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  • Cowboys RB Elliott eligible another week after ruling
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 23, 2017

    Ezekiel Elliott will be allowed to play at least another week after a federal judge on Monday rejected the NFL's request for an expedited hearing on the Dallas Cowboys running back's six-game suspension for alleged domestic assault against his ex-girlfriend.

    • Judge Katherine Polk Failla of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York ruled Elliott's hearing will be held, as originally scheduled, on Oct. 30.

      The latest ruling keeps Elliott eligible to play this Sunday against the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field under the temporary restraining order granted last Tuesday by another U.S. District judge in New York blocking the suspension.

      The 22-year-old Elliott took advantage of last week's legal reprieve, gaining 219 yards from scrimmage and scoring three touchdowns -- 147 rushing yards and two scores in addition to a 72-yard TD pass -- to lead the Cowboys to a 40-10 victory over San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium on Sunday.

      "I put that aside when I get with these guys," Elliott told reporters after the game. "These guys do a good job of giving me something else to think about, keeping me up no matter what's going on out there. I'm just happy to be out here and be able to play with them and go and get another win."

      NFL commissioner Roger Goodell suspended Elliott for six games on Aug. 11 after the league's 13-month league investigation concluded he was in violation of the league's personal-conduct policy for the incident in the summer of 2016. Elliott, who was not arrested or charged in the case, maintains his innocence after being accused of assaulting his former girlfriend in Columbus, Ohio.

      Elliott has rushed for 540 yards and four touchdowns on 131 carries in six games this season while his case was in the court system. He also has 18 catches for 206 yards and two TDs. As a rookie last season, he led the NFL with 1,631 rushing yards.

  • Steelers WR Bryant reportedly asking for trade again
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 23, 2017

    Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Martavis Bryant appears to be asking for a trade again when he posted "give me what I want" on social media.

    • Bryant on a since-deleted Instagram post late Sunday night also called out rookie receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, who caught a 31-yard touchdown in the the Steelers' 29-14 win over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday afternoon.

      "He wants out," a source close to Bryant told ESPN. "Point blank."

      A post from "FantasyFootballCounselor" showed a video of Ben Roethlisberger overthrowing Antonio Brown on third-and-1 and criticized the Steelers quarterback for forcing the ball to Brown rather than throwing to Bryant.

      Bryant responded in the since-deleted comment that was screengrabbed and shared on social media.

      "JuJu is no where near better than me, fool," Bryant posted in response. "All they need to do is give me what I want and y'all can have JuJu and whoever else."

      Bryant then clarified those remarks with a new comment that tagged Smith-Schuster.

      "JuJu is the future and got great talent and is going to be one of the best to play this game," Bryant commented. "I want him to get his. I just want mines, period, point-blank. Ain't nobody did nothing to get me back. I worked my ass off to get myself back with no help and little support, period. In due time the process will show."

      Roethlisberger targeted Smith-Schuster three times in Sunday's win and twice to Bryant. who had one catch for 3 yards.

      Last week, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that sources informed him of Bryant's trade request because of lack of playing time, adding that Steelers teammates and coaches are well aware that the receiver is unhappy.

      ESPN confirmed the report, citing Bryant's unhappiness with his role in the offense. Bryant then told reporters last Monday he had not requested a trade.

      "I'm good ... That's up to the coaches," Bryant said when asked about his role in the offense.

      Bryant, 25, missed the entire 2016 season due to a suspension by the NFL for multiple drug violations under the substance-abuse policy. He has 18 catches (36 targets) for 234 yards and one touchdown in seven games this season.

      Bryant has 94 career receptions for 1,548 yards and 15 touchdowns in 28 regular-season games since being drafted in the fourth round out of Clemson in 2014.

  • Brady's cancer-surviving mom honored before game
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 23, 2017

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Sunday was a success for Tom Brady hours before his New England Patriots disposed of the Atlanta Falcons in the fog at Gillette Stadium.

    • Brady's mother, Galynn, a cancer survivor, was in town and was on the field, with his father, Tom Sr., before the game -- as part of the NFL's "Crucial Catch" celebration of survivors.

      Asked what it meant to have them there, as they were at the Super Bowl, Brady said, "A lot. It was great for them to be here and be in attendance and for us to win while they're here in attendance, too. It's been a while since that happened. But, that was very special for me.

      "I heard they got on the field pregame. (I am) just happy for my mom. I mean, what's she's been through is pretty challenging and challenging for my dad, challenging for all the people out there that are battling with cancer and other diseases.

      "You can't take anything for granted, so I love the time I get with her. We were carving pumpkins today with my kids and beating the Falcons tonight, so it made for a pretty perfect day for me."

      --Foggiest idea

      There were times that the Gillette Stadium fans didn't have the foggiest idea of what was happening on the field.

      The fog rolled in, shrouding the game in a bit of secrecy.

      Fans -- and people watching from the press box -- had no idea how difficult a catch Julio Jones made for Atlanta's only score. The wiry receiver went up from behind Malcolm Butler and took the ball out of the shorter cornerback's hands above his head.

      But as far as the players were concerned, the fog really wasn't that big a deal.

      "That was crazy. I have never seen that," said Brady. "It was just so still out there. The fog had no place to go. I don't think it affected much, really, at the end of the day. I'm sure it looked cool on TV, though."

      "That fog was pretty crazy," said tight end Rob Gronkowski.

      Added Atlanta running back Devonta Freeman: "I remember playing in the fog at my high school national championship game down in Orlando, Fla., against Dr. Phillips. It was a similar situation. It's just foggy for the fans, but on the field it's kind of clear. No, it didn't affect us at all."

      --Ryan, Falcons struggling

      Matt Ryan has thrown seven touchdown passes and six interceptions this season and his team, which started out 3-0, has dropped three straight games -- all to the AFC East.

      "I've been in this league long enough to know that one, it's hard to win games," Ryan said. "And two, it's a tall task to be productive, week in and week out. We haven't been as productive as I know we need to be. It really comes down to missed opportunities."

      Jones, who made an outstanding catch for the Falcons' only touchdown of the game, said, "We were just off and that is it. We just weren't on the same page."

      --Gronk flagged much

      Somehow, Gronkowski had as many penalties -- three -- as catches in the New England victory.

      He was targeted seven times and caught three, for 51 yards, with a long of 27. But he was also guilty of a pass interference penalty and a pair of false starts; three of his team's eight penalties in the game.

      But that didn't dampen his post-game spirit, as his team raised its record to 5-3 and he was on the field free of injury for a second straight week.

  • Steelers' Haden successful in rivalry with Bengals' Green
    By The Sports Xchange / Monday, October 23, 2017

    PITTSBURGH -- A.J. Green came out of the Bengals' 29-14 loss to the Steelers with season lows of three catches for 41 yards.

    • Little wonder that long-time rival Joe Haden was on the other side of the ball.

      The two have been going at it since they played college ball for Georgia and Florida, when Haden returned a Matthew Stafford pass 88 yards for a Florida touchdown. The two players continued their rivalry when Haden played for the Cleveland Browns. He even returned another pass to Green for a touchdown.

      Haden got another interception Sunday on the only pass thrown Green's way with Haden in coverage.

      "It was," Haden said. "He wasn't lining up on my side very often. He was lining up on the left side of their defense."

      The interception occurred in the middle of the third quarter with the Steelers leading 23-14. The Bengals had a second-and-2 at their 33 when Andy Dalton's pass deflected off Green's hands and Haden swooped in for the interception. It led to another Chris Boswell field goal.

      "I wouldn't call it mastery," Haden said. "That one was just good fortune, just being alert. He tipped it up and I was right there."

      It was the first interception for Haden with the Steelers.

      "I needed to get that first pick," he said. "Picks can start coming in bunches. Never press for it. Never try to go outside of the defense to make a play. But if you're playing your technique, doing your thing, staying on top of coverage, good things will happen."

      "We didn't play up to where we needed to today," said Green. "They did a great job taking me away."

      --The renegade blues

      In the fourth quarter of every game at Heinz Field, a video featuring Steelers defensive hits is played on the Jumbotron accompanied by the Styx song "Renegade."

      The Bengals played it at practice during the week, but it apparently didn't prepare them for the feeding frenzy that followed.

      With 11:05 left in the fourth quarter, and the Bengals' offense waiting through a TV timeout, the song was played to the excitement of 65,363 fans. The Steelers' defense was revved up as well. Defensive lineman Tyson Alualu sacked Dalton on first down for an 11-yard loss, Dalton threw incomplete on second down, and was sacked by linebacker Bud Dupree for a 13-yard loss on third down.

      The Steelers took the punt and drove for a field goal that gave them an insurmountable 15-point lead.

      "Being on the other side of it, I know how it gets the crowd hyped," Haden said. "It gets me hyped, too, even when I was playing against the Steelers. To be able to be a part of it, with the crowd into it and everything, it was exceptional."

      "I'm getting the vibe," said another Steelers newcomer, rookie linebacker T.J. Watt. "When you see that screen go black, you know it's coming. It gets you amped up. And especially when you're getting after the quarterback and you know they're passing, it definitely adds an element to the game."

      The Steelers' defense turned up the pressure in the second half, when the unit recorded all four of its sacks. Watt and defensive end Cameron Heyward each had sacks to tie linebacker Vince Williams at four for the team's lead this season. Dupree and Alualu also had sacks for the Steelers. Haden and cornerback Will Gay had second-half interceptions.

      "The second half was a blast," said Watt. "We knew we were nipping at his heels all game long, and to finally start getting a piece of him and watching everybody get a piece, with the interceptions and the sacks, it was a fricking blast."

      --Rob G. goes deep

      There's Johnny U. And now there's Rob G.

      Rob Golden, the Steelers' reserve safety and personal protector on the punt team, completed a 44-yard bomb to Darrius Heyward-Bey on a fourth-and-7 fake punt from the Steelers' 40-yard line with 6:53 left and the Bengals still within reach at 26-14.

      Golden saw Heyward-Bey uncovered and made the call. Center Kameron Canaday snapped it short and Golden passed the ball into the hands of Heyward-Bey, one of the team's punt gunners.

      It was the second fake punt/pass completion of Golden's career. The other one went for 25 yards in a 2014 win at Cleveland.

      "I was a high school quarterback," said Golden. "I think I was decent, but I had some good athletes around me."

      Why the risk at that point?

      "We wanted to secure the victory," he said. "It's something we work on every week probably for the last three, four years. For us to get out there and be able to execute it at that level, it was clutch."

      The play set up a field goal for a 15-point lead with 5:17 left.

      --The JuJu Games

      Steelers rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster, at 20, is the youngest player in the NFL, and his veteran teammates enjoy his youthful enthusiasm. On his last touchdown, he celebrated with a tribute to his favorite cartoon, Dragon Ball Z.

      Prior to Sunday's game, running back Le'Veon Bell had a better idea.

      "I came to JuJu with it about 10 minutes before the game," said Bell. "I said, 'Hey JuJu, if one of us scores, let's play hide-and-seek.' He was on it. We didn't even practice it or nothing. It just kind of happened."

      Smith-Schuster was wide open at the 10-yard line and easily made his way into the end zone to complete a 31-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger that put the Steelers ahead by 14-7 in the second quarter. To celebrate, Smith-Schuster pretended to count while Bell hid behind the goal post.

      But there was a more important aspect to Smith-Schuster's third career touchdown.

      "We've been working on that play since camp," Smith-Schuster said. "It paid off. The safety bit down, took the out route, and I came wide open. It was a great play."

      It was also his first experience with the Bengals, perhaps the Steelers' most hated rival.

      "I give respect to that Bengals defense," Smith-Schuster said. "That was the most physical game I ever played in. You could see on film me and 36 (Shawn Williams) were going at it; both safeties, corners. Even on my touchdown, (linebacker Vontaze) Burfict got a piece of me."

      --Protection on the run

      Bell went into the game admitting he would protect himself from any dirty hits from the Bengals.

      That can't be an easy task amid 38 touches.

      "He did it though," said Steelers guard Ramon Foster. "When you're done with your assignment, go down. That's what he did today. He didn't try to go for the extra yards. If there was a pile around, you could see him under the pile bringing his legs in, getting his feet from out of the dirt. It's easier than you think if you're conscious about it. He frustrates defenses. I think throughout the entire year he has to protect himself because they get mad if they miss a tackle, and it's an embarrassment because it's on TV and guys try to get the payback."

      --Tuitt to do it Sunday

      Steelers defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt said his back tightened up in the middle of the week and forced him to miss three practices and then the game. But he expects to be back Sunday in Detroit.

      "It'll be all good," said Tuitt. "It got a little tight when I was in the weight room. I twisted something and we figured it would be a week-type of thing, just to get over the hump. I'm going to be back this week."

  • Heath pulls double-duty for Cowboys
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Dallas Cowboys safety Jeff Heath did double duty Sunday, filling in for injured kicker Dan Bailey for the final two-plus quarters of a 40-10 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium.

    • Heath made two of three extra points and kicked off four times, banking in his first attempt off an upright. He became the first non-kicker or punter to make at least two PATs in a game since former Houston linebacker and current Green Bay general manager Ted Thompson went 4-for-4 in 1980.

      "That was fun," Heath said. "That was the most fun I've had playing football in a really long time. We kind of prepared for something like that last year one game. I never really thought I was really going to have to do it in a game, but it was a lot of fun, man. The coaches did a really good job, just getting my mind right."

      Before Sunday, the last time Heath had kicked in a game was in 2008 as a senior for Lake Orion (Michigan) High School. He made a 49-yard game-winning field goal in the playoffs that season.

      Heath, who also played soccer growing up, took over the kicking duties after Bailey injured his groin. Dallas went for two points following their first touchdown after Bailey's injury. At halftime, Heath had time to work on his kicks with long snapper L.P. Ladouceur and holder Chris Jones.

      "We felt more comfortable that we could try to execute those, and I think for the most part he did a really good job," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "That's not an easy thing to do. He talks a lot about this game-winning kick that he made in high school, but the footage is very gray and murky. But, apparently, he won some championship game with a 49-yarder. So we had a lot of confidence based on his past."

      --Cowboys outside linebacker Sean Lee had five total tackles, including two for loss, in his return to the lineup after missing two games with a hamstring injury. Getting back to work was a relief for Lee.

      "I do feel like I'm letting the team down when I've missed time," Lee said. "I've had issues with durability and I've worked hard on improving those. It's something I constantly try to work on. No question.

      "I feel like I'm letting guys down. Getting all of our guys back on defense and getting guys healthy with a couple weeks of practice under their belts shows the type of defense we can be."

      --The 49ers' previous five losses before getting blown out Sunday were by a combined 13 points. Two of the defeats came in overtime.

      "There's no excuse for what happened today," 49ers defensive tackle DeForest Buckner said. "We all didn't play as we could in all three phases.

      "The previous five weeks we've been so close. We're right there. We've got to come closer as a unit and just put in that extra work on the off days. Whether it's watching extra film or getting your body right or any of that. We just have to keep moving forward as a team."

      --49ers rookie middle linebacker Reuben Foster returned to the lineup for the first time since injuring an ankle in the season opener, but he injured a rib in the third quarter and missed much of the second half.

      "I know he wanted to go back in the game and he was cleared to go back in the game late in the fourth, but that was me," 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan said. "I held him out just at the end. It was too important. I wanted to make sure we have him next week. The fact that he was good to go there, I'm assuming he'll be good to go next week, but you never know."

      Foster started and had five tackles, including one for loss.

  • Chargers winning more games, fans
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    CARSON, Calif. -- The chant reverberated around the StubHub Center toward the end of Sunday's game. But unlike the previous three home games, the home team was being cheered.

    • "Let's go Chargers," Los Angeles fans hollered.

      The Los Angeles Chargers are winning over some new followers thanks to their recent success. The Chargers defeated the Denver Broncos 21-0 on Sunday for their third straight win after four consecutive losses.

      "We turned over a leaf, man," Chargers defensive end Melvin Ingram said. "We started to climb the mountain."

      The Chargers knocked off the Broncos mostly because of a stingy defense. L.A. spent much of the afternoon in the Denver backfield, sacking Trevor Siemian five times and possibly breaking his nose in the process.

      The Chargers also broke the early season negative vibe at the StubHub Center. Each game brought with it a new set of road fans, who in succession rooted for the Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs while seizing control of the 25,000-seat soccer stadium.

      But revved by the Chargers blanking the Broncos for the first time since 1992, the locals were vocal.

      "We hear everything and we are happy for them," Ingram said.

      And Ingram is just as happy for his defensive teammates.

      "It means a lot because we were trying to send a statement out that we are here to play and here to stay," Ingram said. "That is what we pride ourselves in."

      On a day with temperatures in the 90s, the Chargers displayed their defensive depth. Mimicking a hockey team, the Chargers changed entire defensive lines at once.

      "We got No 1s and 2s," Ingram said after the Chargers' first shutout since 2014 against the New York Jets. "We got 1s and 1s. No matter who is out there, we are going to get the job done."

      Joey Bosa and Chris McCain each had two sacks. The Chargers forced three turnovers.

      The Broncos struggled for every yard, never finding a rhythm against a disruptive defense that allowed but 167 yards through three quarters and 251 in the game.

      The L.A. fans -- really, there are some -- signaled their appreciation for the Chargers' work in a venue that was sold out at 25,388.

      "Of course we heard them," Chargers cornerback Casey Hayward said. "No matter if it's 10 Chargers fans in there we're going to play for those 10 Chargers fans. There could be 20,000 Broncos fans, but we'll play for the 7,000 of ours."

      But the tide shifted on the sizzling afternoon. Not only are the Chargers back in the AFC West, they've returned to the L.A. sports conversation, too.

      "Both L.A. football teams are doing pretty good right now," Hayward said, noting the NFC West-leading Rams. "Hopefully, we can continue to stack the wins up."

      That comes through loud and clear.

  • Ref stands by call on Seahawks' controversial TD
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- As the New York Giants and Seattle Seahawks continued to debate whether receiver Paul Richardson's 38-yard, fourth-quarter touchdown reception was actually a catch, referee Tony Corrente, via a pool report, explained the controversial call.

    • "The receiver went into the air, had control of the ball, lost control, re-grasped the ball and at the same time he did, the defender grabbed the ball, also," he said. "They went to the ground simultaneously with the football. Then they started a little wrestling match.

      "That catch is established because if the defender was to pull the ball out of his hands now, it's still a catch because the defender has a second action. So at that point when they were on the ground together, and they're tussling to begin with, the catch is over, that's the touchdown.

      "Now, after that is when he rolled over and we don't have any clear view of, quote unquote, anything happening after that. So that's where it stands."

      Giants safety Landon Collins, the defender on the ball, insisted that he intercepted the pass.

      "I came down with the ball on my chest," he said, "Once I rolled over, he was trying to fight back into possession for it. Once that happened, he had no possession of the ball anymore. It's crazy."

      Collins, like the rest of the Giants, were surprised and disappointed that the original call of a touchdown that increased the Seahawks lead to 17-7 at the time, stood. Seattle went on to win 24-7.

      "Once you saw it, you could blatantly see it was on my chest," Collins said. "Once the referee could see it, it was like he has possession of the ball. I turned over and he was trying to fight into my arms to get it. That was my ball."

      Collins also went to the officials to gain clarity on the play.

      "He said both of us were inbounds when you came down with the ball so it wasn't an incompletion," Collins said. "I guess he didn't see when I had the ball. He said once I rolled over I was still fighting for the ball. That's when that rule came up."

      New York cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie added, "That was wrong. (Richardson) definitely didn't have possession at all. They both hit the ground. One thing about it is you have to have a complete catch to the ground. By the time his knee was down, Landon had already taken the ball from him, that was the wrong call."

      The Giants plan to submit the call to the league for review.

      --After generating five takeaways in a win against the Los Angeles Rams, this week the Seahawks defense, minus injured defensive end Cliff Avril, only managed one takeaway, but oh, was it a big one.

      The turnover came in the fourth quarter when defensive tackle Jarran Reed sacked Giants quarterback Eli Manning, causing the ball to come out. Defensive end Frank Clark, who started in place of Avril, was right there to recover the ball on the Giants 38-yard line.

      One play later, the Seahawks scored when quarterback Russell Wilson found Richardson for the controversial touchdown.

      Clark said after the Seahawks lost Avril to a season-ending neck injury, the unit knew that it would be a challenge to replace Avril's production.

      "When you think about everything that Cliff does, the strip-sack that J-Reed got from the left side, I kept thinking about how many times Cliff has done that since I have been here," Clark said.

      "He is irreplaceable. He is a Hall of Famer in my eyes. The things he does on that side, just the havoc that he causes, it's definitely a missing piece that we are missing, but when you have a lot of guys that can come off the bench and can fill the different things that he does, that's the best part of having a team."

  • NFL notebook: Cardinals' Palmer possibly out for season
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer suffered a broken left arm in Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium in London.

    • Palmer will have surgery when the team returns to Arizona, coach Bruce Arians said after the game. Arians expects Palmer to miss at least eight weeks and might be lost for the season.

      Palmer was injured on an interception in the second quarter after taking a hit from linebacker Alec Ogletree just as the quarterback released the ball.

      Palmer's pass was intercepted by safety Lamarcus Joyner. Palmer was 10 of 18 for 122 yards with the one interception when he exited the game. The Rams led 23-0 at halftime.

      Drew Stanton, a 10-year NFL veteran, replaced Palmer.

      --Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler left Sunday's game against the New York Jets due to cracked ribs, according to multiple reports.

      Cutler, who tossed two touchdown passes in the first half, was hit hard by Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins and left the game in the third quarter clutching his chest.

      NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport tweeted that Cutler is feared to have cracked ribs and that he will likely miss Thursday's game against Baltimore pending test results.

      Matt Moore replaced Cutler at quarterback against the Jets.

      --Cleveland Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas was knocked out of Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans with a left triceps injury with 5:31 left in the third quarter. He didn't return.

      Thomas was replaced by Spencer Drango.

      Thomas never missed a snap in his NFL career prior to the injury. He played 10,363 consecutive snaps over 10-plus seasons.

      --Buffalo Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines left Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a hamstring injury.

      The injury occurred when Gaines tackled Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson after a long completion that was called back due to a holding penalty.

      Gaines missed the Bills' previous game before the bye week with a groin injury. The Bills acquired Gaines from the Los Angeles Rams during the preseason in a trade for wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

      Shareece Wright replaced Gaines in the Bills' lineup.

      --Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka tied an NFL record on Sunday by making his 12th consecutive field goal attempt of at least 50 yards.

      Hauschka's 52-yard field goal gave the Bills a 20-13 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early in the fourth quarter. It was his fifth field goal of 50 yards or more this season. He made two each in Buffalo's victories over the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons.

      Blair Walsh, Robbie Gould, Justin Tucker and Matt Prater share the record with Hauschka.

      Hauschka, who spent the past six seasons with Seattle, last missed from 50-plus yards in the Seahawks' win over the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 21, 2014. He missed from 50 and 52 yards in that game.

      --Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was declared inactive for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts because of an ankle injury.

      Fournette suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The first-round rookie did not practice all week and was listed as questionable.

      Fournette, the fourth overall pick out of LSU, is second in the league in rushing (596 yards) and carries (130) with six touchdowns in six games. He also has 15 catches for 136 yards and one TD.

      Running back Chris Ivory started for the Jaguars. He has rushed for 162 yards on 40 carries with 16 catches for 143 yards and one touchdown.

      -- New York Giants starting middle linebacker B.J. Goodson suffered an ankle injury at the end of the second quarter of Sunday's game against the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium.

      It was unclear what happened to Goodson, who was injured on the Seahawks' final drive of the first half, but he immediately came off the field and went into the locker room for evaluation. He was ruled out to start the third quarter.

      The Giants came into the game thin at the linebacker spot. Defensive captain and starting weakside linebacker Jonathan Casillas was inactive with a neck injury while backup middle linebacker Calvin Munson was inactive after suffering a quad injury last week.

      With Goodson out, Keenan Robinson took over making the calls in the defensive huddle.

      -- Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey sustained a right groin injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game in the first half of Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium.

      The Cowboys went for two points but failed after a touchdown with 10:26 left in the half with Dallas leading 20-3. Cowboys safety Jeff Heath then kicked off to the 49ers.

      Heath made two of three extra-point attempts in the game.

  • Thompson gives Bills much-needed target
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Deonte Thompson signed with the Buffalo Bills on Tuesday and is already one of the team's leading receivers.

    • Thompson caught all four passes thrown his way for 107 yards in the Bills' 30-27 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. He hauled in a 44-yard reception that led to the winning field goal, the second-longest catch by a Bills wide receiver this season.

      "Crazy week, crazy week," Thompson said. "They signed me Tuesday evening. I had to learn the offense and get ready for Sunday. Just a blessing though. I can't thank God enough for this opportunity to come here."

      Running back LeSean McCoy leads the Bills with 32 receptions for 220 yards this season. Injured tight end Charles Clay has caught 20 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns.

      Through the first five games, Jordan Matthews led the wide receivers with 10 receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown. Matthews caught two passes for 10 yards on Sunday in his return after missing one game with a broken thumb.

      Thompson had 11 receptions for 125 yards and a touchdown in five games with the Chicago Bears before he was released on Oct. 11.

      Bills head coach Sean McDermott praised general manager Brandon Beane for bringing Thompson into the depleted receiving corps this week.

      "A player like DT out there on the market and they did a great job of being on top of it in a timely fashion so we could get him in and take a look," McDermott said. "Give credit, obviously, to DT and to the coaching staff on offense for getting him up to speed. Love his attitude, man."

      Thompson said he also worked out for the New England Patriots on Monday before his Tuesday workout with the Bills.

      "It went well," Thompson said. "(The Patriots) said they were going to get back to me. As soon as I left the Bills, they didn't waste any time, they got back to me ASAP and signed me."

      This is Thompson's second stint with the Bills. He played in one game for the Bills in 2014 but did not catch a pass. Buffalo brought him back for training camp in 2015 but he did not make the roster.

      Thompson already had a rapport with quarterback Tyrod Taylor. They played together in the U.S. All-American game in 2007 and were both scout-team players for the Baltimore Ravens from 2012-13.

      "It's great to see him come in and have the game he did," Taylor said. "We've had plenty of reps together in Baltimore. ... I trust him. I trust all those guys. He was able to take advantage of some of the matchups and he was able to make some plays downfield."

      Thompson said every play he ran Sunday he had previously run in practice during the week, including the corner go route that led to his big reception in the fourth quarter. The only thing he didn't prepare for was the helmet-to-helmet hit from Buccaneers cornerback Robert McClain that gave the Bills an extra 15 yards on their winning drive.

      "I can't thank the guys enough for accepting me this week," Thompson said. "Helping me get adjusted and especially my receiver room. They've been great this week, helping me get the plays, staying after practice with me."

  • Packers go into off week hurting after loss to Saints
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    GREEN BAY, Wis. -- The Green Bay Packers and New Orleans Saints are headed in opposite directions.

    • The Saints beat the Packers 26-17 at Lambeau Field on Sunday.

      With Aaron Rodgers out with a broken collarbone and Brett Hundley making his first NFL start, the Saints (4-2) had an overwhelming quarterbacking advantage with veteran Drew Brees. At this stage of their careers, the 24-year-old Hundley is more physically gifted than the 38-year-old Brees. But Brees, his two early interceptions notwithstanding, played the superior game. His throws were on time and on the money, and he never seemed the least bit confused by the Packers' game plan.

      Brees completed 27-of-38 passes for 331 yards and two total touchdowns (one passing, one rushing). Brees' short passing game set up two deep completions, including a 22-yard touchdown to Brandon Coleman in the third quarter.

      Hundley, meanwhile, had a miserable starting debut. He completed 12-of-25 passes for just 87 yards. His longest completion went for only 14 yards.

      The quarterbacking disparity was especially evident on third down, where the Saints converted 8-of-15 compared to the Packers' 4-of-11.

      "You want to be able to sustain drives," Brees said. "That's what allows you to move the ball and wear a defense down and score points. You can do that a lot of different ways. I felt like we rushed the ball really well today. I felt like it was very balanced with the pass. We got some big plays in the passing game, and we also just executed the short passing game as well to keep drives alive. Time of possession was great. Typically, that's indicative of your third-down percentage, which we were over 50 percent there, and I think 36 minutes in the time of possession. That'll win you a lot of football games."

      The victory was the Saints' fourth in a row. While Brees was efficient, it's the running game and the defense that give them a chance to turn this into postseason success.

      The Packers, meanwhile, can't lean on either phase to get through Hundley's growing pains.

      Mark Ingram II rushed for 105 yards. He put the Saints on the scoreboard in the second quarter and set up the clinching touchdown in the fourth quarter with a 22-yard run. Ingram and rookie Alvin Kamara combined for 162 rushing yards and nine receptions.

      "You don't know if it's run or pass," Packers safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix said. "You've got guys that can run the ball and get downhill. Those guys were doing that and it's hard to stop that when you can't stop the run or the pass."

      The Saints' defense, meanwhile, continued its strong play. Over the previous three games, New Orleans ranked No. 1 in opponent passer rating. On Sunday, Hundley posted a passer rating of just 39.9. Green Bay's prolific receiving trio of Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb managed only five catches for 40 yards.

      After Packers running back Aaron Jones carried four times for 70 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown, on the opening series, the Saints buckled down.

      "I think our defense is playing phenomenally," Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan said. "At this point, clearly, we are getting back to the quarterback. It goes hand in hand. The secondary is eating. The defensive line is helping us stand out even more."

      While the Saints are surging, the Packers limp into their bye with a two-game losing streak. At 4-3, they are still very much in the playoff hunt. However, the Packers have no chance of extending their playoff streak to nine consecutive seasons with a quarterback throwing for less than 100 yards and a defense allowing 485 yards.

      Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said he was "disgusted" by a second half in which his team blew a 14-7 lead and was outscored 19-3.

      "It was a challenge that I didn't meet today," he said. "(Hundley) didn't get comfortable in the pocket, and that's my responsibility. So, I did a poor job coaching."

  • 'Sacksonville' defense has Jaguars roaring
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    INDIANAPOLIS -- In and around Florida's northeast coast, NFL fans suddenly are calling their city "Sacksonville."

    • That's because the Jaguars (4-3) have registered two games with 10 sacks each this season, including 10 on Sunday in an impressive 27-0 AFC South victory over the struggling Indianapolis Colts (2-5) in Lucas Oil Stadium.

      Seven different Jaguars defenders had at least a hand in a sack of Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett on Sunday when Indianapolis was shut out for the first time since a 2002 playoff loss to the New York Jets.

      Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue had 2.5 sacks for nine yards in losses, and defensive end Calais Campbell had two sacks of Brissett for 16.5 yards. Seven of Jacksonville's 10 sacks came during the second half.

      --Opening up the offense

      Jacksonville wide receiver Marqise Lee, who made four catches for 72 yards, liked the way the Jaguars executed their 29th-ranked NFL passing game with star running back Leonard Fournette sidelined Sunday with an ankle injury.

      Blake Bortles completed 18 of 26 passes for a season-high 330 yards and one touchdown.

      "It's just us as an offense as far as receivers and tight ends and things go, even running backs," Lee said. "We know we have to do more as far as the passing game as far as keeping the plays open as far as third downs and things like that. I feel we came out today and executed."

      Eight Jacksonville receivers caught passes from Bortles.

      --Telling it like it is

      Indianapolis safety Darius Butler didn't hold back his emotions after Sunday's fifth loss in seven games.

      "It is tough to come back into this locker room," Butler said. "You never want to lose, but losing like this at home -- that is not how you want to feel. But it is a long season, and we have to rally the troops and get back to work.

      "Sometimes, you get knocked on your ass, and you've got to get up. You don't have a choice. You get fired, you've got to get up and go find a way to eat."

      The Colts defense surrendered 518 yards and gained 232.

      --Loves to put it up

      Bortles enjoyed displaying the Jacksonville passing game.

      "Hopefully, the opponent continues to stack the box, and we can keep doing that," Bortles said. "It's a little more fun as a quarterback to throw the ball than to hand it off, but as long as you are winning, it's irrelevant. So, we will do whatever."

  • Zuerlein, Hekker giving Rams extra kick
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    It's become one of the more recent cliches for a coach to call a kicker or a punter "a real weapon."

    • The Los Angeles Rams are well-stocked, as they showed again Sunday in their 33-0 win over the Arizona Cardinals at Twickenham Stadium near London.

      Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein was 4-for-4 on field goals, improving to 21-for-22 this season.

      All-Pro Johnny Hekker only punted twice in the Rams' lopsided win. They were, as usual, good ones.

      Hekker averaged 55 yards on his two punts. He went into the game averaging 46.9 yards a punt. Hekker led the NFL in punting in 2015 when he averaged 47.9 yards per boot.

      Zuerlein's field goals were from 23, 33, 53 and 34 yards. His 53-yard field goal came on the final snap of the first half as time expired.

      Zuerlein was 3-for-3 on extra-points against Arizona. He is 21-for-21 on PATs for the season.

      Hekker and Zuerlein were among the few highlights of the Rams' 2016 season, when they finished 4-12. Los Angeles, off to a 5-2 start, has more than just those two stars this season.

      The last time the Rams started the season 5-2 was in 2003. They qualified for the playoffs that year.

      --Arizona had not allowed 100 yards to an opposing running back for 19 straight games before Todd Gurley II rushed for 106 yards against the Cardinals on Sunday.

      Gurley also had 48 receiving yards on four catches.

      --Before leaving the game because of a broken left arm, Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer passed for 122 yards to give him 46,247 career yards. He passed Vinny Testaverde to become No. 12 on the NFL all-time career list.

      --The Rams dominated every category against Arizona, as would be expected of any team in a 33-0 win. Among the telling statistics was third-down efficiency.

      The Rams converted on 13 of 19 third downs while the Cardinals were 3 of 12. Arizona head coach Bruce Arians called that discrepancy "the most glaring" statistic from Sunday's game.

      "Our biggest problem defensively is getting off the field on third down," Arians said. "It's kind of become a problem. Offensively, it was the same thing, not converting on third down."

      --About the only negative result for Los Angeles was when center John Sullivan left the game in the fourth quarter because of a left knee injury. Austin Blythe replaced Sullivan.

      "I think John (Sullivan) is going to be OK," Rams head coach Sean McVay said. "The early results on him were positive."

      Sullivan, who has played for the Minnesota Vikings and Washington Redskins, signed with the Rams as a free agent in April.

  • 50-50 chances a sure thing for record-tying Hauschka
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka tied an NFL record on Sunday by making his 12th consecutive field-goal attempt of at least 50 yards.

    • Hauschka's 52-yard field goal gave the Bills a 20-13 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early in the fourth quarter.

      Hauschka later made the winning field goal from 30 yards in Buffalo's 30-27 comeback victory. He also connected from 25 yards in the first quarter and missed a 41-yarder in the second.

      In the locker room after the game, Hauschka said he did not know he tied the NFL record he now shares with Blair Walsh, Robbie Gould, Justin Tucker and Matt Prater.

      "It's cool, so I'll try to keep rolling with that," Hauschka said. "Really, it's not even about that. I'm just trying to make kicks, help this team win however we can get that done."

      Hauschka has made five field goals of 50 yards or more this season. He had two each in Buffalo's victories over the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons.

      "Just trying to put a good swing on it," he said. "That's everywhere on the field. Some days you don't feel it as much as others. Today was a great mental day for me. Just to go out there and get the job done even though technically I didn't have my best swings."

      Hauschka, who spent the past six seasons with Seattle, last missed from 50-plus yards in the Seahawks' win over the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 21, 2014. He missed from 50 and 52 yards in that game.

      Since the start of the 2013 season, Hauschka is 17 of 19 on field-goal attempts from at least 50 yards. His career long is 58 yards.

      Hauschka also became the fourth active kicker to score a point in 100 consecutive games on Sunday, a streak that dates to 2011, his first season with the Seahawks.

  • Browns OT Thomas' marathon streak ends with injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    CLEVELAND -- Joe Thomas had visions of playing his entire career without missing a snap, but that dream was shattered Sunday when the All-Pro left tackle suffered a left triceps injury in the Cleveland Browns' 12-9 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans.

    • Thomas was hurt with 5:21 to play in the third quarter. Teammates knelt and watched as trainers tended to him, thinking he would stand and walk back to the huddle as he always does. But not this time.

      "It was just a routine play," Thomas said in the Browns' locker room. "I've done it a million times when you're going to block a guy. You're trying to get one last shove and I felt something unnatural in my arm."

      Thomas played from the first snap in his first game as a rookie in 2007 and 10,362 consecutively after that. He has played through knee and ankle injuries, but could not bite his lip and make it through the arm injury.

      "That one is really personal to me," Browns head coach Hue Jackson said. "He's a huge part of what we do, a huge part of this organization.

      "We'll see where that is, but that was a big blow because obviously those things without him over there change how you have to call the game, try to protect and those types of things and they took advantage of that as we went."

      Spencer Drango, a second-year player, took over after Thomas was forced to leave with 3:21 left in the third quarter. Thomas is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Monday.

      Thomas is universally respected across the NFL. Tennessee left tackle Taylor Lewan paused from answering questions about the Titans' victory.

      "Our whole O-line was taken aback when we saw him go down," Lewan said. "We knew for one play or multiple plays, he was going to be out.

      "I can't say enough good things about that guy. He's what you strive to be as an offensive lineman. To make 10 Pro Bowls is unheard of. To make 10,300-some consecutive snaps -- my heart really goes out to the guy. I appreciate his friendship. He's helped me with a couple things. He's a great dude."

      The Browns will miss Thomas on the field for as long as he's out, but there is more to the situation than that.

      The trade deadline is Oct. 31. This is the time of year that Thomas' name is always floated in trade rumors, but if the MRI shows he could be out for the rest of the season, the Browns won't be able to trade him even if they wanted to.

  • Moore, the people's choice, saves Dolphins
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - Miami Dolphins fans -- for now at least -- have their man.

    • Matt Moore, the backup quarterback Dolphins supporters chanted for last week, got his opportunity on Sunday, and he rallied Miami from a two-touchdown, fourth-quarter deficit.

      The result was a thrilling 31-28 win over the New York Jets on Sunday afternoon at Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins are 4-2. New York is 3-4.

      "That was fun," said Moore, who entered the game in the third quarter after starter Jay Cutler suffered a chest injury. "(My teammates) did an unbelievable job staying together."

      Moore, who filled in late last season when Miami's Ryan Tannehill suffered a knee injury, was asked what he thought when Cutler went down on Sunday.

      "Let's go," Moore said. "We were down, and I just tried to make plays and put scores on the board."

      Moore did make one big mistake, getting intercepted in the middle of the field by Jets rookie safety Marcus Maye.

      But Moore recovered and finished with impressive numbers considering he played less than two quarters. He completed 13 of 21 passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

      What made Moore's numbers even better was the fact that he has taken virtually no practice repetitions this season.

      "In our system, the starter gets all the reps," Moore confirmed. "But as the backup, you have to prepare as if you are starting."

      The Dolphins, who visit the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday night, will be saddled by a short work week and travel. Dolphins head coach Adam Gase said X-rays and an MRI will need to be performed on Cutler, but it seems likely that Moore will be Miami's quarterback on Thursday.

      And Moore's teammates have no worries with him in the lineup.

      "Guys on both sides of the ball feel confident in Matt," Dolphins safety Reshad Jones said. "Guys love him. He brings energy."

      The Dolphins got very little going in their ground game on Sunday as Jay Ajayi was held to 51 yards on 23 carries -- just 2.2 yards per pop.

      But wide receivers Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills played well, giving Moore two top targets. Landry finished with seven catches for 93 yards and one touchdown. Stills caught six passes for 85 yards and two touchdowns.

      "Our guys know that when the starting quarterback goes down, everyone has to step up," Gase said. "You know he hasn't had any practice reps -- he's going off pictures and what he's seen on film."

      As for the fans who chanted his name last week, Moore remained humble.

      "Every person on the team has a role," he said. "I come to work every day prepared to do my job.

      "I'm aware (of the fans chanting). But it's all for naught if you don't produce."

  • NFL roundup: Titans survive scare from winless Browns
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    CLEVELAND -- Ryan Succop kicked a 47-yard field goal with 1:55 left in overtime to give the Tennessee Titans a 12-9 victory over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

    • A 54-yard field goal by Browns rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez with 47 seconds left in regulation tied the score 9-9 to force overtime.

      The 0-7 Browns shut down the Titans' sixth-ranked running attack and the Tennessee defense made the Browns quarterbacks pay for passing mistakes.

      Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota finished 21 of 34 for 203 yards. DeMarco Murray had 18 carries for just 59 yards.

      Browns quarterback Cody Kessler went 10 of 19 for 121 yards and an interception before being benched for rookie DeShone Kizer, who went 12 of 20 for 114 yards and two interceptions.

      Patriots 23, Falcons 7

      FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Just as they occurred in the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, New England manhandled Atlanta, cruising to a fog-shrouded victory.

      The Falcons held a 28-3 lead over New England back in February before the Patriots scored the last 31 points to steal the game. On Sunday night, New England made it 54 straight points against Atlanta before Julio Jones caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan with 4:09 left in the game.

      Tom Brady threw two touchdowns passes, one a short flip forward that Brandin Cooks ran in 11 yards for a TD, and Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals for New England. James White, who scored the overtime touchdown in the Super Bowl, caught a 2-yard touchdown pass.

      Vikings 24, Ravens 16

      MINNEAPOLIS -- Kai Forbath kicked six field goals for Minnesota in a win over Baltimore.

      Justin Tucker kicked three field goals, but it wasn't enough as the Ravens lost their fourth in five games.

      Vikings running back Latavius Murray was the rare offensive standout, picking up 113 yards on the ground and scoring Minnesota's lone touchdown. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco finished 27 of 39 passing for 186 yards, and hit Chris Moore for a 13-yard touchdown on the final play of the game. Vikings quarterback Case Keenum was 20 of 31 for 188 yards and an interception.

      Bears 17, Panthers 3

      CHICAGO -- Rookie safety Eddie Jackson became the first player in NFL history to score two defensive touchdowns of at least 75 yards in the same game, and Chicago made them stand up in a win over Carolina.

      Jackson scored on a 75-yard fumble return and a 76-yard interception return during the first half. Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky played it safe on the other side of the ball as he completed four of seven passes for 107 yards.

      Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (21 of 34, 211 yards) was intercepted twice in the loss. Turnovers crippled Carolina, which fell short despite posting a 20-5 advantage in first downs and a 293-153 edge in total yards.

      Saints 26, Packers 17

      GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Drew Brees continued his mastery of Green Bay, leading New Orleans to victory.

      Brees completed a barrage of short passes that added up to 331 yards on 27-of-38 accuracy with two interceptions. In seven career games against the Packers, he has topped 300 passing yards all seven times.

      Making his first start for injured Aaron Rodgers, Packers quarterback Brett Hundley was just 12 of 25 for 87 yards. Hundley didn't make any big mistakes -- his lone interception came with the Packers down by nine in the final minutes -- but he also didn't make any big plays in the passing game.

      Jaguars 27, Colts 0

      INDIANAPOLIS -- Blake Bortles completed 18 of 26 passes for 330 yards and a touchdown, and Jacksonville dominated Indianapolis.

      The Colts were shut out for the first time since a 41-0 playoff loss in 2002 at the New York Jets.

      Bortles had a terrific first half, completing 14 of 20 passes for 282 yards and one touchdown. His first-half success included completions of 45, 50, 52, 24 and 28 yards. Jacksonville's 39 first-half plays from scrimmage produced 342 yards. Colts quarterback Jacoby Brissett was sacked three times in the first half and limited to 5-of-10 passing for 37 yards. Brissett finished 22 of 37 for 200 yards.

      Dolphins 31, Jets 28

      MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Backup quarterback Matt Moore, facing a two-touchdown deficit, rallied Miami over New York.

      Dolphins defensive back Bobby McCain made the biggest defensive play of the game, intercepting a Josh McCown pass at the New York 27 with 47 seconds left in the fourth quarter. That set up Dolphins kicker Cody Parkey, who broke a 28-28 tie with a 37-yard field goal with 26 seconds left.

      Moore completed 13 of 21 passes for 198 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in relief of Jay Cutler (ribs). The late interception of McCown spoiled a strong overall performance in which he passed for three touchdowns and ran for one. He finished 17 of 27 for 209 yards.

      Bills 30, Buccaneers 27

      ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- LeSean McCoy rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns and Tyrod Taylor passed for 268 yards and a touchdown as Buffalo came from behind to defeat Tampa Bay.

      Stephen Hauschka made three field goals, including the game-winner from 30 yards with 14 seconds remaining. Earlier in the game, Hauschka tied an NFL record by making his 12th consecutive field goal of at least 50 yards.

      Jameis Winston started at quarterback for the Buccaneers after being listed as questionable with a shoulder injury. Winston was 32 of 44 passing for 384 yards and three touchdowns. However, he fumbled twice, losing one, and threw an interception. Bucs rookie tight end O.J. Howard caught six passes for 98 yards and two touchdowns, while Mike Evans had seven receptions for 88 yards and a touchdown.

      Rams 33, Cardinals 0

      Jared Goff threw for 235 yards and a touchdown, Todd Gurley II had his fourth game of 100 or more rushing yards and the defense provided two interceptions that led to points as Los Angeles crushed Arizona at Twickenham Stadium in London.

      Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer exited the game in the second quarter with a broken left arm and will be out at least eight weeks and possibly the rest of the season.

      Greg Zuerlein added four field goals for the Rams. Gurley rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. It was Gurley's fourth 100 yards-plus game this season. He had no games of 100 or more yards last season.

      Steelers 29, Bengals 14

      PITTSBURGH -- Le'Veon Bell carried 35 times for 134 yards against the NFL's second-ranked defense to lead Pittsburgh over Cincinnati.

      In games in which Bell has carried 27 times or more, the Steelers are 4-0.

      Bell sparked a Steelers touchdown drive on their first possession. He carried five times for 27 yards and gained 23 on a pass reception before Antonio Brown caught a 7-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger. Roethlisberger completed 14 of 24 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns for the Steelers. His passer rating of 117.4 was a season high.

      Cowboys 40, 49ers 10

      SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Ezekiel Elliott ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns and caught a 72-yard touchdown pass, leading Dallas over San Francisco.

      Dak Prescott completed 16 of 25 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns for the Cowboys, who ended a two-game losing streak. Prescott also ran for a touchdown.

      San Francisco rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard completed 22 of 38 passes for 235 yards and ran for a touchdown in his first NFL start. He was sacked five times and lost two fumbles.

      Chargers 21, Broncos 0

      CARSON, Calif -- Los Angeles blanked Denver to win its third straight game and first of the season after three losses at the StubHub Center.

      Travis Benjamin had a 42-yard scoring reception and returned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown to lead the Chargers. Philip Rivers added another touchdown pass to running back Austin Ekeler. Rivers finished 15 of 26 for 183 yards and two touchdowns as he recorded his 100th career win.

      The Broncos, who have dropped three of their past four games, committed three turnovers and were stifled by a stout Chargers defense. Trevor Siemian completed 25 of 35 passes for 207 yards and an interception.

      Seahawks 24, Giants 7

      EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Russell Wilson threw three second-half touchdown passes to give Seattle a win over New York.

      The Seahawks, who were coming off their bye week, put together a sloppy, penalty-filled first half, which included eight penalties for 63 yards and two second-quarter dropped passes by tight end Jimmy Graham, one of which would have been a touchdown on a fourth-down play.

      Wilson, who in addition to the three touchdown passes, completed 27 of 39 for 334 yards and no interceptions. Seattle's Doug Baldwin caught nine passes for 91 yards and a score. Giants quarterback Eli Manning was just 19 of 39 for 134 yards and a touchdown.

  • Ghosts of yips past squelched by Vikings K Forbath
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    MINNEAPOLIS -- Minnesota Vikings fans still hold their breath a little bit when their team lines up for a field goal. It's been that way since Jan. 10, 2016. That was the bitterly cold day when the team's season ended in a 10-9 home playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.

    • Blair Walsh, then Minnesota's kicker, missed a chip-shot 27-yard field-goal attempt with 26 seconds to play that almost certainly would have given head coach Mike Zimmer his first playoff win. Since then, fans in purple cringe just a little every time the Vikings line up in hopes of splitting the uprights.

      On Sunday, new kicker Kai Forbath did what he could to ease that trauma -- six times. Signed as a free agent last season after Walsh had a tough start and was cut, Forbath set a career high with his half-dozen field goals, hitting from 52, 51, 43, 43, 34 and 32 yards in Minnesota's 24-16 win over the Ravens.

      True to his quiet nature, Forbath shunned the spotlight after his career-best game.

      "I took it one kick at a time. I had opportunities today and I took advantage of them," said Forbath, who hit two in a game from 50 yards or more for the first time in his career. "Those are good for the stats, but it is the same amount of points wherever they are kicked from. It was a good day."

      It was a good day for kickers all around, with Baltimore's Justin Tucker -- statistically one of the most accurate kickers in NFL history -- hitting three of his own. Even Tucker tipped his cap to his Minnesota counterpart in the postgame locker room.

      "You've got to give credit to Kai for hitting the ball pretty well today," said Tucker, who connected from 48, 57 and 47 yards. "And as a specialist, as a kicker, you like to see guys do well. You just don't want to see them do too well. But at the end of the day, it is what it is."

      It wasn't a perfect day for Forbath, who kicked for UCLA in college and is with his fifth NFL team since entering the league in 2011. His extra-point attempt after Minnesota's lone touchdown hit the right upright. It was his third PAT miss this season. Still, the all-day performance drew praise from his coach.

      "He's right on the edge of where he needs to be," Zimmer said. "I think it's good that our offense understands where they have to be in order to get a field goal if they're not going to get the first down."

      And maybe those lingering fears of field-goal attempts can be eased, just a bit, in the minds of Vikings fans.

  • Panthers QB Newton can't locate end zone against Bears
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    CHICAGO -- More than an hour passed before Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton finally entered a Soldier Field interview room and faced a bank of cameras Sunday afternoon.

    • Newton seemed as if he wanted to be anywhere else. His team had lost 17-3 against the Chicago Bears, and he had thrown two interceptions and botched a lateral play in the defeat.

      "There's no excuse not to come in and find a way to win this football game," Newton said. "We squandered that opportunity, but I'm not feeling sorry for myself, nor do I expect anyone else to. Life goes on, and we just have to get ready for our next opponent."

      This has been a roller-coaster season for Newton, who made headlines for mocking a female reporter earlier this month. Newton again raised eyebrows last week as he skipped his weekly press conference.

      Newton's brief remarks Sunday featured no controversy. He stuck to short answers and did not deflect blame for his turnovers or the team's three-point effort, which marked its worst performance since 2011.

      The 28-year-old signal-caller completed 21 of 34 passes for 211 yards and two interceptions. He has compiled 1,687 yards, nine touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season for an 80.8 passer rating.

      A reporter asked Newton why the Panthers did not attempt more deep throws against the Bears.

      "Sorry, I can't answer that question," said Newton, who wore gold-rimmed aviators and a gold hat. "I'm executing the play that is given to me and pretty much trying to check what the defense gives me."

      When asked what went wrong on his first interception, Newton avoided specifics.

      "The ball just shot up in the air, and it was an interception," he said.

      Carolina head coach Ron Rivera said Newton "had his moments" and did not deserve blame for the loss. He said the botched lateral and deflected pass were plays that were out of Newton's hands.

      However, Rivera acknowledged that Newton's accuracy was off during several important plays.

      "He overthrew Christian (McCaffrey) and he overthrew Kelvin (Benjamin)," Rivera said. "Those are some things you wish you could have back. He knows it, too. I saw his expression right after he missed them both. He knew that if he brings it down to Christian, it's a big catch, and if he brings it down to Kelvin, it's a big catch."

      Newton said he and his teammates could not rely on excuses such as an injury-riddled offensive line.

      "Injuries aside, we still have to get the job done," Newton said. "And, offensively, we didn't. We didn't get an opportunity to get in the red zone, and that's unacceptable. We have to be better."

  • Cowboys K Bailey leaves game with groin injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Dallas Cowboys kicker Dan Bailey sustained a right groin injury and was ruled out for the rest of the game in the first half of Sunday's game against the San Francisco 49ers at Levi's Stadium.

    • The Cowboys went for two points but failed after a touchdown with 10:26 left in the half with Dallas leading 20-3. Cowboys safety Jeff Heath then kicked off to the 49ers.

  • Bills' Hauschka makes 12th straight FG of 50-plus yards
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills kicker Stephen Hauschka tied an NFL record on Sunday by making his 12th consecutive field goal attempt of at least 50 yards.

    • Hauschka's 52-yard field goal gave the Bills a 20-13 lead over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early in the fourth quarter. It was his fifth field goal of 50 yards or more this season. He made two each in Buffalo's victories over the Denver Broncos and Atlanta Falcons.

      Blair Walsh, Robbie Gould, Justin Tucker and Matt Prater share the record with Hauschka.

      Hauschka, who spent the past six seasons with Seattle, last missed from 50-plus yards in the Seahawks' win over the Arizona Cardinals on Dec. 21, 2014. He missed from 50 and 52 yards in that game.

  • Dolphins QB Cutler suffers cracked ribs
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Cutler left Sunday's game against the New York Jets due to cracked ribs, according to multiple reports.

    • Cutler, who tossed two touchdown passes in the first half, was hit hard by Jets linebacker Jordan Jenkins and left the game in the third quarter clutching his chest.

      NFL Media insider Ian Rapoport tweeted that Cutler is feared to have cracked ribs and that he will likely miss Thursday's game against Baltimore pending test results.

      Matt Moore replaced Cutler at quarterback against the Jets.

  • Bills CB Gaines departs with hamstring injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills cornerback E.J. Gaines left Sunday's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with a hamstring injury and will not return.

    • The injury occurred when Gaines tackled Buccaneers wide receiver DeSean Jackson after a long completion that was called back due to a holding penalty.

      Gaines missed the Bills' previous game before the bye week with a groin injury. The Bills acquired Gaines from the Los Angeles Rams during the preseason in a trade for wide receiver Sammy Watkins.

      Shareece Wright replaced Gaines in the Bills' lineup.

  • Browns LT Thomas out with triceps injury
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    CLEVELAND -- Cleveland Browns All-Pro left tackle Joe Thomas was knocked out of Sunday's game against the Tennessee Titans with a left triceps injury with 5:31 left in the third quarter. He will not return, per a press box announcement.

    • Thomas was replaced by Spencer Drango.

      Thomas never missed a snap in his NFL career prior to the injury. He played 10,363 consecutive snaps over 10-plus seasons.

  • Cardinals QB Palmer suffers broken left arm
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer suffered a broken left arm in Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium in London.

    • He will have surgery when the team returns to Arizona, coach Bruce Arians said after the game. Arians expects Palmer to miss at least eight weeks and might be lost for the season.

      Palmer was injured on an interception in the second quarter after taking a hit from Rams linebacker Alec Ogletree just after releasing the ball. The pass was intercepted by Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner.

      Palmer was 10 of 18 for 122 yards and the one interception when he exited the game. The Rams led 23-0 at halftime and went on to post a 33-0 victory.

      Drew Stanton, a 10-year NFL veteran, replaced Palmer.

  • Jaguars RB Fournette (ankle) inactive vs. Colts
    By The Sports Xchange / Sunday, October 22, 2017

    Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette was declared inactive for Sunday's game against the Indianapolis Colts because of an ankle injury.

    • Fournette suffered the injury in the fourth quarter of last Sunday's loss to the Los Angeles Rams. The first-round rookie did not practice all week and was listed as questionable.

      Fournette, the fourth overall pick out of LSU, is second in the league in rushing (596 yards) and carries (130) with six touchdowns in six games. He also has 15 catches for 136 yards and one TD.

      Running back Chris Ivory is expected to start for the Jaguars. He has rushed for 162 yards on 40 carries with 16 catches for 143 yards and one touchdown.