NFL roundup: Colts take advantage of Pats’ gamble for 35-34 win
Colts 35, Patriots 34
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Bill Belichick’s stunning gamble failed, and Peyton Manning took advantage by throwing a 1-yard touchdown pass with 13 seconds left that rallied the unbeaten Indianapolis Colts over the New England Patriots 35-34 Sunday night.
Manning’s toss to Reggie Wayne completed the Colts’ comeback from a 17-point deficit. A decision by Belichick put them in position.
The Patriots coach decided to go for it on fourth-and-2 from their own 28 with 2:08 to go. The pass to Kevin Faulk came up short.
It was the most improbable victory for the Colts (9-0) in their 18-game regular-season winning streak, tied for the second-longest in NFL history with New England. It was the first time Belichick’s Patriots had lost when leading by at least 13 in the fourth quarter.
Bengals 18, Steelers, 12
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Finally after 40 years of being pushed around and dominated by the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Cincinnati Bengals refused to be bullied any more.
The Bengals beat the Steelers at their own game in their own stadium, relying on a defense that smothered Ben Roethlisberger and the Super Bowl champions by holding them to four field goals, and using one big special teams play for an 18-12 victory Sunday that put them in control of the AFC North.
Shayne Graham kicked four field goals in the second half even as the Bengals (7-2) failed to convert opportunity after opportunity to take control. Bernard Scott’s 96-yard kickoff return in the first quarter proved pivotal as Cincinnati, despite playing the second half without ace running back Cedric Benson and failing to convert on the extra point after Scott’s score, followed up a 23-20 win over the Steelers (6-3) on Sept. 27.
By sweeping the season series for the first time since 1998, the Bengals effectively lead the division by two games because they own the tiebreaker and, for the first time in their history, a 5-0 division record.
Dolphins 25, Bucs 23
MIAMI (AP) – Chad Henne directed a 77-yard scoring drive in the final 1:10, and Dan Carpenter kicked a 25-yard field goal with 10 seconds left.
Henne spoiled the Bucs’ comeback led by Josh Freeman, who rallied his team in the fourth quarter for the second time in two NFL starts. The rookie shook off an awful first half and led his team to a pair of late touchdowns.
The Dolphins (4-5) won despite losing running back Ronnie Brown to a right ankle injury in the third quarter. The Bucs (1-8) were unable to build momentum after beating Green Bay a week earlier.
An ill-advised pass by Henne was intercepted to set up the Bucs’ go-ahead score with 1:14 left.
Henne, a second-year pro, finished 17 for 31 for 175 yards and improved to 4-2 as a starter. Williams ran for 102 yards, and Brown rushed for 82 and a touchdown before his injury.
Saints 28, Rams 23
ST. LOUIS (AP) – Reggie Bush helped the unbeaten New Orleans Saints overcome another bundle of mistakes and get off to the best start in team history.
Bush scored twice for the first time in more than a year and Drew Brees compensated for two interceptions with two touchdown passes in a 28-23 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
Courtney Roby opened the second half with a 97-yard kickoff return and Robert Meachem’s 27-yard grab early in the fourth quarter gave New Orleans (9-0) just enough breathing room to tie the franchise record with nine straight wins.
Marc Bulger’s 19-yard pass to Donnie Avery shaved the deficit to five with 2:44 to go and the Rams (1-8) made it to the New Orleans 32 before Bulger threw incomplete into the end zone on the final play.
Panthers 28, Falcons 19
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Jake Delhomme went turnover-free for the third straight game, finding Steve Smith for two touchdowns.
Matt Ryan twice seemed poised to lead Atlanta on the winning drive. First, his kicker let him down. Then his sophomore troubles popped up again.
The Panthers (4-5) built a 21-10 halftime lead, but the win wasn’t sealed until Richard Marshall picked off Ryan, setting up Jonathan Stewart’s 45-yard touchdown run with 2:07 left.
Earlier, Jason Elam missed a 34-yard field goal that would have given Atlanta (5-4) the lead.
Ryan completed just 7 of 19 passes for 48 yards and an interception in the first half, often overthrowing receivers and appearing rattled by Carolina’s pressure.
Vikings 27, Lions 10
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Brett Favre passed for a season-high 344 yards, 201 to Sidney Rice, and Detroit lost for the 31st time in 33 games.
The Lions (1-8) joined the Houston Oilers, from Nov. 21, 1982 through Nov. 4, 1984, as the only NFL teams to lose 31 games in a 33-game stretch, according to STATS.
They’ve played tough this season several times, as the Vikings can attest, but after a slew of injuries in this game and more poor pass coverage they dropped their 12th straight at the Metrodome.
Adrian Peterson lost a fumble but turned 18 carries into 133 yards and two touchdowns for Minnesota (8-1).
Redskins 27, Broncos 17
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) – The Washington Redskins broke the 17-point barrier for the first time this season and ended a four-game losing streak.
The Broncos lost their third straight and had to play the second half with Chris Simms at quarterback after Kyle Orton left with an ankle injury.
Denver (6-3) has struggled since opening the season with six wins.
Ladell Betts scored on a 1-yard run with 2:44 to play. With Clinton Portis sidelined after suffering a concussion in last week’s loss at Atlanta, Betts made his first start since 2006 and ran for 114 yards on 26 carries.
Jason Campbell completed 17 of 26 passes for 193 yards for the Redskins (3-6). The 27-point outburst was their greatest since Week 2 of last season.
Titans 41, Bills 17
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – Chris Johnson ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns, and he caught nine passes for 100 more.
The Titans (3-6) are on a roll since opening the season 0-6, and they can thank Johnson, the NFL’s leading rusher and the league’s first back to top 1,000 yards this season.
Young also threw for a touchdown and finished with 210 yards passing in winning his seventh straight start. He also ran five times for 29 yards.
Buffalo (3-6) got Trent Edwards back and rookie Jairus Byrd picked off a pass in a fifth straight game. But the Bills lost their second straight.
Jaguars 24, Jets 22
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Josh Scobee kicked a 21-yard field goal as time expired after the Jaguars passed up a touchdown in order to drain the clock.
With the Jaguars facing second-and-6 from the 10, Maurice Jones-Drew took a handoff up the middle and went to a knee at the 1 to give Jacksonville first and goal with just over a minute left. New York had no timeouts left.
David Garrard knelt the ball twice, giving Scobee the opportunity to kick the game winner for the Jaguars (5-4).
It was another devastating loss for the Jets (4-5), who came out of their bye-week break making the same types of mistakes that plagued them in the first eight games. New York has dropped five of six.
Chargers 31, Eagles 23
SAN DIEGO (AP) – LaDainian Tomlinson scored twice to continue his climb up the career rushing and scoring lists, and San Diego pulled into a tie atop the AFC West.
Tomlinson gained a season-high 96 yards on 24 carries to pass Thurman Thomas and Franco Harris and move into 12th place all-time with 12,145 yards. His two touchdowns gave him 146 and moved him past Marcus Allen and into third place on the all-time list.
The Chargers and Broncos, both 6-3, play next Sunday in Denver.
Donovan McNabb threw for a season-high 450 yards, completing 35 of 55, and two late touchdowns for Philadelphia (4-5). He was intercepted in the end zone by Antonio Cromartie on the game’s last play.
Eagles running back Brian Westbrook was knocked out with another concussion. He had missed the previous two games after a concussion during a win against Washington on Oct. 26.
Chiefs 16, Raiders 10
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Jamaal Charles scored on a 44-yard run for Kansas City’s first rushing touchdown of the season and the Chiefs used a late interception to win their seventh straight game in Oakland.
The Chiefs (2-7) have managed to win just five of their past 35 games. But three of those wins have come at the Oakland Coliseum, where Kansas City has the longest winning streak ever by a visiting team.
Ryan Succop kicked three field goals and Kansas City once again pulled out a close one against the Raiders (2-7) in the Chiefs’ first game since releasing running back Larry Johnson.
The Raiders scored a touchdown on their opening drive and then managed just three points and 202 yards the rest of the way.
Cardinals 31, Seahawks 20
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) – Rookie Beanie Wells had second-half touchdown runs of 10 and 13 yards and Arizona rallied from an early two-touchdown deficit for its second home win in five tries.
Kurt Warner completed 29 of 38 for 340 yards and two touchdown passes as the Cardinals (6-3) stayed two games up on San Francisco in the NFC West. Warner also became the 29th player in NFL history to throw 200 touchdown passes, and had his 51st 300-yard passing game, tying Dan Fouts for fourth on the NFL career list.
With Julius Jones out early with a chest injury, second-year back Justin Forsett rushed for a career-high 123 yards, including an 11-yard touchdown run, for the Seahawks (3-6).
Matt Hasselbeck, who had been bothered by a sore shoulder, was 26 of 52 for 315 yards and a touchdown. He was picked off twice late in the game.
Packers 17, Cowboys 7
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – Charles Woodson helped Green Bay’s defense finally play up to its potential against a big-time opponent, forcing two fumbles and picking off a pass by Tony Romo on the goal line.
It wasn’t a pretty win for the Packers (5-4), but it might have saved their season after back-to-back demoralizing losses.
The Packers sacked Romo five times and held him to 251 yards passing in a momentum- killer for the Cowboys (6-3), who had won four straight. Dallas also lost starting right tackle Marc Colombo to a broken left leg.
Aaron Rodgers scored on a quarterback sneak and threw a touchdown pass to tight end Spencer Havner. Rodgers was 25 of 36 for 189 yards and a touchdown, but was also sacked four times.