The Latest on Week 7 in the NFL (all times EDT):
Cordarelle Patterson has done it again at Soldier Field. The Chicago Bears wide receiver returned a kickoff 102 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter against New Orleans. The score marked the sixth kickoff return for a touchdown for Patterson and his first while a member of the Bears.
The score wasn’t the first time Patterson has gone coast-to-coast at Soldier Field. He did it last year while playing for the New England Patriots.
Chris Williams was the last Chicago player to return a kickoff for a score, doing it against Green Bay in 2014. Devin Hester had Chicago’s last kickoff return for a touchdown at Solider Field, accomplishing the feat in 2011.
Philip Rivers has moved on past Eli Manning and Ben Roethlisberger, a pair of his fellow 2004 draft picks, on the NFL’s all-time yards passing list.
The longtime Los Angeles Chargers quarterback came into Sunday’s game with Tennessee with 56,441 career yards passing and needed only 105 yards to pass Manning (56,537) and Roethlisberger (56,545) for sixth all-time. Rivers was 7 of 13 for 77 yards by the end of the first quarter, and he was 14 of 20 for 158 yards and a touchdown with 3:38 left in the second quarter.
He gave the Chargers a 10-3 lead with a 1-yard TD pass to Melvin Gordon.
The three members of the Class of 2004 have been jockeying for position for years. Rivers, however, could be ready to pull ahead for good. Manning has lost his starting job in New York to rookie Daniel Jones and Roethlisberger is out for the season after undergoing right-elbow surgery.
– Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee
The Los Angeles Chargers already are thin on the offensive line with left tackle Russell Okung still on the non-football injury list and center Mike Pouncey out for the season.
Now left guard Forrest Lamp has been hurt, and he’s been carted from the sideline to the locker room.
Lamp was hurt with 8:55 left in the second quarter on a pass by Philip Rivers to Mike Williams. Lamp was helped to the sideline. The Chargers moved Dan Feeney from center to left guard, then Scott Quessenberry took over at center.
– Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville Tennessee.
The San Francisco 49ers are still perfect. So are the Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, sort of.
San Francisco improved to 6-0 with a 9-0 victory in the rain against the Washington Redskins. The 49ers are off to their best start since 1990, when they won their first 10 games as the two-time defending Super Bowl champions.
Miami and Cincinnati, meanwhile, remain winless. Miami fell to 0-6 when Buffalo pulled away late for a 31-21 victory. At least the Dolphins showed some progress in the loss, taking a lead into the fourth quarter for the first time this season.
Cincinnati slipped to 0-7 when a pair of late interceptions by quarterback Andy Dalton helped Jacksonville escape with a 27-17 victory. The Bengals play the Los Angeles Rams next week in London while Miami heads north to take on the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones put up some eye-popping numbers in hopes of helping their respective teams keep pace in the NFC North.
Rodgers passed for 429 yards and accounted for six total touchdowns as the Packers pulled away for a 42-24 win over Oakland. Rodgers threw for five scores and ran for another while posting a perfect passer rating of 158.3. It’s the first time the two-time MVP has had a perfect passer rating. He had a 155.4 in 2009 against the Browns.
Jones has caught four touchdown passes from Detroit Matthew Stafford against Minnesota. Stafford’s fourth toss to Jones gave him 250 career touchdown passes, making him the 22nd quarterback in NFL history to reach that plateau.
Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan suffered a game-ending right ankle injury and limped off the field and into the sideline medical tent after getting sacked by Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald early in the fourth quarter. Ryan later walked gingerly off the sideline toward the locker room.
The Falcons were trailing 27-3 when Ryan was sacked for the fifth time. Donald forced and recovered a fumble on the play as Ryan’s leg bent under pressure as he went down. Longtime backup Matt Schaub made his season debut and replaced Ryan, the former NFL MVP who hasn’t missed a game since 2009.
Ryan’s protection looked possibly worse than it’s been all season for the 1-5 Falcons. He was hit eight times in the pocket flats and under pressure all day.
– George Henry reporting from Atlanta
Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was ejected early in the third quarter for throwing a punch at Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald.
Donald and Freeman locked up immediately after Cory Littleton returned an interception to the Atlanta 16 with Los Angeles leading 20-3. Donald touched Freeman first, but Freeman retaliated by shoving Donald in the facemask. Freeman continued to try and swing, finally going down on his back as he was restrained by umpire Terry Killens.
Players from both sidelines ran onto the field to support their teammate, but there was no further ruckus. Freeman, Donald and Atlanta defensive end Takk McKinley were each flagged for unnecessary roughness.
Freeman’s departure left the Falcons with third-stringer Brian Hill and return specialist Kenjon Barner at running back. Top reserve Ito Smith was carted off the field at the end of the first quarter with head and neck injuries.
– George Henry reporting from Atlanta
It’s a good day to have Detroit Lions wide receiver Marvin Jones in the starting lineup of your fantasy team.
Jones caught three touchdown passes from Matthew Stafford in the first half against Minnesota on Sunday. Jones has scoring grabs of 10, 3 and 16 yards for the Lions. Jones is the first player to have three touchdown receptions against the Vikings in one half since Hall of Famer Jerry Rice caught three against Minnesota on Dec. 18, 1995.
The Lions have needed Jones to be hot to keep pace with Minnesota. The NFC North rivals headed to the half tied at 21.
The San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins are tied 0-0 at halftime after a dreadful first half played in the driving rain.
San Francisco was shut out for the first time this season in its sixth game. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is 3 of 10 for 10 yards, and the unbeaten 49ers have just 68 yards.
Washington shut out an opponent in the first half for the first time this season. It’s the first game to go to the half with zero points since Dallas and Philadelphia in Week 17 in 2017.
The last time an NFL game ended in a 0-0 tie was Nov. 7, 1943 between the Detroit Lions and New York Giants.
– Stephen Whyno reporting from Landover, Maryland
It only took seven weeks, but the Miami Dolphins have a lead in the second quarter.
Miami is out of a 14-9 lead in Buffalo after former Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick hit Devante Parker for a 12-yard touchdown pass. The score marked the deepest in the season the Dolphins have held the lead in any game. Miami has actually gone ahead twice against Buffalo, double the number of times they’ve had the lead all year. Kalen Ballage scored on a 3-yard touchdown run on the first play of the second quarter to put the Dolphins up 7-6. Buffalo responded with a field goal but Miami went right back down the field to move back in front.
The Dolphins’ previous lead lasted 3 1/2 minutes, when they went up 7-3 with 6:39 left in the first quarter in an eventual 30-10 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers on Sept. 29.
Matthew Stafford is the fastest quarterback to reach 40,000 yards passing after surpassing the milestone in the first quarter of Detroit’s game against Minnesota.
Stafford made it to 40,000 in his 147th game. The previous record was held by Matt Ryan, who reached the mark in 151 games.
The Lions led 14-7 after one quarter.
Minnesota’s Adam Thielen is questionable to return after injuring his hamstring making an acrobatic touchdown catch in the back of the end zone.
-Noah Trister reporting from Detroit.
Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins has been ejected for throwing a punch at Buffalo Bills tackle Cody Ford on the second snap from scrimmage.
Wilkins was penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct for throwing the punch away from the play and after Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw an incompletion.
The Dolphins are winless, and their defense was already minus starting cornerback Xavien Howard, who missed his second consecutive game with a knee injury.
It’s a different officiating crew this week, but Detroit fans don’t care.
Lions fans booed loudly when the official began talking during the opening coin toss before Sunday’s game against Minnesota. It clearly was a reaction to Monday night’s game at Green Bay, where Detroit was on the short end of some questionable calls in a 23-22 loss.
The first flag of this weekend’s game drew boos immediately when it was thrown. Then those became cheers when it turned out the penalty was on Minnesota.
– Noah Trister reporting from Detroit
The muddled AFC South could find some clarity in Week 7.
Surging Houston is in Indianapolis to face the Colts, the key matchup during the early slate on Sunday.
Jacksonville begins the post-Jalen Ramsey era when it travels to winless Cincinnati while Tennessee will have a new look at quarterback with Ryan Tannehill under center when the Titans host the Los Angeles Chargers later in the day.
Houston has surged into first at 4-2 in the AFC South thanks to victories over Atlanta and Kansas City. The Texans have won four of their past five meetings against Indianapolis.
The Jaguars will get a chance to exhale with Ramsey finally gone following a drawn-out divorce with Jacksonville that ended with a trade to the Los Angeles Rams last week. The Titans, meanwhile, will try to give their offense a jolt by starting Tannehill in favor of struggling Marcus Mariota.
In other early games on Sunday, San Francisco has a chance to get off to the franchise’s first 6-0 start since 1990 when the 49ers play in Washington. Minnesota’s revived offense heads to Detroit to take on the Lions while Buffalo hosts Miami with a shot at improving to 5-1.
The late window includes former Seahawks safety Earl Thomas visiting Seattle as a member of the Baltimore Ravens. New Orleans will try to stay unbeaten with Teddy Bridgewater at quarterback when the Saints visit Chicago. Philadelphia travels to Dallas in a showdown for first place in the underwhelming NFC East.
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