Published September 23, 2014
Philadelphia, PA – East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Jay Cutler completed two touchdown passes to Martellus Bennett and the injury-riddled Chicago Bears held off the New York Jets, 27-19, on Monday night. Cutler completed 23-of-38 passes for 225 yards and the two scores for Chicago, which emptied its defensive backfield for the second straight week due to injuries. Alshon Jeffery, playing through a hamstring injury, made eight catches for 105 yards while Bennett became the third player in the NFL this season with at least one receiving touchdown in all three games. He trails just Denver tight end Julius Thomas for the league lead in receiving scores. Chicago (2-1) failed to establish a running game for the second straight week, but found a way to win yet again. Two-time Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte carried 13 times for 33 yards, and Chicago picked up just 60 yards on the ground as a unit one week after gaining only 46 in a win over San Francisco. Chicago's battered defense picked off Geno Smith twice, sacked him three times and allowed just one touchdown in six trips to the red zone. Smith had an opportunity to tie the game with a late scoring drive, but the Bears D held up one last time, forcing a turnover on downs from the 9-yard line with less than a minute left. Smith threw for 316 yards and a touchdown to Jeremy Kerley, who paced the receiving core with seven grabs for 81 yards. The Jets (1-2) have lost two straight games.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21
Final Score: Seattle 26, Denver 20 (OT)
Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - The rematch wasn't the blowout that the Super Bowl was, but it ended with the same team winning. Marshawn Lynch ran for a touchdown in overtime and the Seattle Seahawks survived to take a 26-20 victory over the Denver Broncos in a rematch of last season's Super Bowl on Sunday. The last time these teams met, Seattle was all over Denver in capturing its first Super Bowl courtesy of a 43-8 victory this past February. In just the sixth time that there has been a rematch in the regular season of the previous Super Bowl opponents, Lynch had 88 yards on 26 carries, while adding three catches for 40 yards and a score for the Seahawks (2-1), who bounced back from last week's loss to San Diego. Russell Wilson went 24- for-34 for 258 yards, two touchdowns and an interception in the win. Peyton Manning went 31-for-49 for 303 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Broncos (2-1), who had opened the season with wins against Indianapolis and Kansas City. Seattle started overtime with the ball and Wilson was able to convert a pair of short third downs with runs. Following another 6-yard run by Wilson and a 7-yard catch from Percy Harvin down to the Denver 6, Lynch took a handoff up the middle and leaped over the goalline for the victory.
Final Score: San Diego 22, Buffalo 10
Orchard Park, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes to Eddie Royal and the San Diego Chargers beat the Buffalo Bills 22-10 on Sunday despite being down two running backs. The Chargers (2-1) were without starter Ryan Mathews due to a sprained knee and backup Danny Woodhead was carted off the field just minutes into Sunday's game with an ankle injury. Still, the Chargers moved the ball well behind Rivers, who was 18-of-25 for 256 yards. Donald Brown picked up the slack in the backfield, running for 62 yards, but needed 31 carries to get there. He had just 15 carries for seven yards in the second half. Malcom Floyd had all of his game-high 98 receiving yards in the first half. EJ Manuel passed for 238 yards for Buffalo (2-1) but made several key mistakes down the stretch. Running back Fred Jackson had 34 yards rushing and 78 receiving, including an 11-yard touchdown catch. Sammy Watkins caught just two passes for 19 yards a week after grabbing 11 for 117 yards and his first NFL touchdown.
Final Score: Cincinnati 33, Tennessee 7
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Giovani Bernard rushed for a pair of scores and Andy Dalton became the first Cincinnati quarterback to record a receiving touchdown as the Bengals dominated Tennessee, 33-7, in Week 3 action. Dalton finished 15-of-23 for 169 yards and one interception, but hauled in an 18-yard scoring pass from Mohamed Sanu in the second quarter for the Bengals (3-0), who extended their team record to 12 straight regular-season wins at home. A.J. Green returned from a toe injury to amass 102 yards on six catches and Bernard totaled 47 yards on 14 carries, with Jeremy Hill chipping in a rushing score. Jake Locker was held to 185 yards and was picked off twice on just 17-of-34 efficiency for the Titans (1-2). Bishop Sankey led Tennessee with 61 rushing yards on 10 attempts. Shonn Greene scored the Titans' lone TD while being limited to 33 yards on 10 totes, while Delanie Walker added 54 yards on four grabs in defeat.
Final Score: Baltimore 23, Cleveland 21
Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Justin Tucker's 32-yard field goal at the buzzer sent the Baltimore Ravens over the Cleveland Browns, 23-21, in a tight AFC North battle on Sunday. The Ravens settled for a 21-yard Tucker kick with five minutes remaining to pull within one, then forced a pair of three-and-outs to get the ball back with 1:58 to go. Joe Flacco connected with Steve Smith for a 32-yard pickup to set up Tucker's kick, which provided the sixth and final lead change in the seesaw tussle. The statistics were virtually identical for both offenses, with Baltimore (2-1) gaining 377 yards, just two more than the Brian Hoyer-led Browns. Flacco finished with 217 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while Lorenzo Taliaferro rushed for 91 yards and a score on 18 carries. Taliaferro and Justin Forsett, who added 63 yards on the ground, carried the load in the backfield because Bernard Pierce sat out with a thigh injury. Hoyer completed 19-of-25 passes for 290 yards and a touchdown for the Browns (1-2), who failed to build off last week's victory over the Saints. Rookies Isaiah Crowell and Terrance West both ran for TDs in the setback.
Final Score: Detroit 19, Green Bay 7
Detroit, MI (SportsNetwork.com) - Reggie Bush had a touchdown and a stout defense held Aaron Rodgers in check, as the Detroit Lions took a 19-7 win over the Green Bay Packers in an NFC North battle from Ford Field. Matthew Stafford had a tough day as he was picked off twice and lost a fumble while going 22-for-34 for 246 yards, but the Lions (2-1) defense picked up the slack with a fumble return for a touchdown along with a safety. Rodgers, who rallied his team in the second half last week to defeat the Jets, never found a rhythm as he led Green Bay (1-2) to a touchdown just once and finished the game a paltry 16-for-27 for 162 yards.
Final Score: Indianapolis 44, Jacksonville 17
Jacksonville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrew Luck led a tenacious Colts offensive attack with four touchdown passes and Indianapolis crushed the Jacksonville Jaguars, 44-17, on Sunday. Luck completed 31-of-39 passes for 370 yards and Indianapolis (1-2) was never challenged by the winless Jaguars, marching out to a 30-0 halftime lead and cruising the rest of the way. The Colts dominated every phase of the game in the opening 30 minutes, outgaining Jacksonville 330 yards to 55. The Jaguars only picked up two first downs before halftime. Hakeem Nicks, Coby Fleener, Dwayne Allen and Ahmad Bradshaw all caught touchdown passes from Luck, while T.Y. Hilton paced all receivers with five grabs for 80 yards. Chad Henne had just 33 yards on 4-for-7 passing for the Jags and was replaced after halftime by rookie Blake Bortles. The highly touted rookie drafted third overall out of UCF made his NFL debut and threw for 223 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Since going up 17-0 on Philadelphia in Week 1, the Jaguars (0-3) have been outscored 119-27.
Final Score: New England 16, Oakland 9
Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Vince Wilfork intercepted a deflected pass deep in New England territory after Oakland had a potential tying touchdown negated by a penalty, as the Patriots held on for a 16-9 victory over the Raiders on Sunday at Gillette Stadium. The Raiders held New England to a pair of field goals in the fourth quarter to keep it a seven-point game and marched from their own 38 to the New England 6 in the final minutes. Darren McFadden found a big hole and cruised into the end zone, but a holding penalty wiped out the touchdown. Derek Carr then tried to hit Denarius Moore with a short pass, but the ball deflected off the receiver's hands and into the arms of Wilfork at the New England 11 with just under a minute to play. The Patriots (2-1) were able to run out the remaining time to earn their second straight win. Tom Brady was held in check for the most part, throwing for 234 yards with a touchdown on 24-of-37 passing. Rob Gronkowski caught the TD pass and Julian Edelman had 10 receptions for 84 yards. Carr completed 21-of-34 passes for 174 yards and McFadden finished with 59 yards on 18 carries for Oakland (0-3), which is winless after three games for the first time since an 0-5 start in 2006. The Raiders, held to three Sebastian Janikowski field goals, have lost 15 straight games in the Eastern time zone. They'll head further east for their next game, a matchup next Sunday with Miami in London.
Final Score: New Orleans 20, Minnesota 9
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - Back in the comfort of their own dome, the New Orleans Saints shook off a pair of heartbreaking losses to start the season. Drew Brees completed 27-of-35 passes for 293 yards and two touchdowns as the Saints defeated the Minnesota Vikings, 20-9, on Sunday afternoon. Rookie Brandin Cooks caught eight passes for 74 yards and Khiry Robinson carried the ball 18 times for 69 yards for New Orleans (1-2), which went 8-0 at the Superdome last year. The Saints lost their first two games by a combined five points. Teddy Bridgewater made his NFL debut after starting quarterback Matt Cassel broke his left foot on a scramble early in the second quarter. The first-rounder from Louisville completed 12-of-20 passes for 150 yards for the Vikings (1-2). Matt Asiata tallied 35 yards on 12 totes in place of Adrian Peterson, who missed his second straight game since allegations of child abuse surfaced against the star running back. Peterson has been accused of using a wooden tree branch to hit his 4-year-old son as a disciplinary measure. He was deactivated for last Sunday's loss against New England after being indicted the prior week in his native Texas, but he was reinstated by the team on Monday. However, after backlash from sponsors, fans and even the Minnesota governor, the team reversed course again and placed him on the exempt-commissioner's permission list until the legal process plays out.
Final Score: NY Giants 30, Houston 17
East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Rashad Jennings rushed for a career- high 176 yards and a touchdown, and the New York Giants turned the tables on the Houston Texans to post a 30-17 win at MetLife Stadium. Houston entered this Week 3 clash with a plus-five turnover ratio en route to a mildly surprising 2-0 start, while the Giants were a league-worst minus-six in that category while dropping their first two games. However, New York (1-2) came up with three interceptions of Ryan Fitzpatrick and got a mistake-free performance out of Eli Manning to aid Jennings' huge 34-carry effort. Manning finished a sharp 21-of-28 for 234 yards and two touchdowns in by far his best outing of the young season. Victor Cruz also stepped up for New York, generating 107 yards and a touchdown on five catches. Fitzgerald managed to both throw and run for a touchdown in the second half, but hit on just 20- of-34 throws for 289 yards. DeAndre Hopkins amassed 116 yards on six catches for Houston (2-1). Rookie Alfred Blue, subbing for an injured Arian Foster, had 78 rushing yards on 13 attempts in the loss.
Final Score: Philadelphia 37, Washington 34
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Nick Foles overcame a makeshift offensive line, took his share of hits and still managed to throw three touchdown passes to carry the Philadelphia Eagles to a 37-34 win over the Washington Redskins. Foles passed for 325 yards on 28-of-42 efficiency despite the Eagles failing to establish a running attack behind mostly reserve offensive linemen. LeSean McCoy carried 20 times for just 22 yards for Philadelphia (3-0), which has trailed by double figures in all three of its wins this season. Jeremy Maclin had eight catches for 154 yards and a touchdown, and rookie Jordan Matthews made the first two touchdown grabs of his career. Kirk Cousins got the start for Washington, which lost starting quarterback Robert Griffin III last week to a dislocated ankle. Cousins played well in reserve, leading the Redskins to a convincing win over Jacksonville. The Michigan State product was sharp in this one as well, throwing for a career-best 427 yards, three touchdowns and an interception. Pierre Garcon had 138 yards and a score on 11 catches, and former Eagle DeSean Jackson made an 81-yard touchdown grab among his five receptions. Jackson's TD was the 10th of his career from 60-plus yards. Only 15 players in NFL history have more.
Final Score: Dallas 34, St. Louis 31
St. Louis, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - Tony Romo threw for two touchdowns and the Dallas Cowboys matched the largest comeback in franchise history to defeat the St. Louis Rams, 34-31, on Sunday. Romo finished 18-for-23 with 217 yards and an interception and DeMarco Murray rushed for 100 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries for the Cowboys (2-1), who erased a 21-0 Rams lead. Dez Bryant caught six passes for 89 yards and a touchdown, Terrance Williams added a receiving score and Dan Bailey made two field goals in the win. It was the largest comeback in regulation for the Cowboys, who overcame 21-point deficits in overtime in 1984 against New Orleans and 1999 against Washington. Austin Davis threw for a career-high 327 yards on 30-of-42 efficiency with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Brian Quick, Austin Pettis and Lance Kendricks each caught a touchdown for St. Louis (1-2), which had Zac Stacy run the ball 12 times for 67 yards.
Final Score: Arizona 23, San Francisco 14
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Drew Stanton threw two touchdown passes to rookie John Brown and the Arizona Cardinals remained unbeaten with a 23-14 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. The 49ers could hardly stay out of their own way, losing for the second week in a row partly because of a slew of costly penalties. The Cardinals (3-0) have won their first three games for the second time in the last three years and are 10-2 in their last 12 dating back to last season. Stanton started again for Carson Palmer, who is still dealing with a shoulder injury he suffered in Week 1, and passed for 244 yards with touchdown strikes to Brown in the third quarter to take the lead. Brown, a third-round pick from Pittsburg State, has three touchdown catches in his first three games going into Arizona's bye week. He caught four passes for 52 yards and Michael Floyd led all receivers with 114 yards on five grabs. Andre Ellington rushed for 62 yards on 18 carries for the Cardinals, who were without deactivated second-stringer Jonathan Dwyer as he faces assault charges in Arizona. The 49ers had nine penalties for 107 yards a week after committing 16 for 118 in a loss to Chicago. Several of them came in key situations down the stretch, including back-to-back 15-yarders leading to Brown's go-ahead touchdown catch in the third quarter. They scored on their first two possessions of the game and were shutout the rest of the way. They have been outscored 52-3 in the second half this season. Colin Kaepernick threw for 245 yards and rushed for a team-high 54 for San Francisco (1-2). Michael Crabtree had 10 catches for 80 yards and a 2-yard touchdown and Steve Johnson gained 103 yards on nine receptions.
Final Score: Kansas City 34, Miami 15
Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Knile Davis ran for a career-high 132 yards on 32 carries with a touchdown to lead the Kansas City Chiefs to a 34-15 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. Playing without the NFL's third-leading rusher from a season ago in Jamaal Charles, Kansas City (1-2) relied on a heavy dose of Davis and third-string tailback Joe McKnight, who hauled in a team- high six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns. Charles suffered a high ankle sprain in last week's loss to Denver and was limited in practice throughout the week. Alex Smith completed an efficient 19-of-25 passes for 186 yards and three scores in the win. Ryan Tannehill was not as crisp as his counterpart, struggling to just 21-of-43 passing for 205 yards and a touchdown for the Dolphins (1-2), who have dropped two straight following a season-opening win against New England. Lamar Miller carried the ball 15 times for 108 yards, his second-career 100-yard rushing game.
Final Score: Pittsburgh 37, Carolina 19
Charlotte, NC (SportsNetwork.com) - Ben Roethlisberger threw two second-half touchdown passes to Antonio Brown as the Pittsburgh Steelers downed the Carolina Panthers 37-19 on Sunday night. Le'Veon Bell had a career-high 147 yards on 21 carries and LeGarrette Blount ran 10 times for 118 yards and a touchdown, giving the Steelers (2-1) two 100-yard rushers in a game for the first time since 1986. Roethlisberger was 22-of-30 for 196 yards, while Brown finished with 90 yards on 10 receptions. Pittsburgh, however, did lose cornerback Ike Taylor to a broken right forearm. Cam Newton completed 24- of-35 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown, but fumbled on Carolina's opening drive of the third quarter. The Panthers (2-1) had won eight consecutive regular-season games at home. Already thin at running back with DeAngelo Williams (thigh) inactive for the second straight week, Carolina's Jonathan Stewart suffered a right knee contusion.
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 18
Final Score: Atlanta 56, Tampa Bay 14
Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Atlanta Falcons made a statement with a 56-14 beatdown of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday night. It was a record-setting night for Atlanta wide receiver Devin Hester, who passed Hall of Famer and former Falcons cornerback Deion Sanders for most return touchdowns in NFL history. With a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown in the second quarter, Hester broke a tie with Sanders at 19 career touchdown returns. Hester now has the record all to himself with 20. Hester paid tribute to Sanders with an extended high step into the end zone. Sanders, now a television analyst, was in attendance at the Georgia Dome. Earlier in the game, Hester took an end around and went 20 yards for the first rushing touchdown of his career. A three-time Pro Bowler, Hester signed with the Falcons in the offseason. He spent the first eight years of his career with the Chicago Bears. Matt Ryan completed 21-of-24 passes for 286 yards and three touchdowns for the Falcons (2-1), who bounced back from a 24-10 loss to the Bengals. Julio Jones caught nine passes for 161 yards and two scores.