Baltimore shut out Pittsburgh for more than three quarters in a 21-14 NFL victory that lifted the Ravens to their division lead and spoiled the return of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
The Ravens snapped a four-game losing streak and improved to 4-4, taking the lead over the Steelers — also 4-4 — atop the AFC North.
Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco connected with Mike Wallace on a 95-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter — the longest pass in Ravens history.
Chris Moore’s 14-yard return of a Buck Allen blocked punt coupled with Steve Smith’s two-point conversion reception made it a 21-0 game early in the third quarter.
The Steelers finally got on the board on Roethlisberger’s 23-yard TD pass to Antonio Brown with 8:38 to play. But Roethlisberger, who underwent surgery to report a torn left meniscus on October 17, got off to a slow start.
“I just think I need to be better,” Roethlisberger said after completing 23 of 45 passes for 264 yards with one touchdown and one interception. “Give them credit — there were times I was going to make throws and their guys jumped in front of things… I just need to be better.”
In Minneapolis, a tackle-breaking leaping touchdown by Golden Tate lifted the Detroit Lions to a 22-16 overtime triumph against the Minnesota Vikings.
Tate caught a pass from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and spun away from Vikings cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who dived at Tate and missed. Tate pulled away from a tackle attempt from safety Harrison Smith along the sideline and then leaped into the end zone for a 28-yard touchdown.
It was just the latest instance of the Lions coming to life late. They sent the game into overtime with a 58-yard field goal with two seconds left in regulation and won for the third time in four games.
“Our guys have been able to do it,” Lions coach Jim Caldwell said of his team’s five game-winning drives in the fourth quarter or overtime this season. “Not just do it once or twice, they’ve been able to do it a number of times. I do think they have the level of comfort with it. It’s a tough situation to be in, but they don’t flinch.”
– Cowboys overpower Browns –
The Dallas Cowboys’s explosive offense scored three touchdowns in the first half en route to a 35-10 victory over the winless Browns in Cleveland.
The Browns put up a field goal on the first possession of the game, but rookie quarterback Dak Prescott threw a 26-yard TD pass to tight end Jason Witten on the Cowboys’s first possession to give the Cowboys a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Dallas’s rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott, who entered the game as the league’s top rusher, ran for 92 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, helping the Cowboys win their seventh straight after a season-opening defeat.
“I thought he was really efficient,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of Prescott. “We ran the ball well. We got a lot of stuff off the run. There are a lot of plays to be made out there in the passing game and he made them.”
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning threw four touchdowns in a 28-23 victory over NFC East rivals Philadelphia.
New Orleans’s Drew Brees threw three TD passes to lead the surging Saints to a 41-23 victory over the reeling San Francisco 49ers, who lost their seventh straight.
© 2016 AFP
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