Lamar Jackson threw for three touchdowns in a near-perfect passing performance and added a sensational 47-yard scoring run, Marcus Peters got his third pick-6 of the season – this one off rookie Ryan Finley – and the Baltimore Ravens won their fifth in a row, routing the winless Cincinnati Bengals 49-13 on Sunday.
The Ravens (7-2) followed their eye-opening victory over the previously unbeaten Patriots by quickly pulling away from the NFL’s last winless team.
It was the Lamar Jackson show from the start – a 49-yard completion on his first throw. His only incompletion in the first half was on a spike.
Jackson finished 15 of 17 – a club-record completion percentage – for 223 yards and a perfect passer rating of 158.3, his second of the season. Jackson threw five TD passes and had a perfect rating during a 59-10 opening win over the Dolphins.
In the third quarter, Jackson pulled off a 360-degree spin move during his 47-yard touchdown run, among the best in his growing highlight reel of dashing past befuddled defenders. Then, Jackson stood in against a blitz for a 20-yard touchdown pass that made it 42-10.
With their dual-threat quarterback taking the lead, the AFC North leaders have won five in a row for the first time since 2013.
The Bengals (0-9) switched quarterbacks but couldn’t avoid their first sweep by the Ravens since 2011. Finley made his NFL debut and had a hand in the blowout.
Peters read the rookie’s eyes and stepped in front of a sideline pass, returning the interception 89 yards for a touchdown. Peters is the first since William Gay in 2014 to have three pick-six plays in a season.
Tyus Bowser returned Finley’s fumble 33 yards for another touchdown in the third quarter. Finley finished 16 of 30 for 167 yards. The Bengals benched Andy Dalton during their bye and turned to the fourth-round pick, seeing if he fit in their long-term plans as Cincinnati already begins looking to next year.
The Bengals dropped their 11th in a row from the end of last season, tying the longest two-season losing streak in club history. They’re one loss away from matching the worst start in club history.
New York Giants 27-34 New York Jets
Le’Veon Bell scored a go-ahead one-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter after a 33-yard pass interference penalty on DeAndre Baker, and the New York Jets rallied and then held on to beat the Giants 34-27 on Sunday for Big Apple bragging rights.
Sam Darnold threw a touchdown pass to Jamison Crowder and ran for another score, and Jamal Adams scored on a 25-yard fumble return on a strip-sack as the Jets (2-7) bounced back from an embarrassing 28-16 loss last week at previously winless Miami.
Daniel Jones threw a career-high four touchdown passes, two each to Darius Slayton and Golden Tate, but couldn’t prevent the Giants (2-8) from losing their sixth straight game. It’s their first six-game skid since 2014.
Saquon Barkley had the worst game of his young career, finishing with just one yard on 13 carries. He also had five catches for 30 yards.
With the Giants trailing 21-19 in the third quarter, Jones marched them down the field on nine plays over 69 yards, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass to Tate.
Pat Shurmur opted to go for a two-point conversion and Jones found Bennie Fowler III in the back left corner of the end zone to put the Giants ahead for the first time, 27-21 with 5:21 left in the third quarter.
Sam Ficken’s 53-yard field goal late in the third cut the Jets’ deficit to three points. The drive was kept alive by Darnold’s 24-yard run – the longest rush for the Jets this season – on third-and-7 from their 39.
The Jets retook the lead on Bell’s short touchdown run eight seconds into the final quarter. After a 25-yard catch by Crowder, Darnold threw a deep pass to Robby Anderson and Baker was called for pass interference in the end zone – a 33-yard penalty that put the ball at the one.
Ficken’s 35-yard field goal made it 34-27 with 7:36 remaining, and the defense held firm from there for the Jets.
Darnold was 19 of 30 for 230 yards, while Jones was 26 of 40 for 308 yards.
Darnold gave the Jets an early lead by running it in from 2 yards out, capping a 13-play, 75-yard drive. Darnold was 7 of 7 for 63 yards, including an 18-yard completion to Crowder on third-and-11 to help keep the possession alive.
On New York’s next drive, Adam Gase opted to go for it on fourth-and-1 from the 41 – and rookie tight end Trevon Wesco ran for a 2-yard gain. Four plays later, Darnold – under heavy pressure – fired a strike to Crowder, who made a terrific move outside to avoid a tackle and moved inside before zipping into the end zone for a 23-yard touchdown to make it 14-0.
Jones got the Giants moving on their next drive, helped by a defensive pass interference call on Nate Hairston and two penalties on Steve McLendon. On first-and-goal from the five, Jones scanned the field before zipping a pass to Slayton to cut the Giants’ deficit to 14-7 early in the second quarter.
Jones and Slayton connected again later in the quarter when Shurmur opted to go for it on fourth-and-4 from the Jets 39. Hairston slipped while trying to cover Slayton, who got wide open in the middle of the field and caught Jones’ throw on the run and had a clear path to the end zone.
Holder Riley Dixon picked up Zak DeOssie’s wayward snap on the extra point, but his throw to Kaden Smith for the 2-point conversion attempt fell incomplete to make it 14-13 with 5:24 left in the half.
The Jets had a chance to add to their lead with 1:25 remaining in the second quarter, but Ficken was wide left on a 54-yard field goal attempt.
Adams gave the Jets a 21-13 lead just three plays into the second half, when he ripped the ball out of Jones’ hands and ran it into the end zone 25 yards for a touchdown. It was Adams’ second defensive TD of the season.
It was the third straight game Jones had a fumble returned for a touchdown.
On third-and-9 from the Giants 39, Jones threw a screen to Tate for a 61-yard touchdown.
The Giants went for the two-point conversion, but Tate was called for offensive pass interference. Shurmur opted to go for the extra point, but Aldrick Rosas was wide right – and the Jets still led, 21-19.
Atlanta Falcons 26-9 New Orleans Saints
Matt Ryan passed for two touchdowns and the Atlanta Falcons ended their six-game slide with a 26-9 victory over the Saints on Sunday that stopped New Orleans’ six-game winning streak.
Atlanta’s defense stunningly dominated New Orleans’ normally stout offensive line. Coming in with an NFL-low seven sacks all season, the Falcons sacked Drew Brees six times, with Grady Jarrett, Vic Beasley Jr, Adrian Clayborn and De’Vondre Campbell all getting involved. Jarrett finished with a team-high two and a half sacks.
It was the second time this season the Saints were held without a touchdown at home, but the first time with Brees under center. New Orleans also failed to score a TD in a 12-10 victory over Dallas in Week 4 with Teddy Bridgewater filling in at quarterback.
Ryan, returning from an ankle injury that sidelined him in the game before the Falcons’ Week 9 bye, was 20 of 35 for 182 yards.
His first touchdown went for eight yards to tight end Austin Hooper in the second quarter and his second to running back Brian Hill in the fourth quarter to put Atlanta in front 20-9.
Ryan was intercepted once inside the final five minutes by Marcus Williams, but the Saints offense quickly turned the ball back over on downs.
Julio Jones caught three passes for 79 yards – including a 54-yarder to set up a field goal – for Atlanta, which rolled up 317 yards and were the first Saints opponent since Seattle in Week 3 to gain more than 257 yards.
Brees went 32 of 45 for 287 yards and the Saints finished with 310 yards, well below their average of 375.3 coming in. That’s despite getting running back Alvin Kamara and tight end Jared Cook back from injuries that had kept them out of New Orleans’ previous two games. Other than receiver Michael Thomas, who caught 13 passes for 152 yards, few regulars on the Saints’ offense approached their usual production.
The Saints also were mistake-prone, committing committed 12 penalties for 90 yards. Several of those infractions extended Atlanta drives on third and even fourth down.
With 9:01 left, JT Gray, who had blocked a punt in Chicago in Week 7, committed a 15-yard, roughing the kicker penalty trying to block another. The penalty led to Younghoe Koo’s 48 yards field goal, which widened Atlanta’s lead to 23-9 with 7:27 to go.
Arizona Cardinals 27-30 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jameis Winston threw for 358 yards and one touchdown, helping the Tampa Bay Buccaneers rally to snap a four-game losing streak with a 30-27 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Matt Gay kicked three field goals and Peyton Barber scored on a 1-yard run to finish a 92-yard, game-winning drive Winston put together after the Bucs (3-6) ended Kyler Murray’s NFL rookie record streak of 211 consecutive pass attempts without an interception.
Barber’s TD with less than two minutes left was set up by a booth review that determined Cardinals safety Jalen Thompson committed pass interference against Mike Evans in the end zone, giving Tampa Bay a first down at the Arizona one.
Murray threw for 324 yards and three TDs to Christian Kirk, whose 15-yard scoring reception put the Cardinals up 27-23 midway through the fourth quarter. Kirk also scored on receptions of 33 and 69 yards and finished with six catches for 138 yards.
Murray, the first overall pick in this year’s draft, set the rookie record for most pass attempts without an interception on an 11-yard completion to Larry Fitzgerald, moving ahead of Derek Carr (2014) and Dak Prescott (2016) who both had streaks of 176 consecutive passes without an interception in their first seasons.
The 2018 Heisman Trophy winner hadn’t thrown an interception since 29 September, a span of six games in which the Cardinals (3-6-1) have gone 3-3.
Arizona also hurt its chances by losing a fumble for the first time all season and a huge second-half drop by tight end Maxx Williams that cost the Cardinals a sure touchdown early in the third quarter.
Winston, meanwhile, overcame throwing two interceptions – one of which led to a field goal – with a 10-yard TD pass to OJ Howard and leading 60-yard drive that Ronald Jones finished with a 7-yard scoring run.