NFL: Crabtree and Talib brawl as Oakland see off Denver
Tensions flare in the first quarter between familiar foes, Pittsburgh edge Green Bay
Michael Crabtree has his helmet pulled off by Aquib Talib. Photograph: Robert Reiners/Getty
Oakland 21, Denver 14
Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib were ejected from their game with 11:56 left in the first quarter Sunday after a fight at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Crabtree and Talib each received offsetting unnecessary roughness penalties. Raiders offensive guard Gabe Jackson was also ejected for making contact with an official and was penalized 15 yards.
As Crabtree and Talib went to the ground hard and continued battling on the Broncos sidelines, players from both teams rushed to join the confrontation.
When the Raiders and Broncos met last season in Denver, Talib ripped Crabtree’s chain off his neck on one play.
Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes, Marshawn Lynch ran for a score, and Oakland gave its playoff hopes a boost in the fraught 21-14 victory.
The Raiders (5-6) pulled to within one game of the first-place Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West. Carr completed 18 of 24 passes for 253 yards, while Lynch gained 67 yards on 26 carries.
The Broncos (3-8) lost their seventh straight game and trail Kansas City by three games.
Pittsburgh 31, Green Bay 28
Chris Boswell’s 53-yard field goal with no time left gave the Pittsburgh Steelers a 31-28 win over the Green Bay Packers.
Brett Hundley, the third-year injury replacement for injured Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, gave Ben Roethlisberger and the Steelers the full Rodgers treatment with touchdown passes of 39, 54 and 55 yards.
But the old veteran Roethlisberger found his go-to receiver, Antonio Brown, in the late going to set up Boswell’s game-winning kick.
Pittsburgh (9-2) won their sixth consecutive game while Green Bay (5-6) lost its second in a row.
Carolina 35, New York Jets 27
Linebacker Luke Kuechly returned a fumble for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Carolina Panthers topped the New York Jets 35-27.
Kaelin Clay then returned a punt for a touchdown to provide insurance for the Panthers (8-3), who won their fourth game in a row to set up a first-place showdown with the Saints next week in New Orleans. Carolina also completed its first-ever sweep of the AFC East.
With the Jets up 20-18, quarterback Josh McCown fumbled the ball as he was hit by defensive end Wes Horton. Kuechly scooped the ball and returned it 34 yards for his second career touchdown.
Buffalo 16, Kansas City 10
Quarterback Tyrod Taylor used his arms and his legs to send Buffalo to a much-needed 16-10 win, buoying the Bills’ playoff hopes while sending Kansas City reeling to its third straight defeat.
Taylor completed 19 of 29 passes for 183 yards while running nine times for another 27 yards in his return as the starting quarterback after getting benched in favor of rookie Nathan Peterman last week.
The Chiefs drove into Buffalo territory for a potential game-winning score late in the fourth quarter, but cornerback Tre’Davious White picked off a pass from Alex Smith to seal the win.
Seattle 24, San Francisco 13
Russell Wilson threw two touchdown passes and ran for a TD, lifting Seattle to its fourth consecutive road win, 24-13 over the 49ers.
The victory was the Seahawks’ eighth straight in the regular season over the 49ers (1-10). Seattle improved to 7-4.
The Seahawks’ defence limited the 49ers to a pair of Robbie Gould field goals before Jimmy Garoppolo threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to wideout Louis Murphy as time expired.
Arizona 27, Jacksonville 24
Phil Dawson kicked a career-long 57-yard field goal with one second remaining in regulation to lift Arizona to a 27-24 victory over Jacksonville.
Dawson made all four of his field-goal attempts, also connecting from 34, 42 and 48-yards.
The win snapped a two-game losing streak for the Cardinals (5-6) and ended a four-game winning streak for the Jaguars (7-4).
Cincinnati 30, Cleveland 16
Rookie Joe Mixon rushed for a career-high 114 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown, and Andy Dalton passed for 214 yards and two touchdowns, lifting the Bengals to a 30-16 victory over the winless Browns.
Cincinnati (5-6) revived its dormant rushing attack with a season-high 152 yards, averaging 5.1 yards per carry, to help keep its slim playoff hopes alive.
The mistake-prone Browns (0-11) had a pair of drive-stalling penalties in the first half and a dropped touchdown pass by Corey Coleman in the end zone in the third quarter.
Atlanta 34, Tampa Bay 20
Atlanta All-Pro wide receiver Julio Jones burned Tampa Bay again, extending his banner success against the Buccaneers in a 34-20 victory by the Falcons.
Jones, who came in with just one touchdown, caught 12 passes for 253 yards and two scores as the Falcons won their third game in a row, beating the Bucs 34-20.
The victory for the Falcons (7-4) snapped a two-game winning streak by the Buccaneers (4-7).
Tennessee 20, Indianapolis 16
For the second time this season, the Titans rallied in the fourth quarter to beat the Colts, this time 20-16.
The Titans (7-4) began their comeback with 1:50 remaining in the third quarter on Marcus Mariota’s 2-yard touchdown pass to tight end Delanie Walker, That cut the deficit to 16-13.
Indianapolis (3-8) produced only three second-half points and was outscored 14-3 after leading by seven at halftime.
Philadelphia 31, Chicago 3
Philadelphia quarterback Carson Wentz threw for three touchdowns, including one to Alshon Jeffery, to lead the Eagles to a 31-3 rout of the Bears.
The Eagles (10-1) did most of their damage in a dominating first half in which they outscored the Bears 24-0 while outgaining them in yardage 272-33.
The victory over the NFC North cellar-dwelling Bears (3-8) was the ninth in a row for NFC East-leading Philadelphia, which improved to 6-0 at home this season.
Wentz upped his NFL-best touchdown total to 28 while going 23 of 36 for 227 yards.
New England 35, Miami 17
Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes, two to tight end Rob Gronkowski, and the Patriots cruised to their seventh straight victory, a 35-17 rout of the Miami Dolphins.
Running back Rex Burkhead also scored twice (one pass, one run) as the Patriots (9-2) sent Miami (4-7) to its fifth straight loss - and its eighth straight at Gillette Stadium.
Brady had a string of 189 straight passes without an interception snapped, but went on to complete his 83rd game with at least three touchdown passes.
He has 26 touchdown passes this season, a record for quarterbacks in a season after turning 40.
Los Angeles Rams 26, New Orleans 20
Jared Goff passed for two touchdowns and Drew Brees was held to one as the Los Angeles Rams beat the New Orleans Saints, 26-20.
The Rams (7-4) won for the fifth time in six outings as the Saints (8-3) had their eight-game winning streak snapped.
Goff, who did not throw a touchdown pass in last week’s loss to the Minnesota Vikings, clicked with veteran Sammy Watkins and rookie Josh Reynolds. Greg Zuerlein added four field goals, three from at least 46 yards, as the Rams prevailed.
New Orleans, which averaged 30.2 points during its winning streak, was stifled by the Rams’ defence, which sacked Brees three times. The Saints, who were 3-for-13 on third downs, entered the game averaging 415 yards but were held to 346.