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NFL roundup

©Associated Press

October 7, 2002

Giants 21, Cowboys 17

Giants 21, Cowboys 17

IRVING, Texas -- By making its offense easier, New York made it better.

Sticking to a promise of keeping things simple, the Giants offense started clicking, with Kerry Collins throwing three touchdowns and Tiki Barber running for a season-high 94 yards.

New York matched its season total for offensive touchdowns with three.

Two came immediately after touchdowns by Dallas, including the winner with 6:51 left, a 17-yarder to backup tight end Marcellus Rivers.

"We had more than one guy step up and make plays for us," coach Jim Fassel said. "We had good balance. We ran the ball well and Kerry did a good job of picking the right people."

How's this for balance: New York ran 28 times and threw 27.

"Hopefully, this will get the ball rolling for us," said Collins, who came in leading the NFC in yards passing but had thrown for only one touchdown. He was 18-for-27 for 228 yards.

The Cowboys got good games from quarterback Quincy Carter (23-for-42 for a career-best 262 yards and no interceptions) and running back Emmitt Smith (70 yards rushing, including a 30-yard touchdown).

Smith scored his first touchdown of the season in the second quarter. He has 16,493 yards, 234 from breaking Walter Payton's league record.

Chiefs 29, Jets 25

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Priest Holmes gave Kansas City yet another stellar finish. The running back caught a 19-yard touchdown from Trent Green with 27 seconds left to cap Kansas City's 14-point fourth quarter.

The Chiefs have scored a league-leading 85 fourth-quarter points.

Holmes ran for 152 yards and a touchdown against the league's next-to-worst rushing defense and caught nine passes for 81 yards.

Holmes refused to talk after the game, so Green gushed instead.

"What can't he do?" said Green, who was 23-for-33 for 296 yards and two touchdowns. "Teams are going to be focused on him as a running back, so his ability to catch the ball is going to make him that much more valuable."

On the winning drive, Holmes either ran the ball or had a reception on six of the 10 plays.

With the score tied at 15 entering the fourth, Chad Pennington threw a 27-yard score to Santana Moss to give the Jets a 22-15 lead. The Chiefs answered on their next possession, as Green threw a 60-yard score to Dante Hall with 10:15 left to tie it at 22.

John Hall kicked a 25-yard field goal with 2:54 left to give the Jets a 25-22 lead, but Kansas City then drove 78 yards in 10 plays.

Pennington went 23-of-30 for 245 yards in his first start, replacing Vinny Testaverde.

49ers 37, Rams 13

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Rams were winless and hurting and the 49ers were only too happy to shove their biggest rivals deeper into despair.

Jeff Garcia threw for a touchdown and ran for one and Garrison Hearst rushed for 116 yards and a score to help end San Francisco's six-game losing streak to the defending NFC champions.

Jason Webster staggered the Rams when he intercepted career backup Jamie Martin, starting for the injured Kurt Warner, and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown and a 27-3 lead just before halftime.

The 49ers looked forward to this game for months. Not only did they reclaim superiority in the West, they all but ended St. Louis' playoff hopes. No team has been 0-5 and reached the postseason.

"They're down right now, and we took the attitude that we wanted to take it to them and not allow them to get back into a playoff hunt or get back into a position where then can get rolling," Garcia said.

"They're in a real difficult position right now and we didn't want them to have any breathing room."

Martin threw two interceptions, and the Rams didn't score a touchdown until he hit running back Lamar Gordon on a 7-yard pass with 29 seconds left.

"Obviously with the turnovers, I didn't get anything going," Martin said.

Colts 28, Bengals 21

INDIANAPOLIS -- Even with a recharged offense, the Colts were happy to escape against the winless Bengals.

Peyton Manning threw for two touchdowns and ran for one and Marvin Harrison caught nine passes for 145 yards, but Indianapolis still needed a late interception.

The Colts won their second straight thanks primarily to Manning and Harrison. Manning completed 21 of 34 passes for 224 yards, and Harrison, his favorite target, caught one touchdown.

The Bengals, 0-5 for the second time in three seasons, turned it over four times. Still, they kept it close after getting outscored 119-23 in their first four games.

Jon Kitna, Cincinnati's third starting quarterback in as many weeks, completed 31 of 43 for 244 yards and guided three touchdown drives, two more than the team had all season.

Corey Dillon also had his most productive day this season with 164 yards rushing and two touchdowns.

"I just hope today gave some guys a little bit of hope," Kitna said. "We got our best player going today; that's going to help us the rest of the season."

Peter Warrick muffed a punt that led to one Colts touchdown, and Kitna threw three interceptions, the last a deflection off Chad Johnson's hands that Idrees Bashir picked off at the Colts 14 in the closing seconds.

Redskins 31, Titans 14

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Steve Spurrier hopes his third quarterback of the season will be his last.

Rookie Patrick Ramsey came off the bench and threw for 268 yards and two touchdowns for Washington.

Danny Wuerffel made his first start in four years but the 1996 Heisman winner at Florida lasted one series before leaving with an injured right shoulder. Spurrier sent in Ramsey, and the rookie didn't give his coach any reason to turn to Shane Matthews, who started the first three games.

"We don't have to write about who's going to play quarterback for a while," Spurrier said of Ramsey. "He's our guy. Hopefully, he can stay healthy and keep getting better and go the distance. I didn't know he could step up with guys flying all around him and make those throws."

Ramsey handled pressure from the blitzing Titans and rallied the Redskins from a 14-10 halftime deficit by leading two touchdown drives in the third quarter.

Ramsey was 20 of 34, and Washington rolled up 442 yards. Washington running back Stephen Davis ran for a touchdown and caught one.

"I thought I might be able to do something like this," Ramsey said, "but I can't tell you everything I did because it's all kind of a blur right now."

The game featured two of the league's worst defenses but the Redskins played much better, coming up with four turnovers and four sacks. They held Tennessee to 289 yards.

Raiders 49, Bills 31

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Cornerback Phillip Buchanon wasn't going to miss the same pass twice.

After allowing an attempt by Drew Bledsoe to slip through his hands, Buchanon intercepted the next one and ran it back 81 yards for a touchdown, sparking Oakland.

"The first time it happened, I dropped the ball, and I was like, "Dang, that was the play,' " Buchanon said. "Then something told me, "Don't worry about it.' "

Buchanon's interception, the second of his rookie season since taking over for injured starter Charles Woodson, was key in a matchup between two of the league's most potent offenses, who combined for 974 yards.

The interception came with Oakland clinging to a 35-31 lead with eight minutes left.

Bledsoe, facing third-and-8 on Oakland's 27, rolled right and had Peerless Price open in the flat. Buchanon leaped, grabbed the ball with both hands and ran it back untouched up the left sideline.

Rich Gannon did the rest on Oakland's next possession, hitting Jerry Rice on a 20-yard touchdown.

The Raiders improved to 4-0 for the sixth time, first since 1990.

Bledsoe and the Bills finally ran out of late dramatics after becoming the first team to open a season having three of their first four games decided in overtime.

Buffalo allowed 495 yards and is giving up an average 358 yards and 36 points.

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