Cowboys stun Falcons with onside kick, late field goal in McCarthy’s home debut


Greg Zuerlein kicked a 46-yard field goal as time expired after Dallas recovered and onside kick, and the Cowboys overcame four fumbles and a 20-point deficit in the first quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons 40-39 in coach Mike McCarthy’s home debut Sunday.

The Falcons were still up 12 in the fourth quarter when Dak Prescott became the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 400 yards and rush for three touchdowns in the same game, getting the Cowboys (1-1) within two.

C.J. Goodwin recovered the onside kick with 1:48 remaining after several Falcons let it roll, and rookie receiver CeeDee Lamb’s 24-yard catch got the Cowboys in field goal position.

Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes, two off lost fumbles from the Cowboys, on the way to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter. But the Falcons couldn’t avoid their first 0-2 start under coach Dan Quinn in a performance reminiscent of their blown 28-3 lead in a Super Bowl loss to New England in Houston.

The successful onside kick for Dallas came after two failed fake punts and a gamble from McCarthy in going for the 2-point conversion.

49ers 31, Jets 13

Raheem Mostert ran for an 80-yard touchdown on San Francisco’s first play from scrimmage and Jimmy Garoppolo threw two TD passes — before both players sat out the second half with injuries.

It was a costly victory for San Francisco, which was already short-handed before losing Garoppolo to an ankle injury and Mostert to an injured knee. Defensive end Nick Bosa and defensive tackle Solomon Thomas were both carted off the field two plays apart with left knee injuries in the first quarter.

The 49ers (1-1) also came in without star tight end George Kittle (knee), wide receiver Deebo Samuel (foot), cornerback Richard Sherman (calf) and defensive end Dee Ford (neck).

It didn’t matter against the Jets (0-2), who have also been hit hard by injuries and couldn’t muster much.

Packers 42, Lions 21

Aaron Jones rushed for a career-high 168 yards and scored three touchdowns, including a 75-yard breakaway. Jones also had a team-high 68 yards receiving on four catches as the Packers (2-0) won their home opener for an eighth consecutive year. Jones had a 14-yard touchdown run and a 7-yard touchdown catch to go along with his 75-yarder.

Jones’ 75-yard burst was the longest touchdown run by a Packer since Ahman Green had a 90-yarder against Dallas in 2004.

Aaron Rodgers was 18 of 30 for 240 yards with touchdown passes to Jones and Robert Tonyan.

One week after blowing a 17-point, fourth-quarter lead in a 27-23 loss to the Chicago Bears, the Lions (0-2) allowed an 11-point advantage to vanish by halftime as they fell for the 11th consecutive time.

Buccaneers 31, Panthers 13

Tom Brady got his first win with the Buccaneers, throwing for 217 yards, one touchdown and an interception.

With another recent acquisition, Leonard Fournette, rushing for 103 yards and two TDs, Brady rebounded from a less-than-stellar debut for his new team to avoid starting a season with consecutive losses for the first time in a 21-year career.

Brady tossed a 23-yard TD pass to Mike Evans in the first quarter. Fournette scored on runs of 1 and 46 yards, the latter coming after Carolina stormed back from a 21-0 halftime deficit to 24-17 on a pair of TD runs by Christian McCaffrey and Joey Slye’s 23-yard field goal.

Brady completed 23 of 35 passes, and Evans finished with seven receptions for 104 yards. Fournette averaged 8.6 yards per carry on 12 rushing attempts.

Teddy Bridgewater was 33 of 42 for 367 yards and two interceptions for the Panthers (0-2), who had four turnovers.

McCaffrey spent most of the fourth quarter on the sideline with an apparent ankle injury.

Bills 31, Dolphins 28

Josh Allen threw for 417 yards and four touchdowns, both career highs. Allen reached a career high in yards passing for the second week in a row, and became the first Buffalo quarterback to have back-to-back 300-yard games since Drew Bledsoe in 2002.

Trailing 20-17, the Bills (2-0) reclaimed the lead with 5:55 left on a 6-yard pass from Allen to rookie Gabriel Davis, who made a diving catch in the end zone. Allen’s 46-yard pass to John Brown stretched the lead to 31-20 with 3:09 left. The Bills totalled 524 yards, with 342 in the first half, the most by the team since 2000.

The Dolphins (0-2) closed to 31-28 on an 8-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Mike Gesicki and a successful 2-point conversion with 49 seconds left. The onside kick was recovered by the Bills’ Micah Hyde.

Masked fans were scattered throughout the stadium, and the announced crowd of 11,075 was smaller than the maximum of 13,000 being allowed to attend the home opener. Almost half of the spectators wore Bills colours.

Titans 33, Jaguars 30

Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 49-yard field goal with 1:36 left. Gostkowski, who hit the left upright on an extra point, also made a 51-yarder at the end of the first half after an ugly performance in the opener.

Jeffery Simmons batted a pass by Gardner Minshew, and Harold Landry III grabbed the ball out of the air with 47 seconds left to seal the victory.

This is the Titans’ first 2-0 start since 2008, the most recent season this franchise won the AFC South. The Titans also won their seventh straight against division rival Jacksonville (1-1) in Nashville after nearly blowing a 24-10 halftime lead.

Ryan Tannehill threw for 239 yards and four touchdowns. The Titans sacked Minshew twice and picked him off twice.

Jaguars undrafted rookie James Robinson ran for a TD and 102 yards.

Rams 37, Eagles 19

Jared Goff threw three touchdown passes to Tyler Higbee. Goff completed his first 13 passes, including a pair of TDs to Higbee, and the Rams jumped to a 21-3 lead minutes into the second quarter.

After the Eagles (0-2) pulled within one score, Goff’s 28-yard TD pass to Higbee in the fourth period iced it for Los Angeles (2-0).

Goff and Carson Wentz were selected Nos. 1-2 in the 2016 draft, one of seven times since 1967 that quarterbacks were the first two picks. In their only other head-to-head meeting in December 2017, Wentz tore two knee ligaments. Nick Foles stepped in and eventually led Philadelphia to its first Super Bowl title.

Rams coach Sean McVay got his first win over Doug Pederson and the Eagles in three tries. McVay outcoached defensive co-ordinator Jim Schwartz early as Los Angeles scored TDs on its first three possessions.

Steelers 26, Broncos 21

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 311 yards with two touchdowns and an interception and the Steelers fended off a spirited comeback by Denver.

The Steelers (2-0) knocked out Denver starting quarterback Drew Lock in the first quarter with a right shoulder injury. They didn’t secure the win until safety Terrell Edmunds sacked Broncos backup Jeff Driskel on fourth-and-2 with less than two minutes to go.

Driskel completed 18 of 34 for 256 yards with two touchdowns and a pick, and absorbed a serious pounding at the hands of Pittsburgh’s defence. The Steelers had seven sacks in all — six of them on Driskel — and were credited with 19 quarterback hits.

Still, Denver (0-2) had a chance when Driskel hit Noah Fant for a 22-yard gain that gave the Broncos a first down at the Pittsburgh 23. Three plays gained 8 yards. Facing a potentially staggering upset, the Steelers escaped when Edmunds raced in untouched to drop Driskel. A 59-yard sprint by Pittsburgh’s James Conner allowed the Steelers to run out the clock.

Read more at CBC.ca