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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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Dolphins grab lead back on Landry touchdown

Miami Dolphins v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

The Dolphins have taken the lead back, 17-13, on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to Jarvis Landry.

Tannehill had been struggling since throwing an early touchdown pass to DeVante Parker. He threw an interception in the second quarter than Browns cornerback Briean Boddy-Calhoun returned for a touchdown.

New Browns kicker Cody Parkey missed his second field goal of the game on the series prior to the Landry touchdown.

The Browns have continued to have Terrelle Pryor take snaps at quarterback to take pressure off of rookie quarterback Cody Kessler. Pryor has also caught five passes for 70 yards in the game’s first 40 minutes.

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Kirk Cousins holds ball too long, Giants hold onto lead

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 18: Quarterback Kirk Cousins #8 of the Washington Redskins carries the ball against the Dallas Cowboys in the third quarter at FedExField on September 18, 2016 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) Getty Images

The Giants were up 21-9 at one point in the first half, but a DeSean Jackson touchdown catch and a strong drive following Shane Vereen’s second fumble in as many weeks left the Redskins with a chance to take a halftime lead.

At the very least, they were in position to cut the Giants lead to two points, but they remained down 21-16 at the whistle after a mental blunder by quarterback Kirk Cousins. Cousins took a snap with six seconds left on the clock and the half ended with him being stripped of the ball on a sack by Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul.

Cousins recovered the ball, but it did the team no good after he failed to throw the ball away and preserve the field goal opportunity. Some may choose to add some blame to coach Jay Gruden for not choosing to kick the field goal and guarantee some points with the ball coming their way to start the third quarter.

When the third quarter does start, the Redskins will be dealing with several injuries. Cornerback Bashaud Breeland went out with an ankle injury early in the first quarter and safety DeAngelo Hall joined him after a knee injury late in the second. Hall’s injury came after the two minute warning, so it also cost the Redskins a timeout they could have used before Cousins’ fumble.

The secondary will be stretched thin, which is an issue as they’ve had a hard time covering rookie Sterling Shepard on Sunday. Odell Beckham has two catches for 44 yards and Josh Norman nearly picked off another pass in his direction during a fireworks-free matchup between the two players.

The Redskins also saw wide receiver DeSean Jackson, who has three catches for 84 yards and touchdown, leave with knee and ankle injuries in the second quarter. He was limited by both injuries during the practice week as well. The Giants have fewer injury issues, although rookie corner Eli Apple is done for the day with a hamstring injury.

UPDATE 2:55 p.m. ET: Jackson returned to start the second half.

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Emmanuel Sanders puts Broncos up before half

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 25:  Emmanuel Sanders #10 of the Denver Broncos breaks a tackle by Adam Jones #24 of the Cincinnati Bengals during the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on September 25, 2016 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) Getty Images

Broncos wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders admitted to some frustrated by his lack of opportunities in the first two weeks of the season, but said it was hard to get too upset when the team had wins both weeks.

Their chances of getting a third straight victory are being helped by Sanders in Cincinnati on Sunday. Sanders scored his second touchdown of the game on a seven-yard pass from Trevor Siemian with 28 seconds to play in the half to put the Broncos up 16-14. They took that lead to the halftime after Brandon McManus‘ extra point was blocked and the Bengals opted to take a knee.

Sanders was targeted 11 times overall in the first half and scored a 41-yard touchdown earlier in the proceedings. He has seven catches for 89 yards, which represents a healthy number of the 171 total yards that Denver had in the first 30 minutes.

The Bengals defense had a few shots to pick off Siemian, but couldn’t come away with any of them. The only turnover of the half came when Adam Jones fumbled on a punt return just before Sanders’ first touchdown of the afternoon. It looked like Jones’ knee might have been down before the ball came loose, but the call on the field was upheld after a review.

That turnover looms large because the Bengals offense has been good when Jeremy Hill and ineffective under other circumstances. Hill has 85 yards on 11 carries and the team’s two touchdowns of the day, but the rest of the group only managed 81 yards in the first two quarters.

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Jaguars’ penalty gives Ravens another shot

BALTIMORE, MD - DECEMBER 27:  Justin Tucker #9 of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates after hitting a field goal against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on December 27, 2015 in Baltimore, Maryland.  (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) Getty Images

Justin Tucker missed a 57-yard field goal as the first half expired, but Dante Fowler of the Jaguars was flagged 15 yards for hurdling a blocker.

Tucker made the second kick, giving the Ravens a 13-7 lead.

It’s been ugly as both offenses have struggled to sustain drives. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is 18-of-22 passing for 141 yards and opened the scoring with the Ravens’ first rushing touchdown of the season.

Blake Bortles is 10-of-19 for 78 yards and threw a touchdown pass to Allen Robinson.

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