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NFL Round-up

©Associated Press
November 18, 2002


Browns 27, Bengals 20

CINCINNATI -- Chad Johnson dropped his head and covered his face with a black-gloved hand as jubilant Browns walked his way.

Now they were going to do the talking. Guaranteed.

Tim Couch matched his career high with three touchdown passes and the Browns defense stopped Corey Dillon twice from the 1-yard line in the closing minutes.

Johnson guaranteed a win, as he did before the Bengals beat the Texans Nov. 3.

"I told him there's nothing wrong with that, but some comments you've got to keep to yourself," said Browns linebacker Earl Holmes, who sought him out on the field. "You can't guarantee a victory. It came back to smack him in the face."

On fourth and goal from a foot away, the Bengals sent Dillon to the right behind tackle Willie Anderson. Pasco graduate Darren Hambrick hit Dillon first, and Holmes shoved him back for no gain with 5:51 left.

The Bengals got the ball at their 11 with 1:41 to go and no timeouts and got to the Browns 24 but time ran out.

Johnson was crestfallen but not contrite in the aftermath of his prediction.

"I'll do it again," said Johnson, who caught a 72-yard touchdown from Jon Kitna on the game's third play. "I'm not going to say when, but I'll do it again."

Colts 20, Cowboys 3

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Colts' Marvin Harrison has torn apart good defenses all season. Sunday was no different.

The league's leading receiver caught two late touchdowns and topped the 100-yard mark for the sixth time this season.

Harrison caught 14 passes for 138 yards, the first player in the league to top 1,000 this season. He became the fastest player to reach 600 receptions, doing it in 102 games.

"They double-team him. They try to put guys up to him. I ought to get a bit more credit for getting him the ball," quarterback Peyton Manning said, joking. "He just makes plays."

Harrison's first touchdown catch, a 31-yarder, gave the Colts a 13-3 lead with 4:18 to play and broke Raymond Berry's team record for receiving touchdowns.

His second TD catch, a 1-yarder, sealed the win and gave Harrison 70 for his career.

Manning completed 29-of-38 for 252 yards and two touchdowns, and Mike Vanderjagt hit field goals of 48 and 32 while missing from 23 and 42.

Edgerrin James ran for 106 yards on 24 carries, his second 100-yard game of the season.

Dallas mounted only one serious drive and capitalized with a 21-yard field goal from Billy Cundiff that made it 3-0 midway through the second quarter -- the first points Dallas scored in a first half since Oct. 6.

Chiefs 17, Bills 16

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With the steely nerve of a riverboat gambler, Chiefs cornerback Eric Warfield took one of the bigger risks of his career.

As Buffalo quarterback Drew Bledsoe prepared to throw the potential winning touchdown, Warfield deliberately let Peerless Price get a step on him deep.

On a dead run, Price put out his hands. But at the last second, Warfield leaped high for an interception with 4:14 left to preserve Kansas City's win.

"Instead of trying to make a break earlier, I let Drew think he had the lead on me," Warfield said. "Right at the last minute, I just broke underneath. He thought he had a step on me. Yet he didn't."

Chiefs quarterback Trent Green darted 9 yards up the middle for the go-ahead touchdown with 4:45 left.

"A lane opened up, so I took off," he said. "Then I saw those guys closing hard. So I just closed my eyes and dove as hard as I could."

After Warfield's interception, Priest Holmes gained 49 yards on six carries to help the Chiefs run out the clock.

Mike Hollis kicked three field goals for the Bills, whose offense failed for the second game in a row to get two touchdowns.

Bledsoe was 24-for-36 for 225 yards and became the fifth man in the NFL to pass for more than 3,000 yards in his first 10 games.

Vikings 31, Packers 21

MINNEAPOLIS -- Playing in the Metrodome never seems to work out for the Packers. Not even when they have the league's best record. Not even against the worst Vikings team in nearly two decades.

Daunte Culpepper threw for two touchdowns and ran for one and Minnesota intercepted Brett Favre three times.

"At some point before I retire," the Green Bay quarterback said, "I'd like to get another win in here."

The Packers have lost nine of 11 at Minnesota and missed a chance to clinch a division title at the earliest point in a 16-game season.

Michael Bennett ran for 130 yards on 20 carries for his fourth straight 100-yard game. His 62-yard run just before the 2-minute warning set up a 3-yard touchdown run by Moe Williams, his 10th of the year.

Minnesota's 31st-ranked defense held Ahman Green to 71 yards and, though it had no sacks, kept Favre (24-of-42, 296 yards, 2 touchdowns) out of rhythm in the fourth quarter.

"We had to keep people in his face and keep the pressure on him," defensive end Kenny Mixon said. "If we don't get a sack, but we get an interception, we'll take it."

The Vikings took a 24-21 lead on Gary Anderson's 32-yard field goal with 7:16 left and forced two straight three-and-outs before Bennett's run put the game away.

Giants 19, Redskins 17

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- In a turnover-marred game played on an ugly, rainy day, the Giants found something spectacular: Jeremy Shockey.

The rookie tight end caught 11 passes for 111 yards and Matt Bryant kicked four field goals, leading New York in a game decided by turnovers and delayed by a 10-minute fourth-quarter video review.

The game had been hyped as the return of five-time Pro Bowl linebacker Jessie Armstead, who played at Giants Stadium for the first time since he was waived by New York and signed by the Redskins.

Shockey stole the show by coming within two catches of tying the team's single-game record. Giants tight ends had 17 catches all last season. He caught a key 13-yard third-down pass from Kerry Collins to set up Bryant's winning 19-yard field goal with 11:56 left.

"I guess Kerry felt comfortable delivering it to me, and the timing was good," said Shockey, the 14th overall pick out of Miami.

In the closing minutes, a long video review first prevented Washington from challenging a possible fumble by Tiki Barber, and later wiped out a New York first down.

"I don't know what the heck was going on," Redskins cornerback Champ Bailey said. "I was talking to the field judge for five minutes, and he didn't have a clue what was going on either."

Eagles 38, Cardinals 14

PHILADELPHIA -- Unable to scramble because of a broken right ankle -- diagnosed as a sprain during the game -- Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb stayed in the pocket and threw touchdowns of 2 yards to James Thrash, 3 to Dorsey Levens, 27 to Todd Pinkston and 9 to Duce Staley in the first half as Philadelphia rolled.

McNabb tied a career high for TD passes.

Jake Plummer threw two touchdowns for Arizona, which has lost four straight.

The Eagles played nothing like the team dismantled by Indianapolis 35-13 at Veterans Stadium Nov. 10. They got touchdowns on all three second-quarter possessions, scored the last 24 points and totaled 463 yards.

Staley had 136 yards rushing.

"They had a quarterback that was gimpy, but their running game was working so well," Cardinals coach Dave McGinnis said.

Kyle Vanden Bosch recovered a McNabb fumble at the Eagles 43 and Plummer connected with Jason McAddley on a 12-yard score to give Arizona a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. After Brian Mitchell returned the kickoff 45 yards to Arizona's 43, it took the Eagles six plays to score a touchdown as McNabb found Thrash for a 2-yard score.

The Eagles took the lead for good 21-14 in the second on McNabb's 27-yard score to Pinkston.

Jets 31, Lions 14

DETROIT -- The Jets are emerging from the huge hole they dug for themselves.

Chad Pennington threw a career-high four touchdowns, two to Wayne Chrebet, and New York scored the last 18 points. The Jets (5-5) have won three straight and four of five.

"The big thing about a month ago was to get back to .500 as soon as possible, and hopefully we would have enough games left to make a run for the playoffs," Chrebet said. "We did it pretty quickly. This is a big win for us. Everybody thought this was a trap game coming in here against a team with a losing record."

The Lions had won three in a row at Ford Field and four straight against the Jets.

Since 1997, the Jets have won a league-best 27 games on the road and are 9-3 as visitors under coach Herman Edwards.

New York led 13-0 after its first two possessions but Joey Harrington gave the Lions a 14-13 lead midway through the third quarter with TDs of 37 and 7 yards to Bill Schroeder.

The Jets went ahead for good late in the third on Pennington's second TD pass to Chrebet, on third down from the 4.

Pennington was 21-of-26 for 229 yards with one interception. Harrington was 15-of-30 for 171 yards with two scores and a pickoff.

"It was crucial for our offense to take control of the game and to really put the stamp on it," Pennington said.

Broncos 31, Seahawks 9

SEATTLE -- Even at 37, Steve Beuerlein still gets butterflies when he goes into a game. Yet the 16-year veteran was steady as could be when Denver needed him.

Beuerlein put aside his anxiety to throw two fourth-quarter touchdowns after Brian Griese left with a sprained knee.

"I was a little nervous," Beuerlein said. "People might be surprised: How can a guy as old as me get nervous? Well, I still play the game like a kid. I get butterflies. I play with emotion, and I was excited to get out there."

Clinton Portis ran for 136 yards on 23 carries and Deltha O'Neal returned a late interception 22 yards for a score for Denver, which rebounded from a 34-10 loss Monday to Oakland.

"The difference was a sense of urgency," said Rod Smith, who caught a 14-yard score from Beuerlein. "Everybody had to play a little bit harder."

Griese was 17-for-27 for 194 yards with an interception. Beuerlein threw two passes, both for scores.

Beuerlein went right to work when he entered.

After the Seahawks held on three running plays, he rolled right and tossed a 1-yard TD to diving tight end Patrick Hape, a former Buc, giving the Broncos a 17-6 lead on the first play of the fourth quarter.

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