Nov 26, 2010 1:30 AM
DETROIT (AP) - Tom Brady threw a season-high four touchdown passes, all in the second half, to help the New England Patriots rout the Detroit Lions 45-24.
Brady threw a go-ahead touchdown to Deion Branch early in the fourth quarter after connecting with him on a 79-yard pass to tie the game. Wes Welker's second TD reception sealed the victory with 6:42 left.
The Patriots (9-2) stayed tied with their AFC East rival New York Jets for the NFL's best record after trailing by 11 points late in the first half.
Detroit (2-9) ended up not being more competitive than it had been in its previous six showcase games - losing those by an average of 23.2 points.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have recovered from blowing a 17-point lead by marching 89 yards for a go-ahead touchdown with 1:55 left to pull out a 30-27 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday.
Dallas kicker David Buehler nearly tied it with a 59-yard field goal in the final half-minute. The kick had plenty of distance, but fluttered wide left. Saints coach Sean Payton appeared to try
calling timeout as the ball was snapped, but the officials didn't give it to him.
The Saints (8-3) were up 17-0 after three series and 20-3 just before halftime. But the Cowboys scored on four straight possessions to get close, then went ahead 27-23 on Tashard Choice's short touchdown run with 5:51 left.
Dallas (3-8) was headed to another score when Roy Williams took a pass toward to end zone, only to get stripped by New Orleans' Malcolm Jenkins at the 11. That set up the winning rally.
The Cowboys lost for the first time in three games under interim coach Jason Garrett. The Saints, playing on the holiday for the first time, won their fourth straight and fifth in six games.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Brad Smith's two long touchdown pays have lifted the New York Jets past the Cincinnati Bengals, 26-10 to keep the Jets tied atop the AFC East.
Hours after the New England Patriots beat Detroit to improve to 9-2, the Jets matched them as Smith scored on a 53-yard run two plays into the third quarter, and on an 89-yard kickoff return in
the final period. Smith lost a shoe midway through that return, which clinched an eighth straight loss for Cincinnati (2-9).
Santonio Holmes scored on a 13-yard reception from Mark Sanchez after Cincinnati's Andre Caldwell had a punt deflect off him while he was blocking.
The Jets have beaten Cincinnati three times in less than a year, including the 2009 season finale that got them into the playoffs, then in the wild-card game the following week.
The Jets now have a 10-day rest before traveling to Foxborough to play the Pats in an AFC East showdown a week from Monday night.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)