Dallas Cowboys’ Win Over Steelers Ends QB Controversy
In the ongoing quarterback controversy for the Dallas Cowboys, Ezekiel Elliott just saved Dak Prescott’s starting position for him.
Things looked bad for Prescott when Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger did his best impersonation of Dan Marino late in the fourth quarter, faking a spike to stop the clock and throwing a go-ahead touchdown pass that looked like it would end Dallas’ seven-game winning streak. But Elliott was not done, and the rookie running back broke free for a 32-yard touchdown run with just nine seconds remaining that secured a 35-30 victory for the Cowboys.
Broncos Shock Saints With Blocked Extra Point
The 452nd passing touchdown of Drew Brees’ career appeared to secure an unlikely win for the New Orleans Saints over the Denver Broncos, but a blocked extra point turned into two points and a shocking 25-23 victory for the Broncos.
It was a game of wild momentum changes, with the Broncos scoring the first 10 points, the Saints scoring the next 17, and then the teams trading points back and forth. But after Brees, who earlier in the game had become just the third player to have 450 passing career touchdowns, found Brandin Cooks for a 32-yard touchdown with 1:22 remaining it looked like New Orleans had taken care of business at home. It all changed on Brandon McManus’ extra-point attempt. Justin Simmons, a rookie safety, was able to leap over the offensive line and block the kick. Another rookie safety, Will Parks, recovered the ball and streaked down the sideline on the unusual turnover, which is good for two points.
While many will focus on whether or not Parks’ foot went out of bounds on the return, the Broncos won the game not just because of the return but also because they dominated time of possession. The Broncos controlled the ball for 39 minutes and 22 seconds compared to the Saints having it for 20 minutes and 38 seconds. Denver was also able to force four turnovers, including three by Darian Sharper, who intercepted consecutive passes by Brees in the first half and had a fumble recovery in the second half.
A week after losing to the Oakland Raiders, and giving up a tie at the top of the A.F.C. West, the Broncos have now closed Oakland’s lead to a half-game as the Raiders are off this week.
Eagles Get Big N.F.C. Victory Over Falcons
Philadelphia’s defense was able to bend but not break against the high-powered Atlanta offense, and Ryan Mathews took care of the rest as the Eagles beat the Falcons, 24-15.
Carson Wentz completed nine of his first 10 passes for the Eagles, and 25 of 36 overall, but it was Mathews running for 108 yards and two touchdowns that ended up providing the offensive spark necessary in the game as the Falcons were limited to just one touchdown and three field goals. Matt Ryan ended up topping Wentz in terms of passing yards, with 267 to Wentz’s 231, but with his team trailing by nine with less than two minutes remaining, he was intercepted by Leodis McKelvin, sealing Atlanta’s fate.
Elsewhere around the N.F.L. in Week 10:
Chiefs Steal One From Panthers: The Kansas City Chiefs had no offensive touchdowns, and their defense was on the field for much of the afternoon. No big deal. They found another way to win — again.
Marcus Peters stripped Kelvin Benjamin with 20 seconds left, Cairo Santos kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired, and the Chiefs overcame a 17-point deficit to top the Carolina Panthers 20-17 on Sunday. The game was tied when Benjamin caught a 14-yard pass from Cam Newton at his own 34. Peters ripped the ball from his arms and returned it to the Carolina 24.
“I took it from him. It was simple,” Peters said. — Associated Press
Titans Dominate Packers: Marcus Mariota threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns and the Tennessee Titans routed the Green Bay Packers 47-25 Sunday.
Five different Titans scored a touchdown in the first half as Tennessee put together its best scoring performance this season with 35 points. With the win, the Titans (5-5) also matched the five victories over the past two seasons combined. The Packers (4-5) started a three-game road swing by losing their third straight. Green Bay has lost four of five in dropping below .500 for the first time since Aaron Rodgers’ first year as a starter back in 2008. — Associated Press
Jets Lose With Petty at QB: Alec Ogletree saw the football zipping his way and knew he needed to get his hands on it. The Los Angeles linebacker intercepted Bryce Petty with just under two minutes left, lifting the Rams to a 9-6 victory over the New York Jets in a snoozer Sunday. Read our report here.
Pick-6 Dooms Chargers: Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso couldn’t have played his first career pick-6 any better. It was the highlight play of his career so far, and left the San Diego Chargers stunned, again. Alonso deked Philip Rivers into thinking he was going to cover a slot receiver, then broke off, jumped in front of Tyrell Williams for the interception and outraced everyone 60 yards to the end zone with 1:01 left to give the Dolphins a wild 31-24 victory Sunday. — Associated Press
Vikings Lose 4th Straight: Kirk Cousins threw for two touchdowns, Preston Smith had two sacks and a game-altering interception, and the Washington Redskins beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-20 on Sunday for their first victory in almost a month.
Washington (5-3-1) got all of its second-half points off the foot of Dustin Hopkins, who hit four field goals, including a 50-yarder. The Redskins shut out Minnesota (5-4) in the second half, and Smith sacked Sam Bradford in the final seconds to hand the Vikings their fourth consecutive loss. — Associated Press
■ Beyond Pittsburgh-Dallas, Sunday’s biggest matchup is the night game between New England and Seattle. Expectations should be tempered some, however, since the Seahawks have shown an almost comical ineptitude in terms of running the ball. Balance is key when trying to combat a team that is as strong on both sides of the ball as the Patriots, and the Seahawks, despite leading the N.F.C. West, have managed to top 74 rushing yards just twice so far this season. It will not help tonight that running back Thomas Rawls is still out and Christine Michael is nursing an injured hamstring.