The Los Angeles Rams played on Thursday and the Kansas City Chiefs do not play until Monday in N.F.L. Week 4. That leaves the Miami Dolphins as the only unbeaten team playing on Sunday. Of course, Baker Mayfield is starting for Cleveland, so there shouldn’t be a shortage of excitement.
Chicago Bears 45, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 10
During the Chicago Bears’ hot start to the season, it occasionally felt like Mitchell Trubisky, a second-year quarterback, was holding back the team’s elite defense. After he threw six touchdown passes Sunday in Chicago’s 48-10 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, his critics should quiet down considerably.
Trubisky, who came into the game with just two touchdown passes all season, was a model of efficiency, completing 19 of 26 passes for 354 yards; his touchdown passes were distributed to five different receivers. He finished one short of the N.F.L. record for touchdown passes in a game — a record that was initially set by Chicago’s Sid Luckman in 1943 — and he even tied for the team lead in rushing with 53 yards on just three carries.
It was the opposite story for the Buccaneers. Up against Khalil Mack and the rest of Chicago’s wrecking ball of a defense, Tampa Bay started Ryan Fitzpatrick despite Jameis Winston’s suspension having come to an end. That lasted just two quarters, with Winston replacing Fitzpatrick at halftime thanks to Fitzpatrick’s complete inability to move the ball.
Winston had more success than Fitzpatrick but showed the same propensity for turnovers, with two interceptions on just 20 attempts. But while each Tampa Bay quarterback struggled, neither felt like more than a footnote in a Trubisky’s breakout performance.
“Based on that game today, we couldn’t make enough changes,” Coach Dirk Koetter said when he was asked about Tampa Bay’s quarterback situation after the game. “We should fire every person that was on that field today, starting with me.”
He punctuated the response by saying “that was horrific.”
Both quarterbacks were asked about which would be starter next week, and neither seemed to have any indication. “I just got to keep being better,” Winston said. “That’s a question for coach or the G.M.”
Fitzgerald was far more succinct, saying “I have no idea.”
New England Patriots 38, Miami Dolphins 7
It appears as if nothing is wrong with the New England Patriots after all. The team made its 1-2 start to the season a distant memory with a 38-7 drubbing of the Miami Dolphins, who had come into the game as one of the N.F.L.’s last three remaining undefeated teams.
It was a slow start for both teams, with the Patriots leading 3-0 after one quarter, but a 21-point second quarter got them way out in front and they were never challenged.
Tom Brady was intercepted twice, and the Patriots lost Rob Gronkowski to a right ankle injury in the third quarter, but their passing game did not have to be perfect thanks to Sony Michel — he looked like the answer for the team at running back, with 112 yards on 25 carries. The rookie out of Georgia was a perfect complement to James White, who had 44 rushing yards, 68 receiving yards and two total touchdowns.
New England’s defense took care of the rest by allowing just 172 yards of total offense. It was ugly enough for the Dolphins that the team pulled Ryan Tannehill from the game in favor of Brock Osweiler in the fourth quarter. With the game well out of reach, Osweiler completed 4 of his 5 passes for 35 yards and a touchdown, but that was hardly enough to make a dent in New England’s emphatic statement of a win.
New England hosts Indianapolis next week, while the Dolphins will try to get their season back on track with a road game against Cincinnati.
Dallas Cowboys 26, Detroit Lions 24
The Dallas Cowboys survived a late charge from the Detroit Lions with Dak Prescott leading the offense on a 55-yard drive in the final two minutes, setting up Brett Maher’s game-winning 38-yard field goal in a 26-24 victory.
The Cowboys led 13-10 at halftime, and had stretched that margin to 20-10 through three quarters, but the Lions showed no quit. Matthew Stafford’s 38-yard pass to Golden Tate gave Detroit a lead with 2 minutes 17 seconds remaining.
But Prescott calmly worked his way down the field, getting the bulk of the yardage on a deep pass to Ezekiel Elliott that went for 34 yards and was part of a tremendous day for the team’s running back in which he generated 240 yards from scrimmage.
Stafford did about as much as a quarterback can do without winning. He completed 24 of 30 passes for 307 yards and two touchdowns, but in a game that did not have a turnover on either side, Elliott’s excellence simply proved too much for Detroit to overcome.
Dallas improved to 2-2, while the Lions, under first-year head coach Matt Patricia, fell to 1-3.
Green Bay Packers 22, Buffalo Bills 0
A week after shocking the world by winning as 16.5-point underdogs, the Buffalo Bills came into a game against Green Bay expected to lose by at least 9.5. They more than doubled that deficit, losing by a score of 22-0 in a game that was never competitive.
Aaron Rodgers, still playing through a difficult knee injury, was hardly at his best, completing just 22 of his 40 passes with one touchdown and one interception, but Green Bay’s defense made things easy by intercepting the rookie quarterback Josh Allen twice while allowing just 145 yards of total offense.
Much of the Packers’ success arose from the immense amount of pressure they put on Allen. The first-round pick was sacked seven times — three times by Kyler Fackrell — and was hit 11 other times.
With the team’s first shutout since 2010, Green Bay’s record improved to 2-1-1. The Packers’ Week 2 tie has them behind the 3-1 Chicago Bears in the N.F.C. North standings.
Houston Texans 37, Indianapolis Colts 34
The Indianapolis Colts made the bizarre choice to go for it on 4th-and-4 from their own 43-yard line in the final minute of overtime, and the decision immediately backfired, as the Texans completed one pass and then kicked a 37-yard field goal to secure a 37-34 victory.
The teams had traded field goals in overtime and Andrew Luck was trying to drive his team to a win when a penalty helped the drive stall out. With 24 seconds remaining, the offense stayed on the field for fourth down in a failed attempt to draw Houston offside.
After a timeout, the Colts inexplicably came out to actually go for it. Luck attempted a pass to Chester Rogers — it was Luck’s 62nd pass attempt of the game — and the ball fell short of the wide receiver’s hands, essentially dooming the Colts.
The team’s first-year head coach, Frank Reich, was not ready to apologize for the controversial decision when asked about it after the game.
“I’m not playing to tie,” Reich said. “I’ll do that 10 times out of 10. That’s just the way it’s got to roll.”
Given a chance to win after a second-half collapse, Deshaun Watson did not falter. He threw a short pass to DeAndre Hopkins, who raced through the middle of the field for 24 yards, setting up Ka’imi Fairbairn’s game-winning kick.
The Indianapolis loss spoiled Adam Vinatieri’s chance to celebrate after his field goal in the closing seconds of the first half moved him past Morten Anderson for the most in N.F.L. history. Vinatieri hit another field goal in overtime, giving him 567 in 672 career attempts. Anderson had 565 in 709 attempts.
Jacksonville Jaguars 31, New York Jets 12
Blake Bortles threw two touchdown passes, including a 67-yarder to Donte Moncrief, and the Jacksonville Jaguars used a dominant defensive performance to handle the New York Jets 31-12 on Sunday.
Bortles ended up with a career-high 388 yards passing, topping 375 yards for the second time in three games.
Jets rookie Sam Darnold was harassed early and often, getting sacked three times and nearly throwing three interceptions. Tashaun Gipson’s pick was overturned by a holding penalty on the other side of the field, and Pro Bowl cornerbacks A.J. Bouye and Jalen Ramsey each dropped interceptions that would have ended New York’s scoring drives.
Jacksonville’s biggest concern coming out of the victory was the health of running back Leonard Fournette, who re-injured his strained right hamstring. Fournette ran 11 times for 30 yards before leaving the game for good.
Darnold was 17-of-34 passing for 167 yards. The 1-2 punch of Bilal Powell and Isaiah Crowell combined for 26 yards on the ground.