Gordon scores 3 TDs in Chargers’ 31-20 win over Bills

The Associated Press

ORCHARD PARK — Los Angeles Chargers running back Melvin Gordon isn’t concerned about an injury that sidelined him for much of the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.

“Nah, it’s just a little upper body, but I’ll be straight,” Gordon said.

Whatever pain there might have been was offset by Gordon matching a career high by scoring three touchdowns, and the Chargers holding off a late Bills comeback attempt to secure a 31-20 win.

“It felt good because that just showed us what type of offense we can be,” said Gordon, who left with just over 11 minutes remaining. “It’s good to have confirmation, so we’ve just got to keep that going.”

A week after putting up 541 yards but lacking finish in a season-opening 38-28 loss to Kansas City, the Chargers were less productive but more efficient. Gordon scored on three consecutive drives in helping the Chargers build a 28-3 lead with 1:55 left in the second quarter.

The Bills, meanwhile, continued to show signs of unraveling even though rookie quarterback Josh Allen provided the offense some semblance of a spark in his first career start, and a week after a season-opening 47-3 meltdown at Baltimore.

Veteran cornerback Vontae Davis created a significant stir by leaving the team at halftime, coach Sean McDermott said. Running back LeSean McCoy did not return and was still experiencing pain in the locker room because of a rib injury. And McDermott revealed he took over the defensive play-calling from coordinator Leslie Frazier to start the second half.

On Davis, McDermott said: “Pulled himself out of the game. He communicated to us that he was done.”

That move didn’t sit well with Buffalo’s two senior defensive leaders.

“I think the only thing to say is he’s where he needs to be right now,” tackle Kyle Williams said.

Asked where that might be, Williams responded: “That’s not here point blank and simple.”

Defensive end Lorenzo Alexander was equally blunt when asked about Davis.

“I don’t have nothing to say about Vontae so I’ll give him a little bit more respect than he showed us today as far as quitting on us in the middle of the game,” Alexander said. “Never seen it, ever. Pop Warner. High school. College. Pros.”

Davis was credited with one tackle. He’s a 10-year veteran who signed a one-year contract in free agency in March.

The Bills provided Davis a chance to re-start his career after a dispute with former Colts coach Chuck Pagano led to Indianapolis cutting him in November.

Davis made his Bills’ debut against the Chargers after being inactive against Baltimore last week.

The Bills defense wilted in the first half in allowing the Chargers 17 first downs and 284 yards.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers finished 23 of 27 for 256 yards and three touchdowns, including a 10-yarder to Mike Williams , 5¢ minutes in.

The Chargers defense did their part in limiting the Bills to 110 yards and two field goals in the first half.

Allen produced two touchdown drives in the second half, including a seven-play, 75-yard third-quarter opening drive capped by Chris Ivory’s 1-yard plunge.

Allen finished 18 of 33 for 245 yards with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 38 seconds remaining, and two interceptions.

Saints 21, Browns 18

NEW ORLEANS — Wil Lutz kicked a 44-yard field goal for New Orleans with 21 seconds left, Cleveland kicker Zane Gonzalez pushed the second of his two missed field goals wide right in the final seconds, and the Saints held on for a 21-18 victory that extended the Browns’ winless streak to 19 games.

Gonzalez also missed two extra points, one week after his potential winning field goal was blocked in a season-opening tie with Pittsburgh.

Cleveland (0-1-1) carried a two-score lead into the final nine minutes before its latest collapse.

Receiver Michael Thomas had two fourth-quarter touchdowns for the Saints (1-1), who scored 40 points in a Week 1 loss to Tampa Bay, but didn’t find the end zone against Cleveland until 8:41 remained in the game.

Thomas’ 2-yard catch cut Cleveland’s lead to 12-10.

Marcus Williams’ interception of Tyrod Taylor with just less than five minutes remaining set up Thomas’ leaping 5-yard touchdown catch with 2:40 to go, and Alvin Kamara’s run for a 2-point conversion put the Saints up 18-12.

That conversion made all the difference after Taylor found Antonio Callaway with a 47-yard, all-or-nothing heave on fourth-and-5 with 1:16 to go. Gonzalez missed a point-after kick for the second time, and Drew Brees’ 42-yard completion to Ted Ginn Jr. set up Lutz’ go-ahead kick.

Kamara was a bright spot in a largely frustrating day for New Orleans’ offense, gaining 99 yards from scrimmage, including 53 on six catches.

Vikings 29, Packers 29

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Daniel Carlson missed two field goals in overtime, including one from 35 yards as time expired, and the Vikings had to settle for a 29-29 tie after rallying from a late 13-point deficit.

The rookie pushed his final kick wide right, just like his attempt from 49 earlier in overtime.

Packers kicker Mason Crosby matched a career high with five field goals, but his potential game winner from 52 went wide left as time expired in regulation.

Both teams are 1-0-1.

The tie overshadowed memorable performances from both quarterbacks.

Green Bay star Aaron Rodgers played with a brace on his injured left knee and threw for 281 yards and a score.

Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins threw for 425 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the fourth quarter.

Chiefs 42, Steelers 37

PITTSBURGH — Patrick Mahomes tied a franchise record with six touchdown passes. The 22-year-old Mahomes finished 23 of 28 for 326 yards in his third career start as the Chiefs (2-0) won in Pittsburgh for the first time since 1986. Mahomes has 10 touchdown passes through two weeks, the most ever by a quarterback through two games.

Trevor Kelce caught seven passes for 109 yards and two scores. Tyreek Hill, Chris Conley, Kareem Hunt and Demarcus Robinson also hauled in touchdown passes as the Chiefs recovered in the second half after blowing an early 21-pont lead.

Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger shook off an achy right elbow that limited him in practice during the week, completing 39 of 60 passes for 452 yards and three touchdowns. The 36-year-old also leapt into the end zone for a 3-yard score with 1:59 to go that got the Steelers (0-1-1) within five.

Rather than attempt an onside kick, Pittsburgh sent it deep. Two runs by Hunt gave Kansas City a big first down and Steelers linebacker Tyler Matakevich was flagged for roughing the punter as the Chiefs ended a six-game losing streak in Pittsburgh.

Buccanees 27, Eagles 21

TAMPA, Fla. — Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for more than 400 yards and four touchdowns for the second straight week.

Filling in for suspended quarterback Jameis Winston, the 35-year-old Fitzpatrick completed 27 of 32 passes for 402 yards and has the suddenly explosive Bucs off to a 2-0 start for the first time since 2010.

DeSean Jackson scored on a 75-yard reception on the first play of the game. O.J. Howard also had a 75-yard TD catch in the first half for Tampa Bay, which stunned New Orleans 48-40 on the road in its season opener.

Nick Foles threw for 338 yards for the Eagles (1-1), who rallied from a 20-point, third-quarter deficit.

Jaguars 31, Patriots 20

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Blake Bortles threw four touchdown passes, three in the first half, and the Jaguars(2-0) beat Tom Brady and the Patriots in a rematch of last season’s AFC championship game.

Bortles connected with Donte Moncrief, Keelan Cole and Austin Seferian-Jenkins for scores in the first 30 minutes, the second time he’s done that in his NFL career. Bortles completed 29 of 45 passes for 377 yards, with the four TDs and an interception. It was the best game of his five-year career.

The Patriots (1-1) trailed 24-3 in the third quarter before finally showing signs of life. But Dante Fowler, returning from a one-game suspension, stripped Brady for one game-changing play, and second-year receiver Dede Westbrook added another to seal the victory.

Westbrook took a short pass on a crossing route, made one defender miss and then outran another down the sideline for a 61-yard score. He got a key block from Cole.

Cole finished with seven receptions for 117 yards and a score. He made a spectacular, one-handed catch on Jacksonville’s second drive and beat Eric Rowe for a 24-yard touchdown three plays later.

Broncos 29, Raiders 19

DENVER — Brandon McManus kicked a 36-yard field goal just inside the right upright with 6 seconds left, denying Jon Gruden his first win as a head coach since 2008.

With no timeouts and 18 seconds left, Case Keenum hit Tim Patrick for a 26-yard gain to the Oakland 18. Cornerbacks Gareon Conley and Leon Hall couldn’t tackle him inbounds and McManus came on to give the Broncos (2-0) their first lead.

The Raiders (0-2) lost despite a stellar outing by Derek Carr, who completed 29 of 32 passes for 288 yards and a score four days after Gruden called him out for passing up throws to Amari Cooper in Oakland’s opener.

Rams 34, Cardinals 0

LOS ANGELES — Todd Gurley ran for three touchdowns, Jared Goff threw for 354 yards and a touchdown.

The Rams have won their first two games for the first time since 2001, when they started 6-0 en route to the third Super Bowl appearance in team history.

It was the second time in Gurley’s four-year NFL career that he had three rushing scores in a game. The other time was Week 15 at Seattle last season. Gurley finished with 42 yards on 19 carries as he played only three quarters due to cramps.

Goff, who has six 300-yard games, completed 24 of 32, marking the third time in 24 starts he has completed more than 70 percent of his passes when making 25 or more attempts. The 354 yards were only a yard off of his career high, set last season against Houston.

Brandin Cooks had seven receptions for 159 yards.

The Cardinals didn’t cross midfield until the final minute and managed only five first downs as they fell to 0-2 for the first time since 2005. Sam Bradford, the first overall draft pick by the Rams in 2010, was 17 of 27 for 90 yards in his first start against his former team.

49ers 30, Lions 27

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Jimmy Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes, Matt Breida ran for 138 yards and San Francisco’s longest TD run in four seasons , and the 49ers bounced back from a season-opening loss.

Garoppolo nearly made a costly mistake when he threw a late interception to Tracy Walker that was returned to the San Francisco 7. But Quandre Diggs was called for a defensive holding away from the play to give the 49ers (1-1) a first down.

Garoppolo played turnover-free ball a week after throwing three interceptions in a 24-16 loss at Minnesota that led to his first defeat as a starter following seven straight wins.

He threw a 4-yard TD pass to Kendrick Bourne in the second quarter and an 11-yarder to Garrett Celek in the third to hand Matt Patricia, his old friend from their New England days, a second straight loss to begin his tenure as coach of the Lions (0-2). Garoppolo finished 18 for 26 for 206 yards, but was sacked six times.

Falcons 31, Panthers 24

ATLANTA — Matt Ryan ran for a pair of scores for the first time in his career and threw a pair of TD passes.

After scoring on a 1-yard sneak that pushed Atlanta (1-1) to a 24-10 lead early in the third quarter, Ryan delivered the biggest blow with a brilliant scamper midway through the fourth quarter. On third-and-5 from the Carolina 8, he looked around futilely for an open receiver, spotted a running lane to the left and took off for the end zone.

There were three Carolina players waiting for him at the goal line — including 346-pound former teammate Dontari Poe — but Ryan leaped in the air and bowled them all over for the TD that gave Atlanta a two-touchdown lead over the Panthers (1-1).

Ryan finished 23 of 28 passing for 272 yards.

Cam Newton was rocked early on by cheap shot from Damontae Kazee , who was thrown out of the game for the helmet-to-helmet hit while the Panthers quarterback was sliding at the end of the run. Newton was able to stay in the game, throwing a pair of touchdown passes, and he had one last chance to send the game to overtime.

From the Falcons 31, Newton lofted a pass into the end zone for D.J. Moore, who was double-covered and let the ball slip through his hands as time expired.

Titans 20, Texans 17

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ryan Succop kicked a 31-yard field goal with 1:00 left, and the battered Titans held off the Texans 20-17 to give Mike Vrabel his first victory as an NFL head coach.

Succop also kicked a tying 42-yarder in the fourth quarter as Tennessee (1-1) pulled out the win with quarterback Marcus Mariota watching from the sideline. The Titans also were missing their top three offensive tackles.

Deshaun Watson and Houston (0-2) had the ball last. With 17 seconds left, Watson ran around the field looking for a receiver. He found DeAndre Hopkins for a 31-yard completion to the Tennessee 21, but time expired before the Texans could run another play.

Blaine Gabbert, starting for his fourth NFL team, threw for 117 yards and a touchdown.

With Mariota watching because of an elbow injury that created numbness in his throwing hand, Vrabel and the Titans (1-1) got creative. They dipped into the playbook for some wildcat with Derrick Henry on offense, and All-Pro safety Kevin Byard set an NFL record when he tossed a 66-yard touchdown pass on a fake punt.

Colts 21, Redskins 9

LANDOVER, Md. — Andrew Luck threw for two touchdown passes, shook off two interceptions and engineered a game-sealing drive.

Luck was 21 of 31 for 179 yards and had a TD pass in a 25th consecutive game, the longest active streak in the NFL. He was 7 of 8 for 62 yards on a methodical 13-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in a Luck-to-T.Y. Hilton score that put Indianapolis (1-1) up 21-9 early in the fourth quarter.

Executing first-year coach Frank Reich’s creative play-calling scheme, Luck also found Eric Ebron for a touchdown on the game’s opening drive. The balanced attack with 27 rushing and 31 passing attempts kept the Redskins’ defense off-balance and allowed Luck to pick apart a secondary that struggled in coverage and tackling.

After putting up a Week 1-best 182 rushing yards, the Redskins (1-1) gained 65 yards on 22 carries. Adrian Peterson was limited to 20 yards on 11 carries, and receiver Jamison Crowder was actually Washington’s leading rusher with 29 yards on two sweep plays.

By Paul Wager

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