NFL: Gritty Chiefs rally in Washington, Cardinals stay unbeaten

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Oct 18 2021 10:20 AM

Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams (31) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Football Team during the third quarter at FedExField. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams (31) celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the Washington Football Team during the third quarter at FedExField. Geoff Burke, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.


LOS ANGELES -- The Kansas City Chiefs "dug down deep" for a 31-13 come-from-behind NFL victory over the Washington Football Team that moved them back to .500 for the NFL season on Sunday.

A week after the Chiefs fell to the Buffalo Bills in a rematch of last season's American Conference title game, quarterback Patrick Mahomes completed 32-of-47 passes for a season-high 397 yards and put together three second-half touchdown drives.

Mahomes threw for two touchdowns -- atoning for two first-half interceptions -- and Darrell Williams ran for 62 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs scored 21 unanswered points in the second half.

"Guys just dug down deep," Mahomes said. "We've been battling adversity all season long. The first half was like that, but guys dug down deep in that second half.

"We just stopped pressing. We stopped trying so hard. We have to do like we did in that second half, play tight and play gritty."

The Chiefs defense also showed up, holding an opponent to fewer than 29 points for the first time this season. They forced one fumble and intercepted Taylor Heinicke to clinch the victory and leave Washington at 2-4 for the season.

The Arizona Cardinals improved their perfect record to 6-0 with a 37-14 victory over the Browns in Cleveland.

Despite the absence of head coach Kliff Kingsbury, quarterbacks coach Cam Turner, defensive line coach Zach Allen, and top edge rusher Chandler Jones because of positive Covid-19 tests, the Cardinals didn't miss a beat.

Quarterback Kyler Murray connected on 20 of 30 passing attempts for 229 yards and four touchdowns and the Cardinals defense came up with three takeaways.

Arizona scored on all five of their possessions in the first half to build a 23-7 lead.

The Browns trimmed the deficit on Baker Mayfield's "Hail Mary" completion as time expired in the opening half.

But Cleveland wouldn't score after the break, Mayfield finishing the day with two lost fumbles and an interception.

He also aggravated a left shoulder injury when he was sacked by defensive lineman J.J. Watt in the second half.

Possibly worse for Cleveland, running back Kareem Hunt exited with a calf injury in the second half.

The Las Vegas Raiders shook off the departure of head coach Jon Gruden to dominate the Broncos 34-24 in Denver.

Gruden resigned on Monday over emails exchanged with former Washington Football Team president Bruce Allen between 2011 and 2017 in which he Gruden used homophobic slurs and a racist trope to describe players union chief DeMaurice Smith.

Gruden was critical of the NFL's employment of women officials, player demonstrations during the national anthem and the league's efforts to curtail concussions in the emails, the affair casting an ugly shadow over week six.

But the Raiders responded with possibly their best game of the season under interim coach Rich Bisaccia.

Quarterback Derek Carr threw for 341 yards and two touchdowns.

A change of scene proved refreshing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, who snapped a 20-game losing streak when Matthew Wright kicked a 53-yard field goal as time expired to give them a 23-20 victory over Miami in London.

- 'Just crazy' -

Wright became the first kicker in NFL history with multiple field goals beyond 50 yards in the last four minutes of regulation time in a game.

He had also connected from 54 yards to lift the Jaguars level with 3:40 to play before his game-winner left both clubs 1-5.

Wright, recently of the practice squad, was playing just his third game for the Jaguars, getting the starting nod over Josh Lambo.

"He was telling me he was, like, a software engineer like a month and a half ago," Jags quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. "Just crazy, you can't even make it up."

Elsewhere, Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson threw for 167 yards and a touchdown while Devonta Freeman, Le'Veon Bell and Latavius Murray each ran for a touchdown to power the Ravens to a 34-6 rout over the visiting Los Angeles Chargers.

Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott connected with CeeDee Lamb on a touchdown pass to give the Cowboys a 35-29 overtime victory over the New England Patriots.

The Minnesota Vikings also won in overtime, edging Carolina 34-28.

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