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NFL Rdp: Packers only unbeaten team left in NFL

Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52) reacts after a sack against the St. Louis Rams during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 24-3. Green Bay Packers outside linebacker Clay Matthews (52) reacts after a sack against the St. Louis Rams during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 16, 2011, in Green Bay, Wis. The Packers won 24-3. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
By Barry Wilner
AP Pro Football Writer / October 17, 2011

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It seems fitting that the NFL's last unbeaten team is its reigning champion.

Playing catch with his receivers while almost unchallenged by the St. Louis defense, Aaron Rodgers threw for 310 yards and three touchdowns as Green Bay romped 24-3. The Packers coasted, with all the scoring coming in the opening half.

The defending Super Bowl winners are the only 6-0 team after Detroit lost to San Francisco 25-19 in a game marred by a bumping incident between the coaches.

After the 49ers improved to 5-1 and dropped the Lions to the same record, San Francisco's first-year coach, Jim Harbaugh, charged across the field, lifting his shirt to expose his belly to attempt a chest bump. He extended his right hand to Lions coach Jim Schwartz for a shake and slapped him on the back with his left hand.

Schwartz didn't like what was done or said -- claiming he heard an expletive -- and went charging after Harbaugh. Players from both teams got in the middle of the tiff, and Harbaugh admitted, "That's totally on me. I shook his hand too hard."

There were no such issues at Lambeau Field, where Rodgers threw a career-long 93-yard scoring pass to Jordy Nelson among his three TD passes.

James Jones and Donald Driver also caught touchdowns from Rodgers, but the Packers weren't particularly satisfied with their performance against the Rams (0-5).

"It's a feeling of minor disappointment, I think, in that locker room," Rodgers said. "We just, in the second half, offensively just struggled. The second quarter was great, we put up a lot of points. I think it's encouraging at the same time. It's tough to win in this league, we're 6-0, and have a lot of room for improvement."

Let that serve as a warning to the rest of the league.

Elsewhere, it was Oakland 24, Cleveland 17; Philadelphia 20, Washington 13; New England 20, Dallas 16; Tampa Bay 26, New Orleans 20; Baltimore 29, Houston 14; the New York Giants 27, Buffalo 24; Pittsburgh 17, Jacksonville 13; Atlanta 31, Carolina 17; Cincinnati 27, Indianapolis 17; and Chicago 39, Minnesota 10.

On Monday night, Miami (0-4) is at the New York Jets (2-3).

Off this week were Arizona, Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Seattle and Tennessee.

49ers 25, Lions 19

At Detroit, Harbaugh, a first-year NFL coach who played at Michigan, and Schwartz had to be separated more than once after Schwartz came running and lunging toward Harbaugh as both teams were going to the tunnel.

"I went to congratulate coach Harbaugh and got shoved out of the way," Schwartz said. "I didn't expect an obscenity at that point. Obviously, when you win a game like that, you are excited, but there is a protocol that goes with this league."

The league said it would review the incident.

Alex Smith's fourth-down, 6-yard pass to Delanie Walker gave San Francisco the go-ahead touchdown with 1:51 left, then David Akers kicked a 37-yard field goal. He also had a 55-yarder to end the first half and the surging 49ers had five sacks of Matthew Stafford.

Raiders 24, Browns 17

At Oakland, Calif., as the Raiders (4-2) honored their late owner, Al Davis, Jacoby Ford returned a kickoff 101 yards and Kevin Boss caught a 35-yard touchdown pass on a fake field goal against Cleveland (2-3).

It was an emotional day with many old-time Raiders coming back to honor Davis, the man who had been the face of the franchise for nearly a half-century before dying Oct. 8 of an undisclosed illness at age 82. During a halftime ceremony, dozens of former players stood in a circle around the Raiders emblem at midfield. Super Bowl-winning coach John Madden lit a caldron on the plaza level in the corner of the stadium.

"I know he's looking down saying, 'Just win, baby,'" Raiders coach Hue Jackson said, echoing the owner's longtime motto. "That's what we did."

Eagles 20, Redskins 13

At Landover, Md., Philadelphia snapped a four-game losing streak as the defense finally came up with some big plays, mainly Kurt Coleman's three interceptions of Rex Grossman. Michael Vick threw for 237 yards and a touchdown.

The Eagles (2-4) beat the Redskins (3-2) for the 10th time in 12 tries at Washington as LeSean McCoy rushed for 126 yards and a score.

Grossman was benched after throwing his fourth interception late in the third quarter, and John Beck made his first appearance since 2007.

At Foxborough, Mass., Dallas fell victim to its own conservatism on offense and defense late in the game. Tom Brady threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Hernandez with 22 seconds left to cap an 80-yard drive for New England (5-1).

Dan Bailey's 26-yard field goal had broken a 13-all tie with 5:13 left. Each team ran one series, with the Cowboys (2-3) backing off on their possession while trying to protect their lead. Then Brady completed eight of nine passes for 78 yards.

Buccaneers 26, Saints 20

At Tampa, Fla., Josh Freeman threw for 303 yards and two touchdowns, and Earnest Graham rushed for 109 yards in place of injured starter LeGarrette Blount.

The win pulled the Bucs (4-2) into a first place tie with the Saints in the NFC South and snapped New Orleans' four-game winning streak.

The Saints had a chance to take the lead late, but Drew Brees was intercepted in the end zone. Brees became the first passer with four consecutive 350-yard games, but also threw three interceptions.

Ravens 29, Texans 14

At Baltimore, Billy Cundiff kicked five field goals and the Ravens (4-1) held Houston scoreless over the final 21 minutes. They limited Arian Foster, the 2010 rushing king, to 49 yards on 15 attempts.

Cundiff hit from 43, 48, 25, 33 and 40 yards to tie a Ravens record for field goals in a game. Anquan Boldin had eight catches for 132 yards against the Texans (3-3), who were without wide receiver Andre Johnson and linebacker Mario Williams.

Giants 27, Bills 24

At East Rutherford, N.J., Ahmad Bradshaw ran for a career-best three touchdowns and 104 yards, Lawrence Tynes kicked a 23-yard field goal with 1:32 remaining and the Giants (4-2) rebounded from a bad home loss to Seattle with a win over Buffalo (4-2).

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw TD passes of 60 yards to Naaman Roosevelt and 9 yards to Stevie Johnson, but his final attempt was batted down by Jason Pierre-Paul. Fitzpatrick also was intercepted twice by Corey Webster, the last starting the series that led to the winning kick.

Steelers 17, Jaguars 13

At Pittsburgh, Rashard Mendenhall ran for 146 yards and a touchdown, and Ben Roethlisberger passed for a score for the Steelers (4-2).

Maurice Jones-Drew rushed for 96 yards for the Jaguars (1-5), who have dropped five straight to match the franchise's longest losing streak in a decade.

Falcons 31, Panthers 17

At Atlanta, Michael Turner ran for 139 yards and two touchdowns for the Falcons.

Cam Newton, who grew up just a few miles south of the Georgia Dome, threw for 237 yards and ran for a 14-yard touchdown that put the Panthers (1-5) ahead 17-14 heading to the final quarter.

But the Falcons (3-3) responded with Matt Bryant's field goal and Matt Ryan's 1-yard sneak. Then Newton's screen pass was picked off by Corey Peters, a 305-pound defensive tackle.

Bengals 27, Colts 17

At Cincinnati, Nate Clements blocked a late field goal try that would have tied the game, and Carlos Dunlap returned a fumble 35 yards for the clinching score.

The Bengals (4-2) matched their victory total from last season and ended a seven-game losing streak against the Colts, who had never lost to Cincinnati with Peyton Manning at quarterback. Manning was on the sideline again Sunday, watching helplessly as the Colts fell to 0-6 for the fifth time in franchise history.

Bears 39, Vikings 10

At Chicago, Devin Hester set the tone with a 48-yard touchdown catch and scored on a career-best 98-yard kickoff return before leaving with a chest injury.

Jay Cutler threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Julius Peppers had two sacks, and the Bears (3-3) held Vikings star Adrian Peterson to 39 yards rushing.

That 48-yard TD pass from Cutler on Chicago's first possession got the Bears started quickly as they grabbed a 26-3 halftime lead. Hester's kickoff return early in the third quarter erased any chance the Vikings (1-5) had at a comeback.

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