The second half of the NFL season kicked off Thursday night, as the Seattle Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals, 22-16, in a battle between two teams fighting to stay in the playoff race.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers finally got their first win of the season as they defeated the New York Giants, 31-21. But the highlight of Sunday’s slate of late games was Cowboys vs. Falcons in Atlanta, where Dallas was forced to operate without running back Ezekiel Elliottfor the first time this season. The Falcons were able to use the timing of Zeke’s NFL-imposed suspension as an advantage, beat the Cowboys and keep pace in the NFC wild-card race.
Under Coach Sean Payton and quarterback Drew Brees, the Saints have been known as an explosive passing attack for many years. This season, however, things are different in New Orleans. The offense has been at its best when utilizing the NFL’s top running back duo, Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara.
Check out all the NFL scores, results and highlights from Week 10.
Sunday Night Football
Broncos and Patriots headed in different directions
The New England Patriots and Denver Broncos are usually teeter-tottering for supremacy in the AFC in what’s become an annual showdown. Not this time.
This one looks like anything but a marquee matchup between the teams that have won the past three Super Bowls.
The Patriots (6-2) strut into Denver on Sunday night in customary hot pursuit of the conference’s No. 1 playoff seeding. They’re in the mix again behind the NFL’s No. 1 offense and the seemingly ageless Tom Brady and despite a rash of injuries, an inconsistent O-line and a scuffling, 32nd-ranked defense.
The Broncos (3-5) are just trying to extricate themselves from a month-long funk that’s resulting in four consecutive double-digit losses and exposed plenty of warts, including poor draft classes, free agent misses, turnstile tackles and stubborn play calling.
Denver has been outscored 41-3 in the first quarter during its dive, which led to Trevor Siemian’s benching in favor of Brock Osweiler and neutralized a star-studded defense which lost its not-my-fault vibe last week in a 28-point loss at Philadelphia.
Even star defender Aqib Talib had a forgettable performance in that one.
Von Miller had a quiet game against Brady in Denver’s 16-3 home loss to New England last season.
Such as in the AFC championship game two years ago, maybe. Miller got to Brady seven times that day and collected 2½ sacks, a pass breakup and an interception in a precursor to his MVP performance against Cam Newton and the Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
The Patriots can tie their own AFC record with their 12th consecutive road win Sunday night, which begins a six-week stretch in which they play just once at home.
Fitzpatrick helps Bucs beat Jets 15-10, end 5-game skid
For Ryan Fitzpatrick, beating the New York Jets was not as much about getting the best of his old team as it was helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers get back on track.
Filling in for the injured Jameis Winston, the 34-year-old quarterback was steady if not overly impressive in leading the Bucs to a 15-10 victory that snapped a five-game losing streak.
Tampa Bay (3-6) sacked Josh McCown six times, nearly doubling its total for the entire season. The Jets (4-6) were held to less than 200 yards of offense until late in the fourth quarter, when McCown took to the air almost exclusively after Fitzpatrick’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Charles Sims put the Bucs up 15-3.
Winston hurt his shoulder on Oct. 15 and made three more starts before the Bucs decided to shut him down for a minimum of two weeks. The Bucs also played without leading receiver Mike Evans, suspended one game by the league for his role in a sideline skirmish the previous week at New Orleans.
Despite finishing with 275 yards to Tampa Bay’s 271, the Jets failed to move the ball with any consistency for more than three quarters. More than 100 yards came on New York’s last two possessions, with McCown throwing on almost every play to try to cut into a 12-point deficit.
Bills defense trampled in 47-10 loss to Saints
Linebacker Preston Brown never realized how porous the Buffalo Bills defense played against New Orleans until being informed the Saints never had to punt.
Brown and the Bills were trampled in a 47-10 loss on Sunday in a game the Saints totaled 298 yards rushing, ran for a franchise-best six touchdowns, had 32 first downs and enjoyed a nearly 23-minute edge in time of possession.
Suddenly, a defense that was hailed for being so opportunistic for forcing 17 takeaways through Buffalo’s first seven games, is now unraveling in having allowed a combined 492 yards rushing and nine touchdowns in its past two, following a 34-21 loss to the New York Jets on Nov. 2.
The Bills couldn’t stop Mark Ingram, who scored a career-high three times and added 131 yards rushing. Alvin Kamara added a 5-yard touchdown run. Drew Brees scampered in from 7 yards. And then Trey Edmunds capped the run of touchdown runs with a 41-yard score with 3:04 left.
The Bills managed 198 yards, and 10 first downs. And five of those first downs came on Buffalo’s meaningless final drive that ended with rookie backup quarterback Nathan Peterman hitting Nick O’Leary on a 7-yard touchdown pass.
“Horrible game,” said starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor. “Our offense didn’t get anything going, and that starts with me.”
Taylor finished 9 of 18 for 56 yards passing and an interception. Kelvin Benjamin had three catches for a team-best 42 yards in his first game since being acquired by Buffalo in a trade with Carolina on Oct. 31.
Matthew Stafford helps Lions come back and beat Browns 38-24
Matthew Stafford started slow, getting sacked on his first snap and throwing a pick on his second drive.
He bounced back and threw three touchdown passes in the second half to help the Detroit Lions come back and beat the winless Cleveland Browns 38-24 Sunday.
The Lions (5-4) rallied from first- and second-half deficits to earn consecutive victories for the first time since winning the first two games this season.
“I’ve had a lot of bad situations,” Stafford said. “I knew there was a whole lot more time left.”
Browns coach Hue Jackson may be running out of time to save his job.
Cleveland (0-9) is headed toward NFL infamy a year after losing the first 14 games in Jackson’s debut season and finishing 1-15.
Jackson is 1-24, a 25-game record since 1960 that is better than only Tampa Bay’s John McKay 0-25 mark.
After the Lions became the only team to go 0-16 in 2008, they drafted Stafford No. 1 overall and he has done enough for the franchise to get the richest contract in the league.
In Stafford’s latest comeback win, he was 17 of 26 for 249 yards with three TD passes and an interception.
Titans rally, beat Bengals 24-20 for best start since 2008
The Tennessee Titans are starting to show they can finish in style. The result is the best start for this franchise since 2008.
Marcus Mariota tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray with 36 seconds left , and the Titans rallied to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 24-20 Sunday for their fourth consecutive victory.
Now the Titans (6-3) have their longest winning streak since winning five straight in 2009, and they haven’t won six games this early since 2008, when the Titans won their first 10 and last reached the playoffs as the AFC’s No. 1 seed.
The Bengals (3-6) lost for the third time in four games despite sacking Mariota four times. They started with three defensive starters scratched and lost a fourth when linebacker Vontaze Burfict was ejected in the second quarter after pushing the arm of an official.
Cincinnati took its only lead at 20-17 on a 70-yard TD pass from Andy Dalton to A.J. Green with 5:03 left, but the Bengals couldn’t stop the Titans, who drove 73 yards for the winning TD.
They had one last chance. On their final play, Dalton threw deep only to have Titans safety Kevin Byard knock the ball down.
Packers win first game without Rodgers, beat Bears 23-16
The Green Bay Packers finally found a way to win without Aaron Rodgers. All they had to do was show up at Soldier Field.
Brett Hundley threw for 212 yards and a touchdown, Nick Perry had three sacks and the Packers beat the Chicago Bears 23-16 on Sunday to snap a three-game losing streak.
Hundley, starting his third game for an injured Aaron Rodgers, threw a 17-yard touchdown to Davante Adams to make it 23-13 with 5:29 to play, and the Packers (5-4) hung on to beat the Bears (3-6) for the eighth time in nine games.
Hundley completed 18 of 25 passes — even though his hamstring tightened during the game — to help the Packers win their eighth straight at Soldier Field counting the playoffs. He also became the first Green Bay starting quarterback other than Brett Favre or Rodgers to win against the Bears since Don Majkowski on Dec. 17, 1989.
Though he got sacked five times, Chicago’s Mitchell Trubisky threw for a career-high 297 yards. The No. 2 overall draft pick hit Josh Bellamy for a 46-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but the Bears dropped their second in a row after winning back-to-back games.
The win was Green Bay’s first since a narrow victory at Dallas on Oct. 8. A week later, Rodgers got driven to the turf by the Vikings’ Anthony Barr in a loss at Minnesota week and the Packers haven’t been the same since.
Green Bay shut down the Bears’ run game, holding Chicago to 55 yards rushing. Jordan Howard ran for 54 on 15 attempts.
The Bears had a replay challenge backfire in a big way as they were threatening to score in the second quarter. And the offense stalled after Mason Crosby missed a 35-yard field with just over a minute left, giving Chicago one final chance.
Jaguars overcome errors, rally to beat Chargers 20-17 in OT
The Jacksonville Jaguars never would have been able to overcome this kind of misfortune in recent years.
Mistakes, turnovers, adversity, they had no chance.
But with soaring confidence stemming from sustained success in all three phases, the Jaguars have seemingly found a way to deal with difficult situations. There was plenty of evidence following a 20-17 overtime victory against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.
The Jaguars (6-3) trailed 17-14 at the two-minute warning, threw two interceptions down the stretch and still managed to eke out a win against the Chargers (3-6).
The Jaguars probably needed a victory such as this to take the next step in their development.
After all, all five of their previous wins had been by 16 or more points and decided long before the closing minutes.
Melvin Gordon, who entered the game with an NFL-leading eight touchdowns, was on the sideline in crunch time. And it cost the Chargers.
Rookie Austin Ekeler fumbled while trying to run out the clock with a three-point lead in the final two minutes.
Jaguars running back Corey Grant had a 56-yard touchdown run on a fake punt in the first quarter. It was his second huge gain on a fake punt this season and put him in elite company. Grant has two runs of at least 50 yards on fourth down this season, which is as many as all other active players have combined in their careers. Buffalo’s LeSean McCoy and Kansas City’s Albert Wilson have one such run each.
Norman: Skins DBs were ‘like trash’ in 38-30 loss to Vikings
Josh Norman did not mince words when assessing how poorly he and other Washington Redskins defensive backs performed in a 38-30 loss to Case Keenum and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
“We played like trash in the secondary,” Norman said. “We really did.”
Right from the start, too. On Minnesota’s third offensive play, wideout Stefon Diggs got Norman to bite on an out-and-up route and wound up grabbing a 51-yard pass from Keenum that set up a touchdown.
Then, in the third quarter, Norman was beaten by Adam Thielen on a 49-yarder, a play that led to another TD .
“Just didn’t have it today. We really didn’t. We wasn’t on,” Norman said. “And I don’t know what it was. Something was going around, I guess.”
Redskins coach Jay Gruden agreed with that view of things.
The NFC North-leading Vikings (7-2) were 8 for 12 on third downs.
And they were 5 for 5 in the red zone.
In all, Keenum went 21 for 29 for 304 yards and four TDs to four receivers. That includes Thielen , who had eight catches for 166 yards overall, and Diggs , who caught four balls for 78 yards.
Tomlin looking to clean up things after Steelers beat Colts
The Pittsburgh Steelers were gritty and gruff Sunday. They dug down, fought back and rallied for a 20-17 victory at Indianapolis. And Tomlin thought they showed what they’re capable of doing over the final seven weeks of the regular season. What they must do now is start cleaning up some of the potentially dangerous flaws.
“We have to be better on offense,” Tomlin said. “We have to be better winning some third-down situations. We have to tackle better on defense.”
The Steelers (7-2) can’t quibble with much these days.
They’ve won four straight overall and five in a row against the Colts. They’re 5-1 on the road, have the best record in the AFC, and a two-time Super Bowl champion quarterback who demonstrated again that he’s still capable of rallying the troops at age 35.
But after trailing the Colts 17-3 early in the second half — courtesy of a 60-yard TD pass from Jacoby Brissett to Donte Moncrief and a 61-yarder from Brissett to Chester Rogers — it’s still a win.
Pittsburgh limited the Colts (3-7) to three first downs and 24 yards of offense over the final 27 minutes, forcing a crucial turnover early in the fourth quarter.
Roethlisberger took care of the rest.
Jared Goff leads Rams to 4th straight win, 33-7 over Texans
After the final whistle of the Rams’ fourth consecutive victory, Robert Woods looked up into the stands and felt the love from thousands of frenzied Los Angeles fans who stuck around for another blowout win.
After a false start to their franchise’s homecoming last season, the Rams are on a roll.
And the Houston Texans are the latest opponent to get flattened.
Woods caught two of Jared Goff’s three touchdown passes during a dominant third quarter, and the Rams returned after a month away from home with a 33-7 victory over Houston on Sunday.
After struggling to a 9-7 lead during a quiet first half for the NFL’s highest-scoring team, the Rams (7-2) ran away with a series of big throws by Goff, who passed for a career-high 355 yards with no interceptions.
The Rams’ 4-12 homecoming season tested the interest of LA fans who had been hurt by this franchise before, but coach Sean McVay’s Rams are definitely worth watching. A franchise with 13 consecutive non-winning seasons is just two victories away from breaking that streak.
NFL scoring leader Greg Zuerlein kicked four field goals for the Rams, who hadn’t played in LA since early October thanks to two East Coast road trips, a bye and a “home” game in London. Los Angeles kept its momentum going against the Texans with a 205-yard third quarter on the way to scoring at least 27 points for the eighth time in nine games.
Bruce Ellington caught a 26-yard TD pass for the Texans (3-6), who have lost three straight and four of five.
Tom Savage passed for 221 yards with two interceptions for Houston, which lost its second straight since losing rookie quarterback Deshaun Watson for the season with a knee injury. Houston also is without defensive superstar J.J. Watt.
Loss to winless 49ers increases heat on Giants coach McAdoo
If Ben McAdoo faced questions about his job security as coach of the New York Giants heading into the week, just imagine what it will be like following a loss to the previously winless San Francisco 49ers.
A disappointing season in New York may have hit a new low as the Giants were thoroughly beaten 31-21 on Sunday by a team that hadn’t even held a lead at any point in a game the previous five weeks.
McAdoo has been under fire after a report this past week from ESPN that quoted an anonymous player as saying the players have given up on the season and don’t view McAdoo as a leader.
The Giants have not fired a coach during the season since 1976 when Bill Arnsparger was let go after a 0-7 start and replaced by John McVay, who had more success as an executive who helped build the 49ers dynasty in the 1980s.
The defense was gashed by big plays through the air and on the ground, the Giants were barely able to touch rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard after he had been sacked 14 times in three starts. Eli Manning celebrated a milestone start by failing to lead the Giants (1-8) to a score in the second half until a garbage time touchdown long after the game had been decided.
The Giants allowed Beathard to throw TD passes of 83 yards to Marquise Goodwin and 47 yards to Garrett Celek in the second quarter, and then gave up a 33-yard TD run by rookie Matt Breida in the fourth quarter.
Manning committed a key fumble with the Giants driving in the first half of his 208th consecutive start , tying brother Peyton for the second-longest streak by a quarterback in NFL history, trailing only Brett Favre’s 297.
With Elliott out, Cowboys falter in 27-7 loss to Falcons
The Dallas Cowboys knew it would be tough to get by without Ezekiel Elliott.
Turns out, they missed Tyron Smith even more.
With their starting left tackle sidelined by back and groin injuries, the Cowboys surrendered six sacks to Adrian Clayborn in one of the greatest pass rushing performances in NFL history.
The result: an ugly 27-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday .
Rod Smith carried three times for 14 yards, while Darren McFadden was stuffed for a 2-yard loss on his lone run.
The third-year lineman stepped in for Smith — and spent most of the game grasping at air.
Clayborn was simply too quick off the edge, blowing by Smith time after time.
Clayborn, who had two sacks on the season and 22.5 in his seven-year career before Sunday, broke the Atlanta team record and equaled the second-most sacks by any player in a game.
Only the great Derrick Thomas has ever been credited with more, recording seven sacks for the Kansas City Chiefs in a 1990 game against the Seattle Seahawks.
Clayborn also forced two fumbles by Dak Prescott and recovered one of them, simply ripping the ball out of the quarterback’s hands.
The dismal performance in Atlanta capped a tumultuous week for the Cowboys , who had been riding a three-game winning streak.
Jones is upset about a contract extension for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and didn’t dispute reports that he has threatened to sue the league.
Thursday Night Football
Cardinals stumble in 22-16 loss to Seahawks
Arizona struggled to run effectively, fumbled twice and its defense gave up one crucial big play late, leading to a 22-16 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night.
The Cardinals (4-5) bounced back from an ugly loss to the Los Angeles Rams by riding Peterson heavily in a 20-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers last week.
Peterson ran a career-high 37 times for 159 yards against the 49ers, but was ineffective against Seattle’s imposing defense. He fumbled on Arizona’s first play from scrimmage and was tackled in the end zone for a safety — both plays made by Seattle safety Kam Chancellor. Peterson finished with 29 yards on 21 carries. It wasn’t all his fault.
Arizona’s offensive line was outmatched by Seattle’s front in the run game most of the night, unable to give Peterson many lanes to run through. The Cardinals also lost starting left tackle D.J. Humphries to a right knee injury in the first quarter, exacerbating their ineffectiveness.
Richard Sherman limped off the field with a ruptured Achilles tendon, ending his season. He was just one of a host of players knocked out of the Seattle Seahawks’ 22-16 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals sacked Wilson a season-high five times but couldn’t get him down this time.
The Seahawks (6-3) bounced back from Sunday’s home loss to Washington to climb within a half-game of the first place Los Angeles Rams in the NFC West. Arizona (4-5) has yet to beat a team that does not have a losing record.
See all highlights, scores, best plays, commentaries, photos, and videos of NFL regular season week 10. Track major injuries from week 10 winner and losers.