Chiefs, Vikings at 5-0

Posted: Monday, October 06, 2003

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Dante Hall gave the Kansas City Chiefs plenty of happy returns again.

Hall switched directions three times on a record-tying 93-yard punt return with 8:20 left Sunday as the Chiefs rallied to beat the Denver Broncos 24-23 in a game that matched unbeaten AFC West rivals.

Hall extended his NFL record of returning a kick for a touchdown to four straight games, and equaled the season record for kick returns for scores.

The Chiefs are 5-0 for the first time, while the Broncos dropped to 4-1.

With the Chiefs trailing 23-17, the 5-foot-8 Hall put on a dazzling display of speed.

Just minutes after getting the wind knocked out of him on a 41-yard return, Hall took the punt on the 7 and went left, then right, turned and went backward before bearing left and racing to the end zone.

Hall began his streak with a 100-yard kickoff return against Pittsburgh, then had a 73-yard punt return against Houston and followed with a 97-yard kickoff return for a score against Baltimore.

Vikings 39, Falcons 26

ATLANTA Gus Frerotte filled in for the injured Daunte Culpepper again and threw a pair of touchdown passes to lead the Vikings.

Moe Williams ran for a pair of second-half touchdowns as the Vikings (5-0) outscored Atlanta 27-6 in the second half.

The Vikings haven't missed a beat with Frerotte as the starter, winning the last two games by a combined score of 74-33.

He completed 14 of 24 passes for 239 yards, including two throws that picked up more than 50 yards.

Bears 24, Raiders 21

CHICAGO Paul Edinger kicked a 48-yard field goal on the final play as the Bears rallied from an 18-3 halftime to win their first game.

The Raiders (2-3) got five field goals from Sebastian Janikowski, but he also missed the first extra point of his career and had a 47-yard attempt blocked in the second half.

Bills 22, Bengals 16, OT

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. Travis Henry's 2-yard plunge capped a five-play drive 4:53 into the extra period, lifting the Bills.

With Buffalo trailing 16-13, Drew Bledsoe marched the Bills 59 yards on 13 plays to set up Rian Lindell's 29-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining in regulation.

Patriots 38, Titans 30

FOXBORO, Mass. Mike Cloud returned from a four-game suspension for a substance-abuse violation and ran for a 15-yard TD with 3:14 left to give the Patriots the lead, then Ty Law clinched the win with a 65-yard interception return for a score.

Cowboys 24, Cardinals 7

IRVING, Texas Emmitt Smith sprained his left shoulder against his former teammates in the first half, then watched as the Cowboys won their third straight for the first time since 1999.

Dolphins 23, Giants 10

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Olindo Mare kicked three field goals and receiver James McKnight scored on a 68-yard reverse as the Dolphins took advantage of four New York turnovers and an injury to kicker Matt Bryant to win.

Ricky Williams, who was held in check until a game-clinching fourth-quarter drive, iced the third straight win for Miami (3-1) with a 1-yard touchdown run. He finished with 22 carries for 39 yards, his worst game as a Dolphin.

Packers 35, Seahawks 13

GREEN BAY, Wis. Brett Favre guided Green Bay on five consecutive touchdown drives to help the Packers beat their former coach, Mike Holmgren.

Panthers 19, Saints 13

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Relying on a steady dose of Stephen Davis, who ran for 159 yards and a touchdown, the Panthers moved to 4-0 for the first time.

Rod Smart aka ''He Hate Me'' had the flashiest play for the Panthers, returning a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. John Kasay added field goals of 49 and 23 yards.

It was a confidence-building game for the Panthers, who opened last season 3-0 before going on an eight-game losing streak. The injury-riddled Saints (1-4), down six starters on defense, lost their third consecutive game.

49ers 24, Lions 17

SAN FRANCISCO Terrell Owens caught five passes for 79 yards and a touchdown as the San Francisco 49ers spoiled Steve Mariucci's homecoming.

Jeff Garcia completed 15 of 27 passes for 192 yards and rushed for another score for the 49ers (2-3), who snapped a three-game losing streak with just enough offense to extend the Lions' road losing streak to 19 games.

Detroit (1-4) couldn't move the ball consistently in its fourth straight loss. Mariucci went 57-39 in six seasons with the 49ers, leading them to the NFC West title and the second round of the playoffs last season. But he was fired by owner John York in January.

Jaguars 27, Chargers 21

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. Byron Leftwich threw like a veteran and returning receiver Jimmy Smith played as though he hadn't missed a day as the Jaguars won their first game.

Smith, returning from a four-game suspension for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, caught eight passes for 137 yards, including a highlight-reel one-hander for 36 yards.

Leftwich threw for 336 yards and two scores in his second career start, including a 60-yard touchdown on a screen pass to Fred Taylor that gave the Jaguars a 27-14 lead late.

Eagles 27, Redskins 25

PHILADELPHIA Defensive end N.D. Kalu returned an interception 15 yards for the go-ahead TD and Brian Westbrook had a 19-yard TD run for the Eagles.

Washington (3-2) had a chance to tie it, but Patrick Ramsey overthrew Laveranues Coles on a 2-point conversion with 13 seconds left. Ramsey rallied Washington from an 11-point deficit in the final 3:10, connecting with Darnerien McCants on a 32-yard touchdown pass in the final seconds.

But under pressure from Brandon Whiting, Ramsey hurried his throw to Coles in the corner of the end zone. The Eagles (2-2) won for the first time at Lincoln Financial Field after opening the season with consecutive losses at their new stadium.

Browns 33, Steelers 13

PITTSBURGH Tim Couch threw for two touchdowns and ran for another before halftime as Cleveland ended a six-game losing streak to their biggest rivals.

The Browns (2-3) shook off the absence of the injured Kelly Holcomb and two tough losses in Pittsburgh a year ago to beat the Steelers (2-3) for only the third time in 16 games.

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