|Arizona rookie Steve Breaston had every reason to show off after his 73-yard punt return provided the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter. (ROSS D. FRANKLIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
Giants defense mauls McNabb
Umenyiora racks up six of team's record-tying 12 sacks vs. Eagles
With Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor on the sidelines as an honorary captain, it was appropriate that the New York Giants sacked the Philadelphia Eagles unmercifully.
Osi Umenyiora had a team-record six sacks and the Giants (2-2) set a franchise record and tied a league record by sacking Donovan McNabb 12 times in a 16-3 victory last night in East Rutherford, N.J.
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. Strahan's sacks gave him 133 1/2 in his career, breaking Taylor's franchise record.
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.
The Eagles (1-3) had a horrible effort. Besides the sacks, Philadelphia had 15 penalties for 132 yards, including an illegal forward pass against McNabb with 2:24 to play. It nullified a 20-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Brown and prevented the Eagles from drawing within 16-10.
Umenyiora is the third player to have six sacks in a game, joining Fred Dean and Derrick Thomas, who also holds the league record with seven, set Nov. 11, 1990 against Seattle. This is fifth time a team had 12 sacks. The last was Dallas, against Houston Sept. 29, 1985.
Steelers get burned in desert
Cardinals 21, Steelers 14 - Rookie Steve Breaston returned a punt 73 yards for the go-ahead TD early in the fourth quarter and host Arizona's defense shut down Pittsburgh most of the game to hand the Steelers their first loss.
The Cardinals (2-2) ended Willie Parker's string of four consecutive 100-yard rushing games, limiting him to 37 yards in 19 carries. But Pittsburgh (3-1) rallied behind Ben Roethlisberger, whose second TD pass to Santonio Holmes, a 7-yarder, cut it to 21-14 with 1:49 to play.
However, Larry Fitzgerald recovered the onside kick attempt for Arizona. The Steelers got the ball one last time at their 9 with 46 seconds to play. They made it to the 40, but Calvin Pace and Darnell Dockett sacked Roethlisberger, then Ralph Brown made an interception to seal the victory.
A negative charge in San Diego
Chiefs 30, Chargers 16 - Host San Diego melted down, allowing Kansas City (2-2) to score 24 straight points in the second half as the Chargers exceeded their loss total from last season by falling to 1-3.
Dwayne Bowe, Kansas City's first-round draft pick, caught a go-ahead 51-yard touchdown pass from Damon Huard early in the fourth quarter, and rookie cornerback Tyron Brackenridge raced 50 yards for a score after Philip Rivers was sacked and fumbled with just more than seven minutes left.
LaDainian Tomlinson finally cracked triple digits for the Chargers, gaining 132 yards on 20 carries, surpassing his season total of 130 yards. But Rivers was ineffective - his two interceptions and lost fumble led to 17 Kansas City points.
Lions roar back with 34 in fourth
Lions 37, Bears 27 - Host Detroit served notice that it's no longer the league laughingstock, putting up an NFL-record 34 points in the fourth quarter to shock struggling Chicago.
The Lions are 3-1 for the first time since 2004, and have already matched the number of wins they had last season. Jon Kitna finished 20 of 24 for 247 yards and two scores, and orchestrated the frantic finish after Detroit trailed, 13-3, after three quarters.
Chicago's quarterback change backfired. Brian Griese, starting in place of Rex Grossman, had three interceptions. He did throw a 1-yard TD pass to Desmond Clark on fourth down with 52 seconds left to pull the Bears (1-3) within 3. However, the onside kick bounced to Detroit's Casey FitzSimmons and he returned it for a touchdown to seal the victory.
Culpepper comes back to haunt
Raiders 35, Dolphins 17 - Making his first start for Oakland, Daunte Culpepper ran for three scores and threw for two against his former team, and the Raiders (2-2) carved up the Dolphins' defense for 299 rushing yards in Miami.
Culpepper threw only 12 times and completed five for 75 yards. But he hit Jerry Porter for scores of 7 and 27 yards, and showed his still-healing knee can hold up with his three short TD runs. Justin Fargas replaced an injured LaMont Jordan (back) before halftime and ran for a career-high 179 yards.
For the second time in four years, Miami is off to an 0-4 start. Ronnie Brown ran for 134 yards and caught six passes for 73, but the Dolphins fell behind early and had possession for fewer than 25 minutes.
Rookie breathes life into Bills
Bills 17, Jets 14 - In his first career start, rookie Trent Edwards was 22 of 28 for 234 yards, including a late 1-yard TD toss to Michael Gaines on fourth down that essentially sealed host Buffalo's first victory.
Behind Edwards, the Bills (1-3) produced their most points, total yards (304), and first downs (19) this season.
Buffalo's defense was opportunistic as well, particularly with the game on the line. Jabari Greer's interception of Chad Pennington's pass at the Jets' 25 set up Gaines's score that put the Bills ahead, 17-7. Terrence McGee's interception at the Bills' 31 with six seconds left ended a last-gasp drive by the Jets (1-3).
Harrington goes to the mat
Falcons 26, Texans 16 - Host Atlanta picked up its first win as its new quarterback, Joey Harrington, got the better of the Falcons' old backup quarterback, Matt Schaub, who struggled to lead Houston (2-2) into the end zone.
The ageless Morten Andersen kicked four field goals for Atlanta (1-3), but Harrington was the catalyst, throwing a pair of TD passes to Michael Jenkins and going 23 of 29 for 223 yards.
Easy does it for Romo, Dallas Cowboys 35, Rams 7 - With Tony Romo throwing for three TDs and scrambling 15 yards for another, host Dallas turned what had been a tight game into yet another easy victory. Romo was 21 of 33 for 339 yards, hitting Patrick Crayton (career-high 184 yards) for two scores and Jason Witten for the other. The Cowboys are 4-0 for the first time since 1995. The Rams are 0-4 for the first time since 2002. Zoned-in defense carries Bucs Buccaneers 20, Panthers 7 - Jeff Garcia didn't throw an interception for the fourth straight game and ran for a touchdown, while Tampa Bay's defense shut down the Panthers' offense in a victory in Charlotte, N.C. 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. Seahawks dole out punishment Seahawks 23, 49ers 3 - Matt Hasselbeck passed for 281 yards and two touchdowns, and Seattle made its day easier in San Francisco by knocking out quarterback Alex Smith with a shoulder injury on the 49ers' third play from scrimmage. 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) with a dominating display. Rocky Bernard made the biggest of Seattle's six first-half sacks, driving Smith into the ground and sending him to the sideline for the rest of the game. .content>