CLEVELAND — Tom Brady, looking razor-sharp at times and relatively rust-free after serving his four-game “Deflategate” suspension, passed for 406 yards and three touchdowns to Martellus Bennett in his hyped return and the New England Patriots thumped the Cleveland Browns 33-13 on Sunday.
Brady was back — much to the relief of teammates and New England fans everywhere — following a ban for his role in the scandal in which an NFL investigation found the Patriots under-inflated footballs in the 2015 AFC championship game.
Brady fought Commissioner Roger Goodell’s ruling for more than a year before he begrudgingly accepted his punishment.
He took out some of that built-up frustration on the Browns (0-5), throwing for 271 yards in the first half, as the Patriots (4-1) rebounded after being shut out last week at home by Buffalo.
Brady threw two short TD passes in the first half to Bennett before hooking up with his new teammate again on a 37-yarder to give the Patriots a 30-7 lead in the third quarter.
LIONS 24, EAGLES 23
DETROIT — Matt Prater kicked a 29-yard field goal with 1:28 left and Darius Slay made an over-the-shoulder interception on the next snap, helping the Lions hand Carson Wentz his first loss with a victory over the Eagles.
The Lions (2-3) had lost three straight.
The Eagles (3-1) turned the ball over for the first time this season with 2:34 remaining when Ryan Mathews fumbled on a hit by Slay. The loose football was recovered by Tyrunn Walker at the Philadelphia 45.
Matthew Stafford set up the game-winning kick by converting a third-and-4 from the Eagles 39 with a perfectly placed pass on a crossing route to Golden Tate, who drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on Malcolm Jenkins.
REDSKINS 16, RAVENS 10
BALTIMORE — The Redskins used an 85-yard punt return by Jamison Crowder and an uncharacteristically strong performance by their defense to beat the Ravens.
It was the third straight win for the Redskins (3-2), who came in with the league’s 29th-ranked defense. Washington allowed a touchdown on the game’s opening drive and smothered the Ravens (3-2) the rest of the way.
The game wasn’t decided until the final minute, when an apparent 23-yard touchdown catch by Baltimore’s Breshad Perriman was overturned by replay. Perriman got his right foot down in the end zone, but his left foot was out of bounds.
Crowder scored Washington’s first TD with a sensational run through the middle of the Baltimore punt return team in the second quarter.
COWBOYS 28, BENGALS 14
ARLINGTON, Texas — Ezekiel Elliott ran for 134 yards and two touchdowns, fellow rookie Dak Prescott threw for a score and ran for another TD, and the Cowboys beat the Bengals.
Prescott had his first turnover in five games starting in place of injured Tony Romo, a fumble when being sacked late in the third quarter. But Prescott extended his NFL rookie record to 155 passes without an interception to start his career. He completed 18 of 24 passes for 227 yards.
Elliott, on only 15 carries, became the first Cowboys rookie with three consecutive 100-yard rushing games.
Dallas (4-1) has won four in a row. The Bengals (2-3) already have a losing record a year after being 8-0 midway through the season.
FALCONS 23, BRONCOS 16
DENVER — Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons didn’t need another 300-yard performance from Julio Jones to decipher Denver’s dazzling defense and wreck Paxton Lynch’s first NFL start.
Using a steady dose of I-formation runs and short passes that put Denver’s linebackers in coverage, the Falcons (4-1) handed the Super Bowl champs their first loss since Dec. 20 at Pittsburgh and left the Minnesota Vikings (5-0) as the NFL’s last unbeaten team.
The Broncos (4-1) were on their heels having to respect the play-action because Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman were so effective running the ball, combining for 119 yards and a 4.4-yard average.
STEELERS 31, JETS 13
PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards and four touchdowns and the surging Steelers pulled away in the second half for a win over the Jets.
Sammie Coates caught six passes for a career-high 139 yards and two scores, including a 72-yard catch-and-run for a score on Pittsburgh’s opening drive as the Steelers moved the ball at will against a secondary missing injured star Darrelle Revis.
Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell racked up 154 yards of total offense, including a career-high nine receptions, while Antonio Brown caught nine passes for 78 yards and a touchdown. The All-Pro receiver, who has been fined on multiple occasions this season for crossing the line during his celebratory dances, simply handed the ball to a fan in the stands.
Pittsburgh (4-1) played without starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert, but had little trouble protecting Roethlisberger from one of the NFL’s top defensive lines.
The Jets fell to 1-4.
BILLS 30, RAMS 19
LOS ANGELES — Nickell Robey-Coleman returned an interception 41 yards for a touchdown, LeSean McCoy rushed for 150 yards, and the Bills won their third consecutive game by defeating the Rams.
Robey-Coleman stepped in front of rookie receiver Pharoh Cooper and strolled down the sideline to put the Bills (3-2) ahead 23-16 with 3:54 left in the third quarter.
The big play allowed the Bills to finish off the Rams (3-2) and end their three-game winning streak. Robey-Coleman added another interception in the final minutes.
The Bills stopped Bradley Marquez on a fake punt at the Rams 25 with 3:41 remaining.
Tyrod Taylor then threw a 6-yard touchdown to Marquise Goodwin to put the game out of reach.
RAIDERS 34, CHARGERS 31
OAKLAND, Calif. — Derek Carr threw a go-ahead 21-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree on a fourth-and-2 gamble and added another TD pass to Amari Cooper to lead the Raiders to a victory over the mistake-prone Chargers.
San Diego (1-4) committed four turnovers and then botched the hold on a potential tying field goal. Rookie Drew Kaser couldn’t hold the snap on what would have been a 36-yard field goal attempt.
The Raiders (4-1) took over with 2 minutes left and ran out most of the clock to get a third straight win for the first time in five years and hand San Diego its 10th straight division loss.
Oakland took the lead on a bold call late in the third quarter. Facing a fourth-and-2 at the 21 late in the third quarter trailing by five, coach Jack Del Rio once again trusted his offense to make a big play and it paid off.
Carr found Crabtree deep down the left side for the touchdown that put the Raiders up 25-24. A 2-point conversion pass to Cooper gave Oakland a three-point lead and Jamize Olawale added a 1-yard run that made it 34-24 on a drive set up by Kaser’s 16-yard punt.
TITANS 30, DOLPHINS 17
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Marcus Mariota threw for three touchdowns and ran for another score, helping the Titans overcome a handful of big plays by the Dolphins.
Mariota bounced back with a strong game after totaling three interceptions and no TD passes in losses the past two weeks. He went 20 for 29 for 163 yards with no interceptions, and ran seven times for 60 yards.
DeMarco Murray added 121 yards rushing for the Titans, who totaled 235 on the ground. They improved to 2-3, and Miami fell to 1-4.
Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins offense turned in another woeful performance aside from the occasional long gain. Rookie Jakeem Grant scored on a 74-yard punt return , Damien Williams had a 55-yard, catch-and-run to set up a touchdown, and DeVante Parker made a 50-yard reception that led to a field goal.
VIKINGS 31, TEXANS 13
MINNEAPOLIS — Adam Thielen caught a touchdown pass to cap Minnesota’s opening drive and finished with a career-high 127 yards, and the Vikings defense flustered Brock Osweiler and the Texans.
Marcus Sherels returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown and Cordarelle Patterson scored on another sharp throw by Sam Bradford, who produced another turnover-free game and deftly guided the Vikings (5-0) into their bye week.
Brock Osweiler was overmatched by Minnesota’s relentless rush and coverage, finishing 19 for 42 for 184 yards, one interception and a late touchdown pass while taking four sacks. The Texans (3-2) were denied on 12 of 13 third downs, unable or unwilling to do much other than dump off short passes. Lamar Miller only had eight carries for 20 yards during a dud of a performance by the Texans that felt a lot like the 27-0 loss at New England two weeks ago.
COLTS 29, BEARS 23
INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck threw a 35-yard TD pass to T.Y. Hilton with 3:43 left to lead the Colts past the Bears.
It’s the first time the Colts (2-3) defeated the Bears in Indianapolis.
After hearing a clamoring for changes all week, Indy went to the hurry-up offense and Luck made the alterations look good early and late.
When the Colts opened up the passing game and took shots down the field, they were efficient. When they didn’t, they bogged down.
Brian Hoyer was solid in his third straight start throwing for 397 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago (1-4).