Things got back to normal in the AFC North after Week 2 of the NFL Season. The Bengals lost, and the Browns and Ravens are back atop the standings. Actually, there is a four-way tie at the top, but don’t expect it to last long.
Last week, it looked like the return of the Steel curtain. But without the services of star pass-rusher T.J. Watt for much of the game, the Steelers looked more the steel sieve in the second half of their 26-17 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Raiders quarterback Derek Carr completed 16 of 21 passes over the final two quarters for 261 yards and two touchdowns. Pittsburgh also lost defensive tackle Tyson Alualu in the first quarter, while cornerback Joe Haden and linebacker Devin Bush were inactive with injuries of their own.
Carr finished with 28 completions in 37 attempts for 382 yards, including a 61-yard rainbow to Henry Ruggs midway through the fourth quarter that put the game out of reach.
Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger passed for 295 yards on a 27-of-40 day, including a touchdown and an interception. The Steelers managed just 39 yards on the ground, though.
Turn back the clock to 1980, when comebacks were part of the mantra of the Cleveland Browns. Then look at Sunday’s 31-21 victory over the Houston Texans, and you have to wonder.
The Texans jumped out to a 14-7 lead, and pulled to within 24-21 with less than five minutes left in the third quarter before an injury to quarterback Tyrod Taylor spoiled their upset bid.
Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield came back from an injury of his own to throw for one touchdown and run for another. Still, Mayfield managed to have a near-perfect day as he completed 19 of 21 passes for 213 yards, one touchdown and an interception.
Taylor actually did him one better, though, as he completed 10 of 11 passes for 125 yards and a score.
Mayfield got plenty of help from the ground game as Nick Chubb finished with 95 yards on 11 carries and Kareem Hunt added 51 yards on 13 attempts. Houston could manage just 82 total yards rushing, and an average of 2.9 yards per carry, against a stout Cleveland defense.
No Miracle Finish
Baltimore scored touchdowns the last two times it touched the ball, and recovered a fumble at its own 34-yard line with just over a minute remaining to secure a come-from-behind 36-35 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
Lamar Jackson ran for 107 yards and two touchdowns, and passed for another score to secure his first career win over the two-time defending AFC champs. Patrick Mahomes, meanwhile, lost for the first time in 11 September games.
Kansas City allowed 481 yards and gained 405 in the loss. Mahomes finished 24 of 31 for 343 yards for three touchdowns and an interception and had the Chiefs on the move before the fumble ended any hopes for another miracle finish.