November 9, 2009
Buccaneers 38, Packers 28
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) – Rookie Josh Freeman passed for 205 yards and three touchdowns Sunday, including a 7-yard throw to Sammie Stroughter on fourth-and-4, leading the previously winless Bucs to a 38-28 victory over the Green Bay Packers.
In his first pro start, the 17th pick in the draft out of Kansas State completed 14 of 31 passes with just one interception. A critical second pick was wiped out by a Green Bay penalty during the go-ahead drive.
The Bucs (1-7) were the last team in the NFL to win this season. It was also the first victory for the league’s youngest head coach, 33-year-old Raheem Morris, who replaced Jon Gruden after Tampa Bay went 0-4 in December and missed the playoffs last year.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 266 yards and two touchdowns for the Packers (4-4). He also threw three interceptions and had one returned for a TD that put the game out of reach in the final minute.
Rodgers was also sacked six times, hiking Green Bay’s NFL-worst total to 37 takedowns in eight games.
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The Bucs wore throwback creamsicle uniforms and made Hall of Famer Lee Roy Selmon the first inductee into the Ring of Honor at Raymond James Stadium.
Cowboys 20, Eagles 16
PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Tony Romo threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Miles Austin midway through the fourth quarter and the Cowboys won the 100th meeting between the division rivals.
On the final day of the 2008 regular season, the Eagles dominated Dallas 44-6 in a do-or-die game for both teams. Philadelphia earned a wild-card berth with that victory, won two playoff contests on the road and advanced to the NFC championship game, losing at Arizona.
The Cowboys (6-2) spent the whole offseason thinking about that horrendous ending. They got their revenge and took over sole possession of first place in the NFC East with their fourth straight victory.
The Eagles fell to 5-3 and the New York Giants are 5-4 after a 5-0 start.
Saints 30, Panthers 20
NEW ORLEANS (AP) – The Saints moved to 8-0 for the first time in club history when Drew Brees overcame two early turnovers to pass for 330 yards and a touchdown.
While the Saints’ defense did not intercept a pass for the first time all season, the unit forced three turnovers on fumbles. The last produced New Orleans’ seventh defensive touchdown of the season on Anthony Hargrove’s strip, recovery and 1-yard return late in the fourth quarter.
DeAngelo Williams rushed for 149 yards and two TDs, and Carolina gained 182 on the ground. However, it was Williams’ fumble at his 1 with just more than 2 minutes left that led to New Orleans’ clinching TD.
It was the first time Carolina lost in Louisiana since 2001 and quarterback Jake Delhomme’s first loss in the Louisiana Superdome. The Panthers blew a 17-3 lead.
Colts 20, Texans 17
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Running back Joseph Addai scored the go-ahead touchdown with 7:11 left and Houston’s Kris Brown missed a 42-yard field goal as time expired, keeping Indianapolis undefeated.
Indy is the fourth team in league history with 17 straight wins. New England has done it twice and Chicago did it in 1933-34. Jim Caldwell became the first rookie coach to go 8-0 since Potsy Clark in 1930.
The Colts now have a 31/2-game lead over Houston (5-4) in the AFC South.
Indianapolis blew a 13-0 first-half lead and trailed 17-13 when Steve Slaton opened the fourth quarter with a 1-yard TD run. But Addai answered with a 2-yard TD run to rally the Colts.
Peyton Manning also became the first quarterback in league history to throw for 40,000 yards within a decade.
Chargers 21, Giants 20
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Philip Rivers capped an 80-yard drive with an 18-yard pass to Vincent Jackson with 21 seconds to play and the Chargers handed New York its fourth straight loss.
Rivers was 24 of 36 for 209 yards and three touchdowns, including two to Jackson, in helping San Diego (5-3) win its third straight.
The Giants are 5-4 heading into a bye week and not looking very much like a playoff team.
In the first meeting between Rivers and Giants quarterback Eli Manning since they were dealt for each other on draft day 2004, Terrell Thomas intercepted Rivers’ pass late in the fourth quarter and returned it 33 yards to the San Diego 4. A holding penalty on first down pushed New York back 10 yards, and it had to settle for a short field goal and a 6-point lead that Rivers and Jackson erased.
Titans 34, 49ers 27
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Six plays after his 81-yard touchdown run was overturned, Chris Johnson took a pitch from Vince Young and ran 2 yards for a go-ahead score.
Young showed his comeback is legitimate, outplaying fellow first-round draft pick Alex Smith down the stretch. Young has been clutch twice in as many weeks, getting the Titans (2-6) in the end zone when it mattered.
Johnson converted on fourth-and-inches for his TD, making up for those six points negated only a few minutes earlier after video replay determined he stepped out of bounds on the long run. Johnson ran for 135 yards and has 959 halfway through the season.
Stunned San Francisco (3-5) has lost four straight following a 3-1 start – and the 49ers have little time to recover. The Bears come to town for a Thursday night game.
Patriots 27, Dolphins 17
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – Tom Brady and Randy Moss connected on two highlight-reel plays. Moss set up the Patriots’ first touchdown with a one-handed, 36-yard grab at the Dolphins 1-yard line, then scored on a 71-yard play after catching the ball about 10 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.
Miami’s two touchdowns came on possessions on which it used the wildcat most extensively – after gaining just 36 yards on 21 wildcat plays in its previous two games. But New England’s quick-strike ability took back the momentum.
The Patriots (6-2) lead the idle New York Jets (4-4) and Miami and Buffalo (both 3-5) in the AFC East. The win was especially important because Miami had been 3-0 in division games and New England only 1-1.
Moss caught six passes for 147 yards, while Brady went 25 for 37 for 332 yards, his third straight game with more than 300 yards and team-record 27th of his career.
Miami’s Ted Ginn Jr. was held in check after kickoff returns of 100 and 101 yards in last Sunday’s 30-25 win over the Jets.
Bengals 17, Ravens 7
CINCINNATI (AP) – With Cedric Benson topping 100 yards again, the Bengals got ahead early and ground one out. Cincinnati scored on its first three possessions, then spent the rest of its time chasing Baltimore’s Joe Flacco around the field.
The Bengals (6-2) can take control of the division by winning next Sunday at Pittsburgh; the Steelers (5-2) play Denver on Monday night. Cincinnati has won all four games in the division, including a sweep of the Ravens (4-4), who started fast but have self-destructed into mediocrity.
They’ve been at their worst against the Bengals, who took advantage of three Ravens penalties to pull off a winning drive in Baltimore on Oct. 11 for a 17-14 win.
Benson was coming off the best game of his career: 189 yards against his former Bears team, a dominating performance that sent Cincinnati into its bye on an upbeat note. Refreshed by a weekend off, he was at it again, running for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Cardinals 41, Bears 21
CHICAGO (AP) – One week after throwing five interceptions, Kurt Warner tied a career high by throwing five touchdown passes. Larry Fitzgerald added 123 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
Warner was at his best after a miserable performance in a 34-21 loss to Carolina. He handled a team that had a chance to sign him as a backup four years ago, matching the record for TD passes by a Bears opponent without getting picked off.
Warner completed 23 of 32 for 261 yards and threw touchdown passes on the first four possessions. Neil Rackers added field goals on the next two, sending Arizona (5-3) to an easy win and Chicago (4-4) to a damaging loss.
Tim Hightower ran for 77 yards, Beanie Wells added 72 rushing and the Cardinals’ offense racked up 438 yards even though Arizona was missing wide receiver Anquan Boldin.
Falcons 31, Redskins 17
ATLANTA (AP) – Michael Turner ran for a season-high 166 yards, breaking away from former Falcons CB DeAngelo Hall on a 58-yard touchdown that finished off Washington early in the fourth quarter.
Hall, who made two Pro Bowls playing for the Falcons from 2004-07, yapped away all week about how Atlanta treated him unfairly before a trade to Oakland. He didn’t even make it through one season with the Raiders and landed in Washington.
Turner and the Falcons (5-3) got the last laugh. The burly running back broke off two long touchdown runs, also scoring from 30 yards as the Falcons built a 24-3 halftime lead.
Washington (2-6) looked down and out, losing running back Clinton Portis to an apparent concussion, and Hall lost his cool after LaRon Landry delivered a late hit to Matt Ryan along the Falcons sideline. As flags flew, the outspoken cornerback jumped into the middle of things, surrounded by Atlanta players and coach Mike Smith. Hall was yanked away before any punches were thrown.
Jaguars 24, Chiefs 21
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) – David Garrard threw for 264 yards, including a 61-yard touchdown to Mike Sims-Walker.
The Jaguars (4-4), up and down all season, responded in similar fashion following losses to Arizona and Seattle earlier this season. The latest turnaround after a defeat came after coach Jack Del Rio ripped his team’s defensive effort in a 30-13 loss at the Titans, calling it “insulting, ugly and embarrassing.”
It worked, at least against Kansas City (1-7). Playing without running back Larry Johnson, the Chiefs managed little offense until late in the fourth quarter.
With left tackle Branden Albert and center Rudy Niswanger back in the lineup, Matt Cassel threw for 262 yards and two scores – both to newcomer Chris Chambers, claimed off waivers Tuesday from San Diego.
Seahawks 32, Lions 20
SEATTLE (AP) – Matt Hasselbeck rallied the Seahawks from a 17-0 deficit with a franchise-record 39 completions, and Seattle avoided the embarrassment of being the first home team to lose to the Lions in 25 months.
Hasselbeck threw an interception on his first play, but finished with the first 300-yard passing game in two seasons for the Seahawks (3-5). He was 39 of 51 for 329 yards.
Josh Wilson returned an interception 61 yards for a touchdown with 22 seconds left, the last of five interceptions by rookie Matthew Stafford, the top overall pick playing his second game since missing two weeks with a knee injury. That kept the Lions (1-7) from finally flying home happy.
Seattle’s first six plays included an interception by Hasselbeck on the first snap; a lost fumble by Justin Griffith forced by former Seahawks linebacker Julian Peterson on the second; two negative-yardage runs by Julius Jones; then another for no gain on a fourth-and-inches gamble in their end.