West is best in NFL's week three

The Associated Press

West was best in the NFL on Sunday.

Thrilling finishes in the AFC West and NFC West saw Denver's John Elway beat Washington on the game's final play, while Kansas City and Atlanta both won in overtime.

At Denver, Elway, battered all day by the Redskins' defense, threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Rod Smith with no time left to lift Denver over Washington, 38-31.

''I think it's the first time since I started playing football that I've thrown a TD pass on the last play to win a game,'' Elway said, ''so this was extra special. It took me a second to realize what had just happened. I was stunned.''

At Kansas City, Mo., James Hasty returned an interception 64 yards for a score 4:27 into OT as the Chiefs remained unbeaten with a 23-17 win over their bitter rival, the Oakland Raiders.

''We've raised the ticket prices, people have to get their money's worth,'' said Chiefs coach Marty Schottenheimer. ''But I don't know if I can take 20 games at this pace.''

And at New Orleans, Morten Andersen came back to haunt his former team, kicking a 21-yard field goal 10:58 into OT that gave Atlanta a 27-24 victory over the Saints.

''I couldn't have scripted it any better,'' Andersen said. ''There's got to be a movie made about this. It was fun there at the end, really fun to come back and do this.''

The results left the Chiefs atop the AFC West at 3-0, while Denver is tied with the Raiders (2-1). Atlanta (2-1) remained a game behind unbeaten San Francisco and St. Louis.

Elsewhere, it was San Diego 27, Philadelphia 21; Buffalo 20, Indianapolis 14; Cleveland 14, Houston 7; St. Louis 31, Carolina 10; Arizona 20, Detroit 17; Green Bay 14, the New York Giants 6; San Francisco 28, New England 3; Seattle 24, Cincinnati 21; the New York Jets 27, Jacksonville 10; Chicago 25, Tampa Bay 6; and Dallas 23, Minnesota 17 in overtime.

On Monday night, it's Pittsburgh at Miami.

Broncos 38, Redskins 31

At Mile High Stadium, the game was ready to go into OT, but Elway put an end to that idea with his 35th last-drive victory march. Out of the shotgun, he took the snap on a fourth down with 6 seconds left, stepped up to avoid the rush and found Smith at the goal line. He leaped and beat the Redskins' Darrell Green to the ball.

Elway completed 30 of 47 passes for 327 yards and two TDs, while Terrell Davis had two TD runs and caught a scoring pass from Elway. For the Redskins, Brian Mitchell scored on a 36-yard run and had 188 yards on five kickoff returns and 52 yards on a punt return. Gus Frerotte had three TD passes.

Chiefs 23, Raiders 17, OT

At Arrowhead Stadium, the Raiders (2-1) led 17-7 entering the fourth period, but Kansas City tied it on Steve Bono's 19-yard TD pass to Willie Davis and Lin Elliot's 35-yard field goal midway through the final period.

Kansas City had a chance to win in the final minute of regulation, but Elliott pulled a 24-yard field-goal attempt left.

Jeff Hostetler was 19-of-30 for 203 yards and two interceptions, while Bono was 19-of-28 for 164 yards.

Falcons 27, Saints 24, OT

At New Orleans, Morten Andersen kicked another winning field goal at the Superdome. This time it was for Atlanta, not his former team, the Saints.

Andersen kicked a 21-yard field goal 10:58 into overtime, his 22nd game-winning field goal of his career. The Falcons (2-1) forced OT on Craig Heyward's 8-yard TD and Jeff George's 2-point conversion pass to Terance Mathis with 6:11 left.

George, sacked seven times, was 26-of-39 for 386 yards, one TD and one interception. Jim Everett was 29-of-43 for 370 yards and three TDs.

Chargers 27, Eagles 21

At Philadelphia, Junior Seau scored on a 29-yard fumble return and Andre Coleman returned a punt 88 yards for a TD during a 3:11 span to offset Randall Cunningham's three TD passes.

With the Eagles ahead 14-0, the Chargers (2-1) scored 17 second-half points, capped by Seau's first career TD with 1:16 left in the half. With 1:42 gone in the third quarter, Coleman scored on his punt return.

Cunningham, benched last week in favor of Rodney Peete, was 23-of-40 for 196 yards.

At Orchard Park, N.Y., Thurman Thomas scored from 2 yards out and Carwell Gardner recovered a fumble in the end zone for another TD as Jim Kelly rebounded from his worst game.

Jim Harbaugh (19-of-31 for 241 yards), who rallied the Colts to victories the past two weeks, started ahead of Craig Erickson but could not work another comeback. Kelly (19-of-35 for 201 yards) surpassed 30,000 career yards with a 15-yard completion to tight end Lonnie Johnson in the third quarter.

Browns 14, Oilers 7

At Houston, Stevon Moore intercepted three passes and Vinny Testaverde threw a 35-yard TD pass to Michael Jackson with 9:17 left to lift Cleveland (2-1). Will Furrer, making just his second NFL start, had a 4-yard TD pass to Haywood Jeffires. He was 22-of-41 for 258 yards and four interceptions.

Rams 31, Panthers 10

At Clemson, S.C., the Rams remained unbeaten by converting four of seven turnovers into 24 points before a Panthers' first-game crowd of 54,060. Memorial Stadium, on the Clemson campus, seats 76,000.

The Rams are 3-0 for the first time since 1989. Chris Miller completed 15 of 26 passes for 225 yards and a TD, while Jerome Bettis scored from 2 yards out.

Cardinals 20, Lions 17

At Pontiac, Mich., Barry Sanders' first fumble in three seasons set up Arizona's winning points, ex-Lion Dave Krieg's 24-yard pass to Anthony Edwards with 2:31 left in the game.

Sanders carried 24 times for 147 yards, including a 47-yard TD run, but his fumble was recovered by Arizona's Terry Irving at the Cardinals 31. Nine plays later, on fourth-and-10, Krieg hit Edwards with the winning score.

Packers 14, Giants 6

At Green Bay, Wis., Brett Favre was good enough in the first half, and that's all the Packers (2-1) needed. Favre threw TD passes to Mark Ingram and Robert Brooks and the Packers' defense made it stand up. The loss marked the first time Giants coach Dan Reeves has started a season 0-3.

49ers 28, Patriots 3

At San Francisco, Steve Young threw for three touchdowns and ran for another to power the 49ers (3-0). Drew Bledsoe (22-of-51 for 224 yards), still looking for his first TD pass, was sacked four times, fumbled once and threw three interceptions.

Seahawks 24, Bengals 21

At Seattle, Rick Mirer (21-of-30 for 279 yards) had two TD passes and Chris Warren had a TD and 110 yards rushing as the Seahawks gave coach Dennis Erickson his first win. In handing the Bengals their first loss, Seattle had 406 yards on offense, their highest total since Dec. 18, 1988.

Doug Pelfrey missed a 49-yard field goal in the closing minutes that would have tied the score.

Jets 27, Jaguars 10

At East Rutherford, N.J., Boomer Esiason (27-of-43 for 296 yards) had three TD passes as the Jets (1-2) snapped a seven-game losing streak over two years and gave new coach Rich Kotite his first win. Rookie linebacker Hugh Douglas had three sacks against expansion Jacksonville (0-3).

Bears 25, Buccaneers 6

At Tampa, Fla., Chicago (2-1) picked off two passes and blocked a punt in a two-minute span of the third period to pull away from the Bucs (1-2). Anthony Marshall blocked Reggie Roby's punt and ran 11 yards for a score that broke open the game. Kevin Butler added three first-half field goals.

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