Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
Derrick Henry totaled 264 yards from scrimmage, including 212 on the ground — with a 94-yard scoring scamper in the fourth quarter and a 5-yard touchdown on a direct snap in overtime — as Tennessee improved to 5-0 for the first time in 12 years with a 42-36 OT win over Houston.
Texans interim coach Romeo Crennel passed up a chance for an extra-point attempt to go up by eight after Brandin Cooks’ 1-yard TD reception gave Houston a 36-29 lead with 1:50 remaining.
The two-point conversion attempt failed, and Ryan Tannehill (364 yards) marched down the field and completed his fourth TD toss of the game to A.J. Brown, a 7-yarder with four seconds left in regulation.
“I wanted to go ahead and get the two points and I felt like that would kind of put it out of reach for them,” Crennel said. “As it turned out, we didn’t get it, and then with the touchdown and the extra point they tied it up. We didn’t perform in overtime and they won the game.”
Deshaun Watson threw for 335 yards and four touchdowns for the Texans, whose defense surrendered 601 total yards to fall to 1-5.
Tennessee, which dealt with extensive COVID-19 issues earlier this month, is unbeaten through five games for the first time since a 10-0 start in 2008.
“I’m just happy to be on this team,” Henry said. “We’re 5-0, playing good team football no matter what. No matter how the game’s going, we don’t quit and finish games.”
The Pack Gets Whacked
Aaron Rodgers had just two previous interceptions returned for touchdowns in his 16-year career, but he nearly suffered a pick-six on successive drives in Green Bay’s 38-10 blowout loss on the road Sunday to Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
The previously unbeaten Packers (4-1) scored the game’s first 10 points, but Rodgers had an interception returned for a touchdown by Tampa Bay’s Jamel Dean early in the second quarter, the eight-time Pro Bowl quarterback’s first pick in five appearance this season.
Three plays later, Rodgers was intercepted again by safety Mike Edwards, who returned the ball to the Green Bay 2-yard line. Ronald Jones (113 rushing yards) ran it in from there for his first of two scores on the ground for a 14-10 Tampa lead.
Brady also flipped touchdown tosses to Tyler Johnson and former New England teammate Rob Gronkowski — his first TD since December 2018 — as the Bucs (4-2) scored 38 unanswered points to move into first place in the NFC South.
The 36-year-old Rodgers was pressured throughout his first multiple-interception game since December 2017, with the Bucs defense recording five sacks and limiting the NFL’s second-ranked offense to 201 total yards.
The Giants weren’t the only 0-5 team to post its first win Sunday, as Atlanta responded to coach Dan Quinn’s firing with a 40-23 pasting of Minnesota for interim coach Raheem Morris.
Matt Ryan threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns, including two to returning favorite target Julio Jones, who totaled eight catches for 137 yards after missing last week’s loss to Carolina with a hamstring injury.
“Raheem challenged us to hold everyone accountable and he made it real clear what our responsibility as an offense was, to go score,” Ryan said. “We were better with that today and need to be better with that as we continue to move forward.”
Kirk Cousins was picked off three times in the first half and the Vikings (1-5) trailed 33-7 before he completed two late fantasy-team touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
Every week of the 2020 season has featured at least one team posting a comeback victory after being down by at least 16 points.
The Colts (4-2) spotted Cincinnati 21 in the first half, but Philip Rivers threw for 371 yards and three touchdowns, including a 14-yarder to a diving Jack Doyle on the first play of the fourth quarter for a 31-27 win over the Bengals (1-4-1).
“There really was no panic,” Rivers said. “I’m new to these experiences with this football team … but I wasn’t feeling any panic from anyone.
“Over 17 years, I’ve been down 21-0 before, and sometimes it doesn’t go [well] and sometimes it does. But I was like, ‘Let’s play. We got three quarters. We spotted them 21, so what? Let’s go.’ ”
Getting His Kick
Jacksonville already has used five kickers in its 1-5 start, but the player they used in Sunday’s 34-16 loss to Detroit had never even attempted a field goal at any level of football.
Jon Brown, a 27-year-old former D-I soccer player at Kentucky who later transferred to Louisville to be a kickoff-only specialist, was 1-for-2 on field-goal attempts and successfully kicked his lone extra-point attempt in his NFL debut.
The Hurt Locker
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield struggled through a rib injury (119 passing yards, two INTs) and was replaced in the fourth quarter of Cleveland’s 38-7 loss to Pittsburgh by backup Case Keenum. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said linebacker Devin Bush suffered a “significant” knee injury.
Other injuries: Giants wide receiver C.J. Board (neck), Eagles running back Myles Sanders (knee) and tight end Zach Ertz (foot), Ravens running back Mark Ingram (ankle),
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger improved to 24-2-1 against Cleveland in his career in a 38-7 win as Pittsburgh improved to 5-0 for the first time since its 1978 Super Bowl championship season. Mayfield threw a pick-six to Steelers safety Minkah Fitzpatrick as the Browns, who haven’t won at Pittsburgh since 2003, totaled just 220 total yards to fall to 4-2. … Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz threw two TDs and ran for another in the fourth quarter, but his two-point conversion attempt failed with 1:55 remaining in a 30-28 loss to Baltimore (4-1). Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson rushed for 108 yards on nine carries and threw for 186 yards and a TD. … Broncos kicker Brandon McManus kicked six field goals and Denver’s defense held Cam Newton to 157 passing yards and picked him off twice in his return from a bout with COVID-19 in an 18-12 win at New England (2-3). … Lions running back D’Andre Swift ran for 116 yards and two scores in Detroit’s win over Jacksonville. … Bears quarterback Nick Foles’ 1-yard rushing TD late in third quarter gave Chicago (5-1) a 14-point lead in a 23-16 win over Carolina (3-3).