FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady outscrambled Brett Favre, then kept the ball away from Tarvaris Jackson when Favre was knocked out of the game, and the New England Patriots held on to beat the Minnesota Vikings 28-18 on Sunday.
With the New York Jets losing to the Green Bay Packers earlier Sunday, the Patriots’ win sends them to the top of the AFC East at 6-1.
Brady scrambled free to find Brandon Tate breaking free behind the defense for a 65-yard touchdown to give the Patriots the lead in the third quarter. BenJarvus Green-Ellis’ first touchdown, a 13-yard run, made it 21-10.
Favre drove Minnesota to the New England 3 yard-line before he was flattened by defensive lineman Myron Pryor. Jackson relieved him and threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Naufahu Tahi on the first play, then hit Percy Harvin for the 2-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.
Favre, who started in his 292nd straight game despite two fractures in his left ankle, was carted off the field midway in the fourth quarter with a cut to his chin that he said required eight stitches.
Saints 20, Steelers 10
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns for the Saints.
Brees was 20 of 22 for 191 yards in the second half, breaking open a defensive struggle in which neither team scored a touchdown through the first three quarters.
Brees’ first TD went to Marques Colston for 16 yards and the second went for 8 yards to Lance Moore with 2:37 left.
Leigh Torrence then intercepted Ben Roethlisberger to seal it for the Saints (5-3).
Rashard Mendenhall had the only touchdown for Pittsburgh (5-2) on a 38-yard run in the fourth quarter. Roethlisberger was 17 of 28 for 195 yards in a matchup of the past two Super Bowl champs.
Packers 9, Jets 0
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Mason Crosby kicked three field goals for Green Bay, and that was all the Packers needed to beat the rested but sloppy Jets.
Mark Sanchez and the Jets’ offense couldn’t get much of anything going as New York, which entered tied for the league’s best record, had its five-game winning streak end. The Jets (5-2) were shut out for the first time since a 10-0 loss to Chicago on Nov. 19, 2006, at home.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers (5-3) didn’t exactly light things up, either, but did just enough to win their second straight.
The wind might have caused some problems for both teams’ passing and kicking games. Crosby and the Jets’ Nick Folk missed field goal attempts, while Sanchez and Rodgers misfired often with balls sailing past receivers.
Rodgers finished 15 of 34 for 170 yards, while Sanchez was 16 of 38 for 256 yards and two interceptions.
49ers 24, Broncos 16
WEMBLEY, England (AP) — Backup Troy Smith found his range in the fourth quarter to lead San Francisco 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 3.
A few minutes earlier, Smith made it 10-10 by rushing for a 1-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 1 yard after Kyle Orton connected with Brandon Lloyd for 71 yards.
Chargers 33, Titans 25
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Philip Rivers threw a go-ahead, 48-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Gates midway through the third quarter to lead San Diego over Tennessee, which 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 Jeff 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
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Aqib Talib intercepted two passes, returning one 45 yards for a touchdown and saving the game with the other, and Tampa Bay rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit for the fourth time this season.
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 1-yard run for what proved to be the winning score with 5:13 to play.
Raiders 33, Seahawks 3
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — 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.
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.
Rams 20, Panthers 10
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Sam Bradford threw two touchdown passes and the St. Louis defense forced four Carolina turnovers.
Bradford threw a 2-yard scoring pass to Danny Amendola in the second quarter and a 23-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Fells in the fourth 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). Bradford was 25 for 32 for 191 yards. Moore was 23 for 37 for 194 yards and three interceptions.
Dolphins 22, Bengals 14
CINCINNATI (AP) — Dan Carpenter kicked five field goals for the second straight game, and Miami Dolphins made them stand up in keeping its record perfect on the road.
Last week, the Dolphins (4-3) lost after a disputed play. Ben Roethlisberger’s touchdown 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’ defense 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.
Jaguars 35, Cowboys 17
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — David Garrard and the Jaguars became the latest to take advantage of the crumbling Cowboys.
Garrard tied a club record with four touchdown passes and ran for another while narrowly missing a perfect quarterback rating, leading the Jaguars to a 35-17 victory over Dallas.
Tony Romo could only watch from the sideline, his left arm in a sling because of a broken collarbone, as the Cowboys (1-5) continued their worst start since 1989.
The Cowboys were within 14-3 and inside the 1-yard line just before halftime when new starting quarterback Jon Kitna turned right and Marion Barber went left. There was a handoff, a collision and an easy goal-line stand for Jacksonville (4-4). Garrard opened the second half with touchdowns on his first two drives, making it 28-3, and the result never was in doubt again.
Garrard completed his first 12 passes, finally misfiring early in the third quarter only to avoid a sack. He threw his third TD on the next snap. He finished 17 of 21 for 260 yards. Even with three sacks and a lost fumble his rating was 157.8; perfect is 158.3.
Chiefs 13, Bills 10 (OT)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Succop kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired in overtime to lift Kansas City over winless Buffalo.
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.
If Succop’s second kick had missed, the game would have ended in the first tie in the NFL since Philadelphia and Cincinnati finished 13-all on Nov. 16, 2008.Lions 37, Redskins 25
Lions 37, Redskins 25
DETROIT (AP) — Matthew Stafford threw four touchdown passes, including a 10-yarder to Calvin Johnson with 3:12 left, and the Lions (2-5) went on to score nine points in a 14-second span for their second win of the season.
The Redskins (4-4) turned the ball over on downs after Johnson’s career-high third score. Washington coach Mike Shanahan then put Rex Grossman in for an apparently healthy Donovan McNabb, and he fumbled on his first play with Ndamukong Suh returning it for a TD.
The Lions were trailing late in the game with Alphonso Smith stepped in front of 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.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.