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Chris Johnson comes alive; Titans outlast Bills
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.
Brees extended his NFL record for consecutive games with at least one TD pass to 49, while leading long scoring drives on four straight possessions to turn a 14-point deficit into a 28-21 halftime lead.
Packers 30, Rams 20
ST. LOUIS — Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers made themselves right at home in St. Louis.
Backed by a huge contingent of cheeseheads who were every bit as loud as the real home fans, Rodgers passed for three touchdowns and Green Bay's depleted defense clamped down on the Rams.
Randall Cobb caught two touchdown passes and Jordy Nelson had eight receptions for a season-best 122 yards for the Packers.
Vikings 21, Cardinals 14
MINNEAPOLIS — Adrian Peterson ran for 153 yards and a first-quarter touchdown, and Minnesota survived an ugly second half to hand the Cardinals their third straight loss.
Percy Harvin caught Christian Ponder's only touchdown pass, but Ponder threw an interception that led to a second-quarter touchdown run by LaRod Stephens-Howling.
Ponder has seven turnovers in the last three games; two of them were turned into touchdowns last week at Washington.
Arizona's John Skelton went 25 for 36 for 262 yards and two turnovers.
Raiders 26, Jaguars 23 (OT)
OAKLAND, Calif. — Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 40-yard field goal after Cecil Shorts III fumbled on the opening possession of overtime and the Oakland Raiders rallied from 14 points down in the second half.
Carson Palmer threw one TD pass and ran for another to force overtime for the Raiders before they won it after Lammar Houston forced a fumble that Joselio Hanson recovered at the Jacksonville 21.
After one play to center the ball, Janikowski came on to kick the winning field goal.
Colts 17, Browns 13
INDIANAPOLIS — Andrew Luck became the first Colts quarterback to run for two touchdowns in a game since 1988, and Indianapolis (3-3) has already won one more game than it did in 2011.
Brandon Weeden threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, but Trent Richardson, who tried to play through a rib cartilage injury, sat out the second half after running eight times for 8 yards in the first half.
The Browns have lost 11 straight road games.
By Donald Lambro
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