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Titans top Packers, stay perfect | TribLIVE.com
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Titans top Packers, stay perfect

The Associated Press
| Monday, November 3, 2008 12:00 a.m

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Titans remained perfect — even if they needed a little extra time to stay that way.

Rob Bironas got a second chance at redemption in overtime, kicking a 41-yard field goal with 9:36 to go that kept the Titans the NFL’s last unbeaten team with a 19-16 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

Bironas had a chance to win in regulation but banged a 47-yarder off the upright, prompting the All-Pro to yank his facemask down in anger at himself.

But the Titans (8-0) won the toss and drove 55 yards in 10 plays to give Bironas another chance, helping Tennessee match a franchise record with its 11th straight regular-season victory.

The Packers (4-4) had tied it at 16-16 on Mason Crosby’s third field goal, a 38-yarder, with 5:30 left.

Bengals 21, Jaguars 19

In Cincinnati, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a pair of touchdown passes to Chad Ocho Cinco, who celebrated the second one by giving the head coach a kiss, and the Bengals stopped a late 2-point conversion try to preserve their first victory.

At 1-8, the Bengals are no longer on pace to be historically bad. Now merely dreadful, they were too much for the stunned Jaguars (3-5), who fell behind 21-3 before making it close.

Montell Owens returned a fumble 18 yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, and David Garrard led a late drive that culminated in Maurice Jones-Drew’s 1-yard run with 1:17 to go. Garrard failed to squeeze a pass into double-covered Jerry Porter on the conversion try.

Fitzpatrick, in his fourth straight start for the injured Carson Palmer, was 21-of-31 for 162 yards. Cedric Benson had 104 yards rushing, Cincinnati’s first 100-yard performance.

Jets 26, Bills 17

In Orchard Park, N.Y., Abram Elam, starting in place of injured safety Eric Smith, returned an interception thrown by Trent Edwards 92 yards for a touchdown, sparking the New York Jets’ victory over the bumbling Buffalo Bills.

The Jets (5-3) have won four of five and have caught the Bills in the division standings. Buffalo (5-3) has lost three of four and lost all the momentum it had generated following a 4-0 start.

Brett Favre wasn’t exactly perfect a week after he threw three interceptions before securing a 28-24 win over Kansas City. Against Buffalo, he forced a throw to the left sideline and was intercepted by Jabari Greer, who returned it 42 yards for a touchdown that cut the Jets’ lead to 23-17 with under 11 minutes left.

Favre, 19-of-28 for 201 yards, responded by efficiently producing a 14-play, 65-yard drive that ate up nearly 9 minutes and ended with Jay Feely hitting a 31-yard field goal.

Edwards went 24-of-35 for 289 with a touchdown, two interceptions and a fumble. It was Edwards’ first two turnovers that led to the Jets scoring 10 points and taking the lead for good.

Bears 27, Lions 23

In Chicago, Rex Grossman came off the bench to replace injured quarterback Kyle Orton and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 5:36 left, helping the Bears rally from a 10-point deficit for a victory over the winless Detroit Lions.

Matt Forte had 126 yards rushing for the Bears (5-3), who lost Orton to a right ankle injury and safety Mike Brown to a calf problem late in the first half. They didn’t lose the game, though.

They can thank Grossman and Forte, who ran for 40 of Chicago’s 55 yards on the go-ahead drive. His 19-yard dash put the ball on the 1 and Jason McKie got it back there with a 5-yarder after an illegal procedure penalty, setting up Grossman’s 1-yard plunge that put Chicago up 27-23.

The Bears broke up a pass intended for Calvin Johnson in the end zone on the final play, and Detroit’s search for a win continued.

With Daunte Culpepper reportedly about to sign with Detroit (0-8), Dan Orlovsky was 28-of-47 for 292 yards and two touchdowns but threw two interceptions.

Bucs 30, Chiefs 27, OT

In Kansas City, Mo., Jeff Garcia’s 24-yard touchdown pass and 2-point conversion toss tied it with 19 seconds left, and Matt Bryant’s 33-yard field goal in overtime gave the Buccaneers a win after they trailed by 21.

The Chiefs (1-7) never touched the ball in overtime as Garcia hit Michael Clayton for 29 yards on the first play and smartly moved Tampa Bay (6-3) down the field.

Adding to the dismay of the Chiefs was the fact that Bryant was wide right on a 38-yard try on third down in the overtime drive. But a false start penalty on Jeremy Trueblood negated the play.

The Chiefs’ Tyler Thigpen, making his third career start, was 14-for-25 for 164 yards and a touchdown, and also caught a 37-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Mark Bradley. Kansas City lost for the 16th time in 17 games.

Vikings 28, Texans 21

In Minneapolis, the Minnesota Vikings forced three turnovers, got three touchdown passes from Gus Frerotte and shut down Houston’s Andre Johnson.

Minnesota (4-4) returned from the bye week fully recharged. Madieu Williams intercepted Sage Rosenfels in the end zone in the third quarter, and Antoine Winfield picked off Matt Schaub at the Vikings 5 before Houston’s starting quarterback was sidelined at halftime by an injury to his left knee.

Schaub also lost a fumble that led to a 49-yard scoring toss on third down from Frerotte to Bernard Berrian that stretched the lead to 21-7. The Texans (3-5) missed their chance to win four straight games for the first time in the franchise’s six-year history.

Johnson matched two NFL records by posting at least 130 yards in his previous four games and 10 or more catches in his past three, but had just four catches for 62 yards and a late TD.

Adrian Peterson finished with 139 yards on 25 carries for the Vikings.

Cardinals 34, Rams 13

In St. Louis, Kurt Warner and the Cardinals used a 24-point second quarter to win another one in their former home city.

The Cardinals have won four in a row in St. Louis, their home from 1960-87, and four straight over the Rams overall.

Arizona (5-3) was in total command after scoring 10 points on turnovers and adding a pair of long scoring plays on touchdowns by Tim Hightower and Jerheme Urban. Warner had his 45th 300-yard passing game, throwing for two touchdowns to beat the team he led to two Super Bowls from 1999-2001.

The Rams (2-6) have lost two straight after winning their first two games under new coach Jim Haslett, and were booed off the field at halftime and at every opportunity thereafter before the Edward Jones Dome emptied out in the fourth quarter.

Ravens 37, Browns 27

In Cleveland, Matt Stover booted three field goals — the last with 5:36 left — and linebacker Terrell Suggs returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown to end Cleveland’s last threat with 2:43 remaining as Baltimore rallied for a win.

Stover, who ranks fifth in league scoring history, made field goals of 41, 32 and 22 yards for the Ravens (5-3), who trailed 27-13 in the third quarter before storming back by scoring 24 unanswered points to beat the Browns (3-5) for the second time this season.

Ravens rookie quarterback Joe Flacco threw touchdown passes to Mark Clayton and Derrick Mason. Rookie running back Ray Rice rushed for a season-high 154 yards while filling in for injured starter Willie McGahee, who never left the sideline because of a bum ankle.

Cleveland’s Joshua Cribbs returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown and finished with 278 return yards.

Giants 35, Cowboys 14

In East Rutherford, N.Y., with injured quarterback Tony Romo watching from the sidelines, the New York Giants had no problem burying the Dallas Cowboys in more ways than one.

Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes, Brandon Jacobs rushed for 117 yards and a score and the Giants defense took advantage of Romo’s absence to intercept three passes.

The win was the fifth straight at home for the Giants (7-1) and it allowed the Super Bowl champions to open a three-game lead over the defending NFC East champion Cowboys (5-4) in the division.

The loss was the third in four games for Dallas, which fell into last place in the division.

Manning threw touchdown passes of 13 yards to Kevin Boss, 5 to Steve Smith and 11 to Amani Toomer, with the scores by Smith and Toomer set up by Corey Webster’s interceptions of Brad Johnson, Romo’s replacement.

Dolphins 26, Broncos 17

In Denver, the Miami Dolphins bottled up Denver’s ground game and intercepted Jay Cutler three times in a win over the befuddled Broncos.

Cornerback Will Allen returned the second of Cutler’s mistakes 32 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter.

With Champ Bailey sidelined by a torn groin, Chad Pennington repeatedly picked on his replacement, Karl Paymah, who picked off one pass but otherwise was victimized all afternoon by Greg Camarillo, whose 11 receptions for 111 yards were season highs.

Ronnie Brown rushed 20 times for 59 yards, including a 2-yard scamper into the end zone with three minutes left to ice it for the Dolphins (4-4).

Denver (4-4) lost for the fourth time in five games.

Falcons 24, Raiders 0

In Oakland, Calif., Matt Ryan threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes to Michael Jenkins and the Falcons held the Raiders to negative yards and no first downs in the first half and their lowest yards total in 47 years.

In a six-year stretch of losing, embarrassment and new lows in Oakland, Al Davis’ once-proud franchise might have reached a new nadir this week in front of a half-filled stadium of fans who began booing the Raiders (2-6) just minutes in. Oakland finished with just 77 yards for its worst total since getting 58 in 1961 against the Chargers, when Davis was an assistant in San Diego.

The Falcons (5-3) scored on their first four possessions as Ryan had open receivers to pick from almost every time he dropped back, while Michael Turner and Jerious Norwood had big holes to run through.

Eagles 26, Seahawks 7

In Seattle, Donovan McNabb rebounded from early problems to complete 28 of 43 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns, one to tackle Todd Herremans, and rally the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brent Celek, playing because L.J. Smith was out with a concussion, set an Eagles record for yards receiving by a tight end in a regular-season game with 131 on six receptions.

Philadelphia (5-3) stayed two games behind the first-place New York Giants in the NFC East, and moved ahead of Dallas (5-4) for third in the division.

The Seahawks (2-6) punted 10 consecutive times — seven after three-and-outs — following a team-record 90-yard touchdown pass on their first play from backup Seneca Wallace to Koren Robinson.

Colts 18, Patriots 15

In Indianapolis, Adam Vinatieri showed New England he’s still the NFL’s best clutch kicker.

The Patriots’ career scoring leader, who booted winning field goals in two of their Super Bowl victories and then let go as a free agent, kicked a 52-yarder with 8:05 left to give the Indianapolis Colts a victory.

Vinatieri hadn’t made a kick that long since November 2002, when he hit a 57-yarder against Chicago, but had no trouble making this one and possibly saving the Colts’ season.

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