Elliott takes advantage of delayed suspension as Cowboys smash 49ers.
A temporary restraining order brought Ezekiel Elliott back to the Dallas Cowboys this week, and he took full advantage of his suspension being delayed yet again by scoring three touchdowns as the Cowboys demolished the San Francisco 49ers, 40-10.
Elliott, who received a six-game suspension before the season as a result of a lengthy investigation into domestic violence allegations, has yet to miss a game, as the courts have repeatedly delayed the suspension. He won the latest legal round when a federal judge agreed to halt the suspension until Elliott can get a hearing before a presiding judge. His status for the rest of the year could be decided in the next two weeks.
On Sunday, Elliott was again the centerpiece of the Cowboys offense, racking up 219 yards from scrimmage, running for two touchdowns and getting a third on a 72-yard catch-and run.
Dak Prescott was nearly as good, completing 16 of 25 passes for 234 yards and three touchdowns. His first touchdown was a nifty one-handed grab by Jason Witten. His second was the 72-yarder to Elliott. His third moved Dez Bryant into a tie with Bob Hayes for the franchise record in receiving touchdowns. It was Prescott’s third consecutive game with three or more touchdown passes and his numbers would likely have been higher if he was not taken out in the fourth quarter with the Cowboys up by 30 points.
Steelers’ Big Three are too much for the Bengals.
The Cincinnati Bengals did their best to keep up with their division rivals, but the Pittsburgh Steelers pulled away in the second half of a 29-14 victory, which improved the team’s record to 5-2.
A week after their offense finally seemed to get right, the Steelers’ Big Three were at it once again. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns, Le’Veon Bell had 192 yards from scrimmage, and Antonio Brown had 65 receiving yards and a touchdown, with the stars leading an effort that produced 420 total yards. For fun, the Steelers added in a 44-yard pass from Robert Golden to Darrius Heyward-Bey on a fake punt in the fourth quarter.
The Steelers, who have sometimes struggled to maintain balance on offense, are now 16-0 all-time in regular season games in which Bell runs the ball more than 23 times.
Andy Dalton had two passing touchdowns in the first half, but the Steelers made adjustments at halftime, and intercepted him twice in the second half while shutting out the Bengals in the game’s final 37 minutes. Dalton had just 34 passing yards in the second half.
Anthem protests continue in Week 7.
Days after the N.F.L. declined to change its rule on the national anthem, about two dozen players protested around the league.
About two dozen players around the league protested during the anthems before the early games. Some players knelt, others sat, stayed in the tunnel or raised a fist.
On Sept. 25, a day after President Trump said players should be fired for protesting during the anthem, more than 200 protested in a show of solidarity.
This week, the Seahawks and 49ers led the way. Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett and seven Seahawks teammates did not stand before their game with the New York Giants. And in San Francisco, about a half-dozen 49ers knelt led by Eric Reid, Marquise Goodwin, rookie linebacker Reuben Foster, Eli Harold, Adrian Colbert and K’waun Williams. All the Dallas Cowboys stood. David Irving, a defensive lineman for the Cowboys, had vowed to demonstrate during the national anthem despite Jerry Jones having said he would bench any player that knelt during the song. Irving walked back his comments on Saturday, and then offered a mild protest, raising his fist as the song was about to end.
Seahawks start slow, then stifle Giants.
Russell Wilson threw three second-half touchdown passes, and the Seattle Seahawks limited the Giants’ receiver-depleted offense to 177 yards in a 24-7 victory on Sunday at MetLife Stadium.
The Giants had lost their first five games before stunning the Broncos last Sunday night in Denver.
Wilson hit Doug Baldwin with a go-ahead 22-yard touchdown pass midway through the third quarter. Wilson added a 38-yard touchdown throw to Paul Richardson on a play that was reviewed because of simultaneous possession, and he put the game away with a 1-yard pass to Jimmy Graham with 2 minutes 14 seconds to go.
The Seahawks (4-2) limited the Giants (1-6) to 46 yards rushing, 14 first downs and just 24:34 in time of possession. The defense forced only one turnover, a fumble by quarterback Eli Manning, but it led to the Richardson touchdown. — Associated Press
Read Bill Pennington’s Seahawks-Giants game report here.
Cowboys turn to safety Jeff Heath for kicking duties.
The Dallas Cowboys have continued to roll in the second half, adding two more touchdowns, including a 72-yard catch-and-run by Ezekiel Elliott — his third touchdown of the game. But with the team’s place-kicker, Dan Bailey, sidelined by a groin injury, they have had to rely on Jeff Heath, a safety, for extra-point attempts. Heath barely made his first attempt, with the ball sailing toward the right upright before going in, but he badly missed his second attempt, which came after a 2-yard touchdown run by Dak Prescott. The Cowboys are up 33-3 at the start of the fourth quarter.
Broncos’ struggles continue against Chargers.
The Denver Broncos lost to the undermanned Giants last week, and this week they were blanked by the Los Angeles Chargers, 21-0. Once again, Denver’s offense has failed to make a dent, while the team’s defense was unable to stop Philip Rivers and the Chargers’ passing attack. The defense was also forced to watch as the team’s punting unit allowed a 65-yard return touchdown to Travis Benjamin.
Rams shut down Carson Palmer and Adrian Peterson.
Last week’s turn-back-the-clock performances from Carson Palmer and Adrian Peterson are distant memories. Palmer was ineffective and broke his left arm, Peterson ran for just 21 yards and the Arizona Cardinals were crushed 33-0 by the Los Angeles Rams.
The Cardinals were outclassed in virtually every aspect of the game, with the Rams gaining 425 yards to Arizona’s 193, and 28 first downs to Arizona’s 10.
For the Rams, everything seemed to click. Todd Gurley ran for 106 yards and a touchdown, Jared Goff was fairly efficient, and Greg Zuerlein chipped in with four field goals and three extra points.
Arizona came into the game with high hopes after piling up 38 points last week in a win over Tampa Bay. Palmer threw three touchdown passes in that game, and Peterson ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns. But this week, with the team having traveled to London to play in Twickenham Stadium, the Cardinals’ age caught up on them. Palmer had 122 passing yards and one interception before leaving with his non-throwing arm broken. Peterson got just 11 carries, but did nothing with them, as his longest run went for six yards.
Drew Brees is too much for short-handed Packers.
Drew Brees threw his 500th career passing touchdown, and the New Orleans Saints fought back in the second half to beat the Green Bay Packers, 26-17.
Forced to start a game without Brett Favre or Aaron Rodgers for just the eighth time in the last 25 years, the Packers got a decent first half from Brett Hundley, but as the game wore on the Saints chipped away, going ahead to stay when Wil Lutz hit a 44-yard field goal with 10:26 left in the fourth quarter.
Brees then put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter by diving over a pile at the goal line for a 1-yard touchdown run.
Hundley, who completed 12 of 25 passes for 87 yards and one interception did provide some excitement with a 22-yard touchdown run that involved him colliding with defenders at the goal line. But he was not able to consistently move the ball when his team needed conversions.
Brees, whose 22-yard touchdown to Brandon Coleman was the 476th regular season score of his career (he has 24 playoff touchdowns) threw for 331 yards, becoming the first quarterback in N.F.L. history to surpass 300 yards against one opponent in seven consecutive meetings.
The loss for Green Bay at home dropped the team to 4-3 and negated another strong performance by Aaron Jones, the rookie running back, who appears to have supplanted Ty Montgomery as the team’s starter. Jones had 17 carries for 131 yards and got the first score of the game on a 46-yard touchdown.
Bears ride defense in victory over Cam Newton’s Panthers.
The Chicago Bears only got 153 yards from the team’s offense, but a pair of defensive touchdowns by Eddie Jackson provided all of the scoring the team needed in a 17-3 victory over the Carolina Panthers.
Jackson returned a fumbled pitch from Cam Newton to Curtis Samuel for a 75-yard score on Carolina’s opening drive, and then early in the second quarter, he intercepted Newton and wove through the defense on his way to a 76-yard score.
Mitchell Trubisky is now 2-1 as a starting quarterback, though he has his team’s defense, running game and special teams to thank for it as he has yet to have more than 128 passing yards in a start. He did provide one highlight with a 70-yard pass to Tarik Cohen.
Browns drop to 0-7 and lose ironman Joe Thomas.
The Cleveland Browns dropped to 0-7 with a 12-9 overtime loss to the Tennessee Titans. Another loss seemed secondary when, for the first time in his 11-year N.F.L. career, Joe Thomas, the superstar left tackle for the Cleveland Browns, missed a snap because of injury.
Thomas, who received a great deal of publicity earlier this season when he played in his 10,000th consecutive snap, injured his triceps at the end of his 10,363rd career snap and came out of the game after receiving medical attention on the field.
After the game, Thomas said he still needed to get an M.R.I. and that it was too soon to tell if he would miss the remainder of the season.
Trying to remain upbeat, Thomas told reporters “It wasn’t going to be an infinity streak.”
The No. 3 pick in the 2007 draft, Thomas was playing in his 167th career game, all for the Browns. Long considered one of the best players at his position, the 10-time Pro Bowler has never played in a playoff game, and is incredibly unlikely to break that streak considering his team’s winless start to the season.
The Browns kept things close for much of the game, but DeShone Kizer threw two interceptions, both to Kevin Byard, and once again was benched, this time for Cody Kessler. In a game with no touchdowns, the Titans were just a tad better.
The Browns’ official Twitter account seemed to have run out of optimism after the game.
Jaguars, minus Fournette, roll over the Colts.
It was an oddly-numbered week, so the Jacksonville Jaguars were dominant. The team has alternated wins and losses all season, and in a 27-0 win over the Indianapolis Colts they won easily on both sides of the ball.
The Jaguars found out shortly before gametime that Leonard Fournette, the team’s standout rookie running back, was not available because of an ankle injury sustained last week. But even without Fournette, who has scored a touchdown in each game of his N.F.L. career, the Jaguars managed 518 yards of offense against the lowly Colts.
Blake Bortles threw for 330 yards and T.J. Yeldon ran for 122, but Jacksonville’s fearsome defense was even more dominant, with an incredible 10 sacks and 20 quarterback hits.