The Kansas City Chiefs attracted a host of admirers as they cruised to a 4-0 start, but their visit to San Diego was always likely to be a stern test. It evolved into a game of field goals, with the Chargers' John Carney converting his fifth with a little over three minutes left to give his side a 22-19 lead.
Even then the Chiefs' Pete Stoyanovich, who had already hit four field goals of his own, had a chance to tie the game up, but his 47-yarder was blocked by Chris Mims.
The kicking game was also pivotal as the New York Giants pulled off the shock of the day, overcoming the previously unbeaten Minnesota Vikings. Three field goals from Brad Daluiso and Aaron Pierce's one-yard run were enough to secure a 15-10 victory as Dan Reeves' side lived up to their name for once.
Only slightly less surprising was Carolina's downfall at Jacksonville, the first contest between the two teams who joined the league a year ago. With a 100 per cent record and a victory over San Francisco under their belts, the Panthers were clear favourites, but had no answer to the Jaguars' relentless rushing which amassed 179 yards, including a pair of touchdowns for James Stewart. "It was a day for some statements to be made," Tom Coughlin, the Jacksonville head coach, said.
The 49ers, having had a week to get over their defeat by Carolina, bounced back with a comfortable win over Atlanta, for whom Bobby Hebert (three interceptions) proved no more effective than the suspended Jeff George, who is expected to be leaving Atlanta, perhaps sooner rather than later.
A possible destination is Oakland, although the move smacks of frying pans and fires. The Raiders' home defeat by Chicago -despite a 17-3 second-half lead - was their fourth in five starts, and significantly increases Mike White's chances of becoming the season's first head coaching casualty.Reuse content