Patriots 28, Vikings 18
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, 17 rush, 112 yds., 2 TD; 1 rec., 11 yds.
Knowingly hobbled by a fractured ankle, Brett Favre started yesterday's 28-18 loss to the New England Patriots, threw for 259 yards and a pick, then left the the game midway through the fourth quarter with a chin laceration — and the Vikings with nearly crushed playoff aspirations.
Minnesota (2-5) looked to backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson after Patriots defensive tackle Myron Pryor pummeled Favre on the New England 11-yard line. Jackson threw a touchdown to fullback Naufahu Tahi on the next play, but the Pats responded with a 13-play, 80-yard drive and sealed the game with Green-Ellis' second touchdown of the game.
Now with the best record in the AFC East, the Patriots (6-1) are an improved, more diverse offense in life after Randy Moss. Second-year receiver Brandon Tate hauled in 101 of Tom Brady's 240 passing yards, scoring on the Patriots go-ahead score in the third quarter with a 65-yard catch and run while Brady scrambled away from pressure. Brady hit seven different receivers, including ex-Jet Danny Woodhead who finished with a team-high five receptions and a first-quarter rushing score.
Jaguars 35, Cowboys 17
QB David Garrard, 17-21, 260 yds., 4 TD, 1 rush TD
In his best game this season, Garrard was involved in all five Jacksonville (4-4) touchdowns, leading the Jags to a 28-3 advantage entering the fourth quarter in Dallas. Jon Kitna threw for 379 yards and a score, but his four picks kept the Cowboys (1-6) looking as if nothing’s changed without Tony Romo (broken collarbone).
Dolphins 22, Bengals 14
K Dan Carpenter, 5/5 FG, 54-yard long
Miami (4-3) remained undefeated on the road this season, hammering back from a 14-6 deficit thanks to Carpenter’s five field goals. Ricky Williams rushed for a score to ice the game with 11:35 remaining. Cincinnati (2-5) failed to score after Terrell Owens’ second-quarter circus catch for a TD, one of his two scores.
Lions 37, Redskins 25
WR Calvin Johnson, 9 rec., 101 yds., 3 TD
Second-year quarterback Matt Stafford made his first start since Week 1, throwing four touchdowns for Detroit (2-5) while his defense recorded six sacks and a pick. Washington (4-4) took a 25-20 lead after rookie Brandon Banks’ 96-yard kick return in the fourth, but the Lions roared with a 17-point onslaught following Alphonso Smith’s pick with 4:40 remaining, including Johnson’s third score and a 17-yard fumble return by rookie Ndamukong Suh.
Rams 20, Panthers 10
QB Sam Bradford, 25-32, 191 yds., 2 TD
The Rams’ defense recorded three sacks and three picks against Panthers quarterback Matt Moore and allowed only 25 total rushing yards, bringing St. Louis (4-4) back to .500 in the tight NFC West. Carolina (1-6) scored with 3:45 remaining on a 17-yard strike to rookie Brandon LaFell, but hopes for a rally ended when Rams safety Oshiomogho Atogwe intercepted Moore in Panthers territory.
49ers 24, Broncos 16
RB Frank Gore, 29 rush, 118 yds., TD
San Francisco’s 3-0 lead held until the third quarter in London, when Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow bounced into the end zone on a one-yard touchdown run. The 49ers (2-6) trailed 10-3 in the fourth quarter before Troy Smith led three-straight touchdown drives in his first start since 2007. Kyle Orton threw for 369 yards and a score, but was sacked four times and tossed a pick in Denver’s (2-6) fourth-straight loss.
Chiefs 13, Bills 10, OT
RB Jamaal Charles, 22 rush, 177 yds; 4 rec., 61 yds.
Buffalo (0-7) remains winless after losing its second straight overtime game despite a solid performance from Ryan Fitzpatrick (24-48, 223 yds., TD, INT). Bills receiver Steve Johnson hauled in a game-tying score with 2:23 to go in regulation. Kansas City (5-2) narrowly avoided a tie, winning the game on Ryan Succop’s 35-yard field goal with five seconds remaining after his 39-yard attempt was wide left on the previous drive.
Chargers 33, Titans 25
Bucs 38, Cardinals 35
Raiders 33, Seahawks 3
Pittsburgh at New Orleans, late