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Dolphins end Patriots' win streak on weekend of upsets

Sunday, September 21, 2008

By The Associated Press

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Ronnie Brown and the lowly Miami Dolphins ended the Patriots' record winning streak at 21 and made New England's defense look as shaky as its Tom Brady-less offense Sunday.

Brown scored a team record four touchdowns rushing and threw for another -- with four of the scores coming on direct snaps to the running back -- as Miami stunned New England 38-13.

The loss ended the Patriots' NFL mark that began after a 21-0 loss to the Dolphins on Dec. 10, 2006 in which Brady was sacked four times. It also ended New England's chance for a second straight unbeaten regular season.

The Dolphins, who lost their first 13 games last year and finished 1-15, won for just the second time in 22 games. It was the first victory for first-year coach Tony Sparano, and it was a stunner.

The Patriots kept getting fooled by the same trickery: six direct snaps resulting in four touchdowns after the Dolphins didn't use the play in their other two games.

And New England didn't have the injured Brady to lead a winning comeback as he's done 28 times in the fourth quarter.

Brown gained 113 yards on 17 carries and the Dolphins outgained the Patriots 461 yards to 216.

Bills 24, Raiders 23

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -- The Bills overcame a sloppy start to produce a second straight fourth-quarter comeback victory.

Rian Lindell hit a 38-yard field goal as the clock ran out. Trent Edwards engineered three scoring drives in the final quarter, helping the Bills twice overcome 9-point deficits in the last 8 minutes.

Edwards finished 24-of-39 for 279 yards and a touchdown a week after he rallied the Bills to a 20-16 win at Jacksonville. That the victory came against the hard-luck and dysfunctional Raiders (1-2) didn't matter for a Bills team off to its first 3-0 start since 1992.

The defeat spells trouble for Raiders coach Lane Kiffin, who is on the hot seat after Oakland opened the season with a 41-14 loss to Denver. Kiffin got a reprieve after a 23-8 win at Kansas City last weekend.

Kiffin waited a split second too late to call timeout in an attempt to freeze Lindell before the Bills snapped the ball. Kiffin was spotted on the sideline attempting to call timeout and then watching Lindell's kick split the uprights.

Giants 26, Bengals 23, OT

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The Giants (3-0) are off to their best start since 2000. John Carney kicked a 22-yard field goal with 8:39 left in the extra session.

The play that set up the winning kick was a 31-yard pass from Eli Manning to Amani Toomer down the left sideline on a third-and-10 from the Bengals 38. It was difficult to tell whether Toomer got both feet in bounds. The Giants hustled to the line of scrimmage and handed the ball to Derrick Ward for a 3-yard run to the Bengals 4, precluding a video review.

The NFL official in the press box conceivably could have seen that the play was OK, and opted to let it stand.

Carney kicked four field goals for New York. Brandon Jacobs scored on 1-yard run and Manning, who was 26-of-43 for 289 yards, threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Boss to seemingly give New York a 23-20 lead with 1:50 to play.

However, the Bengals (0-3) drove 71 yards and got a 21-yard field goal from Shayne Graham on the final play of regulation.

There were three scores in the final 4:39. A 17-yard pass from Carson Palmer to T.J. Housmandzadeh gave Cincinnati a 20-16 lead. Then the Giants went 68 yards in nine plays to retake the lead.

But Palmer drove the Bengals again to set up Graham's tying field goal.

Buccaneers 27, Bears 24, OT

CHICAGO (AP) -- Brian Griese set up Matt Bryant's winning 21-yard field goal in overtime with a 38-yard pass to Antonio Bryant.

After blowing a 14-point lead in a 20-17 loss at Carolina last week, the Bears (1-2) couldn't protect a 24-14 advantage in the fourth quarter.

The Buccaneers got a 35-yard field goal from Bryant with 3:11 left, and Griese orchestrated a 79-yard touchdown drive in the final 1:49, hitting Jerramy Stevens with a 1-yard pass in the closing seconds of regulation.

After Tampa Bay (2-1) punted in overtime, Rashied Davis dropped a third-down pass at the Buccaneers 35. Tampa Bay then took over at its 7 and had third-and-9 at the 8 when Griese hit Stevens with a 2-yard pass.

There was a pileup and Charles Tillman jumped in late, leading to an unnecessary roughness penalty that gave the Buccaneers a first down at the 24. Tampa Bay was at the Chicago 44 when Antonio Bryant beat Nathan Vasher for a 38-yard pass that set up the winning field goal.

Traded by the Bears in the offseason, Griese refused to take shots at his former team during the week. The veteran threw a whopping 67 passes, completing 38 for 407 yards with two touchdowns and three interceptions in his second straight start.

Jaguars 23, Colts 21

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- After wearing out the Indianapolis defense on the ground, Josh Scobee saved the game -- and perhaps the season -- by making a 51-yard field goal with 4 seconds left.

It didn't look like Jacksonville (1-2) would need Scobee's boot after consuming more than 12 minutes on a marathon drive to open the fourth quarter capped by Scobee's 21-yarder for a 20-14 lead with 2:33 left.

But Peyton Manning nearly pulled off his second improbable comeback in two weeks. The two-time league MVP needed just 1:26 to take the Colts 77 yards before giving the ball to Joseph Addai for a 2-yard TD run.

David Garrard followed that with his best impersonation of Manning. He repeatedly slithered his way through Indy's pass rush to buy time, find open receivers and lay the ball in perfectly. He was helped by an 11-yard pass interference penalty on linebacker Freddy Keiaho when a fourth-and-1 pass fell incomplete with 25 seconds to go.

Indianapolis is 1-2, both losses coming in their brand new home stadium.

Broncos 34, Saints 32

DENVER (AP) -- No gutsy 2-point call this week. Just a gut-wrenching close call.

Martin Gramatica's 43-yard field goal try with 1:55 remaining was wide right, and the Broncos escaped. They improved to 3-0 for the first time in five years despite allowing Drew Brees to complete 39 of 48 passes for 421 yards and a touchdown, and Reggie Bush to pile up 178 all-purpose yards and two TDs.

The Saints (1-2) never led, but they made a game of it after falling behind 21-3 early in the second quarter.

Leading 34-32 late in the fourth quarter, the Broncos were going in for a touchdown when Tony Scheffler fumbled away a reception at the New Orleans 5 as he was hit by linebacker Scott Shanle. Jason David scooped it up, giving New Orleans the ball at its 25-yard line with 5:33 remaining.

The Saints' drive stalled at the 25, and Gramatica, 8-for-8 as a member of the Saints before missing in the first half, missed this one to the right.

Jay Cutler wasn't as sharp as he was in his first two games, but he still completed 21 of 34 passes for 262 yards and two TDs with one interception. He has eight TD passes and two interceptions so far.

Brandon Marshall led the Broncos with six receptions for 155 yards.

Eagles 15, Steelers 6

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Brian Westbrook limped off the field in the first half. Donovan McNabb missed part of the third quarter. With their best player sidelined and star quarterback hurting, the Eagles did it with defense.

A swarming D had nine sacks, forced a safety and got three turnovers. Just six days earlier, Philly's defense couldn't stop anybody. The Dallas Cowboys moved the ball at will in a 41-37 victory last Monday.

But this unit was rejuvenated against the Steelers (2-1). Ben Roethlisberger had no time to throw and Willie Parker couldn't find any room to run. Juqua Parker had 2 1/2 sacks as the Eagles (2-1) banged around Big Ben, eventually knocking him out of the game.

Westbrook injured his right ankle on the first play of the second quarter. The All-Pro running back appeared to get hurt while hurdling a teammate on a 2-yard run. He walked to the locker room without help, but didn't return.

Coach Andy Reid said X-rays showed the ankle wasn't broken, but Westbrook will have an MRI on Monday.

One play earlier, McNabb was visibly shaken up after getting sacked, but returned.

49ers 31, Lions 13

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Frank Gore rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown, and Mike Martz's new offense methodically chewed up his former team's defense.

Isaac Bruce and Delanie Walker caught TD passes from J.T. O'Sullivan, and kick returner Allen Rossum scored a 1-yard TD rushing on fourth down near the goal line to all but clinch the win for San Francisco, which is 2-1 for the second straight season.

O'Sullivan went 16-for-23 for 189 yards for the 49ers, who went 3-10 after their promising start to last season. But the current Niners clearly have more offensive talent -- and a much better idea what to do with it, thanks to Martz, who joined San Francisco a few days after Detroit fired him as the scapegoat for the Lions' second-half collapse in 2007.

San Francisco gained 370 total yards against the Lions -- just 4 fewer than San Francisco managed in any game last year. Seahawks 37, Rams 13

SEATTLE (AP) -- Julius Jones ran for 140 yards on 22 carries and T.J. Duckett had his first two-touchdown rushing day in four years as the Seahawks sidestepped six injuries at wide receiver and rolled over the malfunctioning Rams.

Despite a mostly disappointing September, Seattle (1-2) headed into its off week with the promise of a return to health while just one game out of the NFC West lead. The Seahawks have won the last four division titles.

The Rams (0-3) lost for the 16th time in 19 games, and for the seventh consecutive time to Seattle. They have been outscored 116-29 this season.

Ravens 28, Browns 10

BALTIMORE (AP) -- Baltimore turned two of Derek Anderson's interceptions into a pair of touchdowns during a 50-second span of the third quarter. Ed Reed returned one of the interceptions 32 yards for a score, and Le'Ron McClain scored his first two NFL touchdowns on a pair of 1-yard runs -- both during a 21-point third quarter that turned a 3-point halftime deficit into a 28-10 lead.

Back from a knee injury, Willis McGahee rushed for 64 yards and a score for the Ravens (2-0), who were forced to take last week off when Hurricane Ike postponed their game at Houston.

Anderson had another trying day in an effort to generate some offense for Cleveland, which was picked by many to be a contender in the AFC North. Anderson went 14-for-37 for 125 yards, was sacked four times and threw three interceptions.

The Browns (0-3) have scored only two touchdowns in their three defeats.

Vikings 20, Panthers 10

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Antoine Winfield's sack of Jake Delhomme and subsequent 19-yard fumble return for a touchdown right before halftime spurred the Vikings, handing the Panthers their first defeat.

Replacing Tarvaris Jackson after a pair of woeful games by the offense, Gus Frerotte might have helped save the season for Minnesota (1-2) by completing 16 of 28 passes for 204 yards, with a touchdown to Visanthe Shiancoe. The 37-year-old wasn't very sharp in the first half, but he made some crisp throws down the stretch to keep the Vikings in front.

Steve Smith gave Delhomme the downfield threat he missed during his two-game suspension for punching teammate Ken Lucas, but his first three receptions and 60 yards all came in the first 17 minutes -- until a 10-yard grab late in the fourth quarter. Delhomme finished 17-for-29 for 191 yards, but he was never in rhythm.

Jared Allen and Kevin Williams each sacked him to end a desperation drive shortly before the 2-minute warning. The swarming Minnesota defense held Carolina to 49 yards rushing, and the Panthers were flagged 12 times for 67 yards.

Titans 31, Texans 12

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- LenDale White ran for two touchdowns, Kerry Collins threw for another and Tennessee rolled to improve to 3-0 for only the third time in franchise history.

The Titans last won their first three games in 1999 -- their first season in their current stadium -- and in 1991 while still in Houston and playing as the Oilers. They have beaten the team that replaced them in Houston seven straight times and 11 of the 13 games in this series.

The Texans (0-2) wanted to provide an emotional boost to their hometown, where most people remain without power more than a week after Hurricane Ike hit. The hurricane forced the postponement of the Texans' home opener.

But the Texans scored only 12 points despite getting inside the Tennessee 14 six times. The Tennessee defense sacked Matt Schaub three times, Michael Griffin had two interceptions and Cortland Finnegan sealed the victory by returning Schaub's third pick 99 yards for a TD, a franchise record.

Collins started his second straight game with Vince Young watching and the 14-year veteran threw for 189 yards, making him the 15th NFL quarterback with at least 35,000 yards passing in his career.

Houston rookie Steve Slaton scored his first pro TD on a 6-yard run and had nine carries for 104 yards in the first half with 50 coming on one carry. He finished with 117.

Redskins 24, Cardinals 17

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) -- Carlos Rogers returned a tipped interception to Arizona's 15-yard line. Two plays later, Santana Moss took a receiver screen for a 17-yard touchdown that gave the Redskins victory.

Jason Campbell completed 23 of 31 passes for 193 yards with two touchdowns. He has yet to throw an interception this season, and the Redskins' no-turnover day kept Warner and the Cardinals in poor field position throughout the game.

Clinton Portis ran 21 times for 68 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins (2-1), who have won two straight since coach Jim Zorn lost his debut game.

The Cardinals (2-1) had been looking to go 3-0 for the first time since 1974. But they committed their first turnovers of the season and ended a 10-game streak in which they scored 20 or more points.

Warner completed 16 of 30 passes for 192 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Larry Fitzgerald caught seven passes for 109 yards and one touchdown.

Falcons 38, Chiefs 14

ATLANTA (AP) -- Michael Turner ran for three touchdowns and the Falcons scored the first 24 points, giving the Chiefs their 12th straight loss.

Turner had scoring runs of 4, 1 and 2 yards, his first game with three touchdowns rushing, while leading the Falcons with 104 yards on the ground. Jerious Norwood added 75 yards rushing.

Turner's 1-yard scoring run in the second quarter gave Atlanta (2-1) a 24-0 lead.

Tyler Thigpen, the third starting quarterback in three weeks for Kansas City (0-3), threw three interceptions in his first career start. The third interception, by cornerback Chris Houston, was returned 10 yards for a touchdown with 1:01 left in the game.

Chiefs coach Herm Edwards said during the week he would turn to veteran Damon Huard if Thigpen struggled. Thigpen played the full game and was 14-for-36 passing for 128 yards with one touchdown.



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