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  • Luck throws 4 TDs, Colts rout Jaguars Sep 21, 2014 3:53 PM
    This was the Indianapolis Colts everyone expected to see in 2014. Playing the Jacksonville Jaguars surely helped them look so good. Andrew Luck threw four touchdown passes — three of them in a lopsided first half — and the Colts dominated Jacksonville 44-17 on Sunday for their first win of the season. It was a home opener to forget for the Jaguars (0-3), who trailed 30-0 at the break and benched quarterback Chad Henne. The only positive for Jacksonville was getting rookie Blake Bortles on the field. The third overall pick in May’s NFL draft played the entire second half, finishing with two touchdown passes and two interceptions. He completed 14 of 24 passes for 223 yards, including fourth-quarter scores to Allen Hurns and Cecil Shorts III. Bortles found Hurns near midfield, and the rookie escaped two tackles en route to his third touchdown in three games. Bortles threw a strike to Shorts with 18 seconds remaining. Those were among the few highlights for the Jaguars. Indianapolis (1-2) made plays from start to finish, including Greg Toler returning an interception 47 yards for a touchdown with 2:58 to play. Luck did most of the damage, though. He completed 31 of 39 passes for 370 yards. The Colts, who had chances to win their first two games, scored on six first-half possessions against Jacksonville. Luck became the latest to pick apart Jacksonville’s defense, joining Philadelphia’s Nick Foles and Washington’s Kirk Cousins. Luck completed 22 of 27 passes for 244 yards in the first half, connecting with nine different receivers. He found Ahmad Bradshaw for a 6-yard touchdown that made it 10-0, hooked up with Dwayne Allen for a 1-yard score on the next drive and capped the impressive opening 30 minutes with a 7-yarder to Coby Fleener. The score could have been more one-sided, too. Indy had three drives bog down in Jacksonville territory. All of them ended with field goals by Adam Vinatieri. Jacksonville allowed 330 yards in the opening half and contributed to its woes with missed tackles and blown assignments. Henne and the offense going three-and-punt on their first three drives certainly didn’t help the defense, either. The result: Jacksonville was outscored 105-10 in the eight quarters since leading Philadelphia 17-0 at halftime in the season opener. Henne started getting booed with every throw, and Bradley made the switch in the locker room. Henne completed 4 of 7 passes for 33 yards and was sacked three times. Bortles was considerably better and even kept most of the crowd from leaving the home opener, which featured the debut of $63 million in stadium upgrades that include a party deck, two pools and cabanas. The Jaguars said from the day they drafted Bortles that they wanted to bring him along slowly and even suggested he might sit all season. But calls for him to replace Henne grew with every week and every loss. It remains to be seen whether Bradley will stick with Bortles the rest of the season. The Colts called this game a must-win, knowing they didn’t want to start 0-3 in the AFC South. Since the NFL expanded its playoff format in 1990, only three teams — San Diego in 1992, Detroit in 1995 and Buffalo in 1998 — started 0-3 and made the postseason.

  • Cowboys come back to beat Rams 34-31 Sep 21, 2014 3:53 PM
    ST. LOUIS — Tony Romo matched the biggest comeback in Dallas Cowboys history. Terrance Williams scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and Bruce Carter returned an interception 25 yards for a TD on the next snap, capping the Cowboys’ comeback from a 21-0 deficit to stun the St. Louis Rams 34-31 on Sunday. DeMarco Murray’s 1-yard run late in the first half began the rally for Dallas (2-1). Dez Bryant caught a 68-yard scoring pass in the third quarter, and Carter’s first career interception and touchdown came not long after he was evaluated for concussion-like symptoms on the bench. Dallas also rallied from a 21-point deficit in overtime in 1984 against New Orleans and 1999 against Washington. It tied the second-largest lead blown by the Rams, who slowed Murray but got burned everywhere else. St. Louis is 0-2 at home and was whipped 34-6 by Minnesota in the opener. Murray had 100 yards on 24 carries and lost a fumble for the fourth straight game dating to last season, even after switching from carrying the ball on his left side to the right. He set a franchise record with 253 yards against St. Louis in 2011 and had 175 yards last season. Janoris Jenkins’ 25-yard interception return, the fifth defensive touchdown in his three seasons, put the Rams (1-2) up 21-0 with 6:06 to go in the first half. Austin Davis got his second straight start in place of Shaun Hill (quadriceps). He cut the Cowboys’ lead to three points on a 4-yard pass to Austin Pettis with 2:36 to go, but Morris Claiborne’s interception clinched it with 1:02 left. Romo was 4 for 5 for 40 yards and scrambled 16 yards on third-and-13 on the go-ahead drive. His second-half play overshadowed a third costly INT of the year. Penalties and a turnover late in the first half helped the Cowboys close the gap. Murray’s 1-yard run came a play after rookie Lamarcus Joyner’s interference call in the end zone. Henry Melton recovered a fumble on Scott Wells’ flubbed shotgun snap, and a roughing-the-passer call on Eugene Sims got Dallas closer for Dan Bailey’s 29-yard field goal. Bailey set a franchise record with his 28th in a row on a 40-yarder in the third quarter. Chris Boniol hit 27 straight in 1996. The biggest deficit overcome by a Rams opponent is 23 points by the Packers in 1982, and Denver had a 21-point rally in 1982.

  • Dalton’s TD catch leads Bengals over Titans Sep 21, 2014 3:53 PM
    Andy Dalton caught a touchdown pass — the first Bengals quarterback to pull off that feat. The defense nearly pitched a shutout. And Cincinnati got plenty of help from a sloppy Tennessee team that had just received sad news. Dalton turned his first career reception into a touchdown on Sunday, and the Bengals stayed undefeated with a 33-7 victory over the Titans. The Bengals (3-0) head into their bye week with their best start in eight years and a chance to get some of their many injured players healthy. They got a lot of big plays, a few breaks and plenty of help from a team dealing with the death of a long-time player. A few hours before kickoff, the Titans (1-2) learned that kicker Rob Bironas had died overnight in a one-car crash in Nashville. He’d been released in March after his ninth season with Tennessee. Everything went wrong for the Titans, who committed a safety for holding in the end zone on a punt, missed two field goal attempts, snapped the ball before Jake Locker was ready in shotgun formation, and whiffed on the game’s defining play. On the final play of the first quarter, Dalton flipped the ball to receiver Mohamed Sanu, who ran to his right while the quarterback sneaked toward the other side of the field. Sanu stopped and threw a cross-field pass that hung in the air. Cornerback Blidi Wreh-Wilson had a chance to pick it off or level the quarterback, who was reaching to catch the ball. Wreh-Wilson did neither, lightly bumping Dalton as he ran by him. The quarterback made the catch and ran 18 yards, diving inside the pylon at the goal line to score. He was the first NFL quarterback to score on a catch since Kansas City’s Tyler Thigpen in 2008. Dalton’s threw his first interception — Cincinnati’s first turnover of the season — with 44 seconds left before halftime. But Locker forced a throw into coverage in the end zone for an off-setting interception that left the Bengals with a 19-0 halftime lead. The Bengals didn’t have to do much in the second half other than let their defense finish it off. Dalton was 15 of 23 for 169 yards and wasn’t sacked for the third straight game. Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green, who missed most of the last game with an injured big right toe, started and had six catches for 102 yards. He also drew a pair of pass interference penalties from Wreh-Wilson. Giovani Bernard had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs. His dive with 1:58 left in the third quarter completed a 14-play, 80-yard drive that lasted 7 minutes, 18 seconds and finished off Tennessee. The Titans repeatedly undercut drives with penalties. Locker was 17 of 34 for 185 yards with two interceptions, two sacks and a passer rating of 41.9. Ryan Succop missed field goal attempts of 40 and 44 yards in the first half, helping Cincinnati take control. The Titans ended the shutout on Shonn Greene’s 1-yard touchdown run with 6:09 to go.

  • Giants beat Texans 30-17 Sep 21, 2014 3:53 PM
    Rashad Jennings ran for a career-high 176 yards and a touchdown and Eli Manning threw two TD passes as the New York Giants overcame some early mistakes and beat the suddenly error-prone Houston Texans 30-17 on Sunday. The victory not only put some life back into the Giants (1-2) after two disappointing efforts, it also ended any chance of a second straight 0-6 start for Tom Coughlin’s team. The Giants got a lot of contributions. Victor Cruz caught a 26-yard touchdown pass, his first since Game 4 of last season, and danced the salsa. The defense intercepted three of Ryan Fitzpatrick’s passes, and the special teams blocked a punt. Fitzpatrick threw a 44-yard scoring pass to Damaris Johnson and ran for another score for the Texans (2-1), who played without halfback Arian Foster (hamstring).

  • Rivers leads Chargers to 22-10 win over BillsNYFF105 Sep 21, 2014 3:52 PM
    Philip Rivers found a new go-to target in leading the San Diego Chargers to their latest victory. A week after throwing three touchdown passes to tight end Antonio Gates to knock off the Seattle Seahawks, Rivers hit Eddie Royal for two scores in a 22-10 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. Royal scored on 3- and 5-yard receptions and finished with four catches 42 yards. Malcom Floyd had two catches for 98 yards in a game the Chargers never trailed. Rivers finished 18 of 25 for 256 yards and extended his touchdown streak to 23 games to match the team record he set over the 2009-10 seasons. San Diego beat Buffalo despite a depleted offensive backfield. Already missing starting running back Ryan Mathews (right knee), the Chargers lost backup Danny Woodhead to a right ankle injury. Woodhead did not return after being carted off following a 1-yard run 3-1/2 minutes in. Donald Brown stepped in and finished with a combined 89 yards offense (62 rushing and 27 receiving), while undrafted rookie Branden Oliver had 11 yards rushing in his NFL debut. It was a homecoming for Oliver, who set several career records at the University at Buffalo. The Chargers are off to a 2-1 start for the third time in four years. And they built on the momentum generated following a 30-21 home win over the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks. Fred Jackson scored on an 11-yard catch and run for Buffalo (2-1), which blew an opportunity to get off to a 3-0 start for only the third time since 1993. Quarterback EJ Manuel went 23 of 39 for 238 yards, but had difficulty finding chemistry with his receivers. Rookie first-round pick Sammy Watkins had two catches for 19 yards, a week after having eight catches for 117 yards and a score in a 29-10 win over Miami. Manuel also gave up a safety after being penalized for intentional grounding in the end zone with 3:23 remaining. The Chargers defense had three sacks and limited the Bills to 11 first downs and 171 yards offense through three quarters. San Diego took control on consecutive possessions spanning halftime. Nick Novak capped a seven-play, 61-yard drive with a 37-yard field goal to put the Chargers up 13-3 with 21 seconds left in the second quarter. Rivers then opened the third quarter by marching the Chargers on a 14-play, 80-yard drive, which he capped with a 5-yard pass to Royal. Rivers completed 4 of 6 attempts for 56 yards on the drive, with both incompletions coming on balls he threw away while escaping pressure. The Bills were unable to muster a threat after Jackson cut the Chargers’ lead to 20-10 late in the third quarter. Buffalo’s next drive ended with Corey Liuget sacking Manuel for a 17-yard loss. Then the Bills gave up the ball on downs, when rookie receiver Sammy Watkins was late looking for the ball that sailed past him on fourth-and-3 at the Chargers 43. And the sold-out house began heading for the exits with 5:31 left when defensive end Kendall Reyes sacked Manuel for a 10-yard loss to force a punt on fourth-and-20 at Buffalo’s 10. The game was played on a blustery afternoon, with winds off Lake Erie gusting up to 35 mph. Rivers, however, didn’t seem to have any trouble cutting through the wind no matter which direction the Chargers were going. With the wind at his back, Rivers hit Floyd up the right sideline for a 49-yard gain on the second play from scrimmage. That set up the Chargers’ first touchdown, when Rivers hit Royal for a 3-yard score. Rivers then opened San Diego’s final possession of the half by throwing into the wind and hitting an open Floyd deep over the middle for another 49-yard gain that set up Nick Novak’s 37-yard field goal. Andre Reed was honored during a ceremony at halftime, when he was presented his Hall of Fame ring by Pro Football Hall of Fame President David Baker. Reed was one of seven to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in August.

  • Patriots’ sluggish offense beats Raiders 16-9 Sep 21, 2014 3:52 PM
    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots needed a last-minute defensive play to bail out a sluggish offense and hold on for a 16-9 victory over the winless Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass, Stephen Gostkowski kicked three field goals and 325-pound tackle Vince Wilfork intercepted a pass near his goal line to end Oakland’s final chance. That gave the Patriots the ball with 51 seconds left after Logan Ryan jarred it loose from intended receiver Denarius Moore. On the previous play, Darren McFadden’s 6-yard potential tying run into the end zone was nullified by a holding penalty against guard Gabe Jackson. That put the ball at the 16. Ryan redeemed himself for a pass interference penalty on the play before McFadden’s run. The Patriots won their 12th home opener in 13 seasons, while the Raiders (0-3) lost their 15th straight game in the Eastern time zone. They were held to three field goals by Sebastian Janikowski. Brady became the third quarterback with 150 regular-season wins behind Brett Favre (186) and Peyton Manning, who came into Sunday with 169. He is 57-5 in his last 62 home games, including the playoffs. The Patriots scored 10 points in the last 4:14 of the second quarter to take a 10-3 lead. Brady capped a 15-play, 84-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski, who shook off linebacker Kaluka Maiava and caught the ball as he went over the middle. The Patriots (2-1) had a chance for another touchdown when they reached the 2-yard line with 8 seconds left in the half. But Dan Connolly’s snap was low and Brady picked it up and quickly threw an incompletion, stopping the clock with 3 seconds remaining. Gostkowski then kicked a 21-yard field goal. Derek Carr completed 21 of 34 passes for 174 yards for Oakland. But with running back Maurice Jones-Drew sidelined for the second straight week with a right hand injury, the rookie remained winless as a pro. McFadden started in Jones-Drew’s spot and rushed for 59 yards on 18 carries. The Raiders planned to leave after the game for London, where they face the Miami Dolphins next Sunday.

  • Eagles go 3-0 with win over Washington Sep 21, 2014 3:57 PM
    Rookie Jordan Matthews, the receiver who replaced DeSean Jackson in Philadelphia, caught two touchdown passes, and the Eagles beat Jackson and Washington 37-34 on Sunday in a nasty game marred by a fourth-quarter brawl. Jackson had his own big play, an 81-yard TD that tied it at 27. But it was not enough to offset Matthews and Jeremy Maclin, whose 27-yard scoring reception gave Philadelphia (3-0) the lead. Rookie Cody Parkey’s third field goal, a 51-yarder with 5:55 remaining, put the game out of reach. Philadelphia’s Chris Polk had a 102-yard kickoff return. Kirk Cousins threw for three touchdowns for Washington (1-2). The game was slowed by several injuries and disrupted by a sideline brawl with about 10 minutes remaining. Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was blindsided by Chris Baker during an apparent interception return by Bashaud Breeland. Baker and Philly left tackle Jason Peters were ejected.

  • Field goal lifts Ravens over Browns Sep 21, 2014 3:57 PM
    On the field, there are few questions about the Baltimore Ravens. With Ray Rice’s distressing situation still hanging over them, the Ravens pulled off a comeback win as Justin Tucker kicked a 32-yard field as time expired to give Baltimore a 23-21 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday. Tucker’s boot capped another challenging week for the Ravens (2-1), who continue to be dogged by their handling of Rice’s domestic violence suspension. Joe Flacco set up Tucker’s game-winner with a 32-yard pass to Steve Smith with 1:28 left. The Ravens then ran the clock down before bringing in Tucker, who split the uprights and sent the Browns (1-2) to another tough loss. Both of Cleveland’s losses have come on last-play field goals. Flacco finished 19 of 31 for 217 yards with one touchdown. Cleveland’s Brian Hoyer completed 19 of 25 passes for 290 yards. The Browns failed to capitalize on several chances to put the Ravens away in the second half. Cleveland missed a field goal and had one blocked. Along with the blown opportunities, the Browns had a fake play in which backup quarterback Johnny Manziel fooled Baltimore’s defense negated by a penalty. Ravens rookie Lorenzo Taliaferro rushed for 91 yards. He filled in for Bernard Pierce — Rice’s replacement— who sat out with a thigh injury. Smith had five catches for 101 yards. As issues about their handling of Rice’s suspension loom, the Ravens have been all business on the field. They dismissed issues about Rice to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers at home on Sept. 11 and came back in the final minutes to beat the Browns, ending a four-game road losing streak in the AFC North. Not everything went Baltimore’s way. Valuable tight end Dennis Pitta was taken to a hospital after he appeared to sustain a serious hip injury in the first half. Pitta, who played in just four games last season with an injured right hip, went down without being hit after catching a short pass. Rookie running backs Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell had rushing TDs for the Browns, who took a 21-17 lead into the fourth quarter and had the Ravens on their heels. Tucker kicked a 21-yard field goal with five minutes to go to pull the Ravens within 21-20. Baltimore had the ball inside Cleveland’s 5, but Flacco missed Torrey Smith in the back of the end zone on second down and then misfired on third, forcing coach John Harbaugh to kick the field goal. Earlier, Harbaugh gambled on fourth down at Cleveland’s 20 and Browns linebacker Jabaal Sheard wrapped up rookie Taliaferro on an inside handoff. Hoyer completed a 70-yard pass to a wide-open Taylor Gabriel, who fell while making the catch. He got up but couldn’t outrun the Ravens. Cleveland had to settle for a field-goal attempt, but Ravens cornerback Asa Jackson got his hand on Billy Cundiff’s 36-yarder, keeping the Ravens within four. On the previous series, the Browns failed to capitalize on an interception of Flacco when Cundiff’s 50-yard field goal hit the left upright. Taliaferro’s first career TD gave the Ravens a 17-14 lead in the third. The fourth-round draft pick from Coastal Carolina plowed through the right side for the score as the Ravens responded to Cleveland’s 80-yard drive to open the second half with one of their own. Crowell’s 14-yard TD run gave the Browns a 14-10 lead in the third. Running left, Crowell got a nice block from fullback Ray Agnew and went in untouched as Cleveland opened the second half with another sustained drive. The Ravens turned to their running game to take a 10-7 lead midway through in the second quarter. Taliaferro, who began the season as Baltimroe’s fourth-string running back, opened the drive with a 31-yard run up the middle. Taliaferro added 31 more yards on six carries as the Ravens drove to the 9. On first down, Flacco then found Kyle Juszczyk for the score.

  • Rozner: For Konerko, farewell just about perfect Sep 21, 2014 8:20 AM
    Paul Konerko will probably be remembered most for his World Series grand slam, but he could just as easily be remembered as the consummate pro, a class act who cared about representing his uniform and his game at all times, a brilliant hitter who sought perfection at the plate, knowing it was at best fleeting and at worst impossible.

  • Lions stuff Packers 19-7 Sep 21, 2014 3:53 PM
    Don Carey returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown, and Detroit’s defensive front smothered Green Bay on Sunday, leading the Lions to a 19-7 victory over Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. The Lions (2-1) came into the game with a secondary decimated by injuries, but that didn’t much matter with Rodgers under constant pressure. He was sacked twice and threw for only 162 yards, and Green Bay (1-2) wasn’t any better running the ball. Reggie Bush added a 26-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter for Detroit, which had never beaten Green Bay with Rodgers healthy for the whole game. The Packers managed only 223 yards of offense and lost despite forcing three turnovers. Detroit linebacker Stephen Tulloch left with a knee injury that appeared to occur as he was celebrating a sack.

  • Saints topple Vikings 20-9 Sep 21, 2014 3:53 PM
    Drew Brees passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns, and the New Orleans Saints won for the first time this season, 20-9 over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. For the Vikings, the loss capped a week of distractions as the club first announced that star running back Adrian Peterson would play, then later changed course and said Peterson would leave the team indefinitely to deal with child abuse allegations. Minnesota then lost starting quarterback Matt Cassel with a toe injury early in the second quarter. He was replaced by rookie Teddy Bridgewater, who completed 12 of 20 for 150 yards while leading two scoring drives that both ended with field goals. Brees’ scoring passes went for 34 yards to tight end Josh Hill and 18 yards to receiver Marques Colston.

  • Spiegel: Here’s hoping Oakland goes on deep postseason run Sep 21, 2014 8:00 AM
    With both Chicago baseball teams on the sidelines for October baseball, which team deserves your attention for the playoffs? Matt Spiegel has his favorite, and he explains why in his weekly baseball column.

  • Smith leads Chiefs past Dolphins 34-15 Sep 21, 2014 7:07 PM
    The first victory of the season provided some relief for the injury-ravaged Kansas City Chiefs. Alex Smith shook off five sacks to throw three touchdown passes and help the Chiefs beat the Miami Dolphins 34-15 on Sunday. Smith led touchdown drives of 62, 76 and 66 yards in a span of four possessions as Kansas City took leads of 14-0 and 21-10. The defense protected the early lead, allowing only four third down conversions and sacking Ryan Tannehill four times. The Chiefs improved to 1-2 and won for only the third time in their past 11 games, including postseason. The Dolphins fell to 1-2, another wobbly start for a team that hasn’t won a postseason game since 2000. Smith, who ranked 35th and last in the NFL in passing after two weeks, went 19 for 25 for 186 yards, with three of his incompletions dropped. He threw scoring passes of 11 and 4 yards to Joe McKnight, and 20 yards to Travis Kelce. The Chiefs were without seven starters, including running back Jamaal Charles, who was inactive because of a high ankle sprain. Knile Davis, subbing for Charles, rushed for a career-high 132 yards on 32 carries, and he scored on a 21-yard run. Kansas City totaled 23 first downs despite shaky pass protection. One sack of Smith resulted in a safety, and another by Jared Odrick forced a fumble that set up Miami’s only touchdown. Miami’s Lamar Miller gained 108 yards rushing, but Tannehill struggled for the third game in a row, this time against a pass defense ranked as the worst in the NFL. He went 21 for 43 for 205 yards. Many fans streamed for the exits in the final minutes, while others lingered to boo the offense. Even when the Dolphins put up points, they could look inept. One scoring drive covered zero yards in four plays, sandwiched between rookie Jarvis Landry’s 74-yard kickoff return and Caleb Sturgis’ 51-yard field goal. Coach Joe Philbin gave his many second-guessers fresh fodder. When the Dolphins ran on third-and-10 at the Chiefs 45, they gained 4 yards and had to punt. On fourth-and-2 at the Chiefs 30, they attempted a 47-yard field goal and missed it in a 0-0 game. And trailing by six points in the fourth quarter at midfield, Tannehill was sacked trying to throw on third-and-1, forcing a punt. The teams appeared evenly matched at the outset. The Dolphins were penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct when an official ran into a coach along the sideline. Two plays later, Kansas City lost 15 yards on a botched exchange on a double reverse. The Chiefs’ early highlights were a pair of 64-yard punts by Dustin Colquitt. But the offense got rolling midway through the second quarter, mounting a 62-yard drive capped by Davis’ 21-yard touchdown run. The Chiefs drove 76 yards for another touchdown on their next series to lead 14-0. They wrapped up the victory with a 44-yard touchdown drive following a 47-yard punt return by Frankie Hammond Jr. Smith hit McKnight for the score to make it 27-15 with 4:35 left.

  • Stanton leads Cardinals past Niners Sep 21, 2014 7:07 PM
    GLENDALE, Ariz. — Even without their starting quarterback, the Arizona Cardinals are on top of the toughest division in football. Backup Drew Stanton threw a pair of third-quarter touchdown passes to rookie John Brown and Arizona rallied to beat San Francisco 23-14 on Sunday, snapping a four-game losing streak to the 49ers. Tommy Kelly blocked a field goal for the Cardinals (3-0), who outscored San Francisco 17-0 in the second half. The 49ers (1-2) mounted 80-yard touchdown drives the first two times they had the ball, then didn’t score again, blowing a halftime lead for the second week in a row. Stanton, starting for injured Carson Palmer for the second straight week, completed 18 of 33 for 244 yards and two scores. Michael Floyd caught five for 114 yards. The 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick completed 29 of 37 for 245 yards and a touchdown and ran for another 54. A week ago, San Francisco led 17-7 and lost at home to Chicago 28-20. The 49ers were up 14-6 at the break this time before Stanton connected with Brown on touchdown passes of 24 and 21 yards. Stanton quarterbacked the Cardinals to a 25-14 road win over the New York Giants a week ago, his first regular-season game since 2010. He was even sharper against San Francisco. Arizona showed no sign of being distracted after backup running back Jonathan Dwyer was arrested on a domestic abuse charge earlier in the week. Dwyer has been placed on a non-football injury list and is gone for the season. San Francisco was penalized nine times for 107 yards. The 49ers were without tight end Vernon Davis (ankle injury) and his backup Vance McDonald (knee), as well as starting right tackle Anthony Davis (hamstring) and cornerback Tramaine Brock (toe). Palmer remained sidelined with a nerve problem in his throwing shoulder. A late-hit penalty on Dan Skuta, followed on the next play by a roughing-the-passer call against Patrick Willis, aided Arizona’s go-ahead touchdown drive in the third quarter. On third-and-eight from the Cardinals 17, Stanton lofted a 45-yarder to Floyd for the drive’s big play. Stanton found Brown alone again from 21 yards out for the score. Down 20-14, San Francisco drove to the Arizona 5 but an unnecessary roughness penalty against Anquan Boldin for head-butting the Cardinals’ Tony Jefferson pushed the 49ers back. Then the 6-foot-6, 310-pound Kelly knocked down Dawson’s field goal try and the Cardinals’ Ed Stinson pounced on it near midfield. Arizona looked to be driving for another score before Michael Wilhoite knocked the ball out of Larry Fitzgerald’s hands and Perrish Cox recovered for San Francisco at the Arizona 3 with 6:54 remaining. But the 49ers couldn’t move it and Chandler Catanzaro’s third field goal of the afternoon, from 35 yards, sealed it in the waning seconds. Kaepernick completed his first nine passes, seven on the initial scoring drive. His two-yard TD pass to Michael Crabtree put the 49ers up 7-3. The Cardinals, aided by San Francisco penalties, used 8:08 to drive to the 49ers Francisco 13, but stalled there and Catanzaro’s 32-yarder cut it to 7-6. The 49ers kept their next marathon drive going with a six-yard pass to Stevie Johnson on fourth-and-one from the Arizona 35. Carlos Hyde’s six-yard sweep made it 14-6 with 5:07 to play until halftime. The Cardinals finally forced San Francisco to punt, with 28 seconds left in the half.

  • Rozner: NHL’s next commish could be here in Chicago Sep 21, 2014 8:53 PM
    When Gary Bettman decides he’s done forcing work stoppages in the NHL and retires, the NHL should think outside the box and hire a guy who resides right here in Chicago.

  • Seahawks hold off Broncos in OT Sep 21, 2014 7:37 PM
    Marshawn Lynch scored on a 6-yard TD run on the first possession of overtime and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Denver Broncos 26-20 on Sunday in a Super Bowl rematch that lived up to expectations. Seattle (2-1) blew a 17-3 fourth-quarter lead, watching Denver tie the game at 20 on Peyton Manning’s 26-yard touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme with 18 seconds left in regulation and his 2-point conversion pass to Demaryius Thomas. But Manning never saw the ball in overtime thanks to Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. After nearly getting sacked for a safety and throwing an interception in the fourth quarter, Wilson was brilliant in overtime. Wilson rushed for 21 yards and was 4 of 6 passing in overtime. Lynch went the final 6 yards. Manning led the rally for Denver (2-1) helped by a number of Seahawks mistakes.

  • Successful teams need players like Cubs’ Coghlan Sep 21, 2014 7:31 PM
    As the Cubs continue to bring young players up through their minor-league system to the big leagues, it will be important to surround them with veteran leaders, writes Daily Herald Cubs writer Bruce Miles. Left fielder Chris Coghlan doesn't consider himself a veteran, but he may end up being one of those leaders.

  • Upper body injury sidelines Hawks’ Teravainen Sep 21, 2014 6:07 PM
    A day after dazzling fans with a couple high-skill goals, Teuvo Teravainen missed the Blackhawks’ final day of scrimmages Sunday at the University of Notre Dame’s Compton Family Ice Arena. The Hawks’ top prospect sat out with an upper-body injury and is listed day-to-day.

  • Elgin’s Sainz Jr. earns PGA Tour card Sep 21, 2014 6:05 PM
    The Chicago area has a new member on the PGA Tour. Elgin’s Carlos Sainz Jr. earned playing privileges for the 2014-15 season after finishing in a tie for 31st place in the Tour Championship on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass in Florida.

  • Dodgers hold off Cubs, take three of four Sep 21, 2014 5:13 PM
    Once again Sunday, the Cubs made a comeback attempt against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Wrigley Field. Unlike Saturday, when the Cubs rallied for a stirring victory, they fell short Sunday 8-5 and wound up dropping three of four in this series.

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