Whitehurst lifts Seahawks over Giants; Saints, Steelers prevail

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw a go-ahead 27-yard touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin, and Brandon Browner returned an interception 94 yards to clinch the Seattle Seahawks’ 36-25 victory over the New York Giants on Sunday.

Whitehurst, who replaced the injured Tarvaris Jackson in the third quarter, led the Seahawks on an 80-yard touchdown drive, which he capped with his pass to a wide-open Baldwin with 2:37 left on a play that the Giants seemed to stop after defensive end Osi Umenyiora jumped offside.

The Giants, who had staged fourth-quarter rallies to win their past two games, mounted another late drive, but Eli Manning’s pass tipped off receiver Victory Cruz’s hands, bounced off Kam Chancelor and was picked off in the air at the 6-yard line by Browner, who went the distance to ice the game.

Saints 30, Panthers 27

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Drew Brees found running back Pierre Thomas wide open on the right side for a 6-yard touchdown with 50 seconds left, helping New Orleans rally past Carolina.

Brees threw for 359 yards and two touchdowns, including a nearly flawless final drive in which he completed 8 of 9 passes for 80 yards to take back momentum.

Newton threw for 224 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead 5-yard scoring pass to tight end Greg Olsen for a 27-23 lead with 12:32 to play

Steelers 38, Titans 17

PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger tied a team record with five touchdown passes - including two to Hines Ward - and Pittsburgh rolled past Tennessee.

Roethlisberger, who appeared to have no issues with his sprained left foot, also hit Mike Wallace, Heath Miller and David Johnson for scores in ending the Titans’ three-game winning streak.

The five touchdown passes tied a single-game team record Roethlisberger already shared with Mark Malone and Terry Bradshaw.

Patriots 30, Jets 21

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns, and New England beat New York with a vastly improved defense.

Tom Brady had another strong game, completing 24 of 33 passes for 321 yards and one touchdown as the Patriots scored at least 30 points for the 13th straight regular-season game.

Meanwhile, the Jets’ Mark Sanchez passed for just 166 yards against the team that entered with the NFL’s lowest-ranked defense.

Raiders 25, Texans 20

HOUSTON — Jason Campbell threw two touchdown passes and Sebastian Janikowski kicked four field goals as Oakland overturned Houston one day after the death of owner Al Davis.

Michael Huff intercepted Matt Schaub’s pass in the end zone on the final play to secure the win. Schaub threw for 416 yards and two touchdowns but missed star receiver Andre Johnson, who sat out with a right hamstring injury.

Bengals 30, Jaguars 20

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes, Bernard Scott scored with 1:56 remaining and Cincinnati handed Jacksonville its fourth straight loss.

The Bengals took advantage of Matt Turk’s 22-yard punt into the wind to set up the winning score, a touchdown needed because Mike Nugent missed an extra-point in the first half. Cincinnati also scored on a fumble return on the final play.

Chiefs 28, Colts 24

INDIANAPOLIS — Matt Cassel threw for 257 yards and four touchdowns, and Kansas City scored the final 21 points to pull out a victory over winless Indianapolis.

Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston each caught two TD passes for the Chiefs, whose 17-point comeback matched the biggest comeback in team history.

Curtis Painter was 12 of 17 for 237 yards with two TDs for the Colts in the first half for a quarterback rating of 152.2.

Chargers 29, Broncos 24

DENVER — Philip Rivers overcame an interception and a fourth-quarter fumble to lead San Diego despite Tim Tebow’s best efforts to rally Denver from a 16-point deficit.

Tebow threw two touchdown passes after replacing Kyle Orton to start the third quarter, and had one final shot to win it for the Broncos before his pass fell incomplete in the end zone on the final play. Nick Novak kicked five field goals and Ryan Mathews ran for a career-best 125 yards for the Chargers.

Vikings 34, Cardinals 10

MINNEAPOLIS — Adrian Peterson powered in for three first-quarter touchdowns as Minnesota built a large lead and eased past Arizona. Peterson rushed 29 times for 122 yards and Donovan McNabb jogged in for a score for the Vikings. Cardinals quarterback Kevin Kolb committed three turnovers and finished 21 for 42 for 232 yards and one touchdown.

49ers 48, Buccaneers 3

SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Smith threw two of his three touchdown passes to Vernon Davis, Frank Gore ran for a score in his second straight 100-yard rushing game and San Francisco pummeled Tampa Bay for its best start in nine years. Carlos Rogers returned an interception 31 yards for a touchdown, and tight ends Davis and Delanie Walker each caught TD passes of 20-plus yards in San Francisco’s third straight win.

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