NFL ROUNDUP: Johnson's big day lifts Lions
For all of Calvin Johnson’s 329 yards, the Detroit Lions needed another foot or so.
Matthew Stafford provided it, capping a stunning comeback win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Stafford’s 1-yard lunge over a pile of linemen with 12 seconds left, moments after Johnson got the Lions to the brink of the goal line, gave Detroit a 31-30 victory Sunday. Stafford threw a 22-yard pass to Johnson, who had the second-most yards receiving in NFL history, to set up his winning score.
The final play seemed destined for a spike before the Dallas native fooled the team he grew up supporting.
“I was yelling that I was going to spike the ball,” Stafford said. “But their linebackers were just standing there.”
So he leaped instead, extending the ball over the goal line.
The Lions (5-3) overcame four giveaways without forcing a turnover, becoming the first team to do that and win since New England did against Miami in 2007, according to STATS. Dallas fell to 4-4, unable to handle Megatron.
“He had his way,” cornerback Brandon Carr said. “And, we couldn’t find a way to keep him from rolling.”
LIONS 31, COWBOYS 30: Johnson’s total trailed only the 336 yards receiving Flipper Anderson had for the Los Angeles Rams against New Orleans on Nov. 26, 1989, in a game that went into overtime.
“It was crazy,” he said. “We had a lot of one-on-one coverage today, and we were able to take advantage and hit some deep balls. Matt made some great throws to me.”
Tony Romo was 14 of 30, failing to complete half his passes for the first time since 2009, for 206 yards without a turnover. He hit Dez Bryant for TDs of 5 and 50 yards, but Bryant was angry after the game.
“Everybody knows that we should have won this game,” Bryant said. “A game like this — man, it kills you.”
CHIEFS 23, BROWNS 17: The Chiefs became the first to go 8-0 the season after having the league’s worst record. They’ve allowed 17 or fewer points in every game, tying another mark.
Alex Smith threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chiefs kept stopping the Browns (3-5) down the stretch. They forced a turnover on downs with just over two minutes left, and Ryan Succop kicked his third field goal in the closing seconds to seal the victory.
“We love it,” Smith said. “You want the stages to get bigger. That’s why you put all the work in. You want this opportunity. You want that honor.”
Jason Campbell, starting in place of the ineffective Brandon Weeden, threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns for the Browns.
BRONCOS 45, REDSKINS 21: Peyton Manning overcame four turnovers and host Denver scored the last 38 points against former Broncos coach Mike Shanahan and his new team. Manning finished with 354 yards and four touchdown passes to offset his three interceptions and lost fumble.
His first two turnovers led to points that gave the Redskins (2-5) a 21-7 lead early in the third quarter. From there, Manning led the Broncos (7-1) on two long scoring drives, then got the go-ahead score on a 35-yard touchdown pass to Knowshon Moreno.
Manning has 2,919 yards passing this season, the most through the first eight games in NFL history. So is Denver’s 343 points.
Robert Griffin III finished with 132 yards passing, one score and two interceptions for Washington.
SAINTS 35, BILLS 17: Drew Brees passed for five touchdowns and 332 yards. Tight end Jimmy Graham played after missing practice most of the week with a left foot injury and scored on 13- and 15-yard passes over the middle, powering through tackles at the goal line both times.
Rookie Kenny Stills had touchdowns of 69 and 42 yards for the Saints (6-1).
Thad Lewis was sacked four times, intercepted once, lost two fumbles and appeared shaken up at times, but stayed in the game for the Bills (3-5), finishing with 234 yards passing and one touchdown.
PATRIOTS 27, DOLPHINS 17: The Patriots shook off a dismal first half and another mediocre performance by Tom Brady.
Trailing 17-3 after gaining just 59 yards in the half, the Patriots quickly turned the game around in the third quarter with two touchdowns in a span of seven plays.
The Patriots (6-2) outscored the Dolphins in the third quarter 17-0. Miami (3-4) lost its fourth straight game.
Brady completed 13 of 22 passes for just 116 yards, but threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Dobson in the third quarter that began the comeback. New England has won 14 straight AFC East games at home.
PACKERS 44, VIKINGS 31: Aaron Rodgers threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns, completing 24 of 29 passes, and Jordy Nelson had 123 yards receiving. Micah Hyde returned a punt 93 yards for a touchdown late in the second quarter, and Eddie Lacy rushed for 94 yards and a score for Green Bay (5-2).
Cordarrelle Patterson set an NFL record with a 109-yard return on the opening kickoff and Adrian Peterson rushed for 60 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings (1-6). But Christian Ponder struggled again in his return to the starting lineup and the Packers scored on every possession until they took a knee to end the game.
BENGALS 49, JETS 9: Andy Dalton threw a career-high five touchdown passes, four to Marvin Jones.
Jones set a Bengals record for touchdown receptions, scoring on catches of 9, 6, 17 and 6 yards. Dalton’s five touchdown passes gave him 11 in his last three games, his best such span.
The Bengals (6-2) won their fourth in a row and padded their AFC North lead.
New York (4-4) took its most lopsided loss since 2010. Rookie quarterback Geno Smith threw two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns, by Adam Jones and Chris Crocker.
49ERS 42, JAGUARS 10: In an International Series rout, Colin Kaepernick tossed a TD pass and ran for two more scores. Kaepernick ended up with 164 yards passing and 54 yards rushing, and Frank Gore also ran for two scores for the 49ers (6-2), who have won five in a row.
The Jaguars (0-8) were the “home” team at London’s iconic soccer venue, playing in the British capital for the first of their four-year run of regular-season NFL games in London. It was the eighth regular-season NFL game at Wembley Stadium, the home of England’s national soccer team, and the second this year.
GIANTS 15, EAGLES 7: Josh Brown kicked a career-high five field goals to help the Giants (2-6) snap an eight-game road losing streak while extending Philadelphia’s home skid to 10 games. The Eagles’ last win at Lincoln Financial Field was over the Giants on Sept. 30, 2012.
Michael Vick returned for the Eagles (3-5) after missing 2? games with a hamstring injury, but clearly wasn’t healthy and was replaced by rookie Matt Barkley late in the second quarter.
Chip Kelly’s high-flying offense that racked up at least 425 yards in each of the first six games has been grounded. The Eagles followed a 17-3 loss to Dallas with another poor offensive effort. They had just 201 yards of offense and have totaled 479 the past two weeks.
CARDINALS 27, FALCONS 13: Rookie Andre Ellington rushed for 154 yards on 15 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown run, and the host Cardinals intercepted Matt Ryan four times.
Ellington’s big run, tied for third longest in Cardinals history, was part of a 21-point second quarter that put Arizona (4-4) in control. The Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald caught four passes for 48 yards and a touchdown, in the process becoming the youngest player — at 30 years, 57 days — in NFL history to reach 800 career receptions.
Ryan had thrown three interceptions total in the first six games of the season for the Falcons (2-5). Rashad Johnson had two of Arizona’s interceptions.
The Cardinals picked off Ryan five times when the teams played last season.