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    Sunday, February 25, 2024

    NFL roundup: Purdy leads 49ers past Eagles

    San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, right, pitches the ball to running back Christian McCaffrey during the first half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
    Detroit Lions wide receiver Kalif Raymond (11) is tackled by New Orleans Saints cornerback Paulson Adebo (29) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)
    Washington Commanders running back Antonio Gibson, bottom middle, is tackled under Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94), defensive tackle Da'Shawn Hand (93), defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (91) and linebacker Duke Riley (45) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
    San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel (19) scores a touchdown on a run against the Philadelphia Eagles during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023, in Philadelphia.(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

    49ers 42, Eagles 19

    Brock Purdy threw for 314 yards and four touchdowns, Deebo Samuel scored three TDs and Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts was checked for a concussion in San Francisco’s win over Philadelphia on Sunday night.

    The fiery NFC championship game rematch also featured 49ers' touchdowns on six straight possessions and a pair of ejections that showed this year's title game might not run again through Philly, after all.

    The 49ers (9-3) left Philly 10 months ago battered in the NFC championship game behind injuries to Purdy and his backup, and they never stood a chance in a 31-7 loss. The 49ers spent an offseason chirping at the Birds — Samuel called one Eagles cornerback "trash" — and then entered the Linc as a rare betting favorite against a 10-win team at home.

    The Eagles (10-2) suffered a scare when Hurts jogged off the field in the fourth and went straight to the locker room. He was cleared to play and returned to action with about 10 minutes left.

    It was not immediately clear when Hurts was injured.

    By the time last season's NFL MVP runner-up returned, the Eagles trailed 35-13 and were on their way toward their first home loss of the season. Hurts did hit DeVonta Smith for a 2-yard TD on his return drive. He finished 26-of-45 passing for 298 yards.

    Purdy put the finishing touches on the win with a 46-yard TD to Samuel.

    Perhaps all that braggadocio paid off for the 49ers. Hard feelings spilled into the game, highlighted by a scrap in the third quarter that got 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw and the the Eagles' chief security officer tossed.

    Dom DiSandro, a constant presence on the Eagles' sideline, pulled Greenlaw off Smith after a reception. Greenlaw popped up and reached over two officials to touch DiSandro's face with a closed fist.

    Greenlaw was ejected. DiSandro, a cult hero in Philly for his ever-present backup when Eagles are out in public, also was told to leave and walked to the locker room to a roaring ovation.

    The Eagles offered few other reasons cheer.

    Purdy picked apart a defense that left receivers open for big chunks of the game. Samuel also inflicted his damage in the third quarter on a 12-yard rushing TD and caught a 48-yard TD pass from Purdy that stretched a 14-6 halftime lead to 28-13.

    The scores were clutch in any game, of course. But they kept an Eagles offense that made a habit of halftime rallies at bay and sucked the atmosphere out of the Linc.

    The Eagles turned halftime deficits into wins in each of the last four games — including a Super Bowl rematch at Kansas City — and five times overall this season. The Eagles have been outscored 144-156 in the first half this season.

    One pesky detail among all those comebacks — Philly never trailed against 49ers coach Kyle Shanahan. The 49ers are 33-1 (including playoffs) when leading by eight-plus points at the break under Shanahan.

    Hurts did his part in the first half to drive the Eagles inside the 20, connecting with A.J. Brown for 38 yards on the opening drive and to Brown for 17 yards on the second drive. The Eagles instead had to settle for Jake Elliott field goals of 26 and 39 yards for the 6-0 lead.

    The 49ers shook of a first-quarter funk that saw them finish with minus-6 total yards until Purdy got the offense rolling in the second. Much like in the NFC championship game, Purdy was pressured early. But he stayed strong, notably on a scramble where he was popped twice but stayed on his feet and still got a 6-yard gain. He capped that drive with a 2-yard TD pass to Brandon Aiyuk that cut it 7-6.

    Christian McCaffrey, who finished with 93 yards rushing, added a 2-yard score with 38 seconds left for a 14-6 lead.

    Packers 27, Chiefs 19

    Jordan Love connected with Christian Watson on two of his three touchdown passes and resurgent Green Bay won its third straight game, beating Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City.

    The Packers scored touchdowns on three of their first four drives and never trailed, with their defense making two big stops in the last 5 1/2 minutes. Green Bay knocked down Mahomes' pass into the end zone on the game's final play.

    The Packers (6-6) improved their December record to 16-0 under coach Matt LaFleur. The only team ever to win more consecutive December games was the San Diego Chargers with 18 straight from 2006-09, before their move to Los Angeles.

    Love went 25 of 36 for 267 yards. Tight end Ben Sims had a 1-yard catch for his first career touchdown, and Love added TD passes of 9 and 12 yards to Watson.

    Mahomes was 21 of 31 for 210 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs (8-4), who lost in front of pop superstar Taylor Swift for the first time. Kansas City had won its previous four games Swift had attended since beginning her relationship with tight end Travis Kelce.

    Kansas City still leads the AFC West but fell behind three other teams for the top seed in the conference.

    Isiah Pacheco rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown before getting ejected for punching Keisean Nixon during a scuffle on the game's final series. Noah Gray had a 2-yard TD catch early in the fourth quarter that got Kansas City within two.

    Mahomes had a couple of late chances to tie the game or take the lead.

    Kansas City had a first down just beyond midfield when Nixon picked off Mahomes' pass intended for Skyy Moore with 5:14 left. The turnover set up a 48-yard field goal by Anders Carlson that made it 27-19.

    Kansas City got the ball back at its own 30 with 1:09 left and no timeouts remaining.

    Mahomes had a 10-yard run and got hit by Jonathan Owens while going out of bounds, leading to a personal foul that put the ball at Green Bay's 45. Rashee Rice then appeared to fumble, with Green Bay's Corey Ballentine returning it for a game-clinching touchdown, but replays showed Rice was down before the ball came loose.

    Kansas City couldn't capitalize.

    The Chiefs argued in vain for a pass interference call on a long incompletion to Marquez Valdes-Scantling in the final minute. The Chiefs had the ball at Kansas City's 33 on the game's final play, when Mahomes threw into a crowd, and there was plenty of contact before the ball fell to the ground.

    Lions 33, Saints 28

    Sam LaPorta had career highs of nine catches for 140 yards, including an early touchdown and a crucial first-down snag in the final minutes, and Detroit defeated reeling New Orleans to post its best record through 12 games since 1962.

    The Saints lost quarterback Derek Carr in the fourth quarter to back, shoulder and head injuries. Carr was hurt on a penalized hit by Bruce Irvin, who drove the weight of his body into the quarterback.

    Jared Goff passed for 213 yards and two TDs for the Lions (9-3), who raced to a three-touchdown lead and then held off a valiant comeback bid by the Saints. New Orleans (5-7) fell one game behind first-place Atlanta in the league's weakest division, the NFC South.

    After falling behind 21-0 in the first quarter, the Saints pulled as close as 24-21 late in the third. The Saints also had the ball at midfield with a chance to take the lead in the final three minutes, but turned the ball over on downs when Jameis Winston threw behind Chris Olave.

    Detroit was able to run out the clock from there, thanks to first-down catches by LaPorta and Josh Reynolds.

    Texans 22, Broncos 17

    Nico Collins had a career-high 191 yards receiving and a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Jimmie Ward intercepted Russell Wilson in the end zone with 9 seconds left to preserve Houston's win over Denver.

    Ward leapt in front of intended receiver Lucas Krull to secure the fourth victory in five games for the Texans (7-5) and snap a five-game winning streak for the Broncos (6-6).

    Wilson was intercepted a season-high three times, all of them after halftime. Derek Stingley Jr. had the first two picks for the Texans. The Broncos, who had forced 15 turnovers during their winning streak, did not have a takeaway.

    Houston rookie C.J. Stroud threw for 274 yards to end a streak of four straight games with at least 300 yards passing. Star rookie receiver Tank Dell injured his ankle in the first half and was carted off the field.

    Texans rookie defensive end Will Anderson Jr. had two sacks, four quarterback hits, deflected one of the balls that Stingley intercepted and deflected a punt.

    Wilson threw for 186 yards with a touchdown in Denver's first loss since Oct. 12.

    Colts 31, Titans 28 (OT)

    Gardner Minshew threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman with 2:31 left in overtime, and Indianapolis beat Tennessee for its fourth straight victory.

    The Colts (7-5) had to score a touchdown after the Titans' Nick Folk made a 46-yard field goal with 4:19 left in overtime. Minshew threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns as he won his fourth straight game for the first time in his five NFL seasons.

    Tennessee (4-8) lost at Nissan Stadium for the first time this season and has yet to win consecutive games overall.

    The Titans blew a 17-7 lead, and Folk missed his first extra point this season with 5:26 left in regulation that could have put Tennessee up 26-25. Backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill was the holder on the missed kick after punter Ryan Stonehouse, the regular holder, was injured.

    The Colts sacked rookie QB Will Levis six times. Derrick Henry ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns for the Titans before leaving in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.

    Falcons 13, Jets 8

    Desmond Ridder threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to MyCole Pruitt and Atlanta took sole possession of first place in the NFC South with an ugly win over New York.

    The Falcons (6-6) have back-to-back wins for the first time since starting the season 2-0.

    The Jets (4-8) got an early safety but couldn't get anything going — again — on offense in losing their fifth straight game. New York pulled quarterback Tim Boyle and replaced him with Trevor Siemian in the fourth quarter, but it was more of the same misery in a rain-soaked MetLife Stadium that appeared about half full.

    Siemian and the Jets had a chance to win with 1:53 left but again were ineffective. New York had three turnovers, and the loss makes the Jets' playoff chances — and the prospect of Aaron Rodgers returning this season — more remote.

    Ridder finished 12 of 27 for 121 yards and the touchdown to Pruitt. Bijan Robinson ran for 53 yards on 18 carries and had three catches for 26 yards.

    Dolphins 45, Commanders 15

    Tyreek Hill had two touchdowns among his 157 yards receiving, and AFC East-leading Miami routed Washington, getting to 9-3 for the first time since 2001.

    Tua Tagovailoa was 18 of 24 for 280 yards, including TD passes of 78 and 60 yards to Hill, the NFL's leading receiver, who was left wide open on his 11th and 12th trips to the end zone this season.

    De'Von Achane ran for two touchdowns after missing five of the past six games with a knee injury. Raheem Mostert also had a rushing TD for Miami's league-leading offense, which put up 406 yards.

    The Commanders (4-9) had no answer for Hill in the first game with coach Ron Rivera calling the defensive plays after he fired coordinator Jack Del Rio.

    Washington's Sam Howell threw a pick-6 to Miami linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel and was sacked three times. Howell ran for two touchdowns while going 12 of 23 for 127 yards. He's been sacked 58 times this season and has thrown 14 picks, both of which lead the league.

    Buccaneers 21, Panthers 18

    Tampa Bay's Mike Evans scored on a 75-yard reception and joined Jerry Rice as the only players in NFL history to string together 10 consecutive seasons with 1,000-plus yards receiving while helping the Buccaneers beat struggling Carolina.

    Evans finished with seven receptions for 162 yards, increasing his season totals to 61 catches for 1,012 yards and 10 touchdowns. Rice set the league record of 11 straight seasons with more than 1,000 yards receiving from 1986 through 1996.

    The Bucs (5-7) won for only the second time in the past eight games, climbing into a tie for second place in the weak NFL South. Carolina (1-11) scored late to pull within a field goal, but No. 1 overall draft pick Bryce Young threw an interception with just over two minutes remaining, ending any chance of coming from behind to win the Panthers' debut under interim coach Chris Tabor.

    Rachaad White scored an early touchdown and receiver Chris Godwin scored on a 19-yard run early in the fourth quarter, increasing Tampa Bay's lead to 21-10. Chuba Hubbard rushed 104 yards and two TDs for Carolina, and Young's 2-point conversion run trimmed Tampa Bay's lead to 21-18 with 5:02 left.

    Despite losing six of seven games following a 3-1 start, the Bucs began the day trailing Atlanta and New Orleans by one game in the NFC South. The Falcons (6-6) beat the New York Jets to remain on top of the division, while the Saints (5-7) lost to the Detroit Lions to fall into a tie for second place with the Bucs.

    The Panthers fired Frank Reich last Monday, 11 games into the coach's first season leading the Panthers. Tabor was promoted to interim coach for the rest of the season and said he encouraged players to "play loose, not reckless" and have fun moving forward.

    It was the second time in a little more than a year that Carolina faced Tampa Bay shortly after the in-season hiring of a coach. Matt Ruhle was dismissed in October 2022, two weeks before the Panthers knocked off Tom Brady and the Bucs 21-3 in Charlotte.

    Evans had 10 catches for 207 yards that previous time the division rivals met in Tampa. He had a 40-yard reception to set up White's 1-yard TD run in the first quarter and turned Baker Mayfield's short pass into a 75-yard TD that put the Bucs ahead for good — one play after the first of Hubbard's two TD runs put the Panthers up 10-7 late in the third quarter.

    Cardinals 24, Steelers 10

    James Conner ran for 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns against his old team as Arizona won at Pittsburgh for the first time since 1969.

    The Cardinals (3-10) took control late in the first half with a 99-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 5-yard strike from Kyler Murray to Trey McBride. They led the rest of the way, enduring a pair of lengthy delays due to severe weather.

    The Steelers (7-5) lost starting quarterback Kenny Pickett to an ankle injury late in the first half and scored their only touchdown in garbage time on a pass from backup Mitch Trubisky to Diontae Johnson.

    The Cardinals improved to 2-2 since Murray's return from a torn ACL in his right knee.

    Murray completed 13 of 23 passes for 145 yards and had 19 yards rushing. Arizona's defense bounced back from a nightmarish showing against the Rams a week ago.

    Rams 36, Browns 19

    Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes, Puka Nacua became the first Rams rookie wide receiver to reach 1,000 yards in a season, and Los Angeles extended its winning streak to three games with a victory over Cleveland.

    The Rams have won three straight for the first time since winning the Super Bowl after the 2021 season. At 6-6, they are back in the playoff race after dropping three straight before their bye week.

    Since returning from a thumb injury that caused him to miss 1 1/2 games, Stafford has eight TD passes and two interceptions in the Rams' last three games.

    Stafford — who was 22 of 37 for 279 yards — connected with Nacua, Demarcus Robinson and Cooper Kupp for scores. Nacua, who left the game briefly with a rib injury, finished with four receptions for 105 yards, including a 70-yard TD in the first quarter. He also had two rushes for 34 yards.

    Kyren Williams had 21 carries for 88 yards, including a 1-yard TD late in the fourth quarter to put it out of reach.

    Aaron Donald and rookie Kobie Turner combined to sack Joe Flacco for a safety with 36 seconds to play.

    Chargers 6, Patriots 0

    Justin Herbert threw for 212 yards and set up a pair of Cameron Dicker field goals that were all Los Angeles needed to blank New England and its latest hapless quarterback, Bailey Zappe.

    The Chargers (5-7) had their first shutout in six years. Keenan Allen came back from a thigh bruise to catch five passes for 58 yards, but the only scoring Los Angeles could manage on a cold and rainy day was a pair of 38-yards field goals in the second quarter.

    The Patriots (2-10) benched Mac Jones in favor of Zappe but still lost their fifth straight game. They've been shut out at home twice this season, a first in franchise history.

    It was the third time in a row that New England gave up 10 or fewer points — and lost. They are the first team to do that since the 1938 Chicago Cardinals.

    Zappe was sacked five times — two by Khalil Mack, giving him a career-high 15 for the season and 99 in his career. Zappe finished 13 for 25 for 141 yards.

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