(Reuters - San Francisco linebacker Ahmad Brooks blindsided Saints quarterback Drew Brees to force a fumble and allow the 49ers to escape New Orleans with a wild 27-24 overtime victory on Sunday.
Brooks’ big play set up Phil Dawson’s winning 35-yard field goal and the 49ers (5-4) prevailed to keep pace in the NFC West despite squandering a 21-10 second-quarter lead.
Brees, who tossed three scores and two interceptions, put the Saints (4-5) ahead 24-21 with less than two minutes left in the fourth quarter but San Francisco rallied to force overtime thanks to a 51-yard bomb from Colin Kaepernick on fourth down that sent up Dawson’s 45-yard game tying field goal.
New Orleans had what would have been a game-winning 47-yard touchdown pass from Brees to Jimmy Graham wiped out with seconds to play in regulation when Graham was called for pass interference.
The freefalling New York Jets stunned the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13 to snap an eight-game losing streak behind a solid start from Michael Vick. Starting in place of Geno Smith, Vick threw two touchdowns and added 39 yards on the ground to become the firstquarterback in NFL history to reach 6,000 yards rushing.
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who had thrown six touchdowns in each of his last two games, was limited to one score and sacked twice as the Jets forced four turnovers.
In Detroit, Matthew Stafford fired an 11-yard touchdown pass to Theo Riddick in the final minute to lift the Lions past Miami 20-16.
The Dolphins (5-4) had taken a 16-13 lead on Caleb Sturgis’ field goal with 4:19 left but the Lions (7-2) responded with a 74-yard winning drive.
Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson had 113 receiving yards and a TD after missing three straight games because of an ankle injury.
The Kansas City Chiefs also needed late magic as they scored 14 straight fourth-quarter points to nip Buffalo 17-13.
Jamaal Charles broke off a 39-yard touchdown run to bring the Chiefs close, and they took the lead on quarterback Alex Smith’s eight-yard run.
The Dallas Cowboys had quarterback Tony Romo back in the lineup and returned to their winning ways in a 31-17 beating of Jacksonville at Wembley Stadium in London.
Romo tossed three scores in coming back from a back injury that sidelined him last week and Dallas improved to 7-3.
The rushing attack of Baltimore’s Justin Forsett sparked the Ravens to a 21-7 victory over Tennessee.
Forsett finished with 112 yards on the ground and two scores as Baltimore improved to 6-4.
Reporting by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles, Editing by Gene Cherry