Monday, Dec. 7
Washington at Pittsburgh Steelers, 5 p.m. EST, Fox — The Steelers (11-0) try to stay unbeaten in their second consecutive game that was rescheduled because of a COVID-19 outbreak that hit their previous opponent, the Baltimore Ravens. Pittsburgh beat a depleted Baltimore team on Wednesday and now faces a Washington team that is hot by the standards of the putrid NFC East. Washington (4-7) came into the week tied for the division lead. The Steelers looked sloppy against the Ravens, bogging down in the red zone on offense and giving up a big play on defense. Washington has ridden a stout defense and the play of veteran QB Alex Smith, who's back from a serious leg injury that threatened to end his career, to comfortable wins in its past two games.
Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers, 8:15 p.m. EST, ESPN — The 49ers will need to get used to their temporary new home, while the Buffalo Bills will try to put aside the bad memories from their most recent trip to Arizona. The Niners (5-6) have relocated to the Arizona Cardinals' stadium in Glendale after strict new COVID-19 protocols in their home county prohibited contact sports and practices. The Bills (8-3) are returning to the site of their most heartbreaking loss of the season, the “Hail Murray” touchdown heave by Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins that gave the Cardinals a 32-30 victory three weeks ago. After a bye, the Bills beat the Los Angeles Chargers last week at home. San Francisco is coming off an impressive road win over the Rams.
Tuesday, Dec. 8
Dallas Cowboys at Baltimore Ravens, 8:05 p.m. EST, Fox/NFL Network — In a game originally scheduled to be played last Thursday, the Ravens (6-5) hope to move on from their COVID-19 outbreak and end a three-game skid. The Cowboys (3-8) entered the weekend one game out of first place in the woeful NFC East but are 1-5 in their last six games and were embarrassed at home by Washington on Thanksgiving. Ravens wide receiver Dez Bryant makes his return to Dallas, where he starred for eight seasons.
— Matthew Stafford, Lions, threw for 402 yards and three touchdowns as Detroit rallied to beat slumping Chicago 34-30 and win its first game under interim coach Darrell Bevell.
— Derek Carr, Raiders, had 381 yards passing and three TD passes, including a game-winning 46-yarder to Henry Ruggs III, in Las Vegas' 31-28 win over the Jets.
— Jared Goff, Rams, threw for 351 yards and a touchdown in Los Angeles' 38-28 win over Arizona.
— Baker Mayfield, Browns, threw for a season-high 334 yards with all four of his touchdown passes in the first half as the Browns scored the first 17 points before holding on to beat Tennessee 41-35. Ryan Tannehill, Titans, threw for 389 yards and three TDs, mostly with Tennessee well behind.
— Kirk Cousins, Vikings, threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns in Minnesota's 27-24 overtime victory over visiting Jacksonville.
— Taysom Hill, Saints, threw for 232 yards and two touchdowns — the first scoring passes of his career — in his best performance since replacing the injured Drew Brees as starter. Hill was not intercepted and rushed for 83 yards on 14 carries as New Orleans beat Atlanta 21-16.
— Wayne Gallman, Giants, had 16 carries for 135 yards, his first career 100-yard game, in New York's 17-12 win at Seattle.
— Aaron Jones, Packers, rushed for 130 yards and delivered a game-clinching 77-yard touchdown run with 2:36 left as Green Bay Packers beat Philadelphia 30-16.
— Dalvin Cook, Vikings, had 120 yards on 32 carries in Minnesota's 27-24 overtime win over Jacksonville.
— Ty Johnson, Jets, had 22 carries for a career-high 104 yards and a touchdown in New York's 31-28 loss to Las Vegas.
— Darren Waller, Raiders, had 13 catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the 12th tight end since the 1970 merger with 150 or more yards receiving and two or more TD catches in a game, as Las Vegas rallied to beat the Jets 31-28.
— Corey Davis, Titans, had career highs of 11 receptions for 182 yards, including a touchdown catch, in Tennessee's 41-35 loss to Cleveland.
— Keke Coutee, Texans, had 141 yards receiving and Chad Hansen had 101 — both career highs — in Houston's first game since receiver Will Fuller received a six-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance enhancers. Houston lost 26-20 to Indianapolis. T.Y. Hilton, Colts, caught eight passes for 110 yards and a touchdown.
— Davante Adams, Packers, had 10 catches for 121 yards and two touchdowns in Green Bay's 30-16 win over Philadelphia.
— Justin Jefferson, Vikings, caught nine passes for 121 yards and a touchdown in Minnesota's 27-24 overtime win over Jacksonville. Jefferson topped the 1,000-yard mark just 12 games into his rookie season.
— Marvin Jones, Lions, had eight receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown in Detroit's 34-30 comeback win at Chicago.
— Michael Thomas, Saints, had nine receptions for 105 yards in New Orleans' 21-16 win at Atlanta. — Calvin Ridley, Falcons, caught five passes for 108 yards.
— Henry Ruggs III, Raiders, had the game-winning 46-yard touchdown catch with 5 seconds left in Las Vegas' win over the Jets. The speedy rookie finished with three catches for 84 yards.
— Gunner Olszewski, Patriots, returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown, one of his two TDs on the day, in New England's 45-0 rout of the Chargers.
— Devin McCourty, Patriots, returned a blocked field goal 44 yards to the end zone, New England's second special teams TD in its shutout of LA.
— Younghoe Koo kicked three field goals for the Falcons, extending his streak to 24 in a row since his lone miss of the season in Week 3.
— Justin Houston, Colts, sacked Deshaun Watson in the end zone for a safety in Indianapolis' 26-20 win over the Houston Texans. It was the fourth safety of Houston's career, tying him for the most in NFL history, and he finished with three sacks, three QB hits and a forced fumble.
— Clelin Ferrell, Raiders, had two strip-sacks in his return from the COVID-19 list as Las Vegas rallied to beat the Jets 31-28.
— Romeo Okwara, Lions, strip-sacked Mitchell Trubisky with 1:48 remaining, leading to Detroit's go-ahead score in a 34-30 win at Chicago.
— Kyle Van Noy, Dolphins, had three sacks, five tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and a pass defensed in Miami's 19-7 win over Cincinnati.
The Browns improved to 9-3 for the first time since 1994. Cleveland has only won nine games in a season three times in its expansion era, which began in 1999. ... Green Bay's Davante Adams has receiving TDs in seven straight games, tying Hall of Famer Don Hutson's franchise record. Hutson had a pair of seven-game TD reception streaks in 1941-42 and 1943-44. ... Cam Newton ran for two TDs in the Patriots' 45-0 win over the Chargers. He has four games with multiple rushing scores this season, a record for a quarterback, and he extended his career record with 10 such games. ... Aaron Rodgers threw three TD passes and reached 400 for his career in his 193rd game, surpassing Drew Brees (205 games) as the fastest player to reach the mark. ... Las Vegas' Darren Waller became the fourth tight end with at least 200 receiving yards and two TDs in a game, joining Rich Caster, Shannon Sharpe and Jackie Smith. ... Indianapolis' Philip Rivers became the fifth quarterback to throw for 3,000 yards or more in 15 seasons, joining Tom Brady, Brett Favre, Drew Brees and Peyton Manning.
STREAKS & STATS
The New York Jets fell to 0-12, matching the team record for the longest skid, which spanned the 1995 and '96 seasons under Rich Kotite. ... The Jets may not have a win this season but they have the longest active streak in the league (six games) of scoring on their opening drive. ... The New England Patriots had a punt-return touchdown and a blocked field goal return for a touchdown, the seventh time in league history a team has done that in the same game and the first since the Baltimore Ravens in 2015. ... Jacksonville dropped its 11th straight, falling 27-24 in overtime at Minneapolis.
HURTS SO GOOD
Jalen Hurts briefly gave the Philadelphia Eagles a spark enough to create a full-blown quarterback controversy. Carson Wentz was benched in the third quarter of Philadelphia’s 30-16 loss to the Green Bay Packers after completing 6 of 15 passes for 79 yards, no turnovers and four sacks. Hurts, the second-round pick in April's draft, tossed a 32-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ward and finished 5 of 12 for 109 yards, one interception and three sacks. He also ran for 29 yards. Coach Doug Pederson didn’t commit to a starter next week when the Eagles (3-8-1) host the New Orleans Saints. Wentz is having the worst season of his five-year career. His $128 million, four-year contract extension starts next year. He was 6 of 15 for 79 yards.
The still-winless New York Jets were just seconds away from their first victory until a questionable play call by defensive coordinator Gregg Williams took care of all that. Facing an all-out blitz, Derek Carr heaved a perfectly placed 46-yard touchdown pass to Henry Ruggs III — who was in man-to-man (cover zero) coverage with rookie cornerback Lamar Jackson — with 5 seconds left to lift the Las Vegas Raiders to a 31-28 victory. Marcus Maye, one of the Jets' captains, said Williams “could've been in a better call in that situation,” a surprising swipe at a coach by one of the team's captains.
A week after he turned the ball over three times, Chicago Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was strip-sacked by Romeo Okwara with 1:48 remaining, leading to the Detroit Lions' 34-30 victory. Trubisky, who was benched earlier in the season for Nick Foles, has four turnovers in the past two games after he was intercepted twice and fumbled a week earlier. “I don't think it's an ongoing problem,” he insisted.
Baker Mayfield started out so hot that the matchup between the NFL's top two rushing offenses became an afterthought. Mayfield threw four touchdown passes in the first half of the Browns' 41-35 victory over Derrick Henry and the Titans. Cleveland's Nick Chubb ran for 80 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries, while Henry, who came in as the NFL's rushing leader, had 60 yards on 15 carries as the Titans took to the air in a bid to rally from a 38-7 deficit. Cleveland totaled 118 yards rushing while Tennessee had 60.
Vikings 2019 All-Pro linebacker Eric Kendricks aggravated a calf injury in warmups and did not play in Minnesota's 27-24 overtime victory over Jacksonville. ... Raiders rookie cornerback Damon Arnette and Jets running back Frank Gore both suffered concussions when they collided helmet to helmet on the second play of Las Vegas' win over New York. ... Raiders safety Jeff Heath left in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. Jets guard Greg Van Roten and safety Ashtyn Davis both left with foot injuries. ... Saints cornerback Patrick Robinson left with a leg injury in the first half of New Orleans’ 21-16 win over Atlanta. He was starting in place of Janoris Jenkins, who missed the game with a knee injury. ... The Lions lost right tackle Tyrell Crosby (ankle), cornerback Mike Ford (back) and safety C.J. Moore (ankle) in a 34-30 win against Chicago. ... Colts right tackle Le’Raven Clark was carted off the field with an ankle injury in the first quarter of a 26-20 win against the Texans. ... Bengals left tackle Jonah Williams (right knee) was carted off the field in the fourth quarter of Cincinnati's win at Miami.
“Everything has got to be perfect. Everything would’ve had to have been right. It rarely ever is in football and in life,” Titans coach Mike Vrabel on what it would have taken for Tennessee to rally from a 38-7 deficit and beat Cleveland.
“The team had a different swagger about them, had a different juice about them today because we know we played our brand of football,” Giants safety Jabrill Peppers said after New York won at Seattle. “We know we can shock a lot of people.”
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