Saints Miss Short Kick, and Falcons Make Them Pay

But somehow Hartley, who set a record with three field goals longer than 40 yards, hooked it wide left. Minutes later, the ’ charmed run ended and Falcons players stormed the Superdome field in celebration after Matt Bryant drilled a 46-yard field goal with 1 minute 55 seconds left in the extra period to lift Atlanta to a 27-24 victory Sunday.

“I missed basically an extra point,” Hartley said.

Atlanta would have won in regulation if not for Hartley’s tying 32-yard field goal with four seconds left.

After the Falcons won the coin toss to start overtime but failed to score, drove the Saints to the Atlanta 11. Resigned to defeat as he watched from the sideline, Atlanta’s Tony Gonzalez took off his receivers’ gloves — “I thought for sure the game was over” — and even the longtime public-address announcer Jerry Romig let his typical “It’s good!” refrain slip out just as the officials began waving their arms to signal that the kick had sailed wide.

and Win

Tony Romo threw two touchdown passes to Roy Williams and the Cowboys got their first win by beating the , 27-13, in Houston. The owner feared the prospect of a humiliating 0-3 start and having an extra week to stew over it before his team hosts Tennessee on Oct. 10. “We were going to really be in bad trouble had we lost this ballgame,” Jones said. Now Dallas heads into its bye with a victory to build on rather than concerns about what changes Jones might make. The Texans (2-1) had hoped to go 3-0 for the first time.

¶With again struggling to move the ball through the air, Adrian Peterson rushed for 160 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Vikings to a 24-10 victory over the . Peterson bounced off Lions tacklers all day and had an 80-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that put the game out of reach. “There was definitely a sense of urgency,” Peterson said. “Starting 0-2 was not the plan.” After showing feistiness in losses to Chicago and Philadelphia, the Lions (0-3) lost their 22nd straight road game — the third longest streak in league history — and their 13th in a row at the Metrodome.

Brady and Flacco Rebound

caught two of ’s three touchdown passes as the bounced back from a disappointing loss to with a 38-30 victory over the visiting , New England’s 14th straight win against Buffalo. C. J. Spiller, Buffalo’s first-round pick this year, scored his first touchdowns, on a 5-yard pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick and a 95-yard kickoff return.

¶Joe Flacco threw three touchdown passes to Anquan Boldin, and the survived an off-day by their esteemed defense in a 24-17 victory over the Browns. Baltimore (2-1) allowed its first touchdowns of the season and failed to force a turnover, but it did not matter because of Flacco, who had come under fire after throwing four interceptions a week ago in a loss at Cincinnati. “Obviously, I’m happier this week than I was last week,” he said.

Surprises at 3-0

Charlie Batch, making his first start in nearly three years, helped the remain unbeaten with a 38-13 rout of the Buccaneers. Batch, 35, started only because was suspended and his replacement, Dennis Dixon, was hurt. “Everybody knows Ben’s the starter,” Batch said. “One thing I didn’t want to do was be that weak link.”

¶Dominating in every phase, the got three touchdown passes from Matt Cassel and sacked Alex Smith five times in a 31-10 victory over the visiting . The Chiefs are 3-0 for the first time since 2003. “Each win, we’re getting more and more confident,” linebacker Derrick Johnson said. The 49ers (0-3), who rolled up 417 yards Monday night against New Orleans, managed only a field goal until the final play from scrimmage.

Bitter Loss for

passed for three touchdowns without the injured Anthony Gonzalez and Pierre Garcon and the visiting beat the Broncos, 27-13. Kyle Orton threw for a career-best 476 yards on 37-of-57 passing and the Broncos (1-2) outgained the Colts (2-1) by more than 100 yards. But Denver failed to get into the end zone on five trips inside the 20In Other Games

threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score in the Eagles’ 28-3 win over the Jaguars. Vick completed 17 of 31 passes for 291 yards, mostly staying in the pocket and picking apart host Jacksonville’s beleaguered secondary. One of the few times he did run, he broke a tackle, juked a defender and scored from 17 yards. The (2-1) improved to 2-0 with Vick as their starter.

¶Leon Washington returned two second-half kickoffs for touchdowns of 101 and 99 yards, and the held off Philip Rivers and the , 27-20. Rivers passed for a career-high 455 yards.

¶ shook off two interceptions to throw a clinching touchdown pass to Cedric Benson in the fourth quarter of the ’ ugly 20-7 victory over the , who started the rookie Jimmy Clausen but found he was unable to jump-start their turnover-prone offense. Benson also had a 1-yard touchdown run for the visiting Bengals (2-1), who won last week without scoring a touchdown. “This isn’t the B.C.S.,” cornerback Leon Hall said. “We just need to win.”

¶The backup running back Kenneth Darby scored the go-ahead touchdown in the third quarter, helping the overcome an injury to Steven Jackson and end a 14-game home losing streak with a 30-16 victory over the . The Rams (1-2) won for only the second time in 29 games over all, but lost Jackson to a groin-muscle injury in the first half.

¶Sebastian Janikowski missed a 32-yard field goal as the game ended to allow the Cardinals to escape with a 24-23 victory over the in Arizona’s home opener, a game littered with mistakes on both sides from start to finish. The kick, after a pass interference call against Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, was wide left. Janikowski missed two others, a 41-yarder and a 58-yarder, that were wide right.

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