The Kansas City Chiefs’ quest for a perfect season has remained intact. And once again, the team has its defense to thank for it. Sean Smith came up with a tide-turning 100-yard interception return touchdown of Jeff Tuel in the third quarter, and Tamba Hali took a fumble back 11 yards for a go-ahead score in the fourth as the Chiefs rallied past the banged-up Buffalo Bills, 23-13, at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Ryan Succop kicked three critical field goals to help Kansas City (9-0) remain unbeaten despite being outgained by a 470-210 margin in total yards. Jamaal Charles added 90 yards on 17 carries in the victory. Tuel, making his first NFL start with quarterbacks E.J. Manuel and Thad Lewis both out with injuries, hit fellow rookie Marquis Goodwin for a 59-yard touchdown in the opening quarter but struggled thereafter against the fierce Kansas City defense. The undrafted free agent finished with 229 yards on 18- of-39 passing and threw a pair of costly interceptions, none bigger than Smith’s pick that tied the game at 10-10 after the Bills were on the verge of building a two-score lead. C.J. Spiller returned from a sprained ankle to rack up 116 yards on 12 attempts for Buffalo (3-6), with Fred Jackson totaling 77 yards on 16 rushes in the loss.
Final Score: Carolina 34, Atlanta 10
Cam Newton threw a touchdown pass and ran for another score in the Carolina Panthers’ 34-10 victory over the struggling Atlanta Falcons. Newton completed 23-of-37 passes for 249 yards and two interceptions for the Panthers (5-3), who have won four in a row. Greg Olsen caught four passes for 66 yards and a touchdown for Carolina, which now trails New Orleans by one game for first place in the NFC South after the Saints lost to the Jets on Sunday. Matt Ryan connected on 20-of-27 passes for 219 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions for the Falcons (2-6), who fell to 0-4 on the road this season. Tony Gonzalez caught six passes for 81 yards and a score for Atlanta, which has lost two in a row. Steven Jackson carried the ball 13 times for 57 yards.
Final Score: Dallas 27, Minnesota 23
Dwayne Harris’ 7-yard touchdown catch with 35 seconds to play helped the Dallas Cowboys survive a scare from the Minnesota Vikings with a 27-23 win at AT&T Stadium. Tony Romo passed for 337 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while going 34-for-51, while Jason Witten caught eight passes for 102 yards and a score for the Cowboys (5-4), who bounced back from last week’s one-point loss in Detroit. Cole Beasley had six catches for 68 yards and Dez Bryant caught six passes for 64 yards for Dallas, which still holds a one-game lead over Philadelphia for first place in the NFC East. Christian Ponder went 25-for-37 for 236 yards with one touchdown and one interception, while also adding a score on the ground for the Vikings (1-7), who have lost their past four games. Adrian Peterson carried the ball 25 times for 140 yards and a score, adding three catches for 37 yards.
Final Score: NY Jets 26, New Orleans 20
Chris Ivory gashed his old team for 139 rushing yards with a touchdown and Nick Folk continued his perfect season with four field goals, as the New York Jets earned a 26-20 win over New Orleans to hand the Saints just their second loss of the season. Ivory spent his first three NFL seasons with the Saints and joined the Jets in an April trade. He broke off runs of 52, 30 and 27 yards, and led a Jets rushing attack that compiled 198 yards. Geno Smith also ran for a score and threw for 115 yards on 8-of-19 passing for New York (5-4), which will head into its bye week with a winning record. The Jets were coming off an ugly 49-9 loss at Cincinnati last week and have not lost two in a row this season. Drew Brees threw for 382 yards with a pair of touchdowns, but was also picked off twice in defeat. He was without the inactive wide receiver Marques Colston because of a knee injury and lost electric running back Darren Sproles to a concussion early in the first quarter.
Final Score: Tennessee 28, St. Louis 21
Chris Johnson’s 19-yard touchdown run, which came on the first play following a Kellen Clemens turnover late in the fourth quarter, sent the Tennessee Titans over the St. Louis Rams, 28-21, in Week 9 action. Johnson finished with a game-high 150 yards and two scores on 23 carries for the Titans (4-4), who snapped a three-game slide. Jake Locker was picked off twice, but completed 13-of-22 passes for 185 yards and also ran for a fourth-quarter TD in the victory. Shonn Greene added 38 yards and a first-quarter score on nine totes. Clemens passed for 210 yards and a touchdown on 20-of-35 efficiency for the Rams (3-6), losers in three straight games.
Final Score: Washington 30, San Diego 24 (OT)
Darrel Young’s third touchdown run of the day served as the game-winner, as the Washington fullback surged into the end zone from four yards out on the first possession of overtime to send the Redskins to a 30-24 victory over the San Diego Chargers at FedEx Field. With the Chargers trailing by three with under a minute remaining in regulation, Danny Woodhead dove toward the right pylon at the end of a 6-yard grab and was awarded a touchdown on the field. However, video review showed Woodhead was knocked out just short of the goal line, leaving San Diego with 1st-and-goal from the 1-yard line with 21 seconds remaining. Washington’s defense came up with a big stand, stuffing Woodhead for no gain on first down before back-to- back incompletions from Philip Rivers forced San Diego to settle for a 19-yard field goal from Nick Novak that sent the game to overtime. The Redskins received the opening kickoff in the extra session and quickly went to work, as Alfred Morris broke free for 19 yards into San Diego territory before Robert Griffin III converted a 3rd-and-8 with a 12-yard toss to tight end Jordan Reed. A personal foul penalty at the end of Pierre Garcon’s 17-yard grab two plays later moved the Redskins to the 13-yard line before back-to-back Morris runs left Washington with 3rd-and-1 from the 4. Young then rumbled into the end zone on Washington’s next play to give the Redskins (3-5) their second win in three tries.
Final Score: Philadelphia 49, Oakland 20
Nick Foles returned under center for the first time in two weeks, and enjoyed his finest day as a professional. The Arizona product shook off the effects of a concussion and tied an NFL record by throwing seven touchdown passes, including four in the first half, en route to a career-high 406 yards on 22-of-28 completions in Philadelphia’s 49-20 rout of Oakland in an inter-conference clash. Foles joined Joe Kapp, Sid Luckman, George Blanda, Y.A. Tittle, Peyton Manning and former Eagles QB Adrian Burk for the honor. Riley Cooper benefitted most from Foles’ hot streak, collecting career-bests of 139 yards and three TDs on five receptions for the Eagles (4-5), who set an all-time team record for points in a road game against their Sunday foes after coming up with 10 total points in consecutive division losses to the Cowboys and Giants. DeSean Jackson led all players with 150 yards and a score on five catches, while Zach Ertz, LeSean McCoy and Brent Celek also notched a TD grab each. Terrelle Pryor was 22-of-41 for 288 yards and a pair of interceptions before bowing out late with a knee injury for the Raiders (3-5), who surrendered the most points in one contest since a 55-20 drubbing at the hands of the Ravens on Nov. 11, 2012. Matt McGloin ended up 7-of-15 for 87 yards in relief. Oakland’s scoring consisted of two Sebastian Janikowski field goals along with an 8-yard TD run from Rashad Jennings and a late 2-yard score by Jeremy Stewart. Jennings wound up with 102 yards on 15 carries and 74 yards on seven catches.
Final Score: Cleveland 24, Baltimore 18
Jason Campbell had three touchdown passes as the Cleveland Browns snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Baltimore Ravens with a 24-18 victory on Sunday. Campbell was an efficient 23-for-35 for 262 yards, with Davone Bess catching two scores and Gary Barnidge hauling in the other for the Browns (4-5), whose last win against the Ravens came on Nov. 18, 2007. Greg Little caught seven passes for 122 yards to help Cleveland snap a three-game losing streak. Joe Flacco threw for 250 yards with two touchdowns and an interception on 24-of-41 passing for the Ravens (3-5), who have lost their past three games. Flacco also led the ground game for the team, gaining 25 yards on three carries.
Final Score: New England 55, Pittsburgh 31
Tom Brady snapped out of a recent funk in a big way, amassing 432 passing yards and four touchdowns to lead the New England Patriots to a 55-31 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Gillette Stadium. Coming off a four-game stretch in which he managed just two touchdowns and tossed four interceptions, Brady completed 23-of-33 attempts in directing a Patriots offense that piled up a season-best 610 total yards and produced the highest point total the Steelers have ever allowed in a single game. Three New England receivers each eclipsed the 100-yard mark to help the Patriots (7-2) move to 5-0 at home this season. Rob Gronkowski garnered a career-high nine receptions for 143 yards and a touchdown, Aaron Dobson had two scores on a five-catch, 130-yard effort and Danny Amendola totaled 122 yards and a touchdown on four grabs. Stevan Ridley added a pair of rushing touchdowns while compiling 115 yards on 26 carries. Ben Roethlisberger had a big day as well for the struggling Steelers (2-6), throwing for 400 yards and four touchdowns on 28-of-48 passing with two interceptions. Jerricho Cotchery was on the receiving end of three of those scores while making seven catches for 96 yards, and Emmanuel Sanders finished with 98 yards on six receptions.
Final Score: Indianapolis 27, Houston 24
What was supposed to be a close race in the AFC South has been anything but. The Houston Texans, though, have more important issues to worry about. Andrew Luck tossed three touchdown passes to T.Y. Hilton in the second half as the Indianapolis Colts overcame an 18- point hole at the break to down the Texans, 27-24, on Sunday night. Houston head coach Gary Kubiak collapsed during halftime while running off the field and into the locker room. He was carted off the field on a stretcher and was taken to a local hospital. Kubiak fell to his knees around the 24-yard line near the Texans’ sideline. He attempted to sit up, but was unable to stay upright. Kubiak is conscious and his family is with him in the hospital. Luck flipped a 9-yard TD pass to Hilton in the right flat with 4:05 left in the fourth and Coby Fleener hauled in the ensuing two-point conversion to give Indy a 27-24 lead.
The Texans then went three-and-out, but Houston got the ball back at its own 33-yard line with 44 seconds on the clock after the Colts punted three plays later. Case Keenum fired completions of 16 and 14 yards, respectively, before spiking the ball at the Indy 37. Randy Bullock, though, who missed two prior field goals, wasn’t close on the 55-yard boot as it hooked wide left as time expired. Luck was just 18-of-40 for 271 yards, while Hilton caught seven passes for 121 yards for the Colts (6-2), who hold a commanding four-game lead over the Texans and two-game spread over the Tennessee Titans for first place in the division. Indy played its first game without star receiver Reggie Wayne in 12 years. Wayne, who had made 189 consecutive starts, tore his right ACL in an Oct. 20 victory over the Denver Broncos. Andre Johnson had 190 yards and three scores in the first half to help the Texans build a 21-3 advantage, but tallied just 39 yards after the break for Houston (2-6), which has dropped six straight for the first time since 2005. Keenum was 20-of-34 for 350 yards and three touchdowns in his second career start.