Drew Brees passed for 373 yards and three touchdowns in his first game in more than five weeks since thumb surgery
Drew Brees passed for 373 yards and three touchdowns in his first game in more than five weeks since thumb surgery, and the New Orleans Saints won their sixth straight with a 31-9 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
With few exceptions, Brees was accurate and looked composed even as his pass blocking collapsed, completing 34 of 43 passes. He was intercepted once, by Patrick Peterson, but was not pressured before throwing that aggressive, risky pass down the left sideline, where fullback Zach Line was double-covered.
The Cardinals were unable to capitalize on that turnover early in the second half, however, and Brees made them pay by leading three touchdown drives after that, ending with passes to running back Latavius Murray, dynamic reserve QB and utility player Taysom Hill, and leading receiver Michael Thomas.
Cardinals rookie Kyler Murray completed 19 of 33 passes for 22 yards0, but Arizona never found the end zone. Eight of his completions went to Christian Kirk for 79 yards in the receivers return from an ankle sprain. Arizona was held to 40 yards rushing and the Saints defense held a fifth-straight opponent below 260 total net yards.
In the days later kick-offs the New England Patriots and San Francisco 49ers retained their unbeaten records. The Pats beat the Cleveland Browns 27-13, while the Niners crushed the Carolina Panthers 51-13, with Tevin Coleman scoring three rushing touchdown and catching another. The Houston Texans also edged out the Oakland Raiders 27-24.
Cincinnati Bengals 10-24 Los Angeles Rams
Jared Goff threw for 372 yards and two touchdowns, while Cooper Kupp had 220 yards receiving and one score, as the Los Angeles Rams earned a 24-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals in London. Todd Gurley rushed for a touchdown as the Rams (5-3) won for a second consecutive week after a three-game losing streak. The Rams won their second consecutive game in London and are 2-1 in England over the past four seasons.
Andy Dalton passed for 329 yards and one touchdown, as the Bengals (0-8) remained one of two winless teams in the NFL along with the Miami Dolphins, who play Monday night at Pittsburgh.
New York Giants 26-31 Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford threw two of his three touchdown passes to Kenny Golladay and the Detroit Lions snapped a three-game losing streak with a 31-26 victory over the slumping New York Giants.
Giants rookie Daniel Jones threw a four-yard TD pass to Saquan Barkley and an extra point pulled them within five points late in the game. The ensuing onside kick went out of bounds, sealing Detroits victory. The Giants have lost four games in a row before the end of October for the second straight season.
Los Angeles Chargers 17-16 Chicago Bears
Philip Rivers passed for 201 yards and a touchdown and Chicagos Eddy Pineiro missed a potential game-winning 41-yard field goal wide left as time expired and the visiting Los Angeles Chargers held on for a 17-16 victory against the Bears.
Los Angeles (3-5) exhaled with a victory as Chicago (3-4) sputtered down the stretch. Rivers connected with Austin Ekeler for a go-ahead 11-yard touchdown pass with 8:04 remaining to put the Chargers ahead by the final margin. Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa sacked Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky on a third down from the Los Angeles 40-yard line with 2:44 remaining to take Chicago out of range for a potential game-winning field goal. The Bears got the ball back with 1:33 to go and moved into range for Pineiro, who missed the kick.
Seattle Seahawks 27-20 Atlanta Falcons
Rookie DK Metcalf caught two touchdown passes from Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks held off a second-half rally to defeat the host Atlanta Falcons.
The Falcons (1-7) played without quarterback Matt Ryan, whose streak of 154 consecutive starts was snapped because of a sprained ankle. Veteran backup Matt Schaub was 39-of-52 passing for 460 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. Julio Jones had 10 catches for 152 yards.
Seattles Chris Carson rushed for 90 yards and a touchdown, most of it in the first half as the Seahawks (6-2) built a 24-0 lead. Wilson completed 14 of 20 passes for 182 yards and two scores. Tyler Lockett made six receptions for 100 yards.
Philadelphia Eagles 31-13 Buffalo Bills
Miles Sanders, Jordan Howard and Boston Scott each rushed for one touchdown, quarterback Carson Wentz tossed another and the visiting Philadelphia Eagles snapped a two-game losing streak with a 31-13 victory over the Buffalo Bills.
Wentz was 17 of 24 for 172 yards and the running game accounted for 218 yards. Quarterback Josh Allen was 16 of 34 for 169 yards and two touchdowns for the Bills (5-2). The Eagles (4-4) sacked Allen four times.
Denver Broncos 13-15 Indianapolis Colts
Adam Vinatieri kicked a 51-yard field goal with 22 seconds left, and the host Indianapolis Colts rallied to beat the Denver Broncos 15-13. Vinatieri atoned for a missed PAT and missed field-goal attempt to lift the Colts (5-2) to their third straight win on a day in which quarterback Jacoby Brissett was held in check.
Brissett finished 15 of 25 for 202 yards, ran for 34 yards and a lost fumble. Marlon Mack rushed 76 yards and a touchdown for Indianapolis. Joe Flacco was 20-for-32 passing for 174 yards, taking a sack on the games final play as time ran out. Phillip Lindsay had 59 yards rushing, and Royce Freeman ran for 40 yards and a touchdown for the Broncos (2-6).
New York Jets 15-29 Jacksonville Jaguars
Rookie quarterback Gardner Minshew II threw a career-high three touchdown passes as the host Jacksonville Jaguars recorded a 29-15 victory over the New York Jets.
The Jaguars (4-4) have alternated a two-game losing skids with two-game winning streaks throughout the first half of the season. The Jets fell to 1-6 for the first time since 2014, when they opened 1-8. Minshew, who took over for injured starter Nick Foles in the first half of the season opener, completed 22 of 34 passes for 279 yards and the three touchdowns – one apiece to Keelan Cole, Chris Conley and DJ Chark. It was the fifth multi-touchdown effort of the season for Minshew.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-27 Tennessee Titans
Ryan Tannehills eight-yard touchdown pass to AJ Brown with 6:55 left Sunday lifted the Tennessee Titans to a 27-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tannehills third scoring strike of the day capped a 12-play, 90-yard drive that lasted 6:54. Making his second start after replacing the benched Marcus Mariota, Tannehill completed 21 of 33 passes for 193 yards.
Tampa Bay (2-5) had a couple of chances to win the game in the last two minutes. But Peyton Barber lost a yard on a fourth-and-one run from the Tennessee 32 on the first play after the two-minute warning, and Jameis Winston was intercepted by Logan Ryan on the Titans 25 on the games final play.