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Bills and Lions come back to keep perfect starts

Sep 25, 2011, 5:14 p.m.
Buffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) is back to pass against the New England patriots, in the second quarter of their NFL football game in Orchard Park, New York September 25, 2011. REUTERS/Doug Benz

By Simon Evans

MIAMI (Reuters) - The Buffalo Bills and the Detroit Lions both staged thrilling comebacks to extend their winning starts to the National Football League (NFL) season on Sunday while the Green Bay Packers overcame rivals Chicago to maintain their perfect record.

The Bills came back from 21 points down to upset Tom Brady and the New England Patriots 34-31 while the Lions overturned a 20 point deficit in their 26-23 overtime win against the Minnesota Vikings.

There were also wins for the New York Giants over the Philadelphia Eagles, the New Orleans Saints over Houston and Tampa Bay over Atlanta.

Buffalo have been the surprise team of the season so far and moved to 3-0 and the top of the AFC East after ending divisional rivals the Patriots' winning start to the campaign.

Rian Lindell kicked a 28-yard field goal in the final second as the Bills ended a 15-game losing streak against New England dating back over eight seasons.

The Patriots looked in control of the game with a 21-0 lead early in the second quarter but quarterback Brady, who had been outstanding in the opening two wins, threw four interceptions which resulted in 24 points as the Bills roared back.

Brady's four interceptions were the most he had thrown in a game since November 2006 and were as many as he threw all last season.

Detroit (3-0) have the best start to a season since 1980 after Matthew Stafford threw two touchdowns to Calvin Johnson as the Lions roared back against the Vikings.

Jason Hanson kicked a 32-yard field goal 1:53 into overtime as the Lions ended their 13 game losing streak on the road.

The Lions are on a huge upward curve, they finished the 2008 season with a 0-16 record, won just two games the following year and improved to 6-10 last season.

Aaron Rodgers threw for 297 yards and three touchdowns as Super Bowl champions Green Bay defeated old rivals Chicago with tight-end Jermichael Finley, who missed out last year through injury, collecting on all three touchdowns.

The Texans also went into week three with a 100 percent record and they almost produced a surprise of their own as they pushed the Saints all the way before succumbing to New Orleans' offense.

Houston quarterback Matt Schaub threw three touchdown passes as he led the Texans to a 26-17 lead early in the fourth quarter before Drew Brees got a grip on the game.

Schaub's only interception of the day led to Brees' second touchdown pass of the fourth quarter, a 16 yard pass to Lance Moore.

The Saints scored 23 points in the final period with Mark Ingram charging in to give New Orleans the lead with a 13-yard touchdown run before the Saints stopped Houston on fourth-and-21 to make sure of the win.

There were plenty of expectations around Atlanta this year but the Falcons suffered a second defeat when they fell 16-13 to Tampa - Buccaneers quarterback Josh Freeman scored a rushing touchdown in the second quarter and although Tony Gonzalez collected on a ten yard touchdown pass from Matt Ryan in the fourth, Atlanta paid the price for three turnovers.

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