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NFL Capsules: Commanders survive rally by Broncos

by Associated Press | September 18, 2023 at 12:18 a.m.
Raiders teammates Maxx Crosby (98) and Marcus Epps tackle Bills quarterback Josh Allen during Sunday’s game in Orchard Park, N.Y. (Associated Press)

DENVER -- Sam Howell threw for two touchdowns and Washington rallied from an 18-point deficit to beat Denver 35-33, holding on after Russell Wilson connected with Brandon Johnson on a 50-yard Hail Mary but failed to complete the tying 2-point try.

Washington cornerback Benjamin St-Juste broke up Wilson’s pass to Courtland Sutton on the 2-point conversion attempt. St-Juste appeared to get away with pass interference, but no flag was thrown and the Commanders celebrated the franchise’s first 2-0 start since 2011.

Howell threw for 299 yards on on 27-of-39 passing in his first road start and led Washington to the second-biggest comeback in franchise history. Washington overcame a 21-point deficit Nov. 4, 1990, to beat Detroit.

The Commanders trailed 21-3 in the second quarter. Brian Robinson Jr. ran for two scores during a 32-6 scoring outburst before the Broncos made it interesting at the very end.

With 2 seconds left and the Broncos trailing 35-27, Wilson heaved a pass toward the end zone that was deflected by a scrum of players before Johnson snared it for the score.

The Broncos (0-2) have lost back-to-back home games for the first time, not the kind of history coach Sean Payton was hoping to make in his return to the sideline.

Ravens 27, Bengals 24

CINCINNATI -- Lamar Jackson tossed two touchdown passes, Gus Edwards ran for another score and Baltimore held off slow-starting Cincinnati.

The AFC North champion Bengals fell to 0-2 for the second consecutive season. The Ravens (2-0), their division rival, certainly looked like the better team.

Jackson was 24-for-33 for 237 yards. He ran for 54 more, and Edwards -- with more chances because of a season-ending Achilles tendon injury to J.K. Dobbins -- picked up 62 yards on 10 carries.

Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow, looking as if he might still be suffering the effects of a calf injury in training camp, finished 27-of-41 for 222 yards and two TDs after passing for just 86 last week in the season-opening loss to Cleveland.

Burrow hooked up with Tee Higgins for a 4-yard touchdown on third-and-goal to cut the deficit to three with 3:28 left in the game.

But the Bengals couldn’t stop Jackson and the Ravens’ offense, which moved the chains twice after the ensuing kickoff to run out the clock.

Seahawks 37, Lions 31

DETROIT -- Geno Smith threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett on the opening drive of overtime, lifting Seattle past Detroit.

The Seahawks (1-1) allowed the Lions (1-1) to rally from a 10-point deficit late in the fourth quarter. Detroit extended the game with Riley Patterson’s 38-yard field goal on the final play of regulation.

Smith threw a go-ahead, 3-yard touchdown pass to Lockett early in the fourth. Tre Brown intercepted Jared Goff and returned it 40 yards for a score on the ensuring drive to give Seattle a 31-21 lead.

Goff showed his resilience after throwing his first interception in 383 attempts -- 30 shy of the NFL record -- by throwing a 4-yard touchdown pass to Josh Reynolds.

Detroit forced Seattle to punt on the ensuing possession, sacking Smith for the first and only time when Alex Anzalone tracked him down at the 3. That set up the tying field goal.

But the Seahawks won the overtime coin toss and Smith marched them 75 yards in nine plays for the game-ending score. Smith finished 32-of-41 for 328 yards and two touchdowns.

Goff went 28-of-35 for 323 yards, three touchdowns and the one costly pick.

Titans 27, Chargers 24

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Nick Folk kicked a 41-yard field goal in overtime in a sudden downpour and Tennessee beat Los Angeles to snap an eight-game skid.

The Titans (1-1) won for the first time since last Nov. 17 at Green Bay. They had to rally from an 11-point deficit, at which point the Chargers had more points than Tennessee had yards (8).

Ryan Tannehill rebounded from the worst game of his career in the opener by throwing for 246 yards. He put Tennessee up 24-21 with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine. He also ran for a touchdown and started the game-winning drive with a 49-yard toss to Chris Moore.

Derrick Henry rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown.

The Chargers fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2017. Justin Herbert threw for 305 yards and two touchdowns to Keenan Allen. With the ball and 2:22 left in regulation, he was sacked by Harold Landry, forcing the Chargers to settle for Cameron Dicker’s third field goal of the game to force overtime.

Los Angeles won the OT coin toss, but Herbert threw three straight incompletions.

Giants 31, Cardinals 28

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Daniel Jones threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns, Graham Gano connected on a 34-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining and New York rallied from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to stun Arizona.

It was the biggest comeback win for the Giants since a 21-point rally in 1949 -- also against the Cardinals. Arizona blew its biggest lead since 2011.

The Giants (1-1) lost 40-0 in Week 1 against Dallas and didn’t look much better against the Cardinals during the first half, falling into a 20-0 hole at halftime. They trailed 28-7 in the third quarter but evened the game on a 1-yard touchdown run by Barkley, a 9-yard TD pass from Jones to Barkley and Jones’ perfectly placed 11-yard touchdown pass to a diving Isaiah Hodgins.

The Giants forced a three-and-out, then drove 56 yards in eight plays to set up Gano’s go-ahead kick.

Jones was 26-of-37 passing. He also ran for 59 yards and a 14-yard touchdown. Barkley ran for 63 yards and a touchdown, but hobbled off the field late in the fourth quarter with an apparent right ankle injury.

James Conner ran for 106 yards and a touchdown for the Cardinals (0-2), who have lost six straight home games.

Cowboys 30, Jets 10

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dak Prescott threw for two touchdowns, Zach Wilson had three interceptions in his first start after Aaron Rodgers’ season-ending Achilles tendon injury, and Dallas beat New York.

CeeDee Lamb had 143 yards receiving and Brandon Aubrey kicked five field goals in the 28-year-old rookie’s second game as the Cowboys (2-0) finished a season-opening sweep of the New York teams. Dallas routed the Giants 40-0 in the opener.

Wilson threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Garrett Wilson to get the Jets (1-1) within three points in the second quarter and ran for 36 yards on a drive to a field goal for an eight-point halftime deficit.

But New York had just 147 yards outside the long TD, and four second-half turnovers left little doubt for Dallas.

Wilson was sacked three times and was picked off by Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker and Trevon Diggs. Micah Parsons had two sacks and forced a fumble by Dalvin Cook.

Prescott was 31-of-38 for 255 yards and Tony Pollard had 72 yards rushing. Wilson finished 12-of-27 for 170 yards.

49ers 30, Rams 23

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Brock Purdy passed for 206 yards and ran for an early touchdown, Deebo Samuel rushed for an 11-yard TD with 11:28 left and San Francisco hung on for its ninth consecutive regular-season victory against Los Angeles.

Christian McCaffrey rushed for 116 yards and a score for the 49ers (2-0), whose only loss to the Rams since December 2018 was in the NFC Championship Game in January 2022.

Isaiah Oliver and Deommodore Lenoir intercepted passes by Matthew Stafford in the second half, finally allowing the 49ers to pull in front of their longtime rivals.

The 49ers’ defense overcame a record-setting performance by rookie Puka Nacua, who caught 15 passes for 147 yards for Los Angeles (1-1). The fifth-round pick broke the NFL’s single-game record for receptions by a rookie, and he set a new overall league mark with 25 catches in the first two games of his career.

Purdy went 17-for-25 with a handful of glaring mistakes in his first career game against the rebuilding Rams (1-1). He came through on fourth down at the Rams 1 on the final play before halftime, sneaking over the goal line to even the score at 17.

Stafford passed for 307 yards and threw a TD pass to Kyren Williams for Los Angeles.

Falcons 25, Packers 24

ATLANTA -- Younghoe Koo booted a 25-yard field goal with 57 seconds remaining and rookie Bijan Robinson turned in another dynamic performance, rallying Atlanta past Jordan Love and Green Bay.

Robinson rushed for 124 yards on 19 carries and hauled in four catches for another 48 yards, showing why the Falcons (2-0) selected him No. 8 in the draft even though running backs aren’t supposed to go that high anymore.

The Packers (1-1) squandered a 24-12 lead and three more touchdown passes from Love, who now has a half-dozen scoring throws in his first two games as Aaron Rodgers’ replacement.

Atlanta’s young quarterback, Desmond Ridder, bootlegged for a 6-yard touchdown on fourth-and-4 with just under 12 minutes remaining.

Then it was Ridder and Robinson teaming up for two more drives that set up field goals by Koo, including a 39-yarder with 8:13 remaining.

The Packers’ offense dried up in the final quarter, allowing the Falcons to move to 2-0 for only the 11th time in franchise history.

Bills 38, Raiders 10

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Josh Allen rebounded from a four-turnover, season-opening dud by throwing three touchdown passes and Buffalo routed Las Vegas.

Allen completed his first 13 attempts for 94 yards, and finished 31-of-37 for 274 yards and no turnovers. His 13 consecutive completions to start the game set an individual record and matched his best run at any point of an outing. He improved to 13-4 in games following a loss, and 23-4 when he doesn’t turn the ball over.

Dawson Knox scored on a 2-yard catch to put Buffalo up 14-7 three minutes into the second quarter, and Khalil Shakir padded the lead with an 11-yard touchdown reception in the final seconds of the first half.

James Cook rushed for 123 yards on 17 carries for the Bills.

The Raiders (1-1) blew an opportunity to open a season with back-to-back road wins for the first time since 1982. Jimmy Garoppolo finished 16-of-24 for 185 yards, with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams. He was intercepted twice, by linebackers Matt Milano and Terrel Bernard.

Josh Jacobs, last year’s NFL rushing leader, finished with minus-2 yards on nine carries for Las Vegas.

Buccaneers 27, Bears 17

TAMPA, Fla. -- Baker Mayfield passed for 317 yards and a touchdown, adding to his strong debut with Tampa Bay, which beat Chicago.

With Mayfield playing turnover-free for the second straight week and Mike Evans catching six balls for 171 yards and a TD, the Bucs improved to 2-0 while handing the Bears a franchise-record 12th consecutive loss.

Mayfield completed 26-of-34 passes. He set up Rachaad White’s 1-yard TD run with a 70-yard completion to Evans in the first quarter. He also finished an 89-yard drive with a 32-yard scoring pass to Evansearly in the second half.

Tampa Bay’s defense did its job, too, after yielding a 75-yard TD drive on Chicago’s first possession. The Buccaneers sacked Justin Fields six times and picked him off twice.

The Bears (0-2) closed within 20-17 on Chase Claypool’s 20-yard TD catch, but saw any hope for a comeback fade when Fields tossed an interception that Bucs linebacker Shaquil Barrett returned 4 yards for a clinching TD.

Fields completed 16-of-29 passes for 211 yards. DJ Moore had six receptions for 104 yards, but the Bears were limited to just 67 yards rushing.

Colts 31, Texans 20

HOUSTON -- Anthony Richardson rushed for two touchdowns before leaving with a concussion and backup Gardner Minshew threw for 171 yards and a TD as Indianapolis held off Houston.

It was the first win for coach Shane Steichen, who was hired in February after spending the last two seasons as Philadelphia’s offensive coordinator.

The Colts led by 18 at halftime and managed only a field goal in the second half. But their dominant start was enough to snap an eight-game skid dating to last season. It was their first win since Nov. 13 at Las Vegas.

Richardson gave the Colts (1-1) an early lead when he dashed 18 yards untouched on their first drive. Minshew took over for Richardson in the second quarter and orchestrated a 76-yard drive capped by an 11-yard scoring run by Zack Moss that made it 21-7.

Houston’s C.J. Stroud, the second overall pick in the draft, threw for 384 yards and two touchdowns . But he was sacked six times and hit nine other times playing behind a line filled with backups.

Collins finished with seven receptions for a career-high 146 yards for the Texans (0-2).

Dolphins 24, Patriots 17

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Raheem Mostert had a pair of TD runs, including a 43-yard romp in the fourth quarter, and Tua Tagovailoa added a 2-yard touchdown pass to Tyreek Hill to help Miami hold off New England.

Mostert carried 18 times for 121 yards and Tagovailoa completed 21-of-30 passes for 249 yards and an interception. Miami has opened with two road wins and will try for its second straight 3-0 start under coach Mike McDaniel when it hosts Denver next weekend.

New England dropped to 0-2 for the first time since 2001, which was Bill Belichick’s second season as coach. Tom Brady took over at quarterback for that team, which went on to win the Super Bowl.

Trailing 24-17, the Patriots appeared to keep their hopes alive by converting a fourth-and-4 on the Dolphins 33. Mac Jones completed a pass to Mike Gesicki short of the first down marker, but the veteran tight end spun and flipped the ball to left guard Cole Strange, who lunged forward.

It was called a first down on the field, but a review showed Strange was short of the needed yardage, turning the ball over on downs. Miami then ran the clock out.

Jones finished 31-of-42 for 231 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The pick squandered a blocked field goal by New England’s Brenden Schooler on a nifty play design where he got a running start off the edge.


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