Originally created 10/30/00

Three tied for top spot in AFC East; Vikes no longer unbeaten



Halfway through the season, the AFC East is a logjam and there are no undefeated teams anywhere.

Three teams are tied atop the division at 6-2, thanks to Sunday's results, in which Indianapolis and Miami won, and the New York Jets lost.

The Colts beat Detroit 30-18 as they overcame five second-half giveaways. The Dolphins rallied from a 17-0 hole to beat Green Bay 28-20. Buffalo erased some of the Jets' late-game magic with a last-second 34-yard field goal by Steve Christie to win 23-20.

"I told our team that this was the game as far as the rest of our season was concerned," Bills coach Wade Phillips said. "I just don't think we could've lost this one and had a realistic chance of being where we want to be."

That would be where the Colts, Dolphins and Jets are.

Tampa Bay snapped a four-game slide with a 41-13 rout of Minnesota, ending the Vikings' perfect season.

"We're 7-1. We're not discouraged at all. We're disappointed," coach Dennis Green said. "It's not the first time any of us has lost. That's part of the game. You don't like it. Everybody would love to be undefeated, but it didn't work out that way."

Also Sunday, Pittsburgh won its fifth in a row, 9-6 over Baltimore; Cincinnati beat Cleveland 12-3; and Atlanta edged Carolina 13-12.

In late games, it was St. Louis at San Francisco; Jacksonville at Dallas; Kansas City at Seattle; Philadelphia at the New York Giants; and New Orleans at Arizona. At night, Oakland was at San Diego.

Monday night's game has Tennessee at Washington.

Denver, Chicago and New England were off this week.

Bills 23, Jets 20

Christie's field goal as time ran out gave him three game-winning kicks in the final minute of the fourth quarter or overtime this season. Linebacker Sam Cowart, the Bills' leading tackler, recovered two fumbles and also stuffed Richie Anderson for a 5-yard loss that forced the Jets to settle for John Hall's 36-yard field goal with 2:20 left, tying the score.

Host Buffalo (4-4) then marched 57 yards to the winning kick.

New York had four turnovers, but also came back from a 17-7 deficit. The Jets have won four times this year with fourth-quarter rallies.

Dolphins 28, Packers 20

After spotting the visitors a 17-point cushion on Green Bay's first three series, Miami answered with four consecutive touchdowns in a span of 13:06. Larry Izzo ran 39 yards with a fake punt to set up a TD, and Jeff Ogden scored on an 81-yard punt return.

The Dolphins started where they left off Monday, when they blew a 23-point fourth-quarter lead and lost 40-37 in overtime to the Jets. But it was the Packers (3-5) who folded, dropping to 0-6 at Miami.

"It's a 60-minute game," defensive end Jason Taylor said. "Everyone in Miami understands that now."

Colts 30, Lions 18

Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns in the opening half, but was picked off twice in the second half. He hit Marcus Pollard for 31 yards, Marvin Harrison for 3 yards and Ken Dilger for 12.

Detroit (5-3) managed just two first downs until its final drive, and 12 of its first 19 plays went for zero yards or negative yardage. The visiting Lions also gave up a safety when Charlie Batch was sacked by Josh Williams in the end zone.

Edgerrin James carried 31 times for 139 yards, with a 24-yard scoring run.

Buccaneers 41, Vikings 13

For the second time in three years, the Vikings journeyed to Tampa with a 7-0 record and left at 7-1. This one never was close as the Bucs (4-4) woke up on offense to end a four-game slide.

Shaun King threw for a career-high four touchdowns, Keyshawn Johnson had his first 100-yard receiving day for Tampa Bay, and Derrick Brooks scored on a 34-yard interception return.

Warren Sapp sacked Daunte Culpepper, forcing a fumble that set up Tampa Bay's first touchdown, and the defense also had two interceptions.

Steelers 9, Ravens 6

At Baltimore, Hines Ward made a leaping 45-yard touchdown catch, and Kris Brown kicked a 24-yard field goal after missing an extra point.

Pittsburgh (5-3), coming off two straight shutouts, allowed a pair of first-half field goals by Matt Stover, who has scored the Ravens' last 46 points. The Steelers have not yielded a touchdown in 16 successive quarters.

Not that the Ravens (5-4) are much of a threat to reach the end zone -- they didn't do so at all in October and have lost three games in a row.

"If anyone wants to intimate that all of a sudden I don't know what I'm doing, and that my 25 years is a sham, and I faked my way to this point, they can have at it," Ravens coach Brian Billick said.

Bengals 12, Browns 3

Corey Dillon, who set an NFL record with 278 yards rushing a week ago, got 137 yards and one touchdown. The Bengals (2-6), who hadn't scored in any of their first three road games, did just enough to send Cleveland (2-7) to its sixth straight loss.

Dillon scored on a 1-yard run in the second quarter, Neil Rackers kicked a 39-yard field goal in the third, and the Bengals were credited with a safety in the fourth when the Browns were penalized for holding in their end zone.