|The eighth field goal of the day by Rob Bironas (2) came as time expired and sent holder Craig Hentrich (15) and his Titans teammates off the field with a victory. (DAVID J. PHILLIP/ASSOCIATED PRESS)|
Upright showing by Bironas
Kicking a record eight field goals, he boosts Tennessee past Houston
Rob Bironas kicked an NFL-record eight field goals, and the Tennessee Titans needed every one of them.
Bironas's 29-yard field goal as time expired led the Titans to a 38-36 win in Houston, foiling a spirited comeback by the Texans, who scored 29 points in the fourth quarter, capped by a 53-yard touchdown pass from Sage Rosenfels to Andre' Davis to take a 1-point lead with 57 seconds to play.
The Titans (4-2) faced third and 10 at their 37 when Kerry Collins found Roydell Williams on a 46-yard pass that set up the winning kick.
Bironas's seventh field goal was also from 29 yards, and he connected from 52, 43, 25, 21, 30, and 28 yards to break the previous record of seven field goals held by Billy Cundiff, Chris Boniol, Rich Karlis, and Jim Bakken.
"I knew we'd hit quite a few, but I try not to count," Bironas said. "I try not to know the distances when I go out there, so I'm always concentrating on making the same kick. I've never really counted. I'll remember this one, though."
Bironas also kicked two extra points and set the NFL record for most points by a kicker, with 26. Cundiff's 23 points on Sept. 15, 2003 was the previous high.
Houston's offense stalled throughout the first three quarters before the furious rally began with a 7-yard touchdown catch by David Anderson early in the fourth quarter. Before that 70-yard drive, the Texans (3-4) had managed just 34 yards of offense. A 2-point conversion catch by Davis made it 32-15.
Starter Matt Schaub missed big chunks of the first half and the entire second half with ankle and hip injuries. Rosenfels accounted for four of Houston's six turnovers by throwing three interceptions and losing a fumble in Schaub's place.
The Texans cut the lead to 32-22 on a 6-yard touchdown reception by Kevin Walter with about eight minutes left. The Texans forced a punt, but Anderson fumbled it and Tennessee recovered, putting a damper on Houston's comeback hopes.
The Titans were playing without Vince Young, who missed playing in his hometown with a strained quadriceps.
Giants 33, 49ers 15
Osi Umenyiora scored on a 75-yard fumble return and the Giants defense helped to account for 24 points as New York won its fifth straight game by routing visiting San Francisco.
The dynamic four-end defense of the Giants (5-2) had a field day against the NFL's worst offense. New York forced four turnovers by the 49ers (2-4) and sacked Trent Dilfer six times, including 2 1/2 by Michael Strahan, his most in a game since 2003.
Eli Manning threw touchdown passes to Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey, and Brandon Jacobs ran for 107 yards and a score for the Giants, who also got two field goals from the struggling Lawrence Tynes.
Besides his fumble return for a touchdown, Umenyiora set up Jacobs's go-ahead 5-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, recovering a Frank Gore fumble at the 49ers' 27.
Bears 19, Eagles 16
Pinned on the 3-yard line and out of timeouts, Brian Griese drove Chicago 97 yards for the winning score - a 15-yard TD pass to Muhsin Muhammad with nine seconds left - to stun host Philadelphia.
The Bears (3-4) started on their 3 with 1:57 left and trailing, 16-12. Griese completed a series of short passes over the middle that quickly gained yards after nearly 58 minutes of stagnant football. Griese finished 27 of 41 for 322 yards, and was 7 of 9 for 97 yards on the final drive.
Donovan McNabb completed 21 of 34 for 226 yards and a touchdown but the Eagles offense again settled for field goals instead of touchdowns. The Eagles (2-4) settled for field goals in their first three trips into the red zone and since scoring 56 points in a win against Detroit, they have scored 35 points in three games.
Bengals 38, Jets 31
Kenny Watson ran for 130 yards and three touchdowns in the best performance of his career, and Cincinnati turned New York's second-half meltdown into a home victory.
The Bengals (2-4) snapped a four-game losing streak that was their longest during coach Marvin Lewis's five seasons, and Watson led the way, scoring on runs of 1 and 2 yards in the second half to finish off a Jets team that couldn't hold a 13-point lead and constantly made mistakes to negate any momentum it had gained.
Chad Pennington threw three touchdown passes, his last on the final play of the game, but it was too late for New York (1-6), which is off to its worst start in eight years.
Saints 22, Falcons 16
Reggie Bush spun free from three Atlanta defenders to turn a third-and-goal screen pass into the go-ahead touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and New Orleans avoided what would have been an embarrassing home loss to the Falcons.
His feet churning and body squirming as Atlanta closed in on him at the 2-yard line, Bush dived across the goal line for a 20-16 lead and fired the ball into the second deck of the Superdome in celebration. On the 2-point conversion, Bush dived for the pylon to put the Saints (2-4) up by 6 with 5:04 remaining.
Atlanta (1-6) lost more than a game. Its new starting quarterback, Byron Leftwich, left with an injured right ankle in the third quarter.
Lions 23, Buccaneers 16
Host Detroit scored touchdowns after two fumbles by Tampa Bay quarterback Jeff Garcia, including wide receiver Calvin Johnson's 32-yard run midway through the fourth quarter, as the Lions (4-2) exceeded their win total from last season.
Garcia, who played in Detroit for one forgettable season two years ago, didn't have a turnover in his first six games with the Bucs (4-3). But he botched a handoff in Detroit territory in the first quarter, and also mishandled a snap on first and goal when Tampa Bay was a yard away from pulling within 2 points early in the fourth.
Bills 19, Ravens 14
Making good on an opportunity to secure the starting job, rookie quarterback Trent Edwards engineered five scoring drives, four of which ended in Rian Lindell field goals, in helping Buffalo (2-4) to a home win over Baltimore.
The Bills' defense did its part, too, limiting the Ravens (4-3) to two scores despite six drives into Buffalo territory. In his first game back at Ralph Wilson Stadium, former Bills running back Willis McGahee rushed for a season-high 114 yards and scored on a 46-yard run, but otherwise Baltimore struggled under Kyle Boller, who was making his second straight start in place of the injured Steve McNair. Boller finished 21 of 36 for 191 yards, and the Ravens were forced to start six backups on offense because of injuries.
Chiefs 12, Raiders 10
Larry Johnson scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run early in the fourth quarter and Kansas City (4-3) edged host Oakland for its ninth straight win over its AFC West rival.
The Raiders (2-4) took over at their 26 with 1:46 remaining and one timeout. Daunte Culpepper completed three straight passes to move the ball to the 44 before Jarrad Page jumped in front of a slant pass to Ronald Curry with 35 seconds left, sealing Kansas City's fourth win overall in five games.
Seahawks 33, Rams 6
Nate Burleson returned the second-half kickoff 91 yards for a game-changing touchdown, allowing host Seattle to pull away from winless St. Louis and send the Rams to their worst start in their 70 years in the NFL.
Seattle (4-3) led, 10-3, at the half, even though St. Louis (0-7) had just 41 total yards. Then Burleson took the second-half kickoff, ran through a tackle near midfield, and then shook off Jonathan Wade at about the 20 for his first career kickoff score.