Saturday, January 20, 2018

Sports

NFL roundup: Texans star Watt breaks leg

Former Wisconsin standout likely out for the year as Houston falls to unbeaten Kansas City

  • Chiefs-Texans-Football-6

    Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) is helped off the field after he was injured during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Oct. 8, 2017, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

    Eric Christian Smith

HOUSTON  — Houston Texans star J.J. Watt broke his left leg Sunday night against the Kansas City Chiefs.

The team announced that he sustained a tibial plateau fracture.

The defensive end was injured while being blocked midway through the first quarter and fell to the ground.

Watt remained on his hands and knees for a couple of minutes while trainers checked on him. They flipped him onto his back and were looking at his left leg. He was then helped to his feet and looked to be in a lot of pain and didn’t appear to be able to put any weight on the leg as he was helped off the field by two Texans officials.

The three-time Defensive Player of the Year returned this season after missing the last 13 games of last season after his second back surgery.

He remained on the sideline under a tent for a few minutes before being taken to the locker room on a cart.

About 30 minutes later, television footage showed Watt walking on crutches to an ambulance before sitting on a stretcher, being moved into the ambulance and taken away.

The Chiefs stayed unbeaten and won the game 42-34.

COLTS 26, 49ERS 23, OT: After blowing a 14-point lead in the final eight minutes or regulation and surviving an interception in scoring position in overtime, Marlon Mack’s 35-yard run set up Adam Vinatieri for a 51-yard field goal as the Indianapolis Colts beat the San Francisco 49ers.

Vinatieri made four field goals to move into second on the NFL’s career list, one ahead of Gary Anderson (538). Mack and Jacoby Brissett each scored on TD runs for the Colts (2-3), who have won both games against winless teams.

San Francisco (0-5) is one of three teams that still has not won this season. The Browns and Giants are the others.

In many ways, the mistake-prone game became a sideshow for what happened around it.

While many showed up to thank Manning, who played his final home game in Indy on Jan. 8, 2011, most didn’t anticipate becoming part of another political statement.

Vice President Mike Pence, the former Indiana governor, left shortly after about a dozen San Francisco players dropped to their knees for the national anthem. The Colts locked arms, but none took a knee.

CHARGERS 27, GIANTS 22: Philip Rivers threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Melvin Gordon with 2:58 to play and the Chargers rallied to beat the Giants in a game worthy of two teams that started the season 0-4.

The touchdown pass was Rivers’ third of the game and came three plays after Kyle Emanuel had a sack, forced fumble and recovery against Eli Manning at the Giants 11-yard line. It also came four plays after Odell Beckham Jr. hurt an ankle and become the fourth Giants receiver knocked out of the game.

Rivers also hit Gordon on a 6-yard TD pass in the second quarter and had a 25-yarder to tight end Hunter Henry in the third as the Chargers ended a nine-game losing streak dating to late November.

Manning had given the Giants a 22-17 lead early in the fourth quarter with a 48-yard TD pass to a wide-open Beckham. New York missed the 2-point conversion attempt after being hit with a delay of game penalty.

Manning, who was sacked five times, also threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to backup Roger Lewis Jr. in the third quarter. Orleans Darkwa scored on a 23-yard run and the Giants got a safety in scoring their first first-quarter points this season.

JAGUARS 30, STEELERS 9: Telvin Smith and Barry Church returned a pair of Ben Roethlisberger’s interceptions for touchdowns and Jacksonville stunned Pittsburgh.

Jacksonville (3-2) beat the Steelers for the first time in a decade by relying heavily on the NFL’s top-ranked pass defense. The Jaguars picked off Roethlisberger five times in all and sacked him twice. Rookie Leonard Fournette ran for 181 yards and two touchdowns for the Jaguars, who are over .500 after five games for the first time since 2010 and have already matched their victory total from 2016.

Roethlisberger completed 33 of 55 for 312 yards and his career-high five interceptions, the most by a Pittsburgh quarterback since Mark Malone threw five against Cleveland in 1987.

A week after a sideline outburst generated headlines and drew Roethlisberger’s ire, wide receiver Antonio Brown caught 10 passes for 157 yards for Pittsburgh (3-2).

The Steelers led 9-7 when Roethlisberger looked left for Brown. Jacksonville defensive lineman Abry Jones tipped it into the hands of Smith, who chugged 28 yards to put Jacksonville in front with 6:38 left in the period.

The Jaguars defense struck again on Pittsburgh’s next series. Roethlisberger tried to hit Brown down the sideline. Jalen Ramsey deflected it and Church came down with it. A 51-yard sprint later and Jacksonville had turned a two-point deficit into an 11-point lead without taking an offensive snap.

EAGLES 34, CARDINALS 7: Carson Wentz threw a career-best four touchdown passes and the Eagles continued their impressive start.

Wentz tossed three scoring passes in the first quarter, including 59 yards to Torrey Smith, 11 yards to Zach Ertz and 15 yards to Trey Burton. He connected with Nelson Agholor for a 72-yard TD in the third quarter that left six-time Pro Bowl cornerback Patrick Peterson shouting on the sideline.

The Eagles (4-1) have won three straight games.

Carson Palmer and Arizona’s one-dimensional offense were held to 279 yards. The Cardinals (2-3) have alternated losses and wins since Week 1.

Wentz torched a secondary that features Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu, finishing 21 of 30 for 304 yards. Peterson held Alshon Jeffery to three catches for 31 yards, but Wentz spread the ball around.

DOLPHINS 16, TITANS 10:  Jay Cutler finally silenced the boobirds with a fourth-quarter touchdown pass, and the Dolphins overcame another dismal offensive showing.

The jeers started in the first quarter of the Dolphins’ home debut, and soon the crowd was chanting for backup quarterback Matt Moore. But coach Adam Gase stuck with Cutler, who capped a 58-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry for the tiebreaking score.

The Titans (2-3) played without quarterback Marcus Mariota, who was inactive because of a left hamstring injury suffered a week ago. Replacement Matt Cassel went 21 for 32 for 141 yards and was sacked six times.

Miami (2-2) came in ranked last in the NFL in points and yards per game, and struggled against a Titans team that allowed 57 points against Houston a week ago.

PANTHERS 27, LIONS 24: Cam Newton showed he was very focused on football, throwing three touchdowns to help the Panthers build a lead big enough to hold off the Lions.

The Panthers (4-1) scored 24 straight points after trailing 10-3 early in the second quarter. Detroit rallied, but could not stop Newton on his last drive to get the ball back.

Newton came under fire for making sexist comments to a female reporter this week. He apologized after losing an endorsement deal and getting criticized by the NFL.

He was 26 of 33 for a season-high 335 yards. On perhaps the game’s key play, he converted a third-and-19 from the Carolina 24 with a sharp, 17-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin with 2:00 left while clinging to a three-point lead against a team out of timeouts.

Newton threw a 6-yard TD pass to rookie Christian McCaffrey to pull the Panthers into a 10-10 tie early in the second quarter and a 10-yard pass to Devin Funchess for a tiebreaking score with 48 seconds left in the first half. With a perfectly lofted 31-yard pass to Benjamin, the 2015 NFL MVP put Carolina up 24-10 early in the third.

BENGALS 20, BILLS 16: A.J. Green had a hand in three turnovers that kept it close, but the receiver also pulled off a 77-yard touchdown and another long catch that set up a score.

After losing their first three games, the Bengals (2-3) have salvaged their season by getting the ball to their playmakers at decisive moments. Green’s 47-yard catch set up a 5-yard touchdown run by Joe Mixon that put Cincinnati ahead to stay in the fourth quarter.

The Bills (3-2) got off to an encouraging start by relying heavily on kicker Stephen Hauschka and a defense that led the league, allowing only 13.5 points per game in the first four. The combination wasn’t enough this time. Buffalo’s depleted offense couldn’t take advantage of Cincinnati’s three turnovers.

Tyrod Taylor’s off-target pass was picked off near midfield with 2:14 left, clinching it for Cincinnati. Taylor finished 20 of 37 for 166 yards and was sacked six times.

Green caught seven passes for 189 yards.

JETS 17, BROWNS 14: Josh McCown came back to Cleveland and beat the team that cut him, throwing two touchdown passes and leading the surprising Jets over the winless Browns, who benched rookie quarterback DeShone Kizer and fell to 1-20 under coach Hue Jackson.

McCown went 1-10 in two seasons as a starter for the Browns, who released him on Feb. 7 in a cost-cutting move. The 38-year-old wasn’t seeking revenge, but he got it with two second-half scoring tosses.

McCown threw a 2-yard TD pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins in the third quarter and a 24-yarder to Jermaine Kearse in the fourth to give the Jets (3-2) a 17-7 lead en route to their third straight victory.

Kearse’s TD capped a 97-yard drive after Jackson decided not to try a potential tying field goal — rookie kicker Zane Gonzalez missed two attempts in the first half — and went for it on fourth down. However, running back Isaiah Crowell was stopped short by New York’s defense.

Jackson also decided to replace Kizer in the second half for backup Kevin Hogan, perhaps a sign the coach is worried about losing his job. Hogan threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end David Njoku.

The Browns (0-5) dropped to 2-30 in their past 32 games, but they did finally get to see No. 1 overall draft pick Myles Garrett. Garrett, who missed Cleveland’s first four games with a high ankle sprain, got a sack on his first play and finished with two.

RAVENS 30, RAIDERS 17: Joe Flacco hit Mike Wallace on two deep passes to spark Baltimore’s struggling offense, and the Ravens got a fumble return for a touchdown by Jimmy Smith to beat short-handed Oakland.

Flacco had struggled to get the ball downfield in losing the past two weeks. He changed that on the opening drive of the game for the Ravens (3-2) when he connected on a 52-yard pass to Wallace that set up an early touchdown and established the tone for the day.

The Raiders (2-3), playing without injured star quarterback Derek Carr and two key cornerbacks, played from behind all game as Smith returned Jared Cook’s fumble 47 yards for a touchdown that made it 14-0 just 3:50 in.

Backup quarterback E.J. Manuel , making his fourth start in the past three seasons, threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree and led another TD drive that ended in Marshawn Lynch’s 3-yard run . He finished 13 for 26 for 159 yards.

But that wasn’t nearly enough for the Raiders, who have dropped three straight following a 2-0 start, putting a severe dent in their hopes to challenge in the AFC West.

SEAHAWKS 16, RAMS 10: Russell Wilson passed for 198 yards and a touchdown, and Earl Thomas forced two of the Rams’ five turnovers in Seattle’s win.

Jimmy Graham scored late in the first half in a defense-dominated win for the Seahawks (3-2), who shut out the NFL’s highest-scoring offense in the second half of their second straight win over their NFC West rivals.

Thomas made enormous defensive plays early and late for Seattle. The veteran safety stripped the ball from Todd Gurley at the goal line to kill the Rams’ opening drive, and he intercepted Jared Goff’s fluttering pass at midfield with 6:02 to play.

Sheldon Richardson also came through with two big plays, diving to intercept a deflected pass in the third quarter before scooping up Goff’s fumble near midfield with 2:45 left.

Goff moved the Rams 55 yards in the final 1:09, but Seattle’s defense made its final stop. Rams rookie Cooper Kupp barely missed a diving TD grab on third down, and Goff’s fourth-down pass to Kupp was too low.

Tavon Austin rushed for a 27-yard TD for Los Angeles (3-2), and Goff went 22 of 47 for 288 yards with three costly turnovers.


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