By The Associated Press
Shocking wins have become a matter of course in St. Louis.
A few days after the Cardinals stunned Texas to win the World Series, the Rams pulled off their own surprise, grabbing their first victory this season by upsetting New Orleans 31-21. The decisive win left the NFL with two winless teams, Miami and Indianapolis.
Inspired by their baseball brethren, whose championship was celebrated with a parade later Sunday, the Rams (1-6) got a huge game from Steven Jackson. Cardinals manager Tony La Russa donned a Sam Bradford jersey and Game 7 winner Chris Carpenter went out for the coin toss wearing a Jackson jersey.
Jackson scored two touchdowns and had his first 100-yard rushing game in three seasons, gaining 159 yards on 25 carries, including a 32-yard jaunt on fourth-and-2 to set up his second touchdown that made it 24-0 in the third quarter.
“I think the Cardinals being here was great for the city,” Jackson said. “Whoever showed up today, regardless if the place was empty, today was the day.
“We came out with a mindset we were going to fight.”
Drew Brees barely kept alive his touchdown pass streak in the final seconds a week after throwing five TDs in a 62-7 rout of the Colts. Brees was intercepted twice, with Darian Stewart’s pick and 27-yard return putting the game away with 2:51 to go.
The NFC South-leading Saints (5-3) average an NFL-best 35 points but never got going against a defense ranked near the bottom of the league. The Rams had a season-high six sacks after entering the game with just 11.
Miami led for much of its visit to the New Jersey Meadowlands before the Giants came back for a 20-17 victory, dropping the Dolphins to 0-7.
Indianapolis has gone the Dolphins one better, uh, worse, and is 0-8 after falling at Tennessee 27-10.
Also Sunday, it was Pittsburgh 25, New England 17; Baltimore 30, Arizona 27; Houston 24, Jacksonville 14; Philadelphia 34, Dallas 7; Buffalo 23, Washington 0; San Francisco 20, Cleveland 10; Detroit 45, Denver 10; Cincinnati 34, Seattle 12; and Minnesota 24, Carolina 21.
San Diego is at Kansas City on Monday night.
Off this week were Green Bay, Tampa Bay, Chicago, Atlanta, Oakland and the New York Jets.
Giants 20, Dolphins 17
Miami held a 14-3 lead and was in front until 5:58 to play, when Eli Manning threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Victor Cruz. Manning hit 31 of 45 passes for 345 yards and two touchdowns in rallying the Giants. Mario Manningham caught the other touchdown, a 7-yard play that got New York (5-2) back into the game late in the first half.
Lawrence Tynes kicked two short field goals, and New York’s defense got four sacks on the Dolphins’ final two drives. Corey Webster iced it with his third interception in the last two games.
Steve Slaton and Matt Moore (13 of 22 for 138) capped the Dolphins’ first two drives with 1-yard runs.
“It’s the same story all year,” said Brandon Marshall, who had four catches for 55 yards. “We have some good players in this room. Why we can’t put it together, I really don’t know.”
Titans 27, Colts 10
At Nashville, Matt Hasselbeck threw for 224 yards and a touchdown, and Nate Washington scored twice. Rob Bironas kicked field goals of 51 and 50 yards, and Jason McCourty recovered a blocked punt in the end zone as the Titans (4-3) snapped a two-game skid.
Curtis Painter was sacked twice and threw two interceptions, which were turned into touchdowns by the Titans in their first win over the Colts since Oct. 27, 2008.
The Colts trailed 20-0 by halftime coming off a 62-7 loss to the New Orleans Saints. The Colts outgained Tennessee 399-311, but couldn’t overcome 10 penalties for 66 yards.
“Penalties overall in the first half, I think we had eight in the first half or something like that, which is highly uncharacteristic of us,” Indianapolis coach Jim Caldwell said. “You couple that with a couple turnovers, and it’s a tough day.”
Steelers 25, Patriots 17
At Pittsburgh, the Steelers found a way to control Tom Brady — keep the ball away from him and the Patriots (5-2).
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 365 yards and two touchdowns, completing 36 of 50 passes on a series of clock-chewing drives, effectively keeping Brady and the NFL’s top-ranked offense off the field. Pittsburgh (6-2) held the ball for more than 39 minutes and survived a late rally to win its fourth straight following a 2-2 start.
Brady passed for two touchdowns but threw for a season-low 198 yards and couldn’t get into any sort of rhythm while losing to the Steelers for just the second time in his career against six wins.
“It’s been all Tom Brady versus the Pittsburgh Steelers and looking back on the past, how he’s owned the Pittsburgh Steelers, and I think everybody forgot about our offense a little bit and the things they’ve been doing out there,” Pittsburgh linebacker LaMarr Woodley said. “I think they took that a little personal.”
Brady hit Aaron Hernandez for a 1-yard touchdown pass with 2:35 remaining, but a last-gasp drive ended when Brady was sacked and Troy Polamalu slapped the ball through the end zone for a safety with 8 seconds to play.
Ravens 30, Cardinals 27
At Baltimore, the Ravens staged their biggest comeback victory.
Billy Cundiff kicked a 25-yard field goal as time expired after Ray Rice scored a career-high three touchdowns. Baltimore (5-2) went on a 24-point run and moved in front 27-24 when Rice scored his third touchdown on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
Arizona (1-6) pulled even with a 45-yard field goal by Jay Feely with 8:55 left, but the Ravens won it with a 37-yard, beat-the-clock drive in the final minute.
Using a fumble recovery and an 82-yard punt return by Patrick Peterson, Arizona scored three touchdowns during a five-minute span of the second quarter to take a 24-3 lead.
Texans 24, Jaguars 14
At Houston, Arian Foster rushed for 112 yards and a touchdown, and Houston shut down the NFL’s worst offense.
Matt Schaub threw a TD pass and ran for another score for Houston (5-3), off to its best eight-game start. The Texans also took one more step toward the franchise’s first division title and playoff berth by improving to 3-0 in the AFC South.
The Jaguars (2-6) couldn’t carry momentum from their surprising 12-7 win over Baltimore on Monday night. Maurice Jones-Drew scored with 5:15 left, but the Texans used nearly the rest of regulation to set up Neil Rackers’ 39-yard field goal.
Eagles 34, Cowboys 7
At Philadelphia, Michael Vick threw two touchdown passes, LeSean McCoy had a career-best 185 yards rushing and two scores and Philadelphia routed Dallas.
The Eagles (3-4) dominated right from the start, improved to 13-0 after a bye under coach Andy Reid and snapped a five-game losing streak at Lincoln Financial Field that dated to last season.
The Eagles racked up 495 total yards and held the ball for 42:09. They thoroughly outplayed a defense that came in ranked seventh in the NFL.
DeMarcus Ware was one of the few players who played well for Dallas (3-4). He had four sacks, and has 12 this season.
Coming off a 253-yard rushing performance in a win over St. Louis, Cowboys rookie DeMarco Murray was held to 74 yards on only eight carries.
Bills 23, Redskins 0
In their annual visit to Toronto for a home game, the Bills got nine sacks and Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes to Scott Chandler.
Fred Jackson had 120 yards rushing and 74 receiving in helping the Bills (5-2) get off to their first 4-0 start at “home” since 1995.
“This was definitely the most exciting crowd we’ve had since we’ve played up here,” said safety George Wilson, who earlier this week criticized playing a home game in Rogers Centre. “It was definitely a lot better.”
The Redskins (3-4) have lost three straight and continue to unravel due to injuries.
“It’s pretty humbling to take that,” Washington coach Mike Shanahan said. “That’s as bad as I’ve ever been involved with from the offensive side.”
49ers 20, Browns 10
At San Francisco, the Niners (6-1) won their fifth in a row as they continued to romp in the NFC West. Frank Gore ran for both 125-plus yards and a touchdown in a fourth straight game and Michael Crabtree made his first TD reception of the season.
For Colt McCoy and the Browns (3-4), it’s 0-for the Bay Area. They lost two weeks ago in Oakland, then flopped across San Francisco Bay at Candlestick Park.
Gore already had 103 yards on 19 carries by halftime, then got the other 7 he needed to pass Roger Craig and move into second place on the franchise rushing list with 7,089. Gore wound up with 134 yards on 31 carries.
Lions 45, Broncos 10
At Denver, the Lions (6-2) sacked Tim Tebow seven times and turned his two turnovers into touchdowns. Cornerback Chris Houston had the fourth 100-yard interception return in team history and defensive end Cliff Avril got a sack, strip and scoop, rumbling 24 yards into the end zone with a fumble as part of Detroit’s 45-point run after the Broncos (2-5) had taken a 3-0 lead on their first drive.
Matthew Stafford hardly showed any ill effects from a sprained right ankle sustained a week earlier, completing 21 of 30 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Tebow was 18 for 39 for 172 yards.
Bengals 34, Seahawks 12
At Seattle, rookie Andy Dalton threw a pair of first-half touchdown passes and Brandon Tate returned a punt 56 yards for a score as Cincinnati improved to 5-2. Dalton tossed TDs of 14 yards to Jerome Simpson and a 43-yarder to rookie A.J. Green.
The victory made Marvin Lewis the winningest coach in Bengals history with 65 career victories.
Seattle (2-5) rushed for only 61 yards.
Vikings 24, Panthers 21
Ryan Longwell made his field goal, a 31-yarder with 2:43 left, and Carolina’s Olindo Mare missed from the same distance with 26 seconds to go.
In a matchup of rookie quarterbacks, Cam Newton put the host Panthers (2-6) in position with a 44-yard completion to Brandon LaFell on fourth-and-15, but Mare failed.
Adrian Peterson had 162 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns for the Vikings (2-6). Christian Ponder won the QB duel by completing 18 of 28 passes for 236 yards and one touchdown. But Newton threw a season-best three TD passes. He also fumbled twice, leading to a pair of Minnesota touchdowns in the first half.