Lamar Jackson turned up the tempo in the second half Sunday and then went right back to work breaking records.
After Gus Edwards’ one-yard plunge gave Baltimore the lead midway through the third quarter, Jackson sealed the 24-10 win over Indianapolis with a nine-yard TD run that gave the Ravens the NFL record for most consecutive 20-point games.
The Ravens (6-2) have done it 31 straight times breaking a tie with Denver, which set the mark from 2012-14.
Baltimore has won 10 straight road games, the league’s longest active streak, and earned the franchise’s first win at Indianapolis in seven tries. The Ravens also had lost 20 straight games when trailing at halftime.
It was the first home loss for Indy (5-3) this season.
And, not surprisingly, the league’s reigning MVP turned the game this time by starting the second half with no-huddle against a stingy Colts defense.
It changed everything.
At one point, the Ravens offense, which sputtered throughout the first half, had run 32 plays compared with four for Indy. When Edwards scored with 5:43 left in the third, Baltimore led 14-10. Jackson sealed it with a brilliant fake that allowed him to jog around the left side for the milestone nine-yard TD run early in the fourth.
Baltimore’s defense also did its usual part, extending its streak of consecutive games with a takeaway to 21. They finished with two and Baltimore converted both into touchdowns.
Las Vegas Raiders 31-26 Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers lost another heartbreaker. A week after losing at Denver 31-30 when they allowed a touchdown with no time remaining, the Chargers thought they had beaten the Raiders on Justin Herbert’s four-yard touchdown toss to Donald Parham Jr with no time left. But a booth review showed the tight end didn’t maintain possession as he tumbled out of bounds and the Raiders escaped with a 31-26 victory.
The Chargers fell to 2-6 with all six losses coming by seven points or fewer. They have lost nine in a row to AFC West opponents.
Pittsburgh Steelers 24-19 Dallas Cowboys
Ben Roethlisberger threw all three of his touchdown passes after shrugging off a knee injury, rallying Pittsburgh to a 24-19 victory over the Dallas Cowboys and keeping the Steelers as the NFL’s only unbeaten team.
Pittsburgh are 8-0 for the first time in the storied franchise’s history despite an upset bid from the Cowboys, who were the biggest underdogs they’ve been at home in at least 31 years. Garrett Gilbert was the fourth different starting quarterback in five games for Dallas (2-7), throwing a touchdown pass in his first career start and bringing some life to the offense for a team that lost its fourth straight game without Dak Prescott.
Miami Dolphins 34-31 Arizona Cardinals
Miami rookie quarterback Tua Tagovailoa threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns in his second NFL start and the Dolphins rallied in the fourth quarter for a 34-31 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Miami (5-3) have won four straight games. The Cardinals (5-3) had their three-game winning streak snapped. The 22-year-old Tagovailoa was on the winning end of an action-packed duel with Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray, who finished with 283 yards and three touchdowns. He also had 106 yards rushing on 11 carries. Arizona’s Zane Gonzalez was short on a 49-yard field goal attempt that would have tied the game with 1:53 left.
Seattle Seahawks 34-44 Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen regained his early-season groove by throwing three touchdown passes and scoring one rushing, and the Buffalo Bills beat the Seattle Seahawks 44-34 on Sunday.
Buffalo’s defense played a major role in rattling Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who was sacked five times, threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles.
Buffalo (7-2) matched its best record through nine games since 1993, a season that ended with the Jim Kelly-led Bills making their fourth consecutive, and final, Super Bowl appearance.
Allen finished 31 of 38 and equaled a career best set earlier this season with 415 yards passing, becoming the first Bills player to top 300 yards four times in one season since Drew Bledsoe did it seven times in 2002. The Bills offense came alive after Allen combined for just 846 yards passing and five touchdowns – including one rushing – in splitting the previous four games.
The Seahawks (6-2) blew an opportunity to match to match their best record through eight games. They were 7-1 in 2013.
Seattle became the NFL’s sixth team to score 25 or more points in each of its first eight games, but was undone by turnovers and a defense that surrendered 420 yards.
The 44 points allowed were the most in coach Pete Carroll’s 11 seasons in Seattle and the most for the franchise since a 48-10 loss at Green Bay on 27 Decemberr 2009. It was just the eighth time since Week 9 of the 2011 season the Carroll-led Seahawks have lost by 10 points or more.
Carolina Panthers 31-33 Kansas City Chiefs
Patrick Mahomes threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill each went over 100 yards receiving, and the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat Carolina 33-31 on Sunday when Panthers kicker Joey Slye missed a 67-yard field-goal attempt wide right on the final play.
The Chiefs (8-1) were left clinging to the lead when Christian McCaffrey, just back from his ankle injury, scored from a yard out with 1:26 to go. The Panthers’ onside kick was recovered by Kansas City, but they used their three timeouts to get the ball back, and Teddy Bridgewater’s 23-yard pass to Curtis Samuel with nine seconds remaining gave them hope.
Carolina (3-6) tried to get a bit closer with a pass to McCaffrey, but the incompletion brought on Slye, who had plenty of leg with the wind behind him. His kick dropped just outside the uprights, though, allowing the Chiefs to escape.
Slye also missed a 65-yard attempt late in a 27-24 loss to New Orleans in Week 7.
McCaffrey finished with 18 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown while catching 10 passes for 82 yards and another score. Bridgewater threw for 310 yards and two TDs with Samuel catching nine balls for 105 yards and the other score.
Houston Texans 27-25 Jacksonville Jaguars
Deshaun Watson had touchdowns passes of 57 and 77 yards, the second one appearing to come after the play clock expired, and the Houston Texans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-25 on Sunday for their sixth straight win in the series.
Jacksonville (1-7) lost its seventh straight and barely avoided making NFL history. The Jaguars would have become the first to allow at least 30 points in seven consecutive games in a single season. Instead, they will share the record with the 1968 Denver Broncos and the 1984 Minnesota Vikings.
Jacksonville had a chance to tie it late, but rookie Jake Luton’s two-point conversion pass to DJ Chark landed at his feet. Luton, a sixth-round draft pick making his NFL debut in place of Gardner Minshew, scrambled for 13 yards to make it a two-point game with 1:39 remaining.
Luton stiff-armed rookie Jon Greenard and then spun away from Keion Crossen and into the end zone. Crossen recovered an onside kick that helped Houston (2-6) ice the game.
Both of Houston’s victories this season came against the Jaguars.
Chicago Bears 17-24 Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes, and the banged-up Tennessee Titans never trailed in snapping a two-game skid by beating the Chicago Bears 24-17 Sunday.
The Titans (6-2) avoided their longest skid since Tannehill took over as starting quarterback and stayed atop the AFC South going into Thursday night’s division showdown against Indianapolis.
They got a big help from an undermanned and struggling defense missing three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jadeveon Clowney with an injured knee days after the Titans released linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. and starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph.
Cornerback Desmond King picked up a fumble and ran 63 yards for a TD only days after the Titans picked up the 2018 All-Pro from the Chargers for a sixth-round pick. King didn’t join Tennessee until Saturday after clearing Covid-19 testing protocols and put the Titans up 17-0 late in the third quarter.
The Bears (5-4) came in trailing Green Bay in the NFC North dealing with their own injuries and Covid-19 issues.
Chicago lost its third straight despite the defense coming up with three sacks and holding the NFL’s fifth-best offense averaging 407 yards a game to a season-low 228.
Nick Foles made it interesting with a pair of TD passes within the final minutes. Amani Hooker recovered the Bears’ onside kick attempt for Tennessee with about a minute left.
Detroit Lions 34-20 Minnesota Vikings
Dalvin Cook kept his brilliant season rolling by rushing for a career-high 206 yards and two scores on 22 carries, leading the Minnesota Vikings to a 34-20 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns – two to tight end Irv Smith Jr – in his second straight turnover-free performance for the Vikings (3-5), who averaged 8.9 yards per play on the way to their first home win this season.
Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford, who didn’t practice all week due to coronavirus exposure protocols, left the game in the fourth quarter for concussion evaluation after taking a knee to the head during a sack. He was picked off on consecutive possessions in the third quarter, first at the Minnesota 12 and then in the end zone. Chase Daniel threw another interception after taking over.
The show again belonged to Cook, though, with his predecessor Adrian Peterson watching from the opposite sideline. Cook, whom Peterson admiringly called “a lethal weapon” this week, has 478 yards and six touchdowns from scrimmage in two games since missing one with a groin injury.
Denver Broncos 27-34 Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan took advantage of Denver’s thin secondary to throw three touchdown passes and the Atlanta Falcons turned back Denver’s bid for a second consecutive comeback to beat the Broncos 34-27 on Sunday.
Ryan completed 25 of 35 passes for 284 yards with one interception. Atlanta (3-6) improved to 3-1 under interim coach Raheem Morris.
Atlanta led Denver (3-5) 20-3 at halftime. Drew Lock, trying to lead another fourth-quarter comeback, threw two touchdown passes and ran for a 10-yard score in the final quarter that made it 34-27. With Atlanta leading by seven points, the Broncos took the ball at their 20 with 44 seconds remaining and no timeouts. Following three incompletions by Lock, a fumbled snap ended the possession.
One week after throwing three fourth-quarter touchdown passes to lead Denver to a 31-30 comeback win over the Chargers, Lock tried to spark another rally. With Atlanta leading 27-6, Lock threw a 20-yard scoring pass to Jerry Jeudy early in the fourth quarter, On Denver’s next possession, Lock was under pressure when he overthrew Jeudy and was intercepted by Ricardo Allen, who returned the ball 20 yards to the Denver 12.
Two plays later, Todd Gurley’s fourr-yard scoring run extended Atlanta’s lead to 34-13. Lock answered with a nine-yard scoring pass to Tim Patrick with less than four minutes remaining.
Lock completed 25 of 48 passes for 313 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Denver lacked an effective running game to help Lock. Phillip Lindsay had eight carries for 23 yards.
New York Giants 23-20 Washington Football Team
Daniel Jones completed his longest pass of the season, didn’t turn over the ball for the first time, and the New York Giants held on to beat Washington 23-20 Sunday for their second victory this season.
Jones was 23 of 34 for 212 yards, including a 50-yard connection with Austin Mack and a touchdown pass to Evan Engram to build a 17-point halftime lead. The Giants (2-7) attempted to run to run things out in the second half and survived a couple of touchdown drives led by Alex Smith, who replaced injured Washington quarterback Kyle Allen.
Smith connected with Terry McLaurin on a 68-yard score, his first TD pass in 728 days, to cut New York’s lead to 23-20 in the fourth quarter. But Smith threw two interceptions in the final 2:18 to end the threat for Washington (2-6). Both Giants wins are against Washington.
Before things got hairy for the Giants, Wayne Gallman rushed for a touchdown, and Graham Gano made three field goals to extend his streak to 18 in a row.
Allen injured his left ankle late in the first quarter, forcing Smith into just his second NFL game since gruesomely breaking his right leg in November 2018. Allen’s left leg bent the wrong way on a sack by Peppers, who was flagged for unnecessary roughness, and there was an air cast on it as he was carted off.
Smith was 24 of 32 for 325 yards, the TD and three interceptions.