The New England Patriots and New York Jets won road games to remain tied for the National Football League’s best record, while Dallas beat the New York Giants in Jason Garrett’s debut as Cowboys coach.
The Patriots beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 39-26 in a match- up of 6-2 teams last night as quarterback Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes to rookie Rob Gronkowski and also ran for another score.
“The defense played great, the offensive line played incredible and our guys came up with some big plays when we needed it,” Brady said during a televised interview. “It was definitely a team win.”
The Patriots’ victory came after the Jets beat the Cleveland Browns 26-20 on a 37-yard touchdown catch by Santonio Holmes with 16 seconds left in overtime. At 7-2, the Jets and Patriots are tied atop the American Football Conference’s East Division and with Atlanta for the NFL’s best record.
The Giants missed a chance for a 7-2 start with a 33-20 home loss to the Cowboys that ended their five-game win streak. The Cowboys had entered the game as two-touchdown underdogs after five straight losses.
“I hope it’s a good feeling for our fans, but don’t think for one minute that it’s a consolation about how we’ve stunk it up this year,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who fired Wade Phillips as coach last week, told reporters. “It’s not, it’s just a way for us to get going.”
Brady Leads Patriots
In Pittsburgh, the Patriots rebounded from last week’s loss in Cleveland as Brady threw for 350 yards against the NFL’s top scoring defense.
James Sanders added a 32-yard interception return for a score for New England, which out-gained the Steelers 453-425 in total yardage. Pittsburgh dropped to 6-3.
In Cleveland, Holmes caught a pass from quarterback Mark Sanchez on the first play of the Jets’ fourth overtime possession and slipped through three Browns defenders for the winning score. The Browns’ defensive coordinator is Rob Ryan, the twin brother of Jets coach Rex Ryan.
Holmes’s touchdown was the third-latest since overtime began in 1974 and helped the Jets avoid their first tie in 22 years. The Jets became the first NFL team with back-to-back overtime road wins, having beaten Detroit 23-20 last week.
The Browns (3-6) had two turnovers, including Chansi Stuckey’s fumble at the Jets’ 36-yard line in overtime.
Missed Field Goals
Nick Folk missed three field goals for New York, including a 47-yard attempt in overtime, before Holmes pulled out the win with his first touchdown of the season. It was the Jets’ eighth straight regular-season road win.
“You talk about how resilient this team is, that’s two road wins in a row in overtime, that’s about as tough as it gets,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said at a news conference.
Dallas’s defense forced three turnovers, including a 101- yard interception return for a touchdown by Bryan McCann. The Cowboys built a 26-6 lead and held the Giants without a touchdown until the 9:01 mark of the third quarter.
The score came after the game was halted because of a second power outage that left the new $1.6 billion stadium in almost complete darkness. Stadium officials are investigating the cause of the outages.
The Cowboys, who three weeks ago lost at home to the Giants 41-35, were the third NFL team this season to enter a game as two-touchdown underdogs at Las Vegas sports books. They’re the only one to win.
The Giants fall to 6-3 and hold a half-game lead in the National Football Conference’s East Division over the Philadelphia Eagles (5-3), who visit Washington tonight.
The Buffalo Bills are no longer the NFL’s lone winless team after beating Detroit 14-12 in Buffalo. Fred Jackson scored two touchdowns and the Bills (1-8) held on for the win when the Lions (2-7) failed on a two-point conversion attempt with 19 seconds remaining.
The Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Houston Texans 31-24 when Mike Thomas caught a 50-yard touchdown pass on the game’s final play. Texans defensive back Glover Quin batted the throw by Jaguars quarterback David Garrard into the hands of Thomas, who caught it at the 1-yard line and then stepped into the end zone.
The Indianapolis Colts improved to 6-3 by forcing five turnovers in a 23-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, while the Chicago Bears intercepted Brett Favre three times to beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-13.
Elsewhere in Week 10 it was Tampa Bay 31, Carolina 16; Miami 29, Tennessee 17; Denver 49, Kansas City 29; San Francisco 23, St. Louis 20 in overtime; and Seattle 36, Arizona 18. Atlanta beat Baltimore 26-21 on Nov. 11.
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