Sunday's NFL roundup
Published on -9/30/2013, 10:01 AM
SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Philip Rivers, with a nice bit of defense thrown in, ensured the San Diego Chargers didn't blow another fourth-quarter lead.
Rivers threw for 401 yards and three touchdowns, including a 56-yarder to Antonio Gates that helped the Chargers beat the Dallas Cowboys 30-21 Sunday.
The Chargers (2-2) blew late leads in their two losses. On Sunday, they scored the final 20 points to beat Dallas (2-2).
Running a no-huddle, no-hurry offense under new coach Mike McCoy, Rivers gets to the line of scrimmage with roughly 20 seconds left on the play clock, enough time to read the defense and check into a different play, if necessary. It's a luxury he didn't have in Norv Turner's offense.
"I feel in sync. I have a rhythm and I'm comfortable in the pocket when we get that no-huddle going," Rivers said. "It's big being 2-2 instead of 1-3. I know we've been there before but it's tough to dig yourself out of 1-3, especially when you're playing with young guys and guys you didn't expect to be in there. They can gain confidence off games like this."
Rivers completed 35 of 42 passes, his final TD pass, to Gates, being the 200th of his career. He threw two TD passes to running back Danny Woodhead.
After having three 400-yard games in his previous nine seasons, Rivers has two in this year's four games.
Rivers' 83.3 percent completion rate was the highest in NFL history for a 400-yard passing game. The previous mark was 81.8 percent (36 of 44) by San Francisco's Jeff Garcia against Chicago on Dec. 17, 2000.
After 35 interceptions the past two seasons, Rivers has been picked off only twice so far while throwing 11 touchdown passes.
"It was really what he did throughout the ballgame," Dallas coach Jason Garrett said. "He did a fantastic job. He really controlled the football and controlled the game. He did an outstanding job getting them into the right play over and over again.
"He threw the ball as well as he's thrown in a long, long time."
Rivers' biggest pass wasn't necessarily his prettiest. He short-armed one over the middle to Gates, who slid behind linebacker Sean Lee to haul it in and score with 6:54 to go.
TEXANS 20, OT
At Houston, the Seahawks' first 4-0 start in franchise history was aided when Doug Baldwin caught a 7-yard pass and Kareem Jackson was penalized for unnecessary roughness for dumping him into the ground. That got Seattle in field goal range and Hauschka's kick came four plays later.
The Seahawks rallied to tie it at 20-20 on the pick-6 by Sherman in the fourth quarter.
Texans linebacker Brian Cushing sustained a concussion, and Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said defensive end Michael Bennett was OK after being taken off the field on a stretcher after injuring his lower back.
At Atlanta, Brady threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns to improve the Patriots to 4-0 for the first time since their perfect regular season of 2007.
Strong defense in the red zone was decisive as Atlanta (1-3) had a chance to tie in the final minute. Matt Ryan's fourth-down pass went off the hands of Roddy White, tightly covered by Aqib Talib, in the end zone with 36 seconds remaining.
Rookie Kenbrell Thompkins finished with six catches for 127 yards, and Julian Edelman chipped in with 118 yards on seven receptions.
LIONS 40, BEARS 32
At Detroit, Reggie Bush's 37-yard touchdown run helped Detroit score 27 points in the second quarter. He accounted for 173 yards of offense as Detroit (3-1) moved into a first-place tie with Chicago (3-1) in the NFC North.
The Lions scored 24 straight points, including three TDs in a span of 3 minutes, 26 seconds, after Matt Forte's 53-yard TD run gave the Bears a 10-6 lead early in the second quarter.
Jay Cutler, who had four turnovers, threw a pair of touchdown passes and 2-point conversions in the final four minutes.
In London, what looked like an international series dud between winless teams turned out quite entertaining.
Greg Jennings had two touchdown catches, Adrian Peterson ran for two scores and the Vikings' defense made a big stop with time running out at Wembley Stadium. Everson Griffen stripped Ben Roethlisberger at the 6-yard line with 19 seconds left. Kevin Williams recovered to seal the victory for Minnesota (1-3).
Jennings made a 70-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown and Peterson had a 60-yard score to help offset two scores by Pittsburgh rookie running back Le'Veon Bell.
The Steelers fell to 0-4 for the first time since 1968.
"Right now, you could say we're the worst team in the league," Roethlisberger said. "That hurts."
BILLS 23, RAVENS 20
Joe Flacco threw a career-worst five interceptions, and finished 25 of 50 for 347 yards and two touchdowns for the visiting Super Bowl champion Ravens (2-2).
Rookie linebacker Kiko Alonso's second interception of the game with 57 seconds remaining moved Buffalo to 2-2. Converted safety Aaron Williams also intercepted Flacco twice, while Fred Jackson had 87 yards rushing and a touchdown. Robert Woods scored on a 42-yard reception.
Torrey Smith had five catches for 166 yards and a 26-yard touchdown for the Ravens.
At Oakland, Robert Griffin III threw a go-ahead touchdown pass late in the third quarter to help Washington (1-3) overcome an early 14-point deficit. David Amerson returned an interception for another score.
Washington looked ready to extend the worst start for the franchise since 2001 when it fell behind 14-0 after the first quarter thanks to a blocked punt touchdown and a scoring pass from Matt Flynn.
But the much-maligned Washington defense allowed the Raiders (1-3) no more points. Oakland starting running backs Darren McFadden (hamstring) and Marcel Reece (knee) both left with injuries.
TITANS 38, JETS 13
At Nashville, before he left with a right hip injury that landed him in a hospital, Jake Locker threw a career-high three touchdowns. Locker was hurt early in the third quarter when hit first by Muhammad Wilkerson after throwing an incomplete pass, then popped by Quinton Coples. He grabbed at his hip as he went to the ground and was carted off the field before being loaded into an ambulance.
The Jets (2-2) yielded five sacks; Alterraun Verner intercepted two passes and recovered a fumble; Karl Klug sacked Geno Smith and stripped him of the ball for a TD; and the Titans (3-1) turned Smith's four turnovers into 28 points.
BROWNS 17, BENGALS 6
At Cleveland, Brian Hoyer threw two touchdown passes in his first start at home. Hoyer's 1-yard pass to Chris Ogbonnaya with 4:54 left gave the Browns (2-2) an 11-point lead that its vastly improved defense preserved. In his second start in place of injured Brandon Weeden, Hoyer finished 25 of 38 for 269 yards. He threw a 2-yard TD pass in the first half to Jordan Cameron, who had 10 catches for 91 yards.
Cleveland limited the Bengals (2-2) to 63 yards rushing.
COLTS 37, JAGUARS 3
At Jacksonville, the Jaguars' awful season continued as Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and Trent Richardson ran for a score.
Indianapolis (3-1) led 20-3 at halftime -- Jacksonville (0-4) has been outscored 75-8 in the first half this season -- and made it a laugher with consecutive touchdown drives in the third quarter.
Luck found Coby Fleener for a 31-yard score, then connected with Reggie Wayne in the back of the end zone from 5 yards.
At Tampa, Carson Palmer threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald, then Jay Feely kicked a 27-yard field goal with 1:29 remaining.
Patrick Peterson had two interceptions, one setting up Arizona's first TD in six quarters, the other to ruin any chance of rookie Mike Glennon pulling off a comeback in his first NFL start for the Bucs (0-4).
Feely also kicked a 42-yard field goal for the Cardinals (2-2), who trailed 10-0 at halftime.
Starting in place of the benched Josh Freeman, Glennon was steady until late in the game.