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NFL roundup

©Associated Press

September 30, 2002


Eagles 35, Texans 17

Eagles 35, Texans 17

PHILADELPHIA -- Brian Dawkins gave teams another reason to fear him.

Dawkins, an All-Pro safety, caught his first career touchdown, had an interception, a sack and a fumble recovery for the Eagles.

He's the first to get all four in the same game.

"I never thought I'd get it all the way," Dawkins said of the touchdown catch. "I just wanted to get the first down. When I looked up, I saw one guy to beat and I knew the two guys coming behind me weren't going to catch me."

Donovan McNabb completed 24-of-42 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown and Duce Staley added two 1-yard touchdown runs for Philadelphia.

A two-time Pro Bowl selection, Dawkins has a reputation as a fierce hitter who makes big plays. Now he proved he has offensive skills, too.

"Dawkins has some good hands," McNabb said. "When you have a guy who can roam the backfield like that and is a good blitzer, you have to keep your eyes on him."

David Carr, the No. 1 overall pick in April's draft, was 16-of-29 for 188 yards and two touchdowns to Corey Bradford.

After Carr's 23-yard pass to Bradford gave Houston a 7-0 lead, the Eagles scored the next 28.

On the first possession of the second half, return specialist Brian Mitchell threw a 57-yard score to Dawkins on a fake punt.

Bills 33, Bears 27 (OT)

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo, which can't seem to win in regulation, certainly makes up for it in overtime thanks to Drew Bledsoe.

Bledsoe set a league record with his fourth career overtime touchdown pass, a 26-yarder to Travis Henry 1:58 in.

Three of Buffalo's first four games have gone into overtime, a league first. The Bills won the past two that have gone beyond regulation, a big turnaround for a team that was 3-6 last season in games decided by seven or fewer points.

"I think we're starting to develop and believe in ourselves," said Bledsoe, who finished 28-of-36 for 328 yards and four touchdowns. "We've got the talent. We've got the ability to play with anybody in the league."

After the Bears went three-and-out to open overtime, the Bills took over at their 44 after Brad Maynard's 31-yard punt.

Bledsoe hit Eric Moulds for a 32-yard completion along the left sideline.

On the next play, Bledsoe rolled right and, as he was being tackled from behind, hit Henry in the flat. Henry, helped by a block from receiver Peerless Price, ran the last 20 yards for the score.

"The defense is in a real funk right now. We'll have to get out of that if we want to win," said Chicago's Mike Brown, who returned a fumble 62 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter. "We're a good football team, but we can't win the way we're playing. We're losers."

Raiders 52, Titans 25

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Phillip Buchanon insists he could have been better in his defensive debut.

Just one more interception, please?

It took fewer than four minutes for the rookie cornerback to show he's ready to be a starter, perhaps even at three positions. But he still felt robbed.

Buchanon had an interception on the first play overturned by an instant replay challenge. But he scored on a punt return and handed off on another punt returned for a touchdown.

Then Buchanon, Oakland's first-round draft pick out of Miami, got an interception that counted in the fourth quarter, leading to the Raiders' final score. He also finished with seven solo tackles.

Buchanon started in place of Pro Bowl player Charles Woodson, who has a broken right shoulder.

Jerry Rice had seven catches for 144 yards and a touchdown and became the league's career leader in yards from scrimmage, passing Walter Payton. Rice, who turns 40 on Oct. 13, finished with 151 yards (7 rushing) to give him 21,281 for his career, 17 more than Payton.

"It's an honor to break a record like Walter's," Rice said. "I had a chance to meet him over the years, and he was a terrific individual."

Buchanon returned a punt 83 yards for a 14-0 lead in the first quarter. When Tennessee punted again he caught it and handed off to Terry Kirby, who ran 79 yards to the end zone.

Cowboys 13, Rams 10

ST. LOUIS -- A bad season just keeps getting worse for the Rams.

The defending NFC champions lost quarterback Kurt Warner before losing their fourth straight game. Picked by many to get back to the Super Bowl during the preseason, the Rams fell to 0-4 with no relief in sight.

"That's life," coach Mike Martz said. "You can't sit and stew about it. That's where we are, and what's important is what we do about it."

Rookie Billy Cundiff kicked a 48-yard field goal as time expired to win it for Dallas.

The Rams, 14-2 last season, must somehow improve quickly just to get back to .500. The only 0-4 team to make the playoffs was the 1992 Chargers.

Dallas quarterback Quincy Carter, who didn't earn a vote of confidence from owner Jerry Jones after a shaky first three games, led the Cowboys 41 yards on nine plays in 1:27 to set up the field goal.

"I knew we didn't need a touchdown to win it; we just needed to keep moving the ball down the field," Carter said. "Everybody really had to pay attention. I did my part, but also my line did their part, my receivers, my backs. I just thought, as a collective group, that we did a great job handling the two-minute drive."

The big play on the drive was a 15-yard pass across the middle to Michael Wiley that got Dallas to the Rams 35. After that, Carter hit Ken-Yon Rambo for 5 yards, then spiked the ball with one second left.

Cardinals 21, Giants 7

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Cardinals were supposed to be in trouble at running back, with no experience behind Thomas Jones. They have some experience now.

Marcel Shipp, who never had an NFL carry before the second game this season, ran 10 yards for one fourth-quarter touchdown and caught a 7-yard pass from Jake Plummer for another.

"I grew up watching these guys," said Shipp, from Patterson, N.J., "and it just feels great to come out here and play the way I did."

Shipp, who gained 5,383 yards at Division I-AA Massachusetts from 1997-2000 but was not drafted last year, played because Thomas Jones had a sore left ankle. Shipp ran for 92 yards on 17 carries and caught five passes for 39 yards.

Shipp sprained his left knee two plays before his touchdown, leaving Arizona with "two gimpy backs," coach Dave McGinnis said.

On their first possession, the Giants got a 6-yard touchdown run from Tiki Barber, then they were shut down by their own miscues and Arizona's young defense.

"Our defense won this game," Plummer said.

Justin Lucas intercepted Kerry Collins' ill-advised sideline pass and returned it 38 yards for the tying touchdown with 4 seconds left in the first half.

Collins said he intended to take a knee and go to halftime with a 7-0 lead but got a message through his headset to change the play.

Steelers 16, Browns 13 (OT)

PITTSBURGH -- Todd Peterson and Tommy Maddox each got second chances in a wild, unpredictable overtime, and Cleveland wound up with a second bizarre loss in a month.

Maddox replaced Kordell Stewart to lead a tying touchdown drive late in the fourth, then drove Pittsburgh to Peterson's winning 31-yard field goal 7:14 into in overtime.

The Browns led 13-6 late in the fourth, intercepted a Maddox pass, blocked a Peterson field goal and had a chance to win on a Phil Dawson field goal in overtime (he missed from 45 yards, wide left).

Maddox came in to go 11-for-13 for 122 yards on two scoring drives in barely a half a quarter. Stewart was 15-for-25 for 143 yards, no touchdowns and an interception.

Peterson's winner came one play after Alvin McKinley blocked his 24-yard try. Because it was second down and Pittsburgh's John Fiala fell on the ball, which never crossed the line of scrimmage, the Steelers retained possession. "Coach (Bill) Cowher asked if I wanted him to run a play so I could get my bearings back," Peterson said. "I said, no, it's a 31-yarder, I can make that, so let's kick it and go home."

It wasn't quite as strange as Cleveland's opener, when Dwayne Rudd's helmet toss allowed the Chiefs to kick a winning field goal. But this also was a game the Browns seemingly had won.

"It's tough to come here and lose the way we did," said Jamel White, who ran for 105 yards and a score.

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