Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs continue domination in win over Browns
With almost every flick of his right wrist, the legend of Patrick Mahomes grows.
And he’s just beginning.
Only 10 games into his NFL career, Kansas City’s young quarterback is doing things that have never been done before.
Mahomes passed for 375 yards, threw three touchdown passes — two to Cleveland native Travis Kelce — and continued the best start by a QB in 68 years as Kansas City’s impossible-to-handle offense kept rolling with a 37-21 win Sunday over the host Cleveland Browns, who played their first game since coach Hue Jackson’s firing.
Kareem Hunt had two scoring runs and one receiving for the Chiefs (8-1), who came in averaging 36.3 points with an offense overloaded with weapons for Mahomes. The 23-year-old used all of them in winning his first pro matchup against Baker Mayfield and the Browns (2-6-1).
‘‘It’s a lot of fun,’’ said Mahomes, who was hurt by a couple drops. ‘‘It makes my job a lot easier knowing that I can trust these guys are going to be in the right spot. They’re taking care of their business. They’re running the routes and making route adjustments on the fly just because they’ve looked at the film and know how to do those things.’’
Mahomes and Mayfield didn’t match their epic college meeting in 2016, when they combined for more than 1,700 yards in offense. But the Chiefs put on another impressive offensive show with 499 total yards, averaging 8.6 per snap.
Browns defensive end Myles Garrett said preparing for Mayfield and Kansas City’s air-and-ground show is nothing like playing against it.
‘‘Their offense has a nice tempo and he gets the ball out of his hand pretty quick, so it’s hard to stop,’’ he said. ‘‘He spreads the ball around really well and everybody is getting touches. You don’t know who it’s going to go to next.’’
Mahomes, who made just one start as a rookie, already has 29 TD passes and 3,185 yards, the most by any QB through 10 games since 1950. He has passed for at least 300 yards in eight straight games.
‘‘It’s a weird deal — he just goes out there and plays,’’ Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. ‘‘He works hard. He loves doing it. He just goes about his business the way that you’re supposed to do it.’’
Cleveland lost its fourth straight, but it looked better under interim coach Gregg Williams than it did with Jackson, fired on Monday after going 3-36-1 in two-plus seasons. Mayfield threw two TD passes to Duke Johnson and finished 29 of 42 for 297 yards with one interception.
Falcons 38, Redskins 14 — Julio Jones ended his 12-game touchdown drought, Matt Ryan threw for 350 yards and four scores, and visiting Atlanta (4-4) flexed its offensive muscles with a blowout of Washington (5-3), the Falcons’ third straight win.
Jones caught seven passes for 121 yards with the biggest coming on a 35-yard screen pass with just under four minutes left that sealed the win. After Jones twisted away from newest Washington defender Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and into the end zone, a swarm of teammates rushed over from the sideline to celebrate Jones’s first TD since Nov. 26, 2017.
‘‘We’re a brotherhood,’’ said Jones. ‘‘We support one another. If anybody scores, I’m trying to be the first one over there. Nobody hates on each other on this team. Everybody loves when other people go out here and excel and make plays.’’
Ryan completed 26 of his 38 passes, including touchdown passes of 39 and 10 yards to running back Tevin Coleman and 40 to rookie receiver Calvin Ridley. Coleman ran for 80 yards and Ito Smith had 66 yards and a rushing touchdown to give the Falcons the balanced attack they’ve lacked in an injury-marred season that so far has failed to live up to expectations.
‘‘The start to the season was not what we were looking for, but we’re halfway through it, we’re 4-4 and we’re in the mix,’’ said Ryan. ‘‘The good football teams that I’ve been a part of in my career are the ones that have gotten better as the year’s gone along. Halfway through, I think we’re a better football team than we were at the start and we’ve got to keep it trending in that direction.’’
The Falcons didn’t punt until midway through the third quarter, converting on their first eight third-down opportunities. They surpassed 100 yards rushing for the first time since Week 2. Atlanta’s much-maligned defense did its part, too. Entering third-worst in the NFL, it held Washington to 35 first-quarter yards and made a crucial stop after Ryan was picked off by Quinton Dunbar — just the quarterback’s third interception this season.
The Redskins’ Adrian Peterson was held to 17 yards on nine carries a week after rushing for 149 yards at the New York Giants.
Alex Smith was 30 of 46 for 306 yards, an interception and a touchdown pass to Josh Doctson, and third-down back Kapri Bibbs rushed for a score that only served to make the final margin look slightly less lopsided.
Bears 41, Bills 9 — Jordan Howard scored two touchdowns and visiting Chicago’s defense had two others in a rout of Buffalo (2-7) that proved to be another comedy of errors for the Bills and their anemic offense.
Eddie Jackson scored on a 65-yard fumble return and Leonard Floyd returned a tipped pass 19 yards for another score 3½ minutes apart in the second quarter. Howard, set up by Tarik Cohen’s 38-yard punt return, then scored on an 18-yard scamper to cap a run in which the Bears (5-3) scored four touchdowns over a span of 12:20 in the second quarter.
‘‘It’s always great to go out and perform the way we did,’’ linebacker Roquan Smith said. ‘‘We definitely did focus on getting the ball out, and we knew when they do come, they come in bunches. So that was one of the main things.’’
The Bears won their second in a row and at 5-3 matched their best start to a season through eight games since 2013. Chicago also matched its win total from last year.
Chicago’s defense forced four takeaways, and limited the Bills to 264 yards offense despite missing star linebacker Khalil Mack, who missed his second straight game with an injury to his right ankle.
The Bills continued their bumbling ways in dropping to 2-7. It’s Buffalo’s worst start since winning one of its first nine games in 2010.
Buffalo continued its season-long trend of coughing up the ball on offense. Buffalo turned the ball over four times, including Nathan Peterman throwing three interceptions in his first start since a 47-3 season-opening loss at Baltimore.
The Bills had no choice but to return to Peterman with rookie Josh Allen missing his third game with a sprained throwing elbow and Derek Anderson sidelined by a concussion.
The second-year quarterback continued playing down to his turnover-prone reputation, though two of the interceptions weren’t entirely his fault. Newly signed receiver Terrelle Pryor caught Peterman’s pass and lost control as he turned up field, with the ball landing in defensive back Adrian Amos’s hands.
Three snaps into Buffalo’s next possession, Peterman’s hard pass over the middle struck receiver Zay Jones in the hand and bounced directly to Floyd, who returned it for a touchdown.
Peterman finished 31 of 49 for 187 yards and the second-year player has now thrown 13 interceptions on 133 career attempts, including playoffs.
Panthers 42, Buccaneers 28 — Cam Newton completed 19 of 25 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns, Christian McCaffrey racked up 157 yards from scrimmage and scored twice, and Carolina (6-2) built an early lead and held on to beat Tampa Bay (3-5) for its 10th straight home win.
Newton threw TD passes of 19 yards to Curtis Samuel and 17 yards to Greg Olsen, the seventh straight game he has thrown for at least two touchdowns. McCaffrey had 17 carries for 79 yards and five catches for 78 yards and turned in the play of the game when he leaped over a defender after a reception in the flat and kept going, turning it into a 32-yard gain.
The Panthers scored touchdowns on five straight possessions during the first half to build a commanding 35-7 lead before the Buccaneers battled back to within a touchdown early in the fourth quarter behind Ryan Fitzpatrick.
But the return of ‘‘Fitzmagic’’ wasn’t enough as Newton made it a two-possession game when he found Samuel, who made a leaping grab in the end zone with 9:10 left in the game. It was the second-year wide receiver’s second TD of the game. He also scored on a 33-yard reverse.
Ryan Fitzpatrick, who started in place of the turnover-prone Jameis Winston for Tampa Bay (3-5), finished with 243 yards passing and four touchdowns — two each to Adam Humphries and O.J. Howard.
But Fitzpatrick also had a key interception on the game’s second possession leading to Carolina’s first touchdown of the game, a 1-yard run by fullback Alex Armah. He was also picked off late in the fourth quarter by rookie cornerback Donte Jackson, sealing the win.
Dolphins 13, Jets 6 — Linebacker Jerome Baker bested fellow rookie Sam Darnold, scoring the game’s only TD on a 25-yard interception return with 11 minutes left, and a resilient defense helped host Miami (5-4) beat New York (3-6).
Darnold threw four interceptions and took four sacks, and the Jets went 2 for 15 on third and fourth down.
‘‘We never panicked; we knew what our defense was capable of,’’ Baker said. ‘‘When we are executing and do our job and play together, we’re one of the best defenses out there.’’
Darnold tried to rally the sputtering Jets from a 6-3 deficit, but following a punt the rookie took a high snap and made an ill-advised throw to tight end Eric Tomlinson. Baker stepped in front for his first career interception and scored untouched.
‘‘I didn’t throw it with confidence,’’ Darnold said. ‘‘I just alligator-armed it — threw it a little bit short.’’
Much of the game was a slog, but Baker provided a video highlight celebrating with his teammates.
‘‘There is nothing like it,’’ he said, game ball cradled under his arm. ‘‘It is the sweetest feeling ever, especially getting in the end zone, seeing your brothers running toward you.’’
T.J. McDonald and Walt Aikens made interceptions to end the Jets’ final two possessions.
The Jets lost their third in a row and have scored 33 points during the skid. They’ve dropped nine of their past 10 road games dating to 2017.
Texans 19, Broncos 17 — Brandon McManus missed a 51-yard field goal as time expired, leaving Demaryius Thomas a winner in his homecoming as Houston (6-3) escaped Denver (3-6) with its sixth straight win.
Thomas, who had started all 114 games for the Broncos since Jan. 8, 2012, finished with three receptions for 61 yards, but two were back-to-back for 31 and 18 yards on Houston’s opening drive.
McManus’s second miss of the game came after Case Keenum completed an 18-yard pass between two defenders to Emmanuel Sanders on fourth-and-8 from the Denver 45-yard line.
Keenum threw a 5-yard pass to tight end Jeff Heuerman, who had a career-best 10 catches for 83 yards and then running back Phillip Lindsay lost a yard. After Denver called a timeout with 3 seconds left, the Texans did the same, then rushed the field in relief after McManus’s kick drifted wide right.
After the Broncos took a 17-16 lead on Keenum’s 12-yard dart to Heuerman between two defenders, Ka’imi Fairbairn put the Texans back ahead with a 37-yard field goal with 14:06 remaining.
Chargers 25, Seahawks 17 — Philip Rivers threw for 228 yards and two TDs, Melvin Gordon added 113 yards rushing, and visiting Los Angeles (6-2) beat Seattle (4-4) for its fifith straight win.
Rivers threw touchdown passes of 12 yards to Tyrell Williams and 30 yards to Mike Williams, and let the Chargers defense stymie Russell Wilson until the final minutes. Seattle had won four of five following a 0-2 start.
Desmond King provided the deciding points for Los Angeles by stepping in front of Wilson’s pass for David Moore and returning it 42 yards for a touchdown with 6:44 remaining to give the Chargers a 25-10 lead.
Wilson managed to make the final minutes nervous for Los Angeles. Wilson hit Nick Vannett on a 6-yard TD with 1:50 remaining to cut the Chargers’ lead to one score. Seattle got the ball back with 1:24 left at its own 22 and after two completions and a roughing the passer penalty on Melvin Ingram, the Seahawks were at the Chargers 44 with 50 seconds left. Wilson scrambled for 16 yards to the Chargers 28 and, after a spike, Seattle had 30 seconds left.
Seattle got a break when Michael Davis was called for pass interference in the end zone on the final play of regulation against Tyler Lockett, putting the ball at the 1 for an untimed down. Seattle’s J.R. Sweezy was called for false start backing the play up to the 6, and Wilson’s final attempt for David Moore in the back of the end zone was partially tipped by Jahleel Addae and fell incomplete.
Vikings 24, Lions 9 — Danielle Hunter had 3½ of a franchise-record 10 sacks for Minnesota (5-3-1) and a fourth-quarter fumble return for a touchdown, making for a miserable afternoon for Matthew Stafford and visiting Detroit (3-5).
Hunter, the fourth-year defensive end, also was credited with nine tackles and four quarterback hits as the Vikings limited the Lions to 214 total yards.
After Dalvin Cook dropped a pitch from Kirk Cousins and A’Shawn Robinson recovered at the Detroit 28 with Minnesota leading, 17-6, the Lions had a chance to catch up. They converted a fake punt to keep the drive alive.
Two plays later, Stafford ran right on the short side of the field and tried a dangerous flip to Kerryon Johnson. The ball fluttered to the turf, and Hunter scooped it up on his way to the easy score.
The Lions had a streak of 25 consecutive games with at least 14 points stopped in humbling fashion.
Starting a stretch of three straight NFC North games with a badly needed win before their bye, the Vikings beat the Lions at home for the first time in three matchups at US Bank Stadium.