Sunday’s NFL roundup: Brees takes plunge to lift Saints
Atlanta — On the day he became the NFL’s career leader in completed passes, Drew Brees’ biggest plays came as a runner.
Brees’ 1-yard run capped an 80-yard touchdown drive to open overtime that lifted the New Orleans Saints to a 43-37 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
That came after his 7-yard score late in the fourth quarter forced the overtime. After the Saints won the coin toss, Brees and the Saints held the ball for more than seven minutes.
Brees jumped over the pile on a quarterback keeper after his apparent 3-yard TD pass to Alvin Kamara was overturned. A review determined Kamara’s knee was down before he crossed the goal line. Brees scored on the following play, giving the Saints (2-1) the win.
“This was a wild one,” said Brees, who passed for 396 yards and three touchdowns and ran for two scores. Kamara had 15 catches for 124 yards and ran for 66 yards.
With his 14th completed pass, the 39-year-old Brees broke the record of 6,300 career completions set by Hall of Famer Brett Favre. Brees set the mark with a 17-yard pass to Michael Thomas in the second quarter.
Atlanta’s Matt Ryan had his first career game with five scoring passes. Calvin Ridley became the first Atlanta rookie with three scoring catches. That wasn’t enough for the Falcons (1-2) against Brees and the high-scoring Saints, who gained 534 yards.
Ryan passed for 374 yards, including 146 to Ridley, who had seven receptions, including a 75-yard TD.
(At) Philadelphia 20, Indianapolis 16: Carson Wentz — playing his first game since he tore two ligaments in his left knee last Dec. 10 — threw a touchdown pass on his first drive in nine months, then Wendell Smallwood ran in from the 4 for the go-ahead score.
Adam Vinatieri tied Morten Andersen’s career record of 565 field goals by connecting on all three tries, but the Colts (1-2) couldn’t take advantage of two turnovers by Wentz inside the 20 in the second half.
The defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (2-1) needed two defensive stops against Andrew Luck in the final 90 seconds.
(At) Kansas City 38, San Francisco 27: After winning his first three starts, all away from Arrowhead Stadium, second-year pro Patrick Mahomes finally made his regular-season home debut and torched San Francisco’s banged-up pass defense for 314 yards and three touchdowns.
Mahomes’ touchdown passes to Chris Conley, Demetrius Harris and Sammy Watkins , along with a pair of TD runs by Kareem Hunt, helped Kansas City (3-0) race to a 35-7 lead late in the first half.
The 49ers (1-2) rallied behind running backs Matt Breida and Alfred Morris, and Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw for 251 yards and two scores. But Garoppolo was injured on a late run and was feared to have his left ACL.
(At) Miami 28, Oakland 20: Receiver Albert Wilson threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to put the Dolphins ahead midway through the fourth quarter, and then turned a short reception into a 74-yard score that sealed it.
Miami coach Adam Gase used creative play calling to overcome a wave of injuries and penalties, and a 17-minute deficit in time of possession. The Dolphins scored on a pair of shovel passes by Ryan Tannehill that each traveled less than a yard — one on the flip to Wilson, and an earlier similar pass that Jakeem Grant caught before turning the corner for an 18-yard score.
The Dolphins are 3-0 for only the third time since 1998.
(At) Carolina 31, Cincinnati 21: Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others, while Christian McCaffrey racked up a career-high 184 yards rushing.
Newton completed 15 of 24 passes for 150 yards and ran for 36 yards as the Panthers (2-1) won their seventh straight home game going back to last season.
McCaffrey did his damage on the ground with 28 carries. Carolina had 230 yards rushing. Andy Dalton was 29-of-46 with two touchdowns, but was intercepted four times, including twice by rookie cornerback Donte Jackson.
Carolina’s defense held the Bengals (2-1) to 66 yards rushing without Joe Mixon in the lineup.
(At) Baltimore 27, Denver 14: Joe Flacco picked apart Denver’s depleted defense for 277 yards and a touchdown. Connecting with eight receivers, Flacco went 25-for-40 without an interception on a rainy afternoon. He threw 28 passes in the first half, when Baltimore (2-1) took control.
The Ravens turned to their defense in the fourth quarter, twice stopping drives inside their 15. Javorious Allen caught a 12-yard touchdown pass and ran for a score for the Ravens.
The Broncos could not rally after Allen’s 1-yard TD run made it 27-14 midway through the third quarter. Denver was inside the Baltimore 5 with 9 minutes left before Case Keenum was intercepted by Patrick Onwuasor, whose 89-yard return for a touchdown was wiped out by a block in the back.
Tennessee 9, Jacksonville 6: Marcus Mariota came off the bench and directed three scoring drives, including one in the fourth quarter. Mariota replaced Blaine Gabbert in the first quarter after Gabbert was knocked out of the game with a concussion.
Mariota sat out last week’s victory against Houston because of an elbow injury sustained in the season opener. Mariota wore a glove on his injured right hand and was able to do just enough to beat the Jaguars (2-1) for the third straight time and fifth time in the past six meetings.
Mariota completed 12 of 18 passes for 100 yards and ran for 51 more. The Titans (2-1) milked the clock from there and ended up celebrating an early lead in the AFC South.
(At) Washington 31, Green Bay 17: Adrian Peterson ran for 120 yards and a pair of 2-yard scores, Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes — all in the first half — and Washington held on over a gimpy Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who again had complaints about a roughing-the-passer penalty on Clay Matthews.
Playing with a bulky brace on his left knee, which he hurt in Week 1, Rodgers limped around, and couldn’t do enough to get the Packers (1-1-1) back into the game. He finished 27 for 44 for 265 yards with two TDs and was sacked four times.
N.Y. Giants 27, (at) Houston 22: Eli Manning threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns and rookie Saquon Barkley added a score. The Giants (1-2) were up by 14 at halftime butthe Texans (0-3) had cut the lead to five before Manning threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard with about two minutes left.
Deshaun Watson threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Lamar Miller with 1 second left to cut the lead to 27-22, but New York recovered the onside kick.
Watson threw for 385 yards and two scores, but his interception was one of two second-half turnovers by the Texans.