Giants hold off winless Dolphins: NFL roundup
A recap of Sunday's Week 8 action in the NFL:
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Eli Manning threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz with 5:58 to play and the New York Giants barely avoided a post-bye letdown, keeping Miami winless with a 20-17 victory that might put more pressure on embattled Dolphins coach Tony Sparano.
Manning hit 31 of 45 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns in rallying the Giants from an 11-point first-half deficit. Mario Manningham caught the other touchdown, a seven-yard play which got New York (5-2) back into the game late in the first half.
Lawrence Tynes kicked two short field goals, and New York's defence got four sacks on the Dolphins' final two drives. Corey Webster iced it game with his third interception in the last two games.
Steve Slaton and Matt Moore (13 of 22 for 138) capped the Dolphins' (0-7) first two drives with one-yard runs.
PHILADELPHIA — Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes, LeSean McCoy had a career-best 185 yards rushing and two scores and the Philadelphia Eagles routed the Dallas Cowboys 34-7 Sunday night.
Dallas defensive coordinator Rob Ryan fired up the Eagles with some trash-talking during the summer after they added several big-name players. Ryan, the son of beloved former Philadelphia coach Buddy Ryan, called the Eagles the "all-hype" team and predicted the Cowboys would "beat their (butt)."
He was way off.
The Eagles (3-4) dominated right from the start, improved to 13-0 after a bye under coach Andy Reid and snapped a five-game losing streak at Lincoln Financial Field that dated to last season.
ST. LOUIS — Steven Jackson scored two touchdowns and had his first 100-yard rushing game in three seasons as the St. Louis Rams upset the New Orleans Saints 31-21 for their first win on Sunday.
The win for the Rams (1-6) came two days after the St. Louis Cardinals won the World Series, with manager Tony La Russa and several of his players showing up to support the city's football team.
Drew Brees kept alive his touchdown pass streak in the final seconds a week after throwing five TDs in a 62-7 rout of the Indianapolis Colts. Brees was intercepted twice, with Darian Stewart's pick and 27-yard return putting the game away with 2:51 to go.
The NFC South-leading Saints (5-3) average an NFL-best 35 points but never got going against a defence ranked near the bottom of the league. The Rams had a season-high six sacks after entering the game with just 11, three by Chris Long.
BALTIMORE — Billy Cundiff kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired, Ray Rice scored a career-high three touchdowns, and the Baltimore Ravens rallied from a 21-point deficit to beat the Arizona Cardinals 30-27 Sunday.
Using a fumble recovery and an 82-yard punt return by Patrick Peterson, Arizona scored three touchdowns during a five-minute span of the second quarter to take a 24-3 lead.
That set up the biggest comeback in Ravens history.
Baltimore (5-2) went on a 24-point run and moved in front 27-24 when Rice scored his third touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
Arizona (1-6) pulled even with a 45-yard field goal by Jay Feely with 8:55 left, but the Ravens won it with 37-yard, beat-the-clock drive in the final minute.
HOUSTON — Arian Foster rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown, and the Houston Texans shut down rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert and the NFL's worst offence in a 24-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
Matt Schaub threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score for Houston (5-3), off to its best eight-game start. The Texans also took one more step toward the franchise's first division title and playoff berth by improving to 3-0 in the AFC South.
The Jaguars (2-6) couldn't carry momentum from their surprising 12-7 win over Baltimore on Monday night. Maurice Jones-Drew scored with 5:15 left, but the Texans used nearly the rest of regulation to set up Neil Rackers' 39-yard field goal.
Gabbert, making his sixth career start, completed 10 of 30 passes for 97 yards with two interceptions. He left briefly in the first quarter with bruised ribs.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Ryan Longwell kicked a 31-yard field goal with 2:43 left in the game to lift the Minnesota Vikings to a 24-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Cam Newton put the Panthers (2-6) in position to tie the game in the final two minutes. He completed a 44-yard pass to Brandon LaFell on fourth-and-15, but Olindo Mare was wide left with a 31-yard field goal attempt with 26 seconds left.
Adrian Peterson ran for 162 yards and scored two touchdowns as the Vikings (2-6) snapped a two-game losing streak.
Christian Ponder won the battle of rookie quarterbacks, completing 18-of-28 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown.
Newton threw a season-best three touchdown passes, but had two costly fumbles on blindside hits that led to a pair of Minnesota touchdowns in the first half. Carolina's offence sputtered throughout most of the second half, going three-and-out three times.
NASHVILLE — Matt Hasselbeck threw for 224 yards and a touchdown, and Nate Washington scored twice and the Tennessee Titans kept the Colts winless by beating Indianapolis 27-10 Sunday.
Rob Bironas kicked field goals of 51 and 50 yards, and Jason McCourty recovered a blocked punt in the end zone as the Titans (4-3) snapped a two-game skid.
They also sacked Curtis Painter twice and intercepted him twice, turning those turnovers into 14 points for their first win in this AFC South rivalry since Oct. 27, 2008.
The Colts (0-8) never really threatened to win their sixth straight in this matchup.
Already without Peyton Manning, who signed autographs in the end zone during warmups, the Colts trailed 20-0 by halftime coming off a 62-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints.
The Colts outgained Tennessee 399-311, but couldn't overcome 10 penalties for 66 yards.
DENVER — The Detroit Lions sacked Tim Tebow seven times and turned his two turnovers into touchdowns as they snapped a two-game skid with a 45-10 victory over the Denver Broncos.
Tebow followed his Miami miracle with a dud in Denver as the Broncos were blown out Sunday.
Cornerback Chris Houston had the fourth 100-yard interception return in team history and defensive end Cliff Avril got a sack, strip and scoop, rumbling 24 yards into the end zone with the fumbled football as part of Detroit's 45-point run after the Broncos had taken a 3-0 lead on their first drive.
Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch celebrated his sack of Tebow by joining the "Tebowing" craze, striking a prayerful pose near the prone second-year quarterback in the first half.
SAN FRANCISCO — Frank Gore ran for both 125-plus yards and a touchdown in a fourth straight game, Michael Crabtree made his first TD reception of the season, and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Cleveland Browns 20-10 on Sunday.
Alex Smith completed 15-of-24 passes for 177 yards, leading the NFC West-leading 49ers (6-1) to their fifth consecutive victory since an overtime loss to the Cowboys in Week 2.
For Colt McCoy and the Browns, it's 0-for the Bay Area. They lost two weeks ago in Oakland, then flopped across San Francisco Bay at Candlestick Park.
Gore already had 103 yards on 19 carries by halftime, then got the other seven he needed to pass Roger Craig and move into second place on the franchise rushing list with 7,089. Gore wound up with 134 yards on 31 carries.
No handshake flap this time for Jim Harbaugh, either.
SEATTLE — Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes and Brandon Tate returned a punt 56 yards for a touchdown.
Dalton tossed TDs of 14 yards to Jerome Simpson and a 43-yarder that dropped into the arms of A.J. Green in the second quarter to give the Bengals (5-2) a 17-3 lead.
From there, the Bengals leaned on their impressive defense that bent, but managed to keep Seattle out of the end zone until the fourth quarter.
The victory made Marvin Lewis the winningest coach in Bengals history with 65 career victories.