Clyde Edwards-Helaire ran for 63 yards and a touchdown in his return from injured reserve, Chris Jones and the Kansas City defense made life miserable for Dak Prescott, and the Chiefs beat the visiting Dallas Cowboys, 19-9, on Sunday.
Patrick Mahomes was 23 of 37 for 260 yards with an interception and a fumble for Kansas City, but he was bailed out by a defense that played its best game of the year. Charvarius Ward picked off Prescott in the end zone near the end of the first half, and Chris Jones had 3½ sacks while forcing and recovering a fumble.
The result: The Chiefs (7-4) improved to 4-0 against the NFC East with their fourth straight win overall.
Prescott was held to 216 yards passing and two interceptions for the Cowboys, though he was missing a whole lot of help. Left tackle Tyron Smith missed his third straight game with an ankle injury, Amari Cooper tested positive for COVID-19, and fellow wide receiver CeeDee Lamb sustained a concussion just before halftime.
Lamb was hurt going up for a jump ball in the end zone. Ward picked it off and Lamb landed hard. He was helped by trainers to the locker room and did not return.
Ezekiel Elliott, who appeared to tweak his ankle early in the game, finished with nine carries for 32 yards. Linebacker Micah Parsons was the biggest highlight for the Cowboys (7-3), forcing a fumble and piling up three more sacks.
The Chiefs have hit their stride after a rough first seven weeks that left them 3-4 and last in the AFC West. They’ve eliminated many of the turnovers and penalties that hamstrung their offense, and a defense that was historically inept in September and October has turned into a ferocious, ball-hawking bunch in November.
Mahomes followed up a 406-yard, five-touchdown performance against the Raiders by dicing up the Cowboys in the first half. He led Kansas City on an 86-yard march that ended with Travis Kelce taking a direct snap for a touchdown, then he led a 65-yard drive a few minutes later that ended with Edwards-Helaire’s short TD run.
All the Cowboys managed was Greg Zuerlein’s field goal, and they trailed, 16-3, at the break.
Zuerlein hit two more in the second half, and Harrison Butker added another field goal for Kansas City as the teams traded silly mistakes that kept them from reaching the end zone. Mahomes had a pass bounce off Kelce’s hands for another interception, and the Cowboys had a promising drive go haywire after a false-start penalty.
The Chiefs’ resurgent defense made sure the Cowboys never got within one possession the rest of the way.
Chargers 41, Steelers 37 — In Inglewood, Calif., Justin Herbert threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to a wide open Mike Williams with 2:17 remaining, rescuing the game for Los Angeles (6-4) after Pittsburgh (5-4-1) had erased a 27-10 deficit with a 27-point flurry in 12 minutes. The Steelers took a 37-34 lead on Chris Boswell’s 45-yard field goal with 3:24 left, only for the Chargers to score the winner four plays later. Herbert was 30 of 41 for 382 yards and three touchdowns. He had 90 yards rushing, which is the most by a Chargers quarterback in a game. Austin Ekeler scored a career-high four touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 273 yards and three touchdowns after missing last week’s game against Detroit after testing positive for COVID-19.
Texans 22, Titans 13 — Tyrod Taylor ran for two touchdowns and threw for 107 yards, and Houston (2-8) snapped the NFL’s longest active skid, ending the league-topping six-game winning streak of host Tennessee (8-3). The Texans came in having lost eight straight since winning their season opener and hadn’t scored a TD on the road since Sept. 19. Desmond King had two of the Texans’ four interceptions — three in the fourth quarter to snuff out the Titans’ attempted rally. Houston, which never trailed, turned those and a fumbled punt into 13 points. The Texans also had two sacks. Tennessee outgained Houston, 420-190, but the banged-up Titans couldn’t overcome their mistakes on a day when wide receiver A.J. Brown was knocked out of the game in the third quarter with an injured chest.
Vikings 34, Packers 31 — In Minneapolis, Greg Joseph made a 29-yard field goal as time expired to give Minnesota (5-5) a last-play victory over Green Bay (8-3) in a classic back-and-forth with Aaron Rodgers, who threw for a season-high 385 yards and notched three of his four touchdown passes in the second half. Kirk Cousins passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings, who got eight receptions for 169 yards and two scores from Justin Jefferson. After Rodgers threw a rainbow to Marquez Valdes-Scantling for a 75-yard, game-tying score just before the two-minute warning, Cousins narrowly avoided an interception, then hit three straight passes for 51 yards. Dalvin Cook (115 total yards) ran for one more first down, and the Vikings kneeled down to set up the final kick by Joseph.
Washington 27, Panthers 21 — Taylor Heinicke threw for 206 yards and three touchdowns against the league’s top-ranked pass defense, and Washington (4-6) spoiled Cam Newton’s return to Charlotte with Carolina (5-6). Newton, making his first start since signing a one-year contract to return to the Panthers, threw for 189 yards and two touchdowns, and ran for a 24-yard score. But Newton’s final two potential game-winning drives ended when the Panthers turned the ball over on downs against former coach Ron Rivera. Terry McLaurin had five catches for 103 yards and a touchdown against a Carolina defense that came in having allowed 173.3 yards passing per game.
Dolphins 24, Jets 17 — In East Rutherford, N.J., Tua Tagovailoa threw a go-ahead 5-yard touchdown pass to Myles Gaskin early in the fourth quarter and Miami (4-7) won its third straight despite New York (2-8) halting its run of allowing at least 45 points in three of four games. With the game tied at 14, Tagovailoa was facing heavy pressure when he got a throw off to Gaskin, who held onto the ball to put the Dolphins ahead despite getting hit by both C.J. Mosley and Isaiah Dunn in the end zone. Tagovailoa finished 23 of 33 for 273 yards, and touchdown passes to Gaskin and Mack Hollins, with one interception. Joe Flacco was 24 of 39 for 291 yards and touchdowns to Elijah Moore and Jamison Crowder for the Jets. Moore finished with eight catches for a career-best 141 yards.
Ravens 16, Bears 13 — Subbing for ill star quarterback Lamar Jackson, Tyler Huntley led a winning drive capped by Devonta Freeman’s 3-yard run with 22 seconds remaining as AFC North-leading Baltimore (7-3) won in Chicago (3-7). Chicago’s Andy Dalton threw two touchdowns, including a 49-yarder to Marquise Goodwin in the closing minutes, after an ineffective Justin Fields left the game with a rib injury in the third quarter. Dalton found Goodwin deep down the middle to cap a 75-yard drive and put Chicago on top, 13-9, with 1:41 remaining after the 2-point conversion pass failed. Huntley was sacked six times in the game, but led the Ravens on a 72-yard touchdown drive. Freeman ran it in after Huntley’s 30-yard pass to Sammy Watkins put the ball on the 3. Justin Tucker kicked three field goals for the winners.
Cardinals 23, Seahawks 13 — Colt McCoy was outstanding filling in for Kyler Murray, throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns, and Arizona (9-2) took sole possession of the league’s best record despite Murray missing a third straight game due to an ankle injury. McCoy went 35 of 44 and thoroughly outplayed Russell Wilson, making his first home start for Seattle (3-7) since undergoing finger surgery. McCoy threw touchdown passes of 1 and 2 yards to Zach Ertz in the first half, when the Cardinals had scoring drives of 92 and 82 yards that ate up 16 minutes. After 20 straight offensive drives without a touchdown, DeeJay Dallas scored on a 2-yard run with 7:08 left to pull Seattle within 16-13, but McCoy put the game away with a 67-yard drive capped by a James Conner 1-yard touchdown run.
49ers 30, Jaguars 10 — Jimmy Garoppolo threw two touchdown passes for the third consecutive week, and San Francisco (5-5) dominated Jacksonville (2-8) despite needing to travel cross-country on a short week. In winning their third in four games, the 49ers scored on their first five possessions, including opening the game with a 20-play field-goal drive that took more than 13 minutes. They had more first downs (14) than the Jaguars had yards (12) midway through the second quarter. Garoppolo completed 16 of 22 passes for 176 yards and touchdowns to Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle. The defense, meanwhile, sacked Trevor Lawrence three times, stuffed James Robinson, and didn’t allow a touchdown until 3:09 remained.
Bengals 32, Raiders 13 — Joe Mixon rushed for 123 yards and scored two touchdowns as Cincinnati (6-4) rolled out of its bye week and snapped a two-game skid to climb back into the AFC North race. Host Las Vegas (5-5), meanwhile, lost its third straight since its bye week. Joe Burrow was 20 of 29 for 148 yards and threw one touchdown for the Bengals, while Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate Ja’Marr Chase hauled in three passes, including one TD. Bengals kicker Evan McPherson hit four field goals, including three from beyond 50 yards, while their defense limited the Raiders to 278 yards. Las Vegas failed to convert on its first six third-down attempts, and allowed the game’s final 16 points after it got within 16-13 when Derek Carr found tight end Foster Moreau for a 19-yard TD strike with 11:42 to go.
Eagles 40, Saints 29 — Jalen Hurts ran for three touchdowns, Darius Slay returned an interception for a score, and Philadelphia (5-6) earned rookie coach Nick Sirianni his first victory at home in five tries. New Orleans (5-5) dropped its third straight since losing quarterback Jameis Winston to a season-ending ACL injury, despite three touchdown passes from Trevor Siemian, who was without four-time Pro Bowl running back Alvin Kamara and tackles Terron Armstead and Ryan Ramczyk. Facing the NFL’s top defense, the Eagles racked up 242 yards on the ground. Miles Sanders ran for 94 yards, Hurts had 69 (along with going 13 of 24 for 147 yards through the air), and Jordan Howard added 63. After the Saints scored 15 straight points in the fourth to pull within 33-22, Hurts put the game away with a dazzling 24-yard TD run.
Browns 13, Lions 10 — Nick Chubb caught a touchdown pass and ran for 130 yards coming off a one-game absence due to COVID-19 as Cleveland (6-5) held on to avoid a season-wrecking upset and keep visiting Detroit (0-9-1) winless. The star running back caught a 5-yard TD pass from Baker Mayfield and gained 36 yards on the final drive as the Browns chewed up the last 2:29. Detroit’s D’Andre Swift ran for a career-high 136 yards, breaking off a 57-yard TD run in the second half to keep the Lions close. Kicker Aldrick Rosas made a 43-yard field goal in the fourth quarter to pull the Lions within 13-10, but they couldn’t come up with one more big play without quarterback Jared Goff, who injured his oblique in last week’s tie at Pittsburgh.