GLENDALE, Ariz. — The NFC West has a new challenger for the top that’s won three straight games. The Arizona Cardinals earned a few style points with the way they pulled off this prime-time thriller, too.
Zane Gonzalez made a 48-yard field goal with 20 seconds left in overtime to give the Cardinals a 37-34 victory over the Seattle Seahawks in a Sunday night show that featured 1,091 total yards, huge plays, crucial mistakes and — finally — a winner.
“These are the games you honestly dream about,” Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray said.
Seattle led all of regulation until Gonzalez made a 44-yard field goal as time expired to tie it at 34. It meant an entertaining quarterback duel between Murray and Seattle’s Russell Wilson would continue.
And that’s when the crazy really got started.
The Cardinals stopped the Seahawks opening drive in overtime and then quickly moved downfield. On second-and-15, Arizona coach Kliff Kingsbury elected to go ahead and try for the field goal. Gonzalez made the 41-yarder, but Kingsbury called a timeout just before the snap because the play clock was winding down. Gonzalez missed wide left on the next attempt.
“That was pretty bad,” Kingsbury said of the sideline and clock management. “Pretty much a complete debacle. But luckily those guys bailed us out.”
Moments later, it appeared Seattle had won on the ensuing drive when DK Metcalf caught a 48-yard touchdown pass, but the play was called back because of holding on receiver David Moore. Wilson threw an interception on the next play. The pass was picked off by rookie Isaiah Simmons.
“We could have won it on offense a couple times, on defense a couple times, in overtime as well, and we weren’t able to get the finish that we needed,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said.
That gave Gonzalez the chance for redemption. He nailed the winner to knock off the previously undefeated Seahawks and set off a raucous celebration at midfield.
Murray threw for 360 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He also ran for 67 yards and a touchdown. Wilson completed 33 of 50 passes for 388 yards and three touchdowns but also had three costly interceptions.
“I thought we played a great game except for those three plays, I mean honestly,” Wilson said. “Those are my fault. There’s so much that we can do, and we have so much confidence. Our confidence is not going to waver. They’re a great football team too. We knew it was going to be a battle
Seattle’s Carlos Hyde had a 24-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Tyler Lockett caught three touchdowns passes and had a career-high 200 yards receiving on 15 catches.
Steelers win battle of unbeatens
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes to Diontae Johnson, and the Pittsburgh Steelers remained perfect by holding off Tennessee 27-24 in a game originally postponed when the Titans came down with the NFL’s first COVID-19 outbreak of the season.
In a matchup of the AFC’s two remaining undefeated teams, the Titans rallied from 17 down. They failed to complete the comeback when Stephen Gostkowski, who made a 51-yarder earlier, missed from 45 yards wide right with 14 seconds left. That sent the Steelers running around the field in celebration and the Titans (5-1) stunned.
The Steelers improved to 6-0 for their best start since 1978, when Pittsburgh won its first seven on the way to the Super Bowl. This was just the fifth time undefeated teams had met in Week 7 or later, and the winner of the previous four all made the Super Bowl.
Benny Snell Jr. added a 1-yard TD run and Ray-Ray McCloud set up a touchdown with a 57-yard punt return.
LIONS 23, FALCONS 22
ATLANTA – Detroit let Atlanta score a touchdown. It worked — and the Falcons found another stunning way to lose.
Matthew Stafford connected with T.J. Hockenson on an 11-yard touchdown pass as time expired and Matt Prater booted a 48-yard extra point to give Detroit the improbable victory. The Lions (3-3) won their second in a row — their first winning streak since early in the 2019 season.
Trailing 16-14, the Falcons (1-6) were positioned to run down the clock and kick a chip-shot field goal for the win when they picked up a first down at the Lions 10 with just over a minute remaining.
Detroit had used up all its timeouts on the drive, so there was no further way to stop the clock. Knowing their only chance was to allow a quick TD, the Lions made no attempt to stop Todd Gurley after he took a handoff from Matt Ryan.
Gurley realized what the Lions were doing — but too late. He started to fall but landed on the goal line with 1:04 remaining.
BUCCANEERS 45, RAIDERS 20
LAS VEGAS — Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes to move past Drew Brees for the most in NFL history and ran for another to lead Tampa Bay. Brady connected with Rob Gronkowski in the second quarter and on a perfectly placed 33-yarder to Scotty Miller later in the first half. He then helped seal the game with the throw to Chris Godwin that put the Bucs (5-2) up 31-20 midway through the fourth quarter.
Brady added a fourth to rookie Tyler Johnson with 3:08 to play to give him 559 in his career, passing Brees for the most ever. Brees threw two earlier in the day for New Orleans.
BROWNS 37, BENGALS 34
CINCINNATI — Baker Mayfield overcame a terrible start to throw for five touchdowns, including a 24-yard go-ahead score to Donovan Peoples-Jones with 15 seconds left.
Nursing sore ribs, Mayfield started 0 for 5 — including an interception on his first attempt of the game. He then completed 22 of his next 23 passes. The last was the leaping grab by People-Jones to win it for the Browns (5-2).
Cincinnati rookie Joe Burrow played another terrific game, but again it wasn’t enough. He hit 35 of 47 passes for a season-high 406 yards and three touchdowns, including a 3-yard scoring pass to Giovani Bernard on fourth-and-1 to give the Bengals a 34-31 lead with 1:06 left.
SAINTS 27, PANTHERS 24
NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns without two top receivers and rushed for another score.
The Panthers had driven across midfield in the final minutes when Marcus Davenport’s sack of Teddy Bridgewater led coach Matt Rhule to send out kicker Joey Slye for a 65-yard field goal on fourth-and-19. The kick fell just short of the crossbar and the Saints (4-2) ran out the final 1:55 to send the Panthers (3-4) to their second straight loss.
Brees completed 29 of 36 passes to eight targets despite not having receivers Michael Thomas (hamstring) and Emmanuel Sanders (COVID-19) in the lineup. His decision-making and accuracy also helped New Orleans convert 12 of 14 third downs.
CHIEFS 43, BRONCOS 16
DENVER — Kansas City didn’t need the usual heroics from Patrick Mahomes to rout Denver for its 10th straight win over its AFC West rival.
The Chiefs (6-1) found other ways to dominate Denver (2-4) on a snowy afternoon that began with a temperature of 14 degrees at kickoff.
49ERS 33, PATRIOTS 6
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Jeff Wilson Jr. rushed for a career-high three touchdowns and 112 yards before leaving with an ankle injury.
Jimmy Garoppolo finished 20 of 25 for 277 yards with two interceptions in his first game against his former team. San Francisco (4-3) has followed back-to-back losses with two wins and is 3-0 on the road.
The Patriots’ 27-point loss was their largest at home under Bill Belichick. They had gone 286 games without a three-game losing streak, the longest span between three-game slides in NFL history. New England fell to 2-4 for the first since Belichick’s first season in 2000, when the Patriots went 5-11.
CHARGERS 39, JAGUARS 29
LOS ANGELES — Justin Herbert got his first NFL win, throwing for 347 yards and three touchdowns as well as running for a score as Los Angeles snapped a four-game skid.
Herbert, the sixth overall pick in April’s draft, completed 27 of 43 passes. He also rushed for 66 yards, a single-game high for a Chargers QB.
Herbert joined Cincinnati’s Joe Burrow as the only rookie quarterbacks in NFL history with 300 yards, at least three passing TDs, and one rushing in a game. Burrow did that earlier Sunday in the Bengals’ 37-34 loss to the Cleveland Browns.
PACKERS 35, TEXANS 20
HOUSTON — Aaron Rodgers threw for 283 yards and four touchdowns Green Bay rebounded from its first loss,
Rodgers played a near-flawless game and tied his season high for TD passes. The performance came after he threw two interceptions, including one that was returned for a touchdown, with no TDs in a 38-10 loss to Tampa Bay last week.
WASHINGTON 25, COWBOYS 3
LANDOVER, Md. — Washington’s defense finally clamped down on a struggling opponent, piling up six sacks, an interception and a forced fumble that became a safety to snap a five-game skid.
Montez Sweat had two sacks for Washington (2-5), Cole Holcomb had one to go along with a red zone interception and Landon Collins knocked the ball out of Andy Dalton’s hands for an early safety before leaving with an ankle injury. Dalton was under siege all day behind a patchwork offensive line before being knocked out of the game in the third quarter on a shoulder-to-head hit from Jon Bostic, who was ejected.
BILLS 18, JETS 10
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Josh Allen and the Bills were held out of the end zone for the first time this season, but Tyler Bass tied a franchise record with six field goals and Buffalo ended a two-game skid by beating winless New York.
It was the third game in 13 days for the Bills (5-2), who lost to Tennessee and Kansas City before their ugly win against the league-worst Jets (0-7).