EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Not even another missed field goal by Jay Feely could derail the New York Giants this time.

A week after blowing three potential game-winning kicks against Seattle, Feely clanged a 33-yard attempt off the crossbar with 5:18 left in the game Sunday that would have given the Giants a 10-point lead against Dallas. But New York’s defense held on, and the Giants beat the Cowboys 17-10 to take sole possession of first place in the NFC East.

The Giants (8-4) had four sacks, forced two fumbles – including one that was returned for a touchdown by linebacker Antonio Pierce- and intercepted Drew Bledsoe twice. The second interception, by Brent Alexander, came with 1:47 left in the game. Dallas (7-5) got the ball back one more time at its own 4-yard line, but lost the ball on downs after moving to the Giants 44.

New York won despite a shaky performance from quarterback Eli Manning, who was 12-for-31 for 152 yards and was intercepted twice by Dallas cornerback Aaron Glenn, who was filling in for the injured Anthony Henry.

Tiki Barber gained 115 yards on 30 carries for the Giants.

New York led 17-0 one play into the second half after Pierce scooped up a fumble by Bledsoe and returned it 12 yards for a score. The Giants then had to hold on as Dallas’ offense, which had been held to 37 yards in the first half, began to get going.

The Cowboys moved the ball to the Giants 16 before settling for a 34-yard field goal by Billy Cundiff. They closed within a touchdown later in the third quarter when Glenn stepped in front of Plaxico Burress at the Giants 14 for his second interception of the game and returned it to the 7.

On the next play, Terry Glenn beat cornerback Curtis Deloatch on a fade pattern to make it 17-10.

Bears 19, Packers 7

CHICAGO – Defense carried the Chicago Bears to their eighth straight victory. So, what else is new?

Charles Tillman returned one interception of Brett Favre 95 yards to set up a field goal, and Nathan Vasher carried a fourth-quarter pick 45 yards for a clinching touchdown as the Bears beat the Packers 19-7 and ended Green Bay’s domination at Soldier Field.

On a day when their offense relied on four field goals by Robbie Gould, Chicago prevented Favre from throwing a TD pass against them – he’d done so in an NFL-record 26 straight games.

The Bears (9-3) got their first home victory against the Packers since 1993 and extended their winning streak to eight – their longest since the 1985 Super Bowl team started 12-0.

The Packers were driving for the lead near the end of the first half when Tillman intercepted a poorly thrown Favre pass in the end zone and raced 95 yards before Tony Fisher saved a touchdown and knocked him out at the 7 with 6 seconds left in the half. Gould’s third field goal, a 25-yarder, gave the Bears a 9-7 halftime lead.

Panthers 23, Falcons 6

CHARLOTTE, N.C.- The Carolina Panthers didn’t have to find a way to stop Michael Vick.

He did it all by himself.

Determined to make Vick a pocket passer, Atlanta kept the crafty quarterback bottled up despite his long history of running wild against the Panthers. It resulted in a punchless offense for the Falcons, who could only manage a pair of field goals in their 23-6 loss to Carolina.

DeShaun Foster scored two touchdowns and became the first Carolina back to go over 100 yards this season while helping the Panthers (9-3) snap a three-game losing streak against Atlanta (7-5).

Buccaneers 10, Saints 3

BATON ROUGE, La. – Ronde Barber made Aaron Brooks’ success of a week ago look like a brief aberration.

Barber intercepted Brooks three times and Chris Simms hit Joey Galloway for the only touchdown Tampa Bay needed for the Buccaneers to beat the Saints 10-3 on Sunday.

On New Orleans’ final drive, Brooks threw for the end zone on what could have been a game-tying score when Barber picked off the pass.

Brooks suffered through one of his worst games against Tampa Bay (8-4), throwing four interceptions, all in Tampa Bay territory.

Vikings 21, Lions 16

DETROIT – Brad Johnson threw two touchdowns, Michael Bennett scored twice and the Vikings held on to beat the Lions 21-16 Sunday.

Minnesota (7-5) has won five straight, salvaging their season after a bad start and the now infamous boat party.

Detroit (4-8) has lost five of six and didn’t seem to be sparked by Dick Jauron in his debut as interim coach.

The Vikings appeared to be in control leading by 15 early in the third quarter, but the Lions rallied as Artose Pinner scored on a 6-yard run to make it 21-16 with 7:38 left.

The Lions got the ball back at their 7 with 2:46 left after Paul Edinger – playing in place of injured punter Chris Kluwe -made a low, bouncing kick.

Detroit drove to midfield before Jeff Garcia’s up-for-grabs heave was intercepted by leaping safety Corey Chavous at Minnesota’s 2 with 52 seconds left.

Redskins 24, Rams 9

ST. LOUIS – There was no miracle comeback this week for the St. Louis Rams’ rookie quarterback from Harvard. The Washington Redskins’ defense saw to that.

Clinton Portis ran for 136 yards on 27 carries with a pair of touchdowns and the Redskins made Ryan Fitzpatrick run for his life in a 24-9 victory that snapped Washington’s three-game losing streak.

The Redskins (6-6) didn’t have an abundance of success on offense, either, except for five well-timed gains of 28 yards or more. Portis ran it in untouched from 47 yards for the game’s first score and Santana Moss’ 30-yard catch from Mark Brunell set up Portis’ second touchdown on a 1-yarder.

Cardinals 17, 49ers 10

SAN FRANCISCO – Kurt Warner was 29-of-45 for 354 yards, and Anquan Boldin somehow turned one of his 11 catches for 156 yards into the go-ahead touchdown in the Arizona Cardinals’ 17-10 victory over San Francisco.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.