Sunday's NFL games

Sunday, October 15th 2006, 4:28 pm
By: News On 6

Cowboys 34, Texans 6

IRVING, Texas (AP) _ Enough with all the headaches T.O. causes. Now the Dallas Cowboys know how much fun it can be to have Terrell Owens around.

Owens caught two third-quarter touchdown passes and another in the fourth, turning a tight game against the Houston Texans into an easy 34-6 victory Sunday _ helping the Cowboys (3-2) avenge an embarrassing loss to their in-state rivals four years ago and reminding everyone why owner Jerry Jones signed the volatile receiver.

Owens' touchdowns covered 3, 21 and 2 yards.

Houston (1-4) led 6-3 at halftime, reviving visions of a stunning 19-10 victory over Dallas in the first game in Texans history back in 2002.

But they didn't have it in them again, with turnovers on three straight drives _ including two interceptions by David Carr _ keeping them from scoring again, and the defense allowing the Cowboys to score on five of their six second-half possessions.

Saints 27, Eagles 24

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Upon arriving in the end zone for the first time all season, Joe Horn was in the mood to celebrate.

After a legitimizing win over the Philadelphia Eagles, so are the surprising New Orleans Saints.

Shut out of the end zone through the first five games of the season, 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.

New Orleans (5-1) now enters its bye week in first place in the NFC South. 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. Deuce McAllister, who missed much of the first half after tweaking his hamstring, made a key first-down run at the 2-minute warning that allowed Brees to kneel three times to run down the clock before the game-ending field goal.

Donovan McNabb, off to a torrid start this season, was 19-of-32 for 247 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles (4-2). But the Saints defense threw him off his rhythm intermittently, sacking him three times.

Panthers 23, Ravens 21

BALTIMORE (AP) _ It would have been a wonderful story of redemption: Kyle Boller taking over for an injured Steve McNair and leading the Baltimore Ravens to victory.

Jake Delhomme would have none of it.

Delhomme threw for a career-high 365 yards and two touchdowns, and Carolina slipped past the Ravens 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 (4-2). The Panthers limited Baltimore (4-2) to 80 yards rushing _ the fourth straight game they held the opposition under 100 yards on the ground.

Boller entered in the first quarter after McNair sustained a concussion and sprained neck while being sacked by Michael Rucker and Chris Draft. Boller had been Baltimore's starter for three years before the Ravens traded for McNair, who was immediately made the starting quarterback upon joining the team in June.

Boller went 17-for-31 for 226 yards and three touchdowns, two on deflected passes that Mark Clayton turned into scores. But Boller couldn't do enough to offset Delhomme's brilliant performance.

Lions 20, Bills 17

DETROIT (AP) _ The Detroit Lions finally survived the fourth quarter.

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.

Instead of the usual late mistakes that have cost the Lions in four of five opening losses, Detroit made the clutch plays it needed on both sides of the ball, ending Rod Marinelli's long wait for his first win as a head coach.

The Lions (1-5) outscored the Bills (2-4) by four points in the fourth _ just enough to win _ after being outscored 47-14 in the final quarter in their previous five games, four of which they had plenty of chances to win.

Jason Hanson's 29-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter put the Lions ahead by 10. They had to cling to the slim lead after J.P. Losman's 4-yard TD pass to Ryan Neufeld made it 20-17 on the next drive.

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.

Marinelli had to bide his time for more than three decades to be a head coach at any level, and the Lions made him wait just a little longer for his first victory. When the former Tampa Bay defensive line coach saw the final seconds tick off the clock, he smiled and walked across the field to shake Dick Jauron's hand, the Buffalo coach, who ended last season as the interim coach in Detroit.

Giants 27, Falcons 14

ATLANTA (AP) _ Tiki Barber showed the Atlanta Falcons a thing or two about running the football.

Barber outplayed the NFL's best ground team by running for 185 yards, Jeremy Shockey caught a couple of touchdown passes and the New York Giants rallied past the Falcons in the second half.

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. But New York dominated the Falcons (3-2) the rest of the way, going ahead with touchdown drives of 84 and 91 yards.

Barber did much of the damage, breaking off nine runs of at least 12 yards against a defense that was allowing just 69.3 yards per game, the second-best figure in the league. New York scored the final 24 points of the game, shredding an injury-plagued defense that had given up only one touchdown all season.

The Giants' defense pounded Michael Vick, who was slow to get up from several huge licks, threw an interception and fumbled four times (though he lost only one). The quarterback did break off a spectacular, 22-yard touchdown run, but completed only 12 of 23 passes for 181 yards.

New York, which had only five sacks in its first four games, took down Vick seven times.

Seahawks 30, Rams 28

ST. LOUIS (AP) _ 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.

St. Louis dominated the first half and led 21-7 midway through the third quarter. The Seahawks scored the next 20 points. 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.

But with no timeouts and starting at the Seattle 17, three passes and two runs by the Seahawks moved the ball to the St. Louis 31. Brown then made his third field goal of the game, the ball sailing well past the goalposts.

Buccaneers 14, Bengals 13

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) _ Michael Clayton extended his arms and lunged toward the end zone, with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' first victory literally at his fingertips.

Clayton's 8-yard dive was a touchdown _ barely _ lifting the previously winless Bucs over the Cincinnati Bengals with 35 seconds remaining. 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.

The Bengals (3-2) thought they had won when the receiver 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 (1-4) 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. The Bengals marched into Bucs territory in the closing seconds, but Graham's 62-yard field goal attempt as time expired was short and off the mark.

The Bucs (1-4) avoided their first 0-5 start since 1996 and snapped Cincinnati's 8-game winning streak against NFC opponents.

Titans 25, Redskins 22

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) _ Vince Young has his first NFL victory, with big assists from a Tennessee Titans running back, a kicker and a tight end who blocked a punt.

Young rallied the Titans from an 11-point first-half deficit, leading his previously winless team to an upset of the Washington Redskins (2-4).

Rob Bironas kicked three field goals, including a 30-yarder with 5:11 to play that decided the game. Travis Henry ran for a career-high 178 yards on 32 carries with one touchdown, his second consecutive 100-yard game. Casey Cramer blocked a punt in the second half to give his team a safety, providing a vital extra two points of cushion in a tight game.

But it was the cool of Young, the No. 3 overall draft pick from Texas making his third start, who engineered an attack that generated 344 yards. 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.

Young connected with seven different receivers, and no throw was more clutch than his 23-yard pass to Brandon Jones on a fourth-and-2, keeping a drive alive in that led to a touchdown to give the Titans (1-5) a 20-14 lead in the third quarter.

The winning points came after a short punt by Derrick Frost was returned 14 yards by Pacman Jones to the Redskins' 43. Five consecutive running plays moved the ball in position for Bironas' field goal.