Brady's 3 TDs lift Patriots to win: NFL roundup
The Patriots, Jets are tied for AFC's top record at 7-2.
Tom Brady maintained his mastery of the Steelers, throwing three touchdown passes to tight end Rob Gronkowski and scoring once himself, as the visiting New England Patriots bounced back from an embarrassing 20-point loss by beating Pittsburgh 39-26 on Sunday night.
No NFL team wins more on its home field than Pittsburgh, but no opposing player wins there like Brady, who has won six of seven overall against the Steelers and four of five at Heinz Field. He was 30-of-43 for 350 yards with no sacks or interceptions, and now has 14 career TD throws and three interceptions against the Steelers.
The Patriots and AFC East rival Jets are tied for the conference's top record at 7-2.
Pittsburgh (6-3), its normally dominating defence shredded by Brady during its second home-field loss this season, drops back into a first-place tie with Baltimore in the AFC North.
Jon Kitna passed for 327 yards and three touchdowns and the Dallas Cowboys looked revitalized under interim coach Jason Garrett in a 33-20 victory that served as reality check for the New York Giants.
Kitna had TD passes of 13 yards to rookie Dez Bryant, 71 to halfback Felix Jones and 24 to Miles Austin as Dallas (2-7) snapped a five-game losing streak in its first game since Garrett replaced Wade Phillips.
Rookie cornerback Bryan McCann scored on a team-record 101-yard interception return in a game highlighted by big plays and two third-quarter power failures that delayed the game for 11 minutes.
Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes for the Giants (6-3), who had a five-game winning steak snapped.
Jay Cutler had 237 yards and three touchdown passes, Devin Hester had two big returns and the Chicago Bears beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-13 to tie Green Bay for the NFC North lead.
Steelers' Ward sustains concussion
Pittsbrugh Seelers wide receiver Hines Ward sustained a concussion attempting to make a catch in the first quarter against New England on Sunday night, ending his streak of 186 consecutive games with at least one reception.
The streak was the Steelers' longest and the third-longest in NFL history.
Ward was hurt while being hit by Patrick Chung and James Sanders on what was initially ruled a six-yard catch on Pittsburgh's third possession. Sanders' helmet appeared to strike Ward's helmet.
Ward stumbled while being helped off the field. During the break between quarters, the Patriots challenged the completion and it was overturned because Ward did not maintain possession as he struck the ground. The final play of the quarter was then replayed.
It was a rough day for Brett Favre and the Vikings (3-6), who needed to win and beat the Packers next week to jump back into the division race.
Favre had 170 yards passing after getting a career-best 446 last week against Arizona, when Minnesota wiped out a late 14-point deficit and beat the Cardinals in overtime. This time, there were no late rallies.
Favre threw three interceptions — all in the second half — and two late in the game that wiped out whatever chance the Vikings had at a comeback.
Chicago held Adrian Peterson to 51 yards rushing.
Cutler completed 22 of 35 passes with two interceptions, but his 19-yard TD pass to Kellen Davis made it 27-13 in the fourth quarter.
Santonio Holmes scored on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez with 16 seconds left in overtime, giving the New York Jets a 26-20 win over the Cleveland Browns for their eighth straight regular-season road win.
It was the second consecutive overtime victory for the Jets (7-2), who won 23-20 in Detroit a week ago.
New York overcame three missed field goals by Nick Folk, including a 47-yarder in OT.
On first down, Sanchez whipped a quick pass to Holmes, who after catching it, stepped inside of rookie safety T.J. Ward and sprinted into the end zone.
The Browns (3-6) had rallied to force OT on rookie quarterback Colt McCoy's three-yard TD pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 44 seconds left in regulation.
Kelvin Hayden returned an interception for a touchdown and Javarris James ran for his third TD in two weeks and the Indianapolis Colts held on to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 23-17.
It was only the second time all season Peyton Manning failed to throw a TD pass.
But the banged-up Colts (6-3) didn't need Manning's arm to win this one.
Instead, they scored 13 points off five turnovers and stopped the Bengals twice in the final two minutes 40 seconds.
The Bengals (2-7) have lost six straight and dropped to 0-7 against Manning.
Cincinnati created most of its own problems. Carson Palmer was picked off three times and nearly had two returned for touchdowns.
Cedric Benson's first-half fumble led to another Indy touchdown.
The Miami Dolphins achieved their season-high point total against Tennessee, and it only took three quarterbacks, a flea-flicker and the revival of the wildcat.
Defense helped, too. Randy Moss managed only one catch in his first game with the Titans, Miami takeaways led to two touchdowns and the Dolphins won 29-17.
After Miami quarterbacks Chad Pennington (shoulder) and Chad Henne (knee) departed with injuries, third-stringer Tyler Thigpen led an 85-yard drive in the fourth quarter to seal the bizarre victory.
The Dolphins (5-4) snapped a five-game home losing streak, including three losses this season. Tennessee (5-4) lost coming off a bye for the first time in five years.
Kerry Collins started at quarterback for the Titans and struggled through the first half before departing with a calf injury. Vince Young replaced him despite a sprained left ankle and threw for only 92 yards with two turnovers.
Fred Jackson scored two touchdowns in leading the Buffalo Bills to their first victory of the season, a 14-12 win over Detroit that sent the Lions to an NFL-record setting 25th consecutive road loss.
Jackson scored on a one-yard plunge and a 16-yard catch in a sloppy game played in rain-soaked conditions between two perennial losers.
Buffalo (1-8) ended what had been its worst start to a season since going 0-11 in 1984.
The Lions (2-7) broke the road losing streak they set in dropping 24 in a row from 2001-2003.
The win wasn't assured until Detroit quarterback Shaun Hill overthrew Brandon Pettigrew at the back of the end zone on a failed two-point conversion attempt with 14 seconds left. The Lions had pulled within two points on Hill's 20-yard TD pass to Calvin Johnson.
Mike Thomas caught a 50-yard touchdown pass from David Garrard that Houston defensive back Glover Quin batted into his hands on the final play in regulation, giving the Jacksonville Jaguars a 31-24 win over the Texans.
The game looked as if it was going to overtime, but Garrard heaved a pass toward the end zone with no time on the clock. Quin, who was burned all afternoon, tried to bat the ball to the ground.
Instead, he knocked it right to Thomas.
Thomas, who was trailing behind the pass and looking for a ricochet, caught it at the one-yard line and then stepped across the goal-line for the winner.
The Jaguars (5-4) went into a frenzy and even drew a celebration penalty that couldn't be enforced.
The Texans (4-5) trudged off the field in disbelief. It was Houston's third straight loss, dropping them from the top of the AFC South to the bottom.
Josh Freeman threw two touchdown passes and rookie LeGarrette Blount ran for a score to lead the surprising Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 31-16 victory over the struggling Carolina Panthers.
Freeman threw TD passes of eight yards to Arrelious Benn and 20 yards to Kellen Winslow for the NFL's youngest team.
Blount scored on a 17-yard run that finished a long second-quarter drive as the Bucs (6-3) rebounded from a six-point loss to Atlanta that knocked them out of first place in the NFC South.
Cadillac Williams put the game out of reach with a 45-yard TD burst on third-and-10 late in the fourth quarter.
Rookie Jimmy Clausen made his fourth start at quarterback for injury-riddled Carolina (1-8), which got 100 yards rushing from fourth-string running back Mike Goodson.
Kyle Orton threw a career-high four touchdown passes and Knowshon Moreno had his first 100-yard rushing performance as the Denver Broncos routed the Kansas City Chiefs 49-29 in their highest-scoring game in 47 years.
Snapping a four-game skid, the Broncos (3-6) kept alive their thin hopes of getting back into the playoff race by handing the Chiefs (5-4) their second straight loss.
The only time the Broncos scored more was in 1963, when they put up 50 on the San Diego Chargers.
The Broncos stuffed the Chiefs' vaunted ground game by jumping out to a 35-0 lead behind a trio of touchdown passes from Orton, a one-yard run by Tim Tebow and a 75-yard fumble return for a TD by linebacker Jason Hunter.
Tebow also threw his first NFL pass, a three-yard TD toss to fullback Spencer Larsen.
Joe Nedney kicked a 29-yard field goal with 9:38 left in overtime, and Troy Smith passed for 356 yards while leading the San Francisco 49ers' late rally for a 23-20 victory over the St. Louis Rams.
Smith earned his second straight victory as a starter for the 49ers (3-6), throwing a go-ahead 16-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree with 2:10 left in regulation.
After Sam Bradford and Steven Jackson led the Rams (4-5) back for Josh Brown's 33-yard field goal on the final snap of regulation, St. Louis couldn't get a first down after winning the overtime coin toss.
Smith swiftly moved the 49ers 55 yards, converting on third down for the first time in the game when St. Louis' Oshiomogho Atogwe was called for a 22-yard pass interference penalty.
Matt Hasselbeck, back after a one-game absence, threw for 333 yards and Mike Williams had the biggest game of his rejuvenated NFL career in the Seattle Seahawks' dominant 36-18 victory over the Arizona Cardinals.
Williams, who spent the past two seasons out of the NFL after flopping in Detroit, caught 11 passes for 145 yards, both career highs, for the Seahawks (5-4), who swept the Cardinals for the first time since 2006.
Arizona (3-6) lost its fourth straight, its longest skid since dropping eight in a row in 2006, Dennis Green's final season as coach.
It could have been far more one-sided. Seattle had to settle for four of Olindo Mare's five field goals when second-half drives stalled at the 16-yard line or closer. Two of them ended at the one-yard line.