JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — T.J. Yates made a strong case to be Atlanta’s backup quarterback Thursday night, throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns in a 24-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars in both teams’ preseason finale.
Yates had shown little in the team’s first three exhibitions, completing 39.4 percent of his passes with no touchdowns and two interceptions. Second-year player Sean Renfree posted better numbers and seemingly had an edge in the competition to be Matt Ryan’s backup.
But Yates shined against the Jaguars.
His highlight throw was a 67-yard touchdown strike to Freddie Martino in the second quarter, a deep ball that put Atlanta up 21-7. His other TD came on a swing pass to Antone Smith, who broke several tackles during the 66-yard catch and run.
Yates completed 15 of 20 passes and was sacked twice.
Renfree was 9-of-12 passing for 62 yards.
BENGALS 35, COLTS 7: In Cincinnati, rookie Jeremy Hill of LSU ran for 90 yards and was Cincinnati’s top receiver as well, leading the Bengals over the Colts in a game devoid of starters.
Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton and Colts quarterback Andrew Luck sat it out, as did most of the starters for both teams.
Dalton didn’t even pull up his black socks, leaving them around his ankles on an 85-degree evening — he knew there was no point.
Cincinnati (2-2) pulled off several big plays in the second half against the Colts (0-4) backups.
Hill, a second-round pick who backs up Giovani Bernard, carried 20 times and caught six passes for 70 yards.
PACKERS 34, CHIEFS 14: In Green Bay, Wisconsin, former LSU quarterback Matt Flynn and Scott Tolzien each threw for two touchdowns in their competition to back up starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and Green Bay beat Kansas City.
Flynn threw for 102 yards and Tolzien had 139 in splitting reps by quarter in the evening’s most closely watched position battle.
LIONS 23, BILLS 0: In Orchard Park, New York, Lions third-string quarterback Kellen Moore threw two touchdown passes, and Bills rookie receiver Sammy Watkins reinjured his ribs.
The first-round pick did not return after being struck in the left side by linebacker Ashlee Palmer on Buffalo’s second drive.
EAGLES 37, JETS 7: In Philadelphia, Cody Parkey made field goals of 54, 53 and 25 yards to help Philadelphia beat the New York Jets.
The Eagles (2-2) and Jets (2-2) rested most of their starters and several backups.
DOLPHINS 14, RAMS 13: In Miami Gardens, Florida, Matt Hazel caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Seth Lobato with 6:15 left, and Miami rallied to beat St. Louis.
49ERS 40, TEXANS 13: In Houston, rookie linebacker Chris Borland returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown, third-string quarterback Josh Johnson threw three TD passes.
BROWNS 33, BEARS 13: In Cleveland, Brian Hoyer drove Cleveland’s starting offense to a rare preseason touchdown before turning things over to rookie Johnny Manziel in the Browns’ win over Chicago.
Hoyer and Cleveland’s offensive starters needed a boost after struggling in the preseason as they learn a new system.
VIKINGS 19, TITANS 3: In Nashville, Tenn., Teddy Bridgewater threw a touchdown in his first NFL start, Joe Banyard ran for 111 yards, and Minnesota Vikings wrapped up a perfect preseason.
Blair Walsh kicked four field goals, and the Vikings defense had three sacks.
GIANTS 16, PATRIOTS 13: In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Josh Brown kicked a 37-yard field goal with 38 seconds to play, and the Giants capped their first undefeated preseason since 2006.
PANTHERS 10, STEELERS 0: In Pittsburgh, Fozzy Whittaker ran for a 2-yard touchdown, Graham Gano added a short field goal, and Carolina beat Pittsburgh.
The Panthers (2-2) held the Steelers (1-3) to just 185 total yards.
REDSKINS 24, BUCCANEERS 10: In Tamps, Florida, Colt McCoy threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Redskins.
He completed 22 of 29 passes while also throwing a pair of end zone interceptions.
BRONCOS 27, COWBOYS 3: In Arlington, Texas, Brock Osweiler led four scoring drives in the final tuneup for his third season as Peyton Manning’s backup, and Denver beat Dallas.