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Bad call fuels Browns comeback

Cleveland Bowns v Dallas Cowboys Getty Images

After trailing by 13 into the third quarter, the Cowboys made a game of it.

And the officials helped give the late lead to the Browns.

After a goal-line stand by the Cowboys kept the score at 17-13, three runs followed by a punt gave Josh Cribbs the ball on the right side of the 50.

And Cowboys tight end John Phillips pulled Cribbs down by the hair, which isn’t a penalty.  But the officials threw the flag, calling it a horse collar tackle, even though it wasn’t.

Fifteen yards closer and one play later, a 17-yard pass from Brandon Weeden to Benjamin Watson gave the Browns a 20-17 lead.

The Cowboys are driving.  Stay tuned.

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Chiefs turn Ryan Fitzpatrick interception into early lead

FILE - This Saturday, Aug. 27, 2016 file photo shows New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) watching his teammates play during the second half of an NFL preseason football game against the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J. Fitzpatrick missed the offseason in a contract dispute but has been around long enough that it shouldn’t matter much. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun, File) AP

Ryan Fitzpatrick avoided turnovers in last week’s victory over the Bills, but he couldn’t make it out of the first quarter without one this Sunday.

Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters went up high to snag a pass intended for Jalin Marshall and gave the offense the ball at the Jets’ 32-yard-line. Alex Smith capitalized with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Travis Kelce to give Kansas City an early 7-0 lead.

The Chiefs also moved the ball fairly well on their first drive as Spencer Ware has found room to run against the Jets defense. A holding penalty on Mitch Morse and sack by Jets rookie Darron Lee killed the drive before the Chiefs could put any points on the board.

The Jets didn’t get anything going offensively on their first drive, leaving them with some work to do if they’re going to leave with a road win this weekend.

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Manti Te’o exits with Achilles injury

San Diego Chargers v Buffalo Bills Getty Images

Chargers linebacker Manti Te’o suffered an Achilles injury in the first quarter of today’s game at Indianapolis.

Te’o wasn’t touched on the play. He dropped into coverage, tried to plant his feet and change direction, and immediately crumpled to the ground. He was helped off the field and then carted to the locker room.

The Chargers announced that Te’o is out for the rest of the game with an Achilles injury, and it didn’t look like a good situation for Te’o.

Te’o is in the fourth and final year of his rookie contract as the Chargers’ 2013 second-round pick.

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Dolphins outlast Browns, win in overtime

Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) looks to pass as Cleveland Browns defensive end Jamie Meder (98) attempts to block it, during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) AP

The Dolphins tried to give it away, but the Browns missed chances — and missed field goals, specifically — and the Dolphins eventually won in overtime, 30-24.

Jay Ajayi ran 11 yards for the winning touchdown after the teams had traded punts to start overtime.

The Browns won the overtime coin toss but elected to kick. It went to overtime because Browns kicker Cody Parkey missed a 46-yarder on the final play of regulation.

It was Parkey’s third miss of the game. The Browns just officially signed him Saturday after Patrick Murray suffered a torn ACL on Friday. The Browns had chosen to take a knee despite having a timeout with 20 seconds left at the Dolphins’ 28-yard line.

The Dolphins led by 11, 24-13, late in the third quarter before the Browns rallied. The Browns used ex-quarterback turned wide receiver Terrelle Pryor at quarterback and all over the field, really. Pryor threw for 35 yards, ran for 21 yards and a touchdown and caught eight passes for 144 yards.

Browns rookie quarterback Cody Kessler, making his first start, threw for 244 yards.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 319 yards but threw two interceptions, one that Briean Boddy-Calhoun returned for a touchdown in the first half. Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry caught seven passes for 120 yards.

The Dolphins move to 1-2 and are at Cincinnati Thursday night. The Browns fall to 0-3 and are at the Redskins next week.

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Redskins outlast Giants on wild afternoon in Jersey

Washington Redskins cornerback Quinton Dunbar (47) intercepts a pass to New York Giants' Will Tye (45) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens) AP

Odell Beckham looked like he had tears in his eyes on the sideline as he threw a tantrum after an Eli Manning interception in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game against the Redskins and there will definitely be more tears in Giants country as a result of the final score as well.

Su’a Cravens intercepted Manning with 1:02 left in the game to seal a 29-27 win in a game that the Giants led 21-9 in the first half. Cravens’ pick came a few plays after Dustin Hopkins put the Redskins up in the fifth lead change of the second half.

The play ended a wild afternoon that saw the Giants look good early before imploding. Three turnovers hurt their cause as did 11 penalties for 128 yards. There may not have been any fisticuffs or overt dirtiness between Beckham and Josh Norman this time, but center Weston Richburg was ejected after two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties and defensive back Andrew Adams negated a blocked punt in the fourth quarter when he was flagged for a totally uncalled for and unnecessary shot to the head of a Redskins gunner well away from the play.

Washington took advantage of those self-inflicted wounds by avoiding turnovers of their own and making big plays in the passing game. DeSean Jackson caught a 44-yard touchdown from Kirk Cousins in the first half and Jamison Crowder ran away from the Giants on a 55-yard catch-and-run for a score in the third quarter, although the biggest play might have come from the arm of punter Tress Way. With the Redskins trailing late in the third, Way hit defensive back Quinton Dunbar for a 31-yard gain on a fake punt that set up a Hopkins field goal and kept the Giants from grabbing momentum.

Dunbar also made an athletic play to account for Manning’s first interception of the game and the Washington defense was able to get pressure on Manning on several key plays, including both interceptions.

The Norman-Beckham matchup lacked the shenanigans of last year and Beckham wound up with seven catches for 121 yards, but none resulted in the touchdowns the Giants couldn’t find after opening the game with three in the first 25 minutes of the game. Norman was penalized for a hit to Sterling Shepard’s head and was on the receiving end of Richburg’s disqualifying penalty, but the matchup between the leading players was a quieter one this time around.

The Redskins secondary also held up despite the losses of cornerback Bashaud Breeland and safety DeAngelo Hall to injuries, which adds up to a big win for the unit and a big win for the team as a whole.

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Case Keenum giveth, Case Keenum taketh away

BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 22: Quarterback Case Keenum #17 of the St. Louis Rams sits on the turf during a game against the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on November 22, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Rams finally scored a touchdown.

Then, not wanting to feel greedy, they gave the other team one too.

Los Angeles quarterback Case Keenum celebrated his 44-yard touchdown to wide receiver Brian Quick by throwing a pick-six, and they’re left holding onto a 7-6 lead.

They’re up a point because Bucs kicker Roberto Aguayo missed an extra point, which will dredge up all those preseason stories about their second-round pick missing extra points after never missing from inside 40 yards in college.

The Rams hadn’t scored a touchdown all year, getting shut out in the opener and then kicking three field goals to beat the Seahawks last week.

But Keenum’s interception to Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander was as ugly as his bomb to Quick was pretty, leaving the Rams again playing a close one.

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Tucker makes another bomb, moves Ravens to 3-0

OAKLAND, CA - SEPTEMBER 20:  Justin Tucker #9 of the Baltimore Ravens kicks a field goal in the first quarter against the Oakland Raiders at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on September 20, 2015 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Ravens are 3-0, and Justin Tucker looks like the best kicker in the league.

Tucker’s fourth field goal of the day, a 53-yarder, with 1:02 to go provided the winning margin as the Ravens rallied to beat the Jaguars, 19-17. Ravens linebacker Zachary Orr intercepted Blake Bortles to seal it.

Tucker’s game-winning kick was not only right down the middle; it looked like it would have been good from 70 yards.

The Jaguars rallied from 16-7 down to take a 17-16 lead and had the ball at the Ravens 29 following a Paul Posluszny interception with 3:27 left. But the Jags went three and out and Orr blocked a field goal, and the Ravens moved 22 yards to set up Tucker’s kick.

Bortles was intercepted three times, and Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco was picked off twice in the fourth quarter. Nothing came easy all day for anyone except Tucker. The Ravens outgained the Jags, 283-216, and won despite converting just 3-of-13 third downs.

The Jaguars are 0-3. Both of their touchdowns came on passes from Bortles to Allen Robinson, one in the second quarter and one in the third.

Bortles was 24-of-38 for 194 yards and was sacked four times. The Jags managed just 48 yards rushing.

Flacco scored the Ravens’ only touchdown on a 7-yard run.

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Bills get a needed win, throttle the Cardinals

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) gets past Arizona Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones (55) to score a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) AP

There was very little conventional about it.

But strange as it seems, the Bills finally got a win, and made the Cardinals look horrible in the process of a 33-18 win.

Arizona turned the ball over five times, with Carson Palmer throwing four interceptions and bearing little resemblance to last year’s NFC Championship Game team.

Bills running back LeSean McCoy ran for 110 yards and two touchdowns, leading the way in the first game under new offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn.

But as generous as the Cardinals were, it might not have mattered who was calling plays.

The highlight of the day for the Cardinals was kicker Chandler Catanzaro’s 60-yard field goal, but that also underscores some of the problems, as the Cards struggled to move the ball all day.

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Broncos turn it on in fourth, improve to 3-0

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25:  Trevor Siemian #13 of the Denver Broncos looks to throw the ball during the first quarter of the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Super Bowl hangover hasn’t hit the Broncos yet and it might not be coming anytime soon if the way they handled business in the fourth quarter against the Bengals is any indication.

The Bengals grabbed a 17-16 lead early in the final quarter after a 15-play drive that took up more than eight minutes ended with a Mike Nugent field goal. The Broncos offense had been quiet since halftime and it looked like the game might be turning Cincinnati’s way.

That was not the case. Trevor Siemian threw two touchdowns and safety Will Parks intercepted an Andy Dalton pass as the Broncos scored 13 straight points to leave Ohio with a 29-17 win. The second of Siemian’s touchdown passes was a 55-yarder to Demaryius Thomas, who finished the day with six catches for 100 yards. Emmanuel Sanders had nine catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns, which should bring an end to frustrations with the passing game in Denver.

Siemian finished 23-of-35 for 312 yards, giving him his first four-touchdown game and his first 300-yard game on the same day. He also avoided throwing an interception for the first time this season, although the Bengals will rue some missed opportunities for them when they review the tape of the game.

Dalton couldn’t do that and he also couldn’t avoid four sacks from the Broncos pass rushers. Shane Ray had three of them, including two on consecutive plays after Thomas lost a fumble to squash what could have become a Bengals scoring chance in the third quarter. Outside of that long scoring drive, the Bengals didn’t move the ball at all in the second half as the Broncos defense continued to be just as thorny an opponent as it was on the way to the Super Bowl last season.

They’ll be in Tampa next weekend as they try to avoid their first loss since last December 20 in Pittsburgh.

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Vikings drop Cam eight times, Panthers to 1-2

Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton (1) is sacked by Minnesota Vikings' Everson Griffen (97) in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) AP

The Vikings spotted the Panthers 10 points in the first 10 minutes of the game, and then Minnesota didn’t give up another point the rest of the way.

Fueled by a defense that sacked quarterback Cam Newton eight times (once for a safety), the Vikings scored 22 unanswered points to steal a victory at Carolina. The win moves the Vikings to 3-0, and drops the Panthers to 1-2.

That’s twice as many losses as the Panthers had in all of the 2015 regular season. For the Vikings, it’s the team’s first 3-0 start since 2009.

The Vikings return home next Monday night, for a game against the Giants and an opportunity to start the season at 4-0, despite a rash of major injuries to key players.

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Raiders defense stands up, gets to 2-1 by beating the Titans

Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) loses his helmet after catching a pass as he was defended by Tennessee Titans strong safety Da'Norris Searcy, left, in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/James Kenney) AP

The Raiders entered Week Three first in the league in total offense, and last in the league in total defense.

They didn’t do much to add to the first one, but did plenty for the second, in a 17-10 win over the Titans to improve to 2-1.

The Raiders held the Titans in check for most of the day and forced three of Marcus Mariota turnovers, a much stronger showing that they’ve turned in the first two weeks.

While they’re not likely to be among the league’s top defenses at any point this year, they did more than enough to give their offense the room it needed.

Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 249 yards and a touchdown, with Michael Crabtree catching eight passes for 102 yards.

The Titans had apparently tied the game in the final minute, but veteran wideout Andre Johnson was called for offensive pass interference, taking a score off the board and allowing the Raiders to escape with a win. He scored the game-winner late last week against the Lions, but was called for pushing off.

The Titans didn’t get the same courtesy on a contested fourth-down play that followed, allowing the Raiders to celebrate.

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Packers jump out to huge lead, then hold on over Lions

Green Bay Packers' Jordy Nelson (87) celebrates his touchdown catch with teammate Davante Adams (17) as Detroit Lions' Darius Slay (23) walks off the field during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Green Bay, Wis. (AP Photo/Mike Roemer) AP

Whatever problems the Packers’ offense might have had in the first two weeks of the season, they weren’t on display today in Green Bay.

The Packers’ offense dominated the Lions today, with Aaron Rodgers throwing touchdown passes on each of Green Bay’s first three offensive series and never trailing, winning 34-27.

The Lions did pull to within one score, thanks to a combination of Packers coach Mike McCarthy going ultra-conservative and the Packers’ defense becoming unable to cover Lions receiver Marvin Jones. McCarthy barely had Rodgers pass at all in the second half, and Jones got open so often that he ended the game with 205 yards and two touchdowns.

Rodgers finished the game 15-for-24 for 205 yards, with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Eddie Lacy, who was called upon to take over in the second half, gained 103 yards on 17 carries.

The win improves the Packers to 2-1, still a game behind the Vikings in the NFC North. The Lions fall to 1-2 and look like they’ve got a very uphill climb to try to reach the playoffs.

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Weston Richburg first to be ejected for two unsportsmanlike fouls

The NFL put in a rule this season calling for a player to be ejected if he receives two unsportsmanlike conduct penalties in the same game and many felt that the way things got out of hand between Josh Norman and Odell Beckham last season had a lot to do with the change.

Beckham and Norman have avoided that kind of messiness during this Sunday’s game between the Redskins and Giants, but one of Beckham’s teammates has become the first victim of the new rule. Center Weston Richburg has been ejected in the fourth quarter after a second unsportsmanlike penalty.

Richburg was penalized for hitting Norman at the end of a solid catch and run by Beckham and a couple of plays after Norman was penalized for unnecessary roughness for hitting Sterling Shepard high when Shepard was a defenseless player. Richburg’s penalty cost his team 15 yards and killed momentum that had them in the red zone on a drive that ended with no points when Eli Manning was picked by Quinton Dunbar. Dunbar made a great one-handed catch, continuing an eventful day for the defensive back.

FOX cameras caught an upset Beckham stalking the sideline, getting hit in the head by a kicking net after kicking it and (it seemed on TV) tearing up before Manning went to calm him down, something that didn’t happen in last year’s game and something the Giants need so Beckham remains in the game as they try to come back from 26-24 down in the final 12 minutes.

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Redskins jump back into lead after fake punt

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - SEPTEMBER 25:  Head coach of the Washington Redskins Jay Gruden looks on against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on September 25, 2016 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) Getty Images

It’s been a sloppy affair at times in the Meadowlands this Sunday, but it’s also been a fun game to watch as the Redskins and Giants have exchanged the lead three times since the start of the third quarter.

It’s the Redskins in front 26-24 at the start of the fourth quarter after a 25-yard field goal by Dustin Hopkins.

The score was set up by an audacious play call by Jay Gruden. Facing a fourth-and-12 near midfield after an Olivier Vernon sack, Gruden opted to try a fake punt with Tress Way throwing a pass to cornerback Quinton Dunbar down the left sideline. It was completed for a 31-yard gain, giving the Redskins renewed life that they used to move back in front.

Injuries have mounted on both sides over the course of the afternoon. The Redskins are missing cornerback Bashaud Breeland, safety DeAngelo Hall, guard Shawn Lauvao and center Kory Lichtensteiger while the Giants have been playing without cornerbacks Eli Apple and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and defensive tackle Damon Harrison. Vernon also missed the last couple of plays before the Hopkins field goal and was getting his wrist, which landed him on the injury report, checked out.

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Vikings take lead, somehow

Minnesota Vikings' Sam Bradford (8) is congratulated by Jeremiah Sirles (78) after touchdown pass against the Carolina Panthers in the second half of an NFL football game in Charlotte, N.C., Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone) AP

The Minnesota offense has emerged from its slumber, and the Panthers could end up paying for it.

A 10-play, 79-yard drive to start the second half, coupled with a two-point conversion, gave the Vikings a 16-10 lead.

The effort. capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Sam Bradford to Kyle Rudolph, more than doubled the entire offensive output for the first half, when the Vikings gained only 35 yards.

Then, after the teams traded punts, Vikigns cornerback Terence Newman intercepted Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, who has been harassed all day by the Minnesota front four. The Vikings parlayed the short field (43 yards) into a field goal, and a 19-10 lead.

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Jags close gap on another Allen Robinson touchdown

Michael Thomas, Allen Robinson AP

Allen Robinson caught his second touchdown pass of the game and the Jaguars trail the Ravens, 16-14, at the start of the fourth quarter.

Robinson’s third quarter touchdown was initially ruled incomplete but overturned on a replay challenge. Robinson’s touchdown catches from Blake Bortles have covered 11 yards and 3 yards.

Justin Tucker has three field goals and Joe Flacco has a touchdown run for the Ravens.

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