Falcons Rally Past Eagles, Vick 35-31; Patriots, Jets Among 2-0 NFL Teams
The Atlanta Falcons rallied to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 35-31, spoiling Michael Vick’s return to his former city and avoiding a 0-2 start to the National Football League season.
Michael Turner had a 3-yard rushing touchdown with 4:53 left as the Falcons erased a 10-point fourth quarter deficit at the Georgia Dome. Although Vick had two fumbles and an interception, he’d given the Eagles the lead before leaving the game in the third quarter with a concussion.
“It was a wild one for sure, but we hung in there,” said Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who had a career-high four touchdown passes. “I’m just glad we came away with the win.”
Tom Brady followed up his 517-yard passing performance from Week 1 with 423 yards and three touchdowns yesterday as the Patriots beat the San Diego Chargers 35-21.
The Patriots are now 10-0 in home openers at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.
The Jets had four interceptions in a 32-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, while Mark Sanchez threw two touchdown passes at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. It’s the Jets’ second 2-0 start in the past three years.
The AFC East is the only division with three 2-0 teams, as the Buffalo Bills matched the Patriots and Jets by rallying past the visiting Oakland Raiders 38-35 yesterday on a touchdown pass with 18 seconds left.
The Packers overcame a 13-0 deficit in a 30-23 win at Carolina and are tied atop the NFC North with a Detroit Lions team that was 8-40 over the past three seasons. The Lions are 2- 0 this year after routing the Kansas City Chiefs 48-3 behind four touchdown passes from Matt Stafford.
The Washington Redskins stayed unbeaten by slipping past the Arizona Cardinals 22-21 on a 34-yard field goal with 1:45 left. The Redskins, coming off consecutive losing seasons, had trailed 21-13 with just over five minutes remaining.
The Houston Texans are also 2-0 after defeating the Miami Dolphins 23-13.
The New Orleans Saints beat the Chicago Bears 30-13, while the Pittsburgh Steelers rebounded from a 28-point season-opening loss at Baltimore with a 24-0 shutout of the Seattle Seahawks. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers avoided an 0-2 start by beating the Minnesota Vikings 24-20 on LeGarrette Blount’s 4-yard touchdown run with 35 seconds left.
Cowboys’ OT Win
The Dallas Cowboys beat the San Francisco 49ers 27-24 in overtime on a 19-yard field goal set up by Tony Romo’s 77-yard pass to Jesse Holley. The Broncos beat the Cincinnati Bengals 24-22 for John Fox’s first win as Denver’s coach and the Cleveland Browns defeated Indianapolis 27-19 to drop the Colts to 0-2 without Peyton Manning, who’s out indefinitely after neck surgery.
The New York Giants host the St. Louis Rams tonight to cap the NFL’s Week 2 schedule.
In Atlanta, Vick overcame his three turnovers to help the Eagles erase a 21-10 third-quarter lead. Philadelphia had a 24-21 lead and was driving for another touchdown when Vick was injured. As he was being tackled, Vick’s head struck teammate Todd Herremans and snapped back. Vick, who was spitting out blood on the sidelines, was replaced by Mike Kafka.
The Falcons then rallied in the fourth quarter. Ovie Mughelli caught a one-yard touchdown pass and Turner put Atlanta back in front with a 61-yard run that set up his go-ahead score. The Eagles’ final drive stalled when Jeremy Maclin, who caught two touchdown passes, dropped a fourth-down pass at the Atlanta 22-yard line with 1:41 left.
Brady, who had the fifth-most passing yards in NFL history in the Patriots’ season-opening win at Miami, connected yesterday on 31 of 40 passes without an interception. He became the sixth quarterback to throw for more than 400 yards in consecutive games.
The Jets, who rallied to beat the Cowboys 27-24 in their season-opener with 17 fourth-quarter points, jumped out to a 9-0 first-quarter lead against the Jaguars.
Sanchez threw a 17-yard scoring pass to Santonio Holmes on the Jets’ first possession, ending the team’s NFL-record run of 16 games without a first-quarter touchdown. On the ensuing drive, Muhammad Wilkerson, the Jets’ first-round draft pick from Temple University, sacked Jaguars quarterback Luke McCown in the end zone for a safety.
Sanchez said that coach Rex Ryan had challenged the Jets’ offense, opting to take the ball first on offense instead of letting his defense take the field as he usually would.
“The opening drive, that was huge,” Sanchez said. “He put the challenge on us and we answered the call.”
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