ATLANTA — Matt Ryan and the Falcons have plenty of mistakes to work on during their bye week.
Of course, it’s sure easier to fix the problems when you’re still unbeaten.
Asante Samuel returned an interception 79 yards for a touchdown in the closing minutes and Matt Bryant connected on a 55-yard field goal with 1 second remaining, allowing the Falcons to escape with a sloppy 23-20 victory over the Raiders.
Overcoming three Ryan interceptions, the Falcons extended the best start in franchise history.
It wasn’t easy against the pesky Raiders, who bounced back from Samuel’s pick to tie the game with less than a minute to go, but left a little too much time on the clock for Atlanta’s final possession.
“We’ve been in these situations before,” Ryan said. “We know what we need to do.”
Ryan completed four short passes on Atlanta’s final drive, the last of them a 13-yarder to Tony Gonzalez that got Bryant in range for his longest field goal since joining the Falcons in 2009.
Earlier in the game, Bryant pulled a 43-yarder wide left to break a streak of 23 consecutive field goals going back to last season. But he bounced back to make the one that really mattered.
“He knows how to get himself prepared, how to calm himself down, how to get it through those pipes,” Ryan said. “He’s made a lot of clutch kicks for us through the years.”
Lions 26, Eagles 23
PHILADELPHIA — Jason Hanson kicked a 45-yard field goal in overtime, and Detroit rallied from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Philadelphia.
Held in check most of the game, Matthew Stafford led the Lions to 17 points in the fourth quarter. He threw a TD pass and ran for a score.
The Lions had two shots from the Eagles 1 after a pass interference penalty on Colt Anderson with 13 seconds left in regulation. But Stafford misfired on both passes and Hanson kicked a 19-yard field goal to send it to overtime.
Then after an Eagles punt in overtime, Stafford hit Calvin Johnson for a 17-yard gain to the Eagles 27 on first-and-20. A few plays later, Hanson nailed the game-winner.
Giants 26, 49ers 3