x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Browns interceptions lead to upset over Saints

The Cleveland Browns posted a stunning 30-17 upset win over the defending champion New Orleans Saints.

Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy (12) walks off the field after their win against the New Orleans Saints.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Colt McCoy (12) walks off the field after their win against the New Orleans Saints.

David Bowens returned two of Drew Brees' four interceptions for touchdowns and the Cleveland Browns posted a stunning 30-17 upset win over the defending champion New Orleans Saints overnight.

Rookie Colt McCoy passed for only 74 yards but got his first win as an National Football League starter. Peyton Hillis rushed for a four-yard score for the lone offensive touchdown for the Browns (2-5).

Scott Fujita and Sheldon Brown also recorded interceptions for the Browns. Brees was sacked three times, including once by former teammate Fujita.

Cleveland led from start to finish. Bowens' returns of 30 and 64 yards, the second of which he punctuated by clumsily somersaulting into the end zone.

"I can't dance," said Bowens, adding he was trying to copy Saints running back Reggie Bush. "I can't do it as sweet as he does it. I'm a little heavier than he is and a little older."

Bowens was not accustomed to scoring touchdowns. In his previous 11 NFL seasons, he had only one on a blocked punt.

"You don't dream of games like that," Bowens said. "You don't ever think anything is going to happen like that. It's unbelievable."

Brees, who was intercepted 11 times last season, has thrown 10 this season.

"Whenever you throw a pick, you're going to be upset. Four interceptions are hard to swallow," Brees said. "I think we are all doing a little soul searching. We know how good we can be. Obviously, we aren't playing that way right now."

Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre threw three second-half interceptions to his former team and the Green Bay Packers held on to beat the Favre's Vikings 28-24 in the late game.

"We gutted it out and got one last shot at him (Favre)," Green Bay's Clay Matthews said. "We feel good about where we are at. We made a statement."

Favre appeared to throw a touchdown to Percy Harvin with 48 seconds left, but the catch was ruled incomplete. With one more chance on fourth-and-15, Favre stumbled around the pocket and tossed the ball out of bounds.

Green Bay (4-3) turned a pair of third-quarter Favre interceptions into touchdowns for the Packers that erased the Vikings' halftime lead, including a 32-yard return for a touchdown by Packers linebacker Desmond Bishop.

Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers was 21-of-34 for 295 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

"It's huge. This is a great night," Rodgers said. "We have been struggling and so we needed this win.

"I give credit to our defence. I made a couple mistakes but our defence was on field a long time and did a nice job against a great offence."

The Oakland Raiders scored the most points in their 50-year franchise history, dominating Denver 59-14 as Darren McFadden had four touchdowns.

"Obviously it's a heck of a win," Raiders head coach Tom Cable said. "It's a great job by our football team, and our coaching staff to get this team prepared and then to go out and execute a plan. The players were fantastic in all three phases."

The Raiders (3-4) won for the third straight time at Invesco Field, fuelled by a 38-point outburst in the first 22 minutes, including touchdowns less than 10 seconds apart.

In Chicago, DeAngelo Hall tied an NFL record with four interceptions, running one back 92 yards for a touchdown, and the Washington Redskins sacked quarterback Jay Cutler four times while forcing five turnovers in a 17-14 victory over the Chicago Bears.

An officiating blunder negated a late fumble at the goal line by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and the Pittsburgh Steelers kicked the game-winning field goal on the next play.

Jeff Reed made an 18-yarder with 2:30 left, and the Steelers escaped with a 23-22 win.

One play earlier, with Pittsburgh trailing 20-19 and looking at a third-and-goal at the two-yard line, Roethlisberger fumbled as he dived across the goal line,

The play was ruled a touchdown as both teams scrambled for the loose ball in the end zone.

After a replay review, referee Gene Steratore announced that Roethlisberger fumbled before scoring. But Steratore said his crew had no clear evidence as to which team recovered the ball, and the Steelers were awarded possession at the half-yard line, allowing Reed to kick the winner.

In Baltimore, Billy Cundiff's 38-yard field goal early in overtime capped a rally as Baltimore recovered from a 14-point first-half deficit to defeat Buffalo 37-34.

Stephen Gostkowski booted three field goals and Kris Brown missed a potential game-tying 50-yard field goal late in regulation as New England nearly squandered a 17-point fourth-quarter lead but held on to defeat San Diego 23-20.

Meanwhile a member of the officiating sideline chain crew who was injured during the Browns win over the Saints was in stable condition in hospital after being knocked down by a player who ran out of bounds.