Nov. 14 (Bloomberg) -- The New England Patriots avoided their first three-game National Football League losing streak since 2002 with a 37-16 win over the New York Jets.
The New York Giants lost yesterday, 27-20 to the San Francisco 49ers in a Week 10 clash of division leaders.
Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes and Rob Ninkovich scored on a 12-yard interception return as the Patriots ended the Jets’ three-game winning streak and sent coach Rex Ryan’s squad to its first home loss in five games this season.
“We knew coming in here it was a big game and we laid it all out on the field and got the win,” Ninkovich said in a televised interview after last night’s game in East Rutherford, New Jersey. “We’re excited.”
The Patriots improved to 6-3 and take sole possession of first place in the American Football Conference East division, ahead of the Jets and Buffalo Bills, who are both 5-4. The Bills were routed 44-7 by Dallas yesterday in the Cowboys’ most lopsided win since Oct. 22, 2000.
The Giants (6-3) remain one game ahead of the Cowboys in the National Football Conference East after having their three- game winning streak halted in San Francisco. The 49ers, who lead the NFC West, have now won seven in a row, their best run since an 11-game streak in 1997.
Vernon Davis and Kendall Hunter scored touchdowns just over a minute apart early in the fourth quarter as the 49ers opened a 27-13 lead and withstood a late rally by the Giants.
The Giants had their final drive halted at the 49ers’ 10- yard line when a fourth-down pass by Eli Manning was batted down with 34 seconds left. At 8-1, the 49ers have the NFL’s second- best record behind the 8-0 Green Bay Packers, who host the Minnesota Vikings tonight.
The Patriots-Jets game was one of several matchups for divisional supremacy in Week 10. Also yesterday, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cincinnati Bengals 24-17 behind a pair of touchdown runs by Rashard Mendenhall and the New Orleans Saints knocked off the Atlanta Falcons 26-23 in overtime.
The Steelers, who entered the day a half-game behind the Bengals and Baltimore Ravens in the American Football Conference’s North division, improved to 7-3 while the Bengals had a five-game winning streak snapped to fall to 6-3.
The Ravens also slipped to 6-3 with a 22-17 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle.
The Saints (7-3) got a 26-yard field goal by John Kasay in overtime to win a matchup of the top two teams in the NFC South. The winning kick at the Georgia Dome came four plays after Atlanta’s Michael Turner was stopped on a fourth-and-1 run from the Falcons’ 29-yard line.
“It’s something that I take full responsibility for,” said Falcons coach Mike Smith, whose team fell 1 1/2 games behind the division-leading Saints at 5-4. “We were going to punt the football and then had a change of heart.”
Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes, including two to Laurent Robinson, and DeMarco Murray rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown as the Cowboys (5-4) scored 44 points against the Bills, their most since Sept. 9, 2007. The Bills are also 5-4.
Arian Foster ran for one touchdown and caught a 78-yard scoring pass from Matt Schaub as the AFC South-leading Houston Texans (7-3) beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 37-9 to increase their chances of making the playoffs for the first time.
The Tennessee Titans (5-4) won 30-3 to hand the Carolina Panthers (2-7) a third straight home loss, while the Indianapolis Colts lost 17-3 to the Jacksonville Jaguars to drop to 0-10 for the first time since 1997.
Josh Brown kicked a 34-yard field goal with 7:42 to play as the St. Louis Rams won 13-12 against the Cleveland Browns to log their second victory in nine games this season.
Dolphins Win Again
Reggie Bush ran for two touchdowns as the Miami Dolphins beat the Washington Redskins 20-9 to earn their second straight win after starting the season with seven defeats. Washington drops to 3-6 with the road loss.
The Arizona Cardinals sent the Philadelphia Eagles to a second straight loss, winning 21-17 as John Skelton threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Early Doucet with 1:56 to play in Philadelphia. The Cardinals are 3-6 and have won two in a row, while the Eagles slumped to 3-6 after blowing a fourth-quarter lead for an NFL-high fifth time this season.
The Denver Broncos secured back-to-back wins for the first time this year, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 17-10 as quarterback Tim Tebow ran for a first-quarter touchdown and threw a 56-yard scoring pass. Both teams are 4-5.
The Chicago Bears forced six turnovers in a 37-17 win over the Detroit Lions. Major Wright and Charles Tillman had interception returns for touchdowns, while Devin Hester returned a punt 82 yards for another score as the Bears improved to 6-3. The Lions are also 6-3 after losing for the third time in their past four games.
In the first Thursday night game of the year, the Oakland Raiders beat the San Diego Chargers 24-17.
--Editors: Dan Baynes, Malcolm Scott
To contact the reporters on this story: Erik Matuszewski in New York at firstname.lastname@example.org; Dex McLuskey in Dallas at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at firstname.lastname@example.org