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Cards, Eagles unbeaten while Saints sinking at 0-2
Rookie kicker Justin Tucker made field goals of 56, 51 and 48 yards for the Ravens, but Joe Flacco couldn’t get Baltimore (1-1) in his range in the final minute.
The Ravens had a lot to say about the replacement officials after this one.
“There’s some serious calls the refs missed,” Baltimore’s Ray Lewis said. “It’s just the way it is, man, all around the league. We have to correct that. These games are critical. Guys are giving everything they’ve got all across the league. But these are calls, with the regular refs, if they were here, we know the way the calls would be made.”
At Charlotte, N.C., Cam Newton threw for 253 yards and ran for a career-high 71 yards and led the Panthers to a 35-27 win over New Orleans that left the NFC South champion Saints 0-2 for the first time since 2007.
“Times change,” wide receiver Steve Smith said of Carolina’s first win over New Orleans since 2009.
Coach Ron Rivera said a loss to Drew Brees and the Saints would have been tough to take especially with a tough game coming up Thursday night against the Super Bowl champion New York Giants.
“The way we responded as a team this week was outstanding,” Rivera said of his 1-1 Panthers. “I think the attitude, the effort was great.”
The Saints, meanwhile, have serious concerns on defense. They’ve allowed 922 yards and 75 points in two games against Newton and Robert Griffin III.
“If you look at our defense, and you look at the two offenses we’ve played, we’ve played the most unconventional offenses in the National Football League,” said interim coach Aaron Kromer, who is running the team because coach Sean Payton and assistant head coach Joe Vitt are serving suspensions for their roles in the Saints bounty scandal. “So do we have to do better against those styles of offenses? Yeah, we do.
“One thing we need to get settled in on is on that style. But we’ve played two good offenses, and we just need to keep working at it and plugging away.”
GIANTS 41, BUCCANEERS 34
At East Rutherford, N.J., Eli Manning came up with a near-record performance in throwing for 510 yards, and Andre Brown scored on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds left to lift the New York Giants over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Manning’s yardage total was the second most for a Giants quarterback, and tied for the eighth-highest in NFL history. He threw three first-half interceptions, and came back with a monster 295 yards passing in the second, finishing 3 yards short of Phil Simms’ team record.
The Bucs (1-1) led by 11 points before the Super Bowl champions came back and avoided an 0-2 start.
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