Oct 31, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Chicago Bears running back Khalil Herbert (24) runs past San Francisco 49ers cornerback Josh Norman (26) during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Wierzbicki-USA TODAY Sports

49ers pour it on late to knock off Bears

Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 322 yards and ran for two touchdowns and Elijah Mitchell rushed for a career-best 137 yards and a score to help the visiting San Francisco 49ers defeat the Chicago Bears 33-22 on Sunday to snap a four-game losing streak.

San Francisco (3-4) used an 18-point fourth quarter to surge ahead of Chicago (3-5), which has lost three straight. The 49ers scored on seven successive possessions before a series of kneel-downs to close the game.

Deebo Samuel had six receptions for 171 yards for San Francisco, including an 83-yard catch and run that set up a third-quarter touchdown.

Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields passed for a touchdown and ran for another — a brilliant, 22-yard scamper on a fourth-quarter fourth-and-one — but defensive lapses ultimately doomed Chicago before a late Fields interception. Fields was 19-for-27 passing for 175 yards and an interception and also ran for a career-high 103 yards on 10 carries.

Joey Slye kicked field goals of 48, 52, 22 and 32 yards for the 49ers.

Chicago took a 13-9 lead into halftime. Kicker Cairo Santos bookended field goals of 39 and 40 yards around an eight-yard touchdown pass from Fields to Jesse James.

After managing just three points in 13 possessions during last week’s lopsided, 38-3 loss at Tampa Bay, the Bears scored on each of their first-half possessions for the first time since December 2013.

Santos added a 25-yard field goal on the opening drive of the second half, extending the Chicago advantage to 16-9 while stretching his franchise record to 38 consecutive field goals made.

But San Francisco responded with consecutive touchdown drives, taking a 23-16 lead with 14:11 to go on a five-yard scoring run from Mitchell and a two-point conversion pass from Garoppolo to Brandon Aiyuk.

Bears special teams coordinator Chris Tabor served as acting head coach, as fourth-year coach Matt Nagy remained in the NFL’s COVID-19 protocol. Nagy confirmed Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19, with Tabor operating Bears team meetings throughout the week.

Defensive back Eddie Jackson left the game for Chicago with a hamstring injury. San Francisco safety Jimmie Ward left with a quad injury.

Linebacker Khalil Mack (foot) was out for the Bears, while the 49ers’ inactives included defensive end Dee Ford (concussion).

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back Najee Harris (22) runs with the ball as Cleveland Browns defensive tackle Jordan Elliott (96) and free safety John Johnson (43) defend during the first half at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Steelers fend off Browns to earn third straight win

Ben Roethlisberger went 22-of-34 passing for 266 yards and a touchdown to lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to a 15-10 road win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Diontae Johnson caught six passes for 98 yards and Najee Harris rushed for 91 yards and a touchdown on 26 carries for the Steelers (4-3), who won their third straight.

Baker Mayfield went 20-of-31 passing for 225 yards in defeat for Cleveland (4-4).

Cleveland opened the scoring with 8:12 left in the first quarter on a 30-yard field goal by Chase McLaughlin, but Pittsburgh tied the game at 3-3 with 9:21 remaining in the second quarter on a 31-yard field goal by Chris Boswell.

The score remained that way until the third quarter, when D’Ernest Johnson scored on a 10-yard run with 9:36 remaining in the third to give Cleveland a 10-3 lead.

The score capped off an eight-play, 86-yard drive.

Pittsburgh answered, driving 78 yards in 12 plays and cutting Cleveland’s lead to 10-9 on an 8-yard touchdown run by Harris.

After Boswell left the game with a possible concussion following a fake field goal attempt in the second quarter, the Steelers elected to go for a two-point conversion, but a pass fell incomplete and Cleveland maintained the lead.

The Steelers took a 15-10 lead with 11:04 remaining in the game on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Roethlisberger to Pat Freiermuth, which came on fourth-and-goal and completed a 13-play, 83-yard drive. Pittsburgh again failed on a two-point conversion pass.

Later in the quarter, Cleveland drove to the Pittsburgh 26-yard line, but a fourth-and-12 pass fell incomplete and the Steelers took over on downs.

On second down of the ensuing drive, the Steelers essentially put the game away on a 50-yard pass from Roethlisberger to Johnson down to the Cleveland 22-yard line.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Mike Davis (28) stiff arms Carolina Panthers cornerback Keith Taylor (28) in the second quarter at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Chuba Hubbard fuels Panthers past Falcons

The Carolina Panthers finally scored another touchdown and they used four Zane Gonzalez field goals to post a 19-13 win over the host Atlanta Falcons on Sunday afternoon.

The Panthers (4-4) snapped a four-game losing streak despite losing quarterback Sam Darnold to an injury late in the game.

Darnold exited midway through the fourth quarter after landing hard on the field at the end of an 8-yard run that took the ball to the Atlanta 3-yard line. Darnold, who was placed in the concussion protocol, had scrambled for 11 yards on the previous play.

Three plays later, rookie Chuba Hubbard ran in from 6 yards out for Carolina’s first touchdown in a two-game span. That extended their lead to 19-10 with 6:31 remaining.

The Panthers racked up a season-high 203 rushing yards, including 82 on 24 carries by Hubbard.

Darnold completed 13 of 24 passes for 129 yards.

Matt Ryan was 20-for-27 for 146 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for Atlanta (3-4), which saw its two-game winning streak come to an end.

Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley, who was ruled inactive prior to the game, announced Sunday afternoon on Twitter that he needs to step away from football to focus on his mental health.

Gonzalez’s 23-yard field goal late in the third quarter gave the Panthers a 12-10 lead.

Atlanta had a chance to go back ahead, but Younghoe Koo was wide right on a 45-yard attempt in the opening minute of the fourth quarter. He was good on a 53-yarder in the final minute.

Gonzalez kicked field goals from 29, 51 and 57 yards in the first half.

The Falcons led 10-9 at halftime despite gaining only 111 yards of total offense.

The teams traded field goals in the first quarter. Koo made a 46-yard kick for the Falcons — following a Carolina fumble on the game’s first possession — and Gonzalez connected from 29 yards for the Panthers.

Ryan threw 15 yards to Cordarrelle Patterson early in the second quarter for the first touchdown of the game.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Houston, Texas, USA; Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) attempts a pass during the first quarter against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Rams roll to easy win over hapless Texans

Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes in three quarters of work and Darrell Henderson scored twice to help the Los Angeles Rams take down the host Houston Texans, 38-22 on Sunday.

Los Angeles (7-1) dominated the game to the tune of 300 yards of total offense in the first half, building a 31-0 advantage midway through the third quarter.

The Texans (1-7) lost for their seventh consecutive game.

Stafford had 305 yards and kept wide receiver Cooper Kupp’s streak of 100-yard games with a TD catch alive. Kupp caught seven passes for 115 yards and raised his NFL-leading figures to receptions (63), yards (924) and touchdown catches 10).

He caught Stafford’s third TD pass with 7:55 on the clock in the third quarter.

Houston went down fighting with three scores in the fourth quarter — all in the final eight minutes, eight seconds of the game.

With the Rams ahead 38-0 and shifting into scrimmage personnel mode, Houston caught fire.

Running back Rex Burkhead plowed for a 1-yard score to get the Texans on the board and three minutes later, quarterback Davis Mills found wide receiver Brandin Cooks for a 45-yard TD.

After recovering an onside kick, Mills connected with Brevin Jordan on a 9-yard TD and ran in the two-point conversion.

An offside penalty on the onside kick attempt threatened to curb the furious Texans’ rally, but Houston forced a punt at the two-minute warning to get another shot down two scores.

Mills completed passes of 34 and 31 yards before time expired.

Henderson rushed for 90 yards on 14 carries for the Rams, who had 31 carries for 165 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Robert Woods scored rushing and receiving TDs. His 16-yard run in the third made it a 38-0 lead for Los Angeles, which outgained the Texans 467-323.

Leonard Floyd had two of Los Angeles’ five sacks.

–Field Level Media

Oct 31, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back Boston Scott (35) scores a first quarter touch down against the Detroit Lions at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports

Jalen Hurts, Eagles run roughshod over winless Lions

Boston Scott and Jordan Howard scored two rushing touchdowns apiece and the visiting Philadelphia Eagles crushed the winless Detroit Lions 44-6 on Sunday.

The running back duo combined for 117 yards on 24 carries. Quarterback Jalen Hurts completed 9 of 14 passes for 103 yards and rushed for 71 yards on seven carries. Dallas Goedert caught six passes for 72 yards for the Eagles (3-5) and ex-Lion Darius Slay returned a fumble 33 yards for a touchdown.

Detroit quarterback Jared Goff completed 25 of 34 passes for 222 yards for the Lions (0-8). T.J. Hockenson caught 10 passes for 89 yards.

The closest the Lions came to scoring in the first half was Austin Seibert’s missed 47-yard field goal attempt in the first quarter.

Philadelphia then drove 63 yards in 10 plays, completed by Scott’s 1-yard touchdown run. The Eagles’ next possession ended with Jake Elliott’s 43-yard field goal.

Late in the half, the Eagles drove 81 yards in eight plays for their second touchdown. Hurts scrambled for two first downs and hit Goedert on passes of 15 and 13 yards. Howard ran up the middle for the last four yards.

A fourth-down sack after the Lions passed up a field goal attempt kept the home team scoreless before the break.

Philadelphia tacked on three more touchdowns before the fourth quarter.

The Eagles opened the second half on offense and drove 90 yards to make it 24-0. Hurts ran 20 yards on a third-and-12 early in the drive and also connected with Goedert on 17- and 19-yard pass plays. Scott scored on a 3-yard run to finish it off.

Hurts’ 21-yard run highlighted the next Eagles scoring drive, which Howard completed on a 2-yard run with 1:20 remaining in the third quarter.

Slay picked up a D’Andre Swift fumble after a short pass play for Philadelphia’s next score.

Elliott added a 26-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter for a 41-0 lead.

Jermar Jefferson’s 8-yard touchdown run with 7:14 left averted the shutout.

Elliott chipped in a 41-yard field goal.

–Field Level Media

Oct 30, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA;  Wake Forest Demon Deacons head coach Dave Clawson and Wake Forest Demon Deacons defensive back Cody Cater (49) come out onto the field before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Truist Field. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Wake Forest makes first Top 10 appearance in AP poll

Undefeated Wake Forest moved into the Top 10 of the Associated Press Top 25 poll, released Sunday, for the first time in school history after its 45-7 rout of Duke.

The Demon Deacons (8-0) are the only ACC team in the Top 25, which again is topped by No. 1 Georgia (8-0). The Bulldogs captured all 63 first-place votes after a convincing 34-7 win over Florida on Saturday.

The top four remained unchanged, with the Bulldogs followed by No. 2 Cincinnati (8-0). Alabama (7-1) and Oklahoma (9-0), with No. 5 Michigan State (8-0) moving into the Top 5 for the first time since the Spartans reached No. 2 in 2015.

Michigan State, with its 37-33 win over Michigan on Saturday, jumped over fellow Big Ten team Ohio State (7-1), which fell to No. 6. Oregon State, Notre Dame and Michigan, all 7-1, plus Wake Forest rounded out the Top 10.

No. 11 Oklahoma State (7-1) and No. 12 Auburn (6-2) jumped five and six spots, respectively. The week’s biggest climbers were UTSA (8-0), which rose seven places to No. 16, and BYU, which moved up eight slots to No. 17.

Iowa plunged from No. 9 to 19 with its 27-7 loss to Wisconsin. Despite falling to Ohio State, Penn State remained in the poll at No. 22 — the only three-loss team in the Top 25.

Moving into the Top 25 were No. 20 Houston (7-1), No. 24 Louisiana (7-1) and No. 25 Fresno State (7-2). Falling out were Pitt, San Diego State and Iowa State.

The first College Football Playoff rankings will be released Tuesday night. Georgia is expected to stand at No. 1, but the teams that follow could look quite different.

–Field Level Media

Oct 11, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns offensive tackle Jack Conklin (78) is introduced before the game between the Cleveland Browns and the Indianapolis Colts at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Browns RT Jack Conklin injures elbow, out vs. Steelers

Cleveland Browns right tackle Jack Conklin sustained an elbow injury in the second quarter and has been ruled out for the remainder of Sunday’s game against the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers.

Conklin missed the Browns’ previous two games with a knee injury before returning for the AFC North clash. He was injured during a run by Nick Chubb.

Blake Hance entered the game in place of Conklin, who started his sixth game this season on Sunday.

Conklin, 27, has started all 78 career games in which he has played with the Tennessee Titans and Browns.

–Field Level Media

Michigan State's Kenneth Walker III runs for a touchdown against Michigan during the fourth quarter on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing.

211030 Msu Michigan 185a

Michigan State RB Kenneth Walker III gains footing in Heisman race

With a five-touchdown performance Saturday in a 37-33 win over Michigan, Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III moved squarely into the Heisman Trophy conversation.

Walker entered Saturday’s game leading the nation at 142.4 rushing yards per game and added 197 yards on 23 carries against the Wolverines. He is three yards shy of 1,000 on the year.

BetMGM and DraftKings both offered Walker at +500 odds to win the Heisman on Sunday.

“This is a huge stage, the whole world is watching and got a chance to see what type of player he is,” Michigan State coach Mel Tucker said after the Michigan win. “And obviously any recognition that he’s getting for Heisman consideration is well deserved.”

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, whose team was on a bye Saturday, remained the leader at both sportsbooks, offered at +190 by BetMGM and +180 by DraftKings.

Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral was listed at +275 by BetMGM but dropped to +500 at DraftKings after a loss at Auburn on Saturday night. Corral completed 21 of 37 passes for 289 yards and an interception as he battled through what appeared to be a left ankle injury.

Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud was offered at +450 by both books after a 305-yard performance against Penn State in a 33-24 win on Saturday.

Oklahoma freshman quarterback Caleb Williams, who has taken over for preseason Heisman favorite Spencer Rattler, moved to +850 at BetMGM and +800 at DraftKings. He completed 76.7 percent (23 of 30) of his passes for 402 yards and six touchdowns in a 52-21 Sooners win over Texas Tech on Saturday.

–Field Level Media

Oct 24, 2021; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley (18) gets a tap on the helmet from quarterback Matt Ryan (2) after scoring a touchdown against the Miami Dolphins during the second quarter of the game at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Falcons WR Calvin Ridley (personal reasons) out vs. Panthers

Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley is inactive for Sunday’s game against the Carolina Panthers due to a personal matter.

Ridley also didn’t travel to London for the Oct. 10 game due to personal reasons, a 27-20 win against the New York Jets, but returned after the bye week for last week’s 30-28 win over the Miami Dolphins.

Ridley, 26, caught his second touchdown pass of the season in that game. He has 31 catches for 281 yards for the Falcons (3-3) so far this season.

Ridley had career bests of 90 catches and 1,374 yards last season when he supplanted the since-departed Julio Jones as the team’s top wideout.

Overall, Ridley has 248 receptions for 3,342 yards and 28 touchdowns in 49 NFL games (35 starts).

Tajae Sharpe will start in Ridley’s place.

The Falcons also listed running back Wayne Gallman, linebacker Dorian Etheridge, offensive lineman Josh Andrews and defensive linemen John Cominsky and Ta’Quon Graham as inactive vs. the Panthers (3-4).

–Field Level Media

Oct 17, 2021; Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb (88) makes the catch and runs the ball for the game winning touchdown in overtime at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Cowboys WR CeeDee Lamb fined five times in 2021

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver CeeDee Lamb has been fined five times in six games for nearly $50,000 this season, according to ESPN.

Lamb, 22, reportedly has been fined twice for having his jersey untucked and once for having his socks too low, along with penalties for an illegal crackback block and for taunting the New England Patriots while scoring a game-winning touchdown in overtime on Oct. 17.

All told, the penalties reportedly add up to $46,865. Another untucked jersey violation would result in a $46,350 fine.

Lamb has a base salary of $1.25 million this season, the second of a four-year, $14 million rookie deal, per Spotrac.

A first-round pick in 2020, Lamb caught 74 passes for 935 yards and five touchdowns in 16 games (14 starts) during his rookie campaign.

He’s off to a strong start in his sophomore season, totaling 33 catches for 497 yards and four scores so far.

The Cowboys (5-1) visit the Minnesota Vikings (3-3) on Sunday night.

–Field Level Media