The Baltimore Ravens enjoyed a record-setting day at the expense of the mistake-prone Oakland Raiders, who matched a dubious franchise mark that had not been broached in over three decades.
Joe Flacco threw for 341 yards and three touchdowns, Jacoby Jones ran a kickoff back for 105 yards, and Baltimore set a club record for points in a 55-20 rout Sunday.
It was a rare blowout for the AFC North-leading Ravens, who won their previous five games by a total of 23 points. Asked how such a thing could happen, coach John Harbaugh replied, “I have no answer for that. Sometimes it just goes that way, right? Our guys made some plays.”
Quite a few, actually. The Ravens (7-2) scored on six of their first seven possessions, special teams contributed two touchdowns and Torrey Smith caught TD passes of 47 and 20 yards.
Flacco and the resurgent Baltimore offense made it look easy against the struggling Raiders (3-6), who have yielded at least 40 points in two straight games for the first time since 1962. The 55 points tied an Oakland record for points allowed, set in 1961 and matched in 1981.
“We had too many mental errors on defense, gave up too many big plays, we turned the ball over too many times and we didn’t execute on special teams,” Raiders coach Dennis Allen said. “When you do those things, it generally results in something like that.”
Cincinnati 31, N.Y. Giants 13: Andy Dalton threw a career-high four touchdown passes each to a different receiver and the Cincinnati Bengals ended their four-game losing streak by beating the New York Giants 31-13.
New Orleans 31, Atlanta 27: Jimmy Graham caught seven passes for a career-best 146 yards and two touchdowns, cornerback Jabari Greer made a diving, touchdown-saving pass breakup on a late fourth-down play, and the New Orleans Saints held on to hand the Atlanta Falcons their first loss, 31-27.
Tennessee 37, Miami 3: McCarthy returned an interception 49 yards for a touchdown, and four takeaways helped the Tennessee Titans beat the Miami Dolphins 37-3.
Tampa Bay 34, San Diego 24: Josh Freeman threw two touchdown passes and the surging Buccaneers scored on a blocked punt and Leonard Johnson’s 83-yard interception return to beat the Chargers 34-24 for their third straight win.
Minnesota 34, Detroit 24: Adrian Peterson raced 61 yards for the game-sealing touchdown midway through the fourth quarter, padding his NFL rushing lead with 171 yards on 27 carries for the Minnesota Vikings in a 34-24 victory over the Detroit Lion.
Denver 36, Carolina 14: Peyton Manning made sure John Fox’s return to Carolina was a successful one, throwing for 301 yards and a touchdown to lead the Denver Broncos to a 36-14 win over the Panthers.
New England 37, Buffalo 31: Tom Brady threw for two touchdowns, Devin McCourty ended Buffalo’s hopes with an interception in the end zone and the New England Patriots kept the surprisingly tough Bills winless at Gillette Stadium with a 37-31 victory.
Seattle 28, N.Y. Jets 7: Russell Wilson threw touchdowns of 38 yards to Golden Tate and 31 yards to Sidney Rice, and the Seattle Seahawks sent the New York Jets to their worst start since 2007 with a 28-7 win.
Dallas 38, Philadelphia 23: Tony Romo threw a pair of touchdowns, Dwayne Harris had a 78-yard punt return for a score and Brandon Carr returned an interception 47 yards for a TD to lead the Dallas Cowboys to a 38-23 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.
St. Louis 24, San Francisco 24: The St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers played the NFL’s first tie game in four years as both team’s kickers missed overtime field goals in a 24-24 final.
Greg Zuerlein kicked a 53-yarder, but the Rams were penalized 5 yards for delay of game. He tried again from 58 as coach Jeff Fisher played for the win, and missed wide right with 2:42 left in OT. San Francisco’s David Akers missed wide left on a 41-yard attempt that could have sealed it for the NFC West-leading 49ers (6-2-1).