Lions roar back to stun Cowboys; Bills suffer first loss

Oct 2, 2011, 3:26 p.m.
Dallas Cowboys tight end John Phillips (R) is tackled by Detroit Lions linebacker Stephen Tulloch in the second half of their NFL football game in Arlington, Texas October 2, 2011. REUTERS/Mike Stone

By Julian Linden

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The undefeated Detroit Lions erased a 24-point deficit to stage a second straight comeback with a 34-30 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday while the Buffalo Bills' fairytale start to the National Football League (NFL) season came unstuck when they suffered their first loss.

The Lions clawed back from the brink of defeat to score the winning touchdown with 1:39 to play when Matthew Stafford threw a two-yard pass to Calvin Johnson just a week after they came from 20 points down to defeat the Minnesota Vikings.

It is still early days but the win lifted the Lions to 4-0, their best start to a season in over three decades, and left them as just one of two teams still undefeated this campaign.

The only other unbeaten side are the Green Bay Packers, who are in the same NFC North division as the Lions, and were due to play their week four game against Denver later on Sunday.

Buffalo, the surprise package of the early season games, spoiled their perfect record when they were beaten 23-20 by the Cincinnati Bengals as Mike Nugent kicked a 43-year field goal as time expired.

New Orleans, Tennessee, Houston, Washington and San Francisco all improved to 3-1 while Minnesota and St. Louis both lost again, leaving them as the only winless teams after a quarter of the regular season games have been completed.

The Saints, Super Bowl champions two years ago, labored to a 23-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Quarterback Drew Brees stretched his streak of throwing at least one touchdown pass to 31 games, the third longest in NFL history.

Matt Hasselbeck threw three touchdowns for Tennessee in a 31-13 win over the Cleveland Browns that snapped their six-game losing streak on the road and left them tied at the top of the AFC South standings with Houston.

The Texans posted a 17-10 win over the visiting Pittsburgh Steelers, last season's Super Bowl runners-up, who are 2-2 on the season. Arian Foster, starting for the first time after a hamstring problem, announced his return to the Houston lineup by rushing for 155 yards and a touchdown.

The Redskins rebounded from the disappointment of Monday's narrow loss to beat the St. Louis Rams 17-10 while the 49ers came from 20 points down to beat Philadelphia 24-23, despite Eagles quarterback Michael Vick throwing for a career-high 416 yards and running for another 75.

(Editing by Frank Pingue)

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