Giants 20 — Washington 19
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Joe Judge and the New York Giants have finally won, and they have rookie Tae Crowder and a risky gamble by Washington coach Ron Rivera for making them relevant again.
Crowder, the last player taken in the NFL draft — Mr. Irrelevant — scooped up a fumble and ran 43 yards for a touchdown with 3:28 to play. That gave the Giants a 20-19 victory over Washington on Sunday in a battle of the two of the NFL’s worst teams.
The game wasn’t decided until Rivera rolled the dice after a 22-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Allen to Cam Sims with :36 left in regulation to cap a 10-play, 75-yard march.
Instead of playing for overtime, Rivera had Washington (1-5) go for the win with a 2-point conversion in an attempt to get back in the mediocre NFC East race. Allen found no one open, scrambled to his left and had his pass under pressure fall incomplete.
It gave the 38-year-old Judge his first win as an NFL coach and allowed the Giants (1-5) to avoid a second 0-6 start since 2013.
Washington rallied from a 10-point deficit to tie the game midway before a rare Giants quarterback pressure turned the game around.
On a third-and-9 from the Giants 45, linebacker Kyler Fackrell strip-sacked Allen for an 8-yard loss. Crowder chased down the bouncing ball, gained possession and ran untouched to the end zone — to the applause of teammates. No fans were allowed at the game at MetLife Stadium.
Daniel Jones, who wasted a long third-quarter drive with an awful interception, threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Darius Slayton and Graham Gano kicked two field goals.
Allen threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Logan Thomas, and Dustin Hopkins, who missed from 47 yards on the opening drive, hit two shorter field goals.
Jones, who rushed for a team-high 74 yards, was 12 of 19 for 112 yards and an interception by Kendall Fuller in the back of the end zone that ended a nine-minute-plus drive.
Allen was 31 of 42 for 280 yards and an interception by James Bradberry, which set up the Slayton score.
Washington used a pair of time-consuming 70-yard drives to tie the game at 13-all with 8:56 left in the fourth quarter.
Trailing 13-3 late in the second quarter, Rivera made a gutsy call on fourth-and-4 from the New York 40. Allen hit Dontrelle Inman for 15 yards after scrambling away from pressure. He capped the 13-play drive with a 5-yard rainbow toss to Thomas.
Giants LT Andrew Thomas, the No. 6 overall pick in the draft, did not start for the first time this season. Fellow rookie Matt Peart, a third-round pick, started. Thomas replaced him in the second quarter but went back to the bench early in the third after missing a block on a third-and-1 at the Washington 37. He returned in the fourth quarter.
Both teams stay in NFC East. Washington hosts Dallas next Sunday. The Giants have a short week and play in Philadelphia on Thursday night.
Colts 31, Bengals 27
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — After falling behind by 21 points, the Indianapolis Colts needed the biggest regular-season comeback in franchise history. Philip Rivers was up to the task.
After trailing 21-0, Rivers rallied the Colts with three touchdown passes, including the go-ahead score on the first play of the fourth quarter, for a 31-27 victory.
It equaled the largest comeback in the franchise’s regular-season history. None of the previous four came at home, and the last time Indianapolis (4-2) achieved the feat came in 2003 at Tampa Bay. Only a 28-point comeback in the 2013 playoffs against Kansas City was a larger margin.
It’s the fifth time the Bengals (1-4-1) have blown a 21-point lead in franchise history, their second-worst all time.
Rivers was sensational. He wound up 29 of 44 with 371 yards, one interception, and threw the go-ahead 14-yard score to Jack Doyle on the first play of the fourth quarter. Rodrigo Sanchez added a 40-yard field goal and Julian Blackmon picked off Joe Burrow with 39 seconds left to seal it.
Cincinnati, down 28-27, could have taken the lead with a 48-yard field goal with 8:02 to play, but Randy Bullock hit the right upright.
Things sure didn’t start well for the Colts.
The Bengals converted Doyle’s fumble on the second play of the game into a 2-yard touchdown run from Giovanni Bernard. After forcing a punt, Burrow plunged in for a 2-yard score on fourth down to make it 14-0. And when Joe Mixon added a 7-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter, the Bengals led 21-0.
Indy began its comeback when tight end Trey Burton took a direct snap and scored on a 1-yard run. And after Cincinnati added a 47-yard field goal, Philip Rivers cut the halftime deficit to 24-21 with a 10-yard TD pass to Burton and a 17-yarder to Zach Pascal with 15 seconds left.
Bullock’s 55-yard field goal late in the third quarter extended Cincinnati’s lead to 27-21. But Rivers answered with the scoring play to Doyle and the Bengals never recovered.
Bears 23, Panthers 16
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Nick Foles threw for one touchdown and ran for another, Chicago’s defense forced three turnovers and sacked Teddy Bridgewater four times and the Bears held on to beat Carolina.
Foles finished with 198 yards passing and a touchdown and David Montgomery added 58 yards on the ground as the Bears (5-1) opened the season 3-0 on the road for the first time since 2006, when they reached the Super Bowl.
Bridgewater was under duress most of the game. He was held to a season-low 216 yards passing and was intercepted twice.
Chicago improved to 2-1 with Foles as the starter. The former Super Bowl MVP also rallied the Bears past the Falcons when coach Matt Nagy benched Mitchell Trubisky in Week 3.
The Panthers had two chances to tie it late but couldn’t convert.
Titans 42, Texans 36
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Derrick Henry took a direct snap and ran 5 yards for a touchdown 3:30 into overtime and Tennessee remained undefeated, rallying to beat Houston.
The Titans (5-0) overcame two turnovers, Stephen Gostkowski having a field goal blocked and missing another and the defense giving up 335 yards passing and four touchdown passes to Deshaun Watson.
Watson’s final TD pass put Houston (1-5) up 36-29 with 1:50 left, but a 2-point conversion attempt failed.
Ryan Tannehill, who had three of his 19 career game-winning drives to start this season, drove the Titans 76 yards before finding A.J. Brown on a 6-yard TD pass with 4 seconds left. Gostkowski made the extra point, and the Texans fielded a squib kick to send it into overtime.
Henry, last season’s rushing leader, ran for 202 yards in regulation, including a 94-yard TD run. In overtime, he took a screen pass 53 yards on the second play. He capped the six-play, 82-yard drive with a wildcat snap for his second TD of the game, finishing with 212 yards rushing and 52 yards receiving.
Titans have their second-best start in franchise history since this franchise won its first 10 games in 2008. Their win, combined with Pittsburgh’s victory over Cleveland, sets up a showdown between the AFC’s last two undefeated teams here in a week.
The Texans (1-5) came in as the two-time defending AFC South champs and nearly gave interim coach Romeo Crennel a second straight victory.
Tennessee led 21-10 at halftime. Houston safety Justin Reid blocked a 27-yard field goal attempt by Stephen Gostkowski, who later missed a 37-yarder wide left, in the third quarter to set up David Johnson’s 1-yard TD run.
The Titans lost left tackle Taylor Lewan to an injured knee on the next drive, and J. J. Watt sacked Tannehill two plays later, stripping him of the ball. Jacob Martin recovered for Houston at the Titans 4, and Watson found Randall Cobb at the right pylon for a 4-yard TD pass and a 23-21 lead.
That started a scoring spree.
Henry broke off a 94-yard TD run, racing to the other end zone in 14 seconds. Watson answered two plays later with a 53-yard TD pass to Will Fuller for a 30-29 lead with 8:37 left.
The Titans had fans in the stands for the second time this season with capacity bumped up to 15% or about 10,000.
Better yet, they had a handful of players back from the reserve/COVID-19 list: defensive lineman Jeffery Simmons, receivers Adam Humphries and Cam Batson, cornerback Kristian Fulton and fullback Khari Blasingame. Only wide receiver Corey Davis and tight end MyCole Pruitt from the active roster remain on that list.