Buffalo on the rampage

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The Independent Online

Buffalo, the only team to go to the Super Bowl in four successive years and lose each time, proved they are back on track for another visit to the NFL big show with a stunning 23-3 victory over Miami.

Buffalo, the only team to go to the Super Bowl in four successive years and lose each time, proved they are back on track for another visit to the NFL big show with a stunning 23-3 victory over Miami.

Buffalo's win was its second this season over the Dolphins, their American Football Conference East Division rivals.

Running back Antowain Smith carried the ball for 126 yards while veteran defensive lineman Bruce Smith twice sacked quarterback Damon Huard.

Steve Christie kicked a 31-yard field early in the first quarter, but that was the only time Miami bothered the scorers. Buffalo chained the Dolphins to 101 total yards, 13 more than their worst in franchise history.

Miami now share top spot in AFC East with improving Indianapolis, who held out the New York Giants 27-19.

Quarterback Peyton Manning and wide receiver Marvin Harrison combined for two TDs while running back Edgerrin James - who carried the ball 16 times for 108 yards - went on a 72-yard run as the 7-2 Colts continued their best start since 1977 when they were 9-1.

For the first time in 10 years the Cowboys started a game with three stars - Troy Aikman (concussion), Emmitt Smith (broken hand) and Michael Irvin (spinal injury) all on the sidelines for the Green Bay clash.

Dallas won 27-13, with stand-in quarterback Jason Garrett throwing two TD passes and Smith's backup Chris Warren rushing for 85 yards.

They were in control for most the game, but inside the last 30 seconds their seven-point lead looked shaky - until former Packer George Teague stepped in and intercepted quarterback Brett Favre for a 95-yard TD return with four seconds left.

The Packers are 4-5, dropping to below .500 for the first time in five years.

With the 5-4 Giants losing, Dallas winning and Washington's surprise 35-28 loss to Philadelphia (3-7) there is a jam at the top of the National Football Conference East.

The Redskins could only blame themselves after committing six turnovers.

St Louis' two-game losing slide is over following a 35-10 cruise over Carolina. Promising quarterback Kurt Warner threw two TDs while the defense had six sacks and forced three turnovers.

The Rams are now 7-2, their best start since 1988 when they were in Los Angeles. Carolina had the first TD, but the Rams scored 35 of the next 38 points.

Cleveland enjoyed their second win of the season with a 16-15 thriller over Pittsburgh, who hammered the Browns 43-0 in the season opener.

San Francisco, which had won 11 of their past 12 games against New Orleans, proved the pushover the struggling Saints needed to end a seven-game losing streak.

The Saints posted a 24-6 victory over the once feared 49ers, whose five-game skid is their worst losing streak since they lost eight in a row in 1980.

The 49ers have not been the same since quarterback Steve Young suffered his latest concussion, the after effects of which have seen him miss six games.

It now appears the 49ers (3-6) will not win at least 10 games for the first time in a decade.

Seattle came from behind to beat reigning Super Bowl champions Denver 20-17 and move to 7-2 under new head coach Mike Holmgren.

It is the Seahawks' most successful start since 1984 and they are on target to appear in the playoffs for the first time since 1988.

In other games, Tampa Bay overcame six turnovers to beat Kansas City 17-10, Gary Anderson kicked a 37-yard field goal in overtime as Minnesota edged out Chicago 27-24, and Tennessee inflicted a 24-14 win over Cincinnati leaving the Bengals (1-9) with the worst record in the league.

Jacksonville edged Baltimore 6-3 in a defensive battle - two field goals by Mike Hollis were enough for victory - Arizona took a 16-point lead and then relied on defense to stand firm against Detroit and win 23-19.

And Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon did not allow a broken left wrist to interrupt his day as he threw four TD passes as San Diego were beaten 28-9.

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