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Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Quinton Ganther scored the first two touchdowns of his career during a fourth-quarter surge as Washington topped Oakland, 34-13.
Ganther ended with 50 yards rushing on 14 carries while Jason Campbell threw for 222 yards and two scores on 16-of-28 passing for the Redskins (4-9), who had dropped seven of their previous eight games.
Fred Davis had three receptions for 50 yards and two TDs while Santana Moss grabbed four passes for 58 yards in a winning effort.
Bruce Gradkowski finished 10-of-18 for 153 yards before leaving the game with a knee injury early in the third quarter for the Raiders (4-9), who couldn't keep momentum going from a 27-24 win over defending-champion Pittsburgh last Sunday.
JaMarcus Russell went 10-of-16 for 74 yards and one interception for the remainder of the contest, and Justin Fargas rushed for a score in defeat.
Washington's back-breaking drive to expand their lead to 24-13 was a 13-play, 80-yard affair that melted six minutes off the clock. Ganther's one-yard touchdown run -- his first career score -- capped the series with 11:22 left in regulation.
LaRon Landry picked off Russell at the Raiders' 39 on the first play of Oakland's ensuing drive, and four plays later Ganther leapt in from the one for a 31-13 contest.
Graham Gano's 41-yard boot on Washington's ensuing series capped the scoring at 34-13.
Sebastian Janikowski booted a 34-yard field goal to put the Raiders ahead in the first quarter, but Davis was on the receiving end of a six-yard TD pass from Campbell to put the Redskins in front.
A one-yard run by Fargas early in the second quarter put Oakland ahead 10-7 before Gano nailed his first career field goal, a 46-yarder, to forge a 10-10 tie.
Davis then made a fingertip catch in the left corner of the end zone to put the Skins ahead by a score with 56 seconds remaining in the second and the visitors took a 17-10 edge to the break.
Janikowski, who missed a 66-yard attempt at the end of the first half, nailed a 54-yarder to bring the Raiders within 17-13 for the lone score of the third quarter.
Washington has won both of its games in Oakland since the Raiders moved from Los Angeles in 1994, the last victory coming on November 29, 1998...Oakland still has won seven of the 11 all-time meetings.
Nashville, TN (Sports Network) - Chris Johnson ran for 117 yards and two scores in setting a franchise record, as the Tennessee Titans, without an injured Vince Young for much of the game, routed St. Louis, 47-7.
Johnson, the NFL's leading rusher, had his eighth consecutive 100-yard game to break the previous mark held by Hall-of-Fame back Earl Campbell. Johnson also had a 66-yard touchdown reception.
Young left Sunday's contest in the middle of the second quarter after suffering an apparent right hamstring injury at the end of a run. Prior to that, he completed 6-of-8 passes for 132 yards and a score.
Kerry Collins, who Young replaced as the Titans' starting quarterback in Week 8, finished the contest 11-of-19 for 154 yards and a score, as Tennessee (6-7) rebounded from a loss last week at Indianapolis.
Rookie Keith Null got his first career start for the Rams and completed 27-of- 43 passes for 157 yards, with one touchdown and five interceptions. A 2009 sixth-round draft pick, Null started in place of Kyle Boller, who was a late scratch because of a thigh injury that limited him in practice all week. St. Louis (1-12) was already missing starter Marc Bulger because of a broken leg.
Steven Jackson, the league's second-leading rusher entering Sunday, was limited to 47 yards on 19 carries.
Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) – Tom Brady threw a touchdown pass and Kevin Faulk added another score on the ground, as the New England Patriots put the brakes on a two-game losing streak with a 20-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers at Gillette Stadium.
Brady started despite multiple ailments that forced the three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback to miss two practice sessions. He was a limited participant Friday with shoulder, finger and rib injuries. On Sunday, he completed 19-of-32 passes for a season-low 192 yards and one interception.
Wes Welker had 105 yards on 10 receptions for the Patriots (8-5), who remain unbeaten in seven home games this season and maintained a one-game lead in the AFC East standings. Miami and the New York Jets both won on Sunday to improve to 7-6.
Laurence Maroney rushed 22 times for 94 yards for New England, which hasn’t lost three straight since a four-game slide from September 29-October 27, 2002.
New England linebacker Adalius Thomas was inactive for the game after voicing his displeasure about being sent home for arriving late to a team meeting earlier in the week.
Matt Moore made his second consecutive start in place of injured Carolina quarterback Jake Delhomme, who is sidelined with a broken finger on his throwing hand. Moore was 15-of-30 for 197 yards with one touchdown for the Panthers (5-8), who have dropped three of four.
DeAngelo Williams had 82 yards on 13 carries in the loss. He missed last Sunday’s win over Tampa Bay with an ankle problem.
Sammy Morris fumbled on New England’s opening possession of the second half, but the home team broke a 7-7 tie on their next series.
The Patriots began at their own four-yard line following a punt. Brady then led his troops on an epic 13-play drive that consumed over seven minutes of the clock. Brady completed all six pass attempts, with the lone toss to a player not named Welker landing in the hands of Benjamin Watson for a five- yard score with 1:06 to play in the third quarter.
John Kasay kicked a 36-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter for Carolina, then Stephen Gostkowski drilled a 48-yarder with 7:20 remaining for a 17-10 New England advantage. After the Panthers went three-and-out, Gostkowski converted a 47-yard attempt to cement the win with just under four minutes to go.
New England turned the ball over on downs on its first series of the game. Facing a 4th-and-1 from the Carolina 40, the Patriots tried an inside handoff to Morris, but he was wrapped for a one-yard loss.
Panthers cornerback Chris Gamble picked off Brady later in the first quarter, and the visitors capitalized on the turnover when Moore hooked up with Steve Smith on a 41-yard touchdown with 2:43 remaining.
The offensive miscues continued for the Patriots. On the first play of the second quarter, Brady completed a toss over the middle to Randy Moss, but the veteran wideout fumbled at the Carolina 21. It turned out to be his only catch of the game.
After Kasay’s 53-yard bid came up short for the Panthers, New England tied the game on a three-yard touchdown run by Faulk with 68 seconds to go in the first half.
Welker surpassed 100 catches for the third consecutive season…Faulk had 58 yards rushing and caught three passes for 17 yards…Smith made two catches for 83 yards…The Panthers last played at New England on October 29, 1995, in a game which the expansion franchise won 20-17 in overtime.
- Via Sports Network.
Kansas City, MO (Sports Network) – Rian Lindell kicked three field goals and Terrell Owens caught the Bills’ lone touchdown, as Buffalo used four Matt Cassel interceptions to edge Kansas City, 16-10.
Fred Jackson and Marshawn Lynch carried the load for the Bills (5-8), rushing for 99 and 84 yards, respectively.
Despite Ryan Fitzpatrick throwing for just 86 yards with a touchdown and an interception on 12-of-20 attempts, Buffalo improved to 2-2 under interim head coach Perry Fewell.
“This week we put a real emphasis on running the ball,” Fitzpatrick said. “We put a challenge on our guys up front. We challenged our backs, our tight ends and even the receivers blocking the safeties and corners. We really wanted to establish the run.”
Cassel, who was benched in last week’s 44-13 loss to Denver, completed 26- of-43 passes for 224 yards, but his turnovers — the last occurring on a heave into the end zone — sent the Chiefs (3-10) to a third straight loss.
Jamaal Charles logged 143 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries in the setback.
It was 13-10 in favor of Buffalo when Lindell missed a 51-yarder wide left with 12:12 remaining in the game. Paul Posluszny atoned for the miss, though, picking off Cassel near midfield and returning it to the Kansas City 35.
The turnover set up Lindell’s 36-yard field goal near the eight-minute mark, and Cassel, after Chris Chambers dropped a pass inside the Buffalo five-yard line, had his fourth-down pass tipped into the hands of Jairus Byrd.
Byrd’s league-leading ninth interception of the season came with 2:11 left, and the Bills wasted 1:11 of the clock on the ensuing possession.
Three completions brought the Chiefs to the Buffalo 37, but on the last play, Buffalo safety George Wilson came down with Cassel’s rainbow throw in the end zone to secure the win.
Early on, the Chiefs failed to take advantage of a Fitzpatrick fumble inside his own 10, as Cassel was sacked by Aaron Schobel on fourth down from the one.
“To me, the biggest thing is missed opportunities, not capitalizing on good situations on the field, whether it’s giving up a sack in field goal range or coming out of there with zero points early on a very good opportunity,” Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said.
On the first play following the turnover on downs, Lynch went up the right sideline for 47 yards. Several plays later, Owens hauled in a short pass over the middle and turned it into a nine-yard TD for the early lead.
Kansas City got on the board when Ryan Succop capped a 13-play, 74-yard drive with a 21-yard field goal 4 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.
Later in the quarter, Rian Lindell made it a 10-3 game via a 41-yard kick.
Terrence McGee picked off Cassel’s first pass of the second half, and Fitzpatrick gave the ball right back to Kansas City by throwing it into triple coverage in the end zone, resulting in a Brandon Flowers interception.
Lindell’s 24-yard field goal at the 3:10 mark of the third made it a 10-point game, but on the next play from scrimmage, Charles took a shotgun draw up the middle and knifed through the Bills’ defense on his way to a 76-yard score.
The game featured two of the eight original teams from the AFC, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary season…Chambers led the Chiefs with 50 yards on four catches…Charles also had seven grabs for 38 yards, while Jackson ended with a team-high 23 receiving yards on three receptions…Lynch carried the ball 12 times, compared to 20 for Jackson…The Chiefs outgained the Bills, 354-273.
- Via Sports Network.
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) – Peyton Manning threw four touchdown passes to lead the Colts to a NFL record 22nd consecutive regular-season victory, 28-16, over Denver.
The Colts (13-0) are also just the seventh team to start a season by winning their first 13 games — joined this year by New Orleans, which squeaked out a 26-23 win over Atlanta Sunday to stay undefeated.
Indianapolis eclipsed the old mark of 21 straight wins by New England, set from 2006-08, but not without some tense moments in the second half.
The Colts were also able to surpass the San Francisco 49ers’ NFL record for wins in a decade with their 114th since the start of 2000. The 49ers had 113 wins in the 1990s.
Manning led three efficient scoring drives in the first half to build up a 21-0 lead and rallied the Colts late in the fourth for a touchdown to make sure the Broncos didn’t pull off the comeback and spoil the record.
Completing under 50 percent of his passes for only the seventh time in 189 career games, Manning threw two picks in the second half to help allow Denver to close to within 21-16 in the fourth quarter.
However, taking the ball at his own 20 with 9:44 left to play, Manning directed an epic 14-play, 80-yard drive that left only 2:25 on the clock. The drive ended with a one-yard TD pass to Dallas Clark, who caught a career-high three scores.
Manning ended 20-of-42 for 220 yards and also tossed a touchdown to Austin Collie. He had three interceptions overall.
The Colts now have little left to do with their regular season except stay healthy. The team had already clinched the AFC South and on Sunday locked up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs by taking the AFC’s top seed.
Brandon Marshall set an NFL record with 21 receptions in a single game, gaining 200 yards and scoring twice on throws from Kyle Orton.
Denver’s quarterback rallied the troops late with three-second half scoring drives, finishing 29-of-41 for 277 yards with the two TDs and an interception.
The Broncos (8-5) had followed up a four-game losing streak by defeating the Giants and Chiefs by a combined score of 70-19 in the previous two weeks.
Indianapolis found the end zone on three of its first four drives to take a seemingly comfortable 21-0 lead. Manning was on target early, completing 8- of-10 passes on the game’s opening drive and hitting Collie on a six-yard touchdown to cap an 80-yard trek.
After a quick three-and-out from Denver, Indy took it 56 yards in seven plays and Manning connected with Clark for a 10-yard score. A short time into the second quarter, Manning engineered an 11-play, 71-yard series and found Clark on a one-yard scoring toss with just under eight minutes left in the half.
Denver responded with its first scoring odyssey — a 12-play, 80-yard set that ended in Marshall and Orton’s five-yard TD connection for a 21-7 game at halftime.
The second half opened with a series of punts, and Manning was intercepted deep in Colts territory on the hosts’ second turn with the ball. The Broncos took over at the Indy 37 and drove to the 20 before Orton was picked off by Tim Jennings at the one-yard line.
The Colts, though, went three-and-out and gave Denver the ball back with good field position. However, the drive stalled at the 24-yard line and Matt Prater hung a 42-yard kick out to the right.
Manning was picked for a third time on the very next play from scrimmage and Denver capitalized only 10 seconds into the fourth quarter on a 28-yard boot by Prater.
The Colts offense continued to sputter and turned it back over to the Broncos in short order, The resulting Denver drive made it a one-score game as Orton capped a 68-yard drive with a five-yard scoring strike to Marshall. The two- point conversion run failed, leaving the score 21-16 with just under 10 minutes to play.
Denver was left with one final series after Manning’s back-breaking drive to push the lead to 12. Orton was sacked on 3rd-and-10 and a fourth-down toss to Marshall — breaking the NFL record for catches in a game — came up short of a first down. Manning kneeled to burn the remaining 1:51 from the clock.
Marshall passed Terrell Owens’ record of 20 catches achieved on December 17, 2000 while with San Francisco…Clark finished with five receptions for 43 yards while Collie made three grabs for 39 yards…Indy’s Joseph Addai led the ground game with 67 yards on 16 carries — also totaling 49 yards on five catches. Reggie Wayne ended with four catches for 43 yards in the win…Denver’s ground game was led by rookie Knowshon Moreno, who ran it 23 times for 63 yards.
- Via Sports Network.
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) – Ryan Grant ran for 137 yards and a pair of touchdowns, leading the Green Bay Packers to their fifth straight win and a season sweep of the Chicago Bears with a 21-14 victory at Soldier Field.
In the 179th meeting of this storied rivalry, it was the Packers (9-4) who solidified their playoff hopes with their first road win in this series since 2006. Aaron Rodgers completed 16-of-24 passes for 180 yards, and Jermichael Finley caught five passes for 70 yards in the win.
Charles Woodson added his eighth interception of the season to tie his career- high.
Jay Cutler threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns on 23-of-36 efficiency but was also picked off twice for the Bears (5-8), who have lost five of six — with the lone win coming against the lowly Rams. Cutler now has 22 interceptions, which is the most by a Bears quarterback since 1949.
Matt Forte was held to 51 yards on 12 carries, and Johnny Knox caught five passes for 83 yards and a score.
The Bears scored 14 straight points to take a one-point lead early in the third quarter, but the Packers’ defense came up with a crucial turnover in the opening moments of the fourth to set up the go-ahead score.
On 3rd-and-5 from the Chicago 32, Cutler threw a pass up the left sideline that was grabbed by Green Bay’s Nick Collins, who took it back to the 11-yard line. Three plays later, Grant punched it into the end zone from one yard away, and Rodgers threw a two-point conversion pass to Greg Jennings for a 21-14 lead with 12:39 to play.
The Bears got into Packers territory on the ensuing possession but were still forced to punt. Green Bay tried to make it a 10-point game with a 42-yard field goal by Mason Crosby, but he pushed it to the right, giving Chicago the ball on its 32 with six minutes left.
A penalty gave the Bears a 2nd-and-22 at their own 20, and Greg Olsen appeared to haul in a deep pass for a first down. He lost it after hitting the ground, resulting in an incomplete call. Chicago, though, called a timeout, then challenged the play and lost, costing the team another timeout.
The Bears had to punt with just over four minutes to play but held strong on defense, getting the ball back on their own nine-yard line with a little over two minutes remaining.
On 2nd-and-3 from the 16, the Packers sacked Cutler for a loss of eight. Two plays later on 4th-and-9 following a false start, Cutler’s pass fell incomplete to end the Bears’ hopes of tying the game.
The Packers forced the Bears to go three-and-out on the game’s opening drive, and, following a punt, Grant found a seam down the left sideline and rumbled 62 yards for a touchdown and an early Green Bay lead.
Chicago continued to struggle on offense, gaining just one first down on its next series, and the Packers responded with a Crosby 33-yard field goal to cap a 12-play, 48-yard drive with just under four minutes left in the first quarter.
On the Bears’ next offensive play, Cutler was intercepted by Woodson, which led to another Crosby field goal — from 26 yards away — in the opening moments of the second quarter for a 13-0 Packers lead.
Chicago got into Packers territory just once in the first half, but it made the series count, as Cutler threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Knox to complete a 13-play, 80-yard drive that got the Bears within six at halftime.
Green Bay got the ball to start the second half, but Rodgers fumbled twice on the same play in Chicago territory, eventually giving it up to the Bears. Cutler then needed only six plays to go 56 yards for the go-ahead touchdown, throwing a 10-yard scoring pass to Devin Aromashodu, who adjusted nicely to an underthrown pass near the right pylon for a 14-13 lead.
Aromashodu’s touchdown was the first of his career…Chicago leads the all- time series in the NFL’s most-played rivalry, 90-82-6, dating back to 1921…The Bears were without wide receiver/kick returner Devin Hester (calf)…Woodson has five interceptions in five career games at Chicago…Collins has an interception in three straight games against the Bears.
- Via Sports Network.
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) – Drew Brees tossed three touchdown passes, and the New Orleans Saints remained undefeated on the season with a 26-23 win over the Atlanta Falcons at the Georgia Dome.
Brees completed 31-for-40 passes for 296 yards, while Reggie Bush had two scoring receptions. Marques Colston caught the other for the Saints (13-0), who clinched a first-round bye with the win and a franchise record for wins in a season.
Bush finished the game with six catches for 46 yards and six carries for 33 yards, while Robert Meachem had four receptions for 57 yards for New Orleans, which set a franchise record for points with 466 on the season.
New Orleans joined the Colts, who took a 28-16 win over Minnesota on Sunday, to become the seventh team to start out a season 13-0. Also, the Saints hold a two-game lead over Minnesota for the top record in the NFC.
Chris Redman, playing his third straight game in place of an injured Matt Ryan, went 23-for-34 with 303 yards, one touchdown and one interception for the Falcons (6-7), who have dropped their past two games to take a serious hit on their playoff chances. Jason Snelling had 10 carries for 37 yards and a score and added four catches for 65 yards in the loss.
Starting the second half with the ball, the New Orleans offense marched 80 yards over 10 plays and put the ball into the end zone, when Bush caught a pass in the right flat and followed his blockers into the end zone from 21 yards out for a 23-9 lead.
Atlanta answered quickly when Redman put a pass through the middle and over the head of the defender for Michael Jenkins, who caught the ball in stride and took it into the end zone on a 50-yard score to make it a 23-16 game with 6:11 left in the third.
The Falcons defense forced a punt from New Orleans, and the team got the ball back at its own 21. The drive spanned the third and fourth quarters and the team tied the game, as Snelling punched the ball into the end zone from four yards out with 12:56 to play.
Brees and New Orleans, though, answered the call and put together a drive that ate up over eight minutes of the clock and covered 63 yards on 16 plays. Garrett Hartley’s 38-yard field goal with 4:42 to play gave the team a 26-23 lead.
The Saints defense came up with the first turnover of game on the second snap of Atlanta’s ensuing drive, as Jonathan Vilma leaped in front of a pass and picked it off, giving New Orleans the ball back at the Atlanta 32.
The Atlanta defense did its job and forced a field goal attempt from New Orleans, which went for the fake. The pass to Darnell Dinkins was caught, but he was out of bounds and Atlanta had the ball back at its own 15 with 2:07 to play.
The Falcons quickly moved the ball close to midfield, but the Saints defense tightened up, and on 4th-and-2, Snelling caught a one-yard pass, but Vilma stopped him short of the first down, and New Orleans was able to run down the rest of the time to win the game and remain unbeaten.
Atlanta started the game with the ball and put a field goal on the board thanks to a 36-yard boot by Matt Bryant. The big play of the drive was a 38- yard catch-and-run by Snelling.
New Orleans answered with a 33-yard field goal by Hartley after its drive stalled at the Atlanta 15.
The Falcons, though, got another field goal from Bryant, this one from 30 yards out with under a minute to play in the first quarter for a 6-3 lead.
However, the Saints took the lead on their next touch. With the ball near midfield, Brees and Meachem hooked up for a 42-yard play to get the ball down to the Atlanta 11. Three plays later, Brees threw a pass out to the right that Bush caught and took into the end zone from six yards out for a 10-6 lead with 9:43 to play in the first half.
After forcing a punt from Atlanta, New Orleans got the ball back at its own 34 with 7 1/2 minutes left in the first half. Facing a 3rd-and-5 near midfield, Brees’ pass to Meachem went incomplete, but Brent Grimes was called for pass interference. Four plays later, Brees set up a 1st-and-goal with a 12-yard pass to Pierre Thomas. Three snaps later, Brees and Colston connected for a three-yard score. Hartley’s extra point, though, bounced off the right post, and it was a 16-6 game with 51 seconds left.
The Falcons, though, had all three timeouts and used them to get down the field, and on the last play of the half a 27-yard field goal from Bryant made it a 16-9 game heading into the break.
New Orleans hosts Dallas on Saturday…The Falcons play at the New York Jets next Sunday…Atlanta leads the all-time series, 44-37, but New Orleans has taken seven of the past eight games…Brees has 32 touchdowns on the season…Thomas had 47 yards on 13 carries and six receptions for 53 yards…Vilma finished the game with seven tackles and an interception.
- Via Sports Network.
Ten games kick off Sunday at 1:00. This is the week in which teams on the fringe face realistic playoff elimination. Take the Falcons, for instance. At 6-6, they face a must-win situation against the undefeated Saints and without quarterback Matt Ryan and running back Michael Turner.
Elsewhere, the Colts, who are going to the playoffs, host the Broncos, who are headed to the playoffs if they promise to behave. The Bengals and Vikings knock each other around, the Patriots can put some of their worries to rest with a win over the Panthers, and the Dolphins can make this whole business supremely confusing for everyone if they can beat the Jaguars.
This might be the best 1:00 schedule we've seen this season. This is a perfect excuse to make friends on the Internet! SB Nation's football blogs are firing up live game threads as we speak. Check them out below, and talk up the football happenings as they unfold.
Saints (12-0) at Falcons (6-6) - FOX
Game thread at The Falcoholic
Game thread at Canal Street Chronicles
Packers (8-4) at Bears (5-7) - FOX
Game thread at Acme Packing Company
Game thread at Windy City Gridiron
Broncos (8-4) at Colts (12-0) - CBS
Game thread at Stampede Blue
Game thread at Mile High Report
Bills (4-8) at Chiefs (3-9) - CBS
Game thread at Buffalo Rumblings
Game thread at Arrowhead Pride
Bengals (9-3) at Vikings (10-2) - CBS
Game thread at Daily Norseman
Game thread at Cincy Jungle
Panthers (5-7) at Patriots (7-5) - FOX
Game thread at Pats Pulpit
Game thread at Cat Scratch Reader
Jets (6-6) at Buccaneers (1-11) - CBS
Game thread at Gang Green Nation
Game thread at Buc 'Em
Dolphins (6-6) at Jaguars (7-5) - CBS
Game thread at Big Cat Country
Game thread at The Phinsider
Lions (2-10) at Ravens (6-6) - FOX
Game thread at Baltimore Beatdown
Game thread at Pride Of Detroit
Seahawks (5-7) at Texans (5-7) - FOX
Game thread at Field Gulls
Game thread at Battle Red Blog
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