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PRINT EDITION
Rams hold off Chargers in first L.A. crosstown showdown
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THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Monday, September 24, 2018 – Page B15

RAMS 35, CHARGERS 23 LOS ANGELES Jared Goff passed for 354 yards and three touchdowns, and Todd Gurley rushed for 105 yards and another score, leading the Rams to a 35-23 victory over the Chargers on Sunday in the franchises' first meeting since the teams relocated to Los Angeles.

Cory Littleton blocked a punt in the end zone and Blake Countess recovered it for an early touchdown for the Rams (3-0), who racked up 521 yards and remained one of the NFL's four unbeaten teams.

Two seasons after the Rams kicked off professional football's return to the country's secondlargest market after 21 years away, two NFL teams based in Los Angeles met on the field for the first time since Nov. 13, 1994. The teams put on an uncommonly entertaining show for a Coliseum crowd of 68,947 containing a surprisingly significant turnout of Chargers fans, but the Rams' offensive brilliance kept them ahead all day.

Robert Woods caught two TD passes and Cooper Kupp made a 53-yard scoring catch from Goff, who went 29 for 36 in one of his most impressive pro performances.

Philip Rivers passed for 226 yards and hit Mike Williams with two touchdown passes for the Chargers (1-2), whose two losses have come against the powerhouse Chiefs and Rams without injured pass-rusher Joey Bosa.

Melvin Gordon rushed for 80 yards and a score.

Despite their prolific offensive performance, the Rams never got comfortable in front of a lively L.A. crowd.

BILLS 27, VIKINGS 6 MINNEAPOLIS Josh Allen played with the poise of a well-seasoned quarterback for the Buffalo Bills by accounting for three touchdowns in his first road start in the NFL. Allen made Minnesota's Kirk Cousins look like the raw rookie in a stunning 27-6 upset of the Vikings on Sunday. Cousins had three turnovers, including a lost fumble on a third-down sack inside Minnesota's 20-yard line, on each of the first two possessions. Buffalo turned those recoveries into 10 points and was on cruise control by midway through the second quarter as the crowd at U.S. Bank Stadium cranked up the boos. The Vikings (1-1-1) were 16 1/2-point favourites when the game began, allowing the Bills (1-2) to become only the sixth such underdog in the NFL's past 81 point spreads that big. After being outscored 75-9 over their first six quarters of the season, the Bills have enjoyed a 41-9 advantage over the past six periods.

BEARS 16, CARDINALS 14 GLENDALE, ARIZ. Cody Parkey kicked his third field goal of the game, a 43-yarder with 4:31 remaining, to rally the Chicago Bears over the winless Arizona Cardinals. Sam Bradford threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to put the Cardinals up 14-0, but was replaced by rookie Josh Rosen after fumbling.

EAGLES 20, COLTS 16 Carson Wentz PHILADELPHIA threw a touchdown pass on his first drive in nine months, then Wendell Smallwood ran in from the 4 for the go-ahead score.

Adam Vinatieri tied Morten Andersen's career record of 565 field goals by connecting on all three tries, but the Colts (1-2) couldn't take advantage of two turnovers by Wentz inside the 20 in the second half. The Super Bowl defending champion Eagles (2-1) needed two defensive stops against Andrew Luck in the final 90 seconds.

Indy had a first down at the Eagles 11 and two cracks from the 4, but Luck's pass to T.Y. Hilton sailed over his shoulder in the left corner of the end zone on third down and Derek Barnett sacked Luck on fourth down. The Colts got the ball again at their 11 with 39 seconds remaining but couldn't reach midfield. Jacoby Brissett threw a desperation pass on the final play that fell incomplete.

CHIEFS 38, 49ERS 27 KANSAS CITY After winning his first three starts, all away from Arrowhead Stadium, second-year pro Patrick Mahomes finally made his regular-season home debut and torched San Francisco's banged-up pass defence for 314 yards and three touchdowns.

Mahomes now has 13 touchdown passes without an interception, breaking the NFL record for TD passes in the first three weeks of a season. Peyton Manning threw 12 to start the 2013 campaign. Mahomes's touchdown passes to Chris Conley, Demetrius Harris and Sammy Watkins, along with a pair of TD runs by Kareem Hunt, helped Kansas City (3-0) race to a 35-7 lead late in the first half.

DOLPHINS 28, RAIDERS 20 MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. Receiver Albert Wilson threw a 52-yard touchdown pass to put the Dolphins ahead midway through the fourth quarter, and then turned a short reception into a 74-yard score that sealed it. Miami coach Adam Gase used creative play calling to overcome a wave of injuries and penalties, and a 17minute deficit in time of possession.

The Dolphins scored on a pair of shovel passes by Ryan Tannehill that each travelled less than a yard - one on the flip to Wilson, and an earlier similar pass that Jakeem Grant caught before turning the corner for an 18-yard score. Thanks to all the flashy plays, the Dolphins are 3-0 for only the third time since 1998.

The Raiders, led by first-year coach Jon Gruden, are 0-3 for the first time since 2014, when they started 0-10.

PANTHERS 31, BENGALS 21 CHARLOTTE, N.C. Cam Newton threw for two touchdowns and ran for two others, while Christian McCaffrey racked up a careerhigh 184 yards rushing. Newton completed 15 of 24 passes for 150 yards and ran for 36 yards as the Panthers (2-1) won their seventh straight home game going back to last season. McCaffrey, who tied a franchise record with 14 receptions last week against Atlanta, did his damage on the ground this time with 28 carries. He surpassed his previous career high of 66 yards rushing and became the first Carolina player with a 100yard receiving game and a 100yard rushing game in back-toback weeks.

RAVENS 27, BRONCOS 14 BALTIMORE Joe Flacco picked apart Denver's depleted defence for 277 yards and a touchdown.

Connecting with eight receivers, Flacco went 25 for 40 without an interception on a rainy afternoon.

He threw 28 passes in the first half, when Baltimore (2-1) took control. The Ravens turned to their defence in the fourth quarter, twice stopping drives inside their 15. Flacco's success came against a Denver backfield that began the day without injured cornerback Adam Jones (thigh) and lost cornerback Tramaine Brock (groin) in the first quarter.

As a result, rookie Isaac Yiadom saw significant playing time at right cornerback. Javorious Allen caught a 12-yard touchdown pass and ran for a score for the Ravens.

TITANS 9, JAGUARS 6 JACKSONVILLE Marcus Mariota came off the bench and directed three scoring drives, including one in the fourth quarter. Mariota replaced Blaine Gabbert in the first quarter after Gabbert was knocked out of the game with a concussion. Mariota sat out last week's victory against Houston because of an elbow injury sustained in the season opener. He had been experiencing arm weakness along with numbness and tingling in two fingers. The injury affects the velocity and spin he gets on the football. Mariota wore a glove on his injured right hand and was able to do just enough to beat the Jaguars (2-1) for the third straight time and fifth time in the past six meetings.

WASHINGTON 31, PACKERS 17 LANDOVER, MD. Adrian Peterson ran for 120 yards and a pair of twoyard scores, Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes - all in the first half - and Washington held on over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers, who again had complaints about a roughing-the-passer penalty on Clay Matthews. On a rainy afternoon, Washington (2-1) moved out to leads of 14-0 and, at halftime, 28-10, by putting together TD drives of 74, 75, 79 and 98 yards. Smith connected for TDs of 46 yards to Paul Richardson on the game's fourth play and of 9 to Jamison Crowder in the second quarter. Peterson, who ran 19 times, raised his career total to 102 rushing touchdowns, breaking a tie at 100 with Marshall Faulk and Shaun Alexander and moving him alone into seventh place in NFL history behind Emmitt Smith's record of 164. This was Peterson's 52nd game with at least 100 yards on the ground, and first since Nov. 5, 2017, for Arizona against San Francisco.

GIANTS 27, TEXANS 22 HOUSTON Eli Manning threw for 297 yards and two touchdowns and rookie Saquon Barkley added a score. The Giants (1-2) were up by 14 at halftime, but had trouble moving the ball in the second half and the Texans (0-3) had cut the lead to five before Manning threw a seven-yard touchdown pass to Sterling Shepard with about two minutes left. Deshaun Watson threw a four-yard touchdown pass to Lamar Miller with one second left to cut the lead to 27-22, but New York recovered the onside kick.

SEAHAWKS 24, COWBOYS 13 SEATTLE Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns in the first half, Chris Carson added a five-yard TD run in early in the fourth quarter, and the Seattle Seahawks avoided a 0-3 start with a win over the Dallas Cowboys. Wilson hit Jaron Brown on an 18-yard touchdown early in the second quarter, and later hit Tyler Lockett streaking up the sideline on a 52-yard scoring pass as Seattle (1-2) built a 17-3 halftime lead and cruised past the Cowboys.

396 Yards thrown by New Orleans QB Drew Brees on 39-of-49 passing in the Saints 43-37 win over the Falcons

184 Rushing yards by Carolina RB Christian McCaffrey on 28 carries in the Panthers' 31-21 win over the Bengals

173 Receiving yards by Oakland WR Jordy Nelson on six receptions in the Raiders' 28-20 loss to the Dolphins

Associated Graphic

Chargers wide receiver Mike Williams scores in front of Rams defensive back Lamarcus Joyner on Sunday in Los Angeles.

JAE C. HONG/AP


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