Seahawks rebound vs. Cards; Pats improve to 9-2
Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks did some soul searching before their showdown with the Arizona Cardinals.
Whatever the defending Super Bowl champions said to each other, it appears to have worked.
Wilson found backup tight end Cooper Helfet for a 20-yard, catch-and-run touchdown late in the third quarter, Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals and the Seahawks handed the Cardinals their second loss of the season, 19-3 on Sunday.
"It's a special win because we did it together," safety Earl Thomas said. "For the first time this year, I think we played for pure reasons, for no motives attached. That's what you love about this team: We can put our egos aside and we can admit when we're wrong. Guys stayed true."
Seattle won for the fourth time in five games, putting aside the missed chances from last week's loss in Kansas City and announcing the Seahawks (7-4) aren't done by knocking off the league-leading Cardinals (9-2).
"There was something that was missing," Seattle wide receiver Doug Baldwin said. "There was a subtle difference there and I feel like today we kind of found it. We talked about it throughout the week. Like I said, just trusting each other, respecting each other and going out there and playing for each other.
"I definitely felt it today."
The Cardinals still have the NFC's best record, but they were held to a season-low 204 total yards as their six-game winning streak ended. A week after throwing for a career-high 306 yards, Drew Stanton was 14 of 26 for 149 and one interception.
"If you don't catch, tackle, kick, you can't win," coach Bruce Arians said. "We didn't do any of the four."
Arizona is now tied with New England for the NFL's best overall record after Tom Brady threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots stretched their winning streak to seven games with a 34-9 victory over the Detroit Lions.
Using a pass-heavy offense against the NFL's stingiest rushing defense, the Patriots led 24-6 at halftime as Brady repeatedly found wide-open receivers while the Lions struggled on offense. For the second straight game, Detroit failed to score a touchdown.
"Everyone is linked together," Brady said, "so we all feed off each other - offense, defense, special teams."
New England (9-2) routed a division leader for the third consecutive game, following wins over Denver and Indianapolis. Detroit (7-4) lost for the second straight week against a conference leader after falling to Arizona 14-6 last Sunday.
"We blew a lot of coverage," Detroit linebacker DeAndre Levy said. "They sped up the tempo a bit and I think we lost our composure."
LeGarrette Blount rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns three days after signing with New England after being cut by Pittsburgh. In the win over the Colts, the Patriots stuck with the running game as Jonas Gray rushed 37 times for 201 yards and four touchdowns. After being sent home from Friday's practice for reporting late, he didn't play at all on Sunday.
In other games:
BRONCOS 39, DOLPHINS 36
At Denver, Peyton Manning threw three of his four TD passes to Demaryius Thomas, and C.J. Anderson ran for 167 yards and the go-ahead score in the Broncos' win over the Miami Dolphins.
Anderson's 10-yard run with 5:01 left gave the Broncos (8-3) their first lead of the game at 32-28. T.J. Ward's 37-yard interception return of Ryan Tannehill's pass set up Wes Welker's insurance TD catch.
The Broncos needed it after Tannehill drove the Dolphins (6-5) on another scoring drive, hitting Jarvis Landry from a yard out with 1:34 left. Lamar Miller's 2-point dive made it a 3-point game.
The Dolphins' onside kick was recovered by - who else? - Anderson, who sealed the game with a 26-yard run. Manning became the third player in NFL history with touchdown passes in 50 consecutive games, joining Drew Brees (54) and Tom Brady (52). He completed 28 of 35 passes for 257 yards and no interceptions on a cool Colorado evening.
BROWNS 26, FALCONS 24
At Atlanta, Brian Hoyer shook off three interceptions, leading the Cleveland Browns down the field in the final minute to set up Billy Cundiff's 37-yard field goal as time expired.
Taking advantage of the last of Hoyer's picks, the Falcons drove for Matt Bryant's 53-yard field goal with 44 seconds remaining to seize the lead. But Hoyer completed four straight passes, the last of them to the Falcons 19, and spiked the ball with 5 seconds left. Cundiff trotted on and made his fourth field goal of the game for the Browns (7-4).
Cleveland was bolstered by the return of Josh Gordon, who had eight catches for 120 yards against Atlanta (4-7). The Falcons dropped to 0-7 against teams outside the division.
COWBOYS 31, GIANTS 28
At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Tony Romo threw two touchdown passes to Dez Bryant, the winner from 13 yards with 1:01 remaining, lifting the Dallas Cowboys to a comeback victory over the New York Giants.
Romo threw for two TDs in the third quarter. But the Giants (3-8), trailing 24-21, staged a 93-yard drive capped by Adrien Robinson's first career TD catch, from 1 yard with 3 minutes left.
Back came Dallas (8-3) on an 80-yard march in which Romo never was pressured.
Thanks to Odell Beckham Jr.'s spectacular one-handed TD catch, one of the rookie's two first-half touchdowns, New York built a 21-10 halftime lead. But the Giants lost their sixth straight and were eliminated from division contention.
PACKERS 24, VIKINGS 21
At Minneapolis, Eddie Lacy rushed for 125 yards on 25 carries, both season highs to help Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers hang on against the Minnesota Vikings.
Lacy scored twice, on a run in the first quarter and a catch in the fourth. Then, he rumbled through the line for two first downs to drain the clock after the Vikings (4-7) cut the lead to three with 3:23 remaining.
Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and again avoided a turnover for the Packers (8-3), who stayed out of a potential trap against a struggling team with a game next week against surging New England.
EAGLES 43, TITANS 24
Philadelphia's Josh Huff returned the opening kickoff 107 yards, LeSean McCoy ran for 130 yards and the Eagles beat the Tennessee Titans at home.
Huff's return was the longest in franchise history and the 10th non-offensive touchdown for the Eagles (8-3) this season. Mark Sanchez threw for 307 yards and one touchdown in his third start for the injured Nick Foles. He has 300 yards passing in three straight games, tying a team record.
Rookie Zach Mettenberger had 345 yards passing and two TDs for the Titans (2-9).
BENGALS 22, TEXANS 13
At Houston, Andy Dalton threw for 233 yards and a touchdown and A.J. Green had 121 yards receiving on a career-high 12 receptions to give the Cincinnati Bengals a win.
The Bengals (7-3-1) led throughout, but Houston (5-6) cut the lead to three points late in the third quarter before Cincinnati tacked on two field goals in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
Rookie Jeremy Hill scored on a 2-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter after an interception by Ryan Mallett for Cincinnati's only touchdown of the second half.
COLTS 23, JAGUARS 3
T.Y. Hilton celebrated the birth of his first child with a 73-yard TD catch, spurring a second-half turnaround that allowed Indianapolis to pull away from Jacksonville at home.
Andrew Luck was 21 of 32 for 253 yards with one score, but his streak of consecutive 300-yard games ended at eight - one short of Drew Brees' NFL record.
The Colts (7-4) have won 11 straight against AFC South foes. Jacksonville (1-10) has lost four straight overall and five straight to Indy.
BEARS 21, BUCCANEERS 13
Matt Forte rushed for two touchdowns in the third quarter, and the Chicago Bears beat Lovie Smith and the visiting Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Jay Cutler threw a 2-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery as the Bears (5-6) scored 21 straight points to erase a 10-0 halftime deficit. Forte had a 13-yard run that put Chicago ahead to stay, and then added a 1-yard plunge that made it 21-10.
Smith coached the Bears to three playoff appearances and a trip to the 2007 Super Bowl during his successful nine-year run in Chicago. He was hired by Tampa Bay (2-9) in January.
CHARGERS 27, RAMS 24
At San Diego, Marcus Gilchrist intercepted Shaun Hill at the goal line with 56 seconds left to preserve the Chargers' victory against the St. Louis Rams that helped tighten the AFC West race.
Gilchrist jumped the route as Hill tried to force a pass to Kenny Britt, who also was covered by Shareece Wright, on second-and-goal from the 4. Hill had beaten Gilchrist on a 7-yard TD pass to Stedman Bailey with 2:04 left that pulled the Rams (4-7) within three points.
Ryan Mathews had a 32-yard touchdown run and linebacker Andrew Gachkar scored on a 13-yard fumble recovery 21 seconds later for the Chargers (7-4).
49ERS 17, REDSKINS 13
At Santa Clara, California, Carlos Hyde ran for a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown with 2:59 remaining, and the San Francisco 49ers barely squeaked by the lowly Washington Redskins.
A fourth-down conversion in their own territory away from losing, the Niners finally capitalized with a rare touchdown in the final period on the way to their third straight victory. San Francisco (7-4) overcame three turnovers. Anquan Boldin, who caught a pair of touchdown passes in a win at Washington last November, finished with nine catches for 137 yards.
Alfred Morris ran for a season-best 125 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins (3-8), who lost their third in a row and fourth straight to the 49ers.