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NFL Week 2 Roundup

This time, Bengals have fortunate finish

Packers’ rally squashed by game-ending penalty

Associated Press / September 21, 2009

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Watching the clock about to tick down to 0:02, Aaron Rodgers took the snap, faked a spike, and looked to the end zone.

For a split second, it looked like the Cincinnati Bengals were about to blow their second last-minute lead in as many weeks - and Rodgers was about to pull off his second late comeback of the season.

But the Bengals (1-1) were bailed out by a false-start penalty and barely salvaged a 31-24 victory over the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field yesterday.

“We didn’t do enough to win the game last week and you get what you deserve,’’ Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said. “Today, we were able to make one or two more plays and win the football game and that’s what counts. I think our football team understands that.’’

One week after a gut-wrenching loss to Denver on a deflected pass that went for a touchdown, the Bengals nearly outdid themselves by blowing a 10-point lead in the final minute.

The Packers (1-1) kicked a late field goal to cut the lead to a touchdown, then recovered an onside kick.

Rodgers then marched the Packers to the Cincinnati 10 with the clock running down, but Green Bay was called for the false start to end the game. Packers coach Mike McCarthy said officials told him the call was on wide receiver Greg Jennings.

“I was surprised by that, to say the least,’’ McCarthy said.

The Bengals were cruising to a win until then, breaking a 21-21 tie when Chad Ochocinco caught a 13-yard TD pass from Carson Palmer in the third quarter and delivered on his promise to perform a “Lambeau Leap,’’ although it was into a small group of Bengals fans.

“It was fun,’’ the receiver said. “I had a little indecision on where to jump at first. I didn’t want to disrespect their tradition.’’

Rodgers couldn’t pull off another comeback after beating the Bears on a late TD pass to Jennings last Sunday. Rodgers was 21 of 39 for 261 yards and a TD.

Bears 17, Steelers 14
Jay Cutler rebounded from a terrible Chicago debut last weekend by hitting rookie Johnny Knox with the tying TD pass midway through the fourth quarter and converting a big third-down pass to Devin Hester, setting up Robbie Gould for the go-ahead 44-yard field goal with 15 seconds left to lift the host Bears (1-1) past Pittsburgh.

The Steelers (1-1) got a strong game from Ben Roethlisberger, but two missed field goals by Jeff Reed in the fourth quarter gave Chicago the opening it needed. After Reed missed his second kick of the period, a 43-yarder, Cutler threw a 5-yard pass to Hester on third and 4 at the Steelers’ 39 that kept the winning drive going.

Cutler finished with 236 yards and two TDs, with no interceptions, after being picked off a career-high four times in a season-opening loss at Green Bay. Roethlisberger threw for 221 yards and a TD, and had a 2-yard TD run.

Texans 34, Titans 31
Matt Schaub trumped Chris Johnson’s career day by throwing for four touchdowns to go with 357 yards, and Kris Brown kicked a 23-yard field goal in the closing minutes as Houston spoiled Tennessee’s home opener.

The Texans (1-1) spent the past week answering questions about their toughness after being embarrassed by the Jets. Houston showed its resiliency by battling back from a 21-7 deficit early in the second quarter and engaging in a shootout. Schaub (25 of 39) threw two TD passes to Andre Johnson.

The Titans (0-2) outgained Houston, 449-420, but couldn’t move the ball in the fourth quarter. Chris Johnson scored three TDs (including a 91-yarder), ran for 197 yards, and had 87 yards receiving.

Saints 48, Eagles 22
Drew Brees followed up last week’s six-TD performance with three scoring passes, helping New Orleans spoil the starting debut of Eagles quarterback Kevin Kolb in Philadelphia.

Brees picked up where he left off, picking apart Philadelphia’s secondary and completing 25 of 34 passes for 311 yards and one interception. The Saints (2-0) took advantage of a fumble recovery and interception to turn a 4-point halftime lead into a 31-13 advantage in the first 3 1/2 minutes of the third quarter.

Filling in for the injured Donovan McNabb, Kolb threw for 391 yards and two TDs, including a 71-yard scoring pass to DeSean Jackson that pulled the Eagles (1-1) even at 7-7. Kolb also threw three interceptions, including one returned 97 yards for a TD by Darren Sharper in the final minute.

49ers 23, Seahawks 10
Frank Gore had TD runs of 79 and a career-best 80 yards and finished with 207 yards on just 16 carries, powering host San Francisco past Seattle for a 2-0 start.

Gore nearly reached his franchise mark of 212 yards set in 2006 before leaving in the fourth quarter with a sprained right ankle that didn’t appear serious. He became only the second player in NFL history to have two TD runs of 79 or more yards in one game, joining Detroit’s Barry Sanders (1997 vs. Tampa Bay).

Seattle (1-1) lost quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to a rib injury just before halftime following a hard hit near the goal line by Patrick Willis. Hasselbeck didn’t return after completing 10 of 18 passes for 97 yards and no TDs.

Vikings 27, Lions 13
Brett Favre set another NFL record with his 271st straight start in the regular season, then threw two touchdown passes to help Minnesota send host Detroit to its 19th straight loss, matching the second-longest streak in league history.

Detroit (0-2) looked like it might finally earn a victory with a 10-0 lead midway through the second quarter, but the Vikings (2-0) pulled even on Favre’s 1-yard TD pass to Visanthe Shiancoe before the half and a 26-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell. Kevin Smith’s fumble in the third quarter set up Adrian Peterson’s go-ahead 27-yard TD run.

Raiders 13, Chiefs 10
After playing poorly all game, JaMarcus Russell led visiting Oakland (1-1) on a 69-yard scoring march in the final two minutes, and Darren McFadden capped the comeback win over Kansas City with a 5-yard TD run with 1:07 remaining.

Matt Cassel made his Kansas City debut after being out a month with a knee injury, and gave the Chiefs (0-2) a 10-6 lead with a 29-yard TD strike to Dwayne Bowe with 2:38 to go.

Cardinals 31, Jaguars 17
Kurt Warner completed his first 15 passes and set an NFL game record for completion percentage (92.3, 24 of 26), carrying Arizona (1-1) to a road win over Jacksonville (0-2).

Broncos 27, Browns 6
Kyle Orton hit Jabar Gaffney with a 49-yard pass that led to Peyton Hillis’s 2-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter, which broke open a 13-6 game and propelled Denver (2-0) to a home victory over Cleveland (0-2).

Bills 33, Buccaneers 20
Big plays enabled Buffalo (1-1) to end a five-game home losing streak. Donte Whitner returned an interception 76 yards for a TD, Lee Evans caught a 32-yard TD pass, and Terrell Owens scored on a 43-yard catch in his first game in front of the Buffalo fans.

Redskins 9, Rams 7
Three Shaun Suisham field goals were enough for Washington, but after the final whistle the home fans offered as many boos as cheers, upset that the Redskins (1-1) failed to score a TD against lowly St. Louis (0-2). The Redskins had four drives of more than 60 yards that faltered inside the 10.

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