the game, Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald passed Tony Gonzalez for second on the NFL’s all-time receptions list. Fitzgerald, the former Pitt standout, entered the game needing four catches to tie Gonzalez at 1,325. He extended his streak of games with a catch to 231 second all-time with a 1-yard catch on Arizona’s opening drive. He tied Gonzalez with an 11-yard reception in the fourth quarter and passed him with a 13-yard catch on the next play.
Jerry Rice in the NFL career leader with 1,549 catches.
Bears 16, Vikings 6
CHICAGO — Chase Daniel threw for 195 yards and a touchdown after Mitchell Trubisky got knocked out of the game with a left shoulder injury on the opening possession, and the Chicago Bears swarmed NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook in a 16-6 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
The defending NFC North champions avoided an 0-2 start at Soldier Field and another home loss to a division rival to go with the one they suffered against Green Bay in the NFL’s 100th season opener. But they lost their quarterback soon after the opening kickoff.
The No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 draft, Trubisky was scrambling when Danielle Hunter dragged him down. The quarterback’s non-throwing arm got pinned awkwardly under his body as the ball popped out. Minnesota made the recovery, but a holding penalty against Anthony Harris negated the play.
Trubisky headed to the sideline and walked to the locker room a few minutes later.
Daniel came on and connected with Tarik Cohen on a 10-yard touchdown to complete a 14-play drive. The 10th-year pro completed 22 of 30 passes.
The Bears (3-1) held Cook to 35 yards on 14 attempts after he ran for at least 110 in the first three games, even though Akiem Hicks (knee) and linebacker Roquan Smith (personal reasons) missed the game. The Monsters of the Midway also held a big edge in time of possession (35:27 to 24:33) on the way to their third straight win.
Cook, who came in with 375 yards rushing, spoiled the Bears’ bid for their first shutout since 2010 when he ran it in from the 2 in the closing minutes.
Buccaneers 55, Rams 40
LOS ANGELES — Jameis Winston passed for 385 yards and threw two of his four touchdown passes to Chris Godwin, and Ndamukong Suh returned Jared Goff’s fumble 37 yards for a touchdown with 1:06 to play in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 55-40 victory over the previously unbeaten Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.
Godwin had career highs of 12 catches for 172 yards as the Buccaneers (2-2) jumped to an early 21-0 lead and then scored 24 points in a wild fourth quarter to complete the highest-scoring game in the franchise’s 44-year history.
The Bucs still barely held off the defending NFC champions, but Suh’s TD return against his old teammates capped an impressive win for first-year coach Bruce Arians.
Goff passed for a career-high 517 yards and two touchdowns, but the Rams’ $134 million quarterback also threw three interceptions for the second time in his career. Goff then fumbled while being sacked by Shaquil Barrett as the Rams (3-1) attempted a tying drive, and Suh scooped and scored against the team with which he reached the Super Bowl last season.
Peyton Barber and Ronald Jones II rushed for TDs, and Cameron Brate also had a TD reception. Winston picked apart the Los Angeles secondary while going 28 of 41, and Godwin had the most catches by a Tampa Bay receiver since Keyshawn Johnson in 2001 — and it almost wasn’t enough.
Jaguars 26, Broncos 24
DENVER — Leonard Fournette ran for a career-high 225 yards and Josh Lambo kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired, sending the Jacksonville Jaguars past the winless Denver Broncos 26-24 on Sunday.
The Broncos (0-4) not only were victimized by a last-second field goal for the second time this season, but they blew a 14-point lead at home in a loss for the first time since 2006.
Gardner Minshew II drove the Jaguars, one of four AFC South teams who are 2-2, into field goal range after Joe Flacco’s 8-yard TD throw to Courtland Sutton with 1:38 left gave Denver a 24-23 lead.
Eerily reminiscent of their 16-14 loss to the Bears in Denver two weeks ago, the Broncos helped ignite the winning drive by getting whistled for roughing the passer.
Against Chicago, it was Bradley Chubb’s questionable penalty, which the league admitted was a bad call. Against the Jaguars, it was a flag by Von Miller, who reached up and struck Minshew in his neck just as he released his pass in a chaotic pocket.
Miller’s foul spoiled his big day in which he collected his 99th and 100th career sacks and drew several holding penalties, one of which wiped a Jaguars touchdown off the board.
Fournette topped his previous career high of 181 yards on Oct. 8, 2017, at Pittsburgh, and his big run Sunday was an 81-yarder that set up Jacksonville’s go-ahead score.
The Broncos finally ended their sack drought, dropping Minshew five times, but suddenly they couldn’t stop the run.
The result was their first home loss in which they led by 14 or more points since Nov. 19, 2006, when they were beaten by the Chargers 35-27 after jumping out to a 24-7 lead.