Rallying Past Patriots, Bills Start Another Celebration

Rian Lindell made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to cap a 34-31 win over the Patriots in which the Bills overcame a 21-0 second-quarter deficit and ended a 15-game losing streak against New England.

“It’s the biggest win of my career; I can’t think of any bigger,” said linebacker Chris Kelsay, one of four current Bills who took part in the team’s last win over New England, in the 2003 season opener. “To beat these guys at home, in front of our fans, with the way they’re behind us despite being down early, it’s huge. I’ll never forget it.”

The former lineman Ruben Brown hugged the Bills as they ran up the tunnel. Running back Fred Jackson ran around the field carrying a Bills flag. And stadium workers took no chances, first guarding the goal posts and then lowering them before fans got any ideas.

The Bills (3-0) won with yet another Fitzpatrick-led rally. And it was reminiscent of what they did in a 38-35 win over Oakland last week, when they scored touchdowns on their final five possessions to overcome a 21-3 deficit.

Tom Brady went 30 of 45 for 386 yards and 4 scores for New England (2-1), but the Patriots uncharacteristically unraveled. New England was called for eight penalties, and Brady matched a career worst with four interceptions. One was returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Drayton Florence with 10 minutes 22 seconds left, only 14 seconds after Jackson tied the score at 24-24 with a 1-yard plunge.

¶ Matthew Stafford threw two touchdown passes in the second half to help Detroit get to overtime, and Jason Hanson kicked a 32-yard field goal to finish off the Lions’ 26-23 victory over the Vikings. Detroit is 3-0 for the first time since 1980. “I feel sick right now,” Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson said after the Vikings blew another big lead.

Steelers Edge Colts

¶ Shaun Suisham kicked a 38-yard field goal with 4 seconds left, lifting the visiting Steelers to a 23-20 victory over the Colts in a game that was far closer than expected. Even when Pittsburgh (2-1) finally thought it had shaken off Indianapolis (0-3), it hadn’t. After Troy Polamalu returned a fumble 16 yards for a 20-13 lead with 5:13 left, Curtis Painter — replacing the injured Kerry Collins — led the Colts on an 80-yard drive to the tying touchdown, a 6-yard run by Joseph Addai.

¶ Drew Brees passed for 370 yards and 3 touchdowns and twice erased fourth-quarter deficits in leading the Saints to a 40-33 win over the Texans at the Superdome. Mark Ingram’s first career touchdown, on a 13-yard run, gave the Saints (2-1) the lead for good.

¶ The stakes were not as high as in their previous meeting at Soldier Field, but the Packers once again beat the Bears, 27-17, as Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes to Jermichael Finley. It was the teams’ first meeting since Green Bay (3-0) beat Chicago (1-2) in January to win the N.F.C. title.

Turnaround Victories

¶ Baltimore (2-1) bounced back from a disappointing loss to Tennessee with a record-setting day in St. Louis. The Ravens pounded the Rams, 37-7, behind a 27-point first half in which they gained 406 of their team-record 553 yards. They wrapped up their dominant performance when Haloti Ngata scored on a 28-yard fumble return after Ray Lewis stripped Sam Bradford on a sack late in the fourth quarter.

¶ Josh Freeman scored the first rushing touchdown of his career and Tampa Bay’s defense forced three turnover, helping the Buccaneers beat the Falcons, 16-13.

Comebacks in Ohio

¶ Colt McCoy capped an 80-yard drive with a 14-yard pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with 43 seconds left, rallying the Browns to a 17-16 win over the winless Dolphins. Before his game-winning throw, McCoy had overthrown, underthrown and flat-out missed receivers all day. But when it mattered most, he completed 9 of 13 passes for all 80 yards on host Cleveland’s winning drive.

¶ Kendall Hunter ran 7 yards for the only touchdown with 3:59 to go, rallying the 49ers to a 13-8 victory over the Bengals that began their extended stay in the Buckeye State on an upbeat note. The 49ers (2-1) will practice at Youngstown State the next few days, then head to Philadelphia for their next game.

In Other Games

¶ Cam Newton did not come close to matching the 400-yard passing days from each of his first two games, but he finally had the ending he wanted. Newton found Greg Olsen over the middle for a 16-yard touchdown with 4:20 left to help the Panthers beat the visiting Jaguars, 16-10. Newton finished 18 for 34 for 158 yards, but part of the blame went to the rain that arrived in the second quarter, turning the field into a slick, puddle-filled mess. “It wasn’t a pretty win,” Newton said, “but the last part counts, right?”

¶ Tarvaris Jackson put Seattle in the lead with a bulldozing 11-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, and Kam Chancellor sealed the victory with an interception of Kevin Kolb with 1:04 left in the Seahawks’ 13-10 win over the Cardinals.

¶ Eric Weddle intercepted Matt Cassel at midfield with 55 seconds left to preserve the Chargers’ 20-17 victory over the Chiefs. Kansas City (0-3) got the ball at its 33 with 1:26 left after Philip Rivers was stuffed on fourth-and-1. Cassel threw for 24 yards to Leonard Pope to get into Chargers territory, but on the next play, under pressure and backpedaling, he threw the ball right to the blitzing Weddle.

¶ Matt Hasselbeck threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Graham with 4:24 left, and the Titans rallied for a 17-14 victory over the visiting Broncos. The Titans (2-1) intercepted Kyle Orton twice, sacked him once and also stopped Willis McGahee on fourth-and-goal at the 1.

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