NFL in Brief: Cowboys falter to Bengals
ARLINGTON, Texas — Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys had another efficient preseason showing.
Andy Dalton bogged down a bit with his Cincinnati Bengals.
Prescott led a pair of scoring drives in three possessions, capped by a scrambling 6-yard scoring pass to Terrance Williams, before the Bengals rallied after halftime for a 21-13 exhibition victory Saturday night.
The Bengals had just two first downs in three Dalton-led possessions a week after he threw for two touchdowns with an offense that was revamped after finishing last in the NFL. One of the first downs was on Dalton’s 13-yard scramble after the Bengals (2-0) started with a pair of three-and-outs.
A week after throwing a 30-yard touchdown to rookie Michael Gallup on his only drive of the preseason opener in San Francisco, Prescott was 10 of 15 for 86 yards. The TD drive for a 10-0 lead was kept alive by an 8-yard slant to Gallup, who reached out for a nice catch inside the Cincinnati 10.
TEXANS 16, 49ERS 13
HOUSTON — Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown pass and Houston earned a preseason win over San Francisco.
Watson led the Texans down the field, going 5 of 8 for 73 yards, capped off by a 1-yard touchdown pass to Bruce Ellington.
It was a much lengthier outing than the preseason opener in Kansas City when Watson attempted just one pass in his return to game action after missing the second half of his rookie season with a torn ACL.
Watson’s efficiency matched a nice opening drive from San Francisco’s Jimmy Garoppolo, who threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Trent Taylor.
Garoppolo’s night ended after his second drive when a deep pass to Dante Pettis bounced off Pettis’ hands and was intercepted by Johnson Bademosi. Garoppolo was 10 of 12 for 136 yards.
BUCCANEERS 30, TITANS 14
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jameis Winston gave the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a potent reminder of what they will miss when the quarterback sits out his three-game suspension to start the regular season.
Winston threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns after coming off the bench in the second quarter, and the Buccaneers beat Tennessee in the teams’ second exhibition game.
Ryan Fitzpatrick started for a second straight week as the Buccaneers (2-0) prepare the veteran to run the offense while Winston sits out for violating the league’s personal conduct policy after the NFL investigated an allegation Winston groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in March 2016. Fitzpatrick helped the Bucs hold the ball for 9 minutes of the first quarter, but they settled for a field goal as the quarterback was 5 of 13 for 46 yards passing.
Winston completed eight of his first nine passes and left with a 151.4 passer rating. He threw for big chunks, hitting Mike Evans for 38 yards and then DeSean Jackson on a 54-yarder. Winston found Chris Godwin in a pack of Titans in the end zone for an 8-yard TD and connected with Justin Watson for a 21-yard TD that gave the Bucs a 20-7 halftime lead.
RAMS 19, RAIDERS 15
LOS ANGELES — Rookie John Kelly rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown, and the Rams welcomed the Raiders back to the Coliseum with a preseason victory over Oakland.
Chris Warren rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders in their return to the venerable stadium that was their home for 13 seasons during their largely successful tenure in Los Angeles. Their still-passionate Southern California fan base turned out in force, filling the 95-year-old arena with black jerseys and loud cheers.
JAGUARS 14, VIKINGS 10
MINNEAPOLIS — Yannick Ngakoue had an 11-yard sack that helped Jacksonville’s defense hold Kirk Cousins and Minnesota’s starting offense to three completions and three points, and the Jaguars reserves rallied for a victory over the Vikings.
Cousins was crisp in his only series last week , but the Vikings went three-and-out on two of their four possessions with their new quarterback. Latavius Murray’s second fumble, stripped by Malik Jackson, was recovered by Calais Campbell to end another drive. Cousins finished just 3 for 8 for 12 yards.
Minnesota’s defense was closer to midseason form, though, with an interception by Harrison Smith of Blake Bortles and another sure pick by Mackensie Alexander that was bobbled and dropped.
Bortles played the entire first half and went 12 for 20 for 159 yards, producing a touchdown run by Leonard Fournette on one of his seven series, the last of three possessions the Vikings starters were still in the game.
BEARS 24, BRONCOS 23
DENVER — Case Keenum moved the chains for the first time for the Broncos in a 24-23 exhibition loss to the Chicago Bears on Saturday night, and Chad Kelly threw another touchdown after leapfrogging Paxton Lynch on the depth chart.
Lynch’s second straight poor performance opened the door for the Bears to come back from a 23-10 fourth-quarter deficit.
Bears backup QB Chase Daniel threw two TD passes in the final five minutes, including a 12-yarder to tight end Ben Braunecker with 1:53 left to tie it. Pat O’Donnell’s extra point gave Chicago (1-2) its first lead.
Lynch had the Broncos (0-2) close to field goal range when Isaiah McKenzie, who had a half dozen fumbles as a rookie last year, coughed up the ball after a catch, and linebacker Isaiah Irving recovered for Chicago with 58 seconds left.
After a pair of three-and-outs in his dud of a Denver debut last week, Keenum rebounded from another three-and-out to lead two scoring drives on his final two possessions, finishing 8 for 13 for 78 yards with no touchdowns and no interceptions.
Kelly had his second straight strong showing, this one just 48 hours after general manager John Elway indicated he might have to go in search of a veteran backup quarterback if he can’t trust either Kelly or Lynch to come in and win games should Keenum get hurt.
Bears QB Mitch Trubisky also rebounded from his dismal preseason debut last week, throwing for 90 yards and a touchdown on 9-of-14 passing. But he also threw an interception and was tackled by first-round pick Bradley Chubb for a safety after the shotgun snap from the 1 went off his hands.
CHARGERS 24, SEAHAWKS 14
CARSON, Calif. — Philip Rivers and the Los Angeles Chargers looked almost ready for the regular season from their first series.
Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks probably feel like they’ve got more work to do.
Melvin Gordon rushed for a short touchdown to cap a strong 70-yard opening drive by the Chargers’ first-team offense, and Rivers went 6 of 7 for 62 yards in Los Angeles’ 24-14 preseason victory over the Seahawks on Saturday night.
JJ Jones returned a punt 72 yards for a touchdown late in the first half, and Mike Williams caught a 25-yard touchdown pass from Geno Smith in the second half of a solid performance by the Chargers (1-1) in the preseason home opener of their second season at compact StubHub Center.
While Rivers played only two series, Wilson was 13 of 21 for 193 yards while playing the entire first half for the Seahawks (0-2). His offense was limited to two field goals by execution mistakes in the red zone, and Wilson was repeatedly flushed from the pocket by Melvin Ingram while the Chargers’ destructive pass rusher had an outstanding first half.
David Moore made the Seahawks’ biggest play of the first half, hauling in a 52-yard catch between two Chargers downfield. Seattle could have kept it closer, but Chris Carson had a touchdown run waved off by a penalty and later fumbled at the goal line in the first half.