Pats still perfect after romp over Buffalo
By: By The Associated Press
Sometimes in the NFL, fans get what they expect: another Patriots win, another Dolphins loss.
And sometimes they get the really strange.
One of the weirdest plays in NFL history played a huge role in Cleveland’s 33-30 overtime victory at Baltimore on Sunday.
Phil Dawson’s tying 51-yard field goal at the end of regulation hit an upright, then tapped the center support behind the crossbar before bouncing back onto the field. Initially called no good, officials held a long discussion, then ruled the kick went through the uprights and called the teams back onto the field.
The Browns took the kickoff in overtime and drove 43 yards in nine plays before Dawson kicked a 33-yard field goal to give the Browns (6-4) a wild win.
“I couldn’t tell for sure. I could tell by the way it glanced off the upright, it looked like it went forward,” Dawson said of the tying. “But we had people down near the goal post who were screaming at the top of their lungs that it had hit whatever that bar you call it.”
Eventually, the officials agreed.
“It was a ruling by one of the officials,” referee Pete Morelli said. “The other official informed me that the ball hit the back of the extension of the goal post. … We determined that was what it struck. Therefore, it made the field goal good.”
Elsewhere Sunday, it was another romp for New England, 56-10 at Buffalo, moving the Patriots to 10-0. Miami has gone completely the other way and fell to 0-10 with a 17-7 defeat at Philadelphia.
Also, it was Dallas 28, Washington 23; Green Bay 31, Carolina 17; Indianapolis 13, Kansas City 10; Jacksonville 24, San Diego 10; the New York Giants 16, Detroit 10; the New York Jets 19, Pittsburgh 16 in overtime; Seattle 30, Chicago 23; Tampa Bay 31, Atlanta 7; Arizona 35, Cincinnati 27; Houston 23, New Orleans 10; Minnesota 29, Oakland 22; and St. Louis 13, San Francisco 9.
The Tennessee Titans travel to Denver tonight.
Patriots 56, Bills 10
With touchdowns on their first seven offensive possessions and the eighth on a turnover, the Patriots once more looked unbeatable.
Tom Brady was 31-of-39 for 373 yards with five TD passes, four to Randy Moss, as New England became the 10th team since 1970 to start a season 10-0. Barring injury, the Patriots are an excellent bet to become the NFL’s first perfect team since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.
Brady, who has yet to throw fewer than three touchdown passes in a game, increased his TD passes to 38, just 11 short of Peyton Manning’s single-season record, set in 2004. Moss’ four TD catches gave him 16 for the season, six short of the record set by Jerry Rice in 1987.
Host Buffalo (5-5) saw its four-game winning streak end.
Colts 13, Chiefs 10
At Indianapolis, Adam Vinatieri made a 24-yard field goal with four seconds left. The win ended Indy’s two-game losing streak and kept the Colts (8-2) atop the AFC South.
Vinatieri was booed when he missed a 49-yard field goal, and the boobirds were even louder after Vinatieri pulled a 38-yarder wide left.
But he made two second-half kicks, including the winner.
Peyton Manning, struggling with a lineup decimated by injuries, finished 16-of-32 for 163 yards with one interception and his lowest passer rating (52.0) in a regular-season game since September 2005.
Kansas City (4-6) lost its third straight game in Brodie Croyle’s first career start.
Packers 31, Panthers 17
At Green Bay, Brett Favre threw three touchdowns in the duel with fellow passing patriarch Vinny Testaverde. It was Favre’s 62nd career game with at least three touchdown passes, tying yet another of Dan Marino’s records.
The 44-year-old Testaverde and 38-year-old Favre formed the oldest starting quarterbacks duo in NFL history. Favre completed 22 of 30 passes for 218 yards. Testaverde was out of the league a little more than a month ago, and played Sunday’s game without injured receiver Steve Smith. He threw two second-half touchdowns, but was intercepted twice.
It was the first of three games in 12 days for the Packers (9-1), who play at Detroit on Thanksgiving and at Dallas the following Thursday.
Cowboys 28, Redskins 23
Terrell Owens caught touchdown passes of four, 31, 46 and 52 yards for the first four-TD game of his career to get the Cowboys to 9-1 for the first time since 1983.
They’ve won four straight.
“This is one of the greatest games, really, that I feel like I’ve played in,” said Owens, who finished with eight catches for 173 yards. “Just really me coming through in the clutch.”
Late in the game, the visiting Redskins (5-5) answered T.O.’s fourth TD with a touchdown, then forced the Cowboys to punt. Jason Campbell had Washington 19 yards from a go-ahead TD, but Dallas’ Terence Newman intercepted with 1:39 left.
Browns 33, Ravens 30 OT
Baltimore (4-6) rallied from a 13-point deficit for a 30-27 lead on a 47-yard field goal by Matt Stover with 26 seconds left in regulation. But Dawson, who last missed a 52-yarder that would have forced overtime against Pittsburgh, got his fortuitous bounce — even if the officials needed almost five minutes to confirm that it went through.
Brodney Pool had a 100-yard interception return for a touchdown for Cleveland (6-4). Derek Anderson went 24-for-38 for 274 yards and a touchdown. Another former Raven, Jamal Lewis, ran for 92 yards and a touchdown.
Ravens QB Kyle Boller was sacked six times and committed three turnovers. But he went 22-for-41 for 279 yards, passing Vinny Testaverde as the Ravens’ career leader in passing yardage.
Eagles 17, Dolphins 7
At Philadelphia, the Eagles (5-5) improved to .500 for the first time this season by winning consecutive games for the first time. Backup quarterback A.J. Feeley led two second-half scoring drives in place of injured Donovan McNabb (sprained ankle). Brian Westbrook had a career-best 148 yards rushing, dropping the Dolphins to 0-10.
No NFL team has finished 0-16. Tampa Bay went 0-14 in 1976.
John Beck made his NFL debut for Miami, throwing for 109 yards. Ted Ginn Jr. returned a punt 87 yards for the Dolphins’ only score.
Jaguars 24, Chargers 17
At Jacksonville, David Garrard threw two touchdown passes in his first game in nearly a month. Jacksonville (7-3) scored on its first three possessions and the Chargers (5-5) self-destructed on nearly every drive.
LaDainian Tomlinson needed 91 yards rushing to become the 22nd player in NFL history with 10,000, but finished with 62 yards and a touchdown. The league’s reigning MVP also caught five passes for 93 yards.
Giants 16, Lions 10
At Detroit, Michael Strahan had a season-high three sacks, while James Butler and Sam Madison both made victory-sealing interceptions.
New York (7-3) broke a third-place tie with Detroit (6-4) in the conference and improved its chances of making the playoffs. But the win came with a price: RB Brandon Jacobs (hamstring) was sidelined in the third quarter and linebacker Mathias Kiwanuka broke his left leg.
Jets 19, Steelers 16, OT
The Jets won for the first time in almost two months despite the presence of thousands of Pittsburgh fans in Giants Stadium waving yellow Steelers towels.
Mike Nugent kicked a 38-yard field goal 5:03 into overtime. The kick broke a six-game losing streak for the Jets (2-8).
Thomas Jones had 117 yards on 30 carries, becoming the first running back in 35 games to reach 100 yards against the top-ranked Steelers defense. Leon Washington set up the win by returning a punt 33 yards to the Steelers 26.
New York did it by unexpectedly being able to run against the Steelers (7-3) and sacking Ben Roethlisberger a season-high seven times, including 2 1/2 by Dewayne Robertson. The Jets had just nine sacks entering the game.
Seahawks 30, Bears 23
At Seattle, Matt Hasselbeck passed for 337 yards and two touchdowns, and the Seahawks took advantage of Rex Grossman’s late fumble.
Grossman, reinstated as the starting quarterback after six games behind Brian Griese, was 24-for-37 for 266 yards for the Bears (6-4). But Grossman made a key mistake with 5:43 left with his fumble.
The Seahawks (6-4) turned that into Josh Brown’s clinching field goal from 46 yards with 3:36 remaining.
Buccaneers 31, Falcons 7
At Atlanta, Jeff Garcia threw for two touchdowns, Ronde Barber returned a fumble for another score and the Buccaneers’ defense stifled the Falcons.
Earnest Graham ran for 102 yards, including a 26-yard touchdown for Tampa Bay (6-4), the only team in the NFC South with a winning record.
Atlanta (3-7) had won two straight with Joey Harrington at quarterback, but never had a chance with Byron Leftwich returning. First-year Falcons coach Bobby Petrino started Leftwich over Harrington, saying he was still the No. 1 quarterback after missing the last two games recovering from ankle surgery.
Leftwich had one of the worst games in his career, completing 15-of-28 for 106 yards with two interceptions and two fumbles.
Cardinals 35, Bengals 27
Antrel Rolle returned interceptions 55 and 54 yards for touchdowns. Rolle finished off his big day at Cincinnati (3-7) with a third interception in the closing minutes. He ran Carson Palmer’s career-high fourth interception back 71 yards, but the apparent touchdown was nullified by a blocking penalty on the return.
After going through a three-game fade, Arizona (5-5) has rebounded by winning two in a row, matching its win total for each of the last two seasons.
Larry Fitzgerald had eight catches for 93 yards and another touchdown. He reached the 4,000-yard career mark.
Texans 23, Saints 10
At Houston, Andre Johnson had 120 yards receiving and a touchdown in his first game in eight weeks. Mario Williams sacked Drew Brees, had a forced fumble, several hurries and finished with six tackles.
The Texans (5-5) scored 17 points before halftime and stayed on top with tough defense in the second half against the Saints (4-6), who had five turnovers.
Reggie Bush, the 2005 Heisman Trophy winner, had 15 carries for 34 yards, 12 catches for 70 yards and two fumbles. Houston’s Heisman Trophy-winning running back Ron Dayne, who won the award in 1999, had 21 carries for 89 yards.
Vikings 29, Raiders 22
At Minneapolis, Chester Taylor had 202 total yards and three touchdowns in place of injured rookie star Adrian Peterson. Peterson was out with a knee injury, so Taylor rushed 22 times for 164 yards, and Minnesota (4-6) pressured Daunte Culpepper into a costly turnover and four sacks.
The Vikings turned the ball over four times in the first half, and Sebastian Janikowski followed their fumbles with three of his five field goals. He couldn’t prevent Oakland (2-8) from losing its sixth straight game.
Culpepper completed 23 of 39 passes for 344 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
Rams 13, 49ers 9
At San Francisco, Marc Bulger shook off another beating to pass for 155 yards and an early touchdown to Torry Holt. Bulger was sacked six times by the 49ers, who also sacked him six times in the clubs’ first meeting.
The Rams (2-8) couldn’t score a touchdown after their opening drive and managed just 38 yards of offense in the second half, but the defense had little trouble with San Francisco’s league-worst offense until two desperate fourth-quarter drives.
The 49ers (2-8) lost their eighth straight.