Best of NFL

Best of NFL: Ezekiel Elliott's 3 TDs, 219 yards lead Cowboys past 49ers

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Best of NFL: Ezekiel Elliott's 3 TDs, 219 yards lead Cowboys past 49ers

SANTA CLARA, Calif. — Ezekiel Elliott gained 219 yards from scrimmage and tied a career high with three touchdowns just days after a legal reprieve put his suspension on hold and the Dallas Cowboys beat the winless San Francisco 49ers 40-10 on Sunday.

Elliott was granted his second temporary restraining order on Tuesday, putting his six-game suspension over domestic violence allegations on hold and then gave the Cowboys (3-3) a big boost on the field.

Elliott matched his season total of rushing touchdowns with two in the first quarter and then took a short pass from Dak Prescott 72 yards for another touchdown on Dallas' first possession of the second half to put the 49ers (0-7) away. Elliott ran for 147 yards on 26 carries to go with the big catch, setting a career high in scrimmage yards in a game.

That performance spoiled the starting debut of rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard, who was sacked five times, lost two fumbles and failed to lead the 49ers into the end zone until he scored on a run with the game out of hand in the fourth quarter (see full recap)

Super Mismatch: Patriots continue mastery of Falcons
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes and the New England Patriots toyed with the Atlanta Falcons -- sound familiar? -- 23-7 in a fog-filled Super Bowl rematch Sunday night that wasn't particularly super.

New England scored the final 31 points to win the NFL championship in February. Placards and shirts reading 28-3 were ever-present in and around Gillette Stadium as the Patriots (5-2) scored the first 23 points in this prime-time mismatch. The Falcons (3-3), who led New England by that 25-point margin in the third quarter of the Super Bowl before folding, were outplayed throughout this one.

While Atlanta looked tentative, if not intimidated, Brady and his offense clinically tore apart the Falcons. Mixing runs and passes, New England controlled the clock and field position. And its defense, ranked at the bottom of the entire league through six weeks, stymied the NFL's fifth-ranked offense.

Brady threw a shovel pass to Brandin Cooks that traveled perhaps a foot, and the receiver used his speed to get into the left corner of the end zone. The other TD was a 2-yarder to James White, who had three touchdowns, including the winner, in the Super Bowl (see full recap).

Goff leads Rams to shutout as Cardinals' Palmer breaks arm
Already one of the more dynamic offenses in the NFL, the Los Angeles Rams found a new gear against the Arizona Cardinals.

Jared Goffran for a touchdown and threw for another and Greg Zuerlein made four field goals as the Rams won for the first time in three appearances in Britain, beating the Cardinals 33-0 at Twickenham Stadium on Sunday.

Goff completed 22 of 37 passes for 235 yards with an interception and Todd Gurley ran for 106 yards and a touchdown for the NFC West-leading Rams (5-2), who finished with 425 yards of offense - their most in a game in more than three years.

Los Angeles has also won five of its first seven games for the first time since 2003, which was the last time the Rams finished with a winning record.

"We haven't been in this position, but we're definitely grateful," Gurley said. "We've just got to take it game by game."

Arizona (3-4), meanwhile, heads home with significant questions after quarterback Carson Palmer broke his left arm in the second quarter (see full recap).

Saints recover late to topple Packers 
GREEN BAY, Wis. — The way that the New Orleans Saints won on the road on Sunday might serve as a valuable lesson in their quest to return to the playoffs.

The defense gave up a long touchdown run on the first series to the Green Bay Packers. Drew Brees had two interceptions — and the Saints weren't even out of the first quarter yet at Lambeau Field.

But Brees bounced back to throw for a touchdown and run for another, Mark Ingram rushed for a score and the Saints recovered for a 26-17 win.

Green Bay lost its first game with Brett Hundley starting at quarterback for the injured Aaron Rodgers (see full recap).

Wilson throws 2 second-half TDs, Seahawks D dominates Giants
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Russell Wilson threw three second-half touchdown passes and the Seattle Seahawk limited the New York Giants' receiver-depleted offense to 177 yards in a 24-7 win on Sunday.

Wilson hit Doug Baldwin with a go-ahead 22-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter. He put the game away with a 38-yard TD throw to Paul Richardson on a play that had to be reviewed because of simultaneous possession and he closed out the scoring with a 1-yard toss to Jimmy Graham with 2:14 to go.

The Seahawks (4-2) limited the Giants (1-6) to 46 yards rushing, 14 first downs and just 24:34 in time of possession. The defense only forced one turnover, but the fumble by Eli Manning led to the Richardson touchdown.

The Giants, who stunned Denver on Sunday night for their first win, were only in this game because their defense made plays and limited the Seattle to a field goal in the first half despite being on the field for more than 20 minutes (see full recap)

Best of NFL: Steelers outlast Chiefs to defeat NFL's last unbeaten

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Best of NFL: Steelers outlast Chiefs to defeat NFL's last unbeaten

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Le'Veon Bell ran for 179 yards and a touchdown, Antonio Brown made an acrobatic touchdown catch in the fourth quarter and the Pittsburgh Steelers held on to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 19-13 on Sunday.

The Chiefs (5-1) still had a chance after Brown's 51-yard reception made it 19-10, moving quickly downfield and getting a 33-yard field goal from Harrison Butker.

And when their defense forced a quick three-and-out, Tyreek Hill's 32-yard punt return gave them the ball with 1:48 to go.

But after the Steelers (4-2) gave up a first down, James Harrison sacked Alex Smith on third-and-10, and the quarterback's incomplete pass on fourth down left the NFL with no unbeaten teams.

Ben Roethlisberger was 17 of 25 for 252 yards for Pittsburgh, bouncing back from his abysmal five-interception performance against Jacksonville last week (see full recap). 

Dolphins rally from 17-point deficit to stun Falcons 
ATLANTA — Jay Cutler and the Miami Dolphins finally generated some offense.

Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons totally fell apart.

The result: a stunning 20-17 victory for the Dolphins.

Cutler threw a pair of touchdown passes, Cody Parkey kicked a pair of field goals and Miami rallied from a 17-0 halftime deficit, rekindling memories of Atlanta's epic collapse against New England in the Super Bowl.

And next up for the Falcons — a rematch against the Patriots.

"It's tough," Atlanta linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. said. "We experienced that feeling before in the Super Bowl."

Ryan, who had five interceptions in the two previous games, threw another crucial pick with the Falcons in position to at least attempt a tying field goal (see full recap). 

Peterson scored twice as Cardinals hold off Bucs
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Adrian Peterson rushed for two touchdowns and 134 yards in an impressive Arizona debut and the Cardinals held off a furious second-half Tampa Bay rally to beat the Buccaneers 38-33 on Sunday.

The Buccaneers (2-3) lost quarterback Jameis Winston to a right shoulder injury in the second quarter, with the Cardinals (3-3) leading 21-0.

But backup Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 290 yards and three touchdowns to bring Tampa Bay back from a 31-0, early third-quarter deficit.

Fitzpatrick's 37-yard touchdown pass to Mike Evans cut the Arizona lead to 38-32 with 2:02 to play.

Larry Fitzgerald recovered the onside kick and, with no Tampa Bay timeouts remaining, the Cardinals ran out the clock (see full recap). 

Cousins inconsistent as Redskins hold on to beat 49ers
LANDOVER, Md. — Jay Gruden took solace in the fact he didn't feel as happy as he normally would when celebrating a victory.

There's reason for that after Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins sweated it out and barely held on to beat past - and possibly future - mentor Kyle Shanahan's winless San Francisco 49ers 26-24 on Sunday. The Redskins (3-2) blew a 17-point lead amid injuries and a pair of turnovers and survived a last-minute drive by 49ers rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard.

"You can see that we're starting to turn a corner a little bit when you're not quite as ecstatic as you normally would be after a win," Gruden said. "I know we can play a lot better."

That includes Cousins, who threw for two touchdowns, ran for one and had an interception against the team he has been linked to for next season because of his connection with Shanahan. Gruden called Cousins' play "efficient" after the quarterback was 25 of 37 for 330 yards passing and added 27 yards on the ground (see full recap). 

Best of NFL: Giants lose Beckham, remain winless as Chargers snap 9-game losing streak

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Best of NFL: Giants lose Beckham, remain winless as Chargers snap 9-game losing streak

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Los Angeles Chargers finally grabbed a win, while the New York Giants just about lost everything.

Philip Rivers threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Melvin Gordon with 2:58 to play and the Chargers rallied for a 27-22 victory Sunday in an ugly game between teams that each went 0-4 in the first month of the season. For New York, it was a fifth straight defeat, and dynamic wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. departed with a broken left ankle.

The worst of all was the injury to Beckham on the series before the Chargers' winning touchdown. He jumped to catch a high Eli Manning pass and had Los Angeles cornerback Casey Hayward pin his ankle making a tackle. Players immediately signaled the sideline and Beckham was eventually carted off in obvious pain with a hand covering his face.

The touchdown pass was Rivers' third of the game and came three plays after Kyle Emanuel had a sack, forced fumble and recovery against Manning at the Giants 11-yard line. It also came four plays after Beckham became the fourth Giants receiver knocked out of the game.

"We found a way," said Chargers coach Anthony Lynn after his first win. "We've been looking for a way to win close games and we found a way. Now we're going to enjoy this one, and tomorrow we'll work on what that lesson really was."

Rivers also hit Gordon on a 6-yard TD pass in the second quarter and had a 25-yarder to tight end Hunter Henry in the third as the Chargers ended a nine-game losing streak dating to late November (see full recap).

Rodgers lifts Packers over Cowboys in another thriller
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Aaron Rodgers threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 11 seconds remaining, lifting Green Bay over the Dallas Cowboys 35-31 Sunday in another thriller nine months after the Packers' divisional playoff win on the same field.

Rodgers capped a 75-yard drive in just 1:02, going toward the same end zone as in the playoff game. Then, Rodgers' long completion to Jared Cook on third-and-20 in the final seconds set up Mason Crosby's winning field goal as time expired in a 34-31 win.

Adams was active 10 days after leaving the field on a stretcher on a helmet-to-helmet hit that resulted in a suspension for Chicago linebacker Danny Trevathan. He had seven catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns.

Dak Prescott had given Cowboys the lead on an 11-yard touchdown run with 1:13 remaining to cap a 17-play drive that lasted almost nine minutes. Dallas (2-3) has already matched the number of losses from the magical rookie season for Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott (see full recap).

Pick 6s fuel Jaguars in sloppy upset over Steelers
PITTSBURGH -- The new-look Jacksonville Jaguars just might be for real.

Telvin Smith and Barry Church returned a pair of Ben Roethlisberger's interceptions for touchdowns and Jacksonville stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers 31-9 on Sunday.

Jacksonville (3-2) beat the Steelers for the first time in a decade by relying heavily on the NFL's top-ranked pass defense. The Jaguars picked Roethlisberger off five times in all and sacked him twice. Rookie Leonard Fournette ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns for the Jaguars, who are over .500 after five games for the first time since 2010 and have already matched their victory total from 2016.

Roethlisberger completed 33 of 55 for 312 yards and his career-high five interceptions, the most by a Pittsburgh quarterback since Mark Malone threw five against Cleveland in 1987.

A week after a sideline outburst generated headlines and drew Roethlisberger's ire, Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown caught 10 passes for 157 yards (see full recap).

Cam Newton's 3 TD passes help Panthers beat Lions 27-24

Cam Newton's 3 TD passes help Panthers beat Lions
DETROIT -- Cam Newton showed he was very focused on football, throwing three touchdowns to help the Carolina Panthers build a lead big enough to hold off the Detroit Lions for a 27-24 win Sunday.

The Panthers (4-1) scored 24 straight points after trailing the Lions 10-3 early in the second quarter. Detroit rallied, but could not stop Newton on his last drive to get the ball back.

Newton came under fire for making sexist comments to a female reporter this week. He apologized after losing an endorsement deal and getting criticized by the NFL.

He was 26 of 33 for a season-high 335 yards. On perhaps the game's key play, he converted a third-and-19 from the Carolina 24 with a sharp, 17-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 2:00 left while clinging to a three-point lead against a team out of timeouts.

Newton threw a 6-yard TD pass to rookie Christian McCaffrey to pull the Panthers into a 10-10 tie early in the second quarter and a 10-yard pass to Devin Funchess for a tiebreaking score with 48 seconds left in the first half. With a perfectly lofted 31-yard pass to Benjamin, the 2015 NFL MVP put Carolina up 24-10 early in the third (see full recap).