NFL preseason roundup | 8-17-14
GIANTS 27, COLTS 26
INDIANAPOLIS — Ryan Nassib led the New York Giants to two touchdowns in the final four minutes, completing a huge fourth-quarter comeback with a victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday night.
New York trailed 26-0 early in the fourth, but the Colts couldn’t hold on.
Former Indy quarterback Curtis Painter finally got New York on the board with a 3-yard TD pass to Kellen Davis. Sixteen seconds later, Spencer Adkins recovered a Colts fumble in the end zone to make it 26-14. Michael Cox then scored on a 2-yard run with 3:59 to go, and Nassib hooked up with Corey Washington on a 6-yard TD pass with 55 seconds to go.
Indy (0-2) had a chance to win it with Pat McAfee’s 64-yard field goal with 5 seconds left, but the kick went wide left.
Andrew Luck was 12 of 18 for 89 yards. Eli Manning was 1 of 6 for seven yards for New York (3-0).
TEXANS 32, FALCONS 7
HOUSTON — Jadeveon Clowney made big hits behind the line on consecutive plays and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a touchdown pass to DeVier Posey in the Houston’s win over Atlanta.
Clowney, the top overall pick in the draft, smacked down Atlanta’s Antone Smith for a 2-yard loss and then sacked Matt Ryan on the Falcons’ second series.
Jonathan Grimes returned a blocked punt for a touchdown and Andre Hal returned an interception 64 yards for another score for the Texans (1-1), who showed significant improvement after last week’s 32-0 loss in Arizona.
Left tackle Sam Baker was carted off the field in the second quarter with a right knee injury for the Falcons (1-1). Baker, who started 16 games in 2012, played in just four games last season because of a left knee injury that required surgery in November.
VIKINGS 30, CARDINALS 28
MINNEAPOLIS — Teddy Bridgewater gave the giddy fans chanting his first name a pair of go-ahead touchdown throws to cheer for in the fourth quarter, giving Minnesota a victory over Arizona.
Bridgewater floated a back-shoulder fade pass from 2 yards out to Rodney Smith with 18 seconds remaining for the lead, after the Cardinals (1-1) had gone ahead on a bizarre fourth-down score about a minute earlier.
On that final drive, Bridgewater completed six of seven passes for 77 yards for Minnesota (2-0). The first-round draft pick from Louisville, who finished 16 for 20 for 177 yards, found Allen Reisner for a short touchdown and Jarius Wright for the 2-point conversion with 7:57 left.
STEELERS 19, BILLS 16
PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes in less than a half of work and Pittsburgh beat Buffalo.
Roethlisberger hit Antonio Brown for a 76-yard score on Pittsburgh’s second play from scrimmage and found Markus Wheaton for a 16-yard strike to help the Steelers (1-1) won a preseason game for the first time in nearly two years.
Roethlisberger finished 8 of 11 for 128 yards and the two scores. Shaun Suisham’s 20-yard field goal as time expired ended Pittsburgh’s five-game losing streak in exhibitions.
EJ Manuel completed 17 of 27 passes for 148 yards and an interception while playing the entire first half for Buffalo (1-2), but the Bills’ starting offense failed to reach the end zone for the third straight game. Bills rookie wide receiver Sammy Watkins left early in the first quarter with a rib injury and did not return.
PACKERS 21, RAMS 7
ST. LOUIS — Aaron Rodgers and Sam Bradford each threw a touchdown pass in their preseason debuts and played into the second quarter in the Green Bay’s victory over St. Louis.
Michael Sam played in the second half and got his first sack of the preseason, dropping Matt Flynn for a 10-yard loss in the fourth quarter to force a 49-yard field goal by Mason Crosby. Sam had a tackle earlier in that series.
Rodgers was 11 for 13 for 128 yards and a 3-yard score to Randall Cobb in a no-huddle offense on the opening series.
Bradford showed plenty of mobility in his first action since season-ending left knee surgery last November. He was 9 for 12 for 101 yards and an 11-yard touchdown pass to Lance Kendricks.
Eddie Lacy had five carries for 25 yards on the Packers’ 12-play, 86-yard drive to start the game.
JETS 25, BENGALS 17
CINCINNATI — Andy Dalton completed all eight of his passes and led the Bengals to a pair of touchdowns and a field goal during three impressive series before New York’s reserves rallied for a preseason victory.
It was Dalton’s first game at Paul Brown Stadium since his turnover-filled 27-10 loss to San Diego in the opening round of the playoffs. Also, his first home game since he signed a six-year contract extension.
He went 8 for 8 for 144 yards, one touchdown and a perfect passer rating of 158.3. The Bengals (0-2) rolled up 173 yards while he was in the game.
The Jets (2-0) got drubbed 49-9 in Cincinnati midway through last season — Dalton threw a career-high five touchdown passes in that one. Their injury-depleted secondary made it easy for Dalton on Saturday night.
RAVENS 37, COWBOYS 30
ARLINGTON, Texas — Deonte Thompson returned a kickoff 108 yards for a score after Dallas’ Tony Romo threw a touchdown pass in his first game since back surgery last season, and Joe Flacco led three scoring drives in Baltimore’s preseason victory.
The Ravens (2-0) also got a 26-yard fumble return for a touchdown when Courtney Upshaw picked up a botched handoff from Romo and stayed on his feet while Romo tried to drag him down by his jersey.
Romo’s final play was a 31-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant midway through the first quarter.
Baltimore led 14-7 before Flacco took the field for the first time. He threw a 19-yard scoring pass to Torrey Smith for a 24-10 lead late in the first half.
Dallas is 0-2.
DOLPHINS 20, BUCCANEERS 14
TAMPA, Fla. — Backup quarterback Matt Moore led Miami on two touchdown drives in a preseason victory over Tampa Bay.
The Dolphins took advantage of a mistake by Bucs rookie Mike Evans.
Evans, the Bucs’ first-round pick from Texas A&M, caught a short pass from Mike Glennon in the second quarter and after breaking a tackle, sprinted down the sideline toward a 42-yard touchdown which could have given the Bucs a 14-3 lead.
After a review of the original touchdown call, however, it was ruled that Miami cornerback Brent Grimes had punched the ball out of Evans’ hands just before Evans crossed the goal line. The fumble went through the end zone, giving the Dolphins (1-1) the ball.
Moore drove the Dolphins 71 yards to a touchdown in the final 1:41 of the first half, completing 6 of 8 passes including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews that gave Miami a 10-7 lead over the Bucs (0-2) with 8 seconds left in the half.