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article imageNFL Week 4: Patriots bounce back, Jets get thumped at home

By James Bisson     Oct 1, 2012 in Sports
The AFC East may not be the most competitive division in the National Football League, but it's certainly shaping up as one of the most entertaining after four weeks of action.
The balance of power shifted significantly Sunday afternoon, with the New England Patriots alive in the second half of a blowout of the Buffalo Bills and the New York Jets looking like an NCAA Division II team against the superior San Francisco 49ers. The two one-sided results leave all three teams tied at 2-2, but with the Patriots looking like the better team - at least, for now.
Here's a rundown of Sunday's Week 4 action:
Atlanta Falcons 30, Carolina Panthers 28
In Atlanta, Matt Ryan passed for 369 yards and three touchdowns and led a pivotal drive that resulted in Matt Bryant's 40-yard field goal with five seconds remaining as the Falcons improved to 4-0 with a win over Carolina.
Roddy White was the biggest beneficiary of Ryan's latest impressive performance, hauling in eight catches for 169 yards and a pair of scores. Michael Turner added 171 all-purpose yards and a touchdown as the Falcons amassed 426 yards of total offense.
Cam Newton passed for two touchdowns and ran in another for the Panthers (1-3), but his fumble on a third-and-2 with the clock winding down in the fourth quarter resulted in a missed first down - allowing the Falcons to orchestrate the game-winning 99-yard drive.
New England Patriots 52, Buffalo Bills 28
In Buffalo, Tom Brady racked up four touchdowns as New England scored 35 unanswered points to obliterate an early 14-point deficit.
Brady threw touchdown passes to Danny Woodhead, Rob Gronkowski and Brandon Lloyd while running one in himself as the Patriots (2-2) torched the rival Bills (2-2) for 45 second-half points. Brandon Bolden (137 rushing yards, TD) and Stevan Ridley (106 rushing yards, 2 TD) led a relentless rushing attack while Brady finished with 340 passing yards.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns, but was also intercepted four times as Buffalo surrendered 580 yards of total offense in the rout.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson crossed the 100-yard plateau in a win over the Detroi...
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson crossed the 100-yard plateau in a win over the Detroit Lions
Minnesota Vikings 20, Detroit Lions 13
In Detroit, Percy Harvin and Marcus Sherels recorded special teams touchdowns and the Vikings defense took care of the rest in a minor upset over the Lions.
Harvin returned the opening kickoff 105 yards for a score and Sherels added a 77-yard punt return TD for the Vikings (3-1), who won despite recording just 227 yards of total offense. Running back Adrian Peterson was productive, with 21 carries for 102 yards.
Matt Stafford threw for 319 yards and ran in the only touchdown for Detroit (1-3) with three minutes remaining. Calvin Johnson caught just five passes for 54 yards and was largely ineffective against the Vikings' secondary.
San Diego Chargers 37, Kansas City Chiefs 20
In Kansas City, Jackie Battle seized his opportunity in the starting role, rushing for a touchdown and adding a receiving score as the Chargers rolled past the Chiefs.
Battle, inserted as the No. 1 running back despite the return of incumbent Ryan Mathews, scored on a one-yard run in the first quarter and a four-yard reception in the fourth to pace the Chargers (3-1). Philip Rivers threw for just 209 yards but went 18-for-23 with a pair of scores.
Matt Cassel racked up 251 yards and two touchdowns but was done in by three interceptions as Kansas City (1-3) turned the ball over six times. Jamaal Charles had 92 rushing yards and a TD while Dwayne Bowe added seven catches for 108 yards and a score.
St. Louis Rams 19, Seattle Seahawks 13
In St. Louis, Greg Zuerlein put on a kicking clinic, connecting on four field goals - including a franchise-record 60-yarder - as the Rams held off struggling Seattle.
Zuerlein broke Jeff Wilkins' club record with a 58-yard field goal in the first quarter, then bettered the mark early in the third quarter as part of a 4-for-4 afternoon. Danny Amendola had the only TD for the Rams (2-2), catching a pass from punter Johnny Hekker untouched in the end zone on a fake field-goal attempt.
Rookie QB Russell Wilson continued his early-season struggles for the Seahawks (2-2), passing for just 160 yard with three interceptions. Marshawn Lynch was the lone bright spot on offense, rumbling for 118 rushing yards and a touchdown.
San Francisco 49ers 34, New York Jets 0
In Rutherford, N.J., San Francisco scored three rushing touchdowns and the defense made life miserable for Mark Sanchez in a dominant victory over the overwhelmed Jets.
Carlos Rogers' 51-yard fumble return TD augmented rushing scores by Colin Kaepernick, Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter as the 49ers (3-1) handed the Jets (2-2) their worst home shutout defeat since 1989. The Niners' defense forced four turnovers and limited New York to 145 yards of offense.
Sanchez completed just 13 of 29 passes for 103 yards, and lost his top target in the process. Santonio Holmes suffered a serious foot injury on Rogers' fumble return and could be out for a significant period of time.
Houston Texans 38, Tennessee Titans 14
In Houston, Danieal Manning and Kareem Jackson returned interceptions for touchdowns in the second half as the Texans remained unbeaten by crushing Tennessee.
Matt Schaub passed for 202 yards and a touchdown and Arian Foster added 86 yards and a score on the ground as the Texans improved to 4-0 for the first time in franchise history. J.J. Watt added a fumble recovery and Owen Daniels led the receiving corps with six receptions for 72 yards and a TD.
Tennessee starting QB Jake Locker was lost in the first quarter to a separated shoulder, and isn't expected back anytime soon. Veteran Matt Hasselbeck threw for 193 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions in his place, while Chris Johnson paced the rushing attack for the Titans (1-3) with 141 yards - more than quadrupling his season total in the process.
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning looked like his old self in a one-sided win over the Oakla...
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning looked like his old self in a one-sided win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday afternoon.
Jeffrey Beall
Denver Broncos 37, Oakland Raiders 6
In Denver, Peyton Manning torched the Raiders defense for 338 yards and three touchdowns as the Broncos breezed past Oakland.
Manning connected with Eric Decker and Lance Ball on third-quarter scoring strikes as Denver (2-2) turned a 10-6 halftime lead into a rout. Willis McGahee added 112 rushing yards and a touchdown while the Broncos' defense limited the Raiders to 237 total yards.
Two first-half field goals from Sebastian Janikowski resulted in the only offense for Oakland (1-3), which lost in Denver for the first time since 2007. Things were so bad for the Raiders that the Broncos didn't have to punt once in the entire game.
Arizona Cardinals 24, Miami Dolphins 21 (OT)
In Glendale, Ariz., Jay Feely knocked down a 46-yard field goal in overtime following an impressive defensive stand as the Cardinals escaped with a win over Miami.
Kerry Rhodes intercepted Ryan Tannehill earlier in OT to set up Feely's game-winning kick for Arizona (4-0), off to its fastest start since opening the 1974 season with seven wins in a row. Kevin Kolb threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns, including a 15-yard strike to Andre Roberts that forced extra time with 22 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
Tannehill had the best start of his rookie season, erupting for 431 yards through the air. Brian Hartline also had a career day for the Dolphins (1-3), hauling in 12 passes for 253 yards and a touchdown.
Cincinnati Bengals 27, Jacksonville Jaguars 10
In Jacksonville, Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score as the Bengals easily handled the scuffling Jaguars.
Dalton lifted Cincinnati (3-1) with 244 passing yards, including a one-yard TD pass to Chris Pressley and an 18-yard strike to A.J. Green to put the game away. Green finished with six catches for a team-high 117 yards.
Blaine Gabbert couldn't keep the Jaguars (1-3) in the game, managing just 186 passing yards with one touchdown and one interception. Maurice Jones-Drew, who racked up 177 rushing yards last week, was limited to just 38 yards on 13 carries against an improved Bengals defense.
Green Bay Packers 28, New Orleans Saints 27
In Green Bay, Wisc., Jordy Nelson had the go-ahead touchdown with seven minutes remaining and the Packers caught a break to defeat winless New Orleans.
With the Saints (0-4) in position to win the game, Garrett Hartley pushed the go-ahead 48-yard field goal attempt wide as Green Bay bounced back from a terrible call that cost them a win against Seattle on Monday night. Aaron Rodgers led the Packers (2-2) with 319 passing yards and four touchdowns, two to James Jones.
Drew Brees exploded for 446 yards and three scores, but it wasn't enough to prevent the Saints from joining the Cleveland Browns as the only 0-4 clubs. Brees has thrown a touchdown pass in 47 straight games, equaling the NFL record originally set by Johnny Unitas.
Washington Redskins 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22
In Tampa, Fla., Billy Cundiff made up for an afternoon of miscues, booting the game-winning 41-yard field goal with three seconds left in the Redskins' triumph over the Buccaneers.
Cundiff missed his first three attempts but made the fourth one count, helping salvage a win for the Redskins (2-2) amid another solid performance from Robert Griffin III. The rookie QB threw for 323 yards and added a rushing touchdown.
Josh Freeman passed for 299 yards and a score but the Buccaneers (1-3) were done in by 10 penalties totaling 107 yards. Mike Williams caught four passes for a team-high 115 yards while Vincent Jackson finished with six catches for 100 yards and a score.
Philadelphia Eagles 19, New York Giants 17
In Philadelphia, Alex Henery's 26-yard field goal with 1:49 remaining and a major miscue by Giants receiver Ramses Barden led the Eagles to victory.
With the Giants marching for the go-ahead points, Eli Manning guided the team into field goal position before Barden picked up an offensive pass interference penalty that moved the team out of range. Lawrence Tynes was then forced to attempt a 53-yard field goal which was straight but just short.
Manning finished with 309 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns for the Giants (2-2). Counterpart Michael Vick threw for 241 yards and a score for Philadelphia (3-1).
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