NFL roundup: Garoppolo injured, but Pats beat Dolphins

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[September 19, 2016]  The Sports Xchange

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- The New England Patriots lost quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, then almost lost the game.

Garoppolo, starting his second straight game during Tom Brady's Deflategate suspension, had already thrown three touchdown passes sustained a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder with 4:02 left in the second quarter -- and New England almost blew a 31-3 lead but held on for a 31-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Garoppolo was taken to the turf after a scramble by linebacker Kiko Alonso. Garoppolo was 18 of 27 for 234 yards before leaving -- 42 of 60 for 498 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions in two games. Rookie Jacoby Brissett made his NFL debut and led the Patriots to a touchdown on the first drive of the second half, with LeGarrette Blount scoring on a 9-yard touchdown run. Brissett finished 6 of 9 for 92 yards.

Cowboys 27, Redskins 23

WASHINGTON -- Alfred Morris scored on a 4-yard run with 4:45 left to help Dallas defeat Washington, his former team.

Morris capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive that came after Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was intercepted throwing into triple coverage in the end zone as the Redskins appeared on the verge of taking a 10-point lead.

Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott hit passes of 12 yards to Cole Beasley and 8 yards to Jason Witten to set up second-and-goal on the 4. The drive was also aided by a roughing the passer penalty.

Texans 19, Chiefs 12

HOUSTON -- Carried by another stifling defensive performance, one aided by a staunch commitment to running the football, Houston extended its regular-season winning streak to five games by topping Kansas City.

The Texans limited the Chiefs to 291 yards, with Kansas City only eclipsing the 200-yard plateau deep into the fourth quarter. Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith passed for 186 yards, suffered four sacks and averaged 5.0 yards per attempt.

Houston forced three turnovers and possessed the ball for more than 33 minutes. Despite averaging just 2.9 yards per rush, the Texans ran the football 34 times and effectively bled the clock in the fourth quarter to maintain their lead.

Giants 16, Saints 13

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- A year after combining to score 101 points, the MetLife Stadium rematch saw the teams produce 29 as New York defeated New Orleans on Josh Brown's 23-yard field goal as time expired.

The low-scoring game saw the score tied twice, including with 2:54 minutes left after Saints kicker Wil Lutz made a 45-yard field goal to knot the score at 13.

Both offenses squandered opportunities. The Giants turned the ball over three times in the second quarter on fumbles by running back Shane Vereen, quarterback Eli Manning and receiver Victor Cruz.

Panthers 46, 49ers 27

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton threw four touchdown passes, including two in the third quarter to receiver Kelvin Benjamin, as Carolina opened its home schedule by defeating San Francisco.

Newton completed 24 of 40 for 353 yards as the Panthers bumped their franchise-record home winning streak to 14 games.

49ers quarterback Blaine Gabbert was 17 of 36 for 243 yards and two touchdowns and two fourth-quarter interceptions. The 49ers didn't score in the second half until two Panthers turnovers put them in prime position in the fourth quarter.

Steelers 24, Bengals 16

PITTSBURGH -- Ben Roethlisberger threw for three touchdowns and the Pittsburgh defense kept Cincinnati out of the end zone until the closing minutes.

On what might have been a game-saving play, Steelers linebacker James Harrison forced a fumble by Bengals receiver Tyler Boyd, and Robert Golden returned it on the first play after the two-minute warning in the fourth quarter.

The Steelers have won 13 of their past 15 home openers. The Bengals, who got three field goals by Mike Nugent, fell to 1-1.

Ravens 25, Browns 20

CLEVELAND -- Baltimore fought back from a 20-0 deficit to beat Cleveland and remain undefeated.

Justin Tucker put the Ravens ahead 22-20 on a 49-yard field goal with 11:19 to play after Browns kicker Patrick Murray missed a 52-yard field goal attempt. Tucker added a 41-yard field goal with 2:53 left.

The Browns had a chance to win on their final possession, but a pass from quarterback Josh McCown was intercepted by Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosely at the goal line with 13 seconds to play.

Titans 16, Lions 15

DETROIT -- Andre Johnson caught a 9-yard scoring pass from Marcus Mariota on fourth down with 1:13 left, lifting Tennessee to a penalty-filled win over Detroit.

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Mariota completed all nine of his passes on the possession. The Titans failed to convert the two-point attempt. Mariota was 25 of 33 for 238 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. DeMarco Murray gained 89 yards on 12 carries and caught seven passes for 56 yards.

Perrish Cox's interception with 22 seconds left sealed the win for Tennessee. Matthew Stafford was 22 of 40 for 260 yards with one touchdown and an interception for Detroit.

Rams 9, Seahawks 3

LOS ANGELES -- Three Greg Zuerlein field goals boosted Los Angeles over Seattle in its home opener at the Memorial Coliseum.

It was the Rams' first game in Southern California in almost 22 years since they bolted Anaheim in 1994 for St. Louis.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson completed 22 of 35 passes 253 yards, while Los Angeles quarter Case Keenum finished 18 of 30 for 239 yards.

Cardinals 40, Buccaneers 7

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Carson Palmer threw for three touchdowns, moving ahead of Joe Montana on the NFL's all-time passing yards list in the process, and Arizona forced Jameis Winston into five en route to a win vs. Tampa Bay at University of Phoenix Stadium.

Though the Cardinals only sacked Winston twice, they recovered a fumble he lost and intercepted him four times. Marcus Cooper had two of the interceptions, including a pick-six he returned 60 yards for a third-quarter touchdown.

Palmer, meanwhile, threw touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and Jaron Brown. Palmer finished with 308 yards on 18 of 31 passing.

Broncos 34, Colts 20

DENVER -- Von Miller sacked Andrew Luck and forced a fumble that teammate Shane Ray returned 15 yards for a touchdown -- Denver's second defensive score in the fourth quarter -- to beat Indianapolis.

The Broncos offense, gaining some traction late under Trevor Siemian, drove inside the red zone, leading to a 35-yard field goal by Brandon McManus, his fourth of the day. McManus' third field goal,

Luck finished 21 of 40 for 197 yards and a touchdown for the Colts, while Siemian was 22 of 33 for 266. Demaryius Thomas had five receptions for 90 yards for the Broncos.

Falcons 35, Raiders 28

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 396 yards and three touchdowns, Julio Jones caught five passes for 104 yards and a score, and Atlanta held on for a victory against Oakland at the Oakland Coliseum.

Tight end Jacob Tamme caught five passes for 75 yards and a touchdown for the Falcons, who defeated the Raiders for the fourth straight time. Tight end Austin Hooper had three catches for 84 yards.

Derek Carr completed 34 of 45 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions for the Raiders. Wide receiver Amari Cooper caught four passes for 55 yards, while tight end Clive Walford had six catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.

Chargers 38, Jaguars 14

Overcoming the loss of running back Danny Woodhead to a potential season-ending injury, San Diego routed Jacksonville at Qualcomm Stadium.

Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers completed 17 of 24 passes for 220 yards and four touchdowns, two to Travis Benjamin, who caught six passes for 115 yards. Running back Melvin Gordon enjoyed the first 100-yard game of his NFL career, picking up 102 yards on 24 carries and scoring his third touchdown in two games.

Defensively, the Chargers didn't allow a touchdown until early in the fourth quarter as jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles found Marcedes Lewis for a 4-yard scoring strike. Bortles added a 15-yard touchdown pass to Corey Grant with 1:12 left.

Vikings 17, Packers 14

MINNEAPOLIS -- In the first regular season contest at billion-dollar U.S. Bank Stadium, new Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford led Minnesota past Green Bay.

Bradford, acquired from the Eagles at the end of the preseason after Teddy Bridgewater was lost to a knee injury, completed 22 of 31 passes for 286 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his first start for the Vikings. His favorite target was Stefon Diggs, who had nine catches for 182 yards and a touchdown.

However, Minnesota's Adrian Peterson finished with just 19 yards on 12 carries, and he left the game in the third quarter due to a right knee injury. He did not return.


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