ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Chris Johnson finally hit the gas. And Matt Hasselbeck delivered in the clutch for a second straight week.
And together, they appear to have the sputtering Tennessee Titans turned in the right direction after capping a wild and wacky game with a thrilling finish in a 35-34 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Johnson got the Titans’ offense up and running with 195 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Those scores came during a wild first quarter, in which Tennessee and Buffalo scored three TDs in a span of 30 seconds.
It was then up to Hasselbeck to secure the victory by hitting Nate Washington with a 15-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 1:03 remaining.
“It’s a great feeling,” Hasselbeck said. “To pull through once again in a close game for our third win in a game that came down basically to the last play was a great feeling.”
Facing fourth-and-9, Hasselbeck dropped a pass just over the shoulder of Washington, who had a step on Justin Rogers in the end zone.
Cowboys 19, Panthers 14
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Dan Bailey made a go-ahead 28-yard field goal with 3:25 remaining to help Dallas defeat Carolina.
Trailing by one, Tony Romo led the Cowboys into field goal range with a 10-play, 44-yard drive to send Dallas to its ninth consecutive regular-season victory over the Panthers.
On a fourth-and-1 at their 39, the Panthers caught Dallas’ defense changing personnel and Cam Newton quickly completed a pass for an apparent first down. But officials ruled the Cowboys called timeout before the snap.
On the ensuing play, Morris Claiborne collided with receiver Louis Murphy before the ball arrived, but no flag was thrown.
Bailey added his fourth field goal of the game with 53 seconds left.
Saints 35, Bucs 28
TAMPA, Fla. — Jonathan Vilma played for the first time while appealing a season-long suspension for his role in the Saints bounty program and Drew Brees threw for 377 yards and four touchdowns to pace a come-from-behind victory.
While it’s debatable how much Vilma’s return impacted the Saints defense, the unit turned back two drives near the end zone in the second half, including the final three plays of the game to preserve New Orleans’ second straight win.