|Sunday's NFL Capsules|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 30 September 2007 18:01|
Favre was the obvious difference in Sunday's 23-16 victory by the Packers (4-0), who hung on against the pass-deficient Minnesota Vikings.
He threw No. 421 in the first quarter to Greg Jennings and No. 422 in the fourth quarter to James Jones and went interception-free against a defense determined to make him the league's career leader in that category, too. Favre remained three picked-off passes away from passing George Blanda.
Winning for the fourth time in the last five meetings here, Favre went 32-for-45 for 344 yards as Green Bay improved to 4-0 for the first time since 1998.
Kelly Holcomb threw a touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 1:55 left to pull the Vikings within seven, and a fumble gave Minnesota (1-3) a chance to tie it. Favre's handoff to Ryan Grant wasn't clean, and Chad Greenway fell on it at the Vikings 46. Holcomb's tipped pass from the Packers 34 was intercepted by Atari Bigby.
Cowboys 35, Rams 7
IRVING, Texas (AP) - Tony Romo had a 15-yard touchdown run and threw touchdown passes of 59, 37 and 17 yards, turning what had been a tight early game into yet another easy win for Dallas and another frustrating loss for St. Louis.
The Cowboys are 4-0 for the first time since 1995, the year of their last Super Bowl title. The Rams are 0-4 for the first time since 2002, when they opened with five straight defeats coming off a Super Bowl loss.
Romo was 21-of-33 for 339 yards and three touchdowns, with an interception. He also had a long scramble on a fumble that helped keep alive the Cowboys' first scoring drive. Patrick Crayton scored the first two touchdowns and had seven receptions for a career-high 184 yards.
Down 35-7 with 2:16 left in the third quarter, Marc Bulger went to the bench and the beaten, battered Rams turned to backup quarterback Gus Frerotte. St. Louis already was missing running back Steven Jackson and five other starters because of injury, plus two more because of suspension. Right tackle Adam Goldberg was lost to a knee injury, wide receiver Isaac Bruce left in the third quarter with a hamstring injury, and safety Corey Chavous strained his left shoulder.
Giants 16, Eagles 3
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - With Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor on hand as an honorary captain, Osi Umenyiora had a team-record six sacks and the Giants (2-2) set a franchise record and tied a league mark by sacking Donovan McNabb 12 times.
Mathias Kiwanuka added three sacks, Justin Tuck two and Michael Strahan one in an awesome display by a defense that was ranked as the worst in the league after giving up 80 points in its first two games.
Kawika Mitchell returned a fumble 17 yards for a touchdown and Eli Manning threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Plaxico Burress, a score that, of course, was set up by a sack.
Strahan's sacks gave him 133 1/2 in his career, breaking Taylor's franchise record.
The undermanned Eagles (1-3), missing stars Brian Westbrook and Brian Dawkins, had 15 penalties for 132 yards.
Raiders 35, Dolphins 17
MIAMI (AP) - Daunte Culpepper ran for three touchdowns and threw for two to win the grudge game against his former team. His much-scrutinized knee might not be 100 percent, but it was good enough to lead the Raiders (2-2).
For the second time in four years, the Dolphins are 0-4.
Culpepper threw only 12 times and completed five for 75 yards, but hit Jerry Porter for scores of 7 and 27 yards. Justin Fargas replaced an injured LaMont Jordan shortly before halftime and ran for a career-high 179 yards in 22 carries.
The Raiders' 299-yard rushing total was their fourth highest since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 and their highest since Nov. 30, 1987, against Seattle, when they had 356.
Ronnie Brown ran for 134 yards and caught six passes for 73 for the Dolphins, but they had possession for less than 25 minutes.
Falcons 26, Texans 16
ATLANTA (AP) - Joey Harrington threw a pair of touchdown passes to Michael Jenkins, 47-year-old Morten Andersen kicked four field goals and the Falcons defeated Matt Schaub and the Texans.
Jenkins hauled in scoring passes of 5 and 7 yards, the first two-touchdown game of his up-and-down career. Harrington, who took over as starter after Schaub was traded and Michael Vick became embroiled in a dogfighting case, was 23-of-29 for 223 yards.
Schaub was 28-of-40 for 317 yards, including a 35-yard touchdown pass to Andre' Davis that gave Houston (2-2) a short-lived lead in the first quarter. But the Texans couldn't punch in their other scoring chances, settling for field goals by Kris Brown.
The NFL's oldest player, Andersen showed he's still got plenty of punch in his left leg by connecting from 28, 22, 36 and 46 yards for the Falcons (1-3).
Browns 27, Ravens 13
CLEVELAND (AP) - Derek Anderson threw two touchdown passes and Jamal Lewis ran for one against his former team.
With their second win over a division opponent this month, the Browns (2-2) looked nothing like the inept team that was embarrassed 34-7 in their home opener three weeks ago by Pittsburgh.
Lewis, released by Baltimore coach Brian Billick in March, got some satisfaction against his former coach and the team he played with for seven seasons. He finished with 64 yards and scored on a disputed 1-yard dive in the second quarter, the first TD rushing given up by the NFL's top run defense this season.
And Cleveland's defense kept Ravens quarterback Steve McNair on his heels and didn't give up a touchdown until the fourth quarter. McNair threw a career-high 53 passes for the Ravens (2-2).
Bills 17, Jets 14
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - Making his first career start in place of injured J.P. Losman, Trent Edwards went 22-of-28 for 234 yards, including a 1-yard touchdown to Michael Gaines with 7 minutes left.
With the third-round draft pick, the Bills produced their most points, total yards (304), yards passing and first downs (19) of the season, and helped erase the frustrations of an 0-3 start that included two 20-point losses.
Jabari Greer's interception of Chad Pennington's pass at the Jets 25 set up Gaines' score that put Buffalo ahead 17-7. Terrence McGee's interception at the Bills 31 ended the Jets' last-gasp drive with 6 seconds remaining.
Pennington finished 32-of-39 for 290 yards passing, but the Jets failed to build off last week's 31-28 win over Miami. New York is off to its second 1-3 start in three years.
The usually reliable Mike Nugent punched a 37-yard attempt off the right upright as time ran out in the first half for the Jets.
The win ended the Bills' five-game losing streak dating to last season.
Lions 37, Bears 27
DETROIT (AP) - Jon Kitna threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and Detroit overcame mistakes and missed opportunities to beat Chicago.
Brian Griese, who had two TDs and three interceptions as a starter in place of Rex Grossman, threw a 1-yard pass to Desmond Clark on a fourth down with 52 seconds left to pull the Bears within three points. However, the onside kick bounced to Detroit's Casey FitzSimmons and he returned it for a TD.
It was the kind of game Detroit used to lose as the league's laughingstock, but these might not be the same-old Lions, who are 3-1.
The defending NFC champion Bears fell to 1-3. Chicago can only hope the slow start turns into a good season, as it did in 2005 when it lost three of the first four games and bounced back to finish 11-5.
Chicago's Devin Hester returned a kickoff 97 yards, his seventh kick or punt return for a score in one-plus seasons.
Chiefs 30, Chargers 16
SAN DIEGO (AP) - With Philip Rivers melting down, the Kansas City Chiefs shocked the Chargers, scoring 24 straight points in the second half and getting huge plays from two rookies.
Dwayne Bowe, the Chiefs' first-round draft pick, caught a go-ahead, 51-yard touchdown pass from Damon Huard early in the fourth quarter. Cornerback Tyron Brackenridge, a rookie free agent, raced 50 yards for a score after Rivers was sacked and fumbled with just more than seven minutes left.
It was the third straight loss for the Chargers (1-3), which exceeds their loss total from last year, when they were an NFL-best 14-2 before their playoff pratfall against New England.
Rivers had two interceptions and one fumble, which led to 17 points.
Larry Johnson gained 123 yards on 25 carries for the Chiefs (2-2). LaDainian Tomlinson finally cracked triple digits for the Chargers, gaining 132 yards on 20 carries, surpassing his season total of 130.
Colts 38, Broncos 20
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Indianapolis relied on flawless execution to score on six of its last eight possessions, adding yet another anguishing chapter to Denver's recent rivalry with Indy.
The Colts (4-0) have won five of seven in the series since Tony Dungy took over as coach and extended their league-best winning streak to nine when counting last year's playoff games.
Despite overpowering the Colts with its usually efficient ground game in the first half, Denver (2-2) lost for the second straight week. For a while, it appeared the Broncos had a winning combination, but the Colts' Peyton Manning and Joseph Addai ruined everything.
Manning finished 20-of-27 for 193 yards and three touchdowns, while Addai ran 19 times for 136 yards and one score.
Denver ran for 160 yards in the first half, the best in the NFL this season, and Travis Henry did most of the damage, carrying 26 times for 131 yards.
Cardinals 21, Steelers 14
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - The Steelers were beaten at their own game by their old offensive coordinator and might-have-been head coach.
Rookie Steve Breaston returned a punt 73 yards for a touchdown and the Cardinals' defense shut down Pittsburgh's high-scoring offense most of the day to hand the Steelers their first loss.
Arizona first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt and top assistant Russ Grimm both were leading contenders to replace Bill Cowher in Pittsburgh after last season. Whisenhunt was the Steelers' offensive coordinator and Grimm was the assistant head coach and offensive line coach at the time. Instead, the job went to outsider Mike Tomlin.
The Cardinals (2-2) ended Willie Parker's string of four consecutive 100-yard rushing games, limiting him to 37 yards on 18 carries.
The Steelers (3-1) got the ball at their 9 with 46 seconds to play and made it to the 40, but Calvin Pace and Darnell Dockett sacked Ben Roethlisberger, then Ralph Brown intercepted to seal the victory.
Seahawks 23, 49ers 3
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Matt Hasselbeck passed for 281 yards and two touchdowns, Rocky Bernard ended Alex Smith's day early with a punishing sack and the Seahawks claimed early supremacy in the NFC West.
Deion Branch had seven catches for 130 yards for the Seahawks (3-1), who snapped a two-game losing streak against San Francisco (2-2).
Bernard made the biggest of Seattle's six first-half sacks on San Francisco's third play from scrimmage, piledriving Smith with every ounce of his 308-pound frame. The impact injured Smith's right shoulder seriously enough to keep him out the rest of the day. He was replaced by Trent Dilfer.
Hasselbeck moved the ball effectively, hitting Bobby Engram and Marcus Pollard with TD passes. Josh Brown kicked three field goals.
Buccaneers 20, Panthers 7
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Jeff Garcia didn't throw an interception for the fourth straight game and ran for a touchdown, while Tampa Bay shut down David Carr, Steve Smith and Carolina to move atop the NFC South.
The 37-year-old Garcia, signed in the offseason, completed 15 of 25 passes for 176 yards and got Tampa Bay on the board with a 3-yard scramble on the Bucs' first possession.
Ike Hilliard caught seven passes for 114 yards, Michael Pittman rushed for 90 yards and the Buccaneers (3-1) overcame the loss of running back Carnell ``Cadillac'' Williams to a right knee injury to beat the Panthers (2-2) for only the second time in nine meetings.
Starting in place of Jake Delhomme, who was nursing a strained right elbow, Carr completed just 19 of 41 passes for 155 yards. The Panthers avoided their first shutout in five years when Carr's screen pass to DeAngelo Williams turned into a 24-yard touchdown with 23 seconds left.