Tom Brady and his young receivers made significant progress and the New England Patriots dominated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Gillette Stadium to start the season 3-0 for the first time since 2007.
Brady threw two touchdowns to Kenbrell Thompkins and hit Aaron Dobson seven times as the Patriots topped the Buccaneers. The rookie wide receivers and Brady weren't perfect. There were still dropped passes, wrong routes run and missed throws, but Brady went 25-for-36 for 225 yards, two touchdowns and an interception (in the Tampa end zone).
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New Orleans Saints 31, Arizona Cardinals 7
Drew Brees surpassed 300 passing yards for the eighth consecutive game, threw for three touchdowns and ran for another, powering the suddenly defense-minded New Orleans Saints to a rout of the Arizona Cardinals.
In keeping their record perfect at 3-0, the Saints spotted Arizona a 7-0 lead and then scored 31 consecutive points. Brees threw touchdown passes of 16 and 7 yards to tight end Jimmy Graham, 27 yards to Robert Meachem and ran 7 yards for another score on a scramble up the middle.
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Detroit Lions 27, Washington Redskins 20
After losing in all 21 previous visits to the nation's capital, Detroit's offense was too much for Washington's beleaguered defense as the Lions prevailed.
A 47-yard catch by Detroit receiver Nate Burleson - one of his six grabs for 116 yards on the day - set up David Akers' field goal that broke a 17-17 deadlock with 11:08 to go. Burleson's big grab came two plays after Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III fumbled at the end of his season-long 21-yard gallop to the Detroit 29.
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Cincinnati Bengals 34, Green Bay Packers 30
Terence Newman returned a fumble 58 yards with 3:47 remaining and Cincinnati's defense held Green Bay and quarterback Aaron Rodgers on downs 20 yards from a go-ahead touchdown as the Bengals knocked off the Packers at Paul Brown Stadium.
The Bengals overcame four turnovers in nine plays in the first half and rallied from a 30-14 deficit in the third quarter. Green Bay drove to the Cincinnati 20 in 12 plays but on fourth-and-5, defensive end Michael Johnson knocked down Rodgers' pass to end the comeback.
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Cleveland Browns 31, Minnesota Vikings 27
Third-string quarterback Brian Hoyer led the Browns on a 55-yard game-winning drive that ended with his 7-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Cameron with 51 seconds left - Cameron's third scoring reception of the game - to give Cleveland victory over Minnesota in a game pitting two winless teams.
Hoyer shook off three interceptions and a difficult third quarter to lead the game-winning drive against a Vikings secondary missing injured cornerbacks Chris Cook (groin), A.J. Jefferson (leg) and safety Jamarca Sanford (hamstring).
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Baltimore Ravens 30, Houston Texans 9
The Baltimore Ravens picked up touchdowns from their defense, special teams and on the ground en route to picking up their second straight win with victory over the Houston Texans.
The Ravens led 17-9 at halftime despite generating only 65 yards on offense while committing 77 yards worth on penalties. Trailing 6-0, linebacker Darryl Smith jumped a short Matt Schaub pass over the middle and returned the interception 37 yards for a touchdown with 2:39 remaining in the second quarter.
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Carolina Panthers 38, New York Giants 0
Cam Newton threw touchdown passes to Brandon LaFell on consecutive possessions and the Carolina Panthers didn't need to withstand any late-game threats this time, trouncing the New York Giants.
Newton had another touchdown on the ground as the Panthers avoided their third 0-3 start in a five-year span while the Giants, with at least eight victories in every season since a 6-10 mark in 2004, are winless through three games for the first time since 1996 - before Tom Coughlin became coach. - - -
Tennessee Titans 20, San Diego Chargers 17
Justin Hunter's 34-yard touchdown catch over Crezdon Butler with 15 seconds left gave Tennessee a dramatic win over San Diego, snapping the Chargers' nine-game, 20-year winning streak over the Titans.
Hunter, who had dropped a potential 44-yard scoring strike from Jake Locker midway through the second quarter, saved his first catch for the play that pushed Tennessee to 2-1. He outfought Butler for the ball, making a leaping grab in the right-front corner of the end zone.
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Dallas Cowboys 31, St. Louis Rams 7
Third-year back DeMarco Murray ran for 175 yards and a touchdown to lead the Dallas Cowboys to an easy victory before 80,848 fans at AT&T Stadium.
Quarterback Tony Romo tossed three touchdown passes, and the Dallas defense had its most complete effort under new coordinator Monte Kiffin. The Rams had just 231 yards of total offense and didn't score until late in the third quarter.