Falcons stay unbeaten, Seahawks beat Patriots
LOS ANGELES - Agence France-Presse
Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan passes during an NFL game. Ryan, who completed five-of-six passes for 43 yards on the game-winning drive for the Falcons, holds a pivotal role in Atlanta’s unprecedented start of six consecutive wins to the season. Atlanta is the only unbeaten team left in the NFL. REUTERS photoMatt Bryant’s 55-yard field goal with one second to play on Oct. 14 lifted the Atlanta Falcons to a 23-20 victory over Oakland and their first 6-0 National Football League start in team history.
Quarterback Matt Ryan completed five-of-six passes for 43 yards on the game-winning drive for the Falcons, who are the only remaining unbeaten team in the league after Houston lost 42-24 to Green Bay in the night game.
Ryan finished the game with 249 yards through the air and a touchdown on 24-of-37 passing. He also had to shake off three first-half interceptions.
The Falcons got the ball at their own 20-yard line with 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the game tied at 20-20 following Darren McFadden’s two-yard touchdown run for Oakland.
Ryan connected with Jacquizz Rodgers for gains of seven and nine yards before finding Harry Douglas for a four-yard pickup, putting the ball at the Falcons’ 40-yard line with 26 seconds left.
Ryan then fired a 10-yard completion to veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez. With 12 seconds remaining, Ryan connected with Gonzalez again for a 13-yard reception over the middle, setting the stage for Bryant’s heroics.
Bryant snaked his field goal kick just inside the left post after missing his first field goal attempt of the contest.
“It’s about handling the moment,” Bryant said of the game-winning kick. “Handling adversity, whatever it takes.
Roddy White made a half-dozen catches for 72 yards and a touchdown while Julio Jones caught four passes for 63 yards in the triumph.
Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer was 23-of-33 for 353 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Raiders have now lost two in a row on the heels of a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers last month.
Russell Wilson threw for a career-best 293 yards and fired the game-winning touchdown to Sidney Rice with just over one minute remaining as the Seattle Seahawks edged the New England Patriots 24-23.
Wilson completed 16-of-27 passes and had three touchdowns for the Seahawks, who defeated the Patriots for the first time since 1993.
“We got some offensive plays thanks to the offensive line,” Wilson said. “Practice was sharp this week, and the coaches really did a good job getting us focused. Guys worked hard this week.”
Rice finished with 81 yards on three receptions while Marshawn Lynch was held to 41 yards on 15 carries as Seattle pulled into a three-way tie atop the NFC West standings after wins by San Francisco and Arizona.
The Patriots’ Wes Welker led all receivers with 138 yards and a touchdown on 10 catches while Aaron Hernandez also caught a touchdown pass.
In San Francisco, Antrel Rolle intercepted two passes and Prince Amukamara added another as the New York Giants’ routed San Francisco 26-3 in a rematch of last season’s NFC championship game.
Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 116 yards and a score on 27 carries for the Giants, whose 20-17 over-time victory in last season’s conference final helped propel them to their second Super Bowl title in five seasons.
It was the first 100-plus yard rushing performance allowed by the 49ers defense in 23 games.
Eli Manning was 15-of-28 for 193 yards for the Giants.
In other games, Tampa Bay defeated Kansas City 38-10, the New York Jets downed Indianapolis 35-9, Cleveland beat Cincinnati 34-24, Miami edged St. Louis 17-14, Baltimore downed Dallas 31-29, Washington thumped Minnesota 38-26, Detroit outlasted Philadelphia 26-23 in over-time and Buffalo beat Arizona 19-16 in over-time.