The Latest: Thomas makes impact for Texans against old team
The Latest on Week 9 in the NFL (all times EST):
Houston didn't waste time getting Demaryius Thomas the ball in his Texans debut against his old team.
The standout receiver turned a screen pass into a 31-yard gain on Houston's fourth play of the game and he had an 18-yard reception on the next snap against the Denver Broncos.
His two catches for 49 yards set up a touchdown pass to Jordan Thomas.
Julio Jones' touchdown drought is done.
The Atlanta Falcons wide receiver 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.
The Washington Redskins' banged-up offensive line got a break with the return of Morgan Moses against Atlanta. Or, maybe not. The right tackle returned in the second quarter after limping off the field in the first. Moses was then called for holding, negating a 28-yard gain that would have put Washington in position to attempt a field goal.
Washington lost left guard Shawn Lauvao to an injured left knee on its first drive against the Falcons. The Redskins started the game without Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams after he had surgery on his right thumb. Lauvao was taken to the locker room in a wheelchair.
Atlanta was leading 38-14 late in the game.
Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger seemed to survive a scare.
Roethlisberger went down after landing hard on the field after a sprint from the pocket, but was able to return after being out briefly. He was tackled from behind by Baltimore's Za'Darius Smith and remained prone for a lengthy stretch of time. It appeared he landed hard on his shoulder, but appeared OK after being helped off the field.
The play occurred early in the fourth quarter with Pittsburgh leading the Ravens 20-13. Josh Dobbs came in to play quarterback for one play before Big Ben returned. Not long after that, Roethlisberger completed a 51-yard pass to Jesse James.
The Denver Broncos are going to honor former receiver Demaryius Thomas with a video tribute before their game with Thomas' new team, the Houston Texans.
Thomas returned to Denver five days after his trade to Houston.
The Broncos also put a "Thank you, D.T." message on the 10-story high poster of Thomas that graces the south side of Mile High Stadium.
The message was right above the tunnel where the Texans' buses pulled into the stadium.
—Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver.
Patrick Mahomes is lighting up the scoreboard again.
Kansas City's quarterback had three touchdown passes early in the third quarter at Cleveland. Mahomes has 29 TD passes this season, one shy of the team record set by Hall of Famer Len Dawson in 1964.
Mahomes threw a 50-yard TD pass to Kareem Hunt and an 11-yarder to Travis Kelce in the first half. He hooked up again with Kelce on a 13-yarder early in second half.
By halftime, he had more yards passing (3,042) and touchdown passes (28) in his first 10 career games than any other player in league history since 1950.
Dalvin Cook has made an immediate impact for the Minnesota Vikings in his return to action after missing five of the past six games because of a hamstring injury.
The second-year running back had a career-long, 70-yard run in the second quarter against Detroit. That set up a short touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen. Cook has eight carries for 86 yards in the first half against the Lions, who are last in the league in run defense.
Defensive end Ziggy Ansah is back for the Lions after a six-game absence because of a shoulder injury. He sacked Cousins in the closing seconds of the second quarter to force a field goal. The Vikings lead early in the third quarter.
Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown has scored for the ninth time, setting a franchise record for touchdowns through the first eight games in a year.
His latest touchdown came on a 6-yard throw from Ben Roethlisberger, who threw a screen to him and watched as he made a move to get the space he needed to get into the end zone in the second quarter.
Brown also made a spectacular catch in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens, but his leaping grab didn't count because he was out of bounds.
James Conner continues to do a fantastic job filling in for Le'Veon Bell.
Pittsburgh's breakout running back scored his 10th touchdown on a 7-yard catch in the first quarter at Baltimore. Since 1950, no one has scored more touchdowns for the Steelers through eight games than Conner. He has made the most of his opportunity to play for Bell, who hasn't signed his one-year franchise tender.
The Washington Redskins are missing most of their starting offensive linemen just minutes into their game against Atlanta.
Washington lost left guard Shawn Lauvao to an injured left knee on its first drive and right tackle Morgan Moses to an injured right knee on its second possession. The Redskins started the game without Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams after he had surgery on his right thumb.
Lauvao was taken to the locker room in a wheelchair. Moses limped off the field. Both were listed as questionable to return.
The Redskins were behind Falcons 7-0 late in the first quarter.
Former NFL receiver Steve Smith has shared a secret.
He 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.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is wearing custom cleats emblazoned with a Star of David, adorned with the phrase "Stronger Than Hate," in response to recent shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood. The Star of David is in yellow and serves as the upper part of the Steelers logo.
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 late-October shooting.
The surging Pittsburgh Steelers and the slumping Baltimore Ravens are among the NFL teams kicking off Week 9.
The AFC North-leading Steelers (4-2-1) are aiming for their fourth straight win on the road against the division rival Ravens (4-4), who have lost three of four.
Gregg Williams has a challenging debut as Cleveland's interim head coach as the Browns (2-5-1) host the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs, who are a conference-best 7-1.
A pair of games later in the day, and night, should attract a lot of attention.
The undefeated Los Angeles Rams travel to face the NFC South-leading New Orleans Saints, who have lost only once. Under the lights in New England, Tom Brady will match up with the Green Bay Packers and Aaron Rodgers.
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