Watson shines as Texans rally to top Chiefs
Los Angeles (AFP) –
The Houston Texans spoiled Tyreek Hill's return for Kansas City, rallying with 20 unanswered points Sunday to hand the Chiefs their second straight NFL defeat, 31-24 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 280 yards and a touchdown and ran for two more TDs, getting the better of opposite number Patrick Mahomes in a clash of the league's top young quarterbacks.
Star receiver Hill returned for the Chiefs after being sidelined with a shoulder injury since the season-opener and made a quick impact with a spectacular touchdown catch in the first quarter.
He finished with five catches for 80 yards and two TDs, but it wasn't enough to keep the Texans at bay.
Houston's Carlos Hyde rushed for 116 yards and a touchdown against his former team and DeAndre Hopkins' nine catches for 55 yards included one within the last two minutes that let the Texans hang onto the ball and run out the clock.
Mahomes finished with 273 passing yards and three touchdowns, but also threw his first interception of the season.
Kansas City took a quick 10-0 lead and were up 17-3 after one quarter, but the Texans turned the tables to lead 23-17 at halftime.
Mahomes connected with Hill on a six-yard scoring pass that put the Chiefs back in front 24-23 in the third quarter, but Watson's one-yard touchdown plunge and a two-point conversion put the Texans back on top.
In Baltimore, Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson finished with almost 400 yards of total offense in a 23-17 victory over the winless Cincinnati Bengals.
Jackson connected on 21 of 33 passes for 236 yards and rushed for a career-high 152 yards -- fourth-most by a quarterback in NFL history -- as the Ravens improved to 4-2.
"It's cool, I guess," Jackson said when he learned that he was the first player in the Super Bowl era to produce more than 200 yards passing and 150 yards rushing in a regular-season game.
- Panthers pounce -
The Carolina Panthers pounced for a 37-26 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get the day started in London.
Christian McCaffrey scored two touchdowns and the Panthers parlayed five interceptions from Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston into 17 points on the way to a fourth straight victory.
The Panthers have bounced back from back-to-back defeats to open the season.
Kyle Allen has since stepped in for injured quarterback Cam Newton, but McCaffrey said it was the support of the "unbelievable" Panthers defense that made the difference at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
"I felt like every single time they were on offense our defense had a chance to get a turnover or a sack," he said.
It was an emotional day for Panthers defensive end Efe Obada, who was born in Nigeria but arrived as a 10-year-old in England where he ended up fending for himself on the streets of London.
He was made an honorary captain for the game.
"I had family in the stands which I loved," Obada said. "Most of them don't even understand what I'm doing, but they believe in me and have supported me for years.
"For me to be in London and just showing them, it was really special."
Fans in London were treated to an NFL rarity when the Panthers forced the Bucs to punt near the end of the first half and signalled for a fair catch at the 50-yard line.
That allowed Carolina to attempt a fair catch kick with Bucs players required to remain 10 yards back for the field-goal type attempt, but Joey Slye's effort was wide of the uprights.
Elsewhere, the Seattle Seahawks rallied for a 32-28 victory over the Browns in Cleveland to improve to 5-1 for the first time since 2013.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Seahawks roared back after surrendering touchdowns on Cleveland's first three possessions.
In Minneapolis, Kirk Cousins connected on four touchdown passes -- three to Stefon Diggs -- as the Vikings soared past the Eagles 38-20.
In a battle of bottom-dwellers, Washington edged Miami 17-16.
© 2019 AFP