Mitch Trubisky came on for an injured Kenny Pickett to throw a six-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ maligned defense made it stand up in a stunning 20-18 win over Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
The Steelers (2-4) snapped a four-game losing streak by relying on a largely anonymous defense missing almost its entire starting secondary.
Brady struggled to take advantage behind an offensive line that had issues protecting him. The 45-year-old at one point excoriated the line for underperforming against a team that had just three sacks in the last four games coming in.
“You’re so much better than the way you’re fucking playing,” Brady said to his linemen before unleashing several more curses.
He completed 25 of 40 passes for 243 yards and an 11-yard touchdown to Leonard Fournette with 4:38 remaining to cut Pittsburgh’s lead to two. Steelers linebacker Devin Bush broke up the two-point conversion attempt and Pittsburgh ran out the clock behind Trubisky to avoid their first 1-5 start since 1988.
New York Jets 27-10 Green Bay Packers
Breece Hall ran for 116 yards, including a 34-yard touchdown, the surprising Jets sacked Aaron Rodgers four times and New York won their third straight with a 27-10 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
The Jets (4-2) are off to their best six-game start since 2015, when they also went 4-2 before finishing with a 10-6 record. New York haven’t reached the playoffs since the 2010 season, the NFL’s longest active drought. Green Bay (3-3) have lost consecutive regular-season games within the same season for the first time since coach Matt LaFleur’s arrival in 2019.
Baltimore Ravens 20–24 New York Giants
Julian Love’s interception and 27-yard return set up Saquon Barkley’s one-yard touchdown dive with 1:43 to play, and the New York Giants rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Baltimore Ravens.
New York’s defense, led by Baltimore’s former coordinator Wink Martindale, forced two turnovers by Lamar Jackson late in the fourth quarter. After Barkley’s go-ahead score, rookie Keyvon Thibodeaux sacked Jackson and forced a fumble as the Ravens (3-3) had their third late meltdown this season and handed the Giants (5-1) another surprising victory. Led by new coach Brian Daboll, the Giants have already exceeded their 2021 win total.
Cincinnati Bengals 30–26 New Orleans Saints
Joe Burrow passed for three touchdowns and scrambled 19 yards for a score, and the Cincinnati Bengals (3-3) rallied to beat the New Orleans Saints (2-4). Two of Burrow’s touchdown tosses went to Ja’Marr Chase just like the previous time the pair played in college in the Superdome in a national championship game triumph with LSU. The second came on a quick pass to the left sideline that Chase turned into a 60-yard, go-ahead score with 1:57 left in the game in which the star receiver spun away from cornerback Bradley Roby before outrunning safety Tyrann Mathieu.
Minnesota Vikings 24–16 Miami Dolphins
Dalvin Cook rushed for a 53-yard insurance touchdown in the fourth quarter and the Minnesota Vikings (5-1) held on to beat the injury-riddled Miami Dolphins (3-3). Cook was quiet most of the afternoon until his score with 3:25 left restored Minnesota’s two-touchdown lead.
New England Patriots 38–15 Cleveland Browns
Rookie backup Bailey Zappe threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns in his third NFL game, Bill Belichick tied George Halas for second on the all-time list with his 324th victory, and the New England Patriots buried the Cleveland Browns.
Zappe, starting his second game in place of the injured Mac Jones, threw second-half TD passes to Tyquan Thornton and Hunter Henry as the Patriots (3-3) pulled away from the anemic Browns (2-4). Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for two touchdowns for New England. Zappe finished 24 of 34 passing a week after he threw for 188 yards and a touchdown in his first start last week in a 29-0 win over Detroit.
Jacksonville Jaguars 27–34 Indianapolis Colts
Matt Ryan threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Alec Pierce with 17 seconds to play, leading the Indianapolis Colts to a 34-27 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The victory ends Indy’s two-game skid against their AFC South rival and marks the third time this season Ryan has led the Colts (3-2-1) to a come-from-behind victory. It’s the fifth straight loss in Indy for the Jaguars (2-4). The home team has won 11 straight in this series.
Ryan followed a completely different script in this game than he had the previous five. Instead of relying on the ground game, the Colts asked the 15-year veteran to lean heavily on short, quick throws and it worked. He finished with a franchise record 42 completions on 58 attempts with three touchdowns and 389 yards passing Dan Marino for seventh on the NFL’s career list for passing yards.
San Francisco 49ers 14-28 Atlanta Falcons
Marcus Mariota threw a pair of touchdown passes and ran for another score against the NFL’s top-ranked defense, leading the Atlanta Falcons to victory over the San Francisco 49ers. He finished with 129 yards through the air in Atlanta’s conservative passing game, also rushing for 50 yards on six carries. The Niners (3-3) could not overcome two interceptions by Jimmy Garoppolo and a fumble that was returned for a touchdown by the Falcons.