Bengals 41, Ravens 17
Ja'Marr Chase caught Joe Burrow's pass over the middle, avoided two players diving at his legs and spun past another defender into the clear.
If that passing tandem progresses the way Cincinnati hopes, Sunday's long touchdown against Baltimore might be remembered as the moment the rest of the league had to take the Bengals seriously as contenders.
“We're starting to earn respect,” coach Zac Taylor said.
Burrow threw for a career-high 416 yards and three touchdowns, including that pivotal 82-yarder to Chase in the third quarter, and the Bengals won their AFC North showdown against the Ravens in style, pulling away in the second half for a 41-17 victory.
The Bengals (5-2) drew even with the Ravens (5-2) atop the division, a sign that Burrow and Chase might be ahead of schedule in turning around this struggling franchise. The former LSU teammates were too much for Baltimore to handle, and Cincinnati's offense moved the ball pretty easily from the middle of the second quarter to the finish.
Chase had eight catches for 201 yards, easily the most productive performance of his impressive debut season. He broke Speedy Thomas’ franchise rookie record of 177 yards receiving, set in a 1969 game at Denver.
“We've got so many weapons, the defense is playing great ball right now,” Chase said. “I think the sky is the limit for us.”
The blowout win probably quieted some of the external skepticism about Cincinnati's solid start, although Taylor felt the Bengals had been playing well for a while. They'd already won a road game within the division last month against Pittsburgh.
“I feel like it started before this,” Taylor said. “These are kind of things we needed to check off. This team has really taken it to us the last several times.”
The Bengals snapped a five-game losing streak against the Ravens. Baltimore’s three most recent wins in the series were by a combined score of 114-19.
Lamar Jackson threw for 257 yards and ran for 88, but he was sacked five times as the Ravens lost for the first time since their opener at Las Vegas. Jackson found Marquise Brown for a 39-yard touchdown in the third quarter that put Baltimore up 17-13, but the Ravens' only lead of the game was brief.
Burrow needed only four plays to put Cincinnati back in front on a 32-yard strike to C.J. Uzomah. After a Baltimore punt, he connected with Chase on his long TD to make it a 10-point lead.
Chase came into the week with a league-best five catches of 40 yards or longer. Nobody was going to run him down on this one after he made three Ravens miss.
Joe Mixon made it 34-17 with a 21-yard run in the fourth, and Samaje Perine added a 46-yarder.
“Congratulations to the Bengals. They came into a division game on the road and played great,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. “We were beaten soundly.”
The Ravens have started a season 5-1 four times, but never 6-1.
Burrow, the second-year quarterback taken No. 1 in last year's draft, has thrown for at least two touchdowns in every game this season.
“He played a great game today. This might have been his best game as a pro,” Ravens defensive lineman Calais Campbell said. “We made it hard on him early, he made some adjustments and did what he was able to do. His playmakers made plays for him, too.”
Burrow found Uzomah for a 55-yard TD in the second quarter to put the Bengals up 10-3, but Baltimore immediately drove for a 1-yard scoring run by Devonta Freeman.
Burrow guided Cincinnati on a 63-yard drive in the last couple minutes of the half. The Bengals managed only a field goal, but the ease with which they went down the field was a sign of things to come.
“After that, we came into the locker room, and it was like, we got ’em now,” Burrow said. “We’re rolling, we're seeing things better and we're making plays, so after that, we knew what was going to happen.”
Chase now has 754 yards receiving, the most for a player through the first seven games of his career since the AFL-NFL merger.
Ravens RT Patrick Mekari left in the second quarter with an ankle injury.
Cardinals 31, Texans 5
DeAndre Hopkins caught a touchdown pass against his former team, Zach Ertz caught a touchdown pass for his new team and the Cardinals scored 31 unanswered points.
The Cardinals remained the NFL’s only undefeated team and improved to 7-0 for the first time since 1974. The Texans (1-6) — who looked totally overmatched for three quarters — have lost six straight games.
Arizona fell into an early 5-0 hole after a slow offensive start, but recovered to win easily. The Cardinals were a 20 1-2-point favorite, according to FanDuel, a massive spread for an NFL game.
Kyler Murray completed 20 of 28 passes for 261 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. The interception was his first since Week 3, but it was one of the rare bad moments in another solid day. James Conner added an 18-yard touchdown run and Ertz had a 47-yard touchdown reception, which was the longest of his career.
It was the first time Hopkins and J.J. Watt had played against Houston, which is where both grew into stars before coming to the Cardinals. Watt signed with Arizona during the past offseason while Hopkins was acquired by the Cardinals in a trade in 2020.
Rams 28, Lions 19
Matthew Stafford passed for 334 yards and three touchdowns against his former team, and Jalen Ramsey made an end zone interception with five minutes left.
Jared Goff passed for 268 yards and nearly led the Lions (0-7) to an upset win in his first meeting with the Rams (6-1), who traded him for Stafford in a blockbuster deal last winter.
The Rams led 25-19 when Goff drove the Lions to the Los Angeles 12 in the waning minutes while converting four third downs on an excellent drive. But Ramsey came up with his latest game-changing play on his 27th birthday when he picked off an errant throw by Goff, who was being hit by the Rams’ other 2020 All-Pro, Aaron Donald.
Cooper Kupp had 10 catches for 156 yards and two touchdowns for the Rams, including the go-ahead score. Van Jefferson also caught a scoring pass from Stafford, who has 19 TD throws in his first seven games on the West Coast.
D’Andre Swift made a 63-yard catch-and-run TD on the opening possession for the Lions, who lost their 11th straight game despite jumping to a double-digit lead in a rare strong start. Kalif Raymond had six catches for 115 yards.
Raiders 33, Eagles 22
Derek Carr threw for 323 yards, completing 31 of 34 pass attempts with one touchdown. The Raiders (5-2) outgained Philadelphia 443-358 in a dominating performance that saw Las Vegas score on five straight possessions after its first series ended with Carr being intercepted inside the Eagles 5-yard line.
It was Las Vegas’ second straight win since former coach Jon Gruden resigned Oct. 11 because of offensive emails he sent before being hired in 2018.
Under interim coach Rich Bisaccia, the Raiders have outscored Denver and Philadelphia 67-46 collectively, and outgained both 869-779.
The Eagles (2-5) lost their second straight and for the fifth time in six games.
The Raiders were without Carr’s top target, tight end Darren Waller, who was inactive. Las Vegas lost running back Josh Jacobs to a chest injury after he ran for 29 yards on six attempts, including one touchdown.
Stepping up in the Pro Bowlers’ places were tight end Foster Moreau, who had a career-high six receptions for 60 yards, and running back Kenyan Drake, who rushed for 69 yards on 14 attempts, including one touchdown.
Buccaneers 38, Bears 3
Tom Brady became the first player to throw 600 career touchdown passes, and the Buccaneers have the best seven-game start in franchise history.
The defending Super Bowl champions won their fourth straight game, improving to 6-1 and avenging one of their five regular-season losses from a year ago, with Brady completing 20 of 36 passes for 211 yards and four TDs.
The Tampa Bay defense did its job, too, limiting the offensively challenged Bears (3-4) to Cairo Santos’ second-quarter field goal and sacking rookie Justin Fields four times, forcing two fumbles. Dee Delaney had one of the Bucs’ three interceptions, a first-quarter pick that led to Brady’s 599th career TD pass.
With Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski sidelined by injuries, Mike Evans had a big day receiving for the Bucs, finishing with six catches for 76 yards and three TDs, including a 9-yarder that gave Brady No. 600 with 6 seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Evans also had scoring receptions of 2 and 8 yards as the Bucs built the lead to 35-3 at halftime. Chris Godwin had eight catches for 111 yards and a 5-yard reception set up by Delaney’s interception.
Fields, meanwhile, fell to 2-3 as the Bears starter. The first-round draft pick finished 22 of 32 for 184 yards and three interceptions. He also lost two fumbles and has now been sacked a league-leading 22 times.
Packers 24, Washington 10
Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and Green Bay earned a sixth consecutive victory.
Washington outgained Green Bay 430-304 but had had five scoreless trips inside the Packers 30-yard line, including back-to-back series that ended inside the 5. Before Sunday, Packers opponents had scored touchdowns every time they reached the red zone.
The Packers (6-1) haven’t lost since falling 38-3 to New Orleans on the season’s opening Sunday. Green Bay now enters the toughest stretch of its schedule with games at Arizona on Thursday night and at Kansas City on Nov. 7.
Washington (2-5) has lost three straight.
Rodgers went 27 of 35 for 274 yards with touchdown passes to Davante Adams, Allen Lazard and Robert Tonyan.
Washington’s Taylor Heinicke was 25 of 36 for 268 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also ran for a game-high 95 yards on 10 carries.
Falcons 30, Dolphins 28
Matt Ryan passed for 336 yards, nearly half of them going to rookie tight end Kyle Pitts, and Younghoe Koo made a 36-yard field goal as time expired.
Pitts had seven catches for 163 yards, the last 28 of those on a sideline route with just under 2:00 left to get the Falcons into field goal range. Koo’s third field goal of the game saved Atlanta after the Falcons wasted a 13-point fourth-quarter lead.
Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage caught touchdown passes for the Falcons (3-3). Ryan completed 25 of 40 passes.
Tua Tagovailoa threw for 291 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, the last of them going to Mack Hollins with 2:27 left for Miami, which has dropped six straight. Tagovailoa completed 32 of 40 passes and had two interceptions — both of which led to Atlanta scores.
Mike Gesicki, Myles Gaskin and Isaiah Ford had the other touchdown receptions for Miami (1-6).
Colts 30, 49ers 18
Carson Wentz threw TD passes to Mo Alie-Cox and Michael Pittman Jr. and ran for another score to lead Indianapolis to a rain-soaked victory over San Francisco.
The Colts (3-4) overcame the wet conditions and an early nine-point deficit to win for the third time in four games following an 0-3 start to the season.
The 49ers (2-4) dropped their fourth straight game and remained winless at home for more than a year since beating the Rams last Oct. 18, 2020, as the return of starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo failed to provide any spark. Garoppolo threw for 181 yards, lost a fumble, threw two interceptions and struggled to push the ball downfield in his first game back after missing one game with a calf injury.
Wentz and the Colts were able to do just enough on offense thanks to three pass interference penalties for 97 yards and a productive game on the ground from Jonathan Taylor, who ran for 107 yards and a score.
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