NFL roundup:Vikings fall to Steelers
PITTSBURGH (AP) ó LaMarr Woodley returned Brett Favre’s fumble 77 yards for a touchdown and Keyaron Fox ran back an interception 82 yards for another score during the closing minutes, and the Pittsburgh Steelers turned three major defensive stands into a 27-17 victory on Sunday to hand the Minnesota Vikings their first loss.
Two goal-line stands helped turned the anticipated quarterback showdown between Favre and Ben Roethlisberger into a defensive duel. And the Super Bowl champion Steelers (5-2) are tough to beat in any game that’s decided by defense. The Vikings (6-1) had a first down inside the Steelers 1 during the third quarter but settled for a field goal.
Saints 46, Dolphins 34
MIAMI ó The unbeaten Saints overcame an early 21-point deficit, mounting touchdown drives of 82, 79 and 60 yards on successive possessions in the second half to overtake the Dolphins.
NFL passing leader Drew Brees had his worst day of the season, with three interceptions and five sacks. But he scored twice, the second time on a 2-yard keeper with 8:35 left to give the Saints their first lead.
Tracy Porter’s 54-yard interception return sealed the win for the Saints (6-0), off to their best start since 1991. The league’s highest-scoring team topped 40 points for the fourth time.
Patriots 35, Buccaneers 7
WEMBLEY, Englandó Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes and had more than 300 yards as the Patriots (5-2) beat the winless Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium in the NFL’s third regular-season game at the iconic London venue.
For the Bucs, who gave up a home game to play in London, the new surroundings didn’t help. They fell to 0-7 and saw their losing streak extended to 11 games overall.
The Patriots were coming off a 59-0 win over the Tennessee Titans in which Brady tossed six TD passes. New England wasn’t as overpowering this time, and Brady even threw two interceptions in an uneven first-half performance.
Cowboys 37, Falcons 21
ARLINGTON, Texas ó Tony Romo returned to his swashbuckling style, keeping drives alive by improvising and turning one near-disaster into a touchdown, and Miles Austin proved his breakout game was no fluke by coming up with big play after big play.
With Romo and Austin bringing the offense to life and the defense giving up little more than long drives at the start of each half, the Cowboys (4-2) roared out of their bye with their most impressive win of the season and first against a team with a winning record.
The Falcons (4-2) came in looking to keep pace with the best start in franchise history. Matt Ryan started great, but couldn’t keep it up. His streak of 142 passes without a sack ended with takedowns on consecutive plays in the first quarter.
He was sacked four times, threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.
Texans 24, 49ers 21
HOUSTON ó Steve Slaton scored two touchdowns and the Texans built a big lead then held on for the win.
The Texans led 21-0 at halftime then withstood a rally led by backup quarterback Alex Smith. Eugene Wilson’s interception on fourth down halted a last-gasp drive by the 49ers (3-3).
San Francisco benched Shaun Hill after a terrible first half, and Smith threw three touchdowns to Vernon Davis to close the gap. Michael Crabtree started in his NFL debut and had five receptions for 56 yards.
Jets 38, Raiders 0
OAKLAND, Calif. ó Mark Sanchez shook off the worst start of his young career by running for one touchdown and throwing for another, fellow rookie Shonn Greene ran for 144 yards and two scores and the Jets snapped a three-game losing streak.
It was a low-pressure day for Sanchez, who started two of his first three drives for the Jets (4-3) at the Oakland 4 after turnovers by JaMarcus Russell. Those mistakes led to touchdown runs by Thomas Jones and Sanchez, and played a role in Oakland coach Tom Cable’s decision to bench the former No. 1 overall pick in the second quarter.
Packers 31, Browns 3
CLEVELAND ó Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes, Ryan Grant rushed for 148 yards and Green Bay warmed up for Brett Favre’s first visit back to Lambeau Field next week with a laugher against the Cleveland Browns, who got over the flu but can’t shake other problems.
It would have been understandable if the Packers (4-2) had overlooked an inferior opponent with their eyes on Favre’s hyped return to Wisconsin with the Minnesota Vikings. But Rodgers and his teammates took care of business against the Browns (1-6), who have scored just four offensive touchdowns and 72 points all season.
Chargers 37, Chiefs 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. ó Philip Rivers threw three touchdowns passes and LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 71 yards.
Rivers was 18 for 30 for 268 yards and three TDs as the Chargers won their third in a row in Kansas City for the first time since 1981.
Colts 42, Rams 6
ST. LOUIS (AP) ó Peyton Manning was 23 for 34 for 235 yards ó ending his run of 300-yard games at five ó and three touchdown passes and the defense got its first score of the year on rookie Jacob Lacey’s 35-yard interception return.
Looking fresh coming off their bye, the Colts won their 15th straight regular-season game and set a franchise record with their eighth straight road victory.
Bengals 45, Bears 10
CINCINNATI ó Carson Palmer threw five touchdown passes ó four of them in a dominant first half ó and Cedric Benson ran for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown against the team that let him go.
Cardinals 24, Giants 17
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. ó The Cardinals bewildered Eli Manning with their blitzes and forced four turnovers.
Kurt Warner, who was 6-2 as a starter with the Giants in 2004, threw for one TD and got plenty of help from star receiver Larry Fitzgerald and a staunch defense led by safety Adrian Wilson.
With less-heralded Cardinals Jason Wright, Tim Hightower and rookie Beanie Wells finding the end zone, Arizona (4-2) took over first place in the NFC West.
The Giants (5-2) lost their second in a row.
Wire and staff reportsSACRAMENTO, Calif. ó Salisbury native Bobby Jackson is retiring from the NBA. The 12-year veteran guard, who... read more