Tom Brady connected with Brandon Tate for a 65-yard touchdown on a broken play to give the New England Patriots a 28-18 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday, and Brett Favre was knocked out of the game in the process.
Favre left in the fourth quarter after being slammed to the turf; the team said he had a cut in his chin that needed 10 stitches.
"I think I'm fine," Favre said after the game. "Nobody knows my body like me."
Backup Tarvaris Jackson threw for a touchdown on his first play and a two-point conversion on his second, but he didn't get the ball back until the two-minute warning had sounded and the Vikings trailed by 10.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis had two touchdowns — the first multi-touchdown game of his career — scoring his first on a 13-yard run to make it 21-10. Favre then drove Minnesota (2-5) to the New England three-yard line before he was flattened by defensive lineman Myron Pryor.
Jackson relieved him and threw a one-yard touchdown pass to Naufahu Tahi on the first play, then hit Percy Harvin for the two-point conversion that made it 21-18. But Brady engineered a 13-play, 80-yard drive, with Green-Ellis getting cartwheeled into the end zone to make it 28-18 with just 1:56 left.
Brady completed 16-of-27 passes for 240 yards and Green-Ellis ran 17 times for 112 yards to give the Patriots (6-1) their fifth straight victory.
Favre was 22 for 32 for 259 yards, throwing an interception on a tipped ball and taking two intentional grounding penalties when he tried to avoid sacks. Adrian Peterson carried 25 times for 92 yards, and Harvin caught six passes for 104 yards for the Vikings despite missing about a quarter with an ankle injury.
Former Patriot Randy Moss had just one catch for eight yards in his first trip back to Foxborough since he talked himself out of town on Oct. 6.
A week after a hit left him with two fractures in his left foot, Favre managed to make his record-extending 292nd consecutive start.
But he couldn't finish the game. Pryor slammed him to the turf, and Favre was slow to get up. He was eventually taken from the field by trainers who held a towel to his face, then driven to the locker-room on a cart. The team said he had a laceration on his face.
Favre had taken another hard hit at the end of the first quarter, when he rolled to his right and threw for Greg Lewis in the end zone. The pass was incomplete, but Favre was hit in the head from Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton, a penalty that gave the Vikings a first-and-goal from the six.
Peterson ran it to the five, and then gained a bruising yard on the first play of the second quarter to make it 7-7. The Vikings brought it to the Patriots' one-yard line in the final minutes of the half, but Brandon Spikes and Jermaine Cunningham stuffed Peterson for a two-yard loss on fourth-and-1 to keep the game tied at the half.
Steelers 10 @ Saints 20
Drew Brees shook off some hard hits and figured out Pittsburgh's defence in time to make the defending champion New Orleans Saints look like contenders again.
Brees passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns and the Saints defeated the visiting Steelers 20-10 in the Sunday night game.
Brees was 20 of 22 for 191 yards in the second half, breaking open a defensive struggle in which no team scored a touchdown through the first three quarters.
The quarterback's first TD went to Marques Colston for 16 yards and the second went for eight yards to Lance Moore with 2:37 left.
Leigh Torrence then intercepted Ben Roethlisberger to seal it for the Saints (5-3), who rediscovered the magic of last season a week after an embarrassing 30-17 loss at home to the Cleveland Browns.
Seahawks 3 @ Raiders 33
Jason Campbell threw for 310 yards and two touchdowns, and Oakland's defense delivered one of its best performance in years to help the Raiders even their record at the midpoint of the season with a 33-3 victory over the Seattle Seahawks.
Darren McFadden ran for 111 yards as the Raiders (4-4) reached the .500 mark this late in the season for the first time since 2002.
They did it by finally putting together back-to-back wins, a feat that had eluded them the past two seasons. Oakland had lost its last seven games following a win, being outscored by 17 points per contest. But the Raiders followed up their 59-point offensive outburst in Denver a week ago with a defensive masterpiece against the Seahawks (4-3).
Oakland didn't allow a first down until more than 27 minutes into the game and gave up just 162 yards of offense, including 47 on the ground.
Titans 25 @ Chargers 33
Philip Rivers threw a go-ahead, 48-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates midway through the third quarter and the San Diego Chargers rallied for a 33-25 win against the Tennessee Titans, who lost quarterback Vince Young to another injury.
San Diego (3-5) snapped a three-game losing streak and won its eighth straight game against the Titans dating to 1993. The Titans (5-3) had their three-game winning streak snapped. San Diego is the only team Titans coach Steve Fisher hasn't beaten.
Gates, who's been playing through a toe injury, got behind linebacker Will Witherspoon to haul in his ninth TD pass this season for a 24-19 lead.
Young was hurt while scrambling with less than six minutes to play and had to be helped off the field. Kerry Collins moved the Titans to the Chargers 15 before Chris Johnson dropped a pass on fourth-and-2 with 30 seconds to go.
Buccaneers 38 @ Cardinals 35
Aqib Talib intercepted two passes, returning one 45 yards for a touchdown and saving the game with the other, and visiting Tampa Bay rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit for the fourth time this season to beat the Arizona Cardinals 38-35.
The Bucs (5-2) won their fifth straight on the road dating to last season and moved into a tie with idle Atlanta for first in the NFC South.
Derek Anderson, who replaced Max Hall after the Cardinals rookie had two early interceptions returned for scores, rallied Arizona (3-4) from a 17-point deficit to take a 35-31 lead with 9:41 to play.
Josh Freeman's 45-yard pass to rookie Arrelious Benn set up LaGarrette Blount's one-yard run for what proved to be the winning score with 5:13 to play.
Packers 9 @ New York Jets 0
Mason Crosby kicked three field goals for visiting Green Bay, and that was all the Packers needed as they held the rusty and sloppy New York Jets off the scoreboard for a 9-0 victory.
Mark Sanchez and the Jets' offence couldn't get much of anything going as New York had its five-game winning streak ended following a bye-week break.
The Jets (5-2) were shut out for the first time since Nov. 19, 2006, when they lost to the Chicago Bears 10-0.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (5-3) didn't exactly light things up, either, but they did just enough to win their second straight on a blustery day at the New Meadowlands Stadium.
The wind might have caused some havoc on both teams' passing and kicking games as both Crosby and the Jets' Nick Folk missed field goals, while Sanchez and Rodgers misfired often with balls sailing past receivers.
Jaguars 35 @ Cowboys 17
David Garrard tied a club record with four touchdown passes and ran for another in leading the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 35-17 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.
The Cowboys (1-5) continued their worst start since 1989. The disturbing part for Dallas is that this one wasn't even close -- all previous losses were by a touchdown or less.
The Cowboys were driving and within 11 points, at 14-3, just before halftime when new starting quarterback Jon Kitna turned right, Marion Barber went left and they collided while making the handoff.
Jacksonville (4-4) made the goal-line stand and later stretched the lead to 28-3.
Garrard narrowly missed a perfect quarterback rating, finishing 17 of 21 for 260 yards. Even with three sacks and a lost fumble his rating was 157.8; perfect is 158.3.
Redskins 25 @ Lions 37
Matthew Stafford's fourth touchdown pass converted a fourth down with 3:12 left and the Detroit Lions scored nine points in 14 seconds to turn a closely contested game into a 37-25 win over the Washington Redskins.
The Lions (2-5) were trailing late in the game when Alphonso Smith stepped in front of Donovan McNabb's pass at the Redskins 26 to set up the go-ahead TD.
Stafford played for the first time since Week 1 when he separated his right shoulder on a sack.
Bills 10 @ Chiefs 13
Ryan Succop kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired in overtime to lift the Kansas City Chiefs to a 13-10 victory over the winless Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Succop had a chance to win the game with 3:38 to go in OT, but his 39-yard attempt with 3:38 to go hooked left at the last instant.
Buffalo's Rian Lindell hit what would have been a 53-yard game-winner earlier in the overtime but the kick was nullified because the Chiefs had called their last time out. Forced to do it again, Lindell kicked a wobbler that hit the right upright.
The Chiefs (5-2) rushed for more than 200 yards for the third week in a row, but constantly stopped themselves with mistakes and penalties.
The Bills (0-7), who lost in overtime to Baltimore the week before, are off to the third-worst start in franchise history.
Dolphins 22 @ Bengals 14
Dan Carpenter kicked five field goals for the second straight game on Sunday, and the Miami Dolphins made them stand up this time for a 22-14 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals that kept them perfect on the road.
Last week, the Dolphins (4-3) lost after a disputed play. Ben Roethlisberger's touchdown that was ruled a fumble on review, but the Steelers kept the ball and kicked a field goal for a 23-22 win, offsetting Carpenter's five field goals.
This time, the Dolphins' defence made sure Carpenter's five were enough.
The Bengals (2-5) failed to get a first down in the third quarter and were shut out in the second half. Their final chance ended with Carson Palmer's interception with 2:43 to go.
Panthers 10 @ Rams 20
Sam Bradford threw two touchdown passes and the St. Louis defence forced four Carolina turnovers and the Rams beat the Panthers 20-10.
Bradford threw a two-yard scoring pass to Danny Amendola in the second quarter and a 23-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Fells in the fourth quarter as the Rams — an NFL-worst 1-15 last season — reached the midway point at 4-4.
Josh Brown kicked field goals of 33 and 41 yards for St. Louis, which has won four straight home games.
Matt Moore threw a touchdown pass to Brandon LaFell and John Kasay had a 44-yard field goal for Carolina (1-6).
Forty Niners 24, Broncos 16 (@London, England)
Backup pivot Troy Smith found his range in the fourth quarter to lead the San Francisco 49ers to a 24-16 win over the Denver Broncos at Wembley Stadium in the NFL's fourth regular-season game in London.
In his first start as a 49er, Smith had a 28-yard touchdown pass to Michael Crabtree with 7:23 left to help San Francisco (2-6) take a 17-10 lead. Frank Gore scored another with 3:47 to go, running in from the three-yard line.
A few minutes earlier, Smith made it 10-10 by rushing for a one-yard touchdown after completing back-to-back passes to Delanie Walker, the first for 27 yards and the second for 38.
The Broncos (2-6) got their first touchdown in the third when Tim Tebow ran in from one yard after Kyle Orton connected with Brandon Lloyd for 71 yards.