|Patriots unfazed by scandal, rout Chargers|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 16 September 2007 23:00|
The Patriots followed a week of distractions in which their coach and organization was fined and will lose a draft pick or two by routing the San Diego Chargers 38-14 on Sunday night. It never was close.
The victory came three days after the NFL fined Patriots coach Bill Belichick $500,000, the team another $250,000 and took away a first-round draft choice if they make the playoffs. New England (2-0) was caught videotaping signals by Jets coaches during the season opener, also a 38-14 Patriots win.
``At times it was challenging, but they stayed focused,'' Belichick said of his players.
Tom Brady threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns and got three TDs from players picked up last spring: Randy Moss with two receptions and Adalius Thomas, with a 65-yard interception return.
``Over the years, we've had a lot of adversity,'' he said. ``This was one of those weeks. I think the guys did a great job of overcoming all the things that were going on this week. I don't care what people think about our hard work. I'm going to sleep well at night.''
Elsewhere, it was Green Bay over the New York Giants 35-13 as Brett Favre set the NFL record for victories by a quarterback; Denver 23, Oakland 20, and Detroit 20, Minnesota 17, both in overtime; Cleveland 51, Cincinnati 45; Indianapolis 22, Tennessee 20; Houston 34, Carolina 21; Dallas 37, Miami 20; Chicago 20, Kansas City 10; Arizona 23, Seattle 20; Tampa Bay 31, New Orleans 14; Pittsburgh 26, Buffalo 3; Baltimore 20, the New York Jets 13; and Jacksonville 13, Atlanta 7.
On Monday night, Washington is at Philadelphia.
Packers 35, Giants 13
Favre completed his first 14 passes of the second half and threw three touchdown passes to rally the visiting Packers. The victory was the 149th of Favre's 17-year career, giving him one more win than Hall of Famer John Elway.
It also gave the Packers their first 2-0 start since they won their first three in 2001.
``I've always been about the team, that hasn't changed,'' Favre said. ``I think it's unfair that the quarterback gets labeled with wins and loses; I think it's a team effort.''
The loss was the second straight for the undisciplined and error-prone Giants, something that hasn't happened at the start of a season since 1996.
Broncos 23, Raiders 20, OT
At Denver, Jason Elam's 23-yard field goal in overtime gave the Broncos a win just minutes after the Raiders had been celebrating what they thought was their win.
Sebastian Janikowski nailed a 52-yard field goal at 11:13 of overtime. But as the Raiders (0-2) rushed the field in celebration and the Broncos (2-0) hung their heads in defeat, the officials ruled Denver called a timeout just before the snap. Then Janikowski's kick hit the left upright, giving the Broncos the ball at their 42.
They drove to the Oakland 6 and Elam won a game on the final play for the second straight week.
Lions 20, Vikings 17, OT
At Detroit, Jason Hanson's 37-yard field goal ended a 10-game losing streak in the series for the Lions (2-0).
The Lions and Vikings (1-1) combined for nine turnovers in regulation, with two missed field-goal attempts in the final 35 seconds.
The 10th turnover, Brooks Bollinger's fumbled snap, gave Detroit the ball at the 50, leading to the winning kick. Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson tied a team record with four interceptions.
Browns 51, Bengals 45
At Cleveland, Derek Anderson threw five touchdown passes, Jamal Lewis rushed for 216 yards and the Browns outlasted the Bengals (1-1). Anderson had a breakout game, going 20-of-33 for 328 yards and the five TDs, which tied a team record. A week ago, Anderson was backing up Charlie Frye before being brought in during the first half of a lopsided loss to Pittsburgh. Two days later, the Browns dealt Frye to Seattle.
Carson Palmer went 33-of-50 for 401 yards and tossed a career-high six TDs. Chad Johnson had 11 catches for 209 yards and two TDs, and jumped headfirst after the second score into the Dawg Pound, where he was baptized in a shower of beer by Cleveland's rowdiest fans.
It was the third time in NFL history two QBs threw five TD passes in the same game.
Colts 22, Titans 20
Peyton Manning threw for 312 yards and a touchdown. Manning went 28-of-42 as champion Indianapolis (2-0) reminded Tennessee (1-1) who remains atop the AFC South.
Adam Vinatieri had one of his worst days in years despite making field goals of 22, 39 and 20 yards. He had an extra point blocked and a field goal partially blocked that bounced off the crossbar before going over. He also missed a 36-yarder.
Vince Young was 17-of-27 for 184 yards and a touchdown, but couldn't lead the Titans to 2-0 for the first time since 1999.
Texans 34, Panthers 21
But the Texans went to 2-0 for the first time in their six seasons. Matt Schaub threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns and Houston forced three turnovers.
Andre Johnson caught seven passes for 120 yards and two scores, Ahman Green rushed for 71 yards and a TD and the Texans rallied from a 14-0 deficit. They handed the Panthers (1-1) their fourth consecutive loss in their home opener.
Steve Smith caught eight passes for 153 yards and three TDs for the host Panthers.
49ers 17, Rams 16
At St. Louis, Dante Hall fumbled while catching a punt and Marcus Hudson recovered for San Francisco, setting up the winning 40-yard field goal by Joe Nedney.
The Rams' Jeff Wilkins missed a 56-yard field-goal try with 59 seconds to play, the ball falling about a yard short.
St. Louis (0-2) had 392 total yards to 186 for San Francisco (2-0). Frank Gore scored two touchdowns for the Niners.
Marc Bulger was 24-for-41 for 368 yards and one touchdown and Isaac Bruce caught eight passes for 145 yards for the Rams.
Cowboys 37, Dolphins 20
At Miami, Dallas took advantage of five takeaways. The Cowboys (2-0) intercepted Trent Green four times and recovered a fumbled snap. Green also fumbled attempting a spike play late in the first half.
Dallas sealed the win with two touchdowns in the final 4:01. Anthony Henry had two interceptions, and Ken Hamlin and Roy Williams made one apiece against the Dolphins (0-2).
Bears 20, Chiefs 10
At Chicago, Devin Hester scored on a 73-yard punt runback in the second quarter and set up a field goal in the third with another long return for the defending NFC champions.
Cedric Benson carried 24 times for 101 yards, eight shy of his career high for the Bears (1-1). The Chiefs (0-2) rushed for only 70 yards.
Cardinals 23, Seahawks 20
After blowing a 17-0 lead, Arizona (1-1) won for the first time under coach Ken Whisenhunt. Darnell Dockett recovered a fumble by Matt Hasselbeck and Neil Rackers kicked a 41-yard field goal with 1 second to go. Rackers' 52-yarder tied it at 20 with 4:44 to play.
The visiting Seahawks (1-1) were driving when, at the Arizona 36, linebacker Gerald Hayes disrupted an already botched handoff from Hasselbeck to Shaun Alexander. The ball popped free, and Dockett recovered at the Seattle 45.
Buccaneers 31, Saints 14
At Tampa, Joey Galloway caught four passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns, tormenting the Saints for the sixth straight game between the NFC South rivals. Jeff Garcia completed 10 of 16 passes for 243 yards and no interceptions for the Bucs (1-1).
The Saints (0-2) have been outscored 72-24 after having one of the NFL's most explosive offenses and reaching the NFC championship game last season.
Steelers 26, Bills 3
At Pittsburgh, Willie Parker ran for a touchdown and 126 yards, and Ben Roethlisberger threw for a score.
Mike Tomlin won his home opener as Steelers coach, just as Bill Cowher (1992) and Chuck Noll (1969) did before him. Tomlin also matched Cowher by winning his first two games.
It was Buffalo's first game since tight end Kevin Everett badly injured his spinal cord in a loss to Denver. The Bills, with Everett believed to be watching from his hospital room, lost their fourth in a row counting their final two of last season.
Ravens 20, Jets 13
At Baltimore, Kyle Boller threw for two touchdowns in a matchup of backup quarterbacks. Boller played in place of Steve McNair, who hurt his groin in Baltimore's season-opening loss to Cincinnati, and went 23-for-35 for the Ravens (1-1).
Making his first NFL start in place of Chad Pennington (ankle), Kellen Clemens cut a 20-3 deficit to seven points in the fourth quarter. He took the Jets (0-2) to the Baltimore 7 before Ray Lewis intercepted a deflected pass in the end zone with 1:04 left.
Jaguars 13, Falcons 7
At Jacksonville, the Jaguars (1-1) sacked Joey Harrington seven times, two by Mike Peterson, and held the Falcons less than 100 yards rushing.
Rookie Matt Prater missed two field goals for Atlanta (0-2).