Tom Brady led Tampa Bay to a field goal on his first and only series of the preseason, but the host Indianapolis Colts’ backups rallied to beat the Buccaneers 27-10 Saturday night.
Brady was 6 of 8 for 44 yards and converted one fourth down before leaving. He had missed 11 days of training camp for personal reasons before returning Monday.
“I’ve played a lot of football in my day — a lot of practices, a lot of games, and a lot of seasons,” Brady, 45, said. “I’m ready to go.”
Matt Ryan and the Colts’ starters played about one quarter, and Ryan led them to a touchdown on his final series. Phillip Lindsay’s 2-yard TD run late in the first half gave Indy a 14-10 lead, and Sam Ehlinger’s nifty 45-yard TD run to open the second half helped the Colts pull away.
Those two teams, and 30 others, have tough decisions to make. Teams must be down to 53 active players by 4 p.m. Tuesday.
The rosters were cut from 90 to 85 by Aug. 16, then to 80 players on Aug. 23.
Dolphins 48, Eagles 10: Tua Tagovailoa connected with Tyreek Hill for 51 yards on the first play from scrimmage, and host Miami set a franchise record for points in a preseason game.
Tagovailoa played the entire first quarter, looking more comfortable in first-year coach Mike McDaniel’s system. He finished 6 of 7 for 121 yards and a touchdown in three series. Hill played the opening series, finishing with two catches for 64 yards in his only action this preseason. Miami acquired the speedy receiver in an offseason trade with Kansas City.
The Eagles sat their starters, including quarterback Jalen Hurts and receivers A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith.
Bears 21, Browns 20: Justin Fields threw three touchdown passes in the first half, leading Chicago to a road victory.
Fields was sacked nine times by Cleveland in a visit last season. He looked confident and in command while moving Chicago’s starters this time. Fields fired a 22-yard TD pass to tight end Ryan Griffin and connected with receiver Dante Pettis and tight end Cole Kmet. Fields finished 14 of 16 for 156 yards.
The Browns got their first in-game look at Jacoby Brissett, who will start at quarterback while Deshaun Watson is suspended. Brissett went 13 of 23 for 109 yards in six series.
Bengals 16, Rams 7: Jake Browning came off the bench to complete 19 of 24 for 173 yards and a touchdown in a game contested mostly by backups in Cincinnati.
Tight end Justin Rigg caught a 3-yard touchdown pass from Browning with 4:34 remaining to secure the win in the rematch of last season’s Super Bowl, which Los Angeles won 23-20.
Two days after the teams were involved in a benches-clearing brawl at a joint practice, the game proceeded without incident. Both teams also appeared to avoid any serious injuries.
Third-string quarterback Bryce Perkins, a former Virginia Cavaliers star, scrambled for the Rams’ only touchdown, a 3-yarder with 11:25 to go.
Perkins finished 14 of 19 for 143 yards for the Rams (1-2) and gained 33 yards on eight carries. He was playing in place of second-string quarterback John Wolford, who was nursing an injured thumb on his throwing hand.
Broncos 23, Vikings 13: Baron Browning’s 17-yard fumble return for a touchdown highlighted Denver’s win. That scoop-and-score came after McTelvin Agim sacked Sean Mannion for a 10-yard loss late in the first half. Both teams rested their starters in the third and final preseason game. Neither Russell Wilson nor Kirk Cousins saw any action in the preseason.
The Vikings open at home against the Green Bay Packers, and the Broncos open at Seattle for Wilson’s much-anticipated homecoming following his trade to Denver.
Titans 26, Cardinals 23: Logan Woodside scrambled for a 9-yard touchdown on fourth-and-goal with 52 seconds left, and Tennessee wrapped up the preseason by rallying in Nashville.
Woodside’s rally likely won’t be enough for him to remain veteran Ryan Tannehill’s backup. Rookie Malik Willis, from Liberty, turned in his best performance this preseason in his third start.
Willis ran four times for a game-high 79 yards, including scampering 50 yards to set up a 3-yard TD run by Julius Chestnut. Willis capped a drive just before halftime with a sidearm throw around Arizona linebacker Myjai Sanders to Treylon Burks across the middle. The first-round pick finished off a 14-yard TD for a 13-7 lead.
The quarterback drafted at No. 86 overall in the third round was sacked four times and completed 15 of 23 for 131 yards despite being sacked twice in the first quarter by Cardinals rookie Cameron Thomas. Willis also was intercepted by James Wiggins on a pass deflected by Ben Niemann.
“It was probably like a B-minus,” Willis said of his latest performance.
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The Cardinals finished the preseason at 1-2 with Kyler Murray sitting out each game. Trace McSorley got the start. Matt Prater kicked three field goals and Andy Isabella had a game-high 115 yards receiving for Arizona.
Arizona rookie Jarrett Guarantano hit Greg Dortch, a former Wake Forest and Highland Springs High star, for a 2-yard TD pass late in the third quarter.
Falcons 28, Jaguars 12: Desmond Ridder shook off an interception on his very first throw to lead Atlanta to its first home preseason win since 2016.
Both teams relied mainly on backups and roster wannabes in their preseason finale, with the Falcons (2-1) prevailing behind their third-round draft pick out of Cincinnati.
Playing into the fourth quarter, Ridder completed 14 of 25 passes for 185 yards, including a 2-yard touchdown throw to fellow rookie Tyler Allgeier in the first quarter.
Ridder also guided two impressive touchdown drives in the second half before calling it a day against the Jaguars (0-4).
EJ Perry went the distance at quarterback for the Jaguars. He completed 19 of 27 for 201 yards with a pair of interceptions.