Winners, losers and more: Eight is enough

Tom Brady throws six touchdowns – five in the first half – and the New England Patriots get overshadowed? By a kicker, to boot? It was that kind of afternoon in Houston.

In a game that featured Kerry Collins vs. Sage Rosenfels (instead of Vince Young and Matt Schaub), four fourth-quarter touchdown passes by Rosenfels and a 25-point deficit overcome by the Houston Texans, Tennessee Titans kicker Rob Bironas proved to be a "loss prevention" specialist.

The former Best Buy security guard opened the scoring with a 52-yard field goal, ended the contest with a 29-yarder and converted six others in between during a thrilling 38-36 victory. Bironas, a former Arena League performer (AF2, too) who participated in training camps for three NFL franchises before finally making the Titans in 2005, became the first kicker in NFL history to kick eight field goals in one contest.

In an action-packed day of football, here are some winners, losers and other observations from Week 7:


Brady has taken the baton from LaDainian Tomlinson and is putting up some absolutely ridiculous numbers this season. We'll avoid projecting his pace and just focus on what he has accomplished: 27 touchdowns, two interceptions and 2,125 yards passing. He already has already surpassed his season totals for touchdowns from 2001, '03, '05 and '06.

Not to be overlooked in the Titans' victory was Collins engineering the game-winning drive. Collins, who hadn't recorded a win as the starter since playing for the Oakland Raiders against the Titans on Oct. 30, 2005, connected with Roydell Williams for a 46-yard completion with 31 seconds left to set-up Bironas' final field goal.

After a brutal last-second loss to the Dallas Cowboys prior to their bye week – which was their second home defeat on the final play of a game – the Buffalo Bills finished what they started against the baffling Baltimore Ravens.

In the muddled AFC West, the Kansas City Chiefs have the lead heading into their bye week after beating division doormat Oakland. The Chiefs now have won nine straight against Oakland, which extended its league-record of 17 consecutive divisional losses. Also, Larry Johnson kept his personal dominance against the Raiders intact. Johnson has a touchdown in all seven career games (10 total TDs) against Oakland.

Osi Umenyiora and Michael Strahan certainly have re-established themselves as the best defensive-end tandem in the league. Strahan registered 2½ sacks Sunday, while Umenyiora turned a sack into a forced fumble, recovery and touchdown during a win over the San Francisco 49ers, which was the New York Giants' fifth straight victory.

Roddy White continues to rise well above an otherwise mediocre cast of wide receivers for the Atlanta Falcons. White led the Falcons with 110 receiving yards in Atlanta's loss to the New Orleans Saints, marking his second 100-yard game of the season.

At least for a week, Kenny Watson (130 rushing yards, three TDs) and the Cincinnati Bengals don't have to hear questions about "what's wrong?" Instead, the New York Jets will hear more of the same after dropping their fourth straight game.

Yet again, the Chicago Bears have overcome an excruciating loss to save their season, as Brian Griese's latest late-game scoring drive gave the Bears a win over the Philadelphia Eagles. The big question now: Can the Bears actually beat the Detroit Lions next weekend for their first back-to-back wins this season?


What in the name of Edgar Allen Poe is going on with Brian Billick and the Ravens? Despite Willis McGahee doing a bulk of his damage (114 yards, one TD) in the second half against his former team, the Ravens strayed from conventional wisdom in the closing moments. In need of one yard to pick up a first down inside of two minutes left at Buffalo's 49-yard line, the Ravens opted to pass on second, third and fourth down. As you've probably guessed, the passes all fell incomplete. On a separate but even more disturbing note, the Ravens continued to clip their own wings, committing a season-high 11 penalties (for 91 yards).

Jon Kitna's Lions were victorious, but when will offensive coordinator Mike Martz reflect on the battered Kurt Warner and Marc Bulger and realize his quarterbacks need better protection? Kitna continues to be a punching bag for opponents, going down three more times Sunday against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Kitna now has been sacked a league-high 28 times – especially scary considering he already was temporarily forced out of one game this season with a concussion.

Chances are there was a healthy contingent of Patriots fans in Dolphin Stadium, but it still was weird to hear the chants of "Randy, Randy" after Moss' 50-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. OK, the one-armed, between-two-defenders grab was sweet, but still …

The much-celebrated return of teammates Bulger and Isaac Bruce did very little for the St. Louis Rams on the field and scoreboard Sunday. Bulger was intercepted three times and Bruce limited to two catches in the loss to the Seattle Seahawks as the Rams dropped to 0-7.

Billick-inspired play-calling? Brad Childress must have found the former Vikings offensive coordinator's playbook. With the ball on their own 1 early in the second quarter, the Minnesota Vikings passed on first down. OK, the strategy in that situation is feasible. But on second and third down, the Vikings run twice – with fullback Tony Richardson and tailback Chester Taylor? Maybe Adrian Peterson needed a whole series off after scoring a 20-yard touchdown on Minnesota's previous possession.

Red River return: College rivals and current teammates Peterson and Cedric Griffin got on the scoreboard in their return to Dallas, home of the annual Red River Shootout between Oklahoma and Texas. Griffin scored following a lateral and fumble recovery.

Something to prove: In four seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, defensive end Dewayne White registered 14 sacks. Against his former team Sunday, the Lions rusher took down Jeff Garcia three times.

Tapped out?: Speaking of sacks, Darryl Tapp nearly matched his previous career total (4½) in one afternoon against the Rams. The defensive end registered four of the Seahawks' seven sacks against Bulger.

Out of curiosity: How many times on Sunday did Patriots receiver Wes Welker and running back Sammy Morris look over at their winless former teammates and think, "Thank you, thank you?"

Red in the face: Clearly, the Falcons have a number of problems on offense. Perhaps most significant is their inability to cash in during trips to the red zone. On approximately 30 trips inside the opponents' 20-yard line this season, Atlanta has scored only five touchdowns.

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