- Associated Press - Sunday, October 2, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — When the San Francisco 49ers finally let Alex Smith air it out, he outdid Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles.

Chucking its conservative approach in the second half, the 49ers surged back from a 20-point hole and beat the Eagles 24-23 on Sunday.

Vick wasn’t hampered by his bruised right hand, throwing for a career-high 416 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 75 yards. But Philly’s defense fell apart in the final 30 minutes, and Frank Gore capped a 77-yard drive with a 12-yard TD run with 3 minutes remaining.

Former Eagles kicker David Akers, who left for San Francisco as a free agent this summer, kicked the decisive extra point. His replacement, rookie Alex Henery, missed from 39 and 33 yards in the final period.

Giants 31, Cardinals 27

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes in a 58-second span late in the game and the New York Giants rallied to stun the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

The scoring passes of 2 yards to Jake Ballard with 3:37 to go and 29 yards to Hakeem Nicks with 2:39 left came after the Cardinals (1-3) seemingly had taken control of the game 27-17 on Beanie Wells’ third rushing touchdown of the game with 5:16 to go.

Manning completed 7 of 8 for 126 yards on the decisive drives as the Giants (3-1) won their third in a row. He finished 27 of 40 for 371 yards. Nicks caught 10 passes for 162 yards.

Bears 34, Panthers 29

CHICAGO — Devin Hester set an NFL record with his 11th punt return for a touchdown, Matt Forte ran for a career-high 205 yards and Chicago beat Cam Newton and Carolina.

Hester had earlier set up a touchdown run by Forte with a 73-yard kickoff return before he ran back a punt 69 yards in the second quarter to move ahead of Eric Metcalf on the all-time list.

Newton threw for 374 yards, and Carolina wound up with 543 total yards.

Packers 49, Broncos 23

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers remain unbeaten, thanks to a career-best day from Aaron Rodgers in a rout of the Denver Broncos on Sunday.

Rodgers threw for a career-high 408 yards, tied a personal best with four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores.

Charles Woodson ran an interception back for a touchdown for the Packers (4-0), who join resurgent NFC North rivals Detroit as the only undefeated teams left in the NFL.

Falcons 30, Seahawks 28

SEATTLE — Matt Ryan did plenty with his arm and his legs, but Atlanta’s star was still stuck having to watch a 61-yard field-goal attempt fall short in the waning seconds to avoid a huge Falcons meltdown.

Ryan threw for 291 yards and a touchdown and came up with key scrambles all day to keep Atlanta’s offense moving, but he had to wait out Steven Hauschka’s miss of a long kick with 13 seconds left as the Falcons escaped with a win over the Seahawks on Sunday.

Texans 17, Steelers 10

HOUSTON — Arian Foster rushed for 155 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, and Houston Texans overcame an injury to All-Pro Andre Johnson to beat visiting Pittsburgh.

Johnson left in the second quarter with a right hamstring injury and did not return to the game. Ben Roethlisberger was under pressure all day and was sacked five times.

Titans 31, Browns 13

CLEVELAND — Matt Hasselbeck threw three touchdown passes in the first half, and safety Jordan Babineaux returned an interception 97 yards for a TD as Tennessee defeated Cleveland for its third straight win under first-year coach Mike Munchak.

Hasselbeck picked apart Cleveland’s secondary in the opening half, throwing for 194 yards while helping the Titans (3-1) build a 21-6 lead. Hasselbeck, 36, a 13-year veteran, finished 10 of 20 for 220 yards 26 on just two completions after halftime.

Bengals 23, Bills 20

CINCINNATI — Rookie quarterback Andy Dalton shook off a horrid first half and led his first comeback victory culminating in Mike Nugent’s 43-yard field goal as time ran out in Cincinnati’s win over previously unbeaten Buffalo.

Patriots 31, Raiders 19

OAKLAND, Calif. — Tom Brady bounced back from a four-interception performance by throwing for 226 yards, two touchdowns and committing no turnovers to help the Patriots beat the mistake-prone Oakland Raiders on Sunday.

Chiefs 22, Vikings 17

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —Matt Cassel hit Dwayne Bowe for a 52-yard fourth-quarter touchdown pass, Ryan Succop kicked five field goals and Kansas City won its first game by keeping visiting Minnesota winless.

Chargers 26, Dolphins 16

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Chargers are relying on workmanlike performances rather than a lot of fireworks from their high-powered offense. Philip Rivers was 21 of 31 for 307 yards and one touchdown, Mike Tolbert ran for another score and the Chargers beat the winless Dolphins on Sunday.

Saints 23, Jaguars 10

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Drew Brees threw for 351 yards and a touchdown, Darren Sproles added 188 all-purpose yards and New Orleans defeated Jacksonville.



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