- Associated Press - Monday, October 29, 2012

The New York Giants sure feel at home at Cowboys Stadium.

They should: After their wild 29-24 victory Sunday at Jerry Jones’ palace outside Dallas, the Giants are 4-0 when they visit the billion-dollar building.

“Every time we come here, it’s a nail-biter in some way, shape or form,” coach Tom Coughlin said. “That’s the way it is in this division.”

The way it is right now is that the Super Bowl champions appear well on their way to running off with the NFC East. At 6-2 with four consecutive victories, they are far in front of Dallas (3-4), Philadelphia (3-4) and Washington (3-5).

New York needed some good fortune and big plays by the defense to take this win.

New York (6-2) led 23-0 just 2 minutes into the second quarter when defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown. That was the third pick thrown by Tony Romo, among six turnovers by Dallas _ three made by safety Stevie Brown.

They didn’t score again until Lawrence Tynes kicked his fourth of five field goals, from 43 yards with 10:20 left for a 26-24 lead. He added a 37-yarder after Brown recovered a fumble.

Yet the Cowboys looked like winners when a 37-yard pass from Romo was grabbed spectacularly by Dez Bryant with 10 seconds left. But when the play was reviewed, Bryant’s hand touched out of bounds before the rest of his body came down in-bounds.

“I’ll take the breaks, I’ll take the luck, whatever you want to call it,” defensive end Tuck said. “I’ll take it. We needed it.”

New York’s thrilling win wasn’t the only tight ending _ not even close. Chicago, Indianapolis and Detroit also needed nearly all 60 minutes or even more to come through. The Bears edged Carolina 23-22, the Colts needed overtime to win at Tennessee 19-16, and the Lions rallied past Seattle 28-24.

Also Sunday, Atlanta remained the only unbeaten team, moving to 7-0 by winning at Philadelphia 30-17; New England routed St. Louis 45-7 at London; Green Bay beat Jacksonville 24-15; Denver routed the Saints 34-14; Pittsburgh defeated Washington 27-12; Miami romped past the New York Jets 30-9; Cleveland got by San Diego 7-6; and Oakland beat Kansas City 26-16.

On Thursday, Tampa Bay beat Minnesota 36-17.

The Monday night game has San Francisco (5-2) at Arizona (4-3).

Off this week were Houston (6-1), Baltimore (5-2), Buffalo (3-4) and Cincinnati (3-4).



At Chicago, the Bears (6-1) trailed 19-7 in the fourth quarter. But Brad Nortman shanked a 6-yard punt, and Jay Cutler connected with Kellen Davis on a 12-yard scoring pass.

On Carolina’s next play, Steve Smith slipped on a pass pattern and Tim Jennings returned his second interception of the game 25 yards for the go-ahead score.

Cam Newton drove the Panthers to the Chicago 27, and Justin Medlock’s 45-yard field goal hit the right upright and went through to put Carolina (1-6) ahead 22-20 with 2:27 remaining. Medlock had five field goals.

On the winning drive, Cutler moved the Bears 55 yards to the 23 to set up Robbie Gould’s 41-yard kick as time expired. The Panthers lost their fifth straight game.

“We were down,” Jennings said. “We knew we had to score on defense. Our captains rallied up the troops. We knew that if we got our hands on the ball we had to score. That’s been our mentality all season.”


At Nashville, Vick Ballard made a sensational dive into the end zone to finish a 16-yard touchdown pass play from Andrew Luck to win it at 4:49 of overtime. The Colts (4-3) have beaten Tennessee (3-5) in seven of eight overall and seven of the past 10 in Nashville.

“They were all around, and I just knew I had to get in,” Ballard said. “The only way I could get in from the 5 was to jump, so I did.”

The Colts did it with Luck leading a pair of 80-yard touchdown drives. The top pick overall in April’s draft set up Delone Carter’s 1-yard TD run that tied it at 13 with 3:24 left in the fourth quarter.


At Detroit, Matthew Stafford’s 1-yard touchdown pass to Titus Young with 20 seconds left capped Young’s breakout performance and secured the victory.

Young also caught a TD throw midway through the second quarter and finished with nine receptions and 100 yards receiving _ both career highs. He stepped in for the injured Nate Burleson.

“I wasn’t worried about Titus,” coach Jim Schwartz said. “Titus has never lacked for self-confidence.”

Zach Miller made a spectacular, 16-yard catch on a pass from Russell Wilson with 5:27 left to put the Seahawks (4-4) ahead. But Stafford led a 16-play, 80-yard possession. Young broke inside of cornerback Brandon Browner and caught the winning TD pass.


At Philadelphia, the Eagles (3-4) lost for the first time in 13 games after a bye under Andy Reid. They were no match for the Falcons as Matt Ryan threw touchdown passes on Atlanta’s first three possessions against Philadelphia and new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles.

The Falcons improved to 7-0 for the first time in franchise history as they scored on their first six possessions before punting for the first time with 5:35 left.

“When you do that, it’s going to be a good day,” said Ryan, who finished 22 of 29 for 262 yards for his first win against his hometown team in three tries.

Michael Vick didn’t turn over the ball, but he struggled and failed to beat his former team in his second start against the Falcons since returning to the NFL in 2009.

“The thing I know is, I’m giving it everything I’ve got out there when I step on the field,” Vick said. “Deep down, as long as I know I’m doing that, giving it everything, that’s all I can ask out of myself.”


At London, the Ex-Pats, uh, Pats (5-3) made this international game a rout. Tom Brady led touchdown drives on the first five possessions for New England.

The Rams (3-5) looked ready to put up a fight when Sam Bradford hit Chris Givens with a 50-yard touchdown pass on the opening drive. But Brady cut through the St. Louis defense at will for a 28-7 lead by halftime, then hit Brandon Lloyd for a 9-yard score to start the third quarter.

New England surpassed 350 yards of total offense for the 17th straight game, breaking an NFL record set by the Rams in 1999-2000.

Patriots coach Bill Belichick enjoyed the Wembley scene. Of course, the winner always enjoy the scene, no matter where it is.

“The stadium was great,” he said. “Playing on grass is always good. … It’s good to see the jerseys muddy, grass stains. Guys picking up dirt out of their facemasks, stuff like that. We don’t see a lot of that back in the States.”


At Green Bay, the Packers (5-3) struggled with the undermanned Jaguars (1-6), but still squeezed out their third consecutive victory. Aaron Rodgers hit old favorite Donald Driver on a 4-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, his second TD pass of the game,

Rodgers passed Bart Starr for second place on Green Bay’s all-time list with 153, behind only Brett Favre’s 442.

Dezman Moses gave the Packers their first touchdown on a blocked punt in almost 22 years.

Jacksonville was without All-Pro RB Maurice Jones-Drew, but backup Rashad Jennings finished with 115 yards of offense, and Cecil Shorts had a career-best 116 yards on eight catches.


At Denver, Peyton Manning shook off a bleeding right thumb after banging it on an opponent’s helmet to throw for 305 yards and three TDs. It was Manning’s fifth straight 300-yard game, setting a franchise record for Denver (4-3) and matching his personal best.

The Broncos gained 530 yards against the Saints (2-5), who came in with the NFL’s worst defense, which was not helped by the return from suspension of Joe Vitt as interim coach.

Denver held Drew Brees and the league’s top-ranked passing offense to 213 yards.


At Pittsburgh, Ben Roethlisberger threw for 222 yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers (4-3) won consecutive games for the first time this season. Jonathan Dwyer added 107 yards rushing in his second NFL start.

Pittsburgh never let Redskins rookie QB Robert Griffin III get going; he was held to 16 of 34 passing for 177 yards and a score while managing 8 yards rushing.

“It is very frustrating,” Griffin said as Washington fell to 3-5. “You want to go out, be successful, execute plays and have everything work for you and then when you have a day like today when you have almost nothing work for you.”


At East Rutherford, N.J., rookie QB Ryan Tannehill hurt his left knee and quadriceps in the first quarter, but Matt Moore stepped in and Miami’s special teams stepped up. Moore threw a touchdown pass to Anthony Fasano, Olivier Vernon recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for a touchdown and blocked a field goal, and the Dolphins smothered Mark Sanchez and the Jets (3-5).

After a week of trash talking between both sides, the argument easily was won on the field by the Dolphins (4-3), winners of three in a row.

“It was very satisfying for us, as good as it gets,” Reggie Bush said. “We wanted to have the opportunity to jump on them early and we accomplished that. Once we got them down early, I thought that was it.”


At Cleveland, rookie Trent Richardson rushed for 122 yards and scored a touchdown in wet conditions. The Browns (2-6) won their second straight game at home _ and first for new owner Jimmy Haslam III _ as Richardson scored on a 26-yard run in the first quarter.

The Chargers (3-4) dropped their third straight. Philip Rivers threw for only 154 yards.


Oakland (3-4) won its sixth in a row at Kansas City, getting four field goals from Sebastian Janikowski, 114 yards rushing by Darren McFadden, and two TD passes from Carson Palmer.

Matt Cassel threw for 218 yards in place of Brady Quinn, who left in the first half with what the team called a “head injury.” Quinn had started his second straight game.

The Chiefs (1-6) have lost four straight and still have not led in regulation this season.


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