Rams finally win, Dolphins fall to 0-9
The St. Louis Rams found the winning touch at last. The Miami Dolphins? Not yet.
The NFL's two winless teams heading into Week 10 got opposite results Sunday. St. Louis ended its skid by winning at New Orleans 37-29. Miami led most of the way against Buffalo before folding, 13-10.
The Rams are 1-8 &
and finally smiling &
after not only a long-sought victory, but a decisive one. Marc Bulger had with 302 yards and short touchdown passes to Isaac Bruce and Drew Bennett. Steven Jackson, recovering from a back injury, rushed for a short touchdown and even threw a 2-yard halfback pass to Randy McMichael for a score.
Torry Holt had eight catches for 124 yards, and Rams' blitz-happy defense intercepted Drew Brees twice.
"It feels great to finally get a victory, especially against a team that had won four in a row," Jackson said. "It's a real confidence booster for the rest of the season."
Rian Lindell kicked a 34-yard field goal with 46 seconds left, the Bills earned their fourth consecutive victory and dropped the Dolphins to 0-9 for the first time.
"Who's the guy from Charlie Brown who has the gray cloud following him around?" defensive tackle Vonnie Holliday said. "Pig Pen? We're like Pig Pen."
Also Sunday, it was San Diego 23, Indianapolis 21; Green Bay 34, Minnesota 0; Dallas 31, the New York Giants 20; Pittsburgh 31, Cleveland 28; Arizona 31; Detroit 21; Jacksonville 28, Tennessee 13; Denver 27, Kansas City 11; Philadelphia 33, Washington 25; Chicago 17, Oakland 6; Cincinnati 21, Baltimore 7; and Atlanta 20, Carolina 13.
On Monday night, San Francisco is at Seattle.
Bills 13, Dolphins 10
At Miami, the Dolphins controlled the ball for nearly 37 minutes. However, Buffalo scored 11 points in the final 9:46 to improve to 5-4.
Buffalo's only touchdown came after a long drive by the Dolphins put them ahead 10-2. The Bills capped a 66-yard march with a 3-yard run by Marshawn Lynch, who then ran for the tying 2-point conversion.
Miami's Ted Ginn Jr. returned the ensuing kickoff 86 yards for an apparent score, but the touchdown was negated by a holding penalty on Greg Camarillo.
"Heck of a game," said Cam Cameron, still seeking his first victory as an NFL head coach. "We did everything except win."
Rams 37, Saints 21
The Saints (4-5) saw their four-game winning streak snapped against a team that not only was 0-8 coming in, but hadn't even led on the road.
The most crushing blows came on third-and-long situations, when Holt routinely found a seem in the defense and Bulger found Holt. Bennett's 3-yard touchdown reception put the Rams up 34-7 in the opening minute of the fourth quarter.
Chargers 23, Colts 21
At San Diego, Adam Vinatieri missed a 29-yard field goal attempt with 1:31 left and Peyton Manning was picked off a club-record six times.
Manning had driven the Colts (7-2) to the Chargers 12. Vinatieri, who had won two Super Bowls for New England with last-second kicks, pushed his kick just wide right.
Darren Sproles brought back the opening kickoff 89 yards for his first NFL touchdown. Then he ran back a punt 45 yards for his second score later in the first quarter.
But the Colts scored two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion in 23 seconds early in the fourth quarter to pull to 23-21.
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie celebrated his first NFL start by picking off Manning three times as San Diego (5-4) took sole possession of first place in the AFC West.
Packers 34, Vikings 0
Brett Favre joined Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks in NFL history to throw for 60,000 career yards as host Green Bay (8-1) humbled the Vikings (3-6).
Favre was 33-of-46 for 351 yards and three touchdowns before he was relieved by backup Aaron Rodgers. Favre broke Marino's record for career touchdown passes against the Vikings earlier this year, and now trails Marino's all-time passing yardage mark by 1,105 yards.
Ryan Grant finished with 119 yards against a tough Vikings defense.
One week after setting the NLF record with 296 yards rushing, Minnesota rookie Adrian Peterson sprained his knee when he caught a pass from Brooks Bollinger and was tackled low by cornerback Al Harris. Peterson was limited to 45 yards on 11 carries.
Cowboys 31, Giants 20
Tony Romo hit Terrell Owens for two of his four touchdown passes and visiting Dallas strengthened its lead in the NFC East, ending the Giants' six-game winning streak. Romo and Owens teamed on scoring passes of 25 and 50 yards to help Dallas (8-1) match its best start since 1995, the last time it won the Super Bowl.
Romo, who was 20-of-28 for 247 yards, with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Tony Curtis and a 20-yarder to Patrick Crayton.
Eli Manning threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey, who tied his career high with 12 catches for 129 yards for New York (6-3).
Steelers 31, Browns 28
Ben Roethlisberger scrambled 30 yards for a key touchdown during host Pittsburgh's second-half comeback, then set up his own go-ahead 2-yard TD pass to Heath Miller with an important third-down run.
The Browns (5-4) would have tied the Steelers (7-2) atop the AFC North by winning, but Roethlisberger's big second half overcame Cleveland quarterback Derek Anderson's huge first half. Pittsburgh beat Cleveland for the ninth consecutive time.
Cleveland opened a 21-6 lead in the first half with the help of Joshua Cribbs' 90-yard kickoff return that led to one of Anderson's three touchdown passes before halftime. Cribbs also fumbled a kickoff inside his own 5, picked it up and somehow made his way down Pittsburgh's sideline for a 100-yard scoring return and an improbable 28-24 lead.
Phil Dawson missed a 52-yard field goal attempt with 6 seconds remaining.
Cardinals 31, Lions 21
Karlos Dansby intercepted two passes and forced a fumble. Two of Dansby's plays led to Arizona touchdowns in his first game since getting hurt against Carolina on Oct. 14.
Kurt Warner, playing with a torn ligament in his left (non-throwing) shoulder, shook off an early interception to go 26-of-36 for 259 yards and three touchdowns, two to Larry Fitzgerald. Backup Tim Rattay also had a TD pass as Arizona (4-5) snapped a three-game skid. Tight end Leonard Pope caught two touchdown passes for the Cardinals.
The loss dropped the visiting Lions (6-3) two games behind first-place Green Bay in the NFC North. Jon Kitna was 32-of-45 for 294 yards, including two touchdowns to Roy Williams, but he was intercepted twice and fumbled twice.
Jaguars 28, Titans 13
Quinn Gray threw for a touchdown and Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor ran for one each for visiting Jacksonville (6-3). The Jaguars made some amends for a season-opening loss to Tennessee (6-3) in which they gave up 282 yards rushing.
Jones-Drew ran for 101 yards on 19 carries as the Jaguars rolled up 166 yards against the NFL's stingiest run defense, which had been giving up 66 yards a game.
Jacksonville snapped the Titans' three-game winning streak; the Titans (6-3) struggled with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and defensive end Travis LaBoy out with injuries.
Vince Young threw for a career-high 257 yards and his first TD pass since Sept. 24. But the Jaguars sacked him four times, recovered a botch snap and picked off Young twice.
Broncos 27, Chiefs 11
Backup Selvin Young rushed for 109 yards and the visiting Broncos (4-5) scored two touchdowns in a 9-second span of the third quarter.
In the third quarter, Dre' Bly intercepted Damon Huard's throw and returned it 18 yards to the 31. Three plays later Young broke Bernard Pollard's tackle and went 20 yards for a touchdown and a 13-8 lead. On Kansas City's next play from scrimmage, defensive end Elvis Dumervil crashed into Huard and knocked the ball loose. Linebacker Nate Webster dashed 17 yards for another touchdown.
The Chiefs (4-5) replaced shaken-up, turnover-prone Huard with second-year quarterback Brodie Croyle.
Dwayne Bowe had nine catches for 105 yards for the Chiefs, who were without Pro Bowl running back Larry Johnson. Priest Holmes, a three-time Pro Bowler, had 65 yards on 20 carries in his first start in more than two years.
Eagles 33, Redskins 25
Donovan McNabb threw a screen pass to Brian Westbrook over the middle and, helped by four downfield blocks, Westbrook went for a 57-yard touchdown with 3:16 remaining for the key score to lead visiting Philadelphia.
Westbrook caught two touchdown passes and ran for another score, finishing with 20 carries for 100 yards and five receptions for 83 yards. McNabb completed 20 of 28 passes for 251 yards and four touchdowns.
The Eagles (4-5) remained in last place in the NFC East, but moved within striking distance of the third-place Redskins (5-4).
Jason Campbell completed 23 of 34 passes for 215 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, including the first three touchdown passes to wide receivers for the Redskins all season. Clinton Portis, who last week ended a 12-game drought without a 100-yard game, made it two in a row with 137 yards on 30 carries.
Bears 17, Raiders 6
Rex Grossman replaced an injured Brian Griese for visiting Chicago (4-5) and threw a 59-yard pass to Bernard Berrian for the winning TD with 3:11 remaining.
Sebastian Janikowski's 52-yard field goal with 4:04 left gave Oakland (2-7) a 6-3 lead. Then Grossman, who had struggled in his first game since Sept. 23, hit Cedric Benson on an 11-yard pass over the middle before connecting with Berrian on the winner.
Falcons 20, Panthers 13
Joey Harrington found Alge Crumpler over the middle for a 30-yard touchdown with 20 seconds left. Crumpler, who returned after missing the previous two games with ankle and knee injuries, caught the short pass and sliced between safeties Chris Harris and Quinton Teal as the Falcons (3-6) won their second straight game.
The Panthers (4-5) got their lone touchdown came on Ken Lucas' 27-yard fumble return as they lost their third straight and their sixth straight at home.
Bengals 21, Ravens 7
Shayne Graham kicked a team-record seven field goals to lead visiting Cincinnati (3-6), which had the league's 31st-ranked defense, was tied with winless Miami for most points allowed and had not yielded fewer than 20 points in any game this season.
The Ravens (4-5) committed six turnovers, and Steve McNair struggled in a second straight start &
throwing for only 128 yards, losing two fumbles and throwing an interception &
before being replaced by Kyle Boller.
Graham connected from 34, 19, 22, 35, 35, 21 and 33 yards. He has made 19 straight field goal tries, a team record. The seven field goals were one short of the NFL record set earlier this season by Tennessee's Rob Bironas.