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NFL Roundup: Five teams open with 4-0 record
By THE SPORTS XCHANGE
CINCINNATI — Andy Dalton completed his first 10 pass attempts and finished with 321 yards, and running back Jeremy Hill scored three touchdowns as the Cincinnati Bengals improved to 4-0 for the third time in a franchise history with a 36-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green had seven catches for 82 yards. Dalton finished 17 for 24 with one touchdown.
Quarterback Alex Smith was sacked five times but was 31 of 45 for 376 yards passing for Kansas City (1-3), which managed only seven field goals by Cairo Santos. Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles had 145 all-purpose yards, and receiver Jeremy Maclin had 11 catches for 148 yards.
Cincinnati led by two points in the third quarter when it began to pull away.
Falcons 48, Texans 21
ATLANTA — Devonta Freeman became the first player in NFL history to score three touchdowns in his first two career starts, fueling Atlanta’s rout of Houston.
The Falcons are 4-0 for the first time since 2012. The Texans (1-3) turned it over four times and weren’t in the game for long.
Ryan completed 19 of 26 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown, extending his streak of 250-plus-yard passing games to 11. Wide receiver Julio Jones caught four passes for a season-low 38 yards in less than three quarters of action.
Panthers 37, Buccaneers 23
TAMPA — Carolina converted five turnovers from rookie quarterback Jameis Winston into 27 points, cruising to a 4-0 record with a win over Tampa Bay.
Cam Newton threw two touchdown passes to wide receiver Ted Ginn, and cornerback Josh Norman intercepted two Winston passes, returning one for a touchdown. Just as the Bucs (1-3) looked to get close before halftime, rookie kicker Kyle Brindza missed two straight field goals before the Panthers pulled away.
For the second straight home game, Winston’s first pass attempt was intercepted and returned for a touchdown, this one 46 yards by Norman, who has four INTs and two pick-sixes in a dominant first four games of the season.
Giants 24, Bills 10
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Eli Manning passed for 212 yards and three touchdowns as New York beat Buffalo.
Receivers Dwayne Harris and Ruben Randle and running back Rashad Jennings caught touchdowns for the Giants (2-2), who have won two in a row.
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor passed for 274 yards and a touchdown. Rookie running back Karlos Williams scored a touchdown for the fourth straight game, but was held to 40 yards rushing. Buffalo (2-2) was penalized 17 times, including twice on plays that appeared to be touchdowns.
Redskins 23, Eagles 20
WASHINGTON — Kirk Cousins threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Pierre Garcon with 26 seconds left, lifting Washington over Philadelphia.
Starting on their own 10-yard line with 6:05 left, the Redskins (2-2) used a mix of passes and runs to get to the Eagles 34 at the two minute warning. On third-and-6, Cousins hit Garcon for 14 yards to the 16, and the pair connected again for 12 yards, setting up the game-winner. Cousins finished 31-of-46 for 290 yards and a touchdown.
Philadelphia quarterback Sam Bradford threw three second-half touchdown passes as the Eagles rallied from a 13-0 halftime deficit. He finished 15-of-29 for 269 yards for the 1-3 Eagles.
Jets 27, Dolphins 14
LONDON — The bye week might hold a double meaning for Miami, but coach Joe Phibin said it’s no time to panic.
Philbin and his top lieutenants, defensive coordinator Frank Coyle and offensive coordinator Bill Lazor, are under fire in the wake of a third consecutive loss for the 1-3 Dolphins, the latest a whipping at the hands of New York (3-1) at Wembley Stadium.
“It all seems like the walls are closing in on you. We all realize that. So we gotta look at things and be honest about where we are, what we’re doing well and what we’re not doing well,” Philbin said.
Jets running back Chris Ivory Ivory ran for a career-high 166 yards and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 218 yards and one touchdown.
Bears 22, Raiders 20
CHICAGO — Robbie Gould’s third field goal of the game, a 49-yarder with two seconds remaining, lifted Chicago (1-3) over Oakland (2-2) in a back-and-forth, error-filled game.
Quarterback Jay Cutler, returning after missing one game due to a hamstring injury, led a magnificent late drive with the help of receivers making nifty catches on the sideline. He completed five of eight passes on the winning drive and 28 of 43 for 281 yards overall.
Cutler also lost a fumble on a snap and threw an interception, leading directly to 10 of Oakland’s points. Raiders quarterback Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes but also an interception that set up one of Gould’s field goals.
Colts 16, Jaguars 13 (OT)
INDIANAPOLIS — With franchise quarterback Andrew Luck sidelined by a shoulder injury, Indianapolis turned to their two oldest players to salvage an overtime victory over Jacksonville (1-3).
Adam Vinatieri’s 27-yard field goal with 4:36 remaining in overtime gave the Colts (2-2) a much-needed victory. At 42, Vinatieri is the Colts’ oldest player.
Backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, 40, started in place of Luck and completed 30 of 47 passes for 282 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.
Packers 17, 49ers 3
SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Aaron Rodgers threw for 224 yards and one touchdown, and Green Bay remained undefeated with a victory over San Francisco at Levi’s Stadium.
Green Bay’s defense dominated Colin Kaepernick and a struggling 49ers offense. Kaepernick was sacked six times. Nick Perry had two sacks, while Clay Matthews, Jayrone Elliott, Julius Peppers and Mike Neal each had one at Levi’s, which will host Super Bowl 50 this season.
The 49ers lost their third straight game and have been outscored 107-28 during that stretch. The Packers had lost four straight games to San Francisco, including playoff defeats in the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
Chargers 30, Browns 27
SAN DIEGO — Rookie Josh Lambo’s 34-yard field goal with no time remaining lifted San Diego past Cleveland.
Lambo was wide right from 39 yards with two second left, but defensive back Tramon Williams was called offside, giving Lambo another chance.
The Browns pulled to within 27-25 on Gary Barnidge’s 1-yard scoring catch with two minutes to play. Taylor Gabriel caught Josh McCown’s pass for a 2-point conversion to tie the game, 27-27.
Broncos 23, Vikings 20
DENVER — Brandon McManus kicked three field goals, including a 39-yarder with 1:51 remaining, and Denver hung on to beat Minnesota to remain undefeated.
Peyton Manning, shaking off two interceptions, led the Broncos into position for the tie-breaking score with C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman also contributing key runs. Hillman had 103 yards rushing, including a 72-yard touchdown run.
Denver, off to a 4-0 start for the seventh time in franchise history and the second time in the last three years, sealed the win when blitzing safety T.J. Ward ended the last-ditch possession of Minnesota at midfield by sacking Teddy Bridgewater and forcing a fumble that Von Miller recovered.
Rams 24, Cardinals 22
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The red zone had been like a gold mine for Arizona during its 3-0 start. The Cardinals had scored touchdowns on 11 of their first 12 trips inside opponents’ 20-yard line — the second most such scores in the NFL.
Against St. Louis at University of Phoenix Stadium, the red zone was more like a dead zone for Arizona.
The St. Louis defense forced the Cardinals to settle for five field goals and the Rams offense got three touchdown passes from Nick Foles, two of which went to wide receiver Tavon Austin, as the Rams held on for the victory.
Saints 26, Cowboys 20 (OT)
NEW ORLEANS — C.J. Spiller used his speed on a wheel route to catch an 80-yard touchdown pass from Drew Brees to lift New Orleans to an overtime victory over Dallas at the Mercedes Benz Superdome.
The Saints blew a point-blank chance to win the game in regulation, but Zach Hocker clanged a 30-yard field goal off the left upright with 12 seconds left, setting up overtime.
The Saints won the overtime toss, and it didn’t start well, with Khiry Robinson dropping a first-down pass from Brees (33 of 41 for 359 yards and two touchdowns). But on second down, Spiller blazed out of the backfield down the right sidelines and took a perfect strike from Brees, scoring the touchdown just 13 seconds into overtime. Because the Saints scored a touchdown on their first possession, the Cowboys did not have a chance for an overtime possession.