FOXBORO, Mass — Tom Brady threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to rookie wide receiver Kenbrell Thompkins with five seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to lift the New England Patriots to a dramatic 30-27 win over the previously unbeaten New Orleans Saints at Gillette Stadium.
Things didn’t look promising for New England when rookie wideout Aaron Dobson dropped a fourth-down pass, causing the Patriots to turn the ball over on downs at their own 24-yard line trailing by a point with 2:46 left in the game.
New Orleans ran the ball on first and second down, with the Patriots calling a timeout after both plays. After Drew Brees threw an incompletion, Garrett Hartley kicked a 39-yard field goal to put the Saints up 27-23.
It became even more bleak for the Patriots as Brady was intercepted on first down of the ensuing drive.
However, the New England defense forced a second straight three-and-out. Brady got the ball back with 1:13 to play and the third time proved to be the charm as he orchestrated a game-winning drive.
Brady opened the decisive possession with a trio of completions, quickly advancing the ball from his 30 to the New Orleans 26. Facing 4th-and-4, he found newcomer Austin Collie for a second time on the drive and the wideout’s 9-yard gain kept the comeback bid alive.
After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Brady, who had his streak of 52 consecutive games with a touchdown pass snapped in last week’s loss at Cincinnati, hit Thompkins in the back left corner of the end zone.
Green Bay 19, Baltimore 17
BALTIMORE — The Green Bay Packers overcame a slightly off day from Aaron Rodgers and the departures of several key players to deliver a 19-17 victory over the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium.
Playing without top receiver Randall Cobb for all of the second half and fellow wideout James Jones for virtually the entire game, Rodgers completed a pedestrian 17-of-32 passes for 315 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
Cincinnati 27, Buffalo 24
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y — Mike Nugent kicked a 43-yard field goal with 6:44 remaining in overtime to lift the Cincinnati Bengals to a 27-24 win over the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium.
Nugent missed a field goal late in the third quarter that could have given the Bengals a 17-point lead. Behind quarterback Thad Lewis, recently promoted from the practice squad to start for injured rookie EJ Manuel, the Bills rallied to force overtime.
Detroit 31, Cleveland 17
CLEVELAND — Matthew Stafford had four touchdown passes, three of them to Joseph Fauria, as the Detroit Lions used a dominating second half for a 31-17 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.
Stafford was 25-for-43 for 248 yards with an interception, while Fauria’s three catches all went for scores and totaled 34 yards for the Lions (4-2).
St. Louis 38, Houston 13
HOUSTON — Three of Sam Bradford’s 12 completions went for touchdowns and the Rams defense stood tall as St. Louis upset the Houston Texans. Bradford connected on 12-of-16 for 117 yards and three scores to three different receivers. Brian Quick, Lance Kendricks and Cory Harkey all found the end zone on their only catch while Zac Stacy ran for 79 yards in his second career start.
Matt Schaub, who threw a pick-six in four straight games entering Sunday, protected the ball but failed to ignite Houston’s offense. Schaub completed 15-of-21 passes for 186 yards before exiting late in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.
Kansas City 24, Oakland 7
KANSAS CITY — Fans at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium set a world record for loudest outdoor arena on Sunday. They had a lot to cheer about. Jamaal Charles had two short touchdown runs and the Chiefs harassed Terrelle Pryor for 10 sacks and three interceptions in a victory over the Oakland Raiders that kept Kansas City’s best start in a decade alive. Charles rushed for 78 yards and Alex Smith passed for 128, but Kansas City’s defense starred in this latest win.
Carolina 35, Minnesota 10
MINNEAPOLIS — Cam Newton passed for 242 yards and three touchdowns, while scoring another on the ground, as the Carolina Panthers pasted the Minnesota Vikings.
Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, playing less than 48 hours after the death of one of his children, ended with 62 yards on 10 carries and three catches for 21 yards.
Pittsburgh 19, NY Jets 6
EAST RUTHERFORD — Off to their worst start in 45 years, the Pittsburgh Steelers finally broke into the win column thanks in part to a pair of interceptions that thwarted potential touchdowns. Shaun Suisham kicked four field goals and Ben Roethlisberger connected with Emmanuel Sanders on a long touchdown pass, as the Steelers beat the Jets.
Philadelphia 31, Tampa Bay 20
TAMPA — Nick Foles, filling in for an injured Michael Vick, threw three touchdown passes and ran for another to lead the Philadelphia Eagles to a 31-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Foles completed 22-of-31 passes for 296 yards for the Eagles (3-3), who have won two in a row since a three-game skid.
DeSean Jackson caught six passes for 64 yards and two touchdowns for the Eagles, who became the third team in NFL history to rack up 400-plus yards of total offense over their first six games.
Denver 35, Jacksonville 19
Denver — Knowshon Moreno rushed for three second-half touchdowns and the Denver Broncos remained unbeaten with a tougher-than- expected 35-19 verdict over the Jacksonville Jaguars
Peyton Manning added two more touchdown passes to his season total and finished with 295 yards on a 28-of-42 completion rate to help Denver (6-0) to its 17th consecutive regular-season victory.
San Francisco 32, Arizona 20
SAN FRANCISCO — Vernon Davis had eight catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns — almost all of it coming in the first half — and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals for their third straight win. Davis was a frequent target of Colin Kaepernick early on, catching seven passes for 171 yards and two scores before halftime, including a 61-yarder.
Kaepernick had 252 yards passing, but also turned the ball over twice, and Frank Gore ran for 101 yards on 25 carries for the 49ers (4-2).
Dallas 31, Washington 16
ARLINGTON, Texas — Dwayne Harris had an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown, and finished with 222 total return yards to help the Dallas Cowboys to a win over the Washington Redskins in an NFC East clash on Sunday.
Tony Romo was 18-for-30 passing for 170 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Ware strained his right quadriceps. Robert Griffin III completed 19-of-39 passes for 246 yards, but threw an interception and also lost a fumble for the Redskins (1-4).