Patriots Cruise Past Rams
The New England Patriots may have lost some explosiveness on offense with the season-ending injury to Rob Gronkowski, but with the way the team’s defense swallowed Jared Goff whole, a missing piece on New England’s offense hardly seemed to matter as the Patriots beat the Los Angeles Rams, 26-10.
Goff, who has yet to win a game since being taken with the No. 1 pick in this year’s draft, looked every bit the rookie quarterback. He got almost no help from his receivers, who repeatedly dropped catchable passes, and paid the price for his attempts to get something going by throwing two interceptions.
Tom Brady, meanwhile, won the 201st game of his career (including postseason play), breaking a tie with Peyton Manning for the N.F.L. record. He did it with a mostly-conservative approach, but showed he could be explosive when he wanted with a perfect 14-yard pass to Chris Hogan in the corner of the end zone for New England’s second touchdown.
The biggest offensive highlight of the game for the Patriots came from LeGarrette Blount, who did his best impression of an ankle-breaking N.B.A. point guard, juking past a flailing defensive back on his way to the end zone on a 43-yard run.
The total mismatch of a game was the seventh loss in eight games for the Rams, creating an awkward situation as Coach Jeff Fisher was expected to announce a contract extension after the game that will keep him with the team through 2018.
Sunday’s loss ensured that the Rams can finish no better than .500 this season, and almost assuredly will have be the team’s fifth consecutive losing season under Fisher, who has produced a winning record in just six of his 20 full seasons. With 164 career losses Fisher is just one short of tying Dan Reeves for the N.F.L. record.
Ravens End Dolphins’ Streak: Joe Flacco threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns, and the Baltimore Ravens overwhelmed the Dolphins in the first half of a 38-6 victory Sunday that ended Miami’s six-game winning streak.
Baltimore (7-5) led 24-0 at halftime behind Flacco and a dominant performance from the league’s second-ranked defense. Flacco went 27 for 34 for 258 yards and three scores over the first 30 minutes, and the Ravens yielded only 115 yards and intercepted a Ryan Tannehill pass. — Associated Press
Denver’s Defense Saves the Day: Bradley Roby returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown, helping the Denver Broncos beat the mistake-prone Jacksonville Jaguars 20-10 on Sunday and gain ground in the AFC playoff picture.
Roby picked off Blake Bortles’ wobbler across the middle in the third quarter and went untouched the other way. Star linebacker Von Miller hit Bortles as he released the ball. It was the 11th pick-6 of Bortles’ three-year career and his third in the last four games. Houston and Detroit also returned interceptions for touchdowns in games the Jaguars lost by less than seven points. — Associated Press
Carson Wentz and the Eagles Moving in Wrong Direction
At one point earlier in the season, Carson Wentz of the Philadelphia Eagles appeared to be on the fast track to being named the N.F.L.’s rookie of the year. He led his team to wins in his first three games and was showing a veteran-like ability to avoid interceptions.
That feels like a distant memory as Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys has surpassed Wentz in terms of hype, wins and statistics. In yet another brutal loss, Wentz, who was the No. 2 pick in this year’s draft, completed 36 of 60 passes for 308 yards, 1 touchdown and 3 interceptions against the lowly Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday, losing 32-14.
Wentz has thrown six interceptions in his last three starts and the Eagles have lost seven of the team’s last nine games.
Prescott, meanwhile, the 135th pick in the draft, has won 11 consecutive games after a loss in Week 1, and has just 2 interceptions to go with 19 touchdowns passes.