Once Aaron Rodgers and Co. warmed up in the second half, the Green Bay Packers kept their unbeaten start rolling. Rodgers passed for 224 yards and a touchdown, ran 17 yards to set up a key second-half score, and the Packers beat the hapless San Francisco 49ers 17-3 on Sunday for their first 4-0 start in four years. Richard Rodgers caught a 9-yard touchdown pass on the game's opening drive before Rodgers got his team going in the second half after a slow start to snap a four-game losing streak to San Francisco, which included a pair of playoff defeats.
As soon as Jay Cutler threw an interception, it looked like the Bears were about to follow the familiar script. Then he and Robbie Gould rewrote the ending to give Chicago its first win under John Fox. Cutler threw for two touchdowns and redeemed himself following that interception by helping set up a 49-yard field goal by Gould in the closing seconds Sunday, leading the Bears to a 22-20 victory over the Oakland Raiders.
Devonta Freeman just wanted a chance. Dazzling as both a runner and a receiver, Freeman had another three-touchdown game for the Atlanta Falcons, who remained unbeaten with a 48-21 rout of the hapless Houston Texans on Sunday. Taking over as the starter after rookie Tevin Coleman sustained a rib injury in Week 2, Freeman has six TDs in the past two games and an NFL-leading seven for the season.
Cam Newton had a lot to smile about. Carolina remained unbeaten, the Panthers star threw for two touchdowns with no interceptions in sometimes sloppy conditions, and it sure was fun watching 255-pound reserve tight end Ed Dickson lumber down the field 57 yards to score after recovering a fumble. ''Just seeing the ball pop up like a greased pig, nobody really panicked because Ed picked it up mid-stride,'' Newton said after Sunday's 37-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
As running back Rashad Jennings broke one tackle after another, the New York Giants began shedding their early season reputation for blowing fourth-quarter leads. Jennings eluded three would-be tacklers to score on a 51-yard catch-and-run midway through the fourth quarter to secure a 24-10 win over the unraveling and undisciplined Buffalo Bills on Sunday. ''We were challenged after the first two games where we had leads going into the fourth quarter and lost them both,'' quarterback Eli Manning said.
Indianapolis' over-the-hill gang still looks pretty spry to the injured Andrew Luck. With a right shoulder injury keeping Luck out of an NFL game for the first time, the Colts quarterback pumped his fist repeatedly as 40-year-old quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and 42-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri celebrated their personal throwback day. Hasselbeck led the Colts on a 53-yard drive in overtime Sunday and Vinatieri finished it with a 27-yard field goal for a 16-13 victory over Jacksonville.
Kirk Cousins still has thrown for more interceptions than touchdown passes in the NFL. At least the earnest, soft-spoken, fourth-year quarterback for the Washington Redskins now has a signature victory, thanks to a fourth-quarter comeback and a zero-turnover performance. Cousins capped a 90-yard drive with a go-ahead, 4-yard TD toss to Pierre Garcon with 26 seconds left Sunday, lifting the Redskins past the Philadelphia Eagles 23-20 on Sunday.
Andy Dalton completes his first 10 passes and makes another big play. Through four games, the Bengals are still perfect. Dalton threw a 55-yard touchdown pass on the run - the type of throw he's rarely made in the past - and Cincinnati remained unbeaten with a 36-21 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.
The New York Jets piled up the yards, both good and bad, and got the win it came for. The Jets (3-1) gained 425 yards of total offense, including a career-high 166 for running back Chris Ivory, in a 27-14 win over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Wembley Stadium. ''We play aggressive, so some of that's going to happen,'' Jets linebacker Calvin Pace said.
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