EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. - Even without Tom Brady, the New England Patriots find themselves in a familiar position -- undefeated and atop the AFC East standings. Backup Matt Cassel did just enough in his first start to lead the Patriots to a 19-10 win over the New York Jets. That ruined Brett Favre's debut at his new home in the Meadowlands. In both of New England's wins, they have scored under 20 points. But it really doesn't matter because the Pats' stingy defense is stepping up. New England has allowed just 20 points all season. Cassel finished his first start since his senior year in high school with very decent numbers for a starting NFL quarterback: 16 of 23 for 168 yards. Sammy Morris ran for the lone New England TD and Stephen Gostkowski kicked four field goals for the 2-and-0 Pats, who are tied with Buffalo for the AFC East lead.
DENVER - Mike Shanahan is turning into a riverboat gambler in his old age. The Denver Broncos coach, who had watched his team's 31-17 halftime lead evaporate, called for a two-point conversion after the Broncos had scored a touchdown with 24 seconds left. Jay Cutler connected with Eddie Royal on a 4-yard TD pass that got the Broncos within one. Most NFL coaches would have gone for the same, game-tying extra point. Instead, Shanahan rolled the dice and it worked. Cutler hit Royal with almost the same pass for the two-point conversion that gave Denver a 39-38 win over San Diego in a typical AFC West shootout. Cutler completed 36 of 50 for four TDs. Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall set a franchise record with 18 catches for 166 yards.
GLENDALE, Ariz. - The Arizona Cardinals are all alone at the top of the NFC West with a spotless 2-and-0 mark. The Cardinals made it look easy in a 31-10 rout of winless Miami. Kurt Warner completed 19 of 24 for 361 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions. Warner's favorite target was Anquan Boldin, who caught all three TD strikes for a career high. In all, Boldin had six receptions for 140 yards. It's the 22nd time he's passed the century mark in yardage. Larry Fitzgerald caught six for 153 yards, his 14th 100-yard game. It was the sixth time the pair had topped 100 yards in the same game.
SEATTLE - Sixty minutes wasn't enough to decide the San Francisco-Seattle contest. Joe Nedney shook off a missed field goal as time expired in regulation and kicked a 40-yarder as redemption four minutes, 40 seconds into overtime to give the 49ers a 33-30 win over the Seahawks. The loss left the four-time defending NFC West division champion Seahawks 0-2 for the first time since 2002. San Francisco overcame eight sacks of J.T. O'Sullivan to beat the Seahawks for just the third time in 11 games. The Niners are 1-and-1 overall.
TAMPA, Fla. - Brian Griese did a workmanlike job starting in relief of injured Jeff Garcia and guided the Tampa Bay Bucs to a 24-9 win over Atlanta in a matchup of teams with 1-and-1 records. The Falcons were doomed by two early mistakes by their rookie QB Matt Ryan. The rookie was intercepted twice in the first half. Griese helped the Bucs convert those two turnovers into 10 points. That enabled the Bucs to take a 17-point lead.
DETROIT - Brett Who? Aaron Rodgers is 2-and-0 as an NFL starter. And he had to come from behind to do it. Rodgers tossed three TD passes on Green Bay's first four drives to help Green Bay build an early 21-0 lead en route to a 48-to-25 win over Detroit. The Packers needed that big lead because the Lions rallied to lead by a point midway through the fourth quarter. Rodgers directed the Packers to a go-ahead field goal on the ensuing drive. Green Bay turned it into a rout as Detroit's Jon Kitna threw interceptions on the Lions' next three possessions. Charles Woodson and Nick Collins returned two of those picks for interceptions.
The Lions are 0-and-2 for the fifth time since 2001 when Matt Millen took over as team president.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Carolina Panthers are a surprising 2-and-0 after rallying for a 20-17 win over the 1-and-1 Chicago Bears. Rookie running back Jonathan Stewart rushed for all but one of his 77 yards in the second half and scored two touchdowns, including the go-ahead TD late in the fourth quarter. The Panthers' improved defense stopped the Bears on fourth-and-1 with under 2 minutes left to seal it. The Panthers scored the game's final 17 points. Jake Delhomme was 12 for 21 for 128 yards but managed the Panthers rally.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Buffalo Bills are 2-and-0 and the Jacksonville Jaguars are 0-and-2, their worst start since 2003. Bills QB Trent Edwards completed his first 10 passes and threw a perfect touchdown pass to James Hardy late in the fourth quarter in the Bills' 20-16 win over the Jaguars. Edwards finished 20-of-25 passing for 239 yards. Marshawn Lynch ran for 59 yards and a TD.
MINNEAPOLIS - For much of the afternoon, the Indianapolis Colts looked like they were about to fall to 0-and-2. Instead, Peyton Manning rallied the Colts from a 15-0 deficit late in the third quarter to pull out an 18-15 win over the winless Minnesota Vikings. Adam Vinatieri kicked the game-winning 47-yard field goal with 3 seconds left. That avenged for Vinatieri's 30-yard miss minutes earlier. In defeat, Vikings running back Adrian Peterson had a huge game, running for 118 of his 160 yards in the first half. The Vikes had plenty of chances to put the game out of reach but were held out of the end zone and settled for five Ryan Longwell field goals. Manning finished 26-for-42 for 311 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, but was solid down the stretch.
ST. LOUIS - The Super Bowl champion New York Giants are still on a roll with their 12th straight victory. Eli Manning threw three TD passes and the Giants defense was huge in their 41-13 rout of winless St. Louis. The Giants D sacked Marc Bulger five times while limiting the Rams to a fluke touchdown. A 97-yard drive put the Giants' offense in gear. The Super Bowl champs topped it off when Justin Tuck returned an interception 41 yards for a fourth-quarter window dressing touchdown. On a day when the Rams made tribute to their late owner Georgia Frontiere, St. Louis came up flat for the second straight week.
LANDOVER, Md. - Washington's new West Coast offense under rookie coach Jim Zorn succeeded in Week 2 as spectacularly as it flopped in the Redskins' opener against the New York Giants. Jason Campbell was huge, completing 24 of 36 for 321 yards in leading the Redskins to a come-from-behind 29-24 win over New Orleans. Campbell hooked up with Santana Moss on the go-ahead 67-yard TD midway through the fourth quarter as the Redskins rallied at home. Both teams are 1-and-1. Reggie Bush had a big day for the Saints. He ran for 28 yards, caught seven passes for 63 yards and returned a punt for 55 yards for a touchdown. The Redskins outgained the Saints 455-to-250 in total yards.
CINCINNATI - Backup quarterback Kerry Collins filled in admirably for injured Vince Young and led the Tennessee Titans to a 24-7 win at Cincinnati for a 2-and-0 start. Collins threw his first touchdown pass in two years in a fine backup performance. Rookie Chris Johnson ran for 109 yards. Linebacker Keith Bulluck provided the clincher, blocking Kyle Larson's punt in the end zone with his right arm, then snatching the ball off the ground for another touchdown. At 2-and-0, the Titans are off to their best start since 1999, when they won their first three games and made the only Super Bowl appearance in franchise history. The Bengals are 0-and-2.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The Oakland Raiders, with plenty of help from Kansas City, set aside all their backbiting and turmoil long enough to win a football game. Rookie Darren McFadden ran for 164 yards and a touchdown. Sebastian Janikowski kicked a team-record 56-yard field goal in leading the Raiders to a 23-8 victory Sunday over an inept Chiefs team that tried three quarterbacks and was leaky on defense. The Chiefs gave up 300 yards on the ground, including 90 by Michael Bush. It's the third time in three years under Herm Edwards the Chiefs have started 0-and-2. The Chiefs have lost 11 straight regular-season games.
CLEVELAND - The Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Cleveland Browns 10-6 in a snoozer of an old-school AFC North matchup. The Steelers have won 10 straight from the Browns and 16 of the last 17 games played between the longstanding rivals. This also gives the Steelers the lead in the overall series 56-55. Ben Roethlisberger threw an 11-yard TD pass to Hines Ward for the only TD.
DALLAS - Dallas hosts Philadelphia in the Monday night game in a matchup of teams coming off impressive Week One victories.
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