Titans, Bucs and Lions: Winless No More
Monday, October 16th 2006, 6:55 am
News On 6
Winless no more. The Titans, Buccaneers and Lions all got into the victory column Sunday, leaving only the Oakland Raiders with a perfect mark on the wrong side of the standings.
Tennessee surprised the Redskins in Washington 25-22, Tampa Bay edged Cincinnati 14-13 and Detroit downed Buffalo 20-17. Oakland lost at Denver 13-3 to drop to 0-5.
Travis Henry rushed for a career-best 178 yards on 32 carries, helping Tennessee (1-5) snap an overall eight-game slide and a nine-game road losing streak. Quarterback Vince Young got his first NFL win when Rob Bironas kicked his third field goal, a 30-yarder.
``I just think it's real important right now that our club understands how this feels, because it's been a long time,'' said coach Jeff Fisher, whose team was buoyed by last week's 14-13 close call against Indianapolis. ``They deserved to win this game.''
The Buccaneers (1-4) needed a diving 8-yard TD catch by Michael Clayton with 35 seconds remaining to rally past Cincinnati. The reception was initially ruled incomplete but was overturned after a replay, which showed the ball firmly in Clayton's hands as he flew through the air and reached across the goal line.
``I knew I scored,'' said Clayton. ``It was our time. This team has been through so much.''
As have the Lions, who also had a few close calls before moving to 1-5 with the first coaching victory for Rod Marinelli. Roy Williams had 10 receptions for 161 yards _ both career highs _ and scored a touchdown while Kevin Jones ran for a season-high 127 yards and a score to lead the Lions.
``I'm glad we got this because the coaching staff has really been under the microscope and they don't deserve that,'' Jones said.
Oakland has lost 11 straight dating back to last season after falling at Denver. The Broncos have allowed one TD in five games, the first team to do that since the 1934 Detroit Lions shut out their first seven opponents.
Elsewhere, it was Dallas 34, Houston 6; Pittsburgh 45, Kansas City 7; New Orleans 27, Philadelphia 24; Carolina 23, Baltimore 21; Seattle 30, St. Louis 28; San Diego 48, San Francisco 19; the New York Giants 27, Atlanta 14; and the New York Jets 20, Miami 17.
On Monday night, it's Chicago at Arizona.
Idle this week were New England, Indianapolis, Green Bay, Minnesota, Cleveland and Jacksonville.
Titans 25, Redskins 22
Young rallied the Titans from an 11-point first-half deficit. He completed 13 of 25 passes for 161 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, easily his best day as a pro. He played much of the fourth quarter with his left ankle heavily wrapped after getting hurt on a scramble.
Casey Cramer blocked a punt in the second half to give his team a safety as Washington fell to 2-4.
Buccaneers 14, Bengals 13
At Tampa, the Bengals (3-2) thought they had won when Clayton put the nose of the ball over the goal line on the fourth-down play, then lost control when he landed on the ground. Referee Mike Carey reversed the call, setting off a wild celebration on the home sideline.
The winning TD capped a rollercoaster performance for rookie quarterback Bruce Gradkowski, making his second start for Tampa Bay in place of the injured Chris Simms. The sixth-round draft pick also threw a 2-yard TD pass to Alex Smith, but spent much of the day looking like the inexperienced player he is.
Carson Palmer threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to T.J. Houshmandzadeh and Shayne Graham kicked two field goals for Cincinnati. Graham's 62-yard field goal attempt as time expired was short and off the mark.
Lions 20, Bills 17
At Detroit, instead of the usual late mistakes that have cost the Lions in four of five opening losses, Detroit made the clutch plays. The Lions outscored the Bills (2-4) by four points in the fourth quarter after being outscored 47-14 in the final quarter in their previous five games.
Jason Hanson's 29-yard field goal put the Lions ahead by 10. J.P. Losman's 4-yard TD pass to Ryan Neufeld made it 20-17 on the next drive, but Jones helped seal the victory with a shifty move on a third-down reception, which helped Detroit hold onto the ball long enough to punt it with 22 seconds left.
Broncos 13, Raiders 3
At Denver, Jason Elam kicked two field goals, Tatum Bell ran for a short touchdown and Champ Bailey picked off another key pass. The offense-challenged Broncos (4-1) haven't allowed a touchdown in three home games and they're the only team NFL team since 1940 to start off a season by yielding just one TD through five games.
The Raiders committed 13 penalties, including four false starts on backup right tackle Chad Slaughter, and fell to 0-5 for the first time since 1964. With Detroit, Tampa Bay and Tennessee all winning Sunday, the Raiders are the only winless team in the NFL.
Cowboys 34, Texans 6
Terrell Owens caught two third-quarter touchdown passes and another in the fourth, turning a tight game into a rout for the host Cowboys (3-2). Owens' touchdowns covered 3, 21 and 2 yards.
Turnovers on three straight drives _ including two interceptions by David Carr _ hurt Houston (1-4), which was looking to repeat its stunning win over Dallas in the franchise's first game in 2002.
Steelers 45, Chiefs 7
At Pittsburgh , the Steelers (2-3) revived everything they displayed in winning the Super Bowl in February. Ben Roethlisberger threw his first two touchdown passes since the AFC championship game in a rout of the Chiefs (2-3) that snapped a three-game losing streak.
Roethlisberger was among the NFL's lowest-rated quarterbacks with no touchdown passes and seven interceptions until Sunday, while Kansas City's Damon Huard was among the highest rated. It changed in a momentum-shifting few hours in which Roethlisberger could again do little wrong and Huard, a longtime backup, could do little right while completing only 16 of 32 passes for 162 yards and an interception.
Roethlisberger went 16-of-19 for 238 yards and TDs of 47 yards to Nate Washington and 13 yards to Hines Ward.
Saints 27, Eagles 24
At New Orleans, Joe Horn finally found the end zone in a legitimizing win for the NFC South leaders.
Horn did two shoulder-shaking end zone dances after catches of 14 and 48 yards, then John Carney hit a 31-yard field goal as time expired for the Saints (5-1). Horn finished with 110 yards on six catches, including a key 20-yard gain on the winning drive.
Saints quarterback Drew Brees completed 27 of 37 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns and did not take a sack against a defense that has 23 already this season. He led a final drive that went 72 yards on 16 plays and chewed up the final 8:26.
Donovan McNabb, off to a torrid start this season, was 19-of-32 for 247 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles (4-2).
Panthers 23, Ravens 21
At Baltimore, Jake Delhomme threw for a career-high 365 yards and two touchdowns, and Carolina (4-2) slipped past the Ravens (4-2) for its fourth straight win.
Steve Smith had eight catches for 189 yards and a touchdown, and John Kasay kicked three field goals for Carolina, which limited Baltimore to 80 yards rushing.
Ravens QB Steve McNair sustained a concussion and sprained neck while being sacked by Mike Rucker and Chris Draft.
Seahawks 30, Rams 28
At St. Louis, Josh Brown's 54-yard field goal as time expired helped Seattle regain first place from its NFC West rival.
The winning kick came after a 5-yard penalty that briefly had the Rams (4-2) thinking they'd pulled off another improbable win. What happened was a simple illegal formation penalty against the Seahawks (4-1) as they spiked the ball to give Brown a chance for the long field goal. The Rams began to celebrate, believing a 10-second clock runoff would give them the win. But officials ruled that because the ball had been spotted and snapped properly, there was no runoff.
Matt Hasselbeck threw three touchdown passes for Seattle.
The Rams went ahead 28-27 with 1:44 to play when Bulger and Torry Holt connected on a 67-yard bomb for Holt's third touchdown of the day. Bulger threw deep over the middle and Holt, in single coverage, got a hand on the ball at the 20, tipped it into the air, then grabbed it and ran into the end zone.
Chargers 48, 49ers 19
At San Francisco, LaDainian Tomlinson set a franchise scoring record with a career-best four touchdowns rushing, and Rivers passed for a career-high 334 yards and two more scores.
Antonio Gates and Vincent Jackson caught scoring passes from Rivers, who was practically perfect for the Chargers (4-1). Rivers went 29-of-39 with a poise beyond his five career starts, easily picking apart an injury-riddled secondary on a defense that already has allowed 194 points this season.
Tomlinson rushed for just 71 yards, but surpassed Lance Alworth's Chargers record with his 84th career touchdown in the first quarter. He added three more on similarly short runs, each punctuated with a ball flip and a wave.
San Diego scored 35 first-half points against the 49ers (2-4).
Giants 27, Falcons 14
At Atlanta, Tiki Barber outplayed the NFL's best ground team by running for 185 yards and Jeremy Shockey caught a couple of touchdown passes.
The Giants (3-2) fell behind 14-3 when Warrick Dunn broke off a 90-yard touchdown on Atlanta's first offensive play of the second half _ the longest run in team history and a career best. But New York dominated the Falcons (3-2) the rest of the way, going ahead with touchdown drives of 84 and 91 yards.
The Giants' defense pounded Michael Vick, sacking him seven times. He threw an interception and fumbled four times, losing one.
Jets 20, Dolphins 17
Laveranues Coles caught two touchdown passes and Mike Nugent kicked a pair of 33-yard field goals as the Jets (3-3) barely held on. Miami (1-5) had a chance to tie, but Olindo Mare came up short on a 51-yard field goal.
After taking a 20-3 lead, the Jets had to sweat this one out as Joey Harrington led the Dolphins. Harrington finished 27-of-43 for 266 yards and one touchdown and two interceptions, while Ronnie Brown had 127 yards on 22 carries.