Josh Allen regained his early-season groove by throwing three touchdown passes and scoring one rushing, and the Buffalo Bills beat the Seattle Seahawks 44-34 on Sunday.
Buffalo’s defence played a major role in rattling Seattle’s Russell Wilson, who was sacked five times, threw two interceptions and lost two fumbles.
Buffalo (7-2) matched its best record through nine games since 1993, a season that ended with the Jim Kelly-led Bills making their fourth consecutive, and final, Super Bowl appearance.
Allen finished 31 of 38 and equaled a career best set earlier this season with 415 yards passing, becoming the first Bills player to top 300 yards four times in one season since Drew Bledsoe did it seven times in 2002. The Bills offence came alive after Allen combined for just 846 yards passing and five touchdowns — including one rushing — in splitting the previous four games.
The Seahawks (6-2) blew an opportunity to match to match their best record through eight games. They were 7-1 in 2013.
Seattle became the NFL’s sixth team to score 25 or more points in each of its first eight games, but was undone by turnovers and a defence that surrendered 420 yards.
Josh Allen calls his own number! <br><br>📺 <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/SEAvsBUF?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#SEAvsBUF</a> on FOX <a href=”https://t.co/Y2v6hhxJ4c”>pic.twitter.com/Y2v6hhxJ4c</a>
The 44 points allowed were the most in coach Pete Carroll’s 11 seasons in Seattle and the most for the franchise since a 48-10 loss at Green Bay on Dec. 27, 2009. It was just the eighth time since Week 9 of the 2011 season the Carroll-led Seahawks have lost by 10 points or more.
Wilson has turned the ball over seven times in his past three games, after throwing a season-worst three interceptions in a 37-34 overtime loss to Arizona two weeks ago.
He finished 28 of 41 for 390 yards with two touchdowns.
Though Buffalo never trailed, the game was decided in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter, when the Bills scored touchdowns over a span of 2:49 to open a 41-20 lead. Zack Moss scored on a 1-yard run, one play after Allen converted a third-and-16 by hitting John Brown on a 33-yard catch-and-run.
Facing third and 25 on Seattle’s next possession, Wilson threw his second interception. Tre’Davious White broke off covering tight end Jacob Hollister to jump in front of a pass intended for DK Metcalf. White returned it to the Seattle 3, and Allen scored on a sweep on the next play.
Josh Allen is the 1st QB in the Super Bowl era with 400+ pass yds, 3+ pass TD, 0 INT & a 130+ passer rating in multiple games in a season<br><br>Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers & Patrick Mahomes are the only other players with multiple such games in their careers
Wilson provided the Seahawks a breath of life with a 55-yard touchdown pass to David Moore. But on Seattle’s next possession, linebacker A.J. Klein burst around the left side of the line untouched and blindsided Wilson to force the fumble, which he recovered at Seattle’s 19 with 6:30 remaining.
Allen carved up a Seahawks defence that entered allowing 28.5 points per game and had already surrendered 500 yards of offence three times this season.
Set up by Andre Roberts’ game-opening 60-yard kickoff return, Allen needed three plays to hit Isaiah McKenzie for a 25-yard touchdown.
On the next possession, the Bills faced third down just once on a 10-play, 75-yard drive Allen capped by hitting tight end Tyler Kroft in the back of the end zone.
Buffalo’s third touchdown drive featured Allen going 5 of 5 for 75 yards, including a 4-yard TD pass to a wide-open Gabriel Davis over the middle.
Allen’s 24 completions and 282 yards passing in the first half alone were both the most by a Bills player since at least 1991.
Chiefs escape with win against Panthers
Patrick Mahomes threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill each went over 100 yards receiving, and the Kansas City Chiefs held on to beat Carolina 33-31 on Sunday when Panthers kicker Joey Slye missed a 67-yard field-goal attempt wide right on the final play.
The Chiefs (8-1) were left clinging to the lead when Christian McCaffrey, just back from his ankle injury, scored from a yard out with 1:26 to go. The Panthers’ onside kick was recovered by Kansas City, but they used their three timeouts to get the ball back, and Teddy Bridgewater’s 23-yard pass to Curtis Samuel with 9 seconds remaining gave them hope.
Carolina (3-6) tried to get a bit closer with a pass to McCaffrey, but the incompletion brought on Slye, who had plenty of leg with the wind behind him. His kick dropped just outside the uprights, though, allowing the Chiefs to escape.
Slye also missed a 65-yard attempt late in a 27-24 loss to New Orleans in Week 7.
McCaffrey finished with 18 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown while catching 10 passes for 82 yards and another score. Bridgewater threw for 310 yards and two TDs with Samuel catching nine balls for 105 yards and the other score.
Kelce had 10 catches for 159 yards and Hill had nine for 113 and a pair of scores, helping the pass-happy Chiefs climb out of an early 14-3 hole and head into their bye with a bunch of new milestones and a big surge of momentum.
The win was the 230th for Andy Reid, breaking a tie with Hall of Fame coach Curly Lambeau for fifth most in NFL history. It was the 23rd straight game the Chiefs have scored at least 23 points, breaking their own NFL record, and Mahomes beat Hall of Famer Dan Marino’s mark for fewest games to 100 career touchdown passes. Mahomes did it in 40 games, Marino needed 44.
Panthers coach Matt Rhule said all week that McCaffrey would get a full load if he was able to take the field.
It was clear from the game’s first series that Rhule meant it.
Starting alongside Mike Jones, the Panthers’ workhorse during his six-game absence, McCaffrey carried four times and caught two passes in helping Carolina mount a 75-yard scoring drive. It took nine plays and consumed nearly nine minutes before McCaffrey reached the end zone, keeping the potent Kansas City offence on the sideline.
The Panthers drilled deep into the playbook, too. There was a hook-and-ladder play that set up a field goal late in the first half, and a fake punt that gave Carolina a first down and ultimately led to a touchdown and a 14-3 lead.
The Chiefs probably should have been ready for that one. Not only did the Panthers pull off a fake against the Falcons last week —that was Jeremy Chinn taking a direct snap rather than punter Joseph Charlton throwing to wide receiver Brandon Zylstra on Sunday — but Kansas City also executed a faked punt of their own against the New York Jets in Week 8.
The Panthers still led 17-13 after the teams traded missed field goals to start the second half, but the Chiefs finally hit their offensive stride. Mahomes hit Kelce for a big gain to set up Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s TD catch late in the third quarter, then Hill baffled the Carolina secondary to get wide open for a 28-yard touchdown catch to start the fourth.
Bridgewater answered for Carolina by running for 15 yards on fourth-and-14, a scramble that ended with his cart-wheeling dive for a first down, then taking a quarterback draw 4 yards for a touchdown to get within 26-24 with 10:22 to go.
Rather than kick it deep, though, the Panthers tried an onside kick and recovered it too early. That gave the Chiefs a short field, and a couple of third-down conversions to set up another TD pass to Hill that stretched the lead again.
Ravens top Colts
Lamar Jackson turned up the tempo in the second half Sunday and then went right back to work breaking records.
After Gus Edwards’ 1-yard plunge gave Baltimore the lead midway through the third quarter, Jackson sealed the 24-10 win over Indianapolis with a 9-yard TD run that gave the Ravens the NFL record for most consecutive 20-point games.
The Ravens (6-2) have done it 31 straight times — breaking a tie with Denver, which set the mark from 2012-14.
Baltimore has won 10 straight road games, the league’s longest active streak, and earned the franchise’s first win at Indianapolis in seven tries. The Ravens also had lost 20 straight games when trailing at halftime.
It was the first home loss for Indy (5-3) this season.
And, not surprisingly, the league’s reigning MVP turned the game this time by starting the second half with no-huddle against a stingy Colts defence.
It changed everything.
At one point, the Ravens offence, which sputtered throughout the first half, had run 32 plays compared with four for Indy. When Edwards scored with 5:43 left in the third, Baltimore led 14-10. Jackson sealed it with a brilliant fake that allowed him to jog around the left side for the milestone 9-yard TD run early in the fourth.
Baltimore’s defence also did its usual part, extending its streak of consecutive games with a takeaway to 21. They finished with two and Baltimore converted both into touchdowns.
Jonathan Taylor gave Indy a 7-0 lead with an early scoring leap. But he gave it right back when Marcus Peters ripped the ball out of Taylor’s hands and Chuck Clark scooped it up and sprinted 65 yards, hurdling Philip Rivers, to tie it at 7.
Indy made it 10-7 at the half on Rodrigo Blankenship’s 43-yard field goal.
Titans beat Bears, snap losing streak
Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes, and the banged-up Tennessee Titans never trailed in snapping a two-game skid by beating the Chicago Bears 24-17 Sunday.
The Titans (6-2) avoided their longest skid since Tannehill took over as starting quarterback and stayed atop the AFC South going into Thursday night’s division showdown against Indianapolis.
They got a big help from an undermanned and struggling defence missing three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jadeveon Clowney with an injured knee days after the Titans released linebacker Vic Beasley Jr. and starting cornerback Johnathan Joseph.
Cornerback Desmond King picked up a fumble and ran 63 yards for a TD only days after the Titans picked up the 2018 All-Pro from the Chargers for a sixth-round pick. King didn’t join Tennessee until Saturday after clearing COVID-19 testing protocols and put the Titans up 17-0 late in the third quarter.
The Bears (5-4) came in trailing Green Bay in the NFC North dealing with their own injuries and COVID-19 issues. Chicago lost its third straight despite the defence coming up with three sacks and holding the NFL’s fifth-best offence averaging 407 yards a game to a season-low 228.
Nick Foles made it interesting with a pair of TD passes within the final minutes. Amani Hooker recovered the Bears’ onside kick attempt for Tennessee with about a minute left.
Tennessee came in as the NFL’s worst on third downs by a big margin but stopped the Bears on their first nine third downs. The Titans also were among the NFL’s worst sacking the quarterback, and they sacked Foles three times. They recovered two fumbles.
This was the first game for punter Ryan Allen in Tennessee, reunited with his former Patriots teammate Stephen Gostkowski with three-time Pro Bowl punter Brett Kern put on injured reserve Saturday. Matt Overton also took over as long snapper after Tennessee also made a change at that position.
Foles was playing behind an offensive line missing centre Cody Whitehair currently on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Foles threw for 335 yards.
The Titans’ defence got a big confidence boost on Chicago’s first drive. Foles hit Allen Robinson II for a 4-yard pass, but Robinson was marked out just shy of the first-down marker. The Titans stopped David Montgomery for no gain, sparking a big celebration by Tennessee defenders.
They gave the NFL’s sixth-best scoring offence time to shake off a sluggish start.
Tennessee settled for a 40-yard field goal in the first quarter from Gostkowski. Then the Titans started their best drive by giving the ball to Derrick Henry five straight times, and they converted four third downs on a 12-play, 91-yard drive.
Tannehill capped the drive with a perfectly thrown ball to A.J. Brown covered by Buster Skrine, and Brown scored by reaching the ball out to the goal line. Tannehill also found a wide-open Jonnu Smith for a 2-yard TD in the fourth quarter.