NFL Roundup: Collins lifts Titans
CHICAGO ó Kerry Collins threw for 289 yards and two touchdowns, and the Tennessee Titans beat the Chicago Bears 21-14 Sunday to remain undefeated despite rushing for just 20 yards.
That was just one more than their franchise-low, a stunning performance for a team that was third in the league entering the game. Even so, the Titans (9-0) set a franchise record with their 12th straight regular-season win thanks to Collins and a defense that shut down Rex Grossman and the Bears.
Collins was 30-of-41 and did not throw an interception. Brandon Jones caught eight passes for 82 yards, and Bo Scaife had 10 for 78 with a touchdown.
That was enough to make up for a miserable performance by the running backs. LenDale White managed 14 yards on 10 attempts, although he had a touchdown in the fourth quarter. And Chris Johnson carried 14 times for 8 yards.
With Kyle Orton nursing a sprained ankle, Grossman delivered an uneven performance in his first start since Dec. 6. He was 20-for-37 got 173 yards and led the Bears (4-5) 75-yard touchdown drive on their first possession. He also got picked off on the next one.
Colts 24, Steelers 20
PITTSBURGH ó Peyton Manning took advantage of Ben Roethlisberger’s second costly interception to find Dominic Rhodes out of the backfield on a 17-yard touchdown pass with 3:04 remaining for Indianapolis’ only lead.
Manning also hit Reggie Wayne on a 65-yard touchdown pass play on a tipped ball and Dallas Clark on a 2-yard scoring pass seconds before halftime following an unnecessary interception by Roethlisberger to end the Colts’ 40-year losing streak in Pittsburgh.
The Colts (5-4) had dropped their last 12 here, counting the postseason, dating to a 41-7 win in 1968 when the Steelers played at now-demolished Pitt Stadium.
Pittsburgh had a chance to win it at the end, but Roethlisberger’s pass into the end zone on the final play ó with Nate Washington open briefly ó was intercepted by Melvin Bullitt. It was Roethlisberger’s third interception of the game.
Chargers 20, Chiefs 19
SAN DIEGO ó Clinton Hart knocked down Tyler Thigpen’s 2-point conversion pass with 23 seconds left and the Chargers held on to beat the scrappy Chiefs.
The Chiefs pulled within one on Thigpen’s 3-yard pass to tight end Tony Gonzalez. The Chiefs (1-9) went for the win, but Thigpen’s pass to Gonzalez was deflected by Hart to cornerback Quentin Jammer, who made the interception while on the ground.
Coincidentally, San Diego lost to Denver 39-38 in Week 2 when the Broncos made a last-minute 2-point conversion.
Vikings 28, Packers 27
MINNEAPOLIS ó Ending the Vikings’ five-game losing streak to the Packers, Adrian Peterson rushed for 192 yards and reached across the end zone with 2:22 left for the winning TD.
Mason Crosby’s 52-yard field goal attempt in the closing seconds was just wide, helping the Vikings (5-4) pull into a first-place tie with the Chicago Bears. Green Bay (4-5) is one game back in the NFC North.
Peterson did his damage on 30 carries, including a 29-yard scamper to give Minnesota the lead and help the Vikings overcome three interceptions by Gus Frerotte that the Packers turned into 17 points.
Aaron Rodgers’ first game at the Metrodome, the site of some of Brett Favre’s worst early-career performances, wasn’t good. Twice in the second quarter, he was victimized for safeties.
Dolphins 21, Seahawks 19
The Dolphins’ sizable bag of tricks saved them on a day the offense sputtered, and they withstood a frantic rally by injury-riddled Seattle to secure a winning record.
Surprising Miami (5-4) won its third in a row and remained in the thick of the AFC East race. After going 1-15 last season, the Dolphins are above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005 season.
The Dolphins’ Wildcat formation, shut out in the past three games, produced scores on a 51-yard run by Ricky Williams and a 16-yard run by Ronnie Brown. Ted Ginn Jr. scored his first touchdown this season when he made a fingertip catch in the end zone of a 39-yard pass from Chad Pennington on a flea-flicker.
Falcons 34, Saints 20
ATLANTA ó Drew Brees, the NFL’s most prolific passer, threw a season-high three interceptions, the last returned 95 yards for a touchdown by Chevis Jackson.
Matt Ryan threw two touchdown passes for the Falcons (6-3), who won for the fourth time in five games to remain in the thick of the playoff race. The Saints (4-5) again failed to put together their first winning streak of the season.
Ryan connected with Roddy White for a 16-yard touchdown on the Falcons’ second possession, then broke it open with a short pass to Jerious Norwood the speedy running back took for a 67-yard TD for a 27-6 lead.
Patriots 20, Bills 10
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. ó Patriots rookie runner BenJarvus Green-Ellis had his best game as a pro, Matt Cassel had a solid one and the free-falling Bills had another bad one.
Add a dominating performance by New England’s defense, and Buffalo’s hopes in the tight AFC East race suffered a serious blow.
Green-Ellis, an undrafted rookie from Mississippi playing because three running backs are hurt, rushed for 105 yards on 26 carries and scored on a 1-yard run, his fourth straight game with a touchdown.
Jets 47, Rams 3
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó Thomas Jones had three touchdown runs, Jay Feely kicked four field goals ó including a franchise record-tying 55-yarder ó and the Jets converted five turnovers into 27 points for the largest margin of victory in team history.
The Jets’ previous biggest win was 45-3 over Houston in 1988.
Jones had 29 carries for 149 yards, and Brett Favre was 14-of-19 for 167 yards and a touchdown to Dustin Keller before calling it a day early in the fourth quarter. It was the Jets’ first win over the Rams since 1983.
Jaguars 38, Lions 14
DETROIT ó Maurice Jones-Drew ran for a career-high three touchdowns in the second quarter alone after Detroit took the lead and David Garrard threw two touchdown passes in the second half.
Daunte Culpepper made his Detroit debut in haste ó just five days after signing, ending his brief retirement ó and it lasted just three quarters. He went 5-for-10 for 104 yards with an interception.
Ravens 41, Texans 13HOUSTON ó Rookie Joe Flacco threw for two touchdowns and Ray Lewis had a pair of interceptions to lead the Ravens to their fourth straight win. The Ravens (6-3) have scored at least 27 points in a team-record four consecutive games.
Flacco was 15-of-23 for 185 yards and threw touchdowns to Yamon Figurs and Todd Heap, keeping his composure despite being under heavy pressure most of the day.
Giants 36, Eagles 31
PHILADELPHIA ó Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes, Brandon Jacobs had two TD runs and the Giants distanced themselves from the pack in the NFL’s toughest division.
The Eagles had the ball at their own 45 with 1:55 left, but Brian Westbrook was stopped on fourth-and-1.
Jacobs lost the ball at the goal line on his 2-yard TD run that made it 36-24. The Eagles challenged, but officials upheld the play.
The Giants went ahead 27-24 two plays after a reversed call gave them a first down at the Eagles 3.
Donovan McNabb had three TD passes for the Eagles, but the Giants shut down Westbrook.
McNabb’s 2-yard TD toss to Kevin Curtis on fourth down cut it to 36-31 with 5:30 left.
The defense stopped the Giants on the ensuing possession and the Eagles took over at their 14 with 3:14 and one timeout remaining. But they couldn’t put together a winning drive.
Westbrook was held to 59 total yards. The versatile halfback had at least 123 combined yards in six straight games against the Giants.
The Eagles took a 24-20 lead on McNabb’s 7-yard TD pass to Hank Baskett on the opening drive of the third quarter. Baskett’s reception on a fade pass was his second biggest catch this week. The third-year wideout became engaged to Kendra Wilkinson, who co-stars on “The Girls Next Door” as one of Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner’s three live-in girlfriends in the E! reality series.
Manning led the Giants to three straight scoring drives after throwing an interception on the third play from scrimmage and New York built a 17-7 lead.
But a fumble by Jacobs helped the Eagles get back in it. Jacobs lost the ball while hurdling Asante Samuel as Chris Gocong delivered a hard hit. Mike Patterson recovered it at the Giants 44.
McNabb hit Jason Avant over the middle for a 10-yard TD pass to cut it to 17-14.
Late in the second quarter, Sam Madison intercepted a poorly underthrown pass by McNabb and returned it 21 yards to the Eagles 14. That led to a 26-yard field goal by John Carney.
McNabb was sharp during the two-minute offense and David Akers nailed a 29-yarder to cut it to 20-17 at halftime.
The Eagles used a trick play to take a 7-0 lead after Patterson’s interception set them up at the Giants 9. Patterson rumbled 21 yards after he picked off Manning’s pass for his first career interception.
Wide receiver DeSean Jackson scored on a 9-yard run, taking the snap out of a shotgun formation with McNabb lined up wide to the left. The Miami Dolphins rejuvenated the single wing this season, and it was the first time the Eagles used a variation of that gimmick offense.
Manning tossed a 17-yard TD pass to Plaxico Burress to tie it at 7. Burress beat safety Brian Dawkins, who covered the wideout because the Eagles sent a cornerback on a blitz.
Giants halfback Ahmad Bradshaw stripped Quintin Demps on the kickoff and Chase Blackburn took it to the Eagles 13 after making the recovery. Philadelphia’s defense tightened up and the Giants settled for a 27-yard field goal by Carney.
Manning’s 1-yard TD pass to Boss gave the Giants a 17-7 lead.
The Eagles had the ball for 90 seconds in the first quarter.
Teams were seeded based on 10-game records as submitted to the NCHSAA. 2008 STATE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS FIRST ROUND NOVEMBER 14... read more