West Enfield native Matt Mulligan helps Rams rally by Redskins

St. Louis Rams tight end Matthew Mulligan (82) of West Enfield, Maine, celebrates with fans after defeating the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Redskins 31-28 and Mulligan caught a 1-yard touchdown pass.
Jeff Curry | US PRESSWIRE
St. Louis Rams tight end Matthew Mulligan (82) of West Enfield, Maine, celebrates with fans after defeating the Washington Redskins at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams defeated the Redskins 31-28 and Mulligan caught a 1-yard touchdown pass.
Posted Sept. 16, 2012, at 9:08 p.m.
Last modified Sept. 16, 2012, at 11:51 p.m.

ST. LOUIS — Sam Bradford threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns, including one for West Enfield native Matt Mulligan’s first NFL TD, to rally the St. Louis Rams by the Washington Redskins 31-28 Sunday.

The Rams’ Danny Amendola caught 15 passes for 160 yards in rallying the Rams over Robert Griffin III and the Redskins.

Mulligan, 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, is a blocking tight end who played football at Husson University and the University of Maine. Mulligan, 27, had appeared in 34 NFL games with 11 starts, all with the Jets, with six catches for 60 yards heading into this season.

The Rams made their comeback after coach Jeff Fisher benched running back Steven Jackson for drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty in the second quarter.

Griffin led the Redskins (1-1) to a 21-6 lead, but the Rams (1-1) came back thanks to the pass-catching of Amendola. The receiver tied an NFL record 12 first-half receptions, and caught a 1-yard TD pass to cut the lead to 21-13 at the half. Bradford had second-half scoring passes of 34 yards to Brandon Gibson and 1 yard to Mulligan.

The Rams took the lead on Bradford’s TD pass to Mulligan on the first play of the fourth quarter, and Richardson ran it in on a 2-point conversion for a 31-28 lead. Mulligan had partially blocked Sav Rocca’s punt to give the Rams the ball at the Washington 24 four plays earlier.

Griffin ran for two touchdowns and passed for a third for Washington (1-1).

The Redskins got a final shot after DeAngelo Hall recovered running back Daryl Richardson’s fumble at the Washington 37 with 2:40 to go. Billy Cundiff, though, was wide right and well short on 62-yard field goal attempt with 1:13 left.

Panthers 35, Saints 27: CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton threw for 253 yards and ran for a career-high 71 yards to hand New Orleans its first 0-2 start since 2007.

One week after tying a franchise low with 10 yards rushing in a loss to Tampa Bay, the Panthers ran for 219 yards and Newton, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert all scored on short touchdown runs. Steve Smith overcame a sore knee to finish with 104 yards receiving — the 39th 100-yard receiving game of his career — and Jonathan Stewart hauled in a 17-yard touchdown reception for the Panthers (1-1).

Drew Brees had won his previous five starts against Carolina. He threw for 325 yards but was intercepted twice, including once by Charles Godfrey, who returned it 9 yards for a touchdown.

Eagles 24, Ravens 23: PHILADELPHIA — Michael Vick scored on a 1-yard TD run with 1:55 left, helping Philadelphia overcome a slew of turnovers.

Rookie kicker Justin Tucker made field goals of 56, 51 and 48 yards for the Ravens, but Joe Flacco couldn’t get Baltimore (1-1) in his range in the final minute.

Flacco overthrew Ray Rice on fourth-and-1 from the Ravens 46, and the Eagles ran out the clock.

Vick threw four interceptions at Cleveland last week, but rallied the Eagles (2-0) to a 17-16 win.

He did it again, though the replacement officials almost made a costly mistake.

Down 23-17, the Eagles started at their 20 with 4:43 left. After two completions to Brent Celek, a 19-yarder to Clay Harbor and a roughing-the-passer penalty, the ball was at the 3.

Vick threw incomplete as he was being hit by Haloti Ngata, but the play was ruled a fumble. It was recovered by the Ravens, but replay overturned the turnover and Vick scored on the next play.

Colts 23, Vikings 20: INDIANAPOLIS — Adam Vinatieri made a 53-yard field goal with 8 seconds left to give Andrew Luck his first NFL victory.

Minnesota (1-1) rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the final 5½ minutes and tied the score on a 6-yard TD pass from Christian Ponder to Kyle Rudolph with 31 seconds left.

But that was too much time for Luck, who had thrown for two touchdowns. He started with back-to-back 20-yard completions, then drew the Vikings offside before spiking the ball with 12 seconds to go. Vinatieri, the best clutch kicker in NFL history, knocked the 53-yarder through the uprights to win it.

Luck finished 20 of 31 for 224 yards.

Dolphins 35, Raiders 13: MIAMI — Reggie Bush ran for 172 yards and two touchdowns, and Miami won a home opener for the first time since 2005.

Ryan Tannehill threw his first NFL touchdown pass, ran for another and avoided any turnovers after tossing three interceptions in his pro debut a week earlier.

The Dolphins improved to 1-1, and Joe Philbin earned a sideline drenching for his first victory as a head coach. The Raiders, under new coach Dennis Allen, are 0-2 for the first time since 2007.

Bush broke four tackles on a 23-yard touchdown run that put Miami ahead to stay in the third quarter. After Miami forced a punt, Bush struck again, this time on a 65-yard scoring run.

Texans 27, Jaguars 7: JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Arian Foster ran for 110 yards and a touchdown, Ben Tate added 74 yards and two scores and Houston dominated from the start.

The Texans improved to 2-0 for the third consecutive season by winning their fourth in a row against the AFC South rival Jaguars, who started 0-2 for the third time in the last five years.

Jacksonville, which has never had a winning record after dropping its first two games, was far from competitive in the latest meeting.

The Texans gained 242 yards in the first half while building a 17-0 lead. Foster ran for 69 yards and a score. Tate added 49 and a touchdown. Matt Schaub, using mostly short throws, picked apart Jacksonville’s defense.

The Jaguars finished with a franchise-low 117 yards.

Bills 35, Chiefs 17: ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — C.J. Spiller scored twice and had 123 yards rushing in sparking Buffalo.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes, including a 49-yarder to Stevie Johnson, and Leodis McKelvin scored on an 88-yard punt return — the second longest in team history — in the Bills’ home opener.

Buffalo’s high-priced defense had five sacks and forced three turnovers as the Bills bounced back from a season-opening 48-28 loss to the Jets last week.

Dwayne Bowe scored both touchdowns for Kansas City — both in the final seven minutes — to make the score respectable. The Chiefs are 0-2 for the sixth time in seven years.

Bengals 34, Browns 27: CINCINNATI — Adam “Pacman” Jones returned Cleveland’s first punt 81 yards for a touchdown, and Andy Dalton matched his career high with three touchdown passes.

The Bengals (1-1) have won 13 of the last 16 against the Browns (0-2), who got impressive games from their rookie quarterback and running back but still couldn’t get a win.

Jones put the Bengals ahead to stay with his fifth career punt return for a touchdown. Dalton threw three TD passes for the second time in his career, including a short reception that Andrew Hawkins turned into a 50-yard score in the fourth quarter.

Cleveland quarterback Brandon Weeden rebounded from one of the worst debuts in NFL history by throwing for two touchdowns. Trent Richardson became the first Browns rookie to run for 100 yards and score on a run and a pass.

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