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NFL scores 2016: Buccaneers outlast Panthers on ‘Monday Night Football’

In Week 5, Tom Brady made his triumphant return and the Falcons proved they’re for real against the Broncos. On Monday night, the Buccaneers hung on in a crucial NFC South game against the Panthers.

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Week 5 was another exciting weekend of NFL action, punctuated by the long-awaited return of Tom Brady and a handful of testy challenges for playoff hopefuls.

With the DeflateGate saga finally over, the New England Patriots welcomed Brady back to the field on Sunday. While the team had been doing fine without its star quarterback, Sunday proved to be quite the party for Brady and his fellow Patriots as they romped to a win over the Cleveland Browns. The Browns went through several quarterbacks throughout the contest and will no doubt be trying to solve their issues at that position this week.

The Philadelphia Eagles dropped their first game of the year after the Lions came back to win in Detroit, while the Minnesota Vikings stayed perfect while making life miserable for Brock Osweiler and the Houston Texans. At this point, Osweiler looks like a downgrade from Brian Hoyer.

In the late afternoon, the surging Atlanta Falcons got their first true challenge of the season when they faced the Denver Broncos on the road. Matt Ryan shredded the Carolina Panthers last week, while Julio Jones went off for 300 receiving yards. The Broncos kept Jones in check, but it was the Falcons’ defense that surprisingly came through to hand Denver its first loss of the season. Last year’s second-half collapse won’t soon be forgotten, but the Falcons already have a comfortable lead in the NFC South.

With Ezekiel Elliott heating up and Dak Prescott playing well, the Cowboys won their fourth straight game after topping the Cincinnati Bengals at Jerry World. The Oakland Raiders also moved to 4-1 when the San Diego Chargers found yet another gut-punching way to lose.

Sunday Night Football has a high-profile matchup between the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. Through a weird quirk of the schedule, the Giants are traveling to the Midwest in primetime for the second week in a row, having played the Minnesota Vikings on the road last Monday night. This one worked out the same way for New York, with another loss, 23-16 to the Packers.

On Monday night, the Buccaneers pushed the Panthers deeper into the hole this season with a 17-14 win. Kicker Roberto Aguayo, who has gotten a lot of attention for his struggles after being a second-round pick, made the game-winner as time expired for Tampa Bay.

Below are all the scores, highlights, and odds and ends for Week 5.

Week 5 scores and schedule

Arizona Cardinals 33, San Francisco 49ers 21

New England Patriots 33, Cleveland Browns 13

Detroit Lions 24, Philadelphia Eagles 23

Washington 16, Baltimore Ravens 10

Indianapolis Colts 29, Chicago Bears 23

Tennessee Titans 30, Miami Dolphins 17

Minnesota Vikings 31, Houston Texans 13

Pittsburgh Steelers 31, New York Jets 13

Atlanta Falcons 23, Denver Broncos 16

Dallas Cowboys 28, Cincinnati Bengals 14

Buffalo Bills 30, Los Angeles Rams 19

Oakland Raiders 34, San Diego Chargers 31

Green Bay Packers 23, New York Giants 16

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17, Carolina Panthers 14

Highlights

Colts mascot Blue was forced to pay up after losing a bet last week to Jags mascot Jaxson De Ville.

Cody Kessler was having a good day, until he threw the ball out of the end zone for a safety. And then got hurt. Things escalated quickly.

Everyone is excited that Tom Brady is back (except for the Browns).

Brady showed no signs of rust, other than with his lame dad celebrations.

One Vikings fan bit the head off a live fish during the tailgate. Are Vikes fans trying to give Bills fans a run for their money?

The Vikings don’t even know how to spell the name of their own Pro Bowl defensive end, Everson Griffen.

The NFL made Antonio Brown take off his Muhammad Ali cleats, a week after it allowed him to wear Arnold Palmer ones. Death, taxes, the No Fun League.

The Ravens turned a pick-six into a 17-yard gain for Washington after linebacker C.J. Mosley fumbled the ball out of the end zone. Better to be lucky than good if you’re Washington, though.

The Eagles’ first lost of the year came after a controversial fumble call.

Rex Ryan was actually being nice when he named all USC alumni as his captains before the Bills played the Rams in the L.A. Coliseum.

One of the USC alums, cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, felt right at home with a pick-six.

Tyrod Taylor lined up behind the wrong lineman. Whoops!

Brandon Marshall said the Jets were in the perfect place at 1-4. Let’s just say the Jets’ locker room was a really weird place after their latest loss.

The Chargers’ fourth-quarter curse continued after they botched a game-tying field goal attempt.

A few players went out of their way to avoid fun TD celebrations after the NFL’s draconian taunting rules.

Odell Beckham Jr. made up the kicking net he previously beat up, a truly touching moment.

Ted Ginn fumbled a punt after getting kneed in the stomach by a teammate.

Major Injuries

Browns rookie QB Cody Kessler is considered day-to-day after exiting with a chest injury. Charlie Whitehurst took over and became the fifth player to take snaps at quarterback for the Browns this season. Whitehurst also briefly left with a knee injury but returned.

Josh Norman headed to the locker room after injuring his right wrist, but he returned in the second quarter.

Steve Smith left against Washington with an ankle injury and did not return.

Jets linebacker David Harris injured his hamstring and was ruled out for the rest of the game.

Texans cornerback Johnathan Joseph suffered a concussion and did not return.

Packers RB Eddie Lacy went down with a left ankle injury in the third quarter against the Giants, and did not return.

Rams star CB Trumaine Johnson was carted off with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter and did not return.

Bengals RB Jeremy Hill left with a chest injury that he suffered in the second half against the Cowboys.

The Steelers’ leader in sacks Cameron Heyward left in the second quarter against the Chiefs with a hamstring injury.