Bruschi shows Pats how to bounce back over Bills

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2005

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tedy Bruschi's return was a successful one for the New England Patriots and their popular linebacker.

Corey Dillon, who struggled most of the season before missing his previous game with an ankle injury, came on to score on two 1-yard runs and New England came back for a 21-16 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday night.

Despite Bruschi's return 8 1/2 months after having a mild stroke, the Patriots' defense struggled for much of the game. The inside linebacker and emotional leader made several good plays early, then fit right in with a defense that was as mediocre as it's been all season.

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But the offense came alive in time to hold onto first place in the AFC East. The Patriots (4-3) avoided matching their loss total of the last two seasons, when they went 34-4 with two Super Bowl championships.

Bears 19, Lions 13, OT

DETROIT (AP) - The Lions were bailed out after one ill-advised Jeff Garcia play in the fourth quarter, then the Bears burned them on another in overtime.

Garcia's across-the-body pass was picked off by Charles Tillman and returned 22 yards for a touchdown with 8:43 left in overtime. The 35-year-old quarterback, making his second start in place of Joey Harrington, rolled right and tried to throw back across the field to Mike Williams. Tillman stepped in front of the throw and raced untouched to the end zone, where he was mobbed by teammates.

It was a big win for Chicago (4-3) not only because the Bears broke a first-place tie with Detroit (3-4) in the NFC North, but because they secured a head-to-head tiebreaker over the Lions, whom they beat 38-6 in an earlier meeting.

Giants 36, Redskins 0

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - The Giants paid tribute to late owner Wellington Mara in the best possible way, blowing out an archrival to remain on top of their division.

Tiki Barber ran for a career-high 206 yards and a touchdown and the Giants (5-2) held Washington (4-3) to 34 yards from scrimmage in the first half.

In the team's first game since Mara died Tuesday at 89, the Giants had five sacks, forced four turnovers and shut down a Washington offense that scored 52 points a week earlier against San Francisco.

Chargers 28, Chiefs 20

SAN DIEGO (AP) - Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes to Antonio Gates and finished with 324 yards passing to lift the Chargers (4-4). LaDainian Tomlinson, slowed again on the ground, threw his third TD pass of the season, a 17-yarder to Eric Parker.

Brees completed 25 of 43 passes, with TD throws of 19, 20 and 35 yards to Gates. Gates had 10 catches for 145 yards, both career highs, and the three TD catches tied his career best. Tomlinson gained 69 yards on 17 carries a week after being held to a career-low 7 yards in a loss at Philadelphia.

Broncos 49, Eagles 21

DENVER (AP) - Little-known receiver Todd Devoe caught a 43-yard touchdown pass from Jake Plummer and Tatum Bell ran for 67- and 6-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter to help the Broncos hold off, then run away from the Eagles.

Plummer, who finished with a season-high 309 yards, threw three of his four touchdown passes over the first 23 minutes to give Denver a 28-0 lead, but the Broncos (6-2) allowed Philly (4-3) within seven points and 24 yards of the tying score early in the fourth period.

Dolphins 21, Saints 6

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Gus Frerotte had a touchdown pass to Chris Chambers and the Dolphins' defense recorded a safety, spoiling the Saints' return to Louisiana.

Miami allowed two field goals and kept Saints quarterback Aaron Brooks off-balance throughout in snapping a three-game losing streak.

Ricky Williams also showed signs of a return to form for the first time in his NFL comeback, battering tacklers as he gained 82 yards on 17 carries.

49ers 15, Buccaneers 10

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Joe Nedney kicked five field goals, including a 28-yarder with 1:56 to play on the first scoring drive ever led by former fourth-string quarterback Cody Pickett, to help the 49ers snap a five-game slide.

Pickett emerged as an improbable hero for the 49ers (2-5), performing admirably in the final 11 minutes while Ken Dorsey and Alex Smith were out with injuries.

Cowboys 34, Cardinals 13

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Rookie Marion Barber ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in his first start and new kicker Shaun Suisham made two short field goals.

With the victory, the Cowboys (5-3) stayed on pace in the jammed NFC East. They also had a good performance going into their bye week, which comes before they have to play three games in 11 days.

Raiders 34, Titans 25

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Kerry Collins threw for three touchdowns, and the Raiders got for their third victory in the last four games.

The Raiders (3-4) came up with six sacks, including 2 1/2 by Warren Sapp, and two turnovers they converted into 10 points. They also won their first road game this season, and they did it with their first victory in Tennessee against a team that had won the first three in this series.

Rams 24, Jaguars 21

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Steven Jackson had 179 yards on 25 carries and scored the winning touchdown, Mike Furrey's 37-yard interception return led to the go-ahead score and the Rams stuffed the Jaguars' attack most of the second half.

Fred Taylor, who was questionable with a bruised right ankle, had 165 yards on 23 carries for the Jaguars (4-3). That included a 71-yard scoring run in the first quarter. But the Jaguars were hurt by missed field goals by Josh Scobee from 44 and 48 yards.

Panthers 38, Vikings 13

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Stephen Davis ran for two touchdowns and Steve Smith terrorized Minnesota's defense for a franchise-record 201 yards and a score.

Jake Delhomme was on-target for the Panthers (5-2), passing for 341 yards and three touchdowns while stretching Carolina's winning streak to four games.