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Ravens TE Dennis Pitta signs RFA tender

Dennis Pitta, Manny Lawson Getty Images

Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has signed his one-year contract offer, the team said Monday.

Pitta was tendered at the second-round level in restricted free agency.

Pitta, 27, set career-highs in catches (61), yards (669) and touchdowns (seven) in the 2012 regular season. Pitta had 94 passes thrown his way in the regular season; only the now-departed Anquan Boldin (112) and Torrey Smith (110) received more opportunities in the passing game.

Pitta also played a key role in the Ravens’ postseason success, hauling 14 passes for 163 yards and three TDs, including a touchdown in Baltimore’s Super Bowl XLVII victory.

The second-round RFA tender is worth $2.023 million, NFL Network’s Albert Breer reported in January.

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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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Bills keep making big plays, blowing out the Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) is sacked by Buffalo Bills outside linebackers Jerry Hughes (55) and Lorenzo Alexander during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Orchard Park, N.Y. (AP Photo/Bill Wippert) AP

Clearly it was all Greg Roman’s fault.

After firing their former offensive coordinator last week, the Bills are coming up with big plays on defensive and special teams as well, blowing the doors off the Cardinals.

A high snap on a Cardinals field goal attempt was recovered by Bills safety Aaron Williams and returned for a touchdown, giving Buffalo a 30-7 lead.

They’ve kept the clamps on the Cardinals offense all day, holding Arizona to 86 yards in the first half and taking advantage of their mistakes at opportune times.

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Brandon Marshall in lineup for Jets in Kansas City

ORCHARD PARK, NY - JANUARY 03:   Brandon Marshall #15 of the New York Jets celebrates a touchdown catch against the Buffalo Bills during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium on January 3, 2016 in Orchard Park, New York.  (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images) Getty Images

Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall had more than a week to recover from the knee injury he suffered against the Bills in Week Two, which may have helped him wind up on the right side of a questionable tag this Sunday.

Marshall is active for the Jets as they face the Chiefs in a matchup of 1-1 teams. How much Marshall will be able to do on a bad wheel remains to be seen, especially since he said he wasn’t feeling quite himself as the practice week came to an end.

“I’m not where I want to be,” Marshall said. “I’ve just got to make sure I’m not hurting the team when I’m out there.”

Third-round linebacker Jordan Jenkins is active for the first time for the Jets. Linebacker David Harris is active after being listed as questionable with a shoulder injury, but things went the other way for Erin Henderson as he deals with a foot problem.

Quarterback Christian Hackenberg, quarterback Bryce Petty, running back Troymaine Pope, cornerback Darryl Roberts, linebacker Mike Catapano and tackle Brandon Shell are also inactive. Offensive lineman Jah Reid, offensive lineman Parker Ehinger, linebacker Sam Barrington, quarterback Tyler Bray, running back Jamaal Charles, wide receiver De’Anthony Thomas and cornerback Kenneth Acker are inactive for the home team.

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Titans show a little life in second half

Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota passes against the Oakland Raiders in the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski) AP

Tennessee is without tight end Delanie Walker today because of a hamstring injury, and it looked like their offense didn’t know what to do without him.

But after a faltering first half, they answered with an impressive touchdown drive to cut the Raiders’ lead to 17-10.

Running back DeMarco Murray scored his first rushing touchdown for the Titans, to cap a seven-play, 93-yard touchdown drive.

It was a welcome reprieve for an offense which turned it over twice (a fumble and an interception by Marcus Mariota) and was just flat in the first half, as they forced the Raiders to burn a couple of timeouts.

The Raiders also have to worry about line injuries cropping up again, as Menelik Watson was ruled out for the rest of the game with a leg injury. The Raiders have had plenty of injuries up front, and now they have a game on their hands.

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