The New York Jets suffered their first loss of the season against the Oakland Raiders, while the New York Giants and Buffalo Bills ended losing streaks against division rivals.
Darren McFadden rushed for a career-high 171 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders won 34-24 in their home opener at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in California. The Jets, who fell to 2-1, had been one of seven undefeated teams entering Week 3 of the National Football League season.
“You have 439 yards of offense and you lose the game, that’s unbelievable,” Jets coach Rex Ryan said at a news conference. “Our defense let us down clearly.”
The Giants beat the Eagles 29-16 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, where they knocked Eagles quarterback Michael Vick out of the game in the fourth quarter with a fractured bone in his non-throwing hand. The Giants had previously lost six straight games against their NFC East rivals.
The Bills ended a 15-game losing skid against the New England Patriots, rallying from a 21-0 first-half deficit to win 34-31 at home and improve to 3-0 on the season.
Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 369 yards and two touchdowns, while the Bills’ defense had four interceptions of New England’s Tom Brady to give the Patriots their first loss. The Bills are alone in first place in the AFC East, ahead of the Patriots and Jets, who are both 2-1.
“There were probably very few believers going into this game,” said Fitzpatrick, who won Buffalo’s starting quarterback job last year. “In terms of what this means for the city of Buffalo, it’s the biggest win since I’ve been here for sure.”
The Detroit Lions are 3-0 for the first time since 1980 after erasing a 20-0 first-half deficit to beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-23 in overtime. Jason Hanson kicked his fourth field goal of the game on the only overtime possession to send Minnesota to its first 0-3 start since beginning the 2002 season with four losses in a row.
The defending Super Bowl-champion Green Bay Packers remain undefeated after a 27-17 win over the Bears at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes for the Packers, all to tight end Jermichael Finley.
The Houston Texans fell short of their first 3-0 start after allowing three fourth-quarter touchdowns in a 40-33 loss to the Saints at the Superdome in New Orleans.
The Indianapolis Colts remain winless without injured quarterback Peyton Manning, losing 23-20 to the Pittsburgh Steelers last night on a 38-yard field goal by Shane Suisham with four seconds remaining. Pittsburgh, the defending AFC champion, improved to 2-1, while the Colts fell to 0-3.
Cowboys vs Redskins
Week 3 concludes tonight with the Dallas Cowboys hosting the 2-0 Washington Redskins in a clash of NFC East rivals.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers held off a fourth-quarter rally by Atlanta in a 16-13 win over the Falcons, while the Baltimore Ravens routed the St. Louis Rams 37-7 behind a 389-yard, three touchdown performance by Joe Flacco.
Also in Week 3, it was San Francisco 13, Cincinnati 8; Cleveland 17, Miami 16; Tennessee 17, Denver 14; Seattle 13, Arizona 10; and San Diego 20, Kansas City 17.
In Oakland, the Raiders overcame a 17-7 second-quarter deficit as McFadden had a 70-yard scoring run and Denarius Moore and Michael Bush added rushing touchdowns.
The Raiders improved their record to 2-1 and finished with 234 rushing yards against a Jets’ defense that ranked third against the run last season.
New York’s final drive ended with less than a minute left as quarterback Mark Sanchez was stopped short of the goal line on a fourth down. The Jets were initially given a touchdown before the play was overruled by a replay review.
Sanchez finished with a career-high 369 passing yards and two touchdowns for the Jets.
The Giants opened a 14-0 lead in Philadelphia before the Eagles rallied. After the home team took a 16-14 lead, the Giants scored 15 unanswered points in the fourth quarter with Vick on the bench with a fractured right hand.
Victor Cruz hauled in his second touchdown pass of the game with 8:07 remaining and Brandon Jacobs added the two-point conversion to give New York a 22-16 lead. Eli Manning then threw his fourth touchdown pass for the Giants, an 18-yarder to Ahmad Bradshaw with 3:32 left, to cap the scoring.
The Giants improved to 2-1 with the win, while the Eagles dropped to 1-2. New York lost 38-31 in the teams’ previous meeting on Dec. 19 after giving up 28 straight fourth-quarter points to blow a 31-10 lead.
“This year, unlike last year, we won the last eight minutes of the game,” Manning said. “Guys stepped up, made some big plays, defense got turnovers, and we were able to get the victory, so that was a big win for us.”