EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Eli Manning was backpedaling under pressure, spinning away from a defender and heaving the ball in what looked like desperation.

Except there was nothing desperate about this 2-yard pass, caught in the end zone on the run by a leaping Amani Toomer with 8 seconds remaining to give the New York Giants a 24-23 win over Denver on Sunday.

The second-year quarterback’s education took another huge step forward with the touchdown toss that capped a brilliant comeback drive and snapped Denver’s five-game winning streak, despite another stellar running effort by the Broncos.

Trailing 23-17 with 3:29 left, Manning drove the Giants from their 17 to the Denver 2. The big play that got them there was a 24-yard pass to tight end to Jeremy Shockey on third-and-10 at the Denver 32.

After an incompletion and a short pass to Tiki Barber, Manning, off-balance and under heavy pressure, found Toomer just inside the goal line for the score.

It’s was a familiar sight, but with a different result: Last week, Manning led his team on a similar drive in Dallas, spinning away from a blitzing defender and hitting Shockey in the end zone to tie the game with less than a minute left. But the Giants never got the ball in overtime and lost to the Cowboys 16-13.

Redskins 52, 49ers 17

LANDOVER, Md. – Clinton Portis did cartwheels to celebrate his long overdue touchdowns. LaVar Arrington actually got on the field and led the team in tackles. The defense finally forced a turnover. The offense had its best scoring day in 14 years.

In retrospect, it all seemed kind of silly that Joe Gibbs was worried about anyone motivating the San Francisco 49ers. The Washington Redskins feasted on the worst team in the NFC, rolling to a 52-17 victory Sunday in what looked like a mismatch scrimmage between a top university and the junior college down the street.

The Redskins (4-2) led 35-7 at halftime, piled up 448 yards and scored on seven of their first nine possessions to snap a two-game losing streak. Mark Brunell completed 13 of 20 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns. Mike Sellers caught scoring passes of 2 and 19 yards. Santana Moss had a 32-yard TD reception and maintained his torrid start with five passes for 112 yards, his fourth 100-yard game in five weeks.

Raiders 38, Bills 17

OAKLAND, Calif. – LaMont Jordan asked to shoulder the load with the season slipping away and Randy Moss nursing several injuries.

Jordan did just that.

And his Oakland teammates contributed, too – even the banged-up Moss.

Jordan ran for 122 yards and a career-high three touchdowns, Moss added a 22-yard TD catch after being listed as doubtful to play, and the Raiders beat the Buffalo Bills 38-17 on Sunday.

Kerry Collins, sacked on Oakland’s opening drive and booed afterward, completed nine of 10 passes on consecutive touchdown drives late in the second quarter and early in the third as the Raiders (2-4) took control. He finished 19-for-27 for 261 yards to help Oakland scored more than 20 points for the first time all season.

Doug Gabriel had five catches for a career-high 101 yards, and Moss had three receptions for 43 yards in a limited role after bruising his ribs, straining a groin and bruising his pelvic area last Sunday against San Diego.

Eagles 20, Chargers 17

PHILADELPHIA – Desperate for a big play, the Philadelphia Eagles got one from an unlikely source.

Quintin Mikell blocked a field goal and Matt Ware returned it 65 yards for a touchdown with 2:25 left, leading the Eagles to a 20-17 victory over the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

LaDainian Tomlinson was held to a career-low 7 yards rushing on 17 carries and his NFL-tying record streak of consecutive games scoring a touchdown ended at 18.

Drew Brees rallied the Chargers from a 10-0 deficit with a pair of TD passes, but San Diego couldn’t put the game away after the Eagles failed to convert a fourth-and-1 at their own 30 late in the game.

Mikell leaped in the air to swat away Nate Kaeding’s 40-yard attempt, Ware picked it up after one bounce and raced into the end zone.

Colts 38, Texans 20

HOUSTON – The Indianapolis Colts are perfect despite a less-than-thrilling performance against the winless Houston Texans.

The Colts beat the woeful Texans 38-20 on Sunday and improved to 7-0 for the first time in franchise history. But the Colts were looking for a better showing against Houston (0-6) as they head into their bye week before a matchup with New England.

The Colts reeled off 24 straight second-half points and held the hapless Texans to minus-4 yards after halftime after allowing Houston to head into halftime tied at 14.

Indianapolis coach Tony Dungy became the 34th NFL coach to win 100 games, while the Colts won for the 70th time since 1999, tops in the league. They improved to 7-0 against Houston.

Seahawks 13, Cowboys 10

SEATTLE – Jordan Babineaux intercepted Drew Bledsoe’s sideline pass with 5 seconds left and Josh Brown kicked a 50-yard field goal as time expired to give the Seattle Seahawks a 13-10 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

“We needed all 60 minutes. What a great, great win,” Seattle coach Mike Holmgren said. “That’s stating the obvious.”

Their league-leading offense rendered essentially inert by Dallas’ swarming, attacking defense and ball-control offense for the first 58 minutes, the Seahawks tied it with 40 seconds left on Matt Hasselbeck’s 1-yard TD pass to tight end Ryan Hannam.

Seattle then stunned the Cowboys with Brown’s long kick after Babineaux intercepted the pass intended for Terry Glenn and returned it 25 yards.

Lions 13, Browns 10

CLEVELAND – Kicked out of town after one tumultuous season, Jeff Garcia came back to Cleveland and got some payback against the Browns.

Garcia, making his first start this season in place of Joey Harrington, ran for a touchdown and Jason Hanson kicked two field goals Sunday to lead the Detroit Lions to a 13-10 win over the careless Browns.

After missing Detroit’s first five games with a broken left leg, Garcia returned to practice this week and the 35-year-old got the starting nod before the game from Lions coach Steve Mariucci, who has run out of patience with an ineffective Harrington.

Vikings 23, Packers 20

MINNEAPOLIS – Something finally went right for the Minnesota Vikings.

Paul Edinger kicked a career-long 56-yard field goal as time ran out, lifting momentum-starved Minnesota to a 23-20 victory over the stunned Green Bay Packers on Sunday.

After losing their last two games by a combined 58-13 score and allegations of sexual misconduct by several players on a boat party emerging, the Vikings (2-4) trailed 17-0 in the third quarter and appeared headed for another ugly defeat.

But Daunte Culpepper, who went 23-for-31 for 280 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions, came to life – and Edinger came through with his third field goal of the game.

Bears 10, Ravens 6

CHICAGO – In a slugfest of two top defensive teams, the Chicago Bears mustered just enough offense when it counted.

Kyle Orton threw a first-quarter touchdown pass to Marc Edwards, and Thomas Jones ran for 83 of his 139 yards in the final period to help the Bears beat the Baltimore Ravens 10-6 on Sunday in a chilly rain.

It was Chicago’s first win this season outside the abysmal NFC North and kept the Bears tied for first at 3-3 with Detroit. Chicago will visit the Lions next Sunday.

As always, the offense-challenged Bears relied mostly on their defense, which entered the game ranked No. 3 in the NFL to Baltimore’s No. 2. It was their second straight game without allowing a touchdown, and they remain the league’s only team not to have allowed a rushing touchdown this season.

Rams 28, Saints 17

ST. LOUIS – Minus their coach, their quarterback and their two starting wide receivers, the St. Louis Rams had just enough left to win.

Steven Jackson scored on a pair of short runs and Kevin Curtis got the go-ahead touchdown on a 5-yard reverse with 5:58 to go in a come-from-behind 28-17 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

A pair of failed trick plays came back to haunt the Saints (2-5), who squandered a 14-point first-quarter lead and have lost three in a row. A quarterback sneak on a fake field goal on fourth-and-1 was stuffed for no gain near the end of the third quarter and Donte’ Stallworth’s fumble on a fourth-quarter reverse led to the go-ahead score.

Rams quarterback Jamie Martin, subbing for the injured Marc Bulger, was ineffective most of the day. But he hit Curtis for a 42-yard gain to the 6 to set up the winning score, and then led the blocking on Curtis’ clinching score after the wide receiver took a handoff from Jackson.

Cardinals 20, Titans 10

TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona’s defense did the damage, and Josh McCown finally came through with a couple of big plays to Larry Fitzgerald.

That was enough to give the Cardinals an ugly 20-10 victory over the Tennessee Titans, who were torn apart by injuries and buried by their own mistakes Sunday.

David Macklin returned an interception 61 yards for a touchdown and the Cardinals turned three Titans’ turnovers into 17 points. Neil Rackers kicked field goals of 33 and 24 yards to improve to 20-for-20 this season for the Cardinals, who trailed 10-0 in the first quarter.

Tennessee (2-5) was without quarterback Steve McNair because of back and ankle injuries. The Titans then lost running back Chris Brown with a shoulder stinger, and long snapper Ken Amato with a leg injury in the first half.

Steelers 27, Bengals 13

CINCINNATI – Not yet, Bengals. Not quite yet.

Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes in his return from a knee injury, and the Pittsburgh Steelers proved they’re still the team to beat in the AFC North by beating upstart Cincinnati 27-13 on Sunday.

The Steelers (4-2) haven’t lost their knack for winning tough game in tough places. They dominated the second half in front of a Cincinnati-record crowd of 66,104, setting a franchise record with their 10th straight road victory.

For the first time in their stadium’s six-year history, the Bengals (5-2) had the fans on their side for a home game against the Steelers.

There was more orange than yellow in the crowd that turned out on a raw, rainy day – the kind the Steelers usually dominate with defense and runs.


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