Matthew Stafford saw his defense start wiping out a 24-point deficit with interceptions returned for touchdowns midway through the third quarter, then he and Calvin Johnson took over from there, leading the Detroit Lions to a stunning 34-30 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
A week after turning a 20-point halftime deficit into an overtime win, the Lions provided further proof they’re legitimate contenders this season.
Detroit are 4-0 and have won an NFL-best eight straight games. This also was their franchise-record fifth straight road win, avenging a loss here in November last year that had been their NFL-record 26th straight road loss.
Tony Romo and the Cowboys (2-2) continued to show there’s no lead and no deficit too big for them. They blew a 14-point fourth-quarter lead for the first time in franchise history in the opener.
Packers 49, Broncos 23
In Green Bay, Wisconsin, Aaron Rodgers threw for a career-high 408 yards, tied a personal best with four touchdown passes and ran for two more scores as Green Bay remained unbeaten.
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.
Eric Decker caught a pair of touchdowns from Kyle Orton for Denver (1-3). Orton threw for 273 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions.
Bengals 23, Bills 20
In Cincinnati, Ohio, 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 against previously unbeaten Buffalo.
Dalton threw a touchdown pass and ran 3 yards on a draw play, tying it with 4:09 to go. He scrambled for a first down on the winning drive and Nugent ended it with his third field goal in front of the smallest crowd of Paul Brown Stadium’s history.
The Bengals (2-2) overcame a 17-3 halftime deficit to end a 10-game losing streak against Buffalo (3-1).
49ers 24, Eagles 23
In Philadelphia, the 49ers surged back from a 20-point deficit for the victory.
Quarterback Michael Vick wasn’t hampered by his bruised right hand, throwing for a career-high 416 yards and two touchdowns and rushing for 75 yards. However, 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 three 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.
Philadelphia (1-3) have been outscored 36-0 in the fourth quarter of their last three games, all losses. The 49ers (3-1) are on top of the NFC West in Jim Harbaugh’s rookie season as coach.
Texans 17, Steelers 10
In Houston, Texas, Arian Foster rushed for 155 yards and the winning touchdown in the fourth quarter, as Houston overcame an injury to All-Pro Andre Johnson to win.
Johnson left in the second quarter with a right hamstring injury and did not return though he was back on the sideline late to watch Houston (3-1) finish off the injury-plagued Steelers (2-2).
Ben Roethlisberger was under pressure all day and was sacked five times behind an offensive line missing two regular starters. The quarterback injured his left leg late in the game and left the stadium wearing a walking boot.
Foster, last year’s NFL rushing champion, finally looked healthy after weeks of nursing a left hamstring strain.
Patriots 31, Raiders 19
In Oakland, California, Tom Brady bounced back from a four-interception performance by throwing for 226 yards, two touchdowns and committing no turnovers.
Wes Welker caught nine passes for 158 yards and a score, BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley adding rushing touchdowns and the Patriots (3-1) played a mostly mistake-free game after last week’s surprising loss in Buffalo.
This time the interception that changed the game was made by New England instead of thrown by Brady. Patrick Chung got a gift-wrapped pick in the end zone late in the first half when Jason Campbell inexplicably threw the ball right to the safety with no receiver in the area for the Raiders (2-2).
Redskins 17, Rams 10
In St Louis, Missouri, Ryan Torain ran for 135 yards and a 20 yard score and Washington held off a late rally by winless St Louis.
The Redskins (3-1) dominated in defense and got two of their seven sacks late by Stephen Bowen and Brian Orakpo to knock the Rams (0-4) out of scoring position.
Titans 31, Browns 13
In Cleveland, Ohio, Matt Hasselbeck’s fresh start in Tennessee has his team off to an unexpected one.
The 13-year veteran quarterback, who left Seattle as a free agent after a playoff-filled decade, threw three TD passes in the first half and safety Jordan Babineaux returned an interception 97 yards for a TD for their third straight win under first-year coach Mike Munchak.
Hasselbeck threw for 194 yards in the first half while helping the Titans (3-1) build a 21-6 lead.
The 36-year-old finished 10 of 20 for 220 yards — 26 on two completions after halftime.
In other NFL action, it was:
‧ Saints 23, Jaguars 10
‧ Bears 34, Panthers 29
‧ Chargers 26, Dolphins 16
‧ Falcons 30, Seahawks 28
‧ Giants 31, Cardinals 27
‧ Chiefs 22, Vikings 17
‧ Ravens 34, Jets 17
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