Tim Tebow was being shut out in his first start of the season.
What happened next was why all those Broncos fans clamored for the former Florida star. Denver stunned the winless Miami Dolphins by rallying for an 18-15 victory in overtime.
The Broncos (2-4) appeared beaten when they trailed 15-0 with 5:23 left and took over at their 20. At that point Tebow was 4 for 14 for 40 yards.
In the frantic final minutes of the fourth quarter, Tebow led TD drives of 80 and 56 yards sandwiched around a successful onside kick. He scored a 2-point conversion standing up with 17 seconds left to tie the score.
“It was my fault we were in that position,” Tebow said. “Silly things kept happening. On the sidelines, we were still believing. We wanted it, and they believed in me for more than 60 minutes.”
Miami (0-6) extended the NFL’s longest losing streak to nine games, leaving the status of embattled coach Tony Sparano even more tenuous.
The Oakland Raiders‘ quarterback experiment went far worse than the Broncos’, with Kyle Boller and newly acquired Carson Palmer throwing three interceptions each in place of the injured Jason Campbell in a 28-0 loss to the Chiefs.
Bears 24, Bucs 18
At Wembley, England, Matt Forte ran for 145 yards and a touchdown and Chicago held on for the win.
The Buccaneers (4-3) lost for the second time in three years in London.
Panthers 33, Redskins 20
At Charlotte, N.C., Cam Newton ran for a touchdown and threw for another in the second half to help Carolina.
Jonathan Stewart also ran for a third-quarter touchdown for the Panthers (2-5), who found themselves playing with the lead almost the entire way for the first time all year.
Newton threw for 256 yards and ran for 59. He scored his seventh touchdown on a 16-yard keeper in the third quarter, tying a record for most TDs rushing by a rookie quarterback since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.
In the fourth, he had an easy touchdown toss to Brandon LaFell that blew the game open.
Washington’s John Beck threw for 279 yards and scored on a short keeper in his first start in four years. But he didn’t get the Redskins (3-3) back to the end zone again until they were down 30-13.
Chiefs 28, Raiders 0
Boller became the first Raiders quarterback in 13 years to throw three interceptions in the first half, including Lewis‘ 59-yard score on the first drive of the game for Oakland (4-3). Palmer relieved in the second half and threw three more interceptions, including one that Flowers returned 58 yards to give the Chiefs a 28-0 lead early in the fourth quarter.
At Minneapolis, Aaron Rodgers kept Green Bay unbeaten with three touchdowns and 335 yards passing, holding off plucky Christian Ponder in the rookie’s first start.
Rodgers finished 24 for 30, another near-unstoppable afternoon for him. Ponder was picked off twice in the third quarter by Charles Woodson, who almost grabbed a couple more, but he kept the Vikings in it the whole game after a 71-yard completion on his first play.
Adrian Peterson rushed 24 times for 175 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings (1-6), but James Starks put the game away with two big gains for first downs before the 2-minute warning and finished with 75 yards on 13 carries.
Mason Crosby had four field goals for the Packers (7-0), including a franchise record 58-yarder.
Cowboys 34, Rams 7
At Arlington, Texas, DeMarco Murray ran for a franchise-record 253 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown that’s the second-longest in club history, to lead Dallas.
In the start of a football-baseball doubleheader between teams from Dallas-Fort Worth and St. Louis, the Cowboys (3-3) emphatically ended their stretch of 11 straight games decided by four points or fewer.
The Rams (0-6) were without quarterback Sam Bradford and were averaging the fewest points in the league even with him. They also had by far the worst run defense in the NFL, allowing 163 yards per game.
Quarterback A.J. Feeley was mediocre in his first start since 2007 and Steven Jackson ran for 70 yards and a TD.
Saints 62, Colts 7
At New Orleans, Drew Brees completed 31 of 35 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns, and the Saints set a franchise record for points and victory margin against the hapless Colts.
For the first time as a head coach, Sean Payton spent the game up in the coaches’ booth, where he could sit comfortably with his broken left leg propped up. He had to like what he saw from his new vantage point.
Brees had two touchdown passes to Marques Colston and one to Darren Sproles in the first quarter. His fourth and fifth touchdown tosses went to second-year tight end Jimmy Graham in the third quarter.
It seemed the Saints could do whatever they wanted, also rushing for 236 yards.
Steelers 32, Cardinals 20
At Glendale, Ariz., Ben Roethlisberger threw 95 yards to Mike Wallace for the longest pass play in Steelers history and Pittsburgh handed Arizona its fifth consecutive loss.
Roethlisberger, 26 of 39 for 361 yards, also had TD passes of 12 yards to Heath Miller and 4 yards to Emmanuel Sanders in the first game between the teams since Pittsburgh’s 27-23 thriller over the Cardinals in the 2009 Super Bowl.
Kevin Kolb threw a pair of touchdown passes for the Cardinals (1-5), his first in three games, but he missed several open receivers and, with a blitzing LaMarr Woodley in his face, drew an intentional grounding call in the Cardinals’ end zone for a safety.
Pittsburgh (5-2) won its third straight and improved to 2-2 on the road.
Browns 6, Seahawks 3
At Cleveland, Phil Dawson converted two field goals more than 50 yards and had two others blocked, but it was enough for Cleveland.
Seattle came in missing starting quarterback Tarvaris Jackson and lost running back Marshawn Lynch to a back injury during pregame warmups.
The Browns (3-3) didn’t reach the end zone, but Dawson bailed them out with kicks of 52 and 53 yards, his first career game with two makes of more than 50.
The Seahawks (2-4) managed 137 yards of offense, and had the ball for only 17:04. Quarterback Charlie Whitehurst, filling in for Jackson, completed 12 of 30 passes for 97 yards.
Jets 27, Chargers 21
At East Rutherford, N.J., Plaxico Burress caught three touchdown passes, including the go-ahead score that was set up by an interception by Darrelle Revis, and the Jets stormed back for the win.
Leading 21-17, the Chargers (4-2) appeared to be driving for a possible game-sealing score when Philip Rivers threw toward Vincent Jackson. The ball tipped off the receiver’s hands and right to Revis, who returned the interception 64 yards to the Chargers 19.
After a few runs by Shonn Greene and a defensive holding call _ the Chargers’ 11th penalty in the game _ Mark Sanchez found Burress on a slant for a 3-yard touchdown to give the Jets (4-3) their first lead midway through the fourth quarter. It was the second time in his career Burress caught three touchdowns, and first since 2007 while with the Giants.
Texans 41, Titans 7
At Nashville, Tenn., Arian Foster ran for 115 yards and two touchdowns and added 119 more receiving with a 78-yard TD as Houston moved back into first place in the AFC South.
The Texans (4-3) snapped a two-game skid even with Pro Bowl receiver Andre Johnson missing his third straight game and fullback James Casey his second due to injuries. Matt Schaub threw for 296 yards and two TDs.
Tennessee (3-3) has lost two straight. Chris Johnson had 18 yards on 10 carries and was booed by the hometown fans, many of whom began leaving early in the fourth quarter.
Falcons 23, Lions 16
At Detroit, Matt Ryan ran and threw for touchdowns to give Atlanta a double-digit lead in the first half, and the Falcons held on for the win.
On Detroit’s final drive, a pass-interference penalty against Atlanta was overturned because instant replay showed defensive tackle Corey Peters had tipped the ball. Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford appeared to injure his right ankle on the play.
He then throw incomplete on fourth down from the Atlanta 41 and limped off the field.
The Falcons (4-3) ran out the clock with a first down to win consecutive games for the first time this year. The Lions (5-2) have lost two straight after their perfect start.
Ryan’s 17-yard pass to Roddy White put Atlanta ahead 17-6 at halftime.
Calvin Johnson caught his 10th TD pass late in the third quarter to pull Detroit within four points.
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