Sunday, October 9, 2016

Raiders take advantage of Chargers mistakes in 34-31 win

 Derek Carr threw a go-ahead 21-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on a fourth-and-2 gamble and added another TD pass to Amari Cooper to lead the Oakland Raiders to a 34-31 victory over the mistake-prone San Diego Chargers.
San Diego (1-4) committed four turnovers and then botched the hold on a potential tying field goal. Rookie Drew Kasercouldn't hold the snap on what would have been a 36-yard field goal attempt.
The Raiders (4-1) took over with 2 minutes left and ran out most of the clock to get a third straight win for the first time in five years and hand San Diego its 10th straight division loss.
Oakland took the lead on a bold call late in the third quarter. Facing a fourth-and-2 at the 21 late in the third quarter trailing by five, coach Jack Del Rio once again trusted his offense to make a big play and it paid off.
Carr found Crabtree deep down the left side for the touchdown that put the Raiders up 25-24. A 2-point conversion pass to Cooper gave Oakland a three-point lead and Jamize Olawale added a 1-yard run that made it 34-24 on a drive set up by Kaser's 16-yard punt.
Carr threw for 317 yards, including a 64-yard pass earlier in the third quarter that gave Cooper his first touchdown of the season. Cooper had six catches for a career-high 138 yards.
Philip Rivers threw for 365 yards and four scores for the Chargers, who were once again done in by their own mistakes. San Diego has three losses already this season in games it led at the two-minute warning.
BIG PLAY ROOKIE: First-round pick Karl Joseph, who started the season on the bench in Oakland, has made a big impact since becoming a starter in Week 3. He intercepted a pass from Rivers late in the first half to set up a field goal and then recovered a fumble to Melvin Gordon to set up Crabtree's TD.
BOSA'S DEBUT: Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa made an impressive debut after missing training camp during a nasty contract dispute and sitting out the first four games with a hamstring injury. He came in on the second drive and had a sack and a tackle for loss. He added a second sack in the fourth quarter.
FAIL TO CONVERT: The Raiders twice had first-and-goal in the first half and had to settle for short field goals. On both drives, Carr appeared to have a touchdown - except Cooper couldn't get both feet inbounds on catches near the sideline. Sebastian Janikowski attempted two other field goals in the first half, missing from 50 yards and connecting from 56 on the final play of the half to make it 10-9.
GIVE IT AWAY: After committing turnovers on the final three drives in last week's loss to New Orleans , the Chargers picked up where they left off. Antonio Gates was stripped on San Diego's first drive and lost a fumble with the Chargers in position to score. Rivers then was intercepted by Sean Smith on a deep pass on the Chargers next play from scrimmage. Rivers threw another interception late in the half, giving San Diego six turnovers in eight possessions. San Diego committed a fourth turnover late in the third quarter when Gordon fumbled, setting up Oakland's go-ahead score.

Bills top Rams 30-19 for 3rd straight win

 Nickell Robey-Coleman returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown, LeSean McCoyrushed for 150 yards, and the Buffalo Bills won their third consecutive game by defeating the Los Angeles Rams 30-19 on Sunday.
Robey-Coleman stepped in front of rookie receiver Pharoh Cooper and strolled down the sideline to put the Bills ahead 23-16 with 3:54 left in the third quarter.
The big play allowed the Bills to finish off the Rams (3-2) and end their three-game winning streak. Robey-Coleman added another interception in the final minutes.
The Bills stopped Bradley Marquez on a fake punt at the Rams 25 with 3:41 remaining.
Tyrod Taylor then threw a 6-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin to put the game out of reach.
The Bills (3-2) were able to take advantage of the Rams defensive line playing without starting ends Robert Quinn and Williams Hayes and tackle Michael Brockers.
McCoy and Taylor found success early on up the middle against the Rams (3-2). Taylor scrambled for 22 yards on third-and-19, and capped off the drive by escaping the pocket to buy more time before finding Justin Hunter for a 4-yard touchdown.
McCoy had a 53-yard run to set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Mike Gillislee early in the second quarter, butCam Thomas blocked Dan Carpenter's extra point.
McCoy had his 28th 100-yard game and second this season. The Bills finished with 193 yards rushing.
Todd Gurley scored the Rams' first touchdown at home since returning to Los Angeles on a 1-yard run late in the first half. Gurley had 72 yards rushing, but three of Greg Zuerlein's four field goals came on drives that stalled inside the red zone.
Case Keenum was 21 of 31 for 271 yards and two interceptions. Tavon Austin had seven receptions for 59 yards and added 26 yards rushing on three carries.
Former USC standouts Reggie Bush, Robey-Coleman, Kevon Seymour and Robert Woods served as the Bills' captains in their return to the Coliseum. For Bush, it was his first time back since pounding rival UCLA for 260 yards rushing and two touchdowns in his final home game in 2005. The Trojans were forced to disassociate from Bush as part of the NCAA sanctions the school received for extra benefits he received while playing at USC.
Bills: Nose tackle Marcell Dareus (hamstring) was inactive. Dareus was suspended for the first four games of the season for a violation of the NFL substance abuse policy. Adolphus Washington got the start, finishing with three tackles and one sack. ... Safety Aaron Williams suffered a shoulder injury in the second half. ... Safety Colt Anderson did not return after suffering an arm injury in the second half.
Rams: Cornerback Trumaine Johnson was carted to the locker room in the fourth quarter with a right ankle injury. ... Offensive lineman Cody Wichmann injured his right ankle on the opening possession and did not return. Jamon Brown replaced Wichmann at right guard. ... Running back Benny Cunningham (hamstring) was inactive, resulting in more work on passing downs by Gurley. Gurley had three receptions for 36 yards.
Bills: Host San Francisco next Sunday.
Rams: Travel to Detroit next Sunday.

Rookie-led Cowboys are 4-1 after 28-14 win over Bengals

These rookie-led Dallas Cowboys keep winning without Tony Romo and Dez Bryant.
Ezekiel Elliott ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns, fellow rookie Dak Prescott threw for a score and ran for another TD, and the Cowboys beat the Cincinnati Bengals 28-14 on Sunday for their fourth consecutive victory.
"Zeke ran really, really well, but a big part of this game was the efficiency of our passing game," coach Jason Garrett said. "Dak read things out well, threw it to the right guy, and was accurate. ... He's grown with the experience he gets. He's goes about it the right way. We're lucky to have him."
Without Romo, who hasn't played yet after his fourth back injury in just less than four years, the Cowboys (4-1) have already matched their victory total from a year ago. Bryant has missed two games with a hairline fracture in his right knee.
The Bengals (2-3) have a losing record a year after being 8-0 midway through the season.
"Everybody needs to take a deep look at their self," said Bengals cornerback Adam Jones, who was still known as Pacman when he played for the Cowboys.
Romo could be ready to play when the Cowboys play their next home game Oct. 30 against Philadelphia. They are guaranteed to have a winning record then, going to Green Bay next week before their bye.
Prescott had his first turnover, a fumble when he was sacked late in the third quarter. But the fourth-round draft pick was 18-of-24 passing for 227 yards, and extended his NFL rookie record to 155 passes without an interception to start a career.
Elliott, on only 15 carries, became the first Cowboys rookie with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games. He also had three catches for 37 yards.
"It doesn't surprise me. He'll deal it up any way you want to have it," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. "You saw that speed take care of itself out there."
Elliott put the Cowboys ahead to stay with a 13-yard TD run on their opening drive. Then on their first offensive snap of the second half, Elliott busted through the middle and into the open on the way to a 60-yard score, punctuating the play with what might be called a JerryWorld jump, leaping up a few feet to celebrate with fans sitting in field-level suites in the end zone.
Prescott ran 5 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter. Then he was scrambling to his right before halftime when he threw on the run to Cole Beasley for a 14-yard score.
It was a homecoming of sorts for Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton, who went to TCU about 20 miles away from AT&T Stadium. The 2011 second-round draft pick was visiting the Cowboys for the first time in a regular-season game.
But the Bengals trailed 28-0 before Dalton threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell with about 10 minutes left. That duo hooked up again for a 5-yard score with 2:39 left. Dalton finished 29 of 41 for 269 yards.
"They got us in longer situations on third down and we weren't able to keep moving the ball," Dalton said. "They took some things away, and we weren't able to overcome that."
The Cowboys are the first team in NFL history to have a rookie quarterback with 1,000 yards passing and a rookie running back with at least 500 yards rushing in the first five games of a season.
Dallas Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith returned after missing two games with back issues. Smith had missed just one game in the first five seasons of his career before his back tightened up late in the week before the third game against Chicago.
Dallas defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence made his season debut following a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy. While he didn't get a sack, he boosted a pass rush that sacked Dalton four times. Lawrence, who led Dallas with eight sacks last season, had a fistful of Dalton's jersey on one play but couldn't pull him down.
The Cowboys have won their last two home games, following an eight-game losing streak in their showplace stadium. They lost 20-19 to the New York Giants at home in this season's opener.

Atlanta Falcons hand Denver Broncos first loss 23-16

Quarterback Matt Ryan and offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan have plenty more in the vault than just superstar receiver Julio Jones - and maybe there's a lot more to these Atlanta Falcons than just some early-season feasting on the NFL's defensive dregs.
The Falcons deciphered Denver's dazzling defense and wrecked Paxton Lynch's first NFL start with a 23-16 win over the Broncos on Sunday, snapping the Super Bowl champs' nine-game winning streak with a dominant and perhaps prescient performance.
They did it without coming close to the numbers that Ryan and Jones put up last week when they became the first duo in league history to sport a 500-yard passer and a 300-yard receiver in the same game.
A week after setting a franchise record with 503 yards passing in a runaway win over Super Bowl 50's other participant, the Carolina Panthers, Ryan threw for 267 yards Sunday and only two of those (covering 29 yards) went to Jones.
"Today, they came out and doubled me. They took me away and they were like, `All right, you're not going to beat us today,'" said Jones, adding he welcomed such attention because "everybody else is going to step up."
That, they did.
Using a steady diet of I-formation runs and short passes that put Denver's linebackers in coverage, the Falcons (4-1) handed the Super Bowl champs their first loss since Dec. 20 at Pittsburgh and left the Minnesota Vikings (5-0) as the NFL's last unbeaten team.
The Broncos (4-1) were on their heels having to respect the play-action because Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were so effective running the ball, combining for 119 yards and a 4.4-yard average.
Denver's "No Fly Zone" defense was unimpressed with Jones becoming the sixth 300-yard receiver in NFL history. They dismissed that performance as a bad day by the Panthers, and they stifled Jones all afternoon in Denver.
Not that it mattered.
Coleman, who played despite having sickle cell trait, which can sometimes be exacerbated at altitude, showed off his breakaway speed by catching four passes for 132 yards to go with his 31 yards on six carries. He caught a 31-yard touchdown pass following Ricardo Allen's interception at the Denver 42 in the third quarter that made it 20-3.
That sequence sent some flustered fans streaming for the exits as the Falcons finished off the Broncos, who hadn't lost at home since Dec. 13 against Oakland.
The Broncos don't have much time to digest the loss. They play at San Diego on Thursday night, and their hope is that Trevor Siemian's bruised left shoulder is healed by then.
Lynch, the 26th overall pick out of Memphis last April, got the starting nod because Siemian's bruised A.C. joint in his non-throwing shoulder was still bothering him a week after he was flung to the turf in Tampa.
"We just didn't think he was ready," Broncos coach Gary Kubiak said.
Actually, it was Lynch who showed he wasn't ready Sunday.
He completed 23 of 35 passes for 223 yards with a late TD to Demaryius Thomas and an interception. He was sacked a half-dozen times, including 3 1/2 times by outside linebacker Vic Beasley, who burned right tackleTy Sambrailo on three of those takedowns.
Lynch's footwork was a mess and his overthrows and misfires ruined any chance the Broncos had of capitalizing on the league's 30th ranked defense, including the NFL's next-to-last pass defense and a patchwork linebacker corps .
"I'm upset obviously because we lost but I'm happy I got the first one under my belt," Lynch said. "If I get put in this situation again, I'll play better."
PROTECTION PROBLEMS: It didn't help Denver that right tackle Donald Stephenson (calf) was deactivated for a third straight week. Ty Sambrailo was repeatedly burned by Beasley before the Broncos moved right guard Michael Schofield over and inserted Darrion Weems.
GROUNDED GROUND GAME: The Broncos' ground game has ground to a near standstill ever since Stephenson and tight end Virgil Green pulled calf muscles in Week 2. After averaging 141 yards and 4.7 yards a carry in their first two games, the Broncos nosedived to 75 yards and 2.8 yards a carry in their last three games.
MILLER TIME: Even in defeat, Von Miller got to the quarterback. He recorded a sack and now has 6 1/2 on the season.
LAST GASP: Brandon McManus kicked a 45-yard field goal with 14 seconds left to get the Broncos within a touchdown but his onside kick was smothered by Falcons tight end Levine Toilolo, and Ryan took a knee in victory formation.

Georgia rebounds with 28-14 victory in Sunday game

Georgia linebacker Davin Bellamyhad a simple pregame message for his teammates eager to bounce back from an awful two weeks.
"Everyone in there has aspirations of playing on Sundays. It's Sunday, it's time to play ball," Bellamy said.
The Bulldogs did just that, rushing for a season-high 326 yards and snapping a two-game losing streak with a 28-14 victory over South Carolina on Sunday in a game pushed back a day because of Hurricane Matthew.
Nick Chubb, back from a sprained left ankle, ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns and Sony Michel had 133 yards - Georgia's first game with two 100-yard backs since Chubb and Todd Gurley did it against Auburn in 2014.
Chubb ran for 18 yards the first time he touched the ball. He ended the series with a 15-yard TD run to put the Bulldogs (4-2, 2-2 Southeastern Conference) ahead for good.
"I think that got everyone going, the whole team," Chubb said. "To come out there, first play of the game getting something going."
Georgia didn't stop - except when attempting to pass. Freshman Jacob Eason finished 5 of 17 for 29 yards with a TD and an interception.
"We've got to improve our ability to throw and catch the ball," Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart said.
It didn't matter much against South Carolina (2-4, 1-4), which came in next to last in the SEC at stopping the run.
"We knew they were going to come out and run the ball. We couldn't stop them," South Carolina linebackerBryson Allen-Williams said. "It's frustrating."
Georgia came in hoping to turn around a miserable stretch where it was pounded by Ole Miss (45-14), then beaten by Tennessee on a Hail Ma ry after taking the lead seconds earlier.
"We needed this win," Bellamy said.
"It felt good to know we are," Michel said. "Georgia football, we're going to run the football."
Chubb , who had just one carry the past two games with a left-ankle sprain, was on his game from the start. He scampered 18 yards on his first carry and ended the sequence with 15-yard TD run.
Chubb added a 1-yard touchdown as the Bulldogs moved in front 14-0. The Gamecocks (2-4, 1-4) could not keep up in losing their third straight game.
"I don't know why you're all so surprised," Chubb said. "We run the ball."
It was the first time since a 2014 win over Auburn that Georgia had a pair of 100-yard rushers. Chubb was part of that, too, gaining 144 yards while Los Angeles Rams tailback Todd Gurley ran for 138.
The Gamecocks cut it to 21-14 on Rico Dowdle's 1-yard TD run with 1:40 left. But Terry Godwin picked up South Carolina's on-side kick attempt and took it 43 yards for a clinching score.
Georgia: The Bulldogs are a different team when Chubb is healthy. His powerful running makes Georgia's other tailbacks in Sony Michel and Brian Herrien even more effective. The Bulldogs need help to contend in the SEC Eastern Division, but won't go anywhere without Chubb in the lineup.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks once more struggled on offense, gaining only 108 yards in the opening half to fall into a hole they couldn't climb out from. The three turnovers, including an interception from starting quarterback Perry Orth, did not help either.
This game had the ultimate impact on the AP Poll - the new rankings were delayed until Monday because this game was moved. While Georgia's run game was impressive, it wasn't a surprise particularly with Chubb in the lineup. Georgia may not get enough votes to re-enter the poll after this one.
The South Carolina coach, Will Muschamp, needed a trainer to help his bloody lip. After the game, Muschamp did not know how it happened. "I got cut somewhere on the sideline," he said.
There were few effects left over from the storm Sunday, although some letters on the stadium's highest level were removed because a few had blown off and others were loosened by the high wins. The crowd, announced at 77,221, was not close to that number, but traffic was smooth without state troopers (they were deployed to help with recovery and cleanup) on hand to help.
Former Georgia teammates and longtime friends in Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart and Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp squared off for the first time as head coaches, although the two have coached against each other on opposing staffs.
Georgia: The Bulldogs return home next week to face struggling Vanderbilt.
South Carolina: The Gamecocks get the week off, then step out of the SEC when they return against Massachusetts on Oct. 22.

Roethlisberger throws for 4 TDs, Steelers blow by Jets 31-13

Gaining Ben Roethlisberger's trust can be a difficult process for any new Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver. Once it's earned, however, it's unshakeable.
Drops. Busted routes. Mental miscues. Roethlisberger can live with the mistakes as a receiver finds his way, particularly when the highs like the ones Sammie Coatesprovided in Pittsburgh's clinical 31-13 win over the New York Jets on Sunday are so giddy.
Coates sandwiched a pair of touchdown receptions around a very visible case of nerves as the Steelers (4-1) pulled away from the Jets (1-4) in the second half. The second-year wide receiver hauled in a 72-yard catch-and-run for a score on Pittsburgh's first possession and cradled a 5-yard score late in the fourth quarter. In between were a handful of grabs of varying difficulty Coates couldn't quite corral and a cut on his left hand that required stitches.
Yet Roethlisberger kept coming back to Coates again and again.
"He hurts as bad as anybody when he drops a ball," Roethlisberger said. "But I want him to know ... I'm going to come back to you. I believe in you. I believe in everybody on this team and he showed why I have that faith in him."
Coates finished with six receptions for a career-high 139 yards and the two scores. He is averaging 23.2 yards per reception this season and is just the second player in team history with a 40-yard reception in five straight games while becoming the deep threat the Steelers needed with Martavis Bryant serving a yearlong suspension for violating the league's drug policy. Not that Coates is ready to relax. As gaudy as his numbers were, he knows they could have been even better.
"I still left a lot on the field," he said. "I'll worry about what I left on the field and work on that grow from that, not what I've done because that's part of my game, that's what I'm supposed to do."
Ben Roethlisberger finished with 380 yards passing and four touchdowns against a New York defense missing star cornerback Darrelle Revis . Running back Le'Veon Bell added 158 yards of total offense, including a career-high nine receptions. Roethlisberger's 15 touchdowns through Pittsburgh's first five games are a club record. He did it on Sunday behind an offensive line that didn't miss a step with right tackle Marcus Gilbertsidelined. Roethlisberger was sacked just once and rarely pressured while dropping back 48 times.
"Our guys were just phenomenal," Roethlisberger said. "They are the catalyst for us. They drive us."
New York's Ryan Fitzpatrick avoided the interceptions that have plagued him this season, completing 25 of 38 for 265 yards and a touchdown to Brandon Marshall. Yet the Jets also mustered little offense in the second half and couldn't keep up as the Steelers put together clinical scoring drive after clinical scoring drive.
New York also punted twice in the fourth quarter while down 11, once on fourth-and-1 at its 34 and again on fourth-and-2 at midfield, though coach Todd Bowles believes he made the right call both times. Pittsburgh finally put New York away following the second kick, going 79 yards in 12 plays to improve to 10-1 all-time at home against New York.
"Time travel doesn't work in life," Bowles said. "It was a mistake if you look at it that way."
Marshall, who finished with eight receptions for 114 yards, wasn't in the mood to second-guess his coach.
"We have a good defense with star players on it and (Bowles) thought we could get a stop," he said. "It didn't work out the way we wanted, but you can't fault him for the decisions."
Brown planned to wear cleats honoring boxing great Muhammad Ali, just as he did the week before in cleats that featured a sketch of golfer Arnold Palmer. Brown was told before the kickoff he needed to switch shoes or face a fine.
"I thought I was OK but it turned out I wasn't," he said. "I made an adjustment."
Brown also toned down his hip-gyrating (and fine inducing) TD celebrations, opting to simply hand the ball to a fan after catching a 5-yard score in the fourth quarter.
"Wasn't time to really put the pumps in," Brown said. "Got to save them for when it's a great moment."
Jets: Linebacker David Harris (hamstring), center Nick Mangold (knee), cornerback Darryl Roberts (shoulder) left and did not return.
Steelers: Defensive end Cam Heyward, whose three sacks lead the team, underwent an MRI on his hamstring after leaving in the first half. Heyward indicated afterward he miss time.
Jets: travel to Arizona to take on the Cardinals on Monday Night Football on Oct. 17.
Steelers: continue their three-game swing against AFC East teams when they visit the Dolphins.

Vikings stay unbeaten with easy 31-13 victory over Texans

 The Minnesota Vikings followed their winning formula again to precision and maintained the NFC's only perfect record.
Adam Thielen caught a touchdown pass to cap Minnesota's opening drive and finished with a career-high 127 yards, and the Vikings defense flustered Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans on their way to a 31-13 victory on Sunday.
"When your offense comes out on all cylinders like that, it just juices us up even more and wants us to play harder," defensive end Everson Griffen said. "We've just got to keep doing that."
Marcus Sherels returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown and Cordarelle Patterson scored on another sharp throw bySam Bradford, who deftly guided the offense to a fifth straight turnover-free game in his fourth start for the Vikings (5-0).
"You play from ahead and give our defense a chance to get after the passer," Bradford said, "I think it's pretty tough on the other team."
Brock Osweiler was overmatched by Minnesota's relentless pass rush and coverage, finishing 19 for 42 for 184 yards, one interception and a late touchdown pass toDeAndre Hopkins while taking four sacks. The Texans (3-2) were denied on 12 of 13 third downs, unable or unwilling to do much other than dump off short passes. Lamar Miller only had eight carries for 20 yards during a dud of a performance by the Texans that felt a lot like the 27-0 loss at New England two weeks ago.
"It was bad. It was bad," coach Bill O'Brien said. "It starts and ends with me. I've got to do a much better job with this football team."
With leading receiver Stefon Diggs out for the game with a groin injury, Thielen (career-high seven catches),Jarius Wright and Patterson capably stepped up for the Vikings. Whitney Mercilus had 1 1/2 sacks as Houston took advantage of a banged-up offensive line to apply plenty of pressure on Bradford, but with touchdowns on their first two drives the Vikings were in cruise control as they eagerly unleashed their defense again on another out-of-sync quarterback.
"I knew we had a great challenge ahead of us, but I felt confident in what we could do," Osweiler said. "So I'm very disappointed."
Texans rookie Will Fuller wasn't targeted until the first play of the second half and had only one catch, a head-scratching fourth-and-16 call in the third quarter at the Vikings 39 that netted 4 yards on a screen play. Fuller had seven catches for 81 yards and a touchdown last week in the win over Tennessee.
Like Thielen in 2013, Sherels went undrafted in 2010 and had to make the team through the rookie tryout camp. This was his fifth career punt return touchdown.
"Everybody loves Marcus," coach Mike Zimmer said, "because he does anything you ask him to do."
After stifling Odell Beckham Jr. on Monday night in the win over the New York Giants, Minnesota cornerbackXavier Rhodes hounded Hopkins. Rhodes was called for pass interference (34 yards) and holding (5 yards) to give the Texans their first two first downs during a second quarter drive that yielded a field goal, but Hopkins was held without a catch in the decisive first half. Hopkins finished with 56 yards on five receptions after the Texans went into catch-up mode.
Texans: SS Quinitin Demps (calf) and CB Johnathan Joseph (concussion) both left with injuries in the second quarter, removing two more starters from a secondary already without CB Kareem Jackson (hamstring). ... In the third quarter, LG Jeff Allen left with a concussion and backup TE Ryan Griffin hurt his neck making an awkward tackle following Andrew Sendejo's interception. Backup LB Brian Peters (quadriceps) was also hurt. He surprisingly handled kickoffs rather than Nick Novak, who made two of three field goals.
Vikings: RG Brandon Fusco (concussion) was forced out on the first drive of the game, replaced by Zac Kerinand leaving the OL without three starters. With Rhett Ellison and David Morgan already inactive with knee injuries, a third TE went down when MyCole Pruitt hurt his knee in the third quarter. ... Patterson hurt his hip in the second quarter and stopped returning kickoffs but was back on offense for the TD, his first from scrimmage since Oct. 19, 2014.
Texans: Host Indianapolis next Sunday night.
Vikings: Take a well-timed bye week, before playing at Philadelphia on Oct. 23.

Streaking Redskins get defensive in 16-10 win over Ravens

The Washington Redskins abandoned their usual formula for victory - the passing of Kirk Cousins - to extend their winning streak to three.
Washington used an 85-yard punt return by Jamison Crowderand an uncharacteristically strong performance by its defense to beat the Baltimore Ravens 16-10 on Sunday.
The Redskins (3-2) allowed 108 points in their first four games and came in with the league's 29th-ranked defense. In this one, Washington gave up a touchdown on the game's opening drive and smothered the Ravens (3-2) the rest of the way.
"The defense stepped up," coach Jay Gruden said. "The first drive was a little scary. Here we go again. But we came back, took it personal and played well."
The game wasn't decided until the final minute, when an apparent 23-yard touchdown catch by Baltimore's Breshad Perriman was overturned by replay. Perriman got his right foot down in the end zone, but his left foot was out of bounds.
That put an appropriate end to a miserable day for the Ravens offense, which was limited to 125 yards after halftime.
"We can't play like that and win," coach John Harbaugh said. "We have to be better than we were today."
Crowder scored Washington's first TD with a sensational run through the middle of the Baltimore punt return team in the second quarter.
The Redskins went ahead 13-10 in the third quarter with a 50-yard drive following a wind-shortened punt bySam Koch. Cousins connected with Crowder for 23 yards before lofting a 21-yard pass to Pierre Garcon, who got behind Jimmy Smith and caught the ball in the left side of the end zone.
The definitive momentum shift occurred minutes later. With the Redskins operating from near their own 3, Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley intercepted a pass by Cousins at the 13, but lost control of the football while reaching for the end zone. The ball rolled out of bounds in the end zone for a touchback, and the Redskins subsequently moved 72 yards for a field goal and a 16-10 lead.
Cousins went 29 for 41 for 260 yards. But it was the defense that won the game for the Redskins.
Washington repeatedly frustrated Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who was 30 for 46 for 210 yards and sacked three times.
The Ravens have lost two in a row - both at home - after opening with three straight wins. All of their games have been decided by six points or fewer.
Baltimore scored a touchdown on its opening possession for the first time this season, on a 7-yard pass from Flacco to tight end Crockett Gillmore.
Crowder responded with the Redskins' first punt return for a touchdown since 2008. But the conversion attempt clanged off the left upright.
A field goal by Justin Tucker made it 10-6 in the second quarter. The Ravens had a chance to add to the lead after recovering a fumble by Matt Jones at the Washington 15, but a fake field-goal attempt went awry.
Playing in a stiff wind, neither team got much from its kicking game. Dustin Hopkins missed an extra point for Washington and came up short on a 56-yard field goal try.
Baltimore opted to try a fake field goal in the second quarter, and failed. Later, Koch got off a 36-yard punt that didn't rise more than 20 feet off the ground.
Redskins: CB Josh Norman missed part of the second quarter with an undisclosed injury. OT Morgan Moseswas taken out with a head injury that was not deemed to be a concussion.
Ravens: Baltimore played most of the game without receiver Steve Smith, who sprained an ankle late in the first quarter. The Ravens also lost OT Rick Wagner (thigh) and endured a second straight game without rookie tackle Ronnie Stanley (foot).
Redskins: Top draft picks Josh Doctson (Achilles) and Su'a Cravens (concussion) were on the inactive list. Also inactive: starting CB Bashaud Breeland (ankle).
Ravens: CB Shareece Wright was inactive. He started the first four games, but struggled in the last three. Ravens say Wright had back spasms recently, but he practiced all week.
Redskins: Jones ran for 31 yards on 14 carries and lost a fumble for the first time this season.
Ravens: Terrance West peeled off a 35-yard run on the opening possession, Baltimore's longest of the year. He finished with 95 yards on 11 carries.

Mariota throws for 3 scores to help Titans beat Miami 30-17

 Marcus Mariota did everything but sack Ryan Tannehill, leaving that task for his teammates with the Tennessee Titans.
Mariota threw for three touchdowns and ran for another score, complementing a defense that sacked Tannehill six times to help Tennessee beat the reeling Miami Dolphins 30-17 Sunday.
Mariota bounced back with a strong game after totaling three interceptions and no TD passes in losses the past two weeks. He went 20 for 29 for 163 yards with no interceptions and no sacks, and ran seven times for 60 yards.
"I saw some open lanes and just ran," he said.
DeMarco Murray added 121 yards rushing for the Titans, who totaled 235 on the ground for their highest total since 2009, according to Pro Football Reference. They improved to 2-3, and Miami fell to 1-4.
Tannehill and the Dolphins offense turned in another woeful performance aside from the occasional long gain. RookieJakeem Grant scored on a 74-yard punt return , Damien Williams had a 55-yard, catch-and-run to set up a touchdown, and DeVante Parker made a 50-yard reception that led to a field goal.
But by the second quarter, the crowd was booing Tannehill. By the fourth, fans were chanting for his replacement, Matt Moore, who hasn't started a game since 2011.
"Do I like it? No," Tannehill said. "But it doesn't affect how I play or how I think about myself."
First-year coach Adam Gase stood firm by the fifth-year quarterback.
"He's not coming out," Gase said. "You can ask me 100 times. He's going to be in there the rest of the season."
But Gase acknowledged serious issues on offense.
"We're inept right now," Gase said. "We can't get out of our own way."
It didn't help that the Dolphins were without both starters on the left side of their offensive line, and the Titans took advantage while doubling their season sack total. Brian Orakpo had two sacks to increase his season total to six, and Derrick Morgan and Jurrell Casey added two apiece.
The Titans' Jason McCourty yanked a pass away from Parker for an interception to set up a field goal.
Mariota directed touchdown drives of 61, 76, 75 yards and 66 yards. He scored his first rushing touchdown of the year on a 5-yard keeper , and threw for scores of 5 yards to Andre Johnson, 20 yards to Delanie Walkerand 4 yards to former Dolphin Rishard Matthews.
Miami, by contrast, totaled eight first downs. Tannehill finished 12 for 18 for 191 yards with two interceptions.
Mariota repeatedly hurt the Dolphins with his running. He scrambled 21 yards to set up the Titans' third touchdown, and converted a third down with a 19-yard scramble in the fourth quarter when his team was nursing a seven-point lead.
"He's a very dangerous guy back there," Murray said.
Murray repeatedly hurt Miami on the flank and increased his season rushing total to 461 yards, putting him on pace for 1,475 yards.
The stout ground game helped the Titans control the ball for nearly 37 minutes.
Johnson improved to 8-0 against the Dolphins and scored his second touchdown of the year.
The Titans, who had been outscored 30-9 in the first quarter this year, scored a TD in the opening period for the first time.
The Dolphins trailed in yards 195-26 late in the first half but were still in the game thanks to Grant. The rookie scored his first NFL touchdown by eluding five tacklers, including Kevin Byard after fielding the kick.
The Titans fired special teams coach Bobby April on Monday, one day after they gave up a 67-yard punt return for a TD.
The Titans play Cleveland next Sunday in the first of three consecutive home games. The Dolphins continue a four-game homestand when they play Pittsburgh.