Sunday's NFL: Wentz's 4 TD passes help Eagles soar past Cardinals

Associated Press
Carson Wentz threw scoring passes on three consecutive attempts for the Eagles and was 11-of-12 passing on third down. All of his TD passes were on third down.

Philadelphia — Carson Wentz calls third downs the “money down.”


Wentz threw a career-best four touchdown passes and the Eagles continued their impressive start with a 34-7 victory over the Cardinals on Sunday.

Wentz tossed scoring passes on three consecutive attempts in the first quarter, including 59 yards to Torrey Smith, 11 yards to Zach Ertz and 15 yards to Trey Burton.

He connected with Nelson Agholor for a 72-yard TD in the third quarter that left six-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson shouting on the sideline.

The Eagles (4-1) have won three straight.

Wentz was 11 for 12 for 225 yards and three TDs on third down.

“To be that efficient, that’s huge,” Wentz said.

Carson Palmer and Arizona’s one-dimensional offense were held to 279 yards.

The Cardinals (2-3) have alternated losses and wins since Week 1.

Wentz torched a secondary that features Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, finishing 21 of 30 for 304 yards.

Peterson held Alshon Jeffery to three catches for 31 yards, but Wentz spread the ball around.

The Eagles entered with the NFL’s second-best third-down offense and converted their first four chances, including two of Wentz’s early TDs.

“We got ourselves into some winnable downs and we weren’t able to get off the field,” Peterson said.

On the opening drive, Wentz tossed a 12-yard pass to Ertz on third-and-11 and a 16-yard pass to Jeffery on another third-and-11.

Then Wentz found Burton on a fade for a 7-0 lead.

Wentz’s TD pass to Ertz came on third-and-6 to make it 14-0. He hit Smith in stride on third-and-5 for a 21-0 lead.

“Our execution was pretty good, Carson made accurate throws and the guys did a nice job route running,” coach Doug Pederson said.

The Cardinals finally got going when Palmer threw a 13-yard TD pass to John Brown to cut it to 21-7.

Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said the flat performance was his fault.

“I got to point it at me because our team obviously was not ready to play in all three phases,” he said.

His players disagreed.

“I don’t think that anyone thinks it’s a whole better if we are blaming anybody,” right tackle Jared Veldheer said.

“It just comes down to us fixing problems, addressing them head-on. You have to be vigilant when watching the tape to get better and correct mistakes.”

Chiefs 42, (at) Texans 34: Alex Smith threw for 324 yards and three touchdowns to help Kansas City remain undefeated in a game where Houston star J.J. Watt broke his left leg.

Deshaun Watson's 48-yard touchdown pass got the Texans within six early in the fourth quarter before Smith extended the lead for Kansas City (5-0) to 32-20 on a 10-yard pass to De'Anthony Thomas with about 9 minutes left. Tyreek Hill padded the lead when he returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown.

Watson threw for 261 yards and five touchdowns, but the Texans (2-3) failed to recreate the magic they found last week when they scored a franchise-record 57 points in a victory over Tennessee.

Watt, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, was injured in the first quarter and the team announced that he sustained a tibial plateau fracture, but didn't provide any details on how long he'll be out. The defensive end returned this season after missing the last 13 games last year after his second back surgery.

Jacksonville 31, (at) Pittsburgh 9: Telvin Smith and Barry Church returned a pair of Ben Roethlisberger’s interceptions for touchdowns and Jacksonville (3-2) beat the Steelers for the first time in a decade.

The Jaguars picked Roethlisberger off five times and sacked him twice.

Rookie Leonard Fournette ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns for the Jaguars, who are over .500 after five games for the first time since 2010 and have already matched their victory total from 2016.

Roethlisberger completed 33 of 55 for 312 yards and his career-high five interceptions, the most by a Pittsburgh quarterback since Mark Malone threw five against Cleveland in 1987.

(At) Indianapolis 26, San Francisco 23 (OT): After blowing a 14-point lead in the final eight minutes or regulation and surviving an interception in scoring position in overtime, Marlon Mack’s 35-yard run set up Adam Vinatieri for a 51-yard field goal for the Colts.

Vinatieri made four field goals to move into second on the NFL’s career list, one ahead of Gary Anderson (538).

Mack and Jacoby Brissett each scored on TD runs for the Colts (2-3), who have won both games against winless teams.

Manning was inducted into the franchise’s Ring of Honor and his No. 18 jersey was retired.

“I came here almost 20 years ago to play quarterback and to try and win a lot of football games,” he told the crowd during the halftime ceremony.

“I thank God every day that I’m an Indianapolis Colt.”

Baltimore 30, (at) Oakland 17: Joe Flacco hit Mike Wallace on two deep passes to spark Baltimore’s struggling offense, and the Ravens got a fumble return for a touchdown by Jimmy Smith.

Flacco, on the opening drive of the game, connected on a 52-yard pass to Wallace that set up an early touchdown.

Smith returned Jared Cook’s fumble 47 yards for a touchdown that made it 14-0 just 3:50 in.

Seattle 16, (at) L.A. Rams 10: Russell Wilson passed for 198 yards and a touchdown, and Earl Thomas forced two of the Rams’ five turnovers for the Seahawks.

Jimmy Graham scored late in the first half for the Seahawks (3-2), who shut out the NFL’s highest-scoring offense in the second half of their second straight win over their NFC West rivals.

Thomas stripped the ball from Todd Gurley at the goal line to kill the Rams’ opening drive, and he intercepted Jared Goff’s fluttering pass at midfield with 6:02 to play.

(At) Cincinnati 20, Buffalo 16: A.J. Green had a hand in three turnovers that kept it close, but the receiver also pulled off a 77-yard touchdown and another long catch that set up a score Sunday, rallying the Bengals.

After losing their first three games, the Bengals (2-3) have salvaged their season by getting the ball to their playmakers at decisive moments. Green’s 47-yard catch set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Joe Mixon that put Cincinnati ahead to stay in the fourth quarter.

Philip Rivers threw a touchdown pass with just under 3 minutes left to lift the Chargers to their first win of the season.

L.A. Chargers 27, (at) N.Y. Giants 22: Philip Rivers threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Melvin Gordon with 2:58 to play and the Chargers rallied to beat the Giants in a game worthy of two teams that started the season 0-4.

The touchdown pass was Rivers’ third of the game and came three plays after Kyle Emanuel had a sack, forced fumble and recovery against Eli Manning at the Giants 11.

Rivers also hit Gordon on a 6-yard TD pass in the second quarter and had a 25-yarder to tight end Hunter Henry in the third as the Chargers ended a nine-game losing streak dating to late November.

N.Y. Jets 17, (at) Cleveland 14: Josh McCown came back to Cleveland and beat the team that cut him, throwing two touchdown passes and leading the surprising Jets over the winless Browns, who benched rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer and fell to 1-20 under coach Hue Jackson.

McCown went 1-10 in two seasons as a starter for the Browns, who released him on Feb. 7 in a cost-cutting move. The 38-year-old wasn’t seeking revenge, but he got it with two second-half scoring tosses.

McCown threw a 2-yard TD pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the third quarter and a 24-yarder to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth to give the Jets (3-2) a 17-7 lead en route to their third straight victory.

The Browns (0-5) dropped to 2-30 in their past 32 games, but they did finally get to see No. 1 overall draft pick Myles Garrett. Garrett, who missed Cleveland’s first four games with a high ankle sprain, got a sack on his first play and finished with two.

(At) Miami 16, Tennessee 10: Jay Cutler finally silenced the boobirds with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass, and the Dolphins overcame the Titans.

The crowd was chanting for Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore.

But Dolphins coach Adam Gase stuck with Cutler, who capped a 58-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry for the tiebreaking score.