St. Petersburg Times Online: Sports

Weather | Sports | Forums | Comics | Classifieds | Calendar | Movies

NFL Round-up

©Associated Press

November 4, 2002


Lions 9, Cowboys 7

Lions 9, Cowboys 7

DETROIT -- The Lions aren't great by any means, but at home they've been good enough to surpass last year's win total.

Jason Hanson kicked his third field goal, a 43-yarder, with 48 seconds left to win it.

"We've got three-game winning streak at home, and that's a big statement these players have made," Detroit coach Marty Mornhinweg said.

The Lions, 2-14 last season, are 0-12 on the road under Mornhinweg, but at Ford Field, they've beaten New Orleans, Chicago and Dallas.

Joey Harrington, Detroit's rookie quarterback, struggled but had his longest completion -- 13 yards to James Stewart -- on fourth-and-3 from the Dallas 43 during the winning drive. He was 3 of 4 on the drive, which began on the Lions 37.

A week after breaking Walter Payton's record for career rushing yards, Dallas' Emmitt Smith ran for 39 yards on 16 carries. Smith has 16,782 yards over his 13-year career.

In a city still bitter about Barry Sanders' abrupt retirement three years ago, Smith was booed when he was introduced, and he heard a few "Bar-ry! Bar-ry!" chants. Sanders ran for 15,269 yards in 10 seasons with the Lions and was one typical season from surpassing Payton. Smith said this week he'd still be chasing the record if Sanders hadn't retired.

"Hey, I'm in Detroit," Smith said of the boos. "Anything less would be uncivilized."

Titans 23, Colts 15

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Titans didn't need big plays from Steve McNair or Eddie George. A little ball control and a strong defense were enough on Sunday.

Keith Bulluck returned a fumble 61 yards for a touchdown and Peter Sirmon's interception led to another as the Titans moved into a first-place tie in the weak AFC South.

The Titans gained 198 yards but their defense made sure it was enough for a third straight victory.

Indianapolis lost its third straight. The Colts fell behind 20-0 for the second straight game because of three first-half turnovers that turned into 17 Titan points.

"Today's game was very similar to the last two weeks, where we just get the big deficits and dig ourselves a hole and don't have enough to fight back," Colts coach Tony Dungy said. "It's disappointing."

The Colts gained 378 yards but didn't score until the final 13 minutes. By then they trailed 23-0.

Making matters worse was a crowd that turned on the Colts during an abysmal first half.

Titans fans chanted "Ed-die, Ed-die" for George, and Colts fans booed quarterback Peyton Manning and the offense, which fumbled four times in the first 20 minutes, throughout the half. At halftime, after Mike Vanderjagt -- the league's most accurate kicker -- missed a 46-yard field goal, the boos grew louder. Fans were leaving early in the fourth quarter.

Jets 44, Chargers 13

SAN DIEGO -- Maybe New York isn't that bad after all. And maybe San Diego isn't quite that good.

The reeling Jets got better in a hurry by routing the AFC-leading Chargers, who came dressed in powder-blue throwback jerseys and left looking like powderpuffs after getting worked over.

The win came a week after the Jets lost an 18-point lead in a 24-21 defeat to Cleveland, prompting defensive end John Abraham to harshly criticize the conservative play-calling.

"Just getting a win was good for us, just to put a lot of negatives behind us," Abraham said. "We're trying to build a season now. A lot of people put us in the dirt."

Chad Pennington, Curtis Martin and Santana Moss provided the big scoring plays early.

Pennington threw for one touchdown and ran for another, and Moss had a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown as the Jets built a 21-0 lead. Martin scored on a 17-yard run.

Linebacker James Darling intercepted Drew Brees and returned it 38 yards to set up John Hall's 24-yard field goal for a 31-7 halftime lead.

"The performance we put on today was unacceptable," said Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer, whose team was booed at home for the first time this year. "I didn't get the message across, but I made it very clear throughout the week that this was a very formidable football team."

Rams 27, Cardinals 14

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The formula for St. Louis' resurgence couldn't be simpler. Get the ball to Marshall Faulk and win.

Even when he's feeling rotten.

Faulk, his legs cramping because of a bout with the flu, rushed for 178 yards on 27 carries Sunday, including a 13-yard score with 1:53 left.

"He was sucking it up out there," St. Louis quarterback Marc Bulger said. "He was cramping up. I saw the look on his face and I didn't know if he was going to make it, but he showed something out there today."

St. Louis is 19-0 when Faulk reaches triple digits in rushing yards. He also caught five passes for 58 yards. Flu or no flu, he wasn't leaving.

"That's what I'm here to do," Faulk said. "I'm here to be in there at crunch time, getting those carries, running out the clock. That's my job. Sometimes you're not 100 percent. Sometimes you're not 90. But you've got to go out there and give it your all."

In the Rams' three-game win streak, Faulk has 571 yards on 85 rushes and 16 catches for 132 yards.

Bulger, 3-0 starting for the injured Kurt Warner, was 20 of 29 for 245 yards, with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The second interception led to an Arizona touchdown that cut the lead to 17-14 with 10:36 to play. David Barrett picked off the pass and flipped the ball to Justin Lucas, who ran 35 yards for the touchdown.

Redskins 14, Seahawks 3

SEATTLE -- Kenny Watson was steady, so it didn't matter that Shane Matthews wasn't spectacular.

Watson ran for 110 yards in place of injured Stephen Davis, and Matthews threw two first-half touchdowns for Washington.

"That was one of the most unusual games I have ever coached," Redskins coach Steve Spurrier said. "We just didn't do much. We didn't throw or catch very well the whole game, but fortunately we won."

Matthews was 10-of-27 for 114 yards with an interception. But he preserved his status as Spurrier's starter of the moment with an 11-yard score to Darnerien McCants and a 19-yarder to Rod Gardner.

With their defense forcing two fumbles by Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and keeping the Seahawks out of the end zone, the Redskins didn't need any offense in the second half.

Seattle came in allowing 177.4 yards rushing a game. One week after they let an aging Emmitt Smith run for 109 to earn the all-time rushing record, the Seahawks gave up 146 to the Redskins.

But because of offensive mistakes, including four sacks and the fumbles, the Seahawks needed a much better defensive game.

Seattle moved beyond Washington's 25-yard line four times but scored once, on Rian Lindell's 23-yard field goal on the first play of the second quarter.

Eagles 19, Bears 13

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Hugh Douglas and the relentless Philadelphia defense had trouble digging in because Chicago was making it guess.

Among the Bears' surprises were a no-huddle offense and a play that allowed their best receiver, Marty Booker, to throw a pass.

But Douglas made a late sack on Jim Miller and the Eagles stopped a last-second drive to shut out the Bears in the second half.

"They kept us off-balance for the whole first half. We just had to calm down," Douglas said. "We played two quarters of defensive football. The first two quarters weren't very good, but we came together."

Douglas, who knocked Miller out of a playoff game in January by slamming him to the turf during an interception return, sacked the quarterback on third down from the Eagles 24 with 17 seconds to go.

Miller, returning after missing two starts with a sore shoulder and elbow, then threw a fourth-down pass to the end zone that was too high for Marcus Robinson as the Bears lost their sixth straight.

"The route was designed to go to the back of the end zone. It wasn't a good decision," Miller said.

Chicago gained 53 yards in the second half (32 on the final drive) after gaining 207 in the first.

Philadelphia's David Akers kicked four second-half field goals. His 27-yarder early in the fourth quarter gave the Eagles the lead for good at 16-13.

© Copyright, St. Petersburg Times. All rights reserved.