Broncos unbeaten after 51-48 squeaker over Cowboys
NFL roundup …
ARLINGTON, Texas — Matt Prater kicked a 28-yard field goal as time expired and Peyton Manning and Denver overcame the first 500-yard passing game in Dallas history to keep the Broncos unbeaten with a 51-48 victory over the Cowboys on Sunday.
Manning maintained his record pace of touchdown passes to start the season and finished with 414 yards and four scores for Denver (5-0).
Tony Romo threw for 506 yards and five touchdowns for Dallas (2-3), but he was intercepted by Danny Trevanthan inside the Dallas 30 to set up Prater’s winning kick.
The teams combined for 1,039 yards of total offense in the second-highest scoring game in regulation since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.
Cincinnati and Cleveland combined for 106 points in the Browns’ 58-48 win in 2004.
Colts 34, Seahawks 28
INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes and Donald Brown scored the go-ahead TD with 8:55 to go.
The Seahawks (4-1) lost their first regular-season game since last Nov. 25.
Delano Howell scored on a 61-yard return of a blocked field goal for Indy (4-1).
Luck led his ninth career fourth-quarter comeback by going 16 of 29 for 229 yards, beating Russell Wilson in their first matchup.
Saints 26, Bears 18
CHICAGO — Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes to Pierre Thomas, Jimmy Graham tied an NFL record with another 100-yard game and the New Orleans Saints remained unbeaten.
Brees was 29 of 35 for 288 yards in his first victory in four career games at Soldier Field. Garrett Hartley matched a career high with four field goals as New Orleans (5-0) picked up its first win in Chicago since a 31-10 victory on Oct. 8, 2000.
Graham continued his torrid start for the Saints (5-0), catching 10 balls for 135 yards in his fourth consecutive 100-yard game — matching an NFL record for a tight end. Tony Gonzalez was the first to accomplish the streak in 2000, and Graham matched it in 2011.
Bengals 13, Patriots 6
CINCINNATI — BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran 1 yard in the fourth quarter for the game’s only touchdown, and the Cincinnati Bengals ended Tom Brady’s long streak of touchdown passes in defeating the previously unbeaten New England Patriots.
The Bengals (3-2) sacked Brady four times and kept New England (4-1) out of the end zone on a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line late in the fourth quarter.
Adam “Pacman” Jones picked off Brady’s desperation pass inside the 5-yard line with 16 seconds left to clinch it.
Brady had thrown a touchdown pass in 52 straight games, second-longest in NFL history behind Drew Brees. The Patriots were held out of the end zone for the first time since a 16-9 loss to the Jets on Sept. 20, 2009.
Chiefs 26, Titans 17
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Jamaal Charles scored a 1-yard touchdown with 6:23 left, and the Chiefs rallied to keep up their perfect start.
The Chiefs (5-0) are off to their best start since 2003, when they won their first nine games.
The Titans (3-2) couldn’t have been more out of synch in the first half with Ryan Fitzpatrick starting for Jake Locker, sidelined with his sprained right hip. He missed his first five passes and went three-and-out on his first five series before guiding Tennessee to 17 straight points in the second half.
Ravens 26, Dolphins 23
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Justin Tucker kicked a 44-yard field goal to put the Baltimore Ravens ahead with 1:42 left, and they withstood a frantic comeback bid.
Ryan Tannehill completed a 46-yard pass to Brandon Gibson on fourth down to keep Miami’s hopes alive, but Caleb Sturgis then missed a 57-yard field goal attempt wide left with 33 seconds to go.
The Ravens (3-2) bounced back from a loss last week at Buffalo and won on the road for the first time this season.
The Dolphins (3-2) lost their second game in a row.
Packers 22, Lions 9
GREEN BAY, Wis. — James Jones caught a long touchdown pass from Aaron Rodgers, and the Packers defense contained the undermanned Lions.
Mason Crosby kicked five field goals. The Packers’ offense struggled to get into the end zone until Rodgers found Jones on an 83-yard completion down the left sideline for a 16-3 lead late in the third quarter.
It provided enough of a cushion for a defense that had the luxury of facing the Lions minus star receiver Calvin Johnson, out with a knee injury. Penalties also bogged down Detroit.
The Packers extended their winning streak in Wisconsin over the Lions to 23.
Eagles 36, Giants 21
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Nick Foles threw for two touchdowns and led four scoring drives after taking over for an injured Michael Vick late in the second quarter, and Philadelphia kept the Giants winless.
Foles threw fourth-quarter touchdown passes of 25 yards to Brent Celek and 5 yards to DeSean Jackson as the Eagles (2-3) snapped a three-game losing streak by forcing three interceptions by Eli Manning in the fourth quarter.
Vick left the game with a hamstring injury late in the second quarter.
Rams 34, Jaguars 20
ST. LOUIS — Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes and Matt Giordano’s 82-yard interception return was one of several big plays from the St. Louis defense against winless Jacksonville.
Austin Pettis’ 31-yard TD catch with 5:45 to go was his second of the day and put the Rams (2-3) up by two scores. St. Louis, which had trailed by double digits in every game, established control with a 17-point second quarter after Jacksonville (0-5) had a pair of early leads.
Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert injured his left hamstring in the third quarter.
49ers 34, Texans 3
SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco 49ers turned a prime-time showdown into an all-out pick party at The Stick.
Tramaine Brock read Matt Schaub’s first pass of the night, jumped in front for an interception and ran 18 yards for a touchdown just 90 seconds into the game.
Things only got better for Brock and San Francisco, and worse for Houston’s beleaguered quarterback. Schaub threw three picks in all before being replaced in the fourth.
Colin Kaepernick tossed a 64-yard TD pass to Vernon Davis and Frank Gore ran for 81 yards and a score in his second straight impressive prime-time game.
The 49ers (3-2) are right back in the NFC West race with Seattle after the Seahawks (4-1) lost at Indianapolis. Each team has beaten the Texans (2-3) and lost to the Colts, and Seattle still must visit San Francisco on Dec. 8.
Anthony Dixon added a 2-yard touchdown run for the NFC champions, while Brock had a second interception and nearly a third.
Kaepernick went 6 for 15 with 113 yards as the 49ers won their second straight in emphatic fashion following the first two-game losing streak under third-year coach Jim Harbaugh. Kaepernick completed four of his first six passes, then threw seven straight incompletions before connecting with Bruce Miller early in the fourth quarter and then Davis’ TD.
After being outscored 56-10 in the back-to-back losses against Seattle and Indianapolis, the 49ers have overwhelmed their opponents 69-14 over the last two games.
Brock’s ball-hawking defense was a big reason in this one.
He ran his initial interception back 18 yards for his first career pick six, then gained 13 yards on his second pick midway through the second quarter. That set up Dixon’s second TD of the year.
Brock nearly had a third late in the first half but was called for defensive pass interference, and rookie safety Eric Reid dropped a would-be interception right at him late in the third.
Even fringe defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie — an injury replacement for Ray McDonald — got in on the interception fun in the third quarter.
Schaub’s nightmare, monthlong stretch continued when he threw his first pass of the game for a pick-6, giving the beleaguered Texans quarterback an interception returned for a TD in four straight games.
On the next drive, Randy Bullock hooked a 45-yard field goal try wide left — and the 49ers capitalized afterward again with Gore’s touchdown late in the first quarter.
Bullock produced the Texans’ lone points with a 41-yard field goal in the third.
Missing three key defenders for the second straight game, San Francisco’s opportunistic D didn’t flinch and kept the penalties in check after early season problems with flags.
All-Pro linebacker Patrick Willis sat out a second straight game with a groin injury that also kept him out at St. Louis on Sept. 26, and the Niners also missed linebacker Aldon Smith again as he undergoes treatment for substance abuse. Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha is still nursing a knee injury.
Gore followed up his 153-yard performance in a 35-11 road rout of the Rams with another solid night.
Schaub wound up 19 of 35 for 173 yards and a sack in the Texans’ third straight loss, which came on the heels of a 23-20 overtime loss at home to San Francisco archrival Seattle last week. Houston has its first three-game skid since the end of 2011.
Fans in Texas were already furious and burning his jersey — and there’s a sign over one freeway calling for Schaub’s ouster. This certainly won’t help matters as supporters call for backup T.J. Yates.
In a stadium set to be imploded after the season, Schaub himself imploded. He could be seen muttering to himself with a shell-shocked expression walking off the field as coach Gary Kubiak buried his face in his hands.
Kubiak turned to Yates in the fourth quarter and Ben Tate lost a fumble on Yates’ second play, with San Francisco’s Tarell Brown recovering.
The 49ers, who had lost their last two Sunday night games both to the Seahawks, amassed 177 yards rushing with five different players each making a run of 11 or more yards.
San Francisco’s 21-point halftime lead matched its biggest under Harbaugh.
Texans tight end Owen Daniels made six receptions for 60 yards, giving him at least one catch in 88 straight regular-season games.
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