Sunday's NFL: Packers pound Raiders behind Aaron Rodgers' 'perfect' day
Green Bay, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers gave the rest of the NFL its first true glimpse of what Matt LaFleur’s offense can look like with Aaron Rodgers at the helm.
And it was scary.
Rodgers had his best game by far under the new Packers coach, throwing for 429 yards and five touchdowns and running for another as Green Bay beat the Oakland Raiders, 42-24, on Sunday.
Rodgers completed 25 of 31 passes to eight different targets and finished with the first perfect passer rating of his career, leading LaFleur’s offense to a season high in points.
“A lot of times that ball leaves his hand, I’m always like in awe. So, yeah, he’s pretty good,” LaFleur said of the two-time MVP.
Even with top target Davante Adams sidelined for the third straight game with turf toe, Rodgers threw for his most touchdowns in a game since Sept. 28, 2015, against the Chiefs.
“Yeah, I think this was the most complete that I’ve played,” Rodgers said. “I felt good about the timing. There was a lot of balls thrown on time, and obviously the line played fantastic.”
Derek Carr finished 22-for-28 for 293 yards, two touchdowns and two costly turnovers for the Raiders (3-3), who lost their eighth straight against Green Bay, dating back to 1990. The Packers (6-1) have scored 30-plus points in each of their last five games against the Raiders.
“Carr was rolling,” Oakland coach Jon Gruden said. “We were rolling offensively today. It was an offensive game. We just had a couple turnovers and they finished some drives.”
Green Bay took the lead for good on a 2-yard touchdown from Rodgers to Jamal Williams with 3:27 to go in the first half. The score capped an 11-play, 82-yard drive that took up 8:06 — the Packers’ longest drive of the season — and made it 14-10.
Carr put the Raiders in position to retake the lead with a 48-yard completion down the middle to Waller, giving Oakland first and goal at the 3. On second down, as Carr scrambled for the pylon, Blake Martinez forced a fumble and the ball went through the end zone for a touchback.
“I’ll have to look at it again. I think he’s trying to give a great effort, trying to lay out for the score,” Gruden said of Carr on the play. “I think the ball slipped out of his hands. If he would have scored, we would have felt pretty good. But, unfortunately, after that play, the next time we got the ball we were down 28-10. We were going in to make it 17-14 Raiders. That was a big play in the game.”
Rodgers made Oakland pay, finding Jake Kumerow for a 37-yard touchdown to make it 21-10 at halftime.
The Raiders had seven penalties for 87 yards in the first half. They finished with eight penalties for 97 yards.
Rodgers opened the second half with a 59-yard completion to Marquez Valdes-Scantling. Four plays later, Rodgers crossed the goal line on a 3-yard run.
“Collectively, we didn’t get enough push up front,” Raiders defensive end Maxx Crosby said. “We didn’t get in (Rodgers’) face enough. We have to get to the quarterback to help our guys out on the back end.”
Crosby had Oakland’s lone sack on the day.
Carr and Waller connected on a 7-yard score to cut the Green Bay lead to 28-17.
Jimmy Graham got into the action, scoring his third touchdown of the season on a 3-yard pass from Rodgers before the end of the third.
Kevin King picked off Carr in the end zone with 8:09 to play. That led to Rodgers’ sixth score of the day, a 74-yard pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who finished with the two catches for 133 yards. Valdes-Scantling was a game-time decision after suffering knee and ankle injuries on Monday night against the Lions. Geronimo Allison, who was also listed as questionable, had four catches for 33 yards.
“We had a lot of guys step up, specifically Marquez and G-mo,” LaFleur said. “Shoot, two days ago, we didn’t even know if they were going to play, and I thought those guys came and put together gritty performances.”
Mike Glennon relieved Carr late in the fourth and found Waller for a 17-yard score for the Raiders, whose winning streak ended at two games. Oakland fell to 3-14 following a bye since 2003.
(At) Dallas 37, Philadelphia 10: Ezekiel Elliott ran over safety Malcolm Jenkins on his way to 111 yards and a touchdown, Dak Prescott threw an easy scoring pass on a great fake to his star running back before a TD run and the Cowboys rolled past Philadelphia.
The Cowboys (4-3) won with the NFC East lead on the line while ending a three-game losing streak that followed their 3-0 start and clouded high expectations for the defending division champs.
Carson Wentz threw an interception and had two of Philadelphia’s three lost fumbles. The Eagles (3-4) dropped their second straight game after a two-game winning streak that looked like it might get their season going.
Brett Maher finished the highest-scoring half against Doug Pederson since he became coach of the Eagles in 2016, kicking a 63-yarder on the final play before halftime for a 27-7 lead.
Maher, the only kicker in NFL history with multiple field goals of at least 62 yards, has three after kicking a 62-yarder last week against the New York Jets. His other from 62 was against the Eagles last season.
Prescott’s 8-yard scoring run was the 21st of his career, breaking Roger Staubach’s record of 20 rushing TDs by a quarterback.
New Orleans 36, (at) Chicago 25: Teddy Bridgewater threw for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and New Orleans improved to 5-0 without injured starter Drew Brees with a victory over Chicago.
The Saints (6-1) again showed why they still see themselves as Super Bowl contenders even though their star quarterback is out indefinitely because of a torn ligament in his right thumb.
Bridgewater completed 23 of 38 passes, Michael Thomas had nine receptions for 131 yards, and Latavius Murray ran for 119 yards and two touchdowns.
Besides Brees, New Orleans had to get by without top running back Alvin Kamara (ankle, knee) and top receiving tight end Jared Cook (ankle). Both players were ruled out Friday, but that didn’t stop the NFC South leaders from taking down the Monsters of the Midway.
The Bears (3-3) lost their second straight, with Mitchell Trubisky struggling after missing a game because of a shoulder injury.
Baltimore 30, (at) Seattle 16: Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson ran for 116 yards and a touchdown, made key throws when necessary and led the Ravens to an impressive win over Seattle.
Jackson was the best player on the field, outshining Seattle QB Russell Wilson on a day the Seahawks star finally made his first critical mistake of the season. Jackson was especially good in the second half, when he led Baltimore on a pair of crucial scoring drives.
Earl Thomas made his return to Seattle after nine seasons of playing for the Seahawks, but aside from some occasional barking at the sideline of his former team and running off the field twirling Wilson’s jersey over his head after the victory, the former All-Pro safety ceded the spotlight to Jackson.
The second-year quarterback ran for an 8-yard touchdown late in the third quarter on fourth-and-2 to give the Ravens (5-2) the lead. On their next possession and backed up deep in their own end, Jackson made a series of highlight plays to drive Baltimore into scoring position for Justin Tucker’s fourth field goal and a 10-point lead with 3:47 left.
Wilson was nearly flawless for the first six games but struggled to find open receivers against Baltimore’s physical secondary. Seattle (5-2) was leading 10-6 and driving when Wilson made the mistake of double-clutching and trying to throw late into the flat. Marcus Peters, traded to Baltimore less than a week ago, made a quick break on the throw, stepped in front of Jaron Brown and outraced Wilson for his fifth career interception return touchdown, the most of any player since Peters entered the league in 2015.
(At) Tennessee 23, L.A. Chargers 20: Jurrell Casey recovered a fumble by Melvin Gordon at the goal line with 15 seconds left, and Tennessee pulled out a victory over Los Angeles after a frantic finish.
Gordon initially was ruled down shy of the goal line at the 1. Casey came out of the pile with the ball, and the Titans started celebrating. The play was reviewed and overturned the on-field ruling that Gordon was short of the goal line.
The call was a fumble forced by Titans linebacker Wesley Woodyard that was recovered by Casey for a touchback. Ryan Tannehill knelt down to run out the clock as the Titans (3-4) snapped a two-game skid.
The Chargers thought they had scored the go-ahead touchdown not once but twice in the final 44 seconds only to lose both on review by the replay official. That official also overturned Gordon being stopped on the Chargers’ final play.
First, Philip Rivers’ pass that Austin Ekeler took 16 yards was ruled a touchdown only to be reversed by the replay official for not breaking the plane as he was tackled by Kenny Vaccaro and Logan Ryan. After a false start, Malcolm Butler then was flagged for defensive pass interference on Mike Williams in the end zone.
Then Gordon went over right tackle with 34 seconds left for what officials ruled a 1-yard TD, and the replay official then reversed the call for the second time in what became a run for no gain. That set up Gordon’s final run with 19 seconds left.
The Chargers (2-5) have lost three straight and five of their past six.
(At) Indianapolis 30, Houston 23: Jacoby Brissett threw a career-high four touchdown passes and Indianapolis sealed a victory over Houston with Darius Leonard’s late interception.
Indy (4-2) has won three straight in the series and took over the early season lead in the AFC South.
The loss snapped Houston’s two-game winning streak.
Brissett was masterful most of the game. He was 26 of 39 with 326 yards, and in a game the Colts only produced 62 yards rushing, they needed Brissett to be at his best — and he was.
Brissett opened the scoring with an 11-yard TD pass to Zach Pascal on Indy’s first series.
The Texans (4-3) answered with two field goals, the second coming after Deshaun Watson appeared to find DeAndre Hopkins for a touchdown pass with Justin Houston draped around Watson’s legs. But the officials ruled Watson was in the grasp, nullifying the subsequent throw.
Brissett, who set up the Texans’ second score with a fumble deep in Colts territory, then threw a nifty 2-yard TD pass to T.Y. Hilton with 1:49 left in the half.
L.A. Rams 37, (at) Atlanta 10: Jared Goff threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and Los Angeles returned to the site of last season’s Super Bowl loss to beat reeling Atlanta.
The Rams (4-3) snapped a three-game losing streak in the debut of cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
The Falcons (1-6) suffered their fifth straight loss and had quarterback Matt Ryan leave the game with an ankle injury. Ryan’s right leg bent awkwardly as he was sacked by Aaron Donald and fumbled early in the fourth quarter.
Ryan limped off the field and was escorted to the medical tent on the sideline. He walked to the locker room, still favoring the ankle, with 7:36 remaining in the game.
Donald was credited with a sack, forced fumble and recovery on the play. It was the Rams’ fifth sack of Ryan, matching the five sacks by Atlanta’s defense this season — none in the past four games.
(At) Buffalo 31, Miami 21: Tre’Davious White forced two second-half turnovers, Micah Hyde returned an onside kick for a touchdown, and Buffalo rallied from a five-point deficit for a victory over winless Miami.
The Bills, who began the day favored by 17 points, avoided what would have been a major upset against the patchwork Dolphins (0-6), who are in a major rebuilding mode.
Josh Allen led fourth-quarter touchdown drives following each of the Dolphins turnovers, and the Bills improved to 5-1 in matching their best start to a season in 11 years.
White’s diving interception at the 2 of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s pass on second-and-goal from the 12 led to Buffalo going ahead 17-14 on John Brown’s 20-yard touchdown catch that capped a 12-play, 98-yard drive.
Two series later, White punched the ball out of the hands of rookie Preston Williams near the Miami 30, and the fumble was recovered by defensive end Jerry Hughes. Three plays later, Allen hit a wide-open Cole Beasley for a 3-yard touchdown.
Jacksonville 27, (at) Cincinnati 17: Gardner Minshew led a fourth-quarter touchdown drive that put Jacksonville ahead to stay, and Yannick Ngakoue returned an interception 23 yards to clinch a victory over winless Cincinnati.
The Jaguars (3-4) managed only field goals by still-perfect Josh Lambo until their rookie quarterback and their depleted defense made game-turning plays at the end.
The win capped a week in which the Jaguars traded disgruntled cornerback Jalen Ramsey to the Rams for three draft picks. Their defense picked off Andy Dalton three times in the fourth quarter to put it away.
The wait goes on for first-year Bengals coach Zac Taylor, whose team fell to 0-7 for the first time in 11 years.
Minshew was solid a week after his so-so performance in a 13-6 loss to the Saints. The rookie completed 15 of 32 for 255 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown pass to Keelan Cole for a 17-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. Minshew also scrambled for 48 yards.
The Bengals were booed repeatedly during another inept performance.
San Francisco 9, (at) Washington 0: Robbie Gould made field goals from 28, 22 and 29 yards to provide the only points in an ugly win by San Francisco over Washington in steady rain and driving wind to remain undefeated.
It wasn’t pretty, but San Francisco is 6-0 for the third time in franchise history, and first since 1990. That 49ers team finished 14-2.
Coach Kyle Shanahan’s bunch didn’t look like an unbeaten powerhouse in horrific conditions that made life difficult on quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and the entire offense. Garoppolo bounced back from a dreadful first half to finish 12 of 21 for 151 yards passing.
San Francisco’s defense continued its dominant run after holding the Los Angeles Rams to seven points last week and the Cleveland Browns to three before that. It’s the Niners’ first shutout since Week 1 of the 2016 season.
The weather seemed a perfect fit for interim coach Bill Callahan’s run-first, run-second and run-third mentality. Washington (1-6) started the game with 10 rushing plays and Adrian Peterson ran for 81 yards on 20 carries, but they were shut out for the first time this season.