On a day of nail-biting NFL finishes, the New England Patriots remained unbeaten in 2015 with a 30-6 romp past the Dallas Cowboys.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady shook off five first-half sacks to pilot the reigning Super Bowl champions to their fourth victory in as many games.
He threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the Patriots defense came up big against injury-depleted Dallas, giving up a season-low points total.
“They were just awesome,” Brady said of the Patriots defense. “Offense we made a few plays but we can play better than that.” Brady was unfazed by five sacks — the first time he was sacked at least five times in a half since 2001.
“Have you seen him play for the last 15 years?” said wide receiver Julian Edelman, who caught four passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. “He’s pretty tough. I don’t think anyone underrates his toughness.”
The Cowboys lost their third straight as they continue to battle without injured quarterback Tony Romo and receiver Dez Bryant.
Coming off a bye week, the Patriots improved to 4-0. Four teams improved to 5-0 — but had to battle to do it.
The Cincinnati Bengals scored 20 unanswered points to rally for a 27-24 overtime triumph over the Seattle Seahawks.
The gritty victory saw the Bengals join the 5-0 club for the first time since 1988 — when they went on to reach the Super Bowl in 1989.
Mike Nugent’s 42-yard field goal in overtime lifted the Bengals, whose chances of extending their perfect start to the season looked doomed when they trailed 24-7 in the fourth quarter.
Against a Seattle defense allowing only 17.8 points per game this season, Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton put together a rally that included a 10-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Eifert as well as a drive capped by his own five-yard touchdown run that pulled the Bengals within 24-21 with 3:38 remaining.
With no timeouts left, the Bengals regained possession on their own 18-yard line with 2:17 to play, and drove for a game-tying 31-yard field goal by Nugent on the final play of regulation.
“In our minds, as bad as it looked and as good as Seattle is, we never stopped playing,” Eifert said. “This is what we expect to do. We expect to win.” Atlanta improved to 5-0 with a 25-19 overtime win over the Washington Redskins.
Falcons cornerback Robert Alford returned an interception 59 yards for the winning touchdown.
The Falcons had led 19-16 with 24 seconds remaining in regulation, but Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins completed three straight passes to set up Dustin Hopkins’ 52-yard game-tying field goal.
Washington took possession first in overtime and were near midfield when Alford jumped in front of a Cousins pass and rumbled down the sideline for the winning TD.
The Denver Broncos and Green Bay Packers also improved to 5-0 — despite some struggles for their star quarterbacks. Denver’s Chris Harris returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown with less than seven minutes to play to lift the Broncos to a 16-10 victory over the Oakland Raiders.
Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning threw two interceptions and the Denver offense failed to score a touchdown, but the defensive efforts meant Manning beat the Raiders for the 10th straight time.
In Green Bay, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns but was intercepted twice.
But Green Bay’s defense intercepted St Louis Rams quarterback Nick Foles four times to key a 24-10 victory that has the Packers 5-0 for the first time since their 13-0 start in 2011.
“Scrappy,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of the win. “But, heck, it’s great to have those kind of wins — 5-0 feels good.” There was no perfect record on the line in Baltimore, but the Cleveland Browns’ 33-30 overtime win could hardly have been more satisfying. It was their first win at their AFC North division rivals’ stadium since 2007.
NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE:
Atlanta Falcons 25 Washington Redskins 19 (OT), Baltimore Ravens 30 Cleveland Browns 33 (OT), Cincinnati Bengals 27 Seattle Seahawks 24 (OT), Dallas Cowboys 6 New England Patriots 30, Detroit Lions 17 Arizona Cardinals 42, Green Bay 24 St Louis Rams 10, Kansas City Chiefs 17 Chicago Bears 18, Oakland Raiders 10 Denver Broncos 16, Philadelphia Eagles 39 New Orleans Saints 17, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38 Jacksonville Jaguars 31, Tennessee Titans 13 Buffalo Bills 14,
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