Rivers has early touchdown toss, Colts shut down Foles, Bears 19-11
CHICAGO (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts came into the season thinking their defense had the potential to be one of the best in the NFL. Games like this are exactly what they had in mind.
Philip Rivers threw a touchdown pass on Indianapolis’ first possession, and the Colts shut down Nick Foles and the Chicago Bears in a 19-11 victory Sunday.
After Rivers connected with Mo Alie-Cox on a 13-yard score, the NFL’s top-ranked defense did its job.
“I don’t want to sound crazy, but I did see this coming,” coach Frank Reich said. “I’ve been so fired up about the defense from Day One. The way we looked in camp, I look at our personnel, I look at our coaches, look at our schemes on defense how they fit our players. I’ve spoken about our defense since Day One. I felt like it was going to be real good.”
Indianapolis upgraded the defense in the offseason by bringing in 2018 Pro Bowl defensive tackle DeForest Buckner and 2017 All-Pro cornerback Xavier Rhodes. And the payoff is performances like this.
The Colts (3-1) kept the Bears (3-1) out of the end zone until Allen Robinson caught a 16-yard pass with 1:35 remaining. Indianapolis recovered the onside kick and came away with its third straight win, the Colts’ best streak since beating Kansas City, Houston and Denver last October.
As for the Bears, their offense didn’t look much better with Foles starting instead of Mitchell Trubisky. There was no big comeback this time by the team that became the first, according to the Elias Sports Bureau, with two wins in the same season after trailing by 16 or more in the fourth quarter.
The Bears managed just 269 yards — only 28 on the ground. Penalties were an issue, too. They got flagged eight times for 103 yards.
“There was really never a rhythm in the game,” coach Matt Nagy said.
Foles, who led Chicago back from 16 down at Atlanta last week after Trubisky got pulled, never found a rhythm. He was 26 of 42 for 249 yards with an interception to go with the late TD in his first start.
“I have to be better, I have to be more crisp and it’s as simple as that,” Foles said. “I look forward to improving.”
The Colts didn’t exactly light up Chicago on offense. But they did play turnover-free ball.
Rivers was 16 of 29 for 190 yards and a TD. He needs four completions to join Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning with 5,000.
“We didn’t do the dumb things,” Rivers said. “We didn’t turn the ball over three times, we didn’t a lot of those things, so I think that is key. A lot to build (on), but certainly a lot of things we need to do better.”
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Baker Mayfield threw for two touchdowns, one of which was set up when Myles Garrett had a strip sack for the third straight game, and Cleveland held on for a 49-38 victory to improve to 3-1 for the first time since 2001.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 369 yards and five touchdowns, all to different receivers, helping the Tampa Bay rally from a 17-point deficit.
RAMS 17, GIANTS 9
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Jared Goff hit Cooper Kupp for a 55-yard touchdown with 6:56 to play, and Los Angeles beat New York in a game marred by a postgame fight between Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey and Giants receiver Golden Tate.
BILLS 30, RAIDERS 23
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Josh Allen threw for two touchdowns and rushed for another, leading Buffalo to 4-0 for the first time in 12 years.
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Lamar Jackson ran for a 50-yard touchdown and threw for two scores in a bounce-back performance by the reigning NFL MVP and Baltimore, which took control early and beat Washington.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Mixon ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns and caught Joe Burrow’s pass for another score as Cincinnati rolled up 505 yards.
MIAMI (AP) — Russell Wilson threw for 360 yards and two touchdowns as Seattle beat Miami. The Seahawks (4-0) have scored 30 or more points in four consecutive games for the first time since 2015.
VIKINGS 31, TEXANS 23
HOUSTON (AP) — Dalvin Cook ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns and Minnesota withstood a late rally from winless Houston.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Teddy Bridgewater threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score, and Carolina beat Arizona.
EAGLES 25, 49ERS 20
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Carson Wentz hit Travis Fulgham on a 42-yard touchdown pass with 5:50 remaining to lift Philadelphia.