ATLANTA (AP) — Devonta Freeman scored three touchdowns and the Atlanta Falcons remained unbeaten, romping to a 48-21 victory over the hapless Houston Texans on Sunday.
Freeman, who took over as the starting running back after rookie Tevin Coleman sustained a rib injury in Week 2, has scored six TDs in the last two games. The Falcons improved to 4-0 for only the fourth time in club history.
Freeman had touchdown runs of 16, 23 and 6 yards. He set up another score with a 44-yard reception.
Nothing went right for the Texans (1-3). Quarterback Ryan Mallett was yanked after the Falcons built a 42-0 lead. Running back Arian Foster made his season debut after tearing his groin early in training camp, but he couldn’t find room to run. He even had the ball knocked out of his hands by one of his own teammates, leading to a Falcons touchdown.
SAINTS 26, COWBOYS 20, OT
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees hit C.J. Spiller with a short pass that the running back turned into an 80-yard touchdown — the 400th of the Saints quarterback’s career — on the second play of overtime, and New Orleans won for the first time this season.
Brees, who missed New Orleans’ previous game because of a bruised rotator cuff in his right (throwing) shoulder, completed 32 of 39 throws for 279 yards in his return. Mark Ingram gained 126 yards from scrimmage, and Khiry Robinson had a 1-yard touchdown run for New Orleans (1-3).
Joseph Randle scored the lone TD for Dallas (2-2) on a 1-yard run in the first half. The winning score enlivened a Superdome crowd stunned by Saints kicker Zach Hocker’s 30-yard miss in the final seconds of regulation.
BENGALS 36, CHIEFS 21
CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton added to his streak of impressive games and big plays, throwing a 55-yard touchdown pass on the run, and Cincinnati stayed unbeaten.
The Bengals (4-0) matched the third-best start in franchise history, two wins shy of the club record.
Dalton completed 17 of 24 for 321 yards with the long touchdown pass to Brandon Tate during a scramble.
Alex Smith was sacked five times, the Chiefs (1-3) settled for Cairo Santos’ club-record seven field goals, and the defense couldn’t keep up with another one of the NFL’s top passers.
PANTHERS 37, BUCCANEERS 23
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and Josh Norman returned one of Carolina’s four interceptions of Jameis Winston for his second TD of the season.
Newton tossed scoring passes of 6 and 12 yards to Ted Ginn Jr. A week after making a game-saving interception in the end zone against New Orleans, Norman scored on a 46-yard run back and later returned a another pick 34 yards to set up a second TD.
The Panthers improved to 4-0 for the first time since 2003. The Bucs (1-3) have dropped 11 consecutive home games.
PACKERS 17, 49ERS 3
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers passed for 224 yards and a touchdown, ran 17 yards to set up a key second-half score, and the Packers are off to their first 4-0 start in four years.
Richard Rodgers caught a 9-yard touchdown pass on the game’s opening drive before Rodgers got his team going in the second half after a slow beginning to snap a four-game losing streak to San Francisco, which included a pair of playoff defeats.
Clay Matthews added his own flair to this one. When he sacked Colin Kaepernick in the third quarter, he kissed his right biceps Kaepernick-style to punctuate the play — one of Green Bay’s six sacks.
While methodical with nothing fancy, Green Bay (4-0) seemed unfazed with a short week and long trip West after beating Kansas City last Monday night. San Francisco is 1-3.
BRONCOS 23, VIKINGS 20
DENVER (AP) — Brandon McManus kicked a 39-yard field goal with 1:51 left and Denver had seven sacks.
Von Miller smothered the loose ball after T.J. Ward’s sack-strip of Teddy Bridgewater in the closing seconds, sealing the win for the unbeaten Broncos (4-0), who got a 72-yard touchdown run from Ronnie Hillman.
Peyton Manning has led his teams to a 4-0 start seven times, most in NFL history by a long shot. Next up at four is Fran Tarkenton. Manning also joined Brett Favre as the only QBs to win 100 home starts in the NFL.
It wasn’t a great day for Manning, who was picked off twice by the Vikings (2-2).
Adrian Peterson ran for a 48-yard touchdown to pull Minnesota to 20-17 and cap a 97-yard drive with 10 minutes left.
RAMS 24, CARDINALS 22
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Todd Gurley rushed for all but 2 of 146 yards in the second half and the Rams held on to hand the Cardinals their first loss of the season.
Gurley, the Rams’ first-round draft pick, saw his most extensive action as a pro and his 52-yard run set up the winning touchdown.
Nick Foles threw for three touchdowns, two after Arizona turnovers, and St. Louis’ defense held the Cardinals (3-1) to field goals on four of five trips inside the red zone.
Arizona had a third-and-2 at the Rams 43 in the final minutes, but Carson Palmer overthrew receivers on consecutive plays to turn the ball over on downs.
The Rams (2-2) are 2-0 against the NFC West.
CHARGERS 30, BROWNS 27
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Rookie Josh Lambo got his first game-winning kick in the NFL. Given a second chance due to a penalty, Lambo kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired, lifting the San Diego Chargers to a 30-27 victory against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, snapping a two-game losing streak.
Lambo was wide right on a 39-yard attempt with :02 left, but Cleveland’s Tramon Williams was whistled for offside. Lambo then hit his third field goal of the game.
The Browns (1-3) had tied it at 27 on Josh McCown’s 1-yard pass to Gary Barnidge with 2:09 to play and a 2-point conversion pass to Taylor Gabriel. That score was set up when the Browns won a challenge of McCown’s 19-yard pass to Barnidge that originally was ruled incomplete.
Philip Rivers was 23 of 38 for 358 yards and three touchdowns for San Diego (2-2). McCown was 32 of 41 for 356 yards and two scores.
JETS 27, DOLPHINS 14
LONDON (AP) — Chris Ivory ran for a career-high 166 yards and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 218, one touchdown and one interception to lead the Jets at Wembley Stadium in the first division game played in London.
Miami’s Ndamukong Suh, the highest-paid defensive player in league history, had three tackles — the first in the third quarter — and no sacks.
Both teams have byes next week, as usual for teams playing in London. Miami (1-3) will face lots of questions about its poor performances thus far.
Fitzpatrick threw for 172 yards in the first half, including a 58-yard completion to Brandon Marshall on the first play for the Jets (3-1).
REDSKINS 23, EAGLES 20
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Kirk Cousins threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon with 26 seconds left for Washington.
Starting at their own 10 with a little more than six minutes remaining, the Redskins (2-2) drove 90 yards on 15 plays to take the lead for good in a back-and-forth game.
Cousins finished 31 for 46 for 290 yards and no turnovers. Sam Bradford threw three second-half touchdown passes for the Eagles (1-3), but their new kicker, Caleb Sturgis, missed an extra-point attempt and a 33-yard field-goal try.
BEARS 22, RAIDERS 20
CHICAGO (AP) — Jay Cutler threw for two touchdowns and redeemed himself following an interception by helping set up a 49-yard field goal by Robbie Gould with 2 seconds left for Chicago.
It was the Bears’ first win under coach John Fox.
The Raiders (2-2) grabbed the lead on a field goal by Sebastian Janikowski with just over two minutes remaining that was set up by an interception by Charles Woodson deep in Oakland territory.
Cutler then led Chicago (1-3) from its 20 to the Oakland 32 before Gould nailed the winner.
GIANTS 24, BILLS 10
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Rashad Jennings broke three tackles to score on a 51-yard touchdown catch midway through the fourth quarter for New York.
Eli Manning went 20 of 35 for 212 yards and three touchdowns for the Giants (2-2). New York’s defense did the rest with Prince Amukamara stripping receiver Robert Woods of the ball to force a fumble with 3:41 left.
The Bills (2-2) were called for 17 penalties totaling 135 yards.
COLTS 16, JAGUARS 13, OT
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Adam Vinatieri kicked a 27-yard field goal with 4:36 left in overtime to give Indianapolis an NFL record-tying 15th consecutive win over a division opponent.
The 1972-73 Miami Dolphins also win 15 straight.
Matt Hasselbeck made his first start since November 2012 in place of the injured Andrew Luck, and led the Colts (2-2) on a 53-yard march to step up the winning points.
The Jaguars (1-3) lined up twice for field goals with 6 seconds left in regulation, but Jason Myers’ first attempt from 53 yards sailed wide right — just after the Colts had called timeout. Myers’ second chance also went wide right. Then in overtime, his 48-yard attempt went wide left.