Patriots add another thrilling victory

Published 12:00 am Monday, December 1, 2003

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - New England's charmed season includes yet another thrilling victory.

With 14 seconds left Sunday, Willie McGinest shot around the right side of the Indianapolis Colts' offensive line on fourth-and-goal and tackled Edgerrin James in the backfield to preserve the Patriots' 38-34 victory.

The Patriots have won eight straight, the longest streak in the NFL, and are 10-2 for the first time in franchise history.

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Indianapolis (9-3) dropped out of first place in the AFC South, at least momentarily, for the first time this year. Tennessee plays Monday night at the Jets.

Peyton Manning brilliantly rallied the Colts from a 21-point second-half deficit for the second time this season. But this time, after completing 29 of 48 passes for 278 yards and four touchdowns, Manning's late-game heroics ran out.

He moved the Colts 47 yards on their final drive, getting three chances to win it from the 1-yard line in the game's final 37 seconds.

But the Patriots stuffed James on second down and Manning couldn't connect with Aaron Moorehead on third down before McGinest's decisive tackle.

Ravens 44, 49ers 6

BALTIMORE (AP) - Ray Lewis returned an interception 29 yards for a touchdown to cap a 17-point flurry in the second quarter.

One week earlier, the Ravens trailed Seattle by 14 points at halftime and by 17 in the fourth quarter before rallying to win. Baltimore (7-5) took a far easier path against the 49ers, building a 24-6 halftime lead before coasting to the most lopsided victory in franchise history.

It was San Francisco's worst loss since a 41-3 defeat against Jacksonville in September 1999. The 49ers (5-7) are 0-6 on the road.

Rams 48, Vikings 17

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Marshall Faulk ran for three touchdowns and 108 yards, his third straight 100-yard game after going 10 without one.

The Rams (9-3) solidified their NFC West lead - they're tied with the Eagles for the best record in the NFC - and won their 12th straight home game. The North Division-leading Vikings (7-5) are sinking fast after a 6-0 start.

Faulk scored on runs of 18, 5 and 7 yards. He has 127 touchdowns, passing Hall of Famers Walter Payton and Jim Brown for fifth on the career list.

Rams wide receiver Isaac Bruce threw a 41-yard end-around pass to Dane Looker to set up Faulk's second touchdown.

Eagles 25, Panthers 16

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Donovan McNabb overcame his first interception in six games to lead the Eagles (9-3) to their seventh consecutive victory. Philadelphia committed two turnovers, snapping a streak of four consecutive games without a giveaway.

McNabb ended his run of 127 attempts without an interception when Mike Rucker picked him off on the first play. Brian Westbrook fumbled away a punt return and the Eagles also failed on a 2-point conversion try.

But David Akers kicked four field goals.

The loss stalled Carolina's (8-4) attempt to wrap up the NFC South.

Texans 17, Falcons 13

HOUSTON (AP) - Michael Vick finally returned from a broken right leg suffered in preseason, but he was too late to save the Falcons' season or their game against the Texans.

Domanick Davis struck for two touchdowns and David Carr made his own unplanned appearance to lead the second-year Texans (5-7) to a franchise-high fifth win.

Vick, the top overall draft choice in 2001 who set an NFL rushing mark for quarterbacks with 1,066 yards over his first two seasons, made his debut with 2:14 remaining in the third quarter. He completed a 9-yard pass to Justin Griffith on his first play for Atlanta (2-10).

Carr was supposed to miss the game after spraining his right shoulder two weeks ago. But he was pressed into action when Tony Banks broke his right hand on another player's helmet near the end of the first half.

Jaguars 17, Buccaneers 10

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) - Jimmy Smith reached 700 career receptions, caught a touchdown pass late in the game and sent Tampa Bay reeling toward playoff elimination.

Smith made a diving 48-yard touchdown catch with 10 minutes left. He caught a season-high 10 passes for 136 yards to lead the struggling Jaguars (3-9).

Defending NFL champion Tampa Bay (5-7) fell three games behind NFC South leader Carolina, and three behind Seattle for the last wild-card spot.

Smith's former teammate, Keenan McCardell of the Bucs, who caught eight passes, also went over 700.

Chiefs 28, Chargers 24

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Priest Holmes ran 31 times for 162 yards and two touchdowns, and Tony Gonzalez caught two touchdown passes from Trent Green to lift the Chiefs (11-1). Kansas City capitalized on two turnovers by Doug Flutie in the final 11 minutes.

But the Chiefs, the NFL's best team, weren't able to clinch the AFC West because Denver beat Oakland.

LaDainian Tomlinson had 106 yards and one TD for San Diego (2-10).

Broncos 22, Raiders 8

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Clinton Portis carried 34 times for 170 yards and two touchdowns and the Broncos held Oakland without a touchdown for the first time this season.

All the Broncos (7-5) really had to overcome was the wet weather - the raucous Raider Nation was subdued for a change. What little success Oakland (3-9) had moving the ball was more than offset by its untimely penalties and other mistakes. The Raiders were penalized 11 times for 89 yards and lost three fumbles.

Saints 24, Redskins 20

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - Deuce McAllister did everything but score for the Saints (6-6). He had his ninth consecutive 100-yard rushing game, running for 165 yards on 30 carries and catching four passes for 31 more.

Aaron Brooks ran for two scores and passed for another, but McAllister handled the ball on 35 of New Orleans' 67 offensive plays. His ninth consecutive 100-yard game ties him for third all-time with Walter Payton and Fred Taylor. Barry Sanders holds the record with 14.

The Redskins (4-8) have lost three straight and seven of eight, and the defense failed to hold a lead by giving up the winning drive in the fourth quarter for the third straight week.

Bills 24, Giants 7

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Drew Bledsoe shook off the effects of a concussion and threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns. Buffalo (5-7), which snapped a four-game slide, had not scored a road TD since Week 2, but Bledsoe threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to Dave Moore and a 22-yarder to Bobby Shaw in a 17-point second quarter. Travis Henry finished with 113 yards rushing.

The Giants (4-8) have lost four straight for the first time in Jim Fassel's six-plus years as coach.