NFL Today, Week 9
Monday, Nov. 5.
Tennessee at Dallas, 8:15 p.m. Amari Cooper makes his debut for the Cowboys (3-4) after being acquired by Oakland on Tuesday, giving Dak Prescott a new No. 1 wide receiver and potentially giving a boost to a passing game that ranks a lowly 29th in the NFL. Marcus Mariota and the Titans (3-4) have lost three in a row, but two of those defeats were by one point each.
— Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs, passed for 375 yards, threw three touchdown passes — two to Travis Kelce — and continued the best start by an NFL quarterback in 68 years as Kansas City rolled to a 37-21 win at Cleveland.
— Drew Brees, Saints, passed for 346 yards and four touchdowns to help New Orleans to its seventh straight win, 45-35 over the previously undefeated Los Angeles Rams.
— Matt Ryan, Falcons, completed 26 of 38 passes for 350 yards and four touchdowns to lead Atlanta to a 38-14 victory at Washington.
— Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, threw two touchdown passes, ran for a score and even put up an unexpected left-footed punt to help Pittsburgh beat Baltimore 23-16.
— Jared Goff, Rams, passed for 391 yards and three TDs with an interception in Los Angeles' first loss of the season, 45-35 at New Orleans.
— Kareem Hunt, Chiefs, had two scoring runs and finished with 91 yards on 17 carries and also had a 50-yard TD reception in Kansas City's 37-21 win at Cleveland.
— Melvin Gordon, Chargers, ran for 113 yards and a touchdown on 16 attempts in Los Angeles' 25-17 victory at Seattle.
— James Conner, Steelers, rushed for 107 yards and caught a TD pass in Pittsburgh's 23-16 victory at Cleveland.
— Christian McCaffrey, Panthers, racked up 157 yards from scrimmage and scored twice to help lift Carolina past Tampa Bay 42-28.
— Jordan Howard, Bears, ran for two TDs in Chicago's 41-9 victory at Buffalo.
— Alvin Kamara, Saints, had 82 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 19 carries and had four catches for 34 yards, including a 16-yard TD, in New Orleans' 45-35 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
— Michael Thomas, Saints, had 12 catches and capped a club-record 211-yard receiving game with a late 72-yard touchdown in New Orleans' 45-35 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.
— Julio Jones, Falcons, had seven receptions for 121 yards and his first touchdown since last November, helping Atlanta to a 38-14 win at Washington.
— Maurice Harris, Redskins, caught 10 passes for 124 yards in Washington's 38-14 loss to Atlanta.
— Travis Kelce, Chiefs, caught two touchdown passes to help Kansas City breeze past Cleveland 37-21.
— DeAndre Hopkins, Texans, had 10 receptions for 105 yards and a TD in Houston's 19-17 win at Denver.
— Duke Johnson, Browns, had two touchdown catches and the running back finished with nine receptions for 78 yards in Cleveland's 37-21 loss to Kansas City.
— Tarik Cohen, Bears, had a video game-like 38-yard punt return, filled with a handful of twists, turns and missed tackles to help set up a touchdown in Chicago's 41-9 win at Buffalo.
— Justin Tucker, Ravens, kicked three field goals in Baltimore's 23-16 loss to Pittsburgh.
— Matt Prater, Lions, accounted for all of Detroit's points in a 24-9 loss at Minnesota.
— Cody Parkey, Bears, kicked two field goals and made five extra points as Chicago cruised to a 41-9 victory in Buffalo.
— Danielle Hunter, Vikings, had 3½ of Minnesota's franchise-record 10 sacks plus a fourth-quarter 32-yard fumble return for a touchdown, along with nine tackles and four quarterback hits in a 24-9 victory over Minnesota.
— Eddie Jackson and Leonard Floyd, Bears. Jackson scored on a 65-yard fumble return and Floyd returned a tipped pass 19 yards for another in Chicago's 41-9 rout of Buffalo.
— Jerome Baker, Dolphins, intercepted Sam Darnold and scored the only touchdown on a 25-yard return with 11 minutes left, and a resilient defense helped the Miami Dolphins beat the New York Jets 13-6 on Sunday.
— Desmond King, Chargers, returned an interception 42 yards for a game-sealing touchdown in Los Angeles' 25-17 win at Seattle.
— Mario Addison, Panthers, had three sacks in Carolina's 42-28 win over Tampa Bay.
Philip Rivers of the Los Angeles Chargers started in his 200th consecutive game, a 25-17 win at Seattle. He joined Brett Favre, Eli Manning and Peyton Manning as the quarterbacks in league history to start at least 200 games. Favre started an NFL-record 297 straight times in the regular season. ... Atlanta's Matt Ryan had 350 yards passing in a 38-14 victory at Washington, his 50th game with at least 300 yards to join New Orleans' Drew Brees (57) as the only players to have 50 in their first 11 seasons.
STREAKS & STATS
Minnesota's Adam Thielen had his streak of 100-yard receiving games end at eight in a row, leaving him in a tie for the NFL record with Detroit's Calvin Johnson. ... Carolina scored touchdowns on five straight possessions to build a 35-7 lead en route to its 10th straight win at home, 42-28 over Tampa Bay. ... Miami coach Adam Gase improved to 5-1 against the New York Jets, including two wins this year. ... Pittsburgh's James Conner has 10 touchdowns, the most by a Steelers player through eight games since 1950. He has four games with at least 100 yards rushing, 50 yards receiving and at least one touchdown this season, the most such games by a player in a single season in NFL history. ... Steelers WR Antonio Brown has nine TD catches, a team record through eight games. ... Danielle Hunter had 3½ of Minnesota's franchise-record 10 sacks plus a fourth-quarter fumble return for a touchdown. ... Buffalo quarterback Nathan Peterman's 1-yard run with 5:41 left in a 41-9 loss was the first TD run allowed by Chicago this season. It also ended the Bills' touchdown drought at 187 minutes and 19 seconds.
Patrick Mahomes passed for 375 yards, threw three touchdown passes — two to Travis Kelce — and continued the best start by an NFL quarterback in 68 years as Kansas City's offense kept rolling with a 37-21 win over the Cleveland Browns. In his second season, Mahomes, who made just one start as a rookie, already has 29 TD passes and 3,185 yards, the most by any QB through 10 games since 1950. He has passed for at least 300 yards in eight straight games.
Cleveland played its first game under interim coach Gregg Williams and lost its fourth straight, 37-21 to Kansas City. Hue Jackson was fired last Monday after going 3-36-1 in two-plus seasons.
Jerome Baker scored the game's only TD on a 25-yard interception return of a pass by Sam Darnold with 11 minutes left in Miami's 13-6 win over the New York Jets. Darnold threw four interceptions and took four sacks, and the Jets went 2 for 15 on third and fourth down. The rookie quarterback went 21 for 39 for 229 yards and a passer rating of 31.8. He came into the game tied for the NFL lead with 10 interceptions , and the four picks were a new high.
Julio Jones caught a 35-yard scoring pass from Matt Ryan in the fourth quarter against the Washington Redskins, dragging safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix on the way into the end zone. His score helped Atlanta beat Washington 38-14. It was Jones' first touchdown since Nov. 26, 2017. He had played in 12 games since his previous score.
Chicago safety Eddie Jackson had a 65-yard fumble-return touchdown in the Bears' 41-9 victory at Buffalo. Jackson, who had a 76-yard interception return for a TD and a 75-yard fumble return for a score against Carolina on Oct. 22, 2017, joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders (three touchdowns in 1994) as the only players since 1970 with at least three defensive TDs of 65 or more yards over any two-year span.
Former NFL receiver Steve Smith acknowledged on the NFL Network he left his Carolina Panthers' playbook for his new team, the Baltimore Ravens, to find when he was released in 2013. It's not unusual for players to share secrets about their former team after being released or waived, but it is difficult to recall anyone talking about it publicly. "When I came in I had the playbook and said, 'It will be on my desk and what you do with it is on you,'" Smith recalled. Smith said the playbook was missing from his locker for a couple of days before it was returned and he took it home. Smith said he had a copy of the Panthers' playbook because it was given to him by another player who was cut a couple years before he was released by the team. Smith said he thought the playbook might be helpful if he got into coaching after his playing career.
Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger wore cleats emblazoned with a Star of David in response to the late-October shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh. The Star of David was in yellow and served as the upper part of the Steelers logo. There were also the words, "Stronger Than Hate" on each shoe. Roethlisberger and his wife are friends of Michele Rosenthal, a former team employee. Two of Rosenthal's brothers were among the 11 killed in the attack.
BUNCHES OF SACKS
Nine of the franchise-record 10 sacks by Minnesota in the Vikings' 24-10 win over Detroit came from its front four, including 2½ by backup defensive tackle Tom Johnson. During the heyday of the Purple People Eaters, the Vikings had nine sacks in a game in 1968, 1969 and 1970. They also did it in 1993. But this was the record-setter, thanks to a well-timed mix of blitzes called by coach Mike Zimmer and the relentless rush by Danielle Hunter, who had 3½, and his friends up front.
SWING AND A MISS
Los Angeles Chargers kicker Caleb Sturgis missed two extra points and a 42-yard field goal attempt in a 25-17 win at Seattle. Sturgis is the first kicker with a missed extra point and missed field goal in three straight games since Raiders kicker Jim Breech in 1979.
Brandon McManus missed a 51-yard field goal as time expired, leaving Demaryius Thomas a winner in his homecoming as the Houston Texans escaped Denver with a 19-17 win over the Broncos. Thomas finished with three receptions for 61 yards, but two of them were back-to-back for 31 and 18 yards on the Texans' opening touchdown drive. Thomas had started all 114 games for the Broncos since Jan. 8, 2012, when he caught an 80-yard touchdown pass from Tim Tebow on the first snap of overtime to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23. This time, he drew loud ovations when he emerged from the tunnel for pregame stretch and again during a video tribute after "The Star-Spangled Banner." Outside the stadium, the Broncos put up a giant "Thank you, D.T." banner at the bottom of a 10-story-high image of Thomas next to one of Von Miller.
Michael Thomas caught a late 72-yard touchdown reception and then celebrated with a cellphone in a throwback to another famous New Orleans play, and the streaking Saints handed the Los Angeles Rams their first loss of the season with a 45-35 win. Thomas' long TD came on a pivotal third-down play with about four minutes to go, when the Rams seemed to expect the Saints to run a play closer to the first-down marker. Thomas ran free behind Marcus Peters, caught Brees' long throw virtually in stride and ran straight to the goal post, where he got out an old-school flip phone — reminiscent of Joe Horn's Sunday night TD celebration in 2003. Like Horn, Thomas was penalized, but the Rams never threatened after that.
Cleveland defensive backs Denzel Ward and E.J. Gaines left with injuries in the first quarter of a loss to Kansas City. Ward was sidelined by a hip injury, and Gaines sustained a concussion. Linebacker Christian Kirksey also departed with a hamstring injury, and the short-handed Browns allowed 499 yards in a 37-21 loss to Patrick Mahomes and the high-scoring Chiefs. ... Already without left tackle Trent Williams after right thumb surgery, Washington lost left guard Shaun Lauvao to a left knee injury and right guard Brandon Scherff to a left shoulder injury. Lauvao got hurt on the third play of the game and was taken off the sideline in a wheelchair. ... Miami left tackle Laremy Tunsil left in the fourth quarter of the Dolphins' 13-6 win over the New York Jets because of a knee injury. ... Denver center Matt Paradis sustained a serious right ankle injury when quarterback Case Keenum rolled up on him just before halftime of their 19-17 loss to Houston. Paradis had never missed a snap in his four-year career.
"We feel that we can do what we want to do. We've got roadblocks, which are great defenses on other teams, trying to stop us, but we've always said — and no disrespect to other teams — they don't stop us, we stop ourselves." — Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger after the Steelers beat Baltimore 23-16.
"The talent level we have on this team is extremely scary." — Carolina quarterback Cam Newton after the Panthers' 10th straight home win, 42-28 over Tampa Bay.
"Ha, I might be looking for another job here soon." — a joking Chicago linebacker Khalil Mack after the Bears' defense had another good showing without him, this time a 41-9 win at Buffalo. Mack has been sidelined the last two games by a right ankle injury.
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