The Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Derek Carr could be forgiven for thinking he was due for another miserable day at Arrowhead Stadium.
The Raiders quarterback had never won in six tries in Kansas City, his quarterback rating so low in his personal house of horrors that he probably deserved to be benched. And when Carr threw an early interception Sunday that helped the Chiefs take a commanding lead, well, it seemed as if history was repeating itself.
“I’ve had a lot of sad walks up that ramp,” Carr said later, “but you know what? Not today.”
Instead, the oft-criticized quarterback steadied his shaky team, outplayed Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and led the Raiders to a 40-32 victory. Carr finished with 347 yards and three touchdowns passing. Perhaps fittingly, he executed the quarterback sneak on fourth-and-1 that clinched the win.
“I think we’re back a little bit,” Carr said with a smile, “but we have to win football games against these guys to make it a rivalry. We haven’t done that in a long time. To make it a rivalry, we have to win games like this one.”
The game, tied 24-24 after three quarters, could have gone either way. But with the high-powered Kansas City offense sputtering, the Raiders got the go-ahead touchdown from Josh Jacobs, a field goal from Daniel Carlson and an interception of Mahomes on fourth down to set up Jacobs’s second TD and establish breathing room.
Mahomes quickly answered, hitting Travis Kelce for a TD and Darrel Williams for the 2-point try. But the Raiders (3-2) recovered a squib quick, Jacobs rumbled for a first down as the Chiefs (4-1) burned timeouts, and Carr sneaked for the crucial first down.
“It clicked to me in the locker room. I’m like, ‘Man, this is your first win,’” Jacobs said. “It feels good to see him, and see how good he played in this game, being a captain. He just controlled the game, made sure everybody stayed positive.”
Mahomes spent the entire game trying to escape the Las Vegas pass rush, which manhandled the Chiefs offensive line. He finished with 340 yards passing and two touchdowns along with an interception. Kelce had 108 yards receiving.
“You know, we just didn’t execute at a high enough level,” Mahomes said. “We weren’t running plays the right way and I wasn’t finding the right reads, and that carried over and we didn’t play the second half the way we wanted to.”
The first have ended in 24-24 after the teams combined for nearly 700 yards of offense.
The Chiefs got a touchdown pass from Mahomes to Sammy Watkins, who later left with a hamstring injury, but also had two TD passes brought back by penalties. The first was a 58-yarder to Hill wiped out by a holding call on Kelechi Osemele, who left with a knee injury two plays later. The second was a strike to Clyde Edwards-Helaire late in the half negated by Kelce’s offensive pass interference.
Meanwhile, Carr tossed yet another interception at Arrowhead Stadium, but this time he answered with three first-half touchdown passes: 59 yards to Nelson Agholor, who simply split the Chiefs secondary; tight end Darren Waller in the back of the end zone; and H enry Ruggs III, who hauled in a 72-yard throw for a 24-21 lead.
“They got behind us,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I would say a couple of them were just beat, and then other ones, I’m not sure we were doing the right things. But that’s how these things go.”
Seahawks 27, Vikings 26
SEATTLE — Russell Wilson capped a 94-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf on fourth-and-goal with 15 seconds left, and Seattle beat Minnesota.
Seattle improved to 5-0 for the first time in franchise history with Wilson providing some more prime-time magic and yet another late comeback.
Wilson finished 20 of 32 for 217 yards and three touchdowns. It wasn’t his best performance but he made the key throws late when it was needed.
Seattle’s last drive included a fourth-and-10 conversion on a 39-yard pass to Metcalf early in the possession. Seattle appeared to get a winning TD to Metcalf on second-and-goal, but he lost the ball as he was hit from behind. Given another chance on fourth-and-goal, Metcalf flashed open cutting across the end zone and Wilson delivered a fastball into a tight window.
Minnesota’s Kirk Cousins was 27 of 39 for 249 yards and two second-half TD passes to Adam Thielen. Alexander Mattison rushed for a career-high 112 yards in place of Dalvin Cook after he suffered a groin injury on the opening possession of the second half. But Mattison was stopped on fourth-and-1 at the Seattle 6 with 1:57 left setting the stage for yet another Wilson comeback.
Rams 30, Washington 10
LANDOVER, Md. — Jared Goff threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another, and Los Angeles improved to 4-1 by beating Washington in Alex Smith’s return almost two years since a gruesome injury put his career in jeopardy.
Smith played his first NFL game 693 days since breaking his right tibia and fibula, entering when new Washington starting quarterback Kyle Allen injured his left arm. He was 9 of 17 for 37 yards on the same field he was carted off of on Nov. 18, 2018, before undergoing 17 surgeries to repair the injury.
“It’s just spectacular to see him back on a football field,” said former Washington QB Joe Thiesmann, who broke his right leg in similar fashion 33 years to the day before Smith was injured. “I’m so thrilled and excited for him.”
The Rams are thrilled with such a strong start in a tough NFC West after missing the playoffs last season. They’ve swept the NFC East and are only a three-point loss on a questionable pass interference call away from being undefeated.
Led by Aaron Donald’s four sacks and blanket coverage, the Rams clamped down on defense and ran it up in the rain on offense. Against the team he spent seven seasons with as an assistant, coach Sean McVay dialed up a lot of play-action early, and unleashed Goff’s long-range passing game that had been largely absent through four games.
Washington fell to 1-4 on the season.
Browns 32, Colts 23
CLEVELAND — Baker Mayfield passed for a season-high 247 yards and two touchdowns against the NFL’s No. 1 defense, Myles Garrett forced a crucial safety in the fourth quarter and Cleveland held on for a win over Indianapolis.
Cleveland improved to 4-1 for the first time since 1994.
Mayfield made sure the Browns (4-1) kept the momentum going in their first game without Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb, who sprained his knee last week. Mayfield, though, appeared to hurt his right hand in the fourth quarter.
Cheered on by 12,000 fans inside FirstEnergy Stadium, Mayfield threw TD passes to Kareem Hunt and Rashard Higgins in the first half while rolling up 228 yards passing. The Colts’ defense came in allowing the fewest passing yards, points and led the NFL in interceptions. The Colts fell to 3-2 on the season.
The Browns seemed to be in total control when safety Ronnie Harrison picked off Philip Rivers and returned it 47 yards for a TD in the third quarter to give Cleveland a 27-10 lead.
But Colts returner Isaiah Rodgers brought back the ensuing kickoff 101 yards for a TD — the longest play in the league this season. Then the Browns turned to their defense and a huge run by backup running back D’Ernest Johnson to finish the job.
Steelers 38, Eagles 29
PITTSBURGH — Rookie wide receiver Chase Claypool scored four touchdowns, including the clincher with 2:59 remaining, and Pittsburgh remained unbeaten with a win over Philadelphia.
Claypool, a second-round pick from Notre Dame, raced down the slot, hauled in a dart from Ben Roethlisberger and went the rest of the 35 yards to the end zone as the Steelers improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1979.
A native of Abbottsford, British Columbia, Canada, Claypool finished with seven receptions for 110 yards and three scores and added a 2-yard touchdown run on a jet sweep. Claypool became the first Canadian-born NFL player with three receiving TDs in a game since Joe Rooney did it for the Duluth Eskimos on Oct. 23, 1927.
Roethlisberger completed 27 of 34 passes for 239 yards and the three scores to Claypool. James Conner ran for 44 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers showed little rust despite having an unexpected bye week last Sunday after the NFL scheduled their trip to Tennessee while the Titans dealt with a COVID-19 outbreak.
Carson Wentz threw for 258 yards and two touchdowns but was also picked off twice, both times by Steelers cornerback Steven Nelson. Miles Sanders ran for 80 yards and two scores in his return to his hometown. Travis Fulgham caught 10 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown to give Philadelphia’s injury-ravaged receiving group a needed boost, but the Eagles (1-3-1) couldn’t pull off a second straight road win.
Dolphins 43, 49ers 17
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 350 yards and three touchdowns and Miami sent defending NFC champion San Francisco to its third straight home loss to open the season.
Fitzpatrick connected on a 3-yard TD pass to Adam Shaheen on the opening drive of the game for the Dolphins (2-3) and didn’t let up, quieting talk for at least another week that rookie Tua Tagovailoa should take over as starter.
The 49ers (2-3) are the team with questions at quarterback after Jimmy Garoppolo got pulled at halftime after throwing two interceptions. Garoppolo had missed the previous two games with a sprained ankle and never looked comfortable against a defense that entered allowing the most yards per dropback in the NFL.
C.J. Beathard replaced Garoppolo at the half and threw one TD pass but it wasn’t enough to keep the Niners from falling again at home. San Francisco is 2-0 this season at MetLife Stadium with blowout wins over the Jets and Giants but has lost all three games at home.
The Dolphins dominated on both sides of the ball with five sacks, three takeaways and a nearly perfect performance from Fitzpatrick.
He converted on deep strikes for TDs to DeVante Parker and Preston Williams and led the Dolphins to their highest scoring road game since 1986.
Texans 30, Jaguars 14
HOUSTON (AP) — Deshaun Watson threw for a season-high 359 yards and three touchdowns and Houston got its first win of the season with a victory over Jacksonville in the wake of coach Bill O’Brien’s firing.
O’Brien, who was also the general manager, was let go on Monday after the Texans fell to 0-4 last weekend. Romeo Crennel was named interim coach and at 73 he become the oldest coach in NFL history, passing Hall of Famer George Halas, who was 72 in his last game with the Bears in 1967.
The Texans led 23-14 after a field goal with about 7½ minutes to go and got the ball back when Jacob Martin sacked Gardner Minshew and forced a fumble. It was recovered by Whitney Mercilus, who fumbled on the return, but the Texans pounced on the ball to keep it.
Houston (1-4) pushed the lead to 30-14 when Watson found Brandin Cooks on a 28-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-4 with about five minutes remaining.
The Jaguars (1-4), who were missing three defensive starters because of injuries, have dropped four in a row since their season-opening win against Indianapolis. Minshew threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns in the loss.
The Texans were able to overcome two interceptions by Watson by taking advantage of two fumbles by the Jaguars. Those were the first turnovers forced by the Texans all season.
Panthers 23, Falcons 16
ATLANTA — Teddy Bridgewater threw for 313 yards and two touchdowns, Juston Burris made a huge interception in the end zone and Carolina held on for a victory over winless Atlanta, which fired coach Dan Quinn later Sunday.
The Falcons dropped to 0-5 for the first time since 1997.
Carolina (3-2) built a 20-7 halftime lead behind Bridgewater’s touchdown passes of 57 yards to D.J. Moore and 3 yards to Mike Davis, drawing boos that could be heard even from a sparse, socially distanced crowd of 6,656 at 75,000-seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Atlanta, which this season became the first team in NFL history to squander fourth-quarter leads of at least 15 points in consecutive games, tried to turn the script in the second half. Younghoe Koo booted two field goals and the Falcons drove into position for a tying score in the fourth quarter.
But, on third-and-4 from the Panthers 5, Matt Ryan badly underthrew a pass to Russell Gage in the back of the end zone, allowing Burris to make the interception with 8:49 remaining.
With the Falcons clearly deflated, Carolina drove nearly the length of the field — taking 7:39 off the clock — to set up Joey Slye’s third field goal of the game, a 22-yarder with 1:10 remaining.
Ravens 27, Bengals 3
BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Ravens sacked Joe Burrow seven times, forced the Bengals rookie into a pair of turnovers and effectively stuffed Cincinnati’s running game in a meticulous victory Sunday.
Baltimore stout defensive performance was punctuated by Patrick Queen’s 52-yard fumble return in the fourth quarter. It was the first NFL touchdown for Queen, who played with Burrow last year for national champion LSU.
Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson wasn’t particularly sharp, but it didn’t really matter. Jackson, the 2019 NFL MVP, went 19 for 37 for 180 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.
Mark Andrews and Marquise Brown caught touchdown passes for Baltimore, which matched the best start in franchise history. The previous time the Ravens (4-1) won four of their first five was 2012, when they ended up winning the Super Bowl.
The Bengals (1-3-1) couldn’t run the ball, either. Joe Mixon, who rushed for 151 yards last week in a win over Jacksonville, was limited to 59 yards on 24 carries.
Cardinals 30, Jets 10
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Arizona came to MetLife Stadium and like every other team this season found a cure-all for its woes with a game against a winless team from New York’s rotten football apple.
Kyler Murray ran for a touchdown and threw another to DeAndre Hopkins as the Cardinals snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over the Jets, further putting coach Adam Gase’s future in jeopardy after an 0-5 start.
Murray had a 2-yard TD run and hit Hopkins on a 37-yard strike on a day the Cardinals (3-2) had 496 yards in total offense. Chase Edmonds scored on 29-yard run, Kenyan Drake tallied from a yard out and Zane Gonzalez kicked a 47-yard field goal. Arizona scored touchdowns on drives of 96, 89, 75 and 70 yards.
The 0-5 start is the third in Jets history. The other years were 1980 and ‘96. The ‘96 team went 1-15 and had the worst start in franchise history at 0-8.
Playing with Joe Flacco in place of injured quarterback Sam Darnold and with running back Le’Veon Bell in the lineup for the first time since opening day, the Jets stayed close into the second half. They drew within 17-10 on an 11-yard pass from Flacco to Jamison Crowder, who had eight catches for 116 yards.
The Cardinals quickly put the game out of reach, scoring touchdowns on their next two possessions. Drake powered his way into the end zone with :15 left in the third quarter. Murray (27 of 37 for 380 yards) capped a six-play, 96-yard drive with his perfect toss to Hopkins, who had six catches for 136 yards.