The Latest on the fourth week of the NFL season (all times Eastern):
Ben Roethlisberger is having a near-perfect night for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Roethlisberger has thrown five touchdown passes through the first three quarters to help the Steelers build a 36-0 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs. Roethlisberger has completed 20 of 23 passes for 279 yards. His quarterback rating is 156.8, just shy of a perfect score of 158.3.
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell looks sharp in his return from suspension, running for 87 yards and catching five passes for 34 yards.
It’s a night to forget for the Chiefs, who haven’t been in it since late in the first quarter.
The Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense is back at top speed.
Ben Roethlisberger threw four touchdown passes in the first half to give the Steelers a 29-0 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night. Roethlisberger found Antonio Brown twice for scores and also connected with Darrius Heyward-Bey and Jesse James for touchdowns.
Pittsburgh set a team record by scoring 22 points in the first quarter, including a 2-point conversion on a pass from Roethlisberger to Markus Wheaton. Roethlisberger finished the half 14 of 17 for 210 yards in occasionally rainy conditions.
Running back Le’Veon Bell ran for 39 yards on six carries and caught three passes for 15 yards in his return from a three-game suspension.
The Steelers didn’t waste any time on their scoring drives. Three took under 2 minutes, with two of them helped by Kansas City turnovers.
Whatever ailed the Pittsburgh Steelers in last week’s 31-point meltdown against Philadelphia appears to be nothing the return of running back Le’Veon Bell and a suddenly aggressive defense couldn’t cure.
The Steelers raced to a 22-0 lead after the first quarter against Kansas City on Sunday night in Bell’s return from a three-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes in the first 15 minutes, including a pair to wide receiver Antonio Brown.
Two of Pittsburgh’s scores were set up by Kansas City turnovers. Ross Cockrell recovered Spencer Ware’s fumble on Kansas City’s second possession and Jarvis Jones picked off Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith’s pass the next time Kansas City had the ball.
Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles carried one time for 6 yards in the first quarter in his return from a torn ACL in his right knee suffered in Week 5 last season.
It’s still rainy, but play has resumed between the Broncos and Buccaneers in Tampa Bay after a weather delay that lasted more than an hour.
A thunderstorm prompted officials to delay the game Sunday night in the fourth quarter, asking players to return to the locker rooms and fans to take shelter in stadium concourses.
The game resumed after a 1-hour, 26-minute delay, including 15 minutes for each team to warm up.
The Broncos led 27-7 with 6:52 left in the game.
The delay is the second in as many weeks in Tampa Bay. The Rams-Bucs game was delayed last Sunday for 69 minutes at the 2-minute warning in the fourth quarter.
The Dallas Cowboys are 3-1 behind rookie quarterback Dak Prescott after a 24-17 victory against the San Francisco 49ers.
Prescott throws for two touchdowns and fellow rookie Ezekiel Elliott ran for 138 yards and another score. The Cowboys trailed early 14-0, but Prescott hit Terrance Williams and Brice Butler with touchdown passes to pull Dallas even at 14 by halftime. Prescott finished 23 of 32 for 246 yards without an interception.
Elsewhere, Case Keenum threw two touchdown passes and the Los Angeles Rams held off a late drive by Arizona in a 17-13 victory against the Cardinals. Arizona also lost quarterback Carson Palmer in the fourth quarter after a sack. Palmer was evaluated on the sideline for concussion symptoms, then taken to the locker room.
In San Diego, New Orleans fullback John Kuhn ran for three touchdowns, the last with less than 2 minutes to play, and the Saints rallied past the Chargers, 35-34. Philip Rivers threw for two touchdowns and Melvin Gordon ran for two scores, but Gordon and Rivers also turned the ball over in the fourth quarter.
Denver also lost quarterback Trevor Siemian before halftime with an injury to his left, non-throwing shoulder. He was replaced by rookie first-round draft choice Paxton Lynch, who threw a touchdown in his NFL debut, but the Broncos game at Tampa Bay was delayed by severe weather.
Tampa Bay is under a weather delay for the second straight week as officials have delayed the Buccaneers-Broncos game with a thunderstorm approaching.
Play stopped Sunday night with 6:52 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Broncos leading 27-7, as dark clouds rolled in from the east.
Fans were asked to leave their seats and seek shelter in one of the stadium concourses.
Last Sunday, the Rams-Bucs game was delayed for 69 minutes at the 2-minute warning in the fourth quarter.
San Francisco linebacker NaVorro Bowman left the 49ers game against Dallas with a lower left leg injury.
Bowman went down in the third quarter with a non-contact injury and had to be helped off the field. He was then taken to the locker room on a cart.
Bowman is the leader of San Francisco’s defense and one of the few remaining links to the team that went to three straight NFC championship games from 2011-13. He blew out his left knee in the 2013 NFC title game and missed the entire 2014 season.
Tampa Bay’s defense is without Gerald McCoy after the four-time Pro Bowl tackle suffered a calf injury during the first half against the Denver Broncos.
The Buccaneers initially said McCoy’s return was doubtful. They announced during the third quarter that the seventh-year pro is out for the remainder the game.
McCoy left the field early in the second quarter, walking gingerly with assistance from a trainer.
The Denver Broncos scored two touchdowns after intercepting Jameis Winston and lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-7 at halftime.
The Broncos looked like they might play the second half Sunday with rookie first-round draft choice Paxton Lynch at quarterback. Lynch came on in the second quarter when Trevor Siemian was injured. Siemian threw a touchdown pass in the half, but was also sacked three times. Lynch was also sacked once before halftime.
Elsewhere, rookie Dax Prescott threw two touchdown passes to rally the Dallas Cowboys from a 14-0 deficit against San Francisco to a halftime tie. Arizona’s Carson Palmer and Los Angeles Rams quarterback Case Keenum each had a scoring throw as the teams were tied at 10 at halftime. Philip Rivers had two touchdown passes to lead the San Diego Chargers to a 24-14 halftime lead against New Orleans.
The Arizona Cardinals have added receiver Roy Green to their Ring of Honor.
Green became the 16th member of Arizona’s ring during a halftime ceremony of Sunday’s game against the Los Angeles Rams.
Green played 12 seasons with the Cardinals (1979-90), earning two All-Pro nods and two Pro Bowl selections. He is still second on the Cardinals’ all-time list with 69 touchdowns and third in all-purpose yards with 10,798.
Green played his final two seasons with Philadelphia before retiring in 1993.
Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian has left the Broncos game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with an injury to his left non-throwing shoulder and his return is questionable.
Siemian, who has the reigning Super Bowl champions off to a 3-0 start, was injured in the second quarter with Denver leading 14-7. He was replaced by rookie Paxton Lynch, who led a field goal drive in the closing seconds of the half to put the Broncos up 17-7 at the half.
Siemian is 5 of 7 for 68 yards and one touchdown.
Six teammates of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick joined him for a protest during the national anthem on Sunday.
Safety Eric Reid and linebacker Eli Harold kneeled beside Kaepernick. Defensive backs Antoine Bethea, Keith Reaser, Jaquiski Tartt and Rashhard Robinson all raised their fists.
In San Diego, Joshua Perry, Joe Barksdale, Chris Hairston, D.J. Fluker and Tyreek Burwell of the Chargers held up their right fists during the song.
Broncos linebacker kneeled during the anthem before Denver played against the Buccaneers in Tampa Bay.
Matt Ryan and Julio Jones had a game unlike almost any other on Sunday when Atlanta moved to 3-1 with a 48-33 victory against Carolina.
Ryan completed 28 of 37 passes for 503 yards and four touchdowns, and Jones caught 12 for 300 yards and a touchdown. He had catches of 53 and 75 yards.
The Buffalo Bills also made sure Tom Brady will not return to an unbeaten team by blanking the New England Patriots, 16-0.
Tyrod Taylor threw a touchdown, Dan Carpenter kicked three field goals and the Bills limited New England to 277 yards. The Patriots started injured third-stringer Jacoby Brissett when Jimmy Garoppolo couldn’t play, but will get Brady back from his four-game “Deflategate” suspension next weekend.
Elsewhere in the early games, Russell Wilson shook off the effects of a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee by throwing three touchdown passes in the Seattle Seahawks’ 27-17 victory against the New York Jets, Kirk Cousins also threw for three touchdowns in the Washington Redskins’ 31-20 victory against Cleveland, Houston beat Tennessee 27-20, Oakland scored late to win at Baltimore, 28-27, and Chicago beat Detroit 17-14.
In the late games, Denver is at Tampa Bay, The Los Angeles Rams visit Arizona, New Orleans is at San Diego, and Dallas is at San Francisco.
The night game has the Kansas City Chiefs at Pittsburgh.
How badly is Julio Jones damaging the Panthers’ secondary? By the end of the third quarter, the All-Pro receiver had 11 catches for 225 yards, the most yards receiving a Carolina defense has allowed to one player in a single game.
The previous high was 208 yards by Redskins receiver Rod Gardner on Oct. 21, 2001 at Washington.
Carolina had no means of containing Jones, whose longest gain covered 53 yards and set up a second-quarter field goal that put Atlanta up 17-7.
Even last December with star cornerback Josh Norman on the team, the Panthers let Jones rack up 178 on nine catches at the Georgia Dome when the Panthers lost their only regular season game before they went on to win the NFC championship.
A huge first half for the Atlanta tandem of quarterback Matt Ryan and wide receiver Julio Jones has carried the Falcons to a 17-10 lead over the Carolina Panthers.
Jones, with 188 receiving yards coming into the game, has seven catches for 170 yards, including a 53-yard catch on third-and-17 that set up a field goal to give the Falcons a 17-7 lead. The Panthers’ lone touchdown came on a Ryan pass that was tipped and returned 5 yards for a touchdown by Kurt Coleman.
Elsewhere, after Buffalo and New England skirmished on the field before the game, Tyrod Taylor led the Bills to a 13-0 lead at the break. Jacoby Brissett, making his second consecutive start for the Patriots despite a thumb injury, threw only three passes in the half, but completed them all for 75 yards.
The Redskins took a 14-0 lead against the Browns, but Cleveland rallied to pull even at 17 by halftime, and Houston leads Tennessee 20-17.
The Raiders led Baltimore 14-6 at the half in Baltimore, Chicago led the Lions 7-3 and two TD passes by Russell Wilson gave Seattle a 14-10 lead against the New York Jets.
Falcons coach Dan Quinn and quarterback Matt Ryan each said during the week that it was only a matter of time before All-Pro receiver Julio Jones started racking up big numbers.
Well, it didn’t take long for Jones to reverse his slow start to the season.
After getting targeted seven times for just one catch in the Week 3 win at New Orleans, Jones had six catches for 152 yards on Sunday against Carolina — with 7 minutes left in the second quarter.
Jones’ dazzling, over-the-shoulder catch in front of the Atlanta bench covered 43 yards and set a TD run by Devonta Freeman that gave the Falcons a 14-0 lead. Jones split the coverage for a 53-yard gain that set up a field goal that made it 17-7.
Jones had one of the best single seasons in NFL history last year. His 136 catches for 1,871 yards receiving each rank No. 2 all-time.
He now has nine career games with at least 150 yards receiving, the most among active players since 2011.
Four Titans players raised fists at the end of the national anthem before the start of the team’s game in Houston.
Cornerback Jason McCourty, defensive lineman Daquan Jones, linebacker Wesley Woodyard and defensive tackle Jurrell Casey raised their fists at the end of the song on Sunday.
There were no anthem-specific protests during the Browns-Redskins game in Washington, but wide receiver DeSean Jackson wore cleats as play began with a design to look like yellow “caution” tape used by police. Jackson says he’s using his platform as a professional athlete as an attempt to “be part of a solution and start dialogue about the senseless killings of both citizens and police.”
There did not appear to be other visible anthem demonstrations as other early afternoon games began.
Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have dominated numerous NFL teams over the past 17 years — but nothing like the Buffalo Bills.
The lopsided numbers are worth revisiting with Buffalo (1-2) set to play at the Tom Brady-less Patriots (3-0) on Sunday afternoon.
Buffalo is 3-28 in its past 31 meetings against New England, including a 1-14 record at Foxborough. The Bills’ only win at New England was a 17-9 victory to close the 2014 season in a game the Patriots had already clinched their playoff position and Buffalo was already eliminated.
Though Brady’s not playing while serving the fourth and final game of his “Deflategate” suspension, the Patriots quarterback is 25-3 against Buffalo.
Bills coach Rex Ryan is 1-7 as a head coach at Foxborough. His lone win came while he coaching the Jets, when New York beat New England 28-21 in the 2011 playoffs.
— By John Wawrow in Foxborough, Massachusetts.