(Reuters) - Defending Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks suffered a second straight defeat with a 28-26 loss at the St Louis Rams on Sunday while the Green Bay Packers and quarterback Aaron Rodgers continued their great form with a 38-17 win over Carolina.
The Washington Redskins benched quarterback Kirk Cousins during their game against the Tennessee Titans and the move paid off as they ran out 19-17 winners.
The Seahawks slump to 3-3 after their loss to an inventive Rams whose special teams delivered two outstanding ‘fake’ plays.
A six-yard touchdown from running back Tre Mason, who rushed for 85 yards in the game, and a five-yard pass from quarterback Austin Davis to Benny Cunningham gave the Rams a 14-3 lead.
But the game turned decisively in St Louis’s direction when Stedman Bailey returned a punt 90 yards for a touchdown as Seattle fell for a fake from Tavon Austin on the other side of the field.
The Seahawks rallied though with quarterback Russell Wilson running in a 19-yard touchdown in the third quarter and throwing two TD passes in the fourth either side of a Lance Kendricks reception in the end zone for St. Louis on a four-yard pass from Davis.
Looking to make the most of their final possession, with just a two-point deficit, the Seahawks were unable to get the ball back after a brave fake punt call from Rams coach Jeff Fisher.
Punter Johnny Hekker completed an 18-yard pass to Cunningham on fourth-and-three at the Rams 18 and the home side ran down the clock.
The Packers are already starting to look like Super Bowl material as they followed up their comeback win at Miami last week with a confident crushing of Carolina.
Rodgers completed 19 of 22 passes as he threw for three touchdowns and 255 yards and Green Bay had the game pretty much wrapped up in the first quarter after taking a 21-0 lead as they moved to 5-2.
But NFC North rivals the Detroit Lions are also in some rich form — Matthew Stafford’s five-yard touchdown pass to Corey Fuller securing a 24-23 win over the New Orleans Saints.
Golden Tate had 154 yards receiving for the Lions including a 73-yard touchdown pass from Stafford in the fourth as Detroit came back to force the seventh straight road loss on the Saints.
The Redskins were on course for a fifth straight loss until they took out Cousins and back-up quarterback Colt McCoy came in and delivered a 70-yard touchdown pass to Pierre Garcon. Two field goals from Kai Forbath in the fourth quarter sealed the victory.
The Jacksonville Jaguars recorded their first win of the season with a 24-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns while Baltimore won their second straight with a 29-7 win over Atlanta.
Reporting By Simon Evans in Miami, editing by Gene Cherry