Nov. 3 NFL roundup
Sunday, November 3, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. — Nick Foles didn’t know he had etched his name in NFL history until after he came out of the game Sunday. That must have been because he was too busy shredding the Oakland Raiders’ defense to keep up with his impressive statistics.
Foles tied an NFL mark with seven touchdown passes and threw for 406 yards to revitalize Philadelphia’s struggling offense in the Eagles’ 49-20 victory against the Raiders.
“A couple people came up to me and said that I tied the record with seven touchdowns,” Foles said. “It’s a great honor. Hats off to our guys for doing a great job.”
The backup quarterback connected three times with Riley Cooper to become the seventh passer in NFL history with seven TD tosses in a game. Peyton Manning did it for Denver on opening night this season against Baltimore.
Foles also threw scoring passes to Brent Celek, Zach Ertz, LeSean McCoy and DeSean Jackson as the Eagles (4-5) looked nothing like the offense that failed to score a touchdown in each of the past two weeks.
“Every defense the past couple of weeks has been stopping us,” McCoy said. “So today we were kind of feeling bottled up and we released everything. It’s tough when you’re not winning and you’re not putting points up.”
The Raiders (3-5) had appeared much improved on defense in recent weeks but were completely flummoxed by coach Chip Kelly’s spread offense that stalled recently after a fast debut in the NFL.
Foles completed 22-of-28 passes as he frequently exploited mismatches and blown coverages, starting with a 42-yard quick pass to Cooper on the opening drive when the Raiders had two defenders trying to match up with three receivers.
McCoy took a short pass and ran 25 yards untouched for his score in the third quarter and Jackson raced past Mike Jenkins on his 46-yard touchdown later in the third.
Foles then tied the record with a 5-yard pass to Cooper with 4:28 remaining in the third quarter, matching the mark also held by Sid Luckman, Adrian Burk, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle and Joe Kapp. Burk did it for the Eagles in 1954 against Washington.
With more than a quarter to go to break the record, Foles was unable to get the Eagles back into the end zone on the next two drives before being replaced by Matt Barkley.
“I know what the record is,” Kelly said. “But this isn’t about records, it’s about going out and getting a win. If I put Nick out there to try to get a record and he gets hurt, that’s being silly. Records are meant to broken when they’re supposed to be broken.”
That was about all Foles couldn’t do in his first game since being held to 80 yards on 29 passes before leaving with a concussion two weeks ago against Dallas.
Foles only got another shot this week because regular starter Michael Vick reinjured his hamstring in a loss to the New York Giants last week. But now it will be tough to take out Foles, who has 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions this season.
“Everybody started acting like his career was over after that Dallas game but they forgot that he had played some good football before that,” center Jason Kelce said. “A lot of that criticism will probably be halted for at least one week.”
So too will the critiques of how Kelly’s offense will translate to the NFL. Viewed as revolutionary when the Eagles gained 322 yards in the first half of the season opener against Washington, the offense had been held to 478 yards and one field goal the past two weeks before breaking through against the Raiders.
Foles repeatedly targeted rookie cornerback D.J. Hayden as he led the Eagles to touchdowns on their first four drives for the first time in three years. Hayden was beaten on successive plays by Cooper for a 17-yard completion and 63-yard touchdown early in the second quarter.
“When a quarterback has seven touchdowns, we have to sit there and take that personal,” cornerback Tracy Porter said. “We can’t give a guy seven touchdowns in a game, let alone put up 49 points on us. It was flat-out embarrassing that we allowed that to happen.”
The Raiders couldn’t keep up with Philadelphia’s torrid scoring pace despite gaining 560 yards — their third-most ever and most since 1968. They had one first-quarter drive stall in the red zone for a field goal and then couldn’t play catch-up in the second half when the Eagles turned a 28-13 halftime lead into a blowout.
Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor threw for 288 yards and ran for 94 more, but also had two interceptions and took two sacks in a shaky performance. He left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury he does not believe is serious.
“It’s embarrassing,” Pryor said. “I hate losing. It’s not acceptable to me and I don’t like it. All the guys in here agree with me. We have to do something about it instead of tanking it.”
The 49 points for the Eagles were their most since beating Washington 59-28 in 2010.
Seahawks 27, Buccaneers 24
SEATTLE — Steven Hauschka kicked a 27-yard field goal with 8:11 left in overtime, and the Seahawks overcame a 21-point deficit to beat the Buccaneers for their greatest comeback in franchise history.
Trailing 21-0, Russell Wilson rallied Seattle (8-1). He threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin with 1:51 left in regulation to pull the Seahawks even. Wilson then led Seattle on a nine-play, 51-yard drive in overtime capped by Hauschka’s winner.
Tampa Bay fell to 0-8 for the first time since 1985 when the Buccaneers started the season 0-9. Mike James rushed for a career-best 158 yards for the Buccaneers.
Jets 26, Saints 20
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Nick Folk remained perfect this season by kicking four field goals, Rex Ryan’s defense held Drew Brees and the high-scoring Saints to six points in the second half, and New York had seven plays of at least 19 yards in an upset of New Orleans.
Ryan is now 7-3 against his brother, Rob, and the Jets (5-4) maintained their string of alternating wins and losses. They tied the 2005 New England Patriots for the longest such string to begin a season, according to STATS.
Folk is 23-for-23 on field goals and 14-of-14 on extra points.
Interceptions by Demario Davis and Antonio Cromartie highlighted New York’s solid defensive performance, and former Saints running back Chris Ivory rushed for 139 yards and a touchdown.
New Orleans (6-2) got two touchdown catches from Jimmy Graham, giving him 10 this season.
Browns 24, Ravens 18
CLEVELAND — Jason Campbell threw three touchdown passes — two to Davone Bess — and the Browns ended an 11-game losing streak against Baltimore.
Campbell’s 3-yard pass to Bess on fourth down with three minutes left helped the Browns (4-5) seal their first win over Baltimore since 2007.
The Ravens (3-5) lost their third straight and didn’t win in the week following a bye for the first time in six tries under coach John Harbaugh.
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco had a pair of TD passes to rookie Marlon Brown. Flacco finished 24-of-41 for 250 yards.
Making his second straight start after Brandon Weeden was benched, Campbell completed 23-of-35 passes for 262 yards. The nine-year veteran was at his best in the closing minutes, when the Browns ran 6:30 off the clock to finish off the Ravens, who have lost four of five.
Patriots 55, Steelers 31
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady threw for season highs of 432 yards and four touchdowns, Rob Gronkowski had a career-high nine receptions and the Patriots racked up the most points ever scored against Pittsburgh.
Brady had 252 yards passing in the first half, more than he had in five of his other eight games for New England (7-2).
New England piled up 610 yards overall, third most in team history.
Three Patriots had more than 100 yards receiving, Gronkowski with 143, Aaron Dobson with 130 and Danny Amendola with 122.
Pittsburgh (2-6) wasted a solid performance by Ben Roethlisberger, who threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns with two interceptions.
Cowboys 27, Vikings 23
ARLINGTON, Texas — Tony Romo threw for 337 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score to Dwayne Harris with 35 seconds left, and the Cowboys beat the Vikings.
Romo’s 7-yard pass to Harris answered an 11-yard touchdown by Adrian Peterson that had given Minnesota a 23-20 lead. The East Texas kid raised on the Cowboys (5-4) had 140 yards rushing in his first game at their $1.2 billion stadium.
Christian Ponder threw for a touchdown and ran for another score against his hometown team, but it wasn’t enough to avoid a fourth straight loss for the Vikings (1-7).
Jason Witten had eight catches for 102 yards and a TD for Dallas.
Panthers 34, Falcons 10
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton threw for one touchdown and ran for another to overcome a shaky start, the defense intercepted Matt Ryan three times and Carolina beat the Falcons for its fourth straight victory.
Newton had two first half interceptions and wasn’t sharp on his deep balls, regularly overthrowing his receivers. Yet he bounced back to throw for 249 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen. He also ran for an 8-yard touchdown for the Panthers (5-3).
Fullback Mike Tolbert scored his fifth touchdown in the last four games on a 4-yard burst and cornerback Drayton Florence intercepted Ryan and returned it 38 yards for a score to seal the win.
Ryan was 20-of-27 for 219 yards.
The Falcons (2-6) continued to struggle without Julio Jones and Roddy White. Tony Gonzalez had six catches for 81 yards and a touchdown but the Falcons were held to 78 yards rushing.
Redskins 30, Chargers 24
LANDOVER, Md. — Darrel Young scored three times, including a 4-yard run in overtime that gave the Redskins a win against the Chargers.
Young stormed his way into the end zone 6:01 into the extra period, with the Redskins scoring on their first drive after winning the coin toss at the end of regulation.
Washington blew a 10-point lead in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, but a goal-line stand at the 1-yard line helped send the game to overtime.
Robert Griffin III completed 23-of- 32 passes for 291 yards with one interception and ran six times for 17 yards, including a 10-yard ramble that ended when he was flung to the turf by Thomas Keiser near the sideline.
Alfred Morris rushed 25 times for 121 yards and a score, Pierre Garcon had seven receptions for 172 yards, and the defense intercepted Philip Rivers twice as the Redskins (3-5), despite their record, remained competitive in the weak NFC East.
Rivers was 29-for-46 for 341 yards with two touchdowns for the Chargers (4-4).
Colts 27, Texans 24
HOUSTON — Houston coach Gary Kubiak collapsed leaving the field at halftime and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, and the Indianapolis Colts rallied for a 27-24 victory over the Texans on Sunday night (See story on C2).
Andrew Luck got off to a slow start before throwing three second-half touchdowns to T.Y. Hilton to overcome an 18-point halftime deficit and give the AFC-South-leading Colts (6-2) the victory.
Case Keenum threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns in his second career start.
Houston (2-6) had a chance to tie it, but Randy Bullock’s 55-yard field goal attempt as time expired sailed wide left.
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