Bills and Lions continue perfect starts

Sep 25, 2011, 2:50 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 week 3 on Sunday.

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.

The New Orleans Saints handed the Houston Texans their first loss of the season while rookie quarterback Cam Newton, the number one pick in the draft, got his first victory as Carolina defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 16-10.

The Bills have been the surprise team of the season so far and moved to 3-0 after ending 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.

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.

Newton had thrown for over 400 yards in both the Panthers defeats in the opening two games of the season but he will be glad that despite more modest yardage (158) that he has got his first victory in the pro game.

Torrential rain in Charlotte made passing tricky for Newton and Jacksonville's rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert but the Panthers quarterback executed on the key play - with a 16 yard pass to Greg Olsen in the fourth giving head coach Ron Rivera his first win since taking over Carolina.

Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick fractured his right hand in the Eagles' 29-16 loss to the New York Giants, just a week after he was concussed in his team's defeat to the Atlanta Falcons.

Miami head coach Tony Sparano is under intense pressure after the Dolphins fell to a third straight loss - Browns quarterback Colt McCoy threw a 14 yard touchdown pass to Mohamed Massaquoi with just 43 seconds left and Miami's attempted response fell when Chad Henne threw an interception with 13 seconds on the clock.

(Editing by Julian Linden)

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