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Rodgers rallies Packers past 49ers 30-28

Rodgers rallies Packers past 49ers 30-28

Aaron Rodgers completed two deep passes to Davante Adams on a last-minute drive, setting up Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal on the final play of the game that gave the Green Bay Packers a 30-28 victory over the San Francisco 49ersBy JOSH DUBOW AP Pro Football WriterSeptember 27, 2021, 4:54 AM• 5 min readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleSANTA CLARA, Calif. — With only seconds to play and no timeouts, Aaron Rodgers had no doubt where he’d look to drive the Green Bay Packers to a game-winning kick.Rodgers completed two deep passes to Davante Adams on a last-minute drive, setting up Mason Crosby’s 51-yard field goal on the final play of the game that gave the Packers a 30-28 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday night.“My first thoughts in devising how I wanted to get us into field-goal range was how could I get 17 the ball,” Rodgers said.Rodgers did it twice on passes of 25 and 17 yards to Adams after the Packers took over at their 25 with 37 seconds left and no timeouts following Jimmy Garoppolo’s 12-yard TD pass to Kyle Juszczyk.Adams came back after taking a hard hit from Jimmie Ward that looked like it could knock him out of the game and finished with 12 catches for 132 yards.“How can you not be romantic about football?” Rodgers said.All that was left was for Crosby to make the kick and the Packers (2-1) to celebrate a win that came after they blew a 17-point lead.“Celebrating with the guys in the end zone, seeing that energy and feeling that juice, is what it’s all about,” Crosby said. “And then carrying on into the locker room and guys pouring water all over my head and everybody, that’s what this game is all about. It was really special.”The comeback spoiled the first game for the 49ers (2-1) with fans since beating Green Bay in the 2019 NFC title game. San Francisco had rallied from 17 points down to take the lead before getting crushed by Rodgers.Rodgers threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Packers to back-to-back wins after a season-opening 38-3 loss to New Orleans. Rodgers had six TD passes and no interceptions in wins over San Francisco (2-1) and Detroit.“I feel good about our team,” Rodgers said. “Week One was an anomaly. I said that and I believe that. We bounced back Week Two. Played a great team tonight right down to the wire. This plane ride is going to feel incredible.”The Niners returned home following back-to-back road wins back East but struggled to slow down Rodgers.“There were some great individual efforts of guys just making unbelievable plays that got us in and gave us a chance to win that game,” coach Kyle Shanahan said. “But some mistakes that we made throughout the game, you don’t win a lot of football doing that. That’s what we’ve got to clean up.”Rodgers connected on a 1-yard TD pass to Adams and a 12-yarder in the fourth quarter to Marquez Valdes-Scantling to help stake the Packers to the lead.They made it 27-21 when Garoppolo inexplicably threw the ball to the ground behind him while trying to avoid a sack by Kenny Clark that set up a field goal by Crosby.Garoppolo responded with the TD drive but it wasn’t enough.“There’s always too much time on the clock if there’s ever time on the clock, especially with Aaron Rodgers,” tight end George Kittle said. “I think we have a really good defense. I don’t really have any worries when our defense is out on the field. But it’s Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams over there. They did what they had to do to win.”FAST STARTThe Packers got off to a fast start with scores on their first two drives. Rodgers connected on a 42-yard pass to Allen Lazard on the first drive to set up a field goal by Mason Crosby. Rodgers then hit Valdes-Scantling on a 47-yarder to set up the short TD pass to Adams. Rodgers was 9 for 9 for 127 yards in the quarter.DOUBLE DIPThe Niners avoided being shut out in the first half when they scored on the final play. After Garoppolo got away with an apparent intentional grounding that would have ended the half, Lance came in for his first snap since the opener. He ran behind a big block from Trent Williams for a 1-yard score that cut Green Bay’s lead to 17-7.Packers coach Matt LaFleur was angry about the lack of the intentional grounding call and gave referee Jerome Boger an earful on his way off the field.San Francisco then scored on the opening possession of the second half when Garoppolo hit Brandon Aiyuk on an 8-yard TD pass as the Niners scored 14 points without Rodgers touching the ball.INJURY REPORTPackers: Adams was down for a few minutes after taking a hard hit from Jimmie Ward that didn’t lead to a penalty. His teammates kneeled near him as he was being treated but he was able to return after missing only one play. … LB Krys Barnes left the game in the first half with a concussion. … DL Tyler Lancaster was evaluated for a concussion in the second half.49ers: CBs K’Waun Williams (calf) and Josh Norman (chest) left the game in the first half.UP NEXTPackers: Host Steelers on Sunday.49ers: Host Seattle on Sunday.———More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Yankees sweep, beat Red Sox 6-3 to take AL wild-card lead

Yankees sweep, beat Red Sox 6-3 to take AL wild-card lead

BOSTON — Yankees manager Aaron Boone watched two of his Gold Glove fielders drop easy popups to hand the Red Sox the lead.Then Boston fumbled a pair of foul balls with Aaron Judge at the plate, twice giving the slugger new life before his two-run double propelled New York to a 6-3 victory on Sunday night and a series sweep that flipped the lead in the AL wild-card race.“It’s a little bit stunning, right? You can’t make that stuff up,” Boone said. “It’s not something you’re going to see very often, two popups get dropped by really good defenders. It’s part of the ride right now.”After Judge turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead, Giancarlo Stanton hit a two-run homer over the Green Monster and out of the ballpark to seal the Yankees’ sixth straight win. Stanton, who won Saturday’s game with an eighth-inning grand slam, homered in all three games and drove in 10 runs during the series.Mickey Mantle is the only other Yankee with 10 RBIs in a three-game series versus the Red Sox; Joe DiMaggio is the only other one to homer in each game of a three-game series against them.“It’s a big time right now, so I’ve just got to make sure I’m the most prepared,” Stanton said. “You can’t be scared of those moments, or they’ll sneak up on you real quick.”The Yankees, who arrived in Boston trailing the Red Sox by two games, leave it with a one-game lead in the race to host the Oct. 5 AL wild-card game. Boston remains in playoff position, one game ahead of Toronto for the second wild-card spot.“It’s not what we wanted coming into the series,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We didn’t get the job done. It’s that simple.”After Boston took a 3-2 lead in the seventh on a pair of dropped popups, New York put runners on second and third with one out before Judge hit a foul ball that rookie first baseman Bobby Dalbec short-armed as he approached the Red Sox dugout.The Red Sox had a second chance to retire Judge when he tipped a 1-2 pitch, but catcher Christian Vázquez couldn’t control it. (Vázquez said he lost the ball on the transition into his other hand.)“I felt like a cat,” Judge said. “I felt like I’ve got nine lives out there.”He then lined the ball to left-center to make it 4-3.“You can’t give that man too many extra chances,” Stanton said. “It was just a tremendous at-bat for him to keep pushing, keep fouling pitches off and waiting to get one he could drive into the gap.”Boone said Judge dislocated his pinky sliding head-first into second base. They were able to pop it back into place and finished the game, the manager said.“Not too concerned with it,” Judge said. “I don’t need it to hit, so I think we’ll be in good shape.”Chad Green (10-7) earned the win despite blowing a 2-1 lead in the seventh when DJ LeMahieu and Joey Gallo dropped easy popups, allowing the go-ahead run to score. In all, Green allowed two hits in 1 2/3 innings, striking out two.Aroldis Chapman pitched the ninth to earn his 30th save.Garrett Richards (7-8) pitched a perfect seventh but walked two and gave up Anthony Rizzo’s double in the eighth before Adam Ottavino relieved him and allowed Judge’s two-run double.New York led 2-1 when José Iglesias singled to lead off the seventh and took second on Alex Verdugo’s bunt single. Joely Rodríguez’s wild pitch moved the runners up, and Vázquez hit a sacrifice fly to tie it.Green struck out Kiké Hernández, but when pinch-hitter Kyle Schwarber popped up the first pitch he saw in front of the Yankees dugout, LeMahieu flubbed it. Another seemingly easy popup clanged off Gallo’s glove in left-center, allowing the run to score.NO SMOKE, NO FIREThe game was delayed four minutes with two outs in the top of the fourth inning when the fire alarm went off in Fenway Park. The umpires called time, but the teams remained on the field. The Red Sox said the alarm was caused by a faulty sprinkler head.When the game resumed, Saturday game-winner Stanton buzzed Eduardo Rodríguez’s head with a line drive that ricocheted off second base into center for a single.TRAINER’S ROOMRed Sox: Placed LHP Josh Taylor on the injured list (retroactive to Sept. 23) with a low back strain. RHP Eduard Bazardo was recalled from Triple-A Worcester to take his spot on the roster.UP NEXTYankees: After an off-day, begin a three-game series in Toronto with RHP Jameson Taillon (8-6, 4.41 ERA) facing the Blue Jays.Red Sox: Have Monday off before beginning their season-ending road trip with LHP Chris Sale (5-0, 2.57 ERA) facing the Orioles.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Hamlin holds off Elliott, takes first NASCAR win in Vegas

Hamlin holds off Elliott, takes first NASCAR win in Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Turns out 21 was Denny Hamlin’s lucky number in Vegas.After finally getting his first career victory at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on his 21st try, Hamlin is on an undeniable hot streak he just might ride all the way to his long-sought first NASCAR Cup Series championship.Hamlin finally broke through in Vegas on Sunday night, holding off Chase Elliott and kicking off the second round of the playoffs with his second win in September.Three weeks after Hamlin got his first victory of the season in the playoff opener at Darlington, he led 137 laps in Vegas in his Joe Gibbs Racing Toyota, including the final 39.After a season of frustrating results and a 17-year career filled with championship near-misses, Hamlin has emerged as a serious contender for the title once again. He is just 14 points behind Kyle Larson in the points standings, and he’ll have no pressure heading into the high-stakes upcoming races at Talladega and the Charlotte Roval with his ticket already punched for the third round by this Vegas victory.“It feels so good to win in Vegas,” Hamlin said. “Last couple of times I’ve been close, but just didn’t have the right brakes. Great to hold those guys off.”The 41-year-old veteran had struggled on this 1 1/2-mile track for most of his career, with just two top-five finishes in his first 18 starts. He has put together three consecutive top-four finishes since then in Vegas, capped by this victory under the lights and fireworks.“There was a point where I never thought I’d even sniff a victory here,” Hamlin said. “The team has found a setup that has worked with my driving style. The team goes to work to give me what I need to go fast.”Elliott closed in on Hamlin in the final five laps as Hamlin’s performance appeared to decline, cutting the gap to a half-second with two laps to go — but the defending Cup Series champion couldn’t close the remaining distance, finishing second in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet.“We were really close,” Elliott said. “Just not quite close enough. Denny did a good job controlling the gap to me. I feel like we’ve been performing at a really nice level the last four or five weeks. Just haven’t had the results to show for it.”Kyle Busch finished third on his hometown track, followed by Martin Truex Jr. and Ryan Blaney as the 12 remaining playoff drivers began the second round and the final seven races of the season. Hamlin, Busch and Truex put Joe Gibbs Racing in three of the top four spots.“I just can’t think of a better place to win,” said Chris Gabehart, Hamlin’s crew chief. “Certainly our team has been really capable all year long. Every metric other than the win column has been astounding for our team. It’s really been our best year together thus far. You stay up front as much as we have, the wins are going to finally come. They’re coming at the right time.”Larson finished 10th on the track where he won in March. Kevin Harvick, who scrapped with Elliott over tactics last week at Bristol, finished ninth.Larson won the first stage, but Hamlin took the second when Larson needed gas and pitted with eight laps to go. Larson got stuck in the midfield in the final stage while struggling with his tires.NO DRAMAHarvick wasn’t really in position for any payback on Elliott after the younger driver deliberately slowed Harvick at Bristol last week, ruining his chances of catching Larson. Harvick and Elliott had a vocal public disagreement after that race.Harvick was still sore about it in Vegas, calling it “probably the maddest I’ve ever been.”“It was like speaking to a 9-year-old,” Harvick said of his argument with Elliott. “It’s identical. It’s 100% the exact same scenario. They get hung up on one thing and you can’t speak to them about the broader picture about the whole thing works.”LONG TIME COMINGHamlin has made the playoffs 15 times, but he came closest to a championship in 2010. He won eight races that year and took a points lead into the season finale at Homestead, only to end up second behind Jimmie Johnson with a 14th-place race finish.BUSCH BOYSKyle Busch was strong in his 600th career Cup Series start, and older brother Kurt finished eighth in his 750th career start. The Las Vegas natives have been racing this track on the far north end of Las Vegas Boulevard since it reopened as a 1 1/2-mile oval in 1996.Only Richard Petty made 600 starts at a younger age than Kyle Busch in NASCAR history.BIG HITJoey Gase went to a hospital after a violent one-car crash 92 laps in. His left rear tire flew off the car, sending him high into the outside wall off Turn 2.OH BABYChase Briscoe finished 14th after a long day for a soon-to-be father. He got to Vegas on a commercial flight about three hours before the race after staying behind in Charlotte with his wife, who is due to give birth soon. Briscoe nearly didn’t make it to Nevada at all because of a flight cancellation, but American Airlines came through with a backup plane just in time.UP NEXT: The NASCAR Cup Series playoff race continues at Talladega next Sunday.———More AP auto racing: https://apnews.com/apf-AutoRacing and https://twitter.com/AP

Giolito's 6 scoreless innings leads White Sox past Indians

Giolito's 6 scoreless innings leads White Sox past Indians

CLEVELAND — Lucas Giolito pitched six scoreless innings, Eloy Jiménez had a two-run single and the AL Central champion Chicago White Sox defeated the Cleveland Indians 5-2 on Sunday.Chicago clinched its first Central title since 2008 by beating the Indians in a doubleheader opener Thursday but is 34-33 since the All-Star break.The White Sox lost two of three from the Indians after wrapping up the division, including a 6-0 defeat on Saturday. Manager Tony La Russa was happy to see his team respond.“We had the high of the clinch, and yesterday we were back on our heels,” La Russa said. “We can’t maintain our edge that way. Today you saw everybody out there, a lot of energy, good live actions, making plays, getting base hits. Once in a while you have a game you need to address and we addressed it really well.”Giolito (11-9) allowed five hits, struck out six and threw 100 pitches. Cleveland advanced only two runners to third base off Giolito, who escaped his biggest threat by retiring Owen Miller with men on first and second to end the sixth.“I’m pretty heavy on finishing strong and being prepared going into the playoffs,” said Giolito, who will get another start before the postseason. “Trying to put together a good start. I wanted to go at least six innings, so we accomplished those goals today.”Harold Ramirez homered off Craig Kimbrel in the eighth, but Liam Hendricks pitched the ninth for his 36th save in 42 chances.Jiménez’s two-run single gave Chicago a 3-0 lead in the third. Yasmani Grandal, who had three hits, and Leury García added RBI singles.García’s double and walks to José Abreu and Grandal loaded the bases in the third. Jiménez lined a single to left.Grandal’s single put Chicago ahead in the first. García’s single made it 4-0 in the sixth.Billy Hamilton was credited with a steal of home in the eighth. He led off with a single and took third on Tim Anderson’s single. Anderson broke for second with García batting and got in a rundown. The Indians threw to third when Hamilton inched down the line. Hamilton headed home and slid across the plate to beat third baseman Yu Chang’s throw to Roberto Pérez.Myles Straw had an RBI single in the seventh off Michael Kopech, but Garrett Crochet got José Ramírez to bounce into an inning-ending double play. Ramirez was ruled safe, which would have scored Óscar Mercado, but the call was overturned after a video review.“I haven’t seen a double play with Ramírez all year long against us,” La Russa said. “That was a great escape.”Triston McKenzie (5-8) allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings. Anthony Gose, making his third major league appearance as a pitcher, struck out two in the fifth.McKenzie, who had shoulder problems while pitching in the minors, has thrown 116 innings during his rookie season.“This is just kind of part of the growing pains and you learn from it,” interim manager DeMarlo Hale said. “It’s something that we do keep in the back of our mind because we know that this has been a workload that has been a little stronger and higher than previous years.”THE FINALECleveland will play its final home game Monday as the Indians, the team’s nickname since 1915. The team will be called the Cleveland Guardians next season.President of baseball operations Chris Antonetti doesn’t have a date when the Indians signage outside and inside the ballpark will be removed.“It is a huge undertaking,” he said. “The specific timeline, I’m actually not quite sure of.”NO RESTBoth teams had a scheduled day off for Monday, but rainouts last week changed those plans. The White Sox play in Detroit while the Indians host Kansas City. The makeup games are necessary because of postponements Sept. 22.SOX PITCHING UPDATESLeft-hander Carlos Rodón is tentatively scheduled to start against Cincinnati on Wednesday. He was removed after three innings against Detroit in his last start because he felt soreness in his arm.La Russa said right-hander Dylan Cease will start the final game of the regular season against Detroit. Cease sustained a large bruise on his right triceps after being hit by Bradley Zimmer’s comebacker Friday.TRAINER’S ROOMWhite Sox: OF Brian Goodwin (lower back spasms) was placed on the 10-day injured list, putting his status for the postseason roster in question.Indians: INF Nolan Jones, one of the organization’s top prospects, underwent surgery to stabilize a high ankle sprain. The expected recovery time is three to five months.UP NEXTWhite Sox: LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-9, 5,18) hasn’t won since Aug. 16. He’s 0-1 in three starts against the Tigers this season.Indians: RHP Cat Quantrill (7-3, 2.82) held the Royals to one run in 6 2/3 innings on Sept. 21.———More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

Carlson's field goal gives Raiders 31-28 OT win over Miami

Carlson's field goal gives Raiders 31-28 OT win over Miami

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Raiders are off to their best start since 2002.Coach Jon Gruden isn’t about to nitpick about how they’re winning.Reigning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Daniel Carlson’s 22-yard field goal as time expired in overtime lifted the Raiders to a 31-28 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. It marked the second time in the Raiders’ first three games — both at home — they overcame a two-touchdown deficit to win in overtime. They also did so against Baltimore in Week 1 on a Monday night.“I don’t apologize for winning these games, no matter how we won them,” Gruden said. “When you’re down 14-0 and score 25 unanswered in the NFL against a team like that, something’s going right.”Raiders quarterback Derek Carr found Bryan Edwards for 34 yards before Peyton Barber put together runs of 27 and 8 yards to put Las Vegas on the Miami 11-yard line. That eventually set up the winning score for Carlson, who missed an extra point in regulation and kicked two field goals in the extra frame.Las Vegas is the first team to open 3-0 against teams that all won 10 or more games the previous season.Carr, who completed 26 of 43 pass attempts for 386 yards and two touchdowns, used his talented receiving depth for the third straight game. The eight-year veteran completed passes to nine targets, led by Hunter Renfrow and Darren Waller, who each had five receptions. Renfrow also scored a touchdown.With star running back Josh Jacobs sidelined with an ankle injury, recently signed Barber led the rushing game with 111 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries.“I think he did more than just run it — we went to him as our third-down back … he caught a pass out of the backfield, he picked up some blitzes, he was helpful in protection, he didn’t blow any assignments, he ran hard,” Gruden said. “I don’t even hardly know this guy. But I gave him a big hug and a game ball.”And while the Raiders’ offense outgained Miami 497-330, it was their special teams and defense that ignited the comeback after Miami scored the game’s first 14 points.One play after Zay Jones raced downfield on a punt to down the ball on the 1-yard line, cornerback Casey Hayward Jr. caught Miami receiver Jaylen Waddle on a screen pass in the end zone for a safety.“That one little moment of Zay just giving an extra effort, an extra burst, to go pin that ball, I mean that allows us to get two points and get us back going,” Carr said. “He made a huge play for us on the special teams in that moment.”Carlson booted a 50-yard field goal to get the Raiders within nine. Then, after a defensive stop, Las Vegas drove 95 yards to cut Miami’s lead to 14-12. Fullback Alec Ingold was rewarded by having his number called after recovering Barber’s fumble on the goal line on the previous play.The Raiders scored on their next two possessions when Carr and Renfrow connected for a 12-yard strike and Barber dived over the pack for a 1-yard touchdown to open a 25-14 lead.The Dolphins weren’t done, though.After Miami’s Jason Sanders made it a one-score game with a 46-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter, Jacoby Brissett scrambled on fourth-and-goal for a 1-yard touchdown with :02 left in regulation. Brissett passed to William Fuller for the 2-point conversion, forcing overtime.The teams exchanged field goals in overtime before Carlson’s winner. The Dolphins elected to kick a field goal on fourth-and-2 from the Las Vegas 32. That tied the game with 2:49 remaining, but Miami never got the ball back.Brissett, playing in place of injured Tua Tagovailoa, finished 32 of 49 for 215 yards. Waddle led Miami with 12 receptions for 58 yards, while Mike Gesicki hauled in 10 passes for a team-high 86 yards.“There was definitely a little bit of a lull there in the second and third quarter,” Miami coach Brian Flores said. “We just couldn’t get much going offensively. (Brissett) got a lot more comfortable as the game went on, stepping up in the pocket and making some big throws in the end. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough. We’ve got to play better across the board.”THICK AS THIEVESWhen linebacker Elandon Roberts darted 85 yards for a pick-six touchdown, it extended an NFL-best streak of 25 games with a takeaway for the Dolphins.BIG-PLAY BRYANEdwards has six catches for 101 yards in regulation this season; he has four catches for 109 yards in overtime. The 109 yards receiving in overtime by Edwards are the most in a season for any player since at least 1991.UP NEXTDolphins: host Indianapolis next Sunday.Raiders: travel to Los Angeles to face the Chargers on Oct. 4.——More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

Rams' Stafford throws for 4 TDs, outduels Brady and Bucs

Rams' Stafford throws for 4 TDs, outduels Brady and Bucs

INGLEWOOD, Calif. — Sean McVay’s excitement over the big-play potential the Los Angeles Rams have with Matthew Stafford finally got the best of him Sunday.The Rams had a 14-7 lead against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers early in the third quarter when they faced third-and-10 at the LA 25. McVay dialed up the perfect play that would be the defining moment in the Rams’ 34-24 victory over the defending Super Bowl champions.McVay called for a pass to DeSean Jackson on a go route. Jackson easily ran by cornerback Carlton Davis III, caught it at the Buccaneers 30 and then zig-zagged his way for the final 10 yards and into the tunnel. He was eventually greeted by the exuberant Rams coach, who ran down the sideline to celebrate his team going up by two touchdowns.“I think my hamstrings are already sore. I probably pulled them both,” McVay said jokingly. “I was being in the moment and having fun, enjoying watching these guys do their thing and there was a lot of reasons to be excited for our team today.”Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said Jackson got wide open due to totally busted coverage and lack of communication in the secondary.Stafford, who said he wanted to come to Los Angeles to play in big games, passed for 343 yards and four touchdowns as he outdueled Tom Brady and the Buccaneers (2-1), who had their 10-game regular season and playoff winning streak snapped.“We’re up in his face one time, he finds a guy wide open down the field and gets it to him. Other guys, they see him but they can’t get it to ’em. He gets it to them, so he’s a special player,” Arians said of Stafford.The Rams are 3-0 for the third time in McVay’s five seasons. The Super Bowl, which they reached in the 2018 season, will be played in their palatial Hollywood Park home.Defensive tackle Aaron Donald was asked if he thought the Rams were one of the favorites to get to there: “for sure”.“Everybody’s always having fun together. And last time we had a team like that we went to the Super Bowl,” said Donald, who had three tackles and got his first career sack against Brady.Stafford was off-target on five of his first six attempts before getting in a groove as the Rams scored on their next six drives.“I think Sean does a great job of giving us a game plan that really keeps the defense on their toes,” said Stafford, who completed 27 of 38 passes. “I mean, we threw the ball underneath today, we threw screens, we threw it over the top, we ran the ball, we play- actioned, we did a little bit of everything. So when he’s got us going like that, you know, it’s fun to go out there and execute them.”Brady, who completed 41 of 55 passes for 432 yards and two touchdowns (one passing, one rushing), joined Drew Brees as the only quarterbacks to throw for more than 80,000 yards.Mike Evans finished with eight receptions for 106 yards for the Bucs (2-1).“We got off to a slow start, so anytime you do that you’re fighting behind all day, and I think we played a good team that didn’t turn the ball over,” Brady said.Stafford went 8 of 8 for 74 yards on a 14-play, 95-yard drive capped off with Tyler Higbee’s 6-yard TD reception on a quick pass to give the Rams a 7-0 lead early in the second quarter.Tampa Bay tied it on the ensuing drive when Chris Godwin took a jet sweep 2 yards around the right end, but the game wouldn’t stay even for long.The Rams took a 14-7 lead into halftime when Cooper Kupp caught a 2-yard TD with 54 seconds remaining. It was the first of two scores for Kupp, who had nine catches for 96 yards.After Jackson’s score, Brady got the Buccaneers within 21-14 on a 1-yard keeper, but the Rams put it out of reach with 10 straight points. Stafford threw his fourth TD, 10 yards to Kupp, and Matt Gay added a 48-yard field goal.After the teams traded field goals, Tampa Bay added a touchdown with 1:10 remaining when Giovani Bernard scored on a reception from 7 yards.DEEP THREATJackson, who finished with three catches for 120 yards, has nine career touchdown receptions of at least 75 yards, tying him with Hall of Famer Lance Alworth for the most in the NFL history according to Elias.STUCK IN NEUTRAL?Tampa Bay’s running game was virtually nonexistent again with 35 yards. Brady was the Bucs’ leading rusher with 14 yards.Sony Michel, acquired from New England during the preseason, made his first Los Angeles start and had 20 carries for 67 yards. Michel got the start with Darrell Henderson Jr. inactive because of a rib injury.INJURIESTampa Bay cornerback Jamel Dean had a knee injury during the first quarter and did not return. Tight end Rob Gronkowski took a shot to the ribs during the third quarter and was out for one series before returning.Los Angeles linebacker Justin Hollins suffered a pectoral injury during the fourth quarter and did not return.UP NEXTThe Buccaneers are at New England next Sunday night as Brady returns to Foxborough, Massachusetts for one of the most eagerly anticipated matchups of the season.The Rams host Arizona next Sunday in an NFC West matchup of unbeaten teams.———More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

Cousins, Vikings cruise 30-17, end skid vs. Seahawks

Cousins, Vikings cruise 30-17, end skid vs. Seahawks

MINNEAPOLIS — After two narrow losses to start the season, Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota Vikings found a foolproof way to avoid the type of harrowing finish that has haunted them more often than not.They put this game away ahead of time — against Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks, no less.“It’s a razor’s edge,” Cousins said. “You’re living it both ways.”Cousins threw three touchdown passes before halftime and guided three clock-draining field goal drives after that, as the Vikings cruised to a 30-17 victory on Sunday for their first win over the Seahawks in 12 years.“It’s the best offensive performance that I’ve seen in the eight years that I’ve been here,” coach Mike Zimmer said.Alexander Mattison stepped in for the injured Dalvin Cook and racked up 171 total yards, rushing 18 times for 76 yards in the second half. After losing 27-24 in overtime at Cincinnati and 34-33 at Arizona, the Vikings (1-2) hit their stride in the second quarter, took the lead with 16 seconds left in the half and never lost control with 23 straight points.They beat Seattle for the first time with Pete Carroll as coach and Russell Wilson as the quarterback, having lost on the road in each of the last three years to stretch their losing streak to seven. Last season, Mattison was stopped for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the 6-yard line with 1:57 left and the Vikings leading by five points. Wilson drove the Seahawks the other way for the winning touchdown.“We definitely owed ’em that one,” Mattison said, describing this game as having a “little vengeance feel to it.”Cousins delivered the type of steely performance to defeat a more-decorated peer the Vikings have been lacking in his four seasons. He went 30 for 38 for 323 yards in his third consecutive turnover-free game, and the Vikings converted nine of 14 third downs.“It’s been a different Kirk,” wide receiver Adam Thielen said. “He’s just locked in and on time. He’s trusting it. I think a big part of that is our o-line and the way they’re blocking and giving him enough time to sit back there and make his reads.”The touchdown passes to Tyler Conklin, Thielen and Justin Jefferson in the first half filled up the highlight reels. The methodical marches after halftime were just as impressive and important. Even better for the Vikings, Greg Joseph bounced back from his 37-yard miss on the game’s final play last week at Arizona and made all three of his field goals and all three extra points.Wilson went 23 for 32 for 298 yards and a touchdown pass to D.K. Metcalf on the first drive, and Chris Carson carried 12 times for 80 yards and a second-quarter score.Then a 44-yard kick by Jason Myers went wide left, ending his team-record streak of 37 straight field goals made, the fourth-longest in NFL history. The Seahawks never made it past the Minnesota 43-yard line after that. They had 81 total yards after halftime.The Seahawks (1-2) are in last place in the stacked NFC West, putting them in quite a bind if they’re going to make a resurgence to contention.“We’ve got to make sure that we get right and get better and improve and make some adjustments so that it doesn’t look the same as it did,” Carroll said.The Seahawks wasted a 14-point fourth quarter lead last week and lost in overtime to Tennessee.“We can’t keep letting ones like this and last game slip away when we have opportunities in front of us,” linebacker Carlos Dunlap said. “Opportunities don’t come twice, so we’ve got to take advantage of each and every one because they count. They matter.”LOUD NOISESSeattle’s first regular-season visit to U.S. Bank Stadium was met with the pent-up noise from a crowd that waited 21 months to see the home team and had more than three extra hours to tailgate before the late-afternoon start time. Fake snow was sprinkled from the rafters to fit the northland theme the Vikings have embraced since moving in five years ago.The last time the Seahawks played a non-preseason game in Minnesota was the wild-card round in record-setting subzero cold on Jan. 9, 2016, when Blair Walsh missed a 27-yard field goal for the Vikings near the end of Seattle’s 10-9 win. This time, sunlight from an 82-degree day streamed in through the open glass doors behind the west end zone.INJURY REPORTSeahawks: With DE Benson Mayowa (neck) already inactive, fellow starter and DE Kerry Hyder Jr. (concussion) departed in the second quarter. … LB Jordyn Brooks (leg cramps) was carted off in the fourth quarter. … Jamarco Jones replaced Brandon Shell (ankle) in the starting lineup at RT. Undrafted rookie Jake Curhan took some snaps there, too. Jones was ill in the third quarter.Vikings: LB Anthony Barr (knee) was inactive for the third straight game. He has not played in more than a year. … Ihmir Smith-Marsette hurt his toe in the second quarter and was replaced on kickoff returns by Ameer Abdullah.UP NEXTSeahawks: visit San Francisco next Sunday, their first game against an NFC West foe.Vikings: host Cleveland next Sunday, their second of three straight home games.———More AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports