|Not long after linebacker Brian Urlacher made this third-quarter interception of Brett Favre, the Bears started their rally by driving for a touchdown. (ALLEN FREDRICKSON/REUTERS)|
Turnovers plague Packers
Favre founders in second half to spark Chicago's comeback
The Green Bay Packers coughed up five turnovers and their chance to remain undefeated, blowing a second-half lead and handing a 27-20 victory to the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field last night.
Bears quarterback Brian Griese threw a go-ahead touchdown pass to tight end Desmond Clark with 2:05 left. Brett Favre drove the Packers to the Bears' 31 and the Packers called their final timeout with 13 seconds remaining, but Favre threw an incomplete pass and an interception to safety Brandon McGowan in the end zone to end the game.
Favre had marched the Packers (4-1) up and down the field in the first half, shredding a Chicago defense that continued to look nothing like the unit that led the Bears (2-3) to the Super Bowl last season.
But the old Favre appeared late in the third quarter, when he threw a head-scratching interception to linebacker Brian Urlacher that let Chicago back into the game.
Griese made the Packers pay right away, throwing a 19-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Greg Olsen to cut the Packers' lead to 20-17 with 4:19 left in the third quarter.
Green Bay held Chicago on its next possession, but the Packers' Charles Woodson fumbled on a punt return to give the ball back to the Bears at the Green Bay 41. Chicago drove for a tying 36-yard field goal by Robbie Gould with 14:13 remaining.
The teams traded defensive stops deep into the fourth quarter. After a 7-yard run by Cedric Benson, the Bears faced third and 2 at the Packers' 34. Griese faked a handoff and threw down the seam to Clark, who had broken free from safety Nick Collins and linebacker Brady Poppinga and raced to the end zone, giving the Bears a 27-20 lead.
Steelers 21, Seahawks 0
Ben Roethlisberger, scrambling and improvising without his usual receivers, led three successive lengthy touchdown drives highlighted by Najeh Davenport's runs, and Pittsburgh's undermanned defense dominated visiting Seattle.
Roethlisberger bounced back from a two-interception performance last week to complete 13 consecutive passes. It was an impressive display of creativity given starting receivers Hines Ward (knee) and Santonio Holmes (hamstring) didn't play. The Steelers' record is 15 completions in a row by Bubby Brister in 1989.
Roethlisberger finished 18 of 22 for 206 yards and a touchdown.
With Pittsburgh star Willie Parker held to 17 yards on his first 10 carries before he found a rhythm, the Steelers (4-1) punted on their first four possessions. They didn't get anything going until Davenport ran for 45 yards to the Seahawks 20' late in the second quarter of a scoreless game. Roethlisberger found tight end Heath Miller for 13 yards and a touchdown with slightly less than two minutes left in the half.
Matt Hasselbeck scuffled for Seattle (3-2), going 13 of 27 for 116 yards and losing top receiver Deion Branch to a sprained right foot in the second quarter.
Texans 22, Dolphins 19
Kris Brown kicked five field goals, including the winner on a career-long 57-yarder with one second remaining, to lead host Houston and send Miami to its eighth straight defeat.
Brown tied an NFL single-game record with three makes over 50 yards. He also hit two 54-yarders to go with field goals from 43 and 20 yards.
The Dolphins (0-5) are off to their worst start since losing the first six to open the 2004 season. Things could get worse after quarterback Trent Green suffered a concussion trying to block. He was taken to a hospital for observation but returned to the stadium after the game.
The Texans (3-2) got the ball at their 3-yard line and Matt Schaub completed 4 of 5 passes to set up the winning kick. Schaub was 20 of 34 for 294 yards.
Cardinals 34, Rams 31
Kurt Warner produced three touchdown drives, one in his typical relief role and two more after Matt Leinart was sidelined by a broken collarbone, and Rod Hood returned an off-target pass by Gus Frerotte 68 yards for an easy go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter of Arizona's win in St. Louis.
Warner and Edgerrin James scored controversial touchdowns on short runs, helping the Cardinals (3-2) win for the third straight season in their former home base.
Frerotte made his first start since the end of 2005 in place of Marc Bulger, who has two broken ribs, and threw three touchdown passes for the Rams (0-5). But Frerotte also threw three interceptions and his gaffe on a pass intended for Randy McMichael led to Hood's clear-sailing jaunt with 13:47 to go. Another pick, by Al Wilson, led to Warner's clinching 7-yard touchdown pass to Larry Fitzgerald with 3:11 to play.
Redskins 34, Lions 3
With Washington's No. 1 receiver out and No. 2 receiver gone by halftime, Jason Campbell turned to fullback Mike Sellers, who caught a touchdown pass, ran for another, and helped the host Redskins (3-1) keep Detroit's top-ranked passing offense off the field.
Campbell relied heavily on short passes to go 23 of 29 for 248 yards, with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Santana Moss missed the game with a groin injury and Antwaan Randle El had seven catches for 100 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury just before halftime. So Campbell relied on Sellers, who had touched the ball just nine times all season, and Chris Cooley, who caught a TD pass.
Detroit (3-2) had been averaging 28.5 points and 387.3 yards per game, but generated only a field goal and 144 total yards against a Washington defense that had five sacks, one by Andre Carter for a safety.
Panthers 16, Saints 13
John Kasay made a 52-yard field goal as time expired, giving Carolina (3-2) a satisfying win in New Orleans one week after a lopsided home loss to Tampa Bay.
The Saints (0-4) showed some life on offense, but Olindo Mare missed two field goals in the fourth quarter. Mare had a 20-yard field goal blocked early, and shortly before the 2-minute warning, Mare missed from 54 yards with a chance to give the Saints the lead.
Jaguars 17, Chiefs 7
Maurice Jones-Drew sped 52 yards for Jacksonville's first touchdown, David Garrard threw for a fourth-quarter score, and the Jaguars (3-1) nearly dealt Kansas City its first home shutout since 1994.
The Chiefs (2-3) were held to a shocking 10 yards rushing - the second fewest in franchise history - and Damon Huard suffered a bruised right shoulder while throwing an interception late in the fourth quarter. Backup Brodie Croyle threw for a TD on the last play as Kansas City picked up 70 of its 271 yards on the meaningless final drive.
Titans 20, Falcons 13
Vince Young threw three interceptions as Tennessee committed five turnovers, but the host Titans (3-1) still continued their best start since 2003 thanks to an opportunistic defense.
Vincent Fuller returned an interception 76 yards for a touchdown, and Kyle Vanden Bosch sacked Byron Leftwich on fourth down with 1:01 left to finish off Atlanta (1-4).
Ravens 9, 49ers 7
While Baltimore's defense was at its best, Matt Stover made up for the Ravens' offensive ineptitude in San Francisco with three field goals.
Baltimore (3-2) failed to get into the end zone despite holding a 315-163 advantage in total yards. The 49ers (2-3) missed a chance to go ahead when Joe Nedney's 52-yard field goal attempt with 2:37 to play was wide right.