Saints give Rams first one on chin

Posted: Monday, October 29, 2001

ST. LOUIS -- One of Kurt Warner's worst games doomed the NFL's last unbeaten team.

The St. Louis Rams quarterback threw four interceptions, helping the New Orleans Saints recover from an 18-point deficit for a wild 34-31 victory Sunday. It was Warner's first career loss at home after 16 victories.

John Carney's 27-yard field goal with 1 second left dropped the Rams to 6-1. Joe Horn had two TD receptions and Sammy Knight had two interceptions for the Saints (4-2).

New Orleans scored 25 points in the third quarter to erase a 24-6 halftime deficit. The Rams, who had seven turnovers, did not allow a point in the third quarter in their first six games.

After blowing the big lead, the Rams nearly overcame all their mistakes. Warner led St. Louis on a 12-play, 87-yard drive, capped by an 8-yard touchdown pass to Torry Holt, tying the game at 31 with 7:20 left.

But Trung Canidate fumbled, and Chris Oldham's 43-yard return to the Rams 36 with four minutes left set up Carney's game-winner.

Bears 37, 49ers 31, OT

CHICAGO -- Mike Brown picked off a pass intended for Terrell Owens in overtime and returned it 33 yards for the winning score Sunday as Chicago (5-1) rallied from a 19-point deficit.

Rookie David Terrell caught two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, and fellow rookie Anthony Thomas rushed for another score and a key 2-point conversion as the Bears won their fifth straight.

Thomas had 127 yards, his second straight 100-yard game. Shane Matthews, who replaced injured quarterback Jim Miller in the second quarter, was 25-of-31 for 166 yards.

The Bears' stunning victory spoiled a huge day for Garrison Hearst, who scored his first touchdown since December 1998. Hearst missed the last two seasons with an ankle injury.

Jeff Garcia was 21-for-29, but it was his last throw to Owens that cost the 49ers (4-2) the game. Owens burned Chicago for an NFL-record 20 catches in a 17-0 win last season.

Chargers 27, Bills 24

SAN DIEGO -- Doug Flutie scored on a 13-yard dash with 1:10 remaining to lift San Diego against his former team.

The game wouldn't be decided until Ed Ellis blocked Jake Arians' 44-yard field goal attempt with 7 seconds left, but it was Flutie's play that kept Buffalo from giving its owner the win he so badly wanted against a Chargers team loaded with ex-Bills.

After the Bills went ahead 24-20 on rookie Travis Henry's 3-yard run, Ronney Jenkins returned the kickoff 72 yards.

On the first play from scrimmage, Flutie dropped back to pass but the pocket began to collapse. Phil Hansen got a hand on Flutie's leg, but he broke free and scrambled toward the end zone, diving in for the go-ahead score.

The Chargers are 5-2, the Bills 1-5.

Flutie also threw one touchdown pass, finishing 21-of-33 for 254 yards and no interceptions. Rob Johnson, knocked out of the game briefly in the third quarter and then staggered on a hit by Orlando Ruff in the fourth quarter, was 24 of 37 for 310 yards and one TD, with one interception.

Ravens 18, Jaguars 17

BALTIMORE -- Veteran Randall Cunningham and rookie Jason Brookins sparked a fourth-quarter rally that lifted Baltimore.

The Ravens trailed 17-6 before Brookins ran in from the 2 and Cunningham threw a disputed 2-yard touchdown pass to Qadry Ismail to save the Super Bowl champions from dipping below .500 for the first time since 1999.

Starting in place of the injured Elvis Grbac, Cunningham went 23-for-31 for 222 yards to help the Ravens (4-3) snap a two-game losing streak.

Jimmy Smith caught seven catches for 119 yards and a TD -- his sixth 100-yard game against Baltimore -- and Keenan McCardell had 10 catches for 118 yards for Jacksonville (2-4), which has lost four straight.

Raiders 20, Eagles 10

PHILADELPHIA -- Charlie Garner ran for 77 yards and one touchdown, and Oakland's defense held Philadelphia to just 11 first downs and 195 yards.

The Raiders (5-1) gained 354 yards and held the ball for an amazing 40:09. The Eagles (3-3) were 0-for-10 on third down before finally converting with 4:46 left in the game.

Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb was just 12-of-27 for 133 yards.

Garner, who played for Philadelphia for four seasons, gave the Raiders a 7-0 lead on a 2-yard touchdown run with 28 seconds left in the first quarter. The run capped a 15-play, 80-yard drive that took 7:33.

Sebastian Janikowski's 44-yard field goal with 1:14 left in the first half made it 10-0. Oakland took complete control when Zack Crockett ran in from the 1 to make it 17-3 in the third quarter.

Bucs 41, Vikings 14

TAMPA, Fla. -- Mike Alstott, starting for an injured Warrick Dunn, ran for 129 yards and three touchdowns, and Brad Johnson threw for 214 yards and two TDs as Tampa Bay (3-3) stopped a two-game losing streak.

The Bucs scored on seven straight possessions while holding Minnesota (3-4) without a first down until Cris Carter's 40-yard reception five minutes into the second half.

Johnson, sacked 10 times in a loss to Pittsburgh last week, completed 18 of 25 passes. Aaron Stecker scored his first NFL touchdown on a 35-yard pass play.

The Bucs played the second half without Keyshawn Johnson, who left with a right knee bruise.

Randy Moss was held to three catches for 49 yards, and Carter finished with four receptions for 51 yards.

Bengals 31, Lions 27

PONTIAC, Mich. -- Corey Dillon scored three touchdowns, including a 96-yard run on the first play, and accounted for 202 yards as Cincinnati (4-3) kept Detroit (0-6) as the NFL's lone winless team.

The Bengals are off to their best start since 1990, the last time they had a winning record and made the playoffs. They won on the road for the first time this year and for just the fourth time in three seasons.

Dillon ran for 184 yards on 27 carries and caught three passes for 18 yards. His 96-yard jaunt was the longest in team history.

The Lions are off to their worst start since 1955.

Jets 13, Panthers 12

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Jets, who had a league-low three turnovers in their first six games, had four and got their only touchdown on Chris Hayes' 7-yard return of a blocked punt. They still managed to extend Carolina's losing streak to six games.

John Hall's second field goal with 4:53 left, won it. Hayes returned a blocked punt by Jamie Henderson in the first quarter for New York (4-3).

Facing the league's worst defense, Carolina (1-6) failed to move the ball or fully capitalize on New York's turnovers. The Panthers totaled just 162 yards of offense, 92 on the ground against the league's worst run defense.

Rashard Anderson picked up Richie Anderson's fumble and returned it 94 yards for the longest fumble return in Carolina history, but John Kasay's extra point attempt hit the right upright.

Redskins 35, Giants 21

LANDOVER, Md. -- Washington pulled away in the third quarter when Kevin Lockett, lined up wide left, took a lateral and found Derrius Thompson wide open for a 31-yard touchdown pass.

Eric Metcalf, who was signed Wednesday and sat out last year, made a superb against-the-grain cut at midfield on an 85-yard punt return to put the Redskins ahead 14-0 in the first quarter. It was his 10th punt return for a touchdown, extending his NFL record.

Redskins quarterback Tony Banks completed 11 of 19 passes for 190 yards and two touchdowns.

Washington has won two in a row after starting 0-5 and is only one game behind defending conference champion New York (3-4) in the NFC East.

New York's Michael Strahan had two sacks to set an NFL record for most sacks (12 1/2) over a five-game span.

Broncos 31, Patriots 20

DENVER -- New England's Tom Brady, a model of accuracy in four previous starts, threw four fourth-quarter interceptions.

Rod Smith caught six passes for 159 yards and a touchdown, and Denard Walker and Deltha O'Neal each had two interceptions for the Broncos (4-3), who have won 12 of 14 against the Patriots (3-4).

Walker returned his second interception 39 yards for the clinching score with 2:24 remaining. Brady, filling in for the injured Drew Bledsoe, had thrown 162 career passes without being picked off before losing touch with his receivers in the final 15 minutes.

Denver quarterback Brian Griese threw two interceptions, but he also had touchdown passes to Smith and Dwayne Carswell that helped the Broncos overcome a 10-point deficit in the third quarter. Griese finished 19-of-30 for 283 yards.

Brady, Griese's backup at Michigan in 1997, was 25-of-38 for 203 yards.

Dolphins 24, Seahawks 20

SEATTLE -- Jay Fiedler passed to James McKnight for a 39-yard touchdown with 6:16 left to lead Miami. Fiedler was intercepted twice by Willie Williams in the opening quarter, but he beat the veteran cornerback on the winning TD pass.

The Dolphins (4-2) regained the lead after the Seahawks (3-3) went ahead 20-17 on a 42-yard field goal by Rian Lindell in the final period.

The defense had to overcome the Dolphins' fourth turnover of the game, when McKnight fumbled after catching a pass near the sideline, and the Seahawks' Reggie Tongue returned the ball 21 yards to the Miami 23 with 3:34 left. But Seattle was stopped at the 10 and Lindell missed a 28-yard field goal with 1:56 left.

Matt Hasselbeck, returning as Seattle's starting quarterback after missing two starts because of a groin pull, rallied the Seahawks to a pair of touchdowns in the final 3:18 of the first half for a 14-10 lead.

After Seattle went three-and-out on its first two possessions in the second quarter, fans at Husky Stadium began chanting ''Dilfer, Dilfer, Dilfer,'' calling on coach Mike Holmgren to go back to Trent Dilfer as the Seahawks' quarterback.

Cowboys 17, Cardinals 3

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas forced Jake Plummer into a series of mistakes, including an interception that Dexter Coakley returned 10 yards for a touchdown.

The Cowboys (2-4) have a two-game winning streak for the first time since opening the 1999 season with three straight. Arizona (2-4) lost its 12th straight regular-season game at Texas Stadium.

Dallas quarterback Clint Stoerner, who went to training camp fourth on the depth chart, was 9-of-18 for 93 yards and ran seven times for 23 yards, including a 6-yard touchdown.

Plummer, who hadn't been picked off in two games, was intercepted twice and ended the final three drives with incompletions on fourth downs. He was 25-of-42 for 233 yards, with David Boston catching nine passes for 108 yards.

The game was still well within reach when Plummer, who has mounted 13 fourth-quarter comebacks, faced fourth-and-goal from the Dallas 4 with 11:17 left. But cornerback Duane Hawthorne, who had the first interception, tipped away a pass in the end zone.

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