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NFL Rewind: Darnold gets the hype, but Mahomes and Fitz score big wins

Sam Darnold may not yet be the miracle worker New York Jets fans are craving, but Patrick Mahomes might be for the Kansas City Chiefs, and Ryan Fitzpatrick isn’t so bad either.

Darnold made his regular season home debut with the Jets but he could get his team to the end zone only once in a 20-12 loss to the Miami Dolphins, who stand alone in first place in the AFC East after the New England Patriots lost at Jacksonville.

All Mahomes has done is pass for 10 touchdowns in his first two starts this season for the undefeated Chiefs. His huge six-TD passing game allowed Kansas City to win in Pittsburgh, 42-37, for the first time since 1986.

Fitzpatrick led the Buccaneers to a second straight upset win. Supposedly filling in until Jameis Winston serves his NFL suspension, the former Bills quarterback has directed wins at New Orleans – no welcoming venue – and over the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. The Bucs lead the NFC South with a 2-0 record.

A capsule look at Sunday’s Week Two NFL games:

Game of the day

Jaguars 31, Patriots 20

The scoop: Blake Bortles passed for four touchdowns, to four different receivers, in the game of his NFL career to lead Jacksonville. The Jags took a 14-0 first quarter lead on TD passes to Donte Moncrief and Keelan Cole and Bortles capped his big day with a 39-yard throw to Dede Westbrook in the fourth quarter for a 31-13 lead. … Stephen Gostkowski missed a 54-yard field goal try on the Patriots’ first series, and New England never had a chance for the lead again. Tom Brady and Co. managed only three points in the first half and were limited to 302 yards in offense. Brady completed 24 of 35 for 234 yards but was sacked twice. Rob Gronkowski had only two receptions for 15 yards, the longest nine yards.

Why the Jaguars won: They took the lead early and played well with it. Although they had only one second-half touchdown, they forced the Pats to three three-and-outs in the second half.

Highly entertaining

Chiefs 42, Steelers 37

The scoop: Mahomes passed for six touchdowns, including a 29-yarder to Tyreek Hill early in the fourth quarter that turned out to be the winner. Hill had five catches for 90 yards. Travis Kelce caught seven for 109 yards and two scores and ex-Bill Sammy Watkins had six receptions for 100 yards but no scores.

Why the Chiefs won: After Ben Roethlisberger had rallied Pittsburgh to ties from 21-0 and 28-21 deficits, the Steelers’ defense could not hold off Mahomes and KC. They sacked him only once all game and had no interceptions. The Chiefs averaged 5.1 yards per rushing attempt.

Vikings 29, Packers 29

The scoop: Kirk Cousins playing on two legs was slightly better than Aaron Rodgers playing on one. Cousins passed for 425 yards and four touchdowns as the Vikings rallied to tie the game with a 22-yard pass from Cousins to Adam Thielen with 31 seconds left in regulation. … Rodgers, who suffered a sprained knee in last week’s comeback win over Chicago, passed for 281 yards but only one touchdown.

Why nobody won: Rookie kicker Daniel Carlson missed field goal tries from 49 and 35 in overtime. The Packers could move only 14 yards in their only series in the OT.

Buccaneers 27, Eagles 21

The scoop: Fitzpatrick had his second straight four-TD and 400-plus yard passing game in the Tampa Bay upset of the Super Bowl champions. Mike Evans caught 10 passes for 83 yards and DeSean Jackson had four for 129, including a 75-yard bomb on the Bucs’ first play from scrimmage 11 seconds into the game.

Why the Bucs won: They tore up the vaunted Eagles defense for 436 total yards and turned the ball over just twice.

Falcons 31, Panthers 24

The scoop: It turned out to be a shootout with each offense gaining well over 400 yards and easily topping the total points over/under number (44ø). Matt Ryan passed for two Atlanta scores and ran 8 yards for another. Cam Newton passed for three Carolina scores including a 51-yarder to D.J. Moore.

Why the Falcons won: Even without Devonta Freeman, they ran all over the Panthers for 170 yards and Ryan was not sacked.

Second run features

49ers 30, Lions 27

The scoop: The Niners almost let this one get away after taking a 30-13 lead with 11:21 left. Matthew Stafford passed for two fourth quarter TDs for Detroit, but the Lions could not score on one final possession.

Why the 49ers won: They built a healthy lead on two Jimmy Garoppolo TD passes and a 66-yard run by second-year back Matt Breida.

Dolphins 20, Jets 12

The scoop: Kenyan Drake ran 6 yards to cap a three-play, 15-yard first series for Miami after a Darnold interception and the Jets trailed the rest of the way.

Why the Dolphins won: Time ran out on the Jets at the end of the first half when rookie tight end Christopher Herndon was unable to get into the end zone with his own fumble recovery. That and settling for two field goals in the fourth quarter left Gang Green eight points short.

Saints 21, Browns 18

The scoop: Cleveland almost played its second tie in a row. The Browns tied the game on Tyrod Taylor’s perfectly thrown 47-yard bomb to Antonio Calloway with 1:16 left, but Zane Gonzalez missed his second extra point of the game, a week after he had a field goal blocked in overtime costing a chance to upset Pittsburgh. After the missed XP, Drew Brees drove the Saints 49 yards in six plays for a Will Lutz field goal from 44 yards. Brees threw two TD passes to Mike Thomas.

Why the Saints won: They never led until Lutz kicked the game-winner with 21 seconds left but the Browns had left the door open for Brees and it slammed on them.

Broncos 20, Raiders 19

The scoop: Denver came from 19-7 down to win on two Brandon McManus field goals and a 1-yard run by Case Keenum. McManus kicked the winner from 36 yards with 6 seconds to go.

Why the Broncos won: Oakland had only three full possessions in the second half as Denver won time of possession, 17:36 to 12:24.

Titans 20, Texans 17

The scoop: Ryan Succop kicked his second field goal, from 31 yards, with a minute left to win it. His first tied the game at 17 with 9:43 left.

Why the Titans won: Houston had a 437-283 yardage advantage but coach Bill O’Brien had his team punt from the Titans’ 38 and 37 in the secondhalf.

Cowboys 20, Giants 13

The scoop: Dak Prescott connected on a 64-yard pass to Tavon Austin in Dallas’ opening series and the Cowboys went on to their first victory. Ezekiel Elliot ran 6 yards for a Dallas score in the fourth quarter for a 20-3 lead.

Why the Cowboys won: They Giants rookie Saquon Barkley to 28 yards rushing andlimited Odell Beckham Jr. to four catches for only 51 yards.

Dogs of the day

Colts 21, Redskins 9

The scoop: Andrew Luck passed for two of the three Indianapolis touchdowns but was intercepted twice. Alex Smith of the Redskins completed 33 of 46 for 292 yards but could not get his team to the end zone.

Why the Colts won: Washington settles for three field goals and lost a fumble at the Colts 29 with 4:59 left.

Rams 34, Cardinals 0

The scoop: How about this stat line? Todd Gurley 19 carries, 2.2 avg., 3 TDs. Gurley scored all but one Rams touchdown. L.A. had to go for two after its first three scores, and succeeded, after kicker Greg Zuerlein suffered a groin injury in pregame warmups.

Why the Rams won: They allowed the Cards only five first downs and 137 total yards.

News wire services contributed to this report.


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