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NFL ROUNDUP

Broncos Take Rocky Road Before Beating Eagles, 49-21

October 31, 2005|From Associated Press

From blowout to embarrassment to blowout, the Denver Broncos put a twist on the art of the four-touchdown victory.

Little-known receiver Todd Devoe caught a 43-yard touchdown pass, and Tatum Bell ran for 67- and six-yard touchdowns in the fourth quarter Sunday to help the Broncos hold off, then run away from, the visiting Philadelphia Eagles for a 49-21 victory.

The Broncos (6-2) came one point and three yards short of setting franchise records for offense. But the numbers (564 yards, 28 first downs) and the 28-point margin don't begin to tell how scary this one got.

"An old-fashioned butt-whupping," is what Eagle linebacker Jeremiah Trotter called it. "What can you say? When you dig a hole too deep, you think you can come back, but then they came right back and made some more big plays."

Jake Plummer, who finished with a season-high 309 yards and no interceptions for the sixth consecutive game, threw three of his four touchdown passes over the first 23 minutes to give Denver a 28-0 lead.

But the Broncos allowed the Eagles (4-3) to within 28-21 and a mere 24 yards of the tying score early in the fourth before Donovan McNabb was picked off by rookie Domonique Foxworth.

Five plays later, Devoe caught his touchdown pass.

"The feeling was not the best," Devoe said of the mood on the Denver sideline with the lead down to 28-21. "We knew we had to do something to slow their momentum down."

Devoe's touchdown did it, then a few minutes later, Bell scored on his 67-yard run.

Bell, who scored his second touchdown in the last minute, finished with 107 yards, and Mike Anderson had 126 more, keeping them on pace to become only the fourth pair of running backs in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards each in the same season.

Facing a defense that, at times, rushed 10 men, McNabb threw 11 incompletions and had one interception over his first 12 attempts. Terrell Owens did not have a catch in the first half but finished with three for 154 yards, including a 91-yard touchdown reception.

McNabb finished 12 of 34 for 283 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

New York Giants 36, Washington 0 -- The Giants paid tribute to late owner Wellington Mara in the best possible way.

Tiki Barber ran for a career-high 206 yards and one touchdown, and the Giants held the Redskins (4-3) to 34 yards from scrimmage in the first half in a victory at East Rutherford, N.J., to move into sole possession of the division lead at 5-2.

In their 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 the previous week against San Francisco.

Flags flew at half-staff at Giants Stadium in honor of Mara, there was a moment of silence before the game and there was a video tribute at halftime.

Meanwhile, Barber surpassed his previous single-game mark of 203 yards against Philadelphia on Dec. 28, 2002.

Carolina 38, Minnesota 13 -- Stephen Davis ran for two touchdowns, and Steve Smith tormented the Vikings' defense for a franchise-record 201 yards in 11 catches and one score in Carolina's rout at Charlotte, N.C.

Jake Delhomme was efficient for the Panthers (5-2), passing for 341 yards and completing 21 of 30 passes for three touchdowns while stretching Carolina's winning streak to four games.

The Vikings (2-5) dropped to 0-4 on the road this season and had no leadership after Daunte Culpepper left because of a sprained right knee on the final play of the first quarter.

Cincinnati 21, Green Bay 14 -- Facing the team that jump-started his career 13 years ago, Brett Favre had a regular-season high five passes intercepted and came up short on a game-ending drive, preserving a victory by the Bengals (6-2) at Cincinnati.

Backed up on their five-yard line with 56 seconds left, the Packers (1-6) got a break with a 48-yard pass interference penalty. Favre then drove them to the 28, where a fan ran out of the stands and plucked the ball from the quarterback's passing hand after a play.

It finally ended with Favre throwing an underhand pass incomplete.

Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes, the last a 27-yarder to Jeremi Johnson that made it 21-7 early in the fourth quarter for the Bengals. Favre's fifth interception set it up.

Dallas 34, Arizona 13 -- With rookie Marion Barber running for 127 yards and two touchdowns in 27 carries in his first start and new kicker Shaun Suisham making two short field goals, the Cowboys (5-3) prevailed at Irving, Texas.

Arizona (2-5) lost its 14th game in a row at Texas Stadium since 1989.

Houston 19, Cleveland 16 -- The Texans (1-6) didn't find the end zone after their first possession at Houston but managed to end a seven-game losing streak when Kris Brown kicked a 40-yard field goal, his fourth of the game, with 2:45 left.

The winning kick was set up by a 63-yard kickoff return by rookie Jerome Mathis.

The loss is the third in a row for Cleveland (2-5).

Oakland 34, Tennessee 25 -- Kerry Collins threw for three touchdowns at Nashville to lead the Raiders to their third victory in the last four games in beating the Titans (2-6).

The Raiders (3-4) had 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.

Tampa Bay 15, San Francisco 10 -- The 49ers (2-5), behind fourth-string quarterback Cody Pickett in the final 11 minutes, ended a five-game losing streak with a victory over the Buccaneers (5-2).

Pickett emerged as an improbable hero with Ken Dorsey (ankle) and Alex Smith (knee) sidelined by injuries.

Pickett marched the 49ers 42 yards in 11 plays to Joe Nedney's fifth field goal with 1:56 left, and the 49ers' defense shut down Tampa Bay two more times to clinch it.

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