Sunday's NFL Capsules

Sunday's NFL Capsules

NEW ORLEANS (AP) Jimmy Graham caught seven passes for a career-best 146 yards and two touchdowns, cornerback Jabari Greer made a diving, touchdown-saving pass breakup on a late fourth-down play, and the New Orleans Saints held on to hand the Atlanta Falcons their first loss, 31-27 on Sunday.

Graham and his Atlanta counterpart, veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez, both were superb in a game that showcased all the intensity and drama of one of the NFL's most passionate and longstanding rivalries

Gonzalez finished with 11 catches for 122 yards and two scores for Atlanta (8-1), and in the process became the first tight end to catch 100 touchdown passes.

Brees threw for 298 yards and three TDs as the Saints (4-5) won for the fourth time in five games, keeping alive hope of getting back into the wild card race after an 0-4 start.

TEXANS 13, BEARS 6

CHICAGO (AP) - Arian Foster finished with 102 yards rushing and a touchdown catch, and Houston intercepted Jay Cutler twice before knocking him out of the game with a concussion on their way to a soggy win.

In a showdown between two of the NFL's best teams, the Texans (8-1) beat the Bears (7-2) at their own game. They came away with four takeaways and Tim Dobbins delivered the biggest blow when he drove his helmet into Cutler late in the second quarter.

Foster was the only reliable offensive weapon on either side, particularly in the first half when he ran for 85 yards and made a sprawling catch for a 2-yard touchdown to put Houston ahead 10-3.

49ERS 24, RAMS 24 (OT, tie)

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - San Francisco and St. Louis played the NFL's first tie game in four years as kickers from both teams missed overtime field goals in Sunday's 24-24 outcome.

Greg Zuerlein kicked a 53-yarder, but the Rams were penalized 5 yards for delay of game. He tried again from 58 as coach Jeff Fisher played for the win, and missed wide right with 2:42 left in OT.

San Francisco's David Akers missed wide left on a 41-yard attempt that could have sealed it for the 49ers (6-2-1), who lost quarterback Alex Smith to a first-half concussion.

And just when it seemed the 49ers - and Akers' typically reliable left leg - would have one more chance to win it, San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis was flagged for holding Lance Kendricks on third down. That extended St. Louis' last drive, a costly mistake in a long list of them on an uncharacteristically sloppy day by coach Jim Harbaugh's team.

Akers booted a tying 33-yarder with 3 seconds left in regulation after Sam Bradford threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Austin Pettis with 1:09 remaining. The Rams are 3-5-1.

SEAHAWKS 28, JETS 7

SEATTLE (AP) - Russell Wilson threw touchdowns of 38 yards to Golden Tate and 31 yards to Sidney Rice, and Seattle sent the Jets to their worst start since 2007.

Wilson was harried for much of the day by the multiple looks from the Jets' defense. But the Seattle rookie responded with key throws, hitting Tate on the opening drive, then connecting with Rice early in the fourth quarter to give Seattle (6-4) a two-score advantage. Tate added a TD pass on a reverse to Rice later in the fourth quarter.

Mark Sanchez struggled in his reunion with Seattle coach Pete Carroll, his former coach at USC. Sanchez threw a costly interception at the goal line in the first half, then fumbled at the Seattle 32.

Muhammad Wilkerson's fumble return for a TD was the only score for New York (3-6).

COWBOYS 38, EAGLES 23

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Tony Romo threw a pair of touchdowns, Dwayne Harris had a 78-yard punt return for a score and Brandon Carr returned an interception 47 yards for a TD.

The Cowboys improved to 4-5, and are second in the NFC East, 1 1/2 games behind the New York Giants.

The Eagles (3-6) lost Michael Vick to a concussion after consecutive bruising hits in the second quarter and have lost five straight games under coach Andy Reid for the first time in his 14 seasons.

Nick Foles filled in for Vick and briefly rallied the Eagles until the Cowboys started showing some touchdown versatility. Romo hit Dez Bryant on a 30-yard pass on the final play of the third quarter, and Harris and Carr scored their TDs in the fourth quarter.

BRONCOS 36, PANTHERS 14

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Peyton Manning made sure John Fox's return to Carolina was a successful one, throwing for 301 yards and a touchdown.

Manning threw his 420th touchdown pass to move into a tie for second place on the NFL's all-time list with Dan Marino. He trails only Brett Favre (508).

Manning had plenty of help from his teammates.

Von Miller harassed Cam Newton all day and Trindon Holliday returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown as the Broncos (6-3) won for the fifth time in six weeks. The Broncos sacked Newton seven times, including once for a safety, and Miller pressured him into an interception Tony Carter returned 40 yards for a score.

Fox, who coached the Panthers for nine seasons, downplayed his return all week, but celebrated with a few fist pumps Sunday.

PATRIOTS 37, BILLS 31

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady threw for two touchdowns, Devin McCourty ended Buffalo's hopes with an interception in the end zone and New England kept Buffalo winless at Gillette Stadium.

The Patriots (6-3) let a 17-3 lead slip to 34-31 with 7:47 left on Ryan Fitzpatrick's 2-yard touchdown pass to Donald Jones. Then the Bills (3-6) held the Patriots to a 27-yard field goal by Stephen Gostkowski with 2:06 remaining.

Buffalo then moved to a second-and-10 at the New England 15 before Fitzpatrick threw the ball right into the hands of McCourty while trying to hit T.J. Graham.

New England is 11-0 against the Bills at Gillette since it opened in 2002 and 20-2 overall in its last 22 games against Buffalo.

VIKINGS 34, LIONS 24

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Adrian Peterson raced 61 yards for the game-sealing touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, padding his NFL rushing lead with 171 yards on 27 carries for Minnesota.

Peterson had 120 yards in the final 15 minutes, 10 1/2 months after reconstructive surgery on his left knee. Ponder bounced back from a rough game with 221 yards and two touchdowns on 24-for-32 passing for the Vikings (6-4).

Calvin Johnson had 207 yards on 12 catches, including a touchdown that brought the Lions (4-5) a little closer with 1:53 left. But Johnson's lost fumble near midfield on the previous possession put Vikings rookie Blair Walsh in position for his fourth field goal.

BUCCANEERS 34, CHARGERS 24

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Josh Freeman threw two touchdown passes and the surging Buccaneers scored on a blocked punt and Leonard Johnson's 83-yard interception.

Freeman has thrown for 13 TDs with one interception in his past five games, helping the Bucs (5-4) win four times to climb back over .500 following a 1-3 start.

Rivers threw for 337 yards and three touchdowns for San Diego. He was intercepted twice in the fourth quarter to ruin any chance of the Chargers (4-5) coming from behind.

BENGALS 31, GIANTS 13

CINCINNATI (AP) - Andy Dalton threw a career-high four touchdown passes - each to a different receiver - and the Cincinnati Bengals ended their four-game losing streak by beating the New York Giants 31-13 on Sunday.

The Bengals (4-5) took advantage of a fumble and Eli Manning's two interceptions, which set up third-quarter touchdowns. That helped A.J. Green back up his observation there are holes in New York's defense.

The defending Super Bowl champions have a lot of holes everywhere.

The Giants (6-4) head into their bye with back-to-back losses and a lot of issues, especially on offense. Manning had another subpar game, failing to live up his family legacy of beating the Bengals. Older brother Peyton improved to 8-0 against Cincinnati on the same field a week earlier, leading Denver to a 31-23 win.

The Giants turned it over four times in the second half.

RAVENS 55, RAIDERS 20

BALTIMORE (AP) - Joe Flacco threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, and Baltimore set a club record for points.

The Ravens (7-2) scored on six of their first seven possessions against the struggling Raiders (3-6), who have yielded at least 40 points in two straight games for the first time since 1962. The 55 points tied an Oakland record for points allowed, a mark set in 1961 and matched in 1981.

Baltimore led 27-10 at halftime. In the third quarter, Flacco threw touchdown passes of 47 and 20 yards to Torrey Smith, and holder Sam Koch scored on a fake field goal in the third quarter to make it 48-17.

In the fourth quarter, Jacoby Jones took a kickoff 105 yards for 55-20 lead. Baltimore's previous record for points in a game was 48, against Detroit in December 2009.

TITANS 37, DOLPHINS 3

MIAMI (AP) - Colin McCarthy returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown, and four takeaways helped Tennessee rout Miami.

The Titans came into the game on pace to set an NFL record for points allowed in a season, but they stymied Miami by intercepting Ryan Tannehill three times and recovering a Reggie Bush fumble to set up a touchdown.

Tennessee (4-6) rebounded from a 51-20 loss a week ago against the Bears that prompted owner Bud Adams to put the organization on notice. Last week the Titans trailed 28-2 after one quarter; this week they led 21-0 after 16 minutes.

For Miami (4-5), the home loss was the most lopsided since 1968.

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Will lack of conditioning lead to Richardson's downfall with Ravens?

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Will lack of conditioning lead to Richardson's downfall with Ravens?

Will running back Trent Richardson’s lack of conditioning be his downfall with the Ravens?

Richardson missed the first week of OTA’s with a hamstring issue, which was not the kind of early impression he wanted to make. Some injuries are unavoidable. But conditioning has been an issue for Richardson throughout his brief and so far undistinguished NFL career.

Entering the NFL as the No. 3 overall pick with the Browns in 2012, Richardson has disappointed in Cleveland and Indianapolis, and spent 2015 out of the league after the Raiders cut him before the season. When the Ravens signed Richardson in April, he knew it might be his last NFL chance. However, Ravens coach John Harbaugh wants to see even more commitment from Richardson when it comes to staying in shape.

RELATED: IN LATEST COMEBACK BID, RAVENS TE DENNIS PITTA'S CONFIDENCE NOT A PROBLEM

“Trent just needs to get healthy,” Harbaugh said after the first week of OTA’s. “I think the workload and the amount of work it takes to be a world class conditioned athlete is something that he’s working on right now. That’s what he needs to understand and that’s where he needs to get himself. When he gets himself there, he’s got talent. It will be fun. I’m very certain he’ll get there and when he does we’ll be able to evaluate him.”

The Ravens don’t have to wait on Richardson. Their running back competition is already intense, with Justin Forsett, Buck Allen, Kenneth Dixon, Lorenzo Taliaferro, and Terrance West all fighting for carries and roles.

Whether Richardson even threatens to make the team remains to be seen. His bigger priority is improving his conditioning, and getting back on the field.

MORE RAVENS: MIKE TOMLIN, ANTONIO BROWN GO TO PENGUINS PLAYOFF GAME

In latest comeback bid, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta's confidence not a problem

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In latest comeback bid, Ravens TE Dennis Pitta's confidence not a problem

Not everyone close to Dennis Pitta was immediately sold on his second NFL comeback attempt. Will his twice-fractured hip hold up? How much is Pitta risking his long-term health?

Pitta has pondered those questions for months. But after the first week of OTA’s, the Ravens’ 30-year-old tight end remained confident he had made the right decision.

“I had to convince a few people, and I’m thankful for those who have been in my corner all along and had my best interests in mind,” Pitta said. “Like I’ve said before, I know my situation better than anyone else, and I’m confident in the decision I made to come back, and certainly there were people who wanted to make sure that I was confident in that decision. I have a great support team behind me, and we all feel good about this move.”

Pitta first fractured his hip during training camp in 2013, then again on a non-contact play against the Browns in 2014. However, Pitta says he doesn’t think about his right hip when he’s on the field. He’s also not lowering his expectations, despite not playing at all in 2015, and not playing a full season since 2012.

Pitta was one of quarterback Joe Flacco’s favorite targets, catching 61 passes for 669 yards during the 2012 regular season, then adding 14 catches for 163 yards and three touchdowns during the Ravens’ playoff run to a Super Bowl title.

Asked if he could return that level of play, Pitta suggested, “Why not?”

“No, my expectations haven’t changed from four years ago, to two years ago, to now,” Pitta said. “My level of expectation is extremely high going into this year. Like I said, I feel confident in how I can run, how I can move, how I can play and it’s just a matter of getting those reps back to where I’m confident in doing all of that. So, yes, expectations personally are very high.”

Pitta obviously wasn’t ready to end his career. If he is on the 53-man roster Week 1, it will be a terrific comeback story.

Mike Tomlin, Antonio Brown go to Penguins playoff game

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Mike Tomlin, Antonio Brown go to Penguins playoff game

If you didn't the the Pittsburgh Steelers enough already, this ought to help. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and receiver Antonio Brown decided to take in some hockey on Thursday and unfortunately, they were cheering for the local team.

On the one hand, what do you expect? They play for the Pittsburgh Steelers so it's no surprise to see them cheering for the hometown team. On the other hand, the Steelers are the team Ravens fans all love to hate so to see them supporting the chief rivals of the Washington Capitals, that stings.

Just one more reason to hate the Steelers this football season.

RELATED: SEAN PAYTON SAYS RAVENS LOSING WEEK OF OTAS ISN'T THAT BIG OF A DEAL