Chiefs capitalize for 27-23 win after Broncos ditch the run

DENVER (AP) — The Denver Broncos reeled off big run after big run against the soft underbelly of the Kansas City Chiefs defense.

Phillip Lindsay and Royce Freeman ran roughshod over the Chiefs. Each scored a touchdown and Freeman eluded seven defenders and dragged a linebacker into the end zone on his 14-yard score.

“We ran the ball well,” Broncos quarterback Case Keenum said. “We started off so many series just pounding the rock at second-and-1, first-and-10. Even with some loaded boxes that K.C. brought, our offensive line played really well.

“We’ve got to keep running the ball well. If we keep running the ball like we do, we’re going to win a lot of games.”

Nobody could stop Lindsay and Freeman Monday night — except Broncos offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who abandoned his great ground game at key moments in the Broncos’ 27-23 loss .

That included a three-and-out series in which the Broncos lined up in three-receiver sets three times in between the Chiefs’ final two drives, both of which ended in touchdowns as Patrick Mahomes rallied the Chiefs (4-0) back from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit.

Lindsay ran for 69 yards on a dozen carries for a 5.8-yard average and Freeman ran for 67 yards on just eight hand-offs, a whopping 8.4-yard average.

Lindsay’s long run was 19 yards and both Freeman and speedy wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders reeled off 18-yard runs.

“They ran downhill, but you score points by throwing the football,” Broncos coach Vance Joseph said. “We ran the ball to control the game, but you throw the ball to score.”

Clinging to a 23-20 lead, the Broncos didn’t burn enough clock to keep Mahomes on the sideline and give Denver’s exhausted defense enough of a breather.

After a run for no gain, a catch for no gain and a sack, Marquette King shanked a 35-yard punt that gave the Chiefs the ball at midfield for their game-winning drive.

The Chiefs ran well themselves, with Kareem Hunt leading the way with 121 yards on 19 carries.

“It was a big game,” Hunt said. “We’ve been up big on everyone we’ve played so far. It’s good to see where we’re at mentally and be able to fight back and come back in the fourth quarter down 10 points. That shows a team that’s not going to give up.”

Other takeaways from the Chiefs’ sixth straight victory over the Broncos:

MAGIC MAHOMES

Patrick Mahomes threw for 304 yards and a touchdown, a 2-yarder to tight end Travis Kelce that sparked the fourth-quarter comeback. That gave him 14 TDs and zero interceptions through the first month of the season.

But the play everyone was talking was his 6-yard strike to Tyreek Hill with his left hand while getting pulled down by Von Miller .

“I didn’t think about it at all,” Mahomes said. “I was just kind of scrambling left, I felt Von on my back and I knew I couldn’t throw it with my right hand. I knew we needed the first down, so I kind of shot-putted it to Tyreek. … You just have to get the ball in their hand somehow.”

“It caught me off-guard,” Hill said. “I’ve never seen a quarterback who is right-handed throw the ball left-handed.”

Said Hunt: “I thought, is this dude a magician or something? He is doing things that you don’t see often.”

Or ever, suggested Chiefs safety Eric Murray.

“That one is new,” Murray said. “I’m glad we all got to see it.”

Miller didn’t see it.

He was wrapped around Mahomes’ ankles trying to bring down the second-year star.

“I didn’t know he threw it with his left hand,” Miller conceded.

Neither did linebacker Shane Ray.

“I didn’t see the hand switch,” Ray said. “I heard about it.”

Along with everyone else.

KEENUM CONUNDRUM

Through one month, Case Keenum isn’t the same quarterback who led the Minnesota Vikings to the NFC championship in January after injuries to Sam Bradford and Teddy Bridgewater.

So far, Keenum has just three touchdown passes to go with six interceptions with the Broncos after throwing for 22 TDs and just seven interceptions.

“We believe in Case and he’s shown he can win games late for us,” Joseph said.

Keenum nearly pulled off his third fourth-quarter comeback for the Broncos but he overthrew a wide-open Demaryius Thomas streaking down the Chiefs sideline with 16 seconds left from the K.C. 28.

“It was close,” Keenum said. “I want to watch it on film. But it felt really close. There’s a few, especially those types of plays that I lose a little sleep over, thinking about it, laying at night in bed. It’s a tough one, it stings.”

KING’S STING

The Broncos brought in a practice squad punter to push King last week but he continued his disappointing first season in Denver by averaging just 41 yards on three punts with a paltry net of 28.7.

His 35-yard duck gave the Chiefs the ball at their 40 with 4 1/2 minutes left.

“He’s got to perform better,” Joseph said. “We’re at home and it’s his job to flip the field. It ain’t happening.”

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Bears shut down Rams, close in on NFC North title

Bears shut down Rams, close in on NFC North title

Bears shut down Rams, close in on NFC North title

In a marquee matchup of flashy offense against tough defense, it was all defense.

The Chicago Bears held the Los Angeles Rams to 214 total yards and kept them out of the end zone Sunday night, logging a 15-6 win at Soldier Field that might play a major role in shaping the NFC playoffs when they start next month.

Chicago (9-4) moved another step closer to the NFC North title. If Minnesota (6-5-1) loses on Monday night in Seattle, the Bears can wrap up the division crown next week at home against Green Bay.

Los Angeles (11-2), meanwhile, sealed the NFC West last week but fell out of the No. 1 seed in the conference on Sunday. New Orleans (11-2) won earlier Sunday in Tampa Bay, and owns the top seed by virtue of a 45-35 win over the Rams on Nov. 4 in the Superdome.

With the game tied 6-6 at the half, Chicago took the lead for good when Eddie Goldman sacked Jared Goff in the end zone 42 seconds into the third quarter on the Rams’ second play of the half.

The Bears then scored the game’s only touchdown on the ensuing possession, ripping off an 81-yard, nine-play drive and ending it with a little trickery. Mitchell Trubisky faked a handoff to defensive lineman Akiem Hicks, who scored a rushing touchdown last week, and flipped a 2-yard scoring strike to offensive lineman Bradley Sowell.

That was one of the few highlights for either quarterback. Trubisky completed 16 of 30 passes for just 110 yards, tossing three interceptions and finishing with a passer rating of 33.3. Goff endured his worst game since the end of his rookie season, hitting 20 of 44 attempts with four picks and 180 yards to finish with a 19.1 rating.

Chicago also shut down MVP candidate Todd Gurley, who rushed 11 times for only 28 yards and caught three passes for 30 yards. Los Angeles’ only scoring came on first-half field goals of 27 and 50 yards by Greg Zuerlein.

Cody Parkey booted 39- and 31-yard field goals for the Bears, which got 101 yards on 19 rushes from Jordan Howard.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Chargers RB Ekeler deals with another setback

Report: Chargers RB Ekeler deals with another setback

Report: Chargers RB Ekeler deals with another setback

Los Angeles Chargers running back Austin Ekeler’s status is uncertain for next week against the Kansas City Chiefs, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Ekeler recently has dealt with stingers and reportedly re-aggravated the injury Sunday during the Chargers’ 26-21 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. He had 15 carries for 66 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 28 yards before his exit.

The 23-year-old has four rushing touchdowns and six receiving touchdowns in 29 games with the Chargers. He has only four days to recover for the Chargers’ next game on Thursday night against the Chiefs.

At 10-3, the Chargers trail the Chiefs by one game in the AFC West playoff race.

–Field Level Media

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Cowboys RG Martin (knee) to have MRI Monday

Cowboys RG Martin (knee) to have MRI Monday

Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys RG Martin (knee) to have MRI Monday

Dallas Cowboys right guard Zack Martin will have an MRI on Monday after leaving Sunday’s game against the Philadelphia Eagles with a left knee injury, owner Jerry Jones told reporters after the game.

Jones said the team is concerned about Martin, but added initial tests showed no structural damage.

Martin, who sprained the MCL in the same knee earlier this season, went down early in the fourth quarter and headed straight to the locker room. He did not return and was replaced by Connor Williams.

Williams struggled in pass protection, as Fletcher Cox collected a half-sack, two quarterback hits and an additional sack that was nullified by penalty over the remainder of the game, but the Cowboys won in overtime.

Martin, 28, has yet to miss an NFL game through nearly five full seasons, earning Pro Bowl nods in each of his four campaigns and two first-team All-Pro selections.

Williams, a second-round rookie, began the season as the starter at left guard but did not get his job back after having arthroscopic knee surgery in November. Xavier Su’a-Filo has started the last five games at that spot.

The Cowboys have been without All-Pro center Travis Frederick — who is not expected to return this year — all season as he recovers from Guillain-Barre syndrome. All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith had missed the last two games with stinger issues before returning on Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Kaepernick would play for Redskins

Report: Kaepernick would play for Redskins

Report: Kaepernick would play for Redskins

Free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick is ready and willing to play for the Washington Redskins if they have interest in signing him, Yahoo Sports reported on Sunday.

Yahoo cited two sources close to Kaepernick saying he is willing to play for any of the league’s teams, including Washington. Asked if Kaepernick would play for the Redskins as soon as Week 15, a source told Yahoo, “He’s a professional Super Bowl-caliber quarterback and in the best shape of his life and he would play if given the opportunity on any NFL team.”

Some have speculated that Kaepernick would not be interested in playing for the team owned by Dan Snyder, both because of Snyder’s opposition to players who have knelt during the national anthem and because of the team’s controversial nickname and logo.

Washington head coach Jay Gruden told reporters this week the team had discussed Kaepernick as an option after losing its top two quarterbacks — Alex Smith and Colt McCoy — to injury, but concluded it would be too difficult to fit Kaepernick into the offense quickly.

“There’s not a lot of time to get a brand-new quarterback and system installed in a couple of days,” Gruden said. “He’s been talked about, but we’ll probably go in a different direction.”

ESPN reported Sunday morning that no NFL teams, including Washington, have reached out to Kaepernick. Yahoo confirmed that the Redskins have not contacted Kaepernick.

Washington signed Mark Sanchez on Nov. 19 after Smith went down, then added Josh Johnson — who hadn’t thrown a pass in an NFL game since 2011 — this week after McCoy was hurt Monday.

Sanchez started Sunday’s 40-16 loss to the New York Giants but was benched in the third quarter after going 6-of-14 passing for 38 yards and two interceptions. Johnson led two scoring drives and was 11-of-16 passing for 195 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while rushing for 45 yards and a score.

Gruden told reporters afterward that the team would get Johnson ready to start next week at the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Kaepernick, who began kneeling during the national anthem in August of 2016 as a form of protest against racial injustice, has an active collusion grievance against the NFL alleging owners conspired to keep him from being signed. He has been a free agent since early in 2017.

–Field Level Media

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NFL Notebook: Ravens QB situation gets a little cloudier

NFL Notebook: Ravens QB situation gets a little cloudier

NFL Notebook: Ravens QB situation gets a little cloudier

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson missed the final two plays of his team’s 27-24 overtime loss in Kansas City on Sunday after he was hit but appears to have avoided major injury. However it looks like the Ravens now have a decision to make behind center.

Jackson, who was seen going into the X-ray room in the locker room after the game, met reporters a few minutes later and downplayed the injury. “They just wanted to see what happened, but I’m good,” Jackson said.

Robert Griffin III replaced Jackson and threw two incompletions to turn the ball over on downs to end the game. As for next week, Baltimore coach John Harbaugh revealed after the game that Joe Flacco was medically cleared from his hip injury earlier this weekend and could have played.

Harbaugh has repeatedly declined to answer questions about who will start moving forward, though he has not ruled out the possibility of Flacco and Jackson playing for stretches.

–In more quarterback shuffling, Washington head coach Jay Gruden strongly implied after the Redskins’ 40-16 loss to the New York Giants that Josh Johnson, not Mark Sanchez, will take the reins next weekend when the Redskins travel to Jacksonville to face the Jaguars.

The Redskins signed Sanchez on Nov. 19, the day after starting quarterback Alex Smith was lost for the season with a broken tibia and fibula on his right leg. Backup Colt McCoy started four days later on Thanksgiving but broke his leg in a loss to Philadelphia on Dec. 3. Enter Johnson, signed by the Redskins to back up Sanchez despite having last thrown an NFL pass in 2011.

Sanchez completed 6 of 14 attempts for 38 yards and was intercepted twice by the Giants before being benched. Johnson led two scoring drives and was 11-of-16 passing for 195 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

–New England quarterback Tom Brady broke one record and lost another.

In the second quarter against Miami, Brady found Julian Edelman for a 2-yard touchdown, the 580th of Brady’s career (including playoffs). That surpasses the career mark set by Peyton Manning. The latter remains the NFL’s regular-season leader in touchdown passes with 539.

In Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers broke Brady’s NFL record of 358 consecutive passes without an interception, which Brady set during the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

–The Baltimore Ravens are calling racist and homophobic tweets that appeared to be sent more than five years ago from the Twitter account of second-year fullback-defensive lineman Patrick Ricard “totally unacceptable.”

An undrafted second-year player from Maine, Ricard has played 10 games this season after appearing in all 16 last season. He has made four tackles and played 90 snaps on offense.

–Dallas Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has tried multiple times to convince retired tight end Jason Witten to return to the team but continues to be rebuffed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Garrett had attempted to persuade the 15-year veteran to play another year before the 2018 NFL Draft and apparently renewed those efforts as the Cowboys have remained in playoff contention this season, despite a lack of production from tight ends.

–CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported there is mounting speculation that should the Jacksonville Jaguars fire head coach Doug Marrone, current Jags executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin will fill the role himself next season.

The 72-year-old Coughlin was the first head coach in Jaguars’ history, from 1995-2002. He then coached the New York Giants to two Super Bowl championships during his tenure from 2004-15.

–While the NFL mulls further punishment for Kareem Hunt, the former Kansas City Chiefs running back is seeking counseling for alcohol and anger issues, according to multiple reports.

The NFL placed Hunt on the commissioner’s exempt list while it investigates a trio of incidents, meaning Hunt is unable to play for any team that might sign him. The Chiefs released Hunt after the video surfaced of him kicking then-19-year-old Abigail Ottinger from Berea, Ohio.

–The Oakland Raiders and general manager Reggie McKenzie will part ways after the season ends, according to a CBS Sports report.

Head coach Jon Gruden, in the first year of a 10-year $100 million contract, and McKenzie apparently haven’t viewed players the same way this season as the Raiders have stumbled to a 2-10 record.

–Field Level Media

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Ravens condemn Ricard’s racist, homophobic tweets

Ravens condemn Ricard's racist, homophobic tweets

Tweets that appeared to be

Ravens condemn Ricard’s racist, homophobic tweets

Tweets that appeared to be sent more than five years ago from the Twitter account of fullback-defensive lineman Patrick Ricard were called “totally unacceptable” Sunday morning by the Baltimore Ravens.

Ricard, a second-year player, was inactive for Sunday’s game against Kansas City, the day after the tweets came to light.

“The tweets are totally unacceptable, and we have addressed the matter with Pat,” the Ravens said in a statement. “We expect he’ll have something to say later today after the game.”

An undrafted second-year player from Maine, Ricard has played 10 games this season after appearing in all 16 last season. He has made four tackles and has played 90 snaps on offense.

The tweets have been deleted but were captured by some users via screenshot. His Twitter account has been set to private.

On Sunday morning, hours after winning the Heisman Trophy, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray also apologized for old homophobic tweets that surfaced late Saturday.

–Field Level Media

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Lions knock off lowly Cardinals

Lions knock off lowly Cardinals

The Detroit Lions won the game on

Lions knock off lowly Cardinals

The Detroit Lions won the game on the field, but the Arizona Cardinals might have been the biggest winners off of it.

Matthew Stafford completed 15 of 23 passes for 101 yards to lead the Lions to a 17-3 win at Arizona on Sunday in a matchup of two struggling teams.

The loss wasn’t all bad though for the Cardinals when it comes to draft positioning.

Arizona (3-10) shares the worst record in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders with three games to play as teams look ahead to 2019 and what assets they can get in next spring’s draft.

The game was the predictable struggle between two of the league’s worst offensive teams.

Arizona entered last in the league in scoring offense behind a patchwork offensive line, while the Lions were 23rd.

After a scoreless first quarter, Detroit got on the board with 9:35 left in the second quarter, taking a 3-0 lead on a 47-yard field goal by Matt Prater.

The score capped off a 13-play drive that took 7:56 off of the clock, but only went 55 yards.

With 3:03 left in the third quarter, the Lions scored the first touchdown of the game, but it wasn’t provided by the offense.

Detroit cornerback Darius Slay picked off a pass from Arizona quarterback Josh Rosen and scampered 67 yards down the sideline for a touchdown that made it 10-0 Lions.

It was the first interception return for a touchdown in Slay’s career.

Arizona finally got on the scoreboard with 8:14 left on a 22-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez, which was the last play in a nine-play, 62-yard drive that took 5:10 off of the clock.

But the Lions put the game away on their ensuing possession when they drove 75 yards in seven plays and took a 17-3 lead on a 1-yard touchdown run by Zach Zenner with 4:03 remaining.

Zenner rushed for 43 yards on seven carries during the drive.

Rosen went 26 of 41 passing for 240 yards in defeat for Arizona.

–Field Level Media

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Late Carr TD, missed FG lift Raiders over Steelers

Late Carr TD, missed FG lift Raiders over Steelers

Late Carr TD, missed FG lift Raiders over Steelers

Derek Carr hit Derek Carrier for a 6-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal with 21 seconds remaining Sunday to give the Oakland Raiders a 24-21 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers.

In a seesaw game, Carr was 5 of 7 for 74 yards on the winning drive. For the game, he threw for 322 yards and also had a scoring pass to Lee Smith. Doug Martin ran for a touchdown for the Raiders (3-10).

Chris Boswell slipped and shanked a 40-yard field-goal attempt as time expired, leaving Pittsburgh (7-5-1) with a three-game losing streak.

After sitting out most of the second half because of a rib injury, Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger returned to lead the Steelers to a go-ahead drive, going 6 for 6 and hitting JuJu Smith-Schuster with a 1-yard soft-toss touchdown pass to make it 21-17 Steelers with 2:55 remaining.

Roethlisberger was 25 of 29 for 282 yards with two scoring passes to Smith-Schuster. He apparently got hurt when he got sacked by Clinton McDonald late in the second quarter, although he played the remainder of the half.

Stevan Ridley, starting for injured running back James Conner, ran for a touchdown for the Steelers.

The Raiders waltzed 74 yards to open the game, with Martin leaping over the pile for a 1-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead.

Pittsburgh tied it at 12:18 of the second quarter when Ridley followed fullback Roosevelt Nix’s block for a 2-yard scoring run up the middle, his first touchdown of the season.

Daniel Carlson’s 44-yard field goal pushed Oakland to a 10-7 lead at 8:08 of the second.

The Steelers for the eighth time this season scored on their final drive of the first half, this time on Smith-Schuster’s tip-toe catch at the back of the end zone for a 1-yard reception and a 14-10 lead with 10 seconds left.

After a scoreless third quarter, Oakland leapfrogged back in front 17-14 with a 73-yard, 14-play drive. Smith snuck behind the coverage in the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown catch from Carr.

–Field Level Media

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Cooper’s third TD lifts Cowboys over Eagles in OT

Cooper's third TD lifts Cowboys over Eagles in OT

Cooper’s third TD lifts Cowboys over Eagles in OT

Quarterback Dak Prescott threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper with 1:55 remaining in overtime to lift the Dallas Cowboys past the visiting Philadelphia Eagles 29-23 on Sunday.

The pass was deflected by Rasul Douglas and into Cooper’s hands before he raced in for the winning score and the fifth straight win for the Cowboys, who never let the Eagles touch the ball in overtime.

Prescott was 42 of 54 for a career-high 455 yards, two interceptions and three touchdowns, all to Cooper, who caught 10 passes for 217 yards. The Cowboys improved to 8-5, two games ahead of the Eagles (6-7) and Washington Redskins (6-7) in the NFC East with three games to play.

Quarterback Carson Wentz was 22 of 32 for 228 yards and three touchdowns, but the Eagles had their two-game winning streak snapped.

Wentz lost his ninth fumble of the season late in the second and the Cowboys had one final drive before halftime. Amazingly, Brett Maher’s 62-yard field goal attempt at the buzzer sailed straight through, and the Cowboys led 6-0. It was the longest field goal in Dallas franchise history.

After Maher added a 21-yarder to make it 9-0, the Eagles kept battling, scoring their first touchdown when Wentz connected with Alshon Jeffery from 2 yards out with 6:04 remaining in the third. Jake Elliott’s extra point misfired, and the Eagles trailed 9-6.

After Elliott tied it early in the fourth, the Cowboys marched 75 yards in nine plays, culminated with Prescott tossing a 28-yard touchdown pass to Cooper for a 16-9 lead with 7:46 left.

The Eagles took the ensuing kickoff and moved 47 yards with Dallas Goedert catching a 3-yard touchdown pass from Wentz to tie the game at 16 with 3:12 remaining.

On Dallas’ next play from scrimmage, Prescott threw a 75-yard touchdown to Cooper to quickly go back ahead 23-16 just 11 seconds later.

The Eagles appeared to tie the game again, but a questionable offensive-pass-interference penalty was called on Goedert, nullifying a 75-yard touchdown. They rebounded and managed to tie the game at 23 with 1:39 left when Wentz threw a 6-yard touchdown to Darren Sproles.

Prescott was sacked by Fletcher Cox on the final play of regulation to send the game into overtime.

–Field Level Media

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Kittle’s record day carries 49ers over Broncos

Kittle's record day carries 49ers over Broncos

George

Kittle’s record day carries 49ers over Broncos

George Kittle caught an 85-yard touchdown pass on a record-setting day Sunday, helping the San Francisco 49ers build a big lead en route to a 20-14 victory over the Denver Broncos in Santa Clara, Calif.

Kittle caught seven passes for 210 yards, an all-time record for a 49ers tight end, helping San Francisco (3-10) snap a three-game losing streak while handing the Broncos (6-7) a critical setback in their pursuit of a playoff spot in the AFC.

Phillip Lindsay was held to 30 yards rushing on 14 carries, but did manage a 1-yard touchdown run for the Broncos, who fell a game behind Baltimore, Indianapolis, Tennessee and Miami in the chase for the final playoff berth in the AFC with just three games to play.

Robbie Gould kicked a pair of early field goals to put the 49ers up 6-0 before Nick Mullens connected with Kittle on the 85-yard catch-and-run that extended the lead to 13-0 with 9:47 remaining in the second period.

All of Kittle’s receiving yards came in the first half, taking him fewer than 30 minutes to break Vernon Davis’ franchise-record 180 yards against Arizona in 2013.

Mullens padded the 49ers’ advantage to 20-0 by halftime with a 1-yard connection with Dante Pettis with eight seconds left in the half.

The Broncos did all the scoring in the second half, with Lindsay recording his touchdown in the third quarter before Case Keenum threw a 1-yard TD pass to DaeSean Hamilton with 3:53 to play, getting the Broncos within 20-14.

But the 49ers were able to run off almost the entire remaining time, allowing the Broncos time for just one desperation pass before the final gun.

Mullens finished 20-for-33 for 332 yards and the two scores. He was intercepted once.

The 49ers’ Jeff Wilson Jr. was the game’s leading rusher with 90 yards on 23 carries.

Keenum went 24-for-42 for 186 yards and his one TD pass for Denver, which had won three in a row.

Lindsay’s touchdown run was his sixth in the last four games.

The 49ers outgained the Broncos 389-274.

–Field Level Media

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Lions lose Ansah, Hand, Wagner to injury

Lions lose Ansah, Hand, Wagner to injury

Lions lose Ansah, Hand, Wagner to injury

Detroit Lions defensive linemen Ezekiel Ansah and Da’Shawn Hand were each carted to the locker room in the first quarter of Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals and did not return.

Hand went down first with a knee injury and Ansah followed with a shoulder injury. Ansah, who appeared to be in significant pain on the field, was immediately ruled out by the team, with Hand ruled out shortly afterward.

Right tackle Rick Wagner also left and was later ruled out with a concussion.

Ansah, 29, has had a lost season while playing on the franchise tag. He hurt his shoulder after 19 snaps in Week 1 and did not play again until Week 9, though he has been effective (four sacks, seven QB hits) during his seven games on the field. Ansah is scheduled to hit free agency in March.

Hand, a fourth-round rookie, has three sacks and two QB hits in 12 games (seven starts) while drawing praise as one of Detroit’s best interior linemen.

Wagner, 29, has started all 12 games in his second year with the Lions, whom he joined on a five-year, $47.5 million contract in free agency in March of 2017. He’s allowed 5.5 sacks and taken two penalties this season after allowing six sacks and taking three penalties in 2017.

–Field Level Media

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Chargers top Bengals, keep pace with KC

Chargers top Bengals, keep pace with KC

Chargers top Bengals, keep pace with KC

Darius Philon’s sack on a two-point conversion attempt with less than two minutes remaining sealed the Los Angles Chargers’ 26-21 victory over the visiting Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday and helped to solidify their playoff chances.

Phillip Rivers was 19-of-29 passing for 220 yards and got the Chargers off to a quick start when he hit Keenan Allen for a 14-yard touchdown barely three minutes into the game. Running back Austin Ekeler scored nine seconds into the second quarter for a 14-3 lead, but Chargers struggled for offense from that point on but held on nonetheless.

The Chargers (10-3), the top wild-card team in the AFC, remain behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West standings. The Chargers and Chiefs are set for a showdown at Kansas City on Thursday night.

Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel was 18 of or 170 yards and a touchdown in his second career start as Cincinnati (5-8) lost its fifth consecutive game and dropped to 5-8 after opening the season with a 4-1 record.

Bengals running back Joe Mixon rushed for 111 yards and scored on a 1-yard run with 1:50 remaining to cut the Chargers’ lead to 23-21.

But Driskel was sacked by Philon on the two-point conversion, the Chargers recovered the onside kick, and Los Angeles nailed down the victory with a 45-yard field goal from Michael Badgley with 49 seconds to play. The Bengals failed to convert a pair of two-point conversions in the game.

The Chargers were off and running early, collecting 10 first downs in the opening quarter. But the Bengals defense recovered to give up just seven first downs the rest of the way.

Despite the Chargers quick start, the Bengals still closed two within two points in the second quarter at 14-12 following a 6-yard Driskel scoring pass to John Ross with 20 seconds left in the quarter. But then came the first failed two-point conversion attempt.

The Chargers went into halftime with a 17-12 lead following a franchise-record 59-yard field goal by Badgley. The kick came on an untimed down to close out the first half after Bengals defensive end Jordan Willis jumped offside as time expired.

Ekeler rushed for 66 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown for the Chargers. Rivers saw his 13-game streak of at least two touchdown passes in a game (dating back to last season) come to an end.

The Chargers have now won at least 10 games for the first time since 2009 when they went 13-3 and lost to the New York Jets in an AFC divisional game.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers QB Roethlisberger injures ribs, returns late in loss

Steelers QB Roethlisberger injures ribs, returns late in loss

Steelers QB Roethlisberger injures ribs, returns late in loss

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed most of the second half of Sunday’s game at the Oakland Raiders due to injured ribs, and his late return was not enough to lift Pittsburgh to victory.

The team announced early in the third quarter that Roethlisberger was questionable to return, after backup Joshua Dobbs opened the second half with the starters. Dobbs played the majority of the half until the Raiders pulled ahead 17-14 with 5:20 remaining, spurring Roethlisberger to come back in.

Roethlisberger promptly led a six-play, 75-yard drive capped by a 1-yard touchdown pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster to retake the lead at 21-17.

But Derek Carr countered with an eight-play, 75-yard drive to reclaim the lead, 24-21, with 21 seconds remaining.

Roethlisberger got the Steelers in position to send it to overtime with a successful hook-and-lateral play in the final seconds, but Chris Boswell’s 40-yard field-goal attempt on the final play was blocked.

Roethlisberger’s injury appeared to happen when he was sacked by Clinton McDonald midway through the second quarter, forcing a field-goal attempt that was missed by Boswell. Roethlisberger got up slowly but came back out on the next possession and led the Steelers right down the field for a touchdown, going 6 of 7 for 52 yards and a 1-yard score to Smith-Schuster.

But Dobbs came out as the Steelers got the ball to start the second half, protecting a 14-10 lead.

Roethlisberger was not on the sideline to start the third quarter. He came jogging out of the tunnel midway through the quarter but did not enter the game until the final two drives.

Dobbs finished 4 of 9 for 24 yards and an interception, along with two carries for 15 yards. Roethlisberger went 25 of 29 for 282 yards, the two touchdowns and no interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers QB Roethlisberger injures ribs, Dobbs in

Steelers QB Roethlisberger injures ribs, Dobbs in

Steelers QB Roethlisberger injures ribs, Dobbs in

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did not start the second half of Sunday’s game at the Oakland Raiders due to injured ribs.

The team announced early in the third quarter that Roethlisberger was questionable to return, after backup Joshua Dobbs opened the second half with the starters.

Roethlisberger got up slowly after being sacked by Clinton McDonald midway through the second quarter, forcing a field-goal attempt that was missed by Chris Boswell. Roethlisberger came back out on the next possession and led the Steelers right down the field for a touchdown, going 6 of 7 for 52 yards and a 1-yard score to JuJu Smith-Schuster.

But Dobbs came out as the Steelers got the ball to start the second half, protecting a 14-10 lead.

Roethlisberger was not on the sideline to start the half. He came jogging out of the tunnel midway through the third quarter but did not enter the game.

–Field Level Media

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Ravens QB Jackson hurt late; Flacco medically cleared

Ravens QB Jackson hurt late; Flacco medically cleared

Ravens QB Jackson hurt late; Flacco medically cleared

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson missed the final two plays of Sunday’s loss to the Kansas City Chiefs after hurting his ankle but appears to have avoided major injury.

Jackson, who was seen going into the X-ray room in the locker room after the game, met reporters a few minutes later and downplayed the injury.

“They just wanted to see what happened, but I’m good,” Jackson said.

Jackson’s ankle was fallen on as he was sacked on second-and-18 late in overtime by Dee Ford and Justin Houston. He was tended to by trainers, limped off the field gingerly and was replaced by Robert Griffin III, who threw two incompletions to turn the ball over on downs and clinch a 27-24 victory for the Chiefs.

Griffin was the backup for the fourth straight game as Joe Flacco was inactive, but head coach John Harbaugh revealed after the game that Flacco was medically cleared from his hip injury earlier this weekend and could have played.

“He could have played medically,” Harbaugh said. “Just didn’t have him prepared enough.”

Harbaugh has been cagey about his plans at quarterback once Flacco is healthy enough and prepared to play. He has repeatedly declined to answer questions about who will start moving forward, though he has not ruled out the possibility of Flacco and Jackson playing for stretches.

Jackson finished 13 of 24 for 147 yards and two scores while rushing 13 times for 71 yards in Sunday’s loss.

He is now 59 of 101 for 687 yards, four touchdowns and three interceptions this season in four starts and other scattered snaps, while rushing 95 times for 475 yards and three scores on the ground.

However, Jackson has fumbled eight times (six as a rusher), including a strip-sack that set up the Chiefs for a would-be game-winning field goal late in regulation Sunday. Harrison Butker missed from 43 yards, leading to overtime.

–Field Level Media

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Darnold rallies Jets past Bills with crunch-time heroics

Darnold rallies Jets past Bills with crunch-time heroics

Darnold rallies Jets past Bills with crunch-time heroics

Sam Darnold threw for 170 yards and a touchdown and Elijah McGuire ran for a 1-yard touchdown on fourth down with 1:17 remaining as the visiting New York Jets came back to beat the Buffalo Bills 27-23 on Sunday.

Darnold returned after missing three games with a foot injury to win the duel with fellow rookie quarterback Josh Allen and snap the Jets’ six-game losing streak. He completed 16 of 24 passes and drove the Jets 61 yards on the winning drive.

It was the first meeting between Darnold, the third overall selection in last year’s draft, and No. 7 pick Allen. Both quarterbacks were inactive for Buffalo’s 41-10 win at New York in Week 10.

Allen ran for 101 yards and a touchdown for the Bills (4-9). The rookie quarterback was 18 of 36 passing for 206 yards with two interceptions and continued to power the Buffalo offense with his legs.

Allen became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to run for more than 100 yards in consecutive games and joining running backs O.J. Simpson, Thurman Thomas and Fred Jackson as the only Bills players to have three straight games with at least 99 rushing yards. Allen also overtook LeSean McCoy as Buffalo’s leading rusher with 490 yards on the season, despite missing three games with an elbow injury.

Buffalo led for most of the game before Darnold rolled out of the pocket and found Robby Anderson (four receptions, 76 yards) for a 7-yard touchdown pass that tied the score at 20-20 early in the fourth quarter.

Allen put the Bills (4-9) into position for Stephen Hauschka’s go-ahead 36-yard field goal with 2:35 remaining.

Buffalo’s other first-round pick, linebacker Tremaine Edmunds, became the youngest player in NFL history (20 years, seven months) to record and interception when he picked off Darnold in the third quarter.

Undrafted rookie Robert Foster caught seven passes for 104 yards for the Bills.

Allen’s scrambling compensated for the loss of McCoy, who left the game for Buffalo with a hamstring injury following the first series. McCoy rushed twice for one yard to bring his season total to 479 yards.

Bills linebacker Matt Milano was carted off the field late in the fourth quarter after injuring his left ankle.

Darnold missed one series and had his foot evaluated in the locker room after the Jets’ opening drive.

The Jets also lost their starting running back Isaiah Crowell to a hamstring. McGuire finished with 60 yards on 17 carries.

Hauschka made three field goals for Buffalo but missed a 54-yard attempt to take the lead with 7:49 remaining and had a 49-yard try blocked on the final play of the first half.

Two big kickoff returns from Andre Roberts led to 10 points for the Jets in the second quarter. Roberts leads the NFL with six returns of more than 50 yards this season.

Myers made a 21-yard field goal after Roberts’ 56-yard return gave the Jets a drive start at the Bills 43. Roberts then ripped off an 86-yard kickoff return following a 31-yard field goal from Hauschka, setting up the Jets’s first offensive touchdown in 23 possessions, a 4-yard run by Trenton Cannon that cut the Bills’ lead to 17-13 before halftime.

Roberts fumbled the opening kickoff of the second half, leading to a 29-yard field goal by Hauschka that made it 20-13.

The Bills out-gained the Jets 123-18 in the first quarter to build a 14-3 lead. Allen rushed for 68 yards on Buffalo’s opening drive and scrambled for a 6-yard touchdown. Isaiah McKenzie scored on a 15-yard jet sweep one play after Jets cornerback Buster Skrine committed a 33-yard pass interference penalty.

Myers made a 47-yard field goal in the first quarter after Kevin Pierre-Louis forced an Allen fumble that Jamal Adams recovered at the Bills 32.

–Field Level Media

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Chiefs beat Ravens in OT to clinch playoff berth

Chiefs beat Ravens in OT to clinch playoff berth

Quarterback

Chiefs beat Ravens in OT to clinch playoff berth

Quarterback Patrick Mahomes converted two fourth downs on a game-tying drive in regulation Sunday and kicker Harrison Butker atoned for a missed field goal with a 36-yarder in overtime as the Kansas City Chiefs edged the Baltimore Ravens 27-24 at Kansas City, Mo.

Mahomes finished with 377 yards passing, going 35 of 53 with two touchdowns against the NFL’s top-ranked defense as the Chiefs (11-2) clinched a berth in the playoffs while retaining the best record in the AFC.

The Ravens (7-6) did not score in response to the Chiefs’ overtime field goal.

Starting quarterback Lamar Jackson was injured in overtime after getting sacked by Kansas City linebacker Justin Houston. Faced with two snaps from the Baltimore 41-yard line, backup quarterback Robert Griffin III could not engineer a first down, throwing two incompletions.

A strip-sack by linebacker Justin Houston with 38 seconds remaining gave the Chiefs a chance to win with a field goal but a 43-yard boot by Butker sailed wide as time expired, prompting the OT.

With Kansas City trailing by seven in the fourth quarter, Mahomes heaved a 48-yard pass across his body to wide receiver Tyreek Hill to convert a fourth down before connecting with running back Damien Williams for a 5-yard touchdown with 53 seconds remaining.

Jackson passed for 147 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for a team-high 71 yards.

A 55-yard punt return by Cyrus Jones put the Ravens at the Chiefs’ 14 and in position for what looked like a decisive touchdown. Baltimore scored in three plays, using a 9-yard pass from Jackson to John Brown with 4:04 remaining for the TD.

The Ravens gained 198 yards on the ground after rushing for 200-plus yards in each of their previous three games.

The Chiefs struck for 10 points inside the final three minutes of the first half. Kelce snagged a 15-yard touchdown pass with 2:37 remaining. Then after stopping the Ravens, Mahomes engineered a 75-yard march before Kansas City settled for a 24-yard field by Harrison Butker as time expired to gain a 17-10 halftime margin.

–Field Level Media

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Saints rally to beat Bucs, win NFC South

Saints rally to beat Bucs, win NFC South

Saints rally to beat Bucs, win NFC South

Special teams ace Taysom Hill flipped the momentum with a blocked punt and Drew Brees converted second-half touchdowns with a short pass and a fourth-down leap to lift New Orleans to a 28-14 comeback victory over the host Tampa Bay Buccaneers and claim the Saints’ second consecutive NFC South title.

The Saints (11-2), who won back-to-back division titles for the first time in franchise history, looked sluggish, falling behind 14-3 at halftime, but they scored 25 unanswered points with three second-half touchdown drives and a 36-yard field goal by Will Lutz to put the game away.

The Saints also stayed in contention with the Los Angeles Rams (11-1 entering Sunday night) for the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs.

Mark Ingram’s 17-yard tackle-breaking run with 7:26 iced the game, putting the Saints up 25-14. Brees finished 24 of 31 for 201 yards, and the Saints rushed for 98 of their 101 yards in the second half.

Michael Thomas had 11 catches for 98 yards, giving him 298 receptions in his first three seasons, the most in NFL history.

The Bucs (5-8) dominated the Saints in the first half, taking a 14-3 lead, and it could have been even more lopsided because kicker Cairo Santos missed a 46-yard field goal after Tampa Bay had driven to a first-and-10 at the New Orleans 22.

Winston (18 of 38 for 213 yards) threw a pair of touchdown passes to tight end Cameron Brate — for 11 yards on the opening drive and for 1 yard on the Bucs’ final series of the half. The second touchdown was set up by a woeful Brees interception on a screen pass for Mark Ingram. Brees’ pass was easily picked off by linebacker Adarius Taylor at the New Orleans 39. Six plays later, Winston hit Brate with the short scoring pass.

The Saints rushed for just 3 yards on nine carries in the first half and gained just 104 yards overall. The Saints’ only score in the first half came on a 30-yard field goal by Lutz.

The Bucs had wasted another chance to widen their lead when defensive end Carl Nassib stripped the ball from Brees on the first series of the second half, putting Tampa Bay at the New Orleans 27. But Santos missed his second field goal of the game, from 40 yards, and the score remained 14-3.

The Saints then turned the momentum with another huge play by Hill, a reserve quarterback and special teams ace, who knifed up the middle to block a Bryan Anger punt and give the Saints a first down at the Bucs’ 30.

Five plays later, Brees hit fullback Zach Line for a 1-yard score, and the Saints converted a two-point conversion on Alvin Kamara’s sweep of left end, pulling the Saints within 14-11 with 4:43 left in the third quarter.

Then after sacking Winston twice on the next series, the Saints got another short field, starting at their 49, and Brees capped a 10-play drive with a 1-yard leap on fourth down to put the Saints up 18-14 with 11:46 left.

–Field Level Media

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Colts snap Texans’ win streak with 24-21 victory

Colts snap Texans' win streak with 24-21 victory

Colts snap Texans’ win streak with 24-21 victory

Andrew Luck threw for 399 yards and two touchdowns Sunday as the Indianapolis Colts snapped the Houston Texans’ nine-game winning streak with a 24-21 win at NRG Stadium in Houston.

Luck completed 27 of 41 passes for Indianapolis (7-6), which bounced back from a 6-0 upset loss last week at Jacksonville. He found wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who had been a game-time decision with a shoulder injury, nine times for 199 yards.

Deshaun Watson hit on 27 of 38 passes for 267 yards for the Texans, who dropped to 9-4 but still lead the AFC South by two games over the Colts and Tennessee with three games remaining. Watson connected with DeAndre Hopkins on a 7-yard scoring strike with 2:37 left in the game to bring Houston within three points.

However, Indianapolis melted the remaining time away with two first downs. Defensive end Jadaveon Clowney jumped the snap count on 3rd-and-1 at the Colts’ 48 immediately after the two-minute warning, and Luck took three knees to end it.

Indianapolis’ defense limited Hopkins to four catches on 10 targets for 36 yards. It also kept consistent pressure on Watson, recording five sacks, two by Denico Autry.

Alfred Blue’s 3-yard touchdown run with 2:26 remaining in the first quarter gave the Texans a 7-0 lead, capping a 10-play, 82-yard drive that lasted just over four minutes.

Indianapolis controlled the second quarter. Marlon Mack’s 4-yard run with 6:33 left in the half evened the score at 7, and Luck put the Colts ahead to stay when he found Eric Ebron on a 14-yard scoring pass with 2:57 remaining, which was Ebron’s 13th touchdown catch of the year. Adam Vinatieri bombed a 54-yard field goal at the end of the first half for a 17-7 advantage.

Lamar Miller pulled Houston within 17-14 on a 1-yard scoring run with 7:38 left in the third quarter, capping a 16-play, 75-yard drive to start the second half. But Luck answered back with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Zach Pascal at the 3:51 mark.

–Field Level Media

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Manning throws 3 TDs as Giants handle Redskins

Manning throws 3 TDs as Giants handle Redskins

Manning throws 3 TDs as Giants handle Redskins

Rookie Saquon Barkley rushed for a career-high 170 yards, Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes and the visiting New York Giants routed the Washington Redskins 40-16 on Sunday.

Manning and Barkley both left after three quarters in a game that was 40-0.

Barkley, who carried 14 times, reeled off a 78-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Manning completed 14 of 22 passes for 197 yards and no interceptions for the Giants (5-8), who have won four of five.

In his first start for Washington (6-7) in place of Colt McCoy, quarterback Mark Sanchez completed 6 of 14 passes for 38 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked five times before being replaced by Josh Johnson in the third quarter.

Johnson, signed this week, finished 11 of 16 for 195 yards, completing his first NFL pass since 2011 when he was with Tampa Bay.

He ran eight yards for Washington’s first touchdown then found Jamison Crowder for a 79-yard catch and run to pull Washington within 40-16 before throwing an interception from the Giants 18.

Playing without wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (bruised quadriceps), the Giants outgained the Redskins 402-288.

The game was an exchange of punts until late in the first quarter when Sanchez’s pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage. Curtis Riley got the interception at the Redskins 9-yard-line and ran it in.

New York put the game away with a 27-point second quarter.

With the Giants leading 10-0 and starting at their 22, Barkley ran right, cut back to the left at the line of scrimmage and raced 78 yards for a touchdown.

On Washington’s next possession, a Sanchez pass over the middle was intercepted, and three plays later, Manning hit Sterling Shepard for a 3-yard touchdown.

Manning struck again with 1:48 left in the half when he found Bennie Fowler from 6 yards out, and Aldrick Rosas made it 34-0 with a 23-yard field goal with :04 remaining.

Manning found Russell Shepard for an 11-yard touchdown in the second half before he was pulled. Rookie Kyle Lauletta replaced him and was 0-of-5 passing.

–Field Level Media

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