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Rams lose top two receivers to concussions in win over Seahawks

AFP-JIJI

Quarterback Jared Goff threw for 321 yards and a touchdown and Todd Gurley scored three touchdowns as the Los Angeles Rams kept their perfect record intact with a nail-biting 33-31 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

The unbeaten Rams needed Gurley and Goff to step up Sunday in front of a crowd 68,900 at Seattle’s Century Link Field after their two best receivers, Brandin Cooks and Cooper Kupp, went down with concussions late in the first half.

Receiver Robert Woods also did his part as the Rams moved to 5-0 on the NFL season.

“You need to know that when these games come around, can you finish. That’s what we did today,” Gurley said.

Gurley scored on a two-yard run in the first quarter, and added touchdowns of two and five yards in the second half with the latter coming on the second play of the fourth quarter to pull the Rams within 31-30. Kicker Cairo Santos missed the extra point attempt and allowing the Seahawks to hold onto a one-point lead.

Santos made amends with a 39-yard field goal with 6:05 remaining to give the Rams a 33-31 lead.

That still left time for Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson, but Seattle made a pair of costly late blunders.

“That was hard. We’re there. Knock a couple more yards out, kick a field goal and win the game,” Seattle coach Pete Carroll said. “Unfortunately we didn’t get it.”

Wilson threw for three touchdowns and Seattle had a running back surpass 100 yards rushing for a third straight game as Chris Carson romped for 116 yards.

The running game helped set the stage for Wilson’s air attack as Seattle finished with 190 yards on the ground, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Rams from improving their perfect record.

The Kansas City Chiefs also improved to 5-0, their defense taking their turn to shine on a rainy Sunday at Arrowhead Stadium as they held the Jacksonville Jaguars scoreless in the first half of a 30-14 victory.

A Chiefs defensive unit that has been overshadowed by the exploits of the offense guided by young quarterback Patrick Mahomes forced Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles into five turnovers, including a pick-six by defensive end Chris Jones.

Jones grabbed a Bortles pass in the second quarter for his second career interception and ran it back for a touchdown from 20 yards out. It was his first career score and the Chiefs’ first defensive points of the season.

Kansas City’s defense held up despite the fact that Jones was ejected in the second half after striking a Jaguars player in the thigh as both were on the ground.

Defender Dee Ford followed him out when he was called for a second unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

Kansas City’s prolific offense did their part as well, despite the fact that Mahomes threw his first two interceptions of the season.

Mahomes completed 22 of 38 passes for 313 yards and ran for a touchdown.

Kareem Hunt added 87 yards on 22 carries and Travis Kelce caught five passes for 100 yards as the Chiefs attack shrugged off Jacksonville’s league-leading defense.

In other games, the Cincinnati Bengals scored 27 unanswered points as they rallied for a 27-17 victory over the visiting Miami Dolphins.

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill committed two fourth quarter turnovers that were returned for Cincinnati touchdowns and fell into a 3-2 tie with the New England Patriots top the AFC East.

The Bengals top the AFC North at 4-1, improving their best start since 2015.

In Charlotte, Graham Gano booted a game-winning 63-yard field goal with one second remaining to lift the Carolina Panthers to a 33-31 victory over the New York Giants.

“Piece of cake,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said of Gano’s kick, which matched the longest game-winner in NFL history a 63-yarder by Saints kicker Tom Dempsey in 1970.

Gano’s field goal came after quarterback Cam Newton piloted a game-winning drive with little more than a minute left, following a touchdown from Giants running back Saquon Barkley.