49ers rediscover their mojo, blow out Jaguars
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Brock Purdy threw three touchdown passes, including a 66-yarder to George Kittle, and the San Francisco 49ers seemingly fixed all their woes with a cross-country trip and a 34-3 drubbing of the Jacksonville Jaguars that ended a three-game skid Sunday.
Deebo Samuel returned from a three-game absence and added a 23-yard scoring run for the 49ers, who stopped Jacksonville’s five-game winning streak and reestablished themselves as a Super Bowl contender following a bye week.
San Francisco dominated both lines of scrimmage and controlled the game from the opening drive. The Niners ran for 147 yards against one of the league’s top run defenses and sacked Trevor Lawrence five times. Nick Bosa was a menace all game, and newly acquired defensive end Chase Young got in on one of the sacks.
The Jaguars, meanwhile, embarrassed themselves at every turn and looked nothing like a legit playoff contender. They had a five-possession stretch in which they fumbled, kicked a field goal, threw an interception, fumbled and threw another interception. Lawrence was responsible for three of the team’s four turnovers.
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BROWNS 33, RAVENS 31: Dustin Hopkins kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired to cap a furious Cleveland rally in the fourth quarter, and the Browns edged host Baltimore.
Cleveland trailed 31-17 before Deshaun Watson delivered the type of victory the Browns have been waiting for from their high-priced quarterback.
Watson threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Elijah Moore with 8:57 remaining. Then one of Lamar Jackson’s passes caromed high into the air and was picked off by Greg Newsome II, and he returned the interception 34 yards for a TD just 41 seconds later.
STEELERS 23, PACKERS 19: Jaylen Warren and Najee Harris combined for 183 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and host Pittsburgh edged Green Bay.
The Steelers won their ninth straight game decided by eight points or less by following a formula that has become familiar: a little offense, a timely turnover, and just enough of everything else to survive.
Pittsburgh used touchdown runs by their two backs — who have become essentially 1A and 1B — and Chris Boswell’s three field goals to head into a pivotal stretch with momentum.
TEXANS 30, BENGALS 27: C.J. Stroud directed a last-minute, game-winning drive for the second straight week, finishing with 356 yards passing and leading Houston over host Cincinnati.
With the game tied at 27-all and 1:33 remaining, Stroud moved the Texans 55 yards in six plays to set up a 38-yard field goal by Matt Ammendola as time expired. Ammendola had just been signed on Tuesday because Ka’imi Fairbairn suffered a quadriceps injury a week earlier.
Stroud connected with Dalton Schultz for 25 yards and Noah Brown for 22 yards on the decisive drive. Brown finished with seven catches for a season-high 172 yards, and Devin Singletary rushed for 150 yards and a touchdown on 30 carries.
BUCCANEERS 20, TITANS 6: Baker Mayfield threw for 278 yards and two touchdowns to help Tampa Bay stop a four-game losing streak with a home victory over Tennessee.
Rachaad White turned a first-quarter screen pass into a 43-yard TD. Mike Evans redeemed himself from dropping a pass in the end zone with a 22-yard scoring catch and finished with six receptions for 143 yards for the Bucs.
A week after yielding five TD passes and a NFL rookie record 470 yards through the air to Houston’s C.J. Stroud, the Bucs’ defense fared much better against another first-year quarterback, Will Levis, who was sacked four times and intercepted once while failing to get his team into the end zone.
COLTS 10, PATRIOTS 6: Jonathan Taylor ran for a first-quarter touchdown and Mac Jones threw a crucial interception in the fourth quarter, and Indianapolis held on to beat New England in Germany.
Indianapolis had not scored fewer than 20 points in any of its first nine games this season. Half of that total was still enough to beat the Patriots’ misfiring offense.
The NFL’s 50th regular-season game outside the United States, and last of this season, was dominated by defense and Taylor’s first-quarter touchdown was the only one of the game. It was the lowest-scoring game in the league this season.
VIKINGS 27, SAINTS 19: Joshua Dobbs kept Minnesota’s injury-thinned offense on track in his first start, throwing for a career-high 268 yards and totaling two touchdowns to help the Vikings build a 24-point halftime lead and hold on to beat visiting New Orleans for their fifth straight victory.
T.J. Hockenson outgained the Saints by himself in the first half with 10 catches for 128 yards and a score for the Vikings, who stalled out after the hot start and turned to Mekhi Blackmon and Byron Murphy for fourth-quarter interceptions of downfield heaves by Jameis Winston that ended consecutive Saints possessions. Winston’s throw into a crowd in the end zone on the final play was knocked down by the Vikings.
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