Week 10 Recap: Bills Finally Win, 49ers Climb Into Race
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Buffalo finally has a win. To get it, the Bills had to extend a record losing streak by their opponent.
Dallas has its second win, and the first for Jason Garrett as an NFL head coach.
San Francisco got its third victory of the season and, yes, might be climbing into contention in the NFC West.
After three straight close calls, the Bills made sure there would be no 0-16 teams this season by beating the only franchise to manage that ignominious feat, the Lions, 14-12 on Sunday. The win at Orchard Park, N.Y., gave Detroit a 25-game road skid, snapping a league record it held with, who else, itself.
“At the end of the game, I saw a fan pull up a sign that said something about ‘the streak continues,’” Detroit receiver Nate Burleson said. “It’s definitely frustrating.”
The frustration of being the NFL’s only winless club is over for the Bills, who got two touchdowns from Fred Jackson: a 1-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 2001-03.
“Our fans deserve it,” Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams said. “The guys in the locker room deserve it. To go out there and win a football game, it means a lot.”
A 33-20 victory against the New York Giants meant something extra to the Cowboys, who had lost five in a row, costing Wade Phillips his coaching job. Garrett moved up from offensive coordinator on Monday, and Dallas (2-7) made a slew of big plays to snap a five-game winning string for New York (6-3).
“The key today was we made the plays when we had to make the plays as opposed to not making the plays the first eight weeks of the season,” linebacker Keith Brooking said. “We stuck together. We fought and we did everything in our power to get the win today.”
San Francisco is 3-6 after its 23-20 OT win against the Rams, but that merits consideration as a contender to win the NFC West, where the leader is Seattle at 5-4. Joe Nedney kicked a 29-yard field goal with 9:38 left in overtime, and Troy Smith passed for 356 yards against St. Louis (4-5).
“When you’re part of a team that has nothing but a winning tradition, you want to keep that going as a quarterback,” Smith said, overlooking the 49ers’ current seven-year absence from the playoffs. “There’s too many tremendous athletes here to not share, for everybody to not have the opportunity to make a play.”
Also Sunday, it was Jacksonville 31, Houston 24; the New York Jets 26, Cleveland 20 in OT; New England 39, Pittsburgh 26; Seattle 36, Arizona 18; Chicago 27, Minnesota 13; Denver 49, Kansas City 29; Miami 29, Tennessee 17; Indianapolis 23, Cincinnati 17; and Tampa Bay 31, Carolina 16.
The weekend began with Atlanta beating Baltimore 26-21 on Thursday night. Monday night’s matchup is Philadelphia (5-3) at Washington (4-4).
Off this week are Green Bay, New Orleans, Oakland and San Diego.
Bills 16, Lions 14
Buffalo’s win wasn’t assured until Detroit’s Shaun Hill overthrew Brandon Pettigrew at the back of the end zone on a failed 2-point conversion attempt with 14 seconds left. The Lions had pulled within two points on Hill’s 20-yard TD pass to Calvin Johnson.
“It was really frustrating, especially coming here and feeling we were the better team,” Johnson said. “We weren’t thinking about the streak. That should have ended it. But it didn’t.”
Cowboys 33, Giants 20
Jon Kitna passed for 327 yards and three touchdowns in a game delayed twice by short power outages at New Meadowlands Stadium. 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) rolled for the QB’s first win since 2007.
Rookie cornerback Bryan McCann scored on a team-record 101-yard interception return.
49ers 23, Rams 20, OT
At San Francisco, Smith earned his second straight victory as a starter, 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 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 host 49ers 55 yards to the winning field goal.
Jaguars 31, Texans 24
At Jacksonville, Fla., 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. 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, who was trailing behind the play and looking for a ricochet. He caught it at the 1-yard line and then stepped across the goal line for the winning score.
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.
Jets 26, Browns 20, OT
At Cleveland, New York (7-2) won a second straight away OT game and its eighth in a row on the road. Santonio Holmes scored on a 37-yard touchdown pass from Mark Sanchez with 16 seconds left in overtime, offsetting three missed field goals by Nick Folk, including a 47-yarder in OT.
The Browns (3-6) had rallied to force OT on rookie quarterback Colt McCoy’s 3-yard TD pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 44 seconds left in regulation.
Patriots 39, Steelers 26
At Pittsburgh, Tom Brady maintained his mastery of the Steelers, throwing three touchdown passes to Rob Gronkowski and scoring once himself as the Patriots tied the Jets for the AFC’s best record.
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 (6-3).
Pittsburgh (6-3) played most of the game without wide receiver Hines Ward (neck), whose streak of 186 consecutive games with a reception ended.
Seahawks 36, Cardinals 18
At Glendale, Ariz., Matt Hasselbeck returned from a one-game absence to throw for 333 yards, Mike Williams caught 11 passes for 145 yards and Olindo Mare kicked five goals. Williams, out of the NFL the past two seasons after flopping in Detroit, had career highs for catches and yards as the visiting Seahawks (5-4) swept the Cardinals (3-6).
Arizona lost its fourth straight, its longest skid since dropping eight in a row in 2006.
Bears 27, Vikings 13
At Chicago, Jay Cutler threw for three touchdowns, Devin Hester had two big returns and Chicago (6-3) moved into a tie with Green Bay for the NFC North lead.
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. Favre threw three interceptions — all in the second half — and Chicago held Adrian Peterson to 51 yards rushing.
Broncos 49, Chiefs 29
At Denver, Kyle Orton threw a career-high four touchdown passes, Tim Tebow had two TDs and Knowshon Moreno topped 100 yards for the first time.
The Broncos (3-6) snapped a four-game losing streak and handed the Chiefs (5-4) their second straight loss.
The only time the Broncos scored more points was in 1963, when they put up 50 against the San Diego Chargers.
Dolphins 29, Titans 17
At Miami, the Dolphins (5-4) achieved a season-high points total. It 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, and Miami takeaways led to two touchdowns.
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 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.
Colts 23, Bengals 17
At Indianapolis, Peyton Manning didn’t throw a TD pass for the second game this season, but Kelvin Hayden returned an interception for a touchdown and Javarris James ran for a TD. The banged-up Colts (6-3) didn’t need Manning’s arm. They scored 17 points off five turnovers and stopped the Bengals twice in the final 2:40.
The Bengals (2-7) have lost six straight and dropped to 0-7 against Manning.
Buccaneers 31, Panthers 16
At Tampa, Fla., Josh Freeman threw two touchdown passes and rookie LeGarrette Blount ran for a score. Freeman threw TD passes of 8 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. Cadillac Williams put the game out of reach with a 45-yard TD burst late in the fourth quarter.
Rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen made his fourth start for injury-riddled Carolina (1-8), which got 100 yards rushing from fourth-string running back Mike Goodson.
Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.