Steelers, Chargers Win High-Scoring Games

Monday, November 13th 2006, 6:27 am
By: News On 6

An unstoppable force against, well, another seemingly unstoppable force.

Offense was very much in vogue Sunday in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh as division leaders came visiting. San Diego hung 49 points on the Bengals, who managed 41. The Steelers outscored New Orleans 38-31, snapping their three-game slide.

LaDainian Tomlinson tied his career high with four touchdowns, and Philip Rivers threw a touchdown pass under pressure that completed the Chargers' furious rally. San Diego (7-2) scored 42 points in a second-half comeback.

``Being involved in that game, it was about like it was a cartoon or something,'' said Tomlinson, who has 15 touchdowns in his last five games. ``Exhausting. I can't wait until I get on the bus, where I can think and wonder what happened today.''

No wondering about what happened in Pittsburgh, where the Steelers' offense finally looked Super Bowl caliber. After a pregame meeting, the defending champions got 213 yards rushing from Willie Parker, who broke free on runs of 72 and 76 yards to set up his own two short scoring runs in the second half. Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes.

``We had guys stand up and they spoke with their heart,'' coach Bill Cowher said. ``This is a very close group of players. The bond started in previous years, but it's still strong, despite a lot of the adversity to this point. I think that was significant today.''

Elsewhere, Indianapolis remained undefeated, becoming the first team to go 9-0 in consecutive seasons with a 17-16 win over Buffalo. Also, it was Chicago 38, the New York Giants 20; Seattle 24, St. Louis 22; Baltimore 28, Tennessee 26; the New York Jets 17, New England 14; Denver 17, Oakland 13; Dallas 27, Arizona 10; Philadelphia 27, Washington 3; Miami 13, Kansas City 10; Green Bay 23, Minnesota 17; Cleveland 17, Atlanta 13; Jacksonville 13, Houston 10; and San Francisco 19, Detroit 13.

On Monday night, Tampa Bay is at Carolina.

Chargers 49, Bengals 41

Rivers was 24-of-36 for 337 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Chargers to their best point total in 20 years. Tomlinson ran for a pair of touchdowns during a pivotal 15-second span of the fourth quarter.

In the end, it came down to one nifty play by Rivers, who rolled left to avoid the rush and threw a 5-yard shovel pass to tight end Brandon Manumaleuna in the end zone just as he was getting leveled by two pass rushers with 2:29 to play.

Chad Johnson set a club record with 260 yards receiving and a pair of long touchdowns, and Carson Palmer had the first 400-yard passing game of his career for Cincinnati (4-5).

Steelers 38, Saints 31

Parker and Roethlisberger made up for Pittsburgh yielding 517 yards.

The Saints (6-3) rallied to lead 17-14 on Reggie Bush's 15-yard touchdown run on a double reverse, with Bush tumbling over safety Ryan Clark to reach the end zone. They led again 24-17 on Deuce McAllister's 4-yard run to cap a 72-yard drive late in the first half.

Brees was 31-of-47 for 399 yards, with rookie Marques Colston making 10 catches for 169 yards, but the Saints turned over the ball three times to Pittsburgh's none. The Steelers (3-6) went into the day with an NFL-leading 24 turnovers.

Colts 17, Bills 16

At Indianapolis, Peyton Manning repeatedly threw the ball underneath, used his ground game effectively and delivered a time-consuming final drive for the NFL's only unbeaten team.

Buffalo (3-6) dropped extra defenders into deep coverage, and chewed up the clock by running the ball frequently. But Manning finished 27-of-39 for 236 yards with one touchdown, a 1-yarder to Reggie Wayne in the first half. Dominic Rhodes and Joseph Addai combined to rush 27 times for 150 yards.

While J.P. Losman completed only 8 of 12 passes for 83 yards, Anthony Thomas, starting in place of the injured Willis McGahee, carried 28 times for 109 yards.

Bears 38, Giants 20

A record-tying 108-yard missed field goal return by Devin Hester turned around the prime-time game.

Hester fooled the host Giants (6-3) by standing in the back of the end zone for several seconds, then ran down the right sideline on his knockout-blow return. On Nov. 13, 2005 _ almost exactly a year ago _ the Bears' Nathan Vasher caught Joe Nedney's missed 52-yard field-goal attempt in the back of the end zone on the final play of the first half and ran it back for a 108-yard TD return. The play helped Chicago beat San Francisco 17-9, and now Hester shares the record for longest NFL play with his teammate.

Rex Grossman threw for three touchdowns and Thomas Jones scored on a short run as the Bears (8-1) rallied from a 10-point first-half deficit with 28 second-half points to end the Giants' five-game winning streak.

Seahawks 24, Rams 22

At Seattle, Josh Brown, the Seahawks' unflappable kicker, calmly made a 38-yard field goal with 9 seconds left.

Seattle (6-3) rallied to seize control of the NFC West on Brown's fifth game-winning field goal since Oct. 2, 2005. After this one _ his second to beat the Rams (4-5) in less than a month _ Brown simply bowed his head into holder Ryan Plackemeier while the rest of the Seahawks jumped and ran in jubilation on the sideline.

Nate Burleson ran a punt back 90 yards to give Seattle a 21-16 lead midway through the fourth quarter.

Ravens 27, Titans 26

At Nashville, Steve McNair threw his third touchdown with 3:35 left and the Ravens, rallied from a 26-7 deficit for the win and their best start ever.

The Titans (2-7) had a last chance to send their former quarterback back to Maryland a loser. But Trevor Pryce blocked a 43-yard field goal attempt by Rob Bironas with 33 seconds left, allowing McNair to celebrate on the field where he had won so many games before.

Baltimore (7-2) came in as one of the NFL's stingiest defenses overall and against the run, but gave up 162 yards rushing with linebacker Ray Lewis sidelined by a sore back.

McNair finished 29-of-47 for 373 yards, including a 65-yard TD pass to Mark Clayton.

Jets 17, Patriots 14

Relying on short gains and long drives on a rainy day, the visiting Jets ended the Patriots' streak of 57 games without consecutive losses.

Jets QB Chad Pennington was 22-for-33 for 168 yards, and Kevan Barlow gained 75 yards on 17 carries.

Preseason favorites to win their fourth straight division title, the Patriots (6-3) lead the Jets (5-4) by just one game in the AFC East.

Broncos 17, Raiders 13

Jake Plummer capitalized on visiting Denver's one big break to overcome an otherwise poor performance. Plummer threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Johnson early in the fourth quarter after a fumble by the Broncos was negated by a penalty.

Plummer threw three interceptions and had done little positive other than throwing a 39-yard touchdown pass to Javon Walker late in the first quarter. But he led the key drive that helped the Broncos (7-2) win a fourth straight in Oakland and remain tied with San Diego atop the AFC West.

The Raiders (2-7) appeared in control when they recovered a fumbled punt by David Kircus at the Denver 20. But instead of adding to a 13-7 lead, Oakland was forced to punt again when Chris Carr was called for a personal foul for running out of bounds on the coverage.

Cowboys 27, Cardinals 10

Tony Romo threw for 308 yards and two touchdowns, including a 51-yarder to Terrell Owens.

The Cowboys (5-4), showing no signs of a hangover from their heartbreaking loss to Washington the previous week, turned two interceptions by Matt Leinart into second-half touchdowns and sent the Cardinals (1-8) to their eighth straight loss.

Romo was 20-of-29 with no interceptions in Dallas' third consecutive road game. Dallas was without wide receiver Terry Glenn, who aggravated a knee injury in practice Friday.

Eagles 27, Redskins 3

At Philadelphia, Donovan McNabb threw an 84-yard touchdown pass to Donte' Stallworth and Sheldon Brown returned an interception 70 yards for a score. The Eagles (5-4) improved to 8-0 following a bye under coach Andy Reid while earning their first win since beating Dallas 38-24 on Oct. 8.

Philadelphia got a fortunate bounce to take a 17-0 lead in the second quarter. On third-and-15 from the Eagles 45, McNabb completed a 20-yard pass to Reggie Brown near the right sideline. Brown appeared to try to lateral the ball as he was being hit by Shawn Springs.

The ball popped straight into the arms of a streaking Correll Buckhalter, who scored the 37-yard touchdown.

It was a costly defeat for the Redskins (3-6), who lost Clinton Portis to a broken right hand in the first quarter.

Dolphins 13, Chiefs 10

At Miami, the Dolphins harried Damon Huard, stymied Larry Johnson and overcame their own sputtering offense. Kansas City was denied a first down until almost halftime.

The Dolphins (3-6) took an early 13-point lead helped by a fleaflicker completion to Chris Chambers, but missed chances to build an even bigger cushion. Leading 13-3 midway through the fourth quarter, Miami tried a reverse, but receiver Chambers failed to come up with the handoff from running back Ronnie Brown. The ball bounced to defensive end Jared Allen, and the Chiefs (5-4) scored four plays later on a 2-yard run by Johnson.

Packers 23, Vikings 17

At Minneapolis, Brett Favre avoided those infamously big mistakes at the Metrodome. Favre threw two touchdown passes without a turnover and Donald Driver had 191 yards receiving.

Green Bay (4-5) was boosted by a strong pass rush, and Favre completed 24 of 42 passes for 347 yards and no interceptions.

Brad Johnson went 18-for-30 for 257 yards, one touchdown and two turnovers for Minnesota (4-5), which lost its third straight.

Browns 17, Falcons 13

For the second week in a row, Atlanta lost to one of the NFL's worst teams. Michael Vick threw two interceptions and carelessly fumbled the ball away with 2:18 remaining, allowing visiting Cleveland to escape with the win. Vick completed only 16 of 40 passes for 197 yards.

The Falcons (5-4) were coming off a 30-14 loss at Detroit, only the second win of the year for the Lions. The Browns (3-6) had dropped three of four before they knocked off the Falcons in front of 70,000 stunned fans at the Georgia Dome.

Texans 13, Jaguars 10

David Carr threw for 167 yards and ran for 48 more before leaving the game with a shoulder injury, and Houston snapped a 12-game road losing streak.

The Texans (3-6) upset their AFC South rivals for the second time in four weeks and won on the road for the first time since December 2004. Houston's last road victory also came at Jacksonville, a 21-0 shocker that essentially knocked the Jaguars (5-4) out of playoff contention.

David Garrard, starting his third consecutive game in place of Byron Leftwich, threw four interceptions. Two of them came after Matt Jones bobbled perfect passes.

49ers 19, Lions 13

Frank Gore set a franchise record with 148 yards rushing in the first half and scored on a 61-yard run before leaving with a concussion, and Joe Nedney made all four of his field-goal attempts. Keith Lewis intercepted Jon Kitna's pass at the 49ers 2 with 2 1/2 minutes left and visiting San Francisco (4-5) picked up the one first down it needed to seal the game, winning consecutive games for the second time since 2003.

Gore finished with career-high 159 yards rushing, but left the game stumbling to the sideline late in the third quarter after catching a pass.

The Lions (2-7) had a chance to win consecutive games for the first time in nearly 26 months.