Thursday’s roundup: Forte scores 3 TDs in leading Jets
Orchard Park, N.Y. — Matt Forte scored three touchdowns and Ryan Fitzpatrick finally solved Rex Ryan’s defense, leading the New York Jets to a 37-31 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night.
Forte’s 3-yard run put New York ahead 27-24 with 2:12 left in the third quarter. He sealed the win by patiently waiting for a seam to open before scampering into the end zone from 12 yards to put New York up 37-24 with 4:02 left in the fourth quarter.
Forte finished with 100 yards rushing, and the offseason free-agent addition became the 13th New York player to score three rushing touchdowns in a game.
The Jets (1-1) bounced back from a season-opening loss to Cincinnati and snapped a five-game skid against their AFC East rivals.
Fitzpatrick finished 24 of 34 for 374 yards and a 5-yard touchdown pass to Eric Decker.
In beating one of his former teams, Fitzpatrick also overcame the stinging memories of last year’s season finale, a 22-17 loss at Buffalo that eliminated the Jets from playoff contention. Fitzpatrick closed the loss by throwing interceptions on each of the Jets’ final three possessions.
The Bills (0-2) are suddenly reeling in Ryan’s second season as coach, and two years after being fired by the Jets.
Their offense sputtered in a 13-7 loss at Baltimore on Sunday, and now it was their defense that showed cracks against the Jets.
New York finished with 493 yards offense, 28 first downs and had seven drives cross midfield.
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor rebounded five days after he was limited to 111 yards passing against the Ravens.
He went 18 of 30 for 298 yards and three touchdowns. Marquise Goodwin scored on an 84-yard catch, Greg Salas scored on a 71-yard catch and running back Mike Gillislee made it close, by catching an 18-yard touchdown pass with 1:17 remaining.
Brandon Marshall caught Dan Carpenter’s onside kick.
The Jets scored on each of their first four possessions to build a 20-7 lead. Forte scored on a 1-yard plunge, Fitzpatrick found Decker on the 5-yarder and Nick Folk hit a pair of field goals.
The Bills rallied to score on three straight possessions spanning halftime.
Dan Carpenter began the run by hitting a 39-yard field goal with 10 seconds left in the second quarter.
Then Buffalo scored twice in a span of 2:07 to go up 24-20. After Salas scored, Bills safety Nickell Robey-Coleman returned Jalin Marshall’s fumble 36 yards for a touchdown on the Jets’ next possession.
Vegas stadium plan
A plan to build an NFL stadium in Las Vegas and lure the Raiders from Oakland crossed a major hurdle Thursday when a Nevada oversight committee voted unanimously to recommend $750 million in public funding for the project.
The Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee recommended raising the hotel tax in the Las Vegas area to help pay for a 65,000-seat domed venue that was promoted and would be partially financed by billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson.
Proponents still need to win over the governor, the Legislature and three-quarters of NFL owners to make the project a reality, but it’s a significant milestone for a city that’s never had a professional football team and has been hammering out the particulars of the Raiders deal for months.
“We get an NFL team, and that is a significant step forward for Las Vegas and the community,” committee chairman Steve Hill said about the project’s potential. “Those teams bring the community together. We’re going to have people wearing Raiders jerseys and high-fiving each other. … That’s not something you can put a number on.”
The Adelson family plans to put $650 million toward the project, which would also be home to UNLV football, while the Raiders plan to kick in $500 million. Officials with the Las Vegas Sands, Adelson’s company, said they don’t want to return any profits to the public because they’d be making little or no money on the stadium. They’re also committing to fund construction cost overruns and infrastructure improvements at the yet-undetermined site.
Sands representative Andy Abboud said the Adelsons were in China to open their new, $2.9 billion Parisian Macao casino and probably asleep when the vote came down, but he texted them the news and said they’ll be excited.
House Republicans called for an independent review of allegations that the NFL sought to improperly influence a government study into the link between football and brain disease.
In a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general, GOP leaders of the Energy and Commerce Committee said that a thorough assessment is needed to ensure the integrity of the process for awarding research grants.
The committee’s top Democrat said in May the NFL tried to strong-arm the National Institutes of Health into taking the project away from a prominent researcher that the league believed was biased.
NFL officials also said in a statement they look forward to cooperating with the inspector general.
... Giants fullback/defensive lineman Nikita Whitlock has been suspended without pay the next 10 games for violating the NFL policy on performance-enhancing substances.
The NFL announced the ruling on Thursday.
Whitlock, who is on the reserve/injured list, will begin serving his suspension immediately.
Whitlock was waived-injured with a foot problem late last month. He can receive treatment for his injury, but it must be away from the Giants’ facilities.
... Defensive tackle Michael Brockers has agreed to a three-year extension through 2019 with the Rams.
The team announced the extension Thursday.
Brockers is a key component of the Rams defensive line, considered one of the NFL’s best units. Playing alongside Aaron Donald on the interior of the line, Brockers had career highs with 74 tackles and 12 tackles for loss last season.
Brockers has 14 1/2 sacks and two forced fumbles in 62 games with the Rams, starting all but one game. He was the 14th overall pick in the 2012 draft.
... Texans receiver DeAndre Hopkins won’t be wearing his Kanye West-designed Yeezy cleats again anytime soon after the shoes earned him a fine from the NFL.
Hopkins, who has a multi-year contract with adidas, said he received a fine of $6,000 for wearing the shoes in the popular turtle dove color. He received a fine for the shoes because NFL rules say that shoes must have one dominant base color, which the Yeezy’s do not.
Asked if he would wear the shoes again Hopkins said with a laugh: “Only if Kanye wants to pay the fine.”
The cleats went on sale on Thursday morning and were gone by midday.
... Rookie cornerback KeiVarae Russell was claimed off waivers by the Bengals.
... Steelers linebacker Ryan Shazier (knee) practiced with the rest of his teammates and said he plans to play Sunday against the Bengals.
Shazier injured his right knee in the fourth quarter of the season opener against the Redskins Monday night. He had a doctor’s appointment Tuesday and did not practice Wednesday.
... Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman declared himself healthy and ready to play against the Browns, but outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil (foot) appears unlikely.
“I feel like I’m getting close, but I don’t know what close means yet,” he said. “We’re working hard, working with guys here, really getting better. So really looking forward to it soon.”
... Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (ankle) says he is “good to go” against the Raiders.
Jones tweaked his left ankle injury in Sunday’s 31-24 loss to Tampa Bay. He missed Atlanta’s final exhibition game after turning the ankle.
... Jaguars running back Chris Ivory returned to the team’s facility, two days after being released from the hospital, but is a long shot to play Sunday.
Ivory met with coaches and trainers, and even got in a brief workout during his first day back in nearly a week. His return to the field likely will happen next week.
... The Bills promoted offensive lineman Gabe Ikard from the practice squad and released linebacker Bryson Albright.
The moves were announced hours before the Bills host the New York Jets on Thursday night.
... Fred Quillan, the former center who played on the first two Super Bowl champion 49ers teams, has died.
He was 60.