Super Bowl champ Patriots use trick play to edge Eagles

Julian Edelman of the New England Patriots celebrates after throwing a touchdown pass to Phillip Dorsett during the third quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles. — AFP

LOS ANGELES — Nick Folk kicked three field goals and Julian Edelman executed a trick play as the New England Patriots clinched their 19th straight winning NFL season with a 17-10 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday.

Wide receiver Edelman threw a pass for a touchdown and quarterback Tom Brady was 26-of-47 for 216 yards for the Patriots, who are now just one winning season shy of the Dallas Cowboys' all-time record of 20 in a row, a run that began in 1966.

"Good read on the play," Patriots coach Bill Belichick said. "Keeps his quarterback rating up there pretty high. Great play by Julian."

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz was 20-of-40 for 214 yards and a touchdown pass to Dallas Goedert but the Eagles dropped to 5-5 after winning their previous two games.

Both teams were coming off a bye week for the showdown, which was a rematch of the thrilling 2018 Super Bowl which the Eagles won 41-33 to claim the team's first NFL championship.

The Patriots rebounded mightily with Brady leading the team to a gritty Super Bowl win over the Los Angeles Rams earlier this year.

On Sunday, the Patriots took the opening kickoff of the third quarter and marched 84 yards in 10 plays, capped by a deception move as Edelman received a lateral from Brady and tossed a 15-yard touchdown to Phillip Dorsett.

James White converted the two-point conversion run for a 17-10 lead in front of a crowd of 69,700 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia.

Folk booted field goals of 35, 22 and 39 yards for the Patriots' first-half points.

Brady was 11-of-25 in the first half, setting a dubious career high for most incompletions in the first half with 14.

The Eagles got the ball back one last time in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter but a final desperation throw was knocked down as time expired.

"That's a really good defence," Wentz said. "They did a good job taking away things we wanted to do. But we have to be better."

Elsewhere, Lamar Jackson threw four touchdowns and produced 308 total yards as the Baltimore Ravens clobbered the Houston Texans 41-7 in a high-profile matchup between a pair of rising quarterback stars.

Jackson went head-to-head with former college rival Deshaun Watson. Jackson beat out Watson for the Heisman Trophy as top American college player in 2016, becoming the youngest ever recipient of the award at 19 years and 338 days old.

Jackson caught fire in the second quarter on Sunday, orchestrating two long second-quarter scoring drives that provided Baltimore a 14-0 half-time lead en route to a sixth consecutive win.

"Anytime you are 8-2 you have a special group of guys," said running back Mark Ingram, who caught two touchdown passes. "We have a goal of being champions."

The Texans, who dropped to 6-4, had previously squandered three trips into the Baltimore zone in the first quarter before mounting a desperate march late in the first half, but Ka'imi Fairbairn's 43-yard field goal attempt sailed wide right.

Watson passed for 169 yards and was sacked six times. Carlos Hyde rushed for a 41-yard touchdown with 7:10 remaining in the game to help Houston avoid the shutout.

In Minneapolis, the Minnesota Vikings erased a 20-0 halftime deficit with touchdowns on each of their four drives in the second half for a 27-23 victory over the Denver Broncos.

This was the first time in five years that an NFL team won after trailing by 20 or more points at halftime.

Kirk Cousins was 29-of-35 passing for 319 yards and three touchdowns to lead Minnesota to a come-from-behind win.

The Vikings (8-3) trailed 23-7 after three quarters as Cousins hit Kyle Rudolph for a 32-yard touchdown pass with 6:01 remaining to give the Vikings a 27-23 lead, their first of the game.

Also, San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 424 yards and tied a career high with four touchdowns as the host 49ers rallied past the Arizona Cardinals 36-26.

Garoppolo completed a game-winning 25-yard score to Jeff Wilson with 31 seconds remaining as the 49ers overcame a 16-point deficit and beat the Cardinals for the second time in three weeks. — AFP