Lions, Titans Break Droughts With Wins
BARRY WILNER, AP Pro Football Writer
The Detroit Lions knew nothing about success in Washington. Through 21 trips to the nation’s capital, they owned an 0-fer.
The Lions (2-1) ended a 21-game road losing streak against the Redskins, the second longest in NFL history. Detroit’s last win away from home in the series came in 1935 against the Boston Redskins, two years before the franchise’s move to Washington.
This one came as Matthew Stafford completed 25 of 42 passes for 385 yards with two touchdowns in a 27-20 triumph. Calvin Johnson and Nate Burleson both had 100 yards receiving for Detroit.
“You never know how the cookie’s going to crumble, and it feels good that it crumbled our way this time,” Detroit cornerback Rashean Mathis said. “I wasn’t a part of the past, but I am part of the future, so it feels good to give the fans something to feel good about, and we can demolish a record, our streak, that was going on for years and years and years.”
Another losing string was snapped by the Titans. Tennessee had fallen nine straight times to San Diego before Jake Locker connected with rookie Justin Hunter on a 34-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds left for a 20-17 win.
The last time the Titans beat the Chargers was 1992 when the team was still in Houston.
“We needed a win like this,” said Tennessee coach Mike Munchak, who was with the franchise when it was the Oilers and last beat San Diego.
Also Sunday, it was Indianapolis 27, San Francisco 7; Seattle 45, Jacksonville 27; Miami 27, Atlanta 23; Cincinnati 34, Green Bay 30; Baltimore 30, Houston 9; New Orleans 31, Arizona 7; Cleveland 31, Minnesota 27; New England 23, Tampa Bay 3; Chicago 40, Pittsburgh 23; Carolina 38, the New York Giants 0; Dallas 31, St. Louis 7; and the New York Jets 27, Buffalo 20.
On Monday night, Denver (2-0) hosts Oakland (1-1).
Week 3 began when Kansas City defeated Philadelphia 26-16 on Thursday night.
Lions 27, Redskins 20
Robert Griffin III and the defending NFC East champion Redskins fell to 0-3. Griffin completed 32 of 50 passes for 326 yards and had his fourth interception of the season, one shy of his 2012 total. The Redskins scored an offensive touchdown for the first time this season.
But they couldn’t do what every previous Washington team had done against Detroit.
“The food isn’t going to taste that good tonight,” said cornerback DeAngelo Hall, who had a 17-yard TD on an interception. “Still trying to wrap my head around what we can do to get better.”
Titans 20, Chargers 17
At Nashville, Locker ended the slide by completing seven passes to six receivers for 94 yards on the winning drive. He finished with 299 yards passing and ran for 68 yards. The Titans (2-1) outgained San Diego 452-277 yards, with Nate Washington catching eight passes for 131 yards. Chris Johnson ran 19 times for 90 yards.
San Diego (1-2) led most of the game despite having four starters out because of injuries and losing a fifth to an injured foot in the first half.
Colts 27, 49ers 7
At San Francisco, Andrew Luck beat college coach Jim Harbaugh. Trent Richardson scored a 1-yard touchdown on his first carry in his Colts debut after being acquired on Wednesday from the Browns. He was drafted two spots behind Luck at No. 3 last year.
Ahmad Bradshaw added a 1-yard TD run in the final minutes, and Adam Vinatieri kicked two field goals for Indianapolis (2-1).
It was Colin Kaepernick’s first home loss at Candlestick Park as a starter. San Francisco (1-2) struggled to establish a passing game with tight end Vernon Davis sidelined by a hamstring injury.
Linebacker Aldon Smith will miss Thursday night’s game at St. Louis and perhaps sit out longer, according to 49ers CEO Jed York. Smith, who played Sunday, will seek treatment following his arrest Friday for suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana possession. After the loss, Smith apologized and acknowledged he will get help, but didn’t field questions.
Seahawks 45, Jaguars 17
At Seattle, Russell Wilson matched his career high with four touchdown passes, two each to Sidney Rice and Zach Miller. The Seahawks improved to 3-0 for the first time since 2006, beginning a stretch of four straight games against the AFC South. Seattle came in as a 19-point favorite and never gave Jacksonville (0-3) a chance.
The Seahawks forced Jacksonville into three turnovers. They sacked Chad Henne four times, and Maurice Jones-Drew, playing with an injured ankle, was limited to 43 yards on 19 carries.
Dolphins 27, Falcons 23
Ryan Tannehill’s 1-yard touchdown pass to rookie Dion Sims with 38 seconds left lifted the host Dolphins (3-0). The score capped a 13-play, 75-yard drive after Atlanta’s Matt Bryant missed a 35-yard field-goal attempt with 4:46 left. Jimmy Wilson intercepted Matt Ryan to seal the victory.
Miami fell behind 10-0 and 20-10 and trailed much of the game. The injury-plagued Falcons, who were one play from the Super Bowl last season, fell to 1-2. Atlanta lost despite advantages of 24-16 in first downs, 377-285 in yards and 5-0 in sacks.
Bengals 34, Packers 30
At Cincinnati, Terence Newman returned a fumble 58 yards for a touchdown with 3:47 left in a game of wild momentum swings set up by nonstop turnovers.
Each team gave it away four times. Each team returned a fumble for a touchdown; M.D. Jennings ran one back for Green Bay (1-2). The Bengals (2-1) blew a 14-point lead, and the Packers let a 16-point lead get away in the second half.
The Bengals’ defense made the difference as Aaron Rodgers was 26 of 43 for 244 yards with a touchdown, but was sacked four times and threw two interceptions.
Ravens 30, Texans 9
At Baltimore, Daryl Smith had a 37-yard interception return for a TD, Tandon Doss took a punt 82 yards for another score, and the Ravens (2-1) won despite playing without Ray Rice for the first time since 2008. The three-time Pro Bowl running back was replaced by Bernard Pierce, who ran for 65 yards and a touchdown.
Houston (2-1) played much of the second half without star wide receiver Andre Johnson, who had a bruised shin.
Saints 31, Cardinals 7
At New Orleans, Drew Brees passed for three scores and ran for another. He had two TD strikes to tight end Jimmy Graham and the other to Robert Meachem.
Brees was intercepted once by New Orleans native and former LSU star Tyrann Mathieu.
The Saints (3-0) hadn’t opened a season with three straight victories since 2009, when they won the franchise’s only Super Bowl. They produced four sacks and two interceptions of Carson Palmer.
Arizona (1-2) had no answer for the 6-foot-7 Graham, who caught nine passes for 134 yards.
Browns 31, Vikings 27
At Minneapolis, tight end Jordan Cameron caught three touchdown passes, including the go-ahead grab with 51 seconds left. Third-stringer Brian Hoyer threw for three scores for the Browns (1-2), the latest team to torch Minnesota’s depleted secondary. He overcame three interceptions to throw for 321 yards, going 30 for 54. Josh Gordon had 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown in his season debut.
After trading young star running back Trent Richardson and elevating Hoyer for his second career start, the Browns looked finished. But they held Adrian Peterson to 88 yards and one score on 25 rushes, used a fake punt and a fake field goal in the first half to build their lead over the Vikings (0-3).
Patriots 23, Buccaneers 3
Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes to Kenbrell Thompkins to lead host New England (3-0), which has yielded only 34 points this season. The Patriots held Doug Martin, who rushed for 144 yards a week earlier, to 88 yards on 20 carries.
Thompkins, an undrafted free agent, scored on plays of 16 and 5 yards.
Josh Freeman threw an interception to former Bucs cornerback Aqib Talib as the Bucs fell to 0-3.
Bears 40, Steelers 23
At Pittsburgh, Chicago’s defense forced five turnovers and scored twice. Major Wright returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter, and Julius Peppers picked up Ben Roethlisberger’s fumble and raced 42 yards for a score in the fourth quarter for the Bears (3-0).
Roethlisberger completed 26 of 41 passes for 406 yards, and threw two touchdowns to Antonio Brown, but the Steelers fell to 0-3 for the first time since 1986.
Panthers 38, Giants 0
At Charlotte, Cam Newton threw three touchdown passes and ran for another, and Carolina sacked Eli Manning seven times. It was as Tom Coughlin’s worst defeat as coach of the Giants (0-3), and the largest margin of victory for Carolina (1-2).
Newton had 223 yards passing and threw two touchdown passes to Brandon LaFell and one to Ted Ginn Jr. He ran for 45 yards and his first TD of the season.
Cowboys 31, Rams 7
DeMarco Murray ran for 175 yards and a touchdown two years after torching St. Louis with a franchise record as a rookie, and Tony Romo threw for three scores. Murray had his first 100-yard game in more than a year.
The Cowboys (2-1) sacked Sam Bradford four times in the first half and had six overall after St. Louis (1-2) hadn’t allowed a sack in four games, dating to last season.
DeMarcus Ware had two sacks and broke Harvey Martin’s 30-year-old franchise record of 114.
Jets 27, Bills 20
Geno Smith threw two touchdown passes, including a go-ahead 69-yarder to Santonio Holmes in the fourth quarter in a sloppy game.
The Jets (2-1) overcame a team-record 20 penalties for 168 yards.
Smith slightly outplayed EJ Manuel in a matchup of the first two quarterbacks selected in the NFL draft in April. Bilal Powell ran for a career-high 149 yards for the Jets.
Buffalo is 1-2.
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