NFL Week 7: Steelers beat Dolphins on close fumble call in Miami
Tony Sparano’s challenge caught Ben Roethlisberger’s goal-line fumble to erase a go-ahead score with 2:30 remaining, but inconclusive evidence for the end zone fumble recovery allowed Steelers kicker Jeff Reed to boot the game-winning score and lift Pittsburgh over Miami, 23-20.
Reed’s 18-yard field goal, his third of the day, kept the Dolphins (3-3) winless at home despite Chad Henne’s best efforts. With a stalled running game — Fins backs combined for 64 yards on 21 carries — Henne threw for 257 yards and a 26-yard score to Davone Bess, with three targets catching five passes or better for more than 50 yards.
Pittsburgh (5-1) tied the Jets for the best record in the NFL and remains undefeated on the road.
Patriots 23, Chargers 20
QB Philip Rivers, 34-50, 336 yds., TD, INT
Losing 20-3 to start the fourth quarter, San Diego (2-5) nearly rallied, scoring 17 points in a failed comeback effort. New England (5-1) wasn't particularly dominant in any area, but relied on kicker Stephen Gostkowski for three field goals, including a game-clinching, 35-yard boot in the fourth quarter. The Chargers turned the ball over three times and committed six penalties for 69 yards, the worst being a five-yard false-start flag with 27 seconds remaining on what would have been a 45-yard field-goal attempt for Kris Brown.
RB Darren McFadden, 16 rush, 165 yds., 3 rush TD, 2 rec., 31 rec. yds., TD
Oakland (3-4) scored quickly and often, putting up 38 points at Mile High Stadium before Denver (2-5) responded. McFadden rushed for two scores and caught another in the Raiders' opening, five-touchdown barrage. Kyle Orton and Knowshon Moreno connected for two touchdowns, but Oakland responded with three more touchdowns, extending Denver's deficit to 45 points before the fourth quarter.
Browns 30, Saints 17
LB David Bowens, 2 INT, 2 TD
Drew Brees threw four picks and Cleveland (2-5) capitalized, defensively dominating the defending champion Saints by a 17-point margin entering the fourth quarter. New Orleans (4-3) scored on David Thomas’ 11-yard touchdown to start the fourth, but any hopes for a rally ended when Bowens returned his second interception 64 yards for a touchdown with 3:49 remaining.
Redskins 17, Bears 14
CB DeAngelo Hall, 7 tkls., 4 INT, TD
Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler threw for 281 yards and a score, but one of his top targets wore a Redskins’ uniform. Unable to find space Hall wasn’t covering, the Bears (4-3) stopped scoring after Johnny Knox’s 9-yard touchdown grab to end the first half. Hall’s 92-yard interception return sealed the game for Washington (4-3) in the third quarter.
Ravens 37, Bills 34, OT
LB Ray Lewis, 14 tkls., 1 assist, sack, forced fumble
Baltimore (5-2) rallied from an early 17-3 lead, scoring 24 unanswered points until Buffalo’s offense, ignited by Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 374 yards and four touchdown passes, forced overtime. The Bills (0-6) — led by third-year receiver Steven Johnson and veteran Lee Evans for a combined 14 catches, 264 yards, and four scores — were on their own 41-yard line when Lewis stripped the ball, setting up kicker Billy Cundiff’s game-winning, 38-yard field goal.
Titans 37, Eagles 19
WR Kenny Britt, 7 rec., 225 yds., 3 TD
Tennessee (5-2) rallied from a 19-10 deficit early in the fourth quarter, scoring 27 fourth-quarter points, including Cortland Finnegan’s 41-yard interception return to end the game. Britt began the onslaught with an 80-yard touchdown, and Philadelphia (4-3) responded with three three-and-out drives against the Titans’ defense.
Falcons 39, Bengals 32
QB Matt Ryan, 23-44, 299 yds., 3 TD, INT
Cincinnati (2-4) made the game interesting with a 24-point, third-quarter explosion to take the lead, 27-24, but Atlanta’s offense gained the separation it needed with two more scores in the fourth quarter. Roddy White hauled in the go-ahead, 11-yard touchdown and the ensuing two-point conversion, keeping Atlanta (5-2) atop the NFC South.
Chiefs 42, Jaguars 20
RB Thomas Jones, 20 rush, 125 yards, TD
Kansas City (4-2) followed Jones’ lead and opened the offense for a productive outing on the ground and through the air. Change-of-pace back Jamaal Charles added 71 rushing yards and a touchdown while Matt Cassel (13-18, 193 yards, 2 TD) found receiver Dwayne Bowe for two scores. Jacksonville (3-4) started 11th-year quarterback Todd Bouman, who threw two touchdowns and two second-half picks — including one returned for a touchdown in the third quarter.
Buccaneers 18, Rams 17
QB Josh Freeman, 23-40, 212 yds., TD
Tampa Bay kicker Connor Barth’s four field goals kept the Bucs (4-2) in the game until Freeman’s fourth-quarter heroics secured another win for his team. St. Louis (3-4) led 17-6 to start the second-half, but couldn’t find the end zone after rookie Sam Bradford’s two second-quarter touchdowns.
Panthers 23, 49ers 20
QB Matt Moore, 28-41, 308 yds., 2 TD, INT
Rookie receiver David Gettis hauled in eight catches for 125 yards and both of Moore’s touchdown passes, including a game-tying 23-yard reception with 1:59 remaining. Carolina (1-5) recorded its first win of the season, while San Francisco (1-6) lost quarterback Alex Smith in another late-game collapse.
Seahawks 22, Cardinals 10
Packers 28, Vikings 24