An unstoppable force meets the immovable object in Week 5 of the NFL season as the Cleveland Browns host the Indianapolis Colts. 

Cleveland's offense has averaged over 200 rushing yards a game through the campaign's first quarter, while the Colts defense has been among the best run-stuffers in the league so far. 

Two of the NFL's finest young receivers will look to grab the acclaim when the 4-0 Seattle Seahawks face the Minnesota Vikings, while the Washington Football Team and Houston Texans will hope a big change can reverse their fortunes. 

Here, we look at the NFL's latest slate using Stats Perform Data.

 

FEATURE GAME

Indianapolis Colts at Cleveland Browns - Sunday 4.25pm (All times Eastern)

- Colts QB Philip Rivers enters the matchup with 4,996 career completions and he will almost certainly become the fifth player to complete 5,000 passes on Sunday. In the last 60 seasons, only three other quarterbacks have completed a higher percentage of their attempts through four games with a new team than Rivers' 72.7 per cent – that list includes Matt Schaub (74.0 per cent, 2007 Houston Texans), Teddy Bridgewater (73.0 per cent, 2020 Carolina Panthers), and Mark Herrmann (73.0 per cent, 1985 San Diego Chargers). 

- The Colts allowed just 28 rushing yards in their Week 4 win over the Chicago Bears, their fewest since Week 3 of 2009 (24 rushing yards versus the Arizona Cardinals). They have allowed just 945 total yards this season, their fewest through four games since holding opponents to 575 yards through the first four games of 1971.

- The Browns trio of Kareem Hunt (five TDs), Odell Beckham Jr. (four TDs), and Nick Chubb (four TDs) are the fifth trio of team-mates to each score four touchdowns in the first four games of the season. They are the first to do so since the 2013 Denver Broncos group of Wes Welker, Demaryius Thomas, and Julius Thomas.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Buffalo Bills at Tennessee Titans - Tuesday, 7pm 

- Buffalo have recorded 21 plays of at least 20 yards this season, second-most in the NFL behind only the Dallas Cowboys (23). Tennessee have an NFL-low nine plays of 20-plus yards this season, though neither the Titans nor the Bills have a single 20-yard running play this season. 

Minnesota Vikings at Seattle Seahawks - Sunday, 9.20pm 

- Ascending Seahawks star D.K. Metcalf leads the NFL in yards per catch (25.2 - minimum 10 receptions) and catches for 25-plus yards this season (seven). Justin Jefferson, a rookie with the Minnesota Vikings, ranks second in both these categories (21.8 average, 6 catches of 25-plus yards). 

Las Vegas Raiders at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday, 1pm

- Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (1,526) and Raiders tight end Darren Waller (1,392) rank first and second in receiving yards for players at their position since 2019. Kelce's 845 career receiving yards against the Raiders are the most among active players at any position.

Philadelphia Eagles at Pittsburgh Steelers - Sunday, 1pm

- The Steelers are looking for their first 4-0 start since 1979. Their current streak of 40 consecutive seasons without a 4-0 start is tied for the second-longest streak in NFL history behind a 48-year streak by the Houston Oilers/Tennessee Titans from 1960-2007.

Los Angeles Chargers at New Orleans Saints - Monday, 9.15pm

- Ahead of meeting the Justin Herbert-led Chargers, New Orleans QB Drew Brees has a 20-10 record when facing off against first-year quarterbacks, including wins in each of the last five such games. In those wins, Brees has a 75.8 completion percentage and has a 12-1 TD-INT ratio.

ELSEWHERE...

Jacksonville Jaguars at Houston Texans - Sunday, 1pm

- The Texans fired Bill O'Brien this week. He was the seventh coach in NFL history to be replaced following back-to-back 10-win seasons with a team, though the first to be replaced after four or fewer games. O’Brien's replacement, Romeo Crennel, will be the oldest head coach in NFL history (73 years and 115 days on Sunday).

Los Angeles Rams at Washington Football Team - Sunday, 1pm

- Washington, who will have Kyle Allen starting at QB after benching Dwayne Haskins, have now lost three straight games by at least 14 points after a 31-17 defeat to the Baltimore Ravens. The last time the franchise lost four straight games by at least 14 points was in 2001.

The Philadelphia Eagles completed a dramatic comeback to upstage the San Francisco 49ers for their first win of the season on Sunday.

Philadelphia used a big fourth quarter to stun last season's Super Bowl finalists the 49ers at Levi's Stadium in Week 4.

Things got physical between Jalen Ramsey and Golden Tate as the Los Angeles Rams beat the New York Giants 17-9.

There were also wins for the in-form Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts.

 

EAGLES SHOCK NINERS

After two losses and a draw to open 2020, and with a growing injury list, Philadelphia faced an uphill battle away to the 49ers.

The Eagles (1-2-1) also trailed in the fourth quarter before back-to-back touchdowns lifted Philadelphia past San Francisco.

Carson Wentz threw a 42-yard TD pass to Travis Fulgham with less than six minutes remaining as the Eagles moved ahead 18-14.

With starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined, Nick Mullens then threw an interception that Alex Singleton returned for a TD as the 49ers (2-2) lost at home again.

Mullens, who committed three turnovers, was 18 for 26 for 200 yards and a touchdown before he was replaced by 49ers team-mate C.J. Beathard.

Eagles QB Wentz finished 18-of-28 for 193 yards, a touchdown and interception, while he rushed for 37 yards and a TD as the Eagles moved top of the NFC East.

NO LOVE LOST IN INGLEWOOD

There was not much drama between the Rams and Giants, that was until the game ended.

The Rams (3-1) claimed a hard-fought victory over the winless Giants (0-4) after Jared Goff and Cooper Kupp combined for a 55-yard TD with just under seven minutes left to play at SoFi Stadium.

After grinding out victory, things really heated up as Rams star Ramsey and Giants wide receiver Tate traded punches.

Ramsey, who has two young children with Tate's sister, and the latter were pulled apart by team-mates in chaotic scenes.

"We don't want to have happen at the end of the game what happened," Giants coach Joe Judge said afterwards. "That's not the way we want to be as a team."

 

BILLS STAY PERFECT

The Bills remain undefeated after seeing off the Las Vegas Raiders 30-23.

Josh Allen led the way, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for another as the Bills improved to 4-0 for the season.

QB Derek Carr was 32 for 44 for 311 yards and a pair of TDs after the Raiders (2-2) lost their second straight game and first at the new Allegiant Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Philip Rivers and the Colts (3-1) took down the Chicago Bears (3-1) 19-11.

Rivers was 16 of 29 for 190 yards and a touchdown as he moved within four completions of joining Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Brett Favre and Peyton Manning with 5,000.

 

Week 4 scores:

Seattle Seahawks 31-23 Miami Dolphins
Cincinnati Bengals 33-25 Jacksonville Jaguars
Minnesota Vikings 31-23 Houston Texans
Cleveland Browns 49-38 Dallas Cowboys
Baltimore Ravens 31-17 Washington Football Team
New Orleans Saints 35-29 Detroit Lions
Carolina Panthers 31-21 Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-31 Los Angeles Chargers
Los Angeles Rams 17-9 New York Giants
Buffalo Bills 30-23 Las Vegas Raiders
Indianapolis Colts 19-11 Chicago Bears
Philadelphia Eagles 25-20 San Francisco 49ers

Super Bowl winners the Kansas City Chiefs take on a team with significant championship pedigree in the New England Patriots on Sunday. 

Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs to an impressive victory over reigning MVP Lamar Jackson's Baltimore Ravens last time out, extending their winning streak to a franchise record 12 games across the regular season and playoffs. 

In Week 4 they face Bill Belichick's Patriots, giving Mahomes a chance to pit his wits against another MVP-winning quarterback in Cam Newton. 

Using Stats Perform data, we break down that matchup and some of the other enticing games coming up.

FEATURE GAME

Patriots at Chiefs – Sunday, 4.25pm (all times Eastern)

- In three career games versus New England, including postseason, Mahomes has only one first-half touchdown pass against three interceptions. In the second half of those three games, Mahomes has seven TD passes, no interceptions and a 64.7 completion percentage.

- After Newton piled up 122 rushing yards and 552 passing yards in Weeks 1 and 2, New England running backs took over against the Las Vegas Raiders last week, piling up 287 scrimmage yards – the most for Patriots tailbacks in a game in seven years. The Patriots lead the NFL with 178.0 rushing yards per game, the team's highest mark through three games of a season since 1983 (225.7). They have led the NFL (or AFL) in rushing yards only once in their history – in 1978.

- Andy Reid is set to coach his 340th career regular-season game, breaking a tie with Jeff Fisher for eighth all-time. His 210 wins rank sixth all-time, three spots behind Belichick’s 275 victories.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Colts at Bears – Sunday, 1pm

- The Chicago Bears are the first team in NFL history to win two games in a single season where they were trailing by at least 16 points in the fourth quarter (Week 1 at the Detroit Lions, Week 3 at the Atlanta Falcons). This season, teams that trail by at least 16 points at any point in the fourth are 2-18 – the Bears are 2-0 and everyone else is 0-18.

Vikings at Texans – Sunday, 1pm

- Kirk Cousins threw two interceptions in the Minnesota Vikings' loss last week giving him an NFL-high six on the year (tied with Carson Wentz) and matching his total from 2019. Cousins has completed 59.0 percent of his pass attempts this season, a figure that ranks 31st among 33 qualifiers (minimum 14.0 pass attempts per team game).

Ravens at Washington – Sunday, 1pm

- Baltimore have scored at least a point in their last 95 halves of regular-season football. The longest such streak in NFL history is 96 by the New Orleans Saints from 2015 to 2018. The Ravens have scored 54 first-half points this season, third most in the NFL, and Washington has allowed 54 first-half points this season, tied for fourth most in the league.

Bills at Raiders – Sunday, 4.25pm

- Buffalo Bills running backs have not scored a rushing touchdown since Week 9 of last season, a span of 234 carries, by far the longest active streak in the NFL (the Bears are second with 70). Meanwhile, the Raiders have allowed two rushing touchdowns in each of their games this season – only the Carolina Panthers (7) have allowed more rushing scores this season

Eagles at 49ers – Sunday, 8.20pm

- For the first time since 1999, the Philadelphia Eagles have yet to win a contest three games into a season after tying with the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 3. Only two teams (out of 251) that have gone winless through the first four games of the season went on the make the playoffs – the 1992 Chargers and the 1963 Bills.

ELSEWHERE...

Chargers at Buccaneers – Sunday, 1pm

- The gaps in age (20 years, 219 days) and in career starts (284) between Tom Brady and Justin Herbert would be the largest of all-time between opposing starting quarterbacks.

Falcons at Packers – Monday, 8.15pm

- After blowing a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Dallas Cowboys, the Falcons squandered a 16-point lead in the final period in their Week 3 loss to the Bears. Since 1925, teams with at least a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter have won 98.2 percent of the time, and Atlanta are the only team two lose two such games consecutively.

The Chicago Bears have named Nick Foles as their starting quarterback ahead of their Week 4 game against the Indianapolis Colts.

The Bears moved to 3-0 for the season on Sunday after a 30-26 victory over the Atlanta Falcons.

Foles was introduced for Mitchell Trubisky in the third quarter with the Falcons leading by 13 points and inspired a stunning comeback, throwing three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.

Coach Matt Nagy confirmed to reporters that Foles will start against the Colts on October 4, saying: "He's our starter moving forward."

Speaking after the win over the Falcons, Trubisky accepted he had left Nagy with little choice but to bench him, having thrown an interception shortly before being pulled.

"The only thing I can control is me playing better when I have those reps in the first half, and I didn't do that," he said, as per the Chicago Sun-Times.

"So, I gave [Nagy] the opportunity to pull me. He did."

Nagy also confirmed Tarik Cohen will be placed on the injured reserve list for the remainder of the season after the running back tore the ACL in his right knee.

"You love the kid. He's worked hard to get to this point. We'll be in his corner and he'll be in our corner," he said.

Cohen, a fourth-round pick in 2017, signed a three-year contract extension worth $17.3million on September 20.

 

Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a comfortable NFL win, while the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks stayed unbeaten.

Brady's Bucs were largely untroubled by the Denver Broncos as they claimed a second straight win on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Russell Wilson made history for the red-hot Seattle Seahawks, who overcame the Dallas Cowboys.

Like Seattle, the Packers are 3-0 after holding off the New Orleans Saints.

 

BRADY LIFTS BUCCANEERS AFTER STRONG START

Brady threw three touchdown passes in the first half as the Buccaneers enjoyed a 28-10 win over the Broncos.

The six-time Super Bowl champion finished the game with 297 yards after completing 25 of 38 passes.

Brady threw two TD passes to Mike Evans in the second quarter, having found Chris Godwin with a 10-yard pass in the first.

"He [Evans] is a great red-area threat, and I think his size, his quickness, his elusiveness, his hands – everything," the QB said.

"Mike is one of the great receivers in the NFL so I've got to find ways to get him the ball and get him into space, not just in the red area but all over the field. It's my job to find the guys that are open and get it to them."

The Buccaneers are 2-1 and top of the NFC South.

 

SEAHAWKS, PACKERS STAY PERFECT

Wilson starred again as the Seahawks edged the Cowboys 38-31.

The quarterback threw five touchdown passes, including 315 yards on the back of 27 of 40 completed passes.

Wilson's 14 TD passes through the first three weeks of an NFL season are a record, eclipsing Kansas City Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes' 13 to begin 2018.

Aaron Rodgers and the Packers were too strong for the Saints 37-30.

Alvin Kamara brought the Saints level late in the third quarter after an incredible run following a pass from Drew Brees (completed 29 of 36 passes for 288 yards and three TDs).

But the Packers closed out victory in the fourth quarter, with Rodgers (21 of 32 for 283 yards and three TDs) and Robert Tonyan combining for a crucial TD.

 

LIONS HAND CARDINALS FIRST LOSS, JETS SLIP TO 0-3

Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals fell to their first loss of the season, beaten by the Detroit Lions 26-23.

Murray, the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, had a difficult outing, intercepted three times. He finished 23 of 35 for 270 yards and two TDs.

Matt Prater kicked two fourth-quarter field goals for the Lions, including a 39-yarder as time expired.

The New York Jets fell to 0-3 after suffering a 36-7 loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

The Carolina Panthers recorded their first win of the season thanks to a 21-16 success over the Los Angeles Chargers.

 

Week 3 scores:

Chicago Bears 30-26 Atlanta Falcons
Buffalo Bills 35-32 Los Angeles Rams
Cleveland Browns 34-20 Washington Football Team
Tennessee Titans 31-30 Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots 36-20 Las Vegas Raiders
San Francisco 49ers 36-9 New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles 23-23 Cincinnati Bengals
Pittsburgh Steelers 28-21 Houston Texans
Indianapolis Colts 36-7 New York Jets
Carolina Panthers 21-16 Los Angeles Chargers
Detroit Lions 26-23 Arizona Cardinals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-10 Denver Broncos
Seattle Seahawks 38-31 Dallas Cowboys
Green Bay Packers 37-30 New Orleans Saints

The Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens both improved to 2-0 in the NFL but in contrasting fashion on Sunday.

Reigning Super Bowl champions the Chiefs needed overtime to see off the Los Angeles Chargers 23-20 in Week 2.

Lamar Jackson and the Ravens powered past the Houston Texans 33-16 on the road.

Meanwhile, Kyler Murray dazzled for the high-flying Arizona Cardinals and Russell Wilson sparked the Seattle Seahawks.

 

MAHOMES' CHIEFS OUTLAST CHARGERS

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs stayed perfect thanks to Harrison Butker's 58-yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining in OT.

Butker drilled three field goals for the day as he tied a Chiefs record for distance, while becoming the second kicker in NFL history to make a pair of 58-yard kicks in the same game.

It completed a rally for the Chiefs, who overturned a 17-6 deficit in the third quarter to survive an impressive NFL debut by Chargers rookie Justin Herbert.

Herbert threw 311 yards to become the ninth player since the merger to top 300 in his first game. He was 22 of 33 for a touchdown and interception.

As for former MVP and last season's Super Bowl MVP Mahomes, the Chiefs quarterback finished 27 of 47 for 302 passing yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 54 yards.

 

RAVENS PRESERVE UNBEATEN RUN

The Ravens overcame a slow start to extend their regular-season winning streak to 14 games – the longest run since the Carolina Panthers reeled off 18 successive victories in 2014-15.

Reigning MVP Jackson threw for 204 yards and a touchdown, while he rushed for 54 yards in Houston, where the Ravens led 20-10 at half-time.

The Ravens rushed for 230 yards compared to the Texans' 51 as Mark Ingram II had 55 and a touchdown.

"We feel like we have the best backfield in the league. We just try to prove that, week in, week out," Ingram said.

MURRAY HAS CARDINALS SOARING

Murray continues to show why the Cardinals were so desperate to draft him with the number one pick last year after inspiring a 30-15 victory against the Washington Football Team.

Second-year quarterback Murray finished with 286 yards and a touchdown, while he ran for two TDs in a stunning display.

Murray – a dual-threat – put on a show as he ran with the ball and went for 14 and 21 yards to help the Cardinals improve to 2-0.

"As soon as I leave the pocket I survey the field," Murray said. "Seeing how the blocks were set up, they were set up pretty perfectly. Once I get a guy one on one, I like my chances."

Cardinals star DeAndre Hopkins had eight catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Meanwhile, Wilson fuelled the Seahawks to a 35-30 win over the New England Patriots.

Wilson was 21-of-28 for 288 yards and five touchdowns as the Seahawks made it two victories from two games.

It condemned Can Newton and the Patriots to their first loss of the season after Tom Brady's QB replacement in New England finished 30 of 44 for 397 yards, a touchdown, interception and a sack in Seattle.

 

Week 2 scores:

Chicago Bears 17-13 New York Giants 
Dallas Cowboys 40-39 Atlanta Falcons 
Green Bay Packers 42-21 Detroit Lions 
Tennessee Titans 33-30 Jacksonville Jaguars 
Indianapolis Colts 28-11 Minnesota Vikings 
Buffalo Bills 31-28 Miami Dolphins 
San Francisco 49ers 31-13 New York Jets 
Los Angeles Rams 37-19 Philadelphia Eagles 
Pittsburgh Steelers 26-21 Denver Broncos 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17 Carolina Panthers
Arizona Cardinals 30-15 Washington Football Team
Kansas City Chiefs 23-20 Los Angeles Chargers
Baltimore Ravens 33-16 Houston Texans
Seattle Seahawks 35-30 New England Patriots

The Dallas Cowboys produced a stunning comeback while Tom Brady clinched his first win with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during an eventful Week 2 of the NFL season. 

Having lost in New Orleans last time out, quarterback Brady steered the Bucs past the plucky Carolina Panthers in their home opener. 

There were victories for the Los Angeles Rams and Pittsburgh Steelers too, while the Buffalo Bills, Chicago Bears, Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans also moved to 2-0. 

However, Sunday's early games were beset by injuries, most notably to Saquon Barkley. The San Francisco 49ers also suffered key losses, though still came out on top against the New York Jets. 

BRADY UP AND RUNNING 

Tampa Bay looked set to be sailing away with the game against the Panthers when they led 21-0 at half-time, Brady helping open up the lead with a 23-yard touchdown throw to Mike Evans. 

Ronald Jones and Leonard Fournette scored on the ground to open up a commanding advantage, yet a pair of touchdowns for Christian McCaffrey - who was later sidelined with an ankle issue - put the game back in the balance. 

Both teams traded field goals to leave the score at 24-17, but the Bucs clinched the result when Fournette galloped in from 46 yards out inside the final two minutes. 

PACKERS AND BEARS STILL UNBEATEN 

Aaron Jones was the star of the show as the Packers thrashed the Detroit Lions, the running back rushing for 168 yards and two touchdowns, as well as posting four catches for 68 yards and a score. 

The Bears are also unbeaten in the NFC North - holding off the New York Giants in the closing seconds to seal a 17-13 triumph - but the Minnesota Vikings were beaten again, going down 28-11 to the Indianapolis Colts 

To add further woe for the Giants, star running back Barkley left the game in the first half with a right knee injury. It was later reported by a number of sources that he had suffered a torn ACL. 

COWBOYS LEAVE IT LATE

It appeared Dallas were set to suffer a second straight defeat as they trailed against Atlanta for the majority of a high-scoring contest. 

Calvin Ridley caught two of quarterback Matt Ryan's four touchdown throws as the Falcons impressed on offense, helping them hold a 39-24 advantage midway through the fourth quarter. 

Yet Mike McCarthy avoided losing his home opener as Cowboys head coach thanks to a remarkable rally. Quarterback Dak Prescott's third rushing touchdown cut the deficit to two and, after a successful onside kick secured possession again, Greg Zuerlein kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired. 

For the Falcons, the 20-point blown lead is the largest they have let slip away since Super Bowl LI, when they were 25 points up on the New England Patriots. 

INJURIES A PAIN

Barkley was not the only leading name to be forced out of action.

The already depleted 49ers defeated the Jets 31-13, but the win may have come at a cost. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and running back Raheem Mostert were both hurt during the game, while defensive duo Nick Bosa and Solomon Thomas suffered knee injuries.

The Denver Broncos also had to make an enforced change at quarterback, Drew Lock sidelined with a shoulder issue. Jeff Driskel replaced him during the loss to Pittsburgh.

Week 2 scores:

Chicago Bears 17-13 New York Giants 
Dallas Cowboys 40-39 Atlanta Falcons 
Green Bay Packers 42-21 Detroit Lions 
Tennessee Titans 33-30 Jacksonville Jaguars 
Indianapolis Colts 28-11 Minnesota Vikings 
Buffalo Bills 31-28 Miami Dolphins 
San Francisco 49ers 31-13 New York Jets 
Los Angeles Rams 37-19 Philadelphia Eagles 
Pittsburgh Steelers 26-21 Denver Broncos 
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-17 Carolina Panthers 

Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut did not go according to plan, while last season's Super Bowl participants the San Francisco 49ers started their 2020 NFL campaign with a loss.

Legendary quarter Brady struggled as the Buccaneers went down 34-23 to the New Orleans Saints in Week 1 on Sunday.

As for the 49ers, they were upstaged by Kyler Murray's Arizona Cardinals 24-20 in San Francisco.

 

BRADY'S BUCS BEATEN

Brady has taken his Super Bowl-winning expertise to Tampa Bay, but the six-time NFL champion endured a tough debut against NFC South champions the Saints.

A high-profile recruit from the New England Patriots following 20 years in Foxborough, Brady threw two interceptions in the team's season opener.

The 43-year-old had a pick-six, finishing 23 of 36 for 239 yards and two touchdowns, while he was sacked three times.

Brady started well, scoring a two-yard touchdown. He led a nine-play, 85-yard drive, completing his two passes for 37 yards before running the ball into the endzone for the first points of the game.

But Brady turned the ball over twice, with the second turnover resulting in a touchdown for the Saints' Janoris Jenkins.

It was a far better outing for fellow veteran quarterback Drew Brees, who passed for 160 yards and two touchdowns, without turning the ball over – throwing TD passes to Alvin Kamara and Emmanuel Sanders in New Orleans.

 

CARDINALS RALLY AMID GAROPPOLO WOES

The Cardinals – led by their star QB Murray – completed a comeback to upstage the highly rated 49ers on the road.

Murray's throw to DeAndre Hopkins set up Kenyan Drake's one-yard score with just over five minutes remaining as the Cardinals topped the 49ers.

The Cardinals overcame a pair of fourth-quarter deficits thanks to Murray, who threw for 230 yards and a touchdown, while running for 91 yards and another score.

It came as 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo struggled as criticism grows.

After a disappointing display in the Super Bowl loss to the Kansas City Chiefs, further questions have been raised after Garoppolo led just one scoring drive in the second half.

Garoppolo finished 19 of 33 for 259 yards and two touchdowns, and he missed two crucial throws, with 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan saying: "He's gotta play better. We've all gotta play better. The entire offense missed opportunities."

 

RAMS OPEN NEW STADIUM WITH WIN

In their first game at SoFi Stadium, the Los Angeles Rams topped the Dallas Cowboys 20-17 behind a career-high 79 yards and two touchdowns from Malcolm Brown.

Rams quarterback Jared Goff passed for 275 yards, while Cowboys counterpart Dak Prescott was 25 of 39 for 266 yards and a touchdown.

Number one draft pick Joe Burrow put the Cincinnati Bengals in a position to claim a dramatic last-gasp win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

But after running 23 yards for a touchdown, Burrow watched Randy Bullock miss a 31-yard field goal with seven seconds to play as the Chargers prevailed 16-13.

 

Week 1 scores:

Seattle Seahawks 38-25 Atlanta Falcons
Baltimore Ravens 38-6 Cleveland Browns
Buffalo Bills 27-17 New York Jets
Las Vegas Raiders 34-30 Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears 27-23 Detroit Lions
Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 Indianapolis Colts
Green Bay Packers 43-34 Minnesota Vikings
New England Patriots 21-11 Miami Dolphins
Washington Football Team 27-17 Philadelphia Eagles
Arizona Cardinals 24-20 San Francisco 49ers
New Orleans Saints 34-23 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Los Angeles Chargers 16-13 Cincinnati Bengals
Los Angeles Rams 20-17 Dallas Cowboys

Cam Newton helped the New England Patriots get off to a winning start and the Chicago Bears staged a remarkable late comeback against Detroit Lions in the NFL on Sunday.

The Pats were comfortable 21-11 winners against the Miami Dolphins in their first game since Tom Brady's departure, with Newton contributing two rushing touchdowns.

Meanwhile, the Bears hit back at Detroit, who had linebacker Jamie Collins ejected for making contact with an official with his helmet in a bizarre incident.


PATS UP AND RUNNING POST-BRADY

The Pats kicked off a new Brady-less era at Gillette Stadium with a routine opening-day victory thanks in no small part to the performance of Newton.

The 2015 MVP scored the 59th and 60th rushing TDs of his career, going 75 yards on 15 carries while also throwing 15 of 19 for 155 yards.

Sony Michel also rushed home from a yard out in the fourth quarter after Jordan Howard had given the Dolphins some temporary hope.


TRUBISKY DRAGS CHICAGO BACK FROM THE DEAD

Chicago scored 21 unanswered points on three touchdown passes from Mitch Trubisky to claim an improbable 27-23 win at Detroit.

The hosts carried a three-score lead into the final quarter yet somehow failed to see out victory

Trubisky picked out wide receiver Anthony Miller for a diving 27-yard touchdown catch with a little under two minutes remaining complete the fightback.

Detroit lost Collins in the second quarter, the linebacker ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct after lowering his head and made contact with an official as he appeared to signal another incident.


RODGERS DISMANTLES MINNESOTA

Aaron Rodgers looked back to his old self, helping himself to a couple of touchdown passes in the second quarter of the Green Bay Packers' 43-34 win over the Minnesota Vikings.

He did not look back from that point on, finishing with four touchdown passes, Davante Adams profiting from two of those, while Marquez Valdes-Scantling also got in on the act.

There was also a scintillating quarterback display from Russell Wilson in the Seattle Seahawks' 38-25 victory against Atlanta Falcons.

Wilson threw for 322 yards and four TDs for the Seahawks, who saw Greg Olsen and Carlos Hyde register debut scores.


JACKSON RESUMES MVP FORM
 
Lamar Jackson was nine-of-10 for 180 yards on throws of 10 yards or more downfield, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Willie Snead, as the Baltimore Ravens beat Cleveland Browns 36-6. 

He completed 20 of 25 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns in total in a formidable performance, helping the Ravens win a season opener by more than 30 points for a third straight season.

It was a tighter contest in the clash between the Carolina Panthers and the Las Vegas Raiders, meanwhile, with the latter clinching a slender 34-30 road win.

Josh Jacobs rushed for three touchdowns, one of those a six-yard scoring run with 4:08 left, to inspire the Raiders to victory in their debut as Las Vegas' NFL team


JACKSONVILLE SHOCK COLTS

The Jaguars got off to a 1-0 start by overcoming divisional rivals Indianapolis Colts 27-20 at EverBank Field.

The Colts, in their first game with veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, were second best against a Jaguars side containing a number of rookies.

Andrew Wingard intercepted with less than five minutes of a tight contest remaining to set up Josh Lambo's second field goal in a surprise result.

Elsewhere, the Washington Football Team - inspired by Peyton Barber - rallied to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 27-17 from a 17-0 deficit.

Barber ran for two touchdowns in Ron Rivera's debut game, profiting from some poor defensive play from their opponents.


Week 1 scores:

Atlanta Falcons 25-38 Seattle Seahawks
Baltimore Ravens 38-6 Cleveland Browns
Buffalo Bills 27-17 New York Jets
Carolina Panthers 30-34 Las Vegas Raiders
Detroit Lions 23-27 Chicago Bears
Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 Indianapolis Colts
Minnesota Vikings 34-43 Green Bay Packers
New England Patriots 21-11 Miami Dolphins
Washington Football Team 27-17 Philadelphia Eagles

NFL action is back after the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Houston Texans to kick off the defence of their Super Bowl title.

A further 15 games across Sunday and Monday will see the league's other 30 teams begin their 2020 slate, with some having greater prospects than others.

The Chiefs and Texans were two of the teams who made the postseason in 2019, but there were 20 that did not, including some historic franchises.

With an increased 14 spots up for grabs – up from 12 last season – many of those non-playoff teams will be eyeing a return to the big time and here we have reviewed six of the best candidates to make the jump.

AFC

Indianapolis Colts

Eight-time Pro Bowl selection Philip Rivers provides the Colts with an upgrade over Jacoby Brissett at quarterback and he will now play behind one of the league's best offensive lines, a situation he never had with the Chargers. 

A difficult offseason for the Texans, last year's AFC South winners, is another boost to the hopes of the Colts, who also made a splash on the defensive side of the ball by bringing in DeForest Buckner from the San Francisco 49ers after his appearance in the Super Bowl.

Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers went 8-8 last season even without two-time Super Bowl winner Ben Roethlisberger, who missed most of the campaign after shoulder surgery.

Despite a relatively quiet offseason, the Steelers can contend with Roethlisberger back and a defense that finished fifth in yards allowed (third against the pass) and sixth in points allowed, with T. J. Watt and Minkah Fitzpatrick two of their star performers.

Against the odds…

Cleveland Browns

Yes, it's the Browns, and yes, last season they emphatically failed to deliver on preseason expectations and ended up changing their general manager and head coach having gone 6-10.

But despite those woes and an incredibly competitive division that contains the Baltimore Ravens and the Steelers, analysts may have gone too far the other way in dismissing the Browns as a 2020 threat. 

If Baker Mayfield can recover from a poor year and shine like he did as a rookie behind a revamped offensive line, an offense including Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt will thrive, while pass-rusher Myles Garrett -  who has 30.5 sacks in 37 career games - is back from suspension to lead a defense that was a top-10 unit against the pass last season.


NFC

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

After winning six Super Bowls and nine AFC Championships in 20 seasons with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady has a new home at the age of 43, instantly making the Bucs a likely playoff team.

Brady has also brought tight end Rob Gronkowski along with him, those two adding to an already explosive Bruce Arians offense that includes pass-catchers Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, O. J. Howard and Cameron Brate.

With the offense set to shine and the Bucs looking to become the first team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl on home soil, the defense will need to play its part – but there is optimism there too with league sack leader Shaquil Barrett returning on the franchise tag and a promising young secondary in place.

Dallas Cowboys

Fresh from throwing just shy of 5,000 yards and adding 30 touchdowns last season, Dak Prescott would not have believed his luck when top wideout Amari Cooper signed a new long-term deal and Oklahoma prospect CeeDee Lamb dropped to the Cowboys in the draft.

Michael Gallup is also part of an impressive receiving corps being overseen by highly rated offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. A strong all-round roster and a weak NFC East should help new head coach Mike McCarthy as he looks to make the kind of postseason impact that eluded predecessor Jason Garrett.

Against the odds…

Arizona Cardinals

Adding DeAndre Hopkins, one of the NFL's best wide receivers, from the Texans in a one-sided trade was perhaps the deal of the offseason for an optimistic Cardinals team who should improve on their five wins in 2019 and could even be a surprise playoff team.

Hopkins joins franchise icon Larry Fitzgerald as a receiving option for QB Kyler Murray, of whom big things are expected after a largely positive rookie season from the former number one overall pick (3,722 passing yards and 544 rushing).

If they are to contend, big strides are also needed on the other side of the ball, but fans will be excited to see versatile top draft pick Isaiah Simmons paired with All-Pro pass-rusher Chandler Jones.

Liverpool ended their 30-year wait for a top-flight title last season by comfortably finishing top of the Premier League.

After coming agonisingly close numerous times in the three decades since their most recent success, the Reds finished at the summit with an incredible 99 points.

The Merseyside club had hardly been starved of major trophies in that time, having won a couple of European Cups, three FA Cups and various other honours.

But for plenty of Liverpool supporters - many of whom would never have witnessed their side winning the title - last season's coronation was seen as a hoodoo being lifted.

Jurgen Klopp is now tasked with making it back-to-back triumphs, though, as history shows, it is not always so easy to push on from such a success.

Here, we look at some previous examples of what happened next after other sports teams ended their long-running title droughts.


Chicago Cubs (MLB) - 108-year wait

The Cubs ended MLB's longest-such drought by winning the World Series in 2016 with an 8-7 Game 7 victory over the Cleveland Indians in 10 innings.

The following season did not turn out to be quite so memorable as, after winning the division title, they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in the League Championship Series.


Chicago White Sox (MLB) - 88-year wait

Not quite as long a wait as their city rivals, but a painful one all the same. The White Sox swept the Houston Astros in four games for their third World Series championship in 2005.

They finished third in the American League Central a year later with a record of 90-72 and are still on the hunt for their fourth crown.


Boston Red Sox (MLB) - 86-year wait

After years of falling just short, the Red Sox won the World Series in 2004 and vanquished the 'Curse of the Bambino' in the process.

Disappointment followed in 2005 as they finished second in the American League East before being swept by the White Sox in the American League Division Series.


Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) - 50-year wait

A more recent example of a team ending years of hurt, the Chiefs - led by the incredible Patrick Mahomes - recovered from 10 points behind to beat the San Francisco 49ers 31-20 in Super Bowl LIV earlier this year.

Seven months on from that famous win, they will enter the much-anticipated season as the favourites of many to match their recent success, much like Liverpool.


Chicago Blackhawks (NHL) - 49-year wait

Patrick Kane was the hero for the Blackhawks, scoring four minutes and six seconds into overtime of their decisive Game 6 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals.

The Blackhawks lost several players due to salary cap restrictions and succumbed to the Vancouver Canucks in seven games in the first round of the following season's play-offs.

 
Golden State Warriors (NBA) - 40-year wait

A first NBA title in four decades for the Warriors was secured thanks to a 4-2 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2015 Finals, Steve Kerr's team winning the last three games of the series.

Among other records, they set the best-ever regular season return of 73-9 the next campaign but went on to lose to the Cavs 4-3 in the Finals as their opponents gained revenge.


Indianapolis Colts (NFL) - 36-year wait

The Colts got their hands on the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the 2006 season with a 29-17 Super Bowl XLI victory over the Chicago Bears after ending the regular campaign with a record of 12-4.

Despite improving on their regular season record the folllowing year en route to winning a fifth straight AFC South divisional title, they lost to the San Diego Chargers in the divisional round of the playoffs.

There has perhaps never been a tougher year to be a rookie in the NFL.

With the coronavirus pandemic decimating offseason practice schedules and preventing any preseason games from taking place, 2020's crop of first-year players will start their pro careers having had very little time to adapt.

Yet, even in exceptional circumstances, there are still plenty of players from a talented rookie class with the chance to excel in their maiden season.

Here we look at 10 rookies to watch in the 2020 campaign.

 

Joe Burrow - QB, Cincinnati Bengals

The first overall pick in the 2020 draft will look to carry arguably the greatest season by a quarterback in the history of college football into his rookie year into the pros. Should he succeed, it will likely result in a quick turnaround for a moribund Bengals franchise. The reports from training camp suggest he is a position to do just that.

KEY STAT: Burrow's 60 passing touchdowns for National Champions LSU were the most in a single season by a college football quarterback.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire - RB, Kansas City Chiefs

The Chiefs used the final pick of the first round to select Burrow's former LSU team-mate. With Super Bowl hero Damien Williams opting out of the season, Edwards-Helaire has been a consensus first-round pick in fantasy drafts and - entering the league's most explosive offense - this do-it-all running back is in a situation to enjoy a monster rookie season.

KEY STAT: Of running backs selected in the 2020 draft, only Raymond Calais (7.5) - a seventh-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - had a higher yards per touch average than Edwards-Helaire (6.9) in 2019.

Chase Young - DE, Washington Football Team

Young was an easy pick for Washington with the second overall selection. Some believe his upside is greater than last season's Defensive Rookie of the Year Nick Bosa, who was taken in the same spot by the 49ers in 2019. Playing on a defensive line stacked with first-round talent, Young has the ability to replicate the impact his former Ohio State team-mate had for San Francisco with a Washington team that has few bright spots.

KEY STAT: Despite serving a two-game suspension Young's 16.5 sacks were the most in the NCAA last season.

Tua Tagovailoa - QB, Miami Dolphins

Tagovailoa will have to wait for his NFL debut after veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick was named the 2020 starter. That is not much of a surprise given Tagovailoa has not played a game since dislocating his hip for Alabama in November. However, given the frenetic nature of Fitzpatrick's play, the fifth overall pick should eventually get a chance to prove he, and not Burrow, was the best quarterback in the class.

KEY STAT: Tagovailoa led the NCAA in touchdown percentage in 2019, with 33 (13.1 per cent) of his 252 pass attempts resulting in scores.

Brandon Aiyuk - WR, San Francisco 49ers

The 49ers traded up from 31 to 25 to select wide receiver Aiyuk with their second pick of the first round. When a play-caller of Kyle Shanahan's talents makes such a move, the rest of the league needs to take notice. Aiyuk has reportedly started to vindicate that decision with impressive performances in training camp and has the skillset to make one of the league's premier offenses even more devastating in 2020.

KEY STAT: Aiyuk averaged 18.2 yards per touch in 2019 for Arizona State. Of wide receivers selected only CeeDee Lamb (19) - the first-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys - averaged more.

Isaiah Simmons - LB, Arizona Cardinals

Aiming to help the Cardinals slow down the 49ers offense will be Cardinals first-round pick Simmons, who can operate as a linebacker, safety and even occasionally as a cornerback. His remarkable blend of size and athleticism gives Simmons the potential to be a true position-less player on defense and the key to him thriving as a rookie will be defensive coordinator Vance Joseph making the most of his physical attributes.

KEY STAT: Simmons showed his versatility in his final season at Clemson, recording eight sacks, three interceptions and eight pass breakups.

Antoine Winfield Jr. - S, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

While there has been so much focus on the Buccaneers' offense following the arrival of Tom Brady, the defense also looks championship-ready and Winfield can be a crucial contributor in his first year. The second-round pick is the son of former Pro Bowl defensive back Antoine Winfield Sr. and the same playmaking ability his father had has been apparent in Tampa Bay's preparations for a season where expectations will be extremely high.

KEY STAT: Winfield's seven interceptions for Minnesota in 2019 were the fourth-most in college football.

Jalen Hurts - QB, Philadelphia Eagles

Hurts' selection in the second round by the Eagles caused a stir, but Hurts will not be displacing Carson Wentz as starter, at least not yet anyway. It is likely, though, that the Eagles use Hurts as runner in the red zone, the former Alabama and Oklahoma quarterback having the dual-threat ability to add another dimension to the Philadelphia offense.

KEY STAT: The 3,274 rushing yards Hurts gained from 2016 to the end of the 2019 season were the third-most by a quarterback in that span.

Cam Akers - RB, Los Angeles Rams

With Todd Gurley now a member of the Atlanta Falcons, second-round pick Akers will carry much of the burden of reviving the Rams' running game in 2020. Having excelled in college despite playing behind a poor offensive line at Florida State, Akers should be confident of making a successful transition to the pros for a Rams team that also had a fair share of struggles in the trenches last season.

KEY STAT: Akers averaged 93.3 scrimmage yards per game in three seasons at Florida State, with that number the third-highest among running backs in the Atlantic Coast Conference between 2017 and 2019.

Jonathan Taylor - RB, Indianapolis Colts

Second-round pick Taylor is set to step into a heavy-duty role in the Colts backfield as a rookie. He should get a larger share of the carries than team-mate Marlon Mack, who is a free agent at the end of the season, and will be the favoured back in the red zone. If he performs as he did during a stellar collegiate career at Wisconsin, Taylor will be in the Offensive Rookie of the Year conversation.

KEY STAT: Taylor averaged 150 rushing yards per game during in his career at Wisconsin (2017-19), the highest average of any running back in college football in that timeframe.

Multiple NFL teams cancelled their Thursday practices in response to the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The New York Jets, Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts, Tennessee Titans, Arizona Cardinals, Washington Football Team and Los Angeles Chargers were among those not to take to the field.

It comes amid widespread protests in the Unites States following the shooting of Blake, who was repeatedly shot in the back by police on Sunday.

His father said he has been left paralysed from the waist down.

Washington were the first to cancel practice, their decision coming shortly after the Milwaukee Bucks boycotted Game 5 of their first-round NBA Eastern Conference series against the Orlando Magic.

All of Wednesday and Thursday's NBA playoff games were postponed.

The Cardinals were among those to cancel their practice entirely, with head coach Kliff Kingsbury later addressing the media to explain the decision.

"What happened to Jacob Blake was horrendous and it has to stop," he said.

"I know it sounds hollow at times because you hear the same things over and over, but we wanted to make sure our players know that we support them and we're here for them.

"There's time where football takes a backburner and we felt like this was one of those moments as an organisation. 

"We wanted our players to know that we support them and want them to have a day to be with their families, be able to reflect on things, be around friends, be around each other and then use the day to help make that change the way to see.

"Whether it's on social media, using that platform that they have, or if it's going to register to vote or trying to get other people set up to register to vote, we just wanted them to know this is their day and I felt like it was important to our organisation."

Cardinals running back Kenyan Drake wrote on Twitter: "We have the day off today to educate and reflect on who we are as individuals and here we need to progress as people. 

"I'm honoured to be in an organisation of men and women who lead the charge for change in this country."

Jets running back Le'Veon Bell appeared to send a message to the NFL when he wrote: "We've been protecting the shield. It's time for the shield to protect us."

New Orleans Saints players did take to the field, with each player wearing a helmet with Blake's name written on it.

The Pittsburgh Steelers also practiced, and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters: "Everyone has the choice to choose to what level and what degree they want to use their platform.

"I think the biggest thing right now is to listen to my African-American team-mates and friends that aren't even in football just to get a better understanding to educate myself."

New Indianapolis Colts quarterback Philip Rivers admitted he was "aggravated" by criticism of his performances for the Los Angeles Chargers in 2019.

Rivers, 38, signed a one-year deal with the Colts in March after entering free agency when he left the Chargers, where he had started every game since 2005.

The eight-time Pro Bowler is now determined to prove he can still cut it the coming season, having revealed he was well aware of suggestions he was past his best last year.

Rivers, who threw for 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions, acknowledged he made "some very costly mistakes" but insisted there was also "so much good" as the Chargers finished with a 5-11 record.

"At times what may have aggravated me a little bit last year was [critics saying] that I couldn't play anymore," the veteran told reporters.

"When you heard that, it bothered me, because I wanted to go, 'Shoot, let's go turn on the tape and watch all the good things.'

"There were some bad plays, certainly some throws I want back and certainly some very costly mistakes. I own up to all those.

"There was so much good and I had some throws last year that were probably as good as I've had my whole career.

"I knew, so I didn't feel like I had to sell that to anyone. But at the same time, it did aggravate you little bit.

"I think it's okay to be aware [of criticism]. I'm one of those guys that likes to be aware."

Indianapolis Colts coach Frank Reich met with the media on Monday and read a statement in support of the black community while addressing racial injustices experienced by African Americans. 

"Few things stir the human heart and soul like injustice," Reich said to reporters. "When we see it, feel it, experience it, it's heart-wrenching. It's not enough for a person who looks like me to say, 'I'm not racist.'

"This kind of talk and thinking, it typically lends itself to a posture of neutrality, indifference, and passivity. It's easy to be silent and do nothing, when it doesn't directly impact you. This attitude simply doesn't evoke any conviction about doing what is right, and standing up for the inherent dignity and rights of all people, no matter the colour of their skin."

Reich's comments follow a weekend of protests and riots in several American cities in the wake of the death of George Floyd. Floyd was an African American who died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the back of Floyd's neck while he lay handcuffed on the ground. Protesters are calling for an end of police brutality against minorities. 

"Racism is vile, deplorable, detestable," Reich said. "There's no form of it that is acceptable, and in no way can it be justified. Our black community has bore the brunt of this injustice far too long. 

"I believe that I — we — all have a personal responsibility to speak up, and to act in ways that build each other up, not tear each other down.

"I believe each one of us can make a difference if we're willing to grow personally and display the courage necessary for us to take steps of progress in this most important of issues."

The Colts released a statement regarding Floyd's death, and Reich said he supported it but also wanted to offer his personal views.   

Reich also said some Colts players have participated in peaceful protests but was not concerned about their well-being. 

"Sometimes, you have to take risks," he said.

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