ATLANTA – Derrick Brooks and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finally stopped Michael Vick when it counted.

Brooks knocked the ball away from Vick with just over a minute remaining, Tampa Bay recovered the fumble and Matt Bryant kicked a 45-yard field goal that gave the Buccaneers a 30-27 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.

The Bucs (7-3) moved into a tie for first in the NFC South with Carolina, which lost 13-3 at Chicago.

The Falcons (6-4) remained one game back in the hotly contested division after their second straight loss at home.

Atlanta fell behind 13-0, then moved the ball at will against Tampa Bay’s highly ranked defense. Vick threw for 306 yards – only the second 300-yard passing game of his career – and led five straight scoring possessions, including a 10-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jenkins that gave the Falcons a 27-20 lead with 7:36 remaining.

Tampa Bay drove 71 yards in 11 plays to tie it. Carnell “Cadillac” Williams scored on a 9-yard run with 1:55 left.

The Falcons got the ball back at their 20 with plenty of time and all three timeouts. Vick connected with Warrick Dunn on an 11-yard pass, then Dunn broke several tackles for an 8-yard run.

Leave it to Brooks, who has always been at his best against the Falcons, to decide the game.

He rushed up the middle, leaped over an attempted block by Dunn and swatted the ball away from Vick as he dropped back to pass.

Shelton Quarles fell on the loose ball at the Atlanta 34 with 1:07 left.

Four plays later, Bryant kicked his winning field goal with 42 seconds remaining.

Giants 27, Eagles 17

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Even without Donovan McNabb and Terrell Owens, the Philadelphia Eagles gave the New York Giants all they could handle.

Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes, including a 61-yarder to Plaxico Burress late in the fourth quarter, to help New York hold off a feisty Eagles team 27-17.

In place of McNabb, who is sidelined with a groin injury, third-string quarterback Mike McMahon ran for one touchdown and threw for another, but it wasn’t enough to stop the Giants (7-3) from surpassing their 2004 win total and beating Philadelphia for the first time since 2002, a span that included four games.

Seahawks 27, 49ers 25

SAN FRANCISCO -Shaun Alexander rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns, and the Seahawks stopped the 49ers’ 2-point conversion attempt with 28 seconds left in their sixth straight victory, 27-25 over San Francisco on Sunday.

Matt Hasselbeck was 19-of-31 for 233 yards and one TD as the league’s most prolific offense dominated the first three quarters, racking up 357 total yards.

Bears 13, Panthers 3

CHICAGO – Nathan Vasher struck again, and the Chicago Bears stamped themselves as a contender in the NFC.

One week after returning a missed field goal a record 108 yards, Vasher intercepted two passes Sunday for the NFC North leaders in a 13-3 victory over the Carolina Panthers. It was Chicago’s sixth straight win.

The NFC South-leading Panthers (7-3) saw their six-game win streak end.

Cowboys 20, Lions 7

IRVING, Texas – Forget the playbook, it was the rule book that helped the Dallas Cowboys easily beat the Detroit Lions.

Taking advantage of 17 penalties for 129 yards against the Lions, the Cowboys got two short touchdown runs from Marion Barber III and Billy Cundiff kicked a franchise-record 56-yard field goal a day after rejoining the club for a 20-7 victory.

Barber’s first touchdown came on the opening drive, and Dallas (7-3) led the rest of the way for its third straight win and fifth in six games.

Coming off a wild win Monday night in Philadelphia and with another game ahead on Thursday, the Cowboys were happy to have a rare breather – only their third game all season not decided in the final minutes.

Cardinals 38, Rams 28

ST. LOUIS — It was a lot like old times for Kurt Warner.

The St. Louis Rams’ former hero won his first game in the town where he produced a pair of Super Bowl teams and a pair of MVP awards, throwing three touchdown passes in a 38-28 victory against his old team.


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