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NFL ROUNDUP Saturday's preseason games



Published: Sun, August 25, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Saints 31, Bengals 23

CINCINNATI -- Aaron Brooks led three crisp scoring drives, emphatically outplaying Cincinnati's three competing passers, as New Orleans rolled past the Bengals. Michael Lewis returned a punt 81 yards for a touchdown and caught a 38-yard touchdown pass from backup Jake Delhomme as the Saints pulled away to a 31-9 lead midway through the third quarter. The main drama involved the Bengals' final audition for a starting quarterback. Jon Kitna had his worst preseason showing, Gus Frerotte was sharper against the Saints' backup defense, and Akili Smith mopped up. Kitna was 5-of-14 for 101 yards with a floating interception that set up the Saints' first touchdown. Frerotte was 12-of-18 for 157 yards with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Danny Farmer. Brooks completed his first four passes, including a 16-yard screen that Deuce McAllister broke for a touchdown. He completed 12-of-24 for 154 yards, leading drives to two touchdowns and a field goal.

Jets 28, Giants 7

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- The Jets won their seventh straight exhibition meeting with the Giants. Vinny Testaverde threw for one touchdown and backup Chad Pennington hit Santana Moss for two. Meanwhile, with the exception of Tiki Barber, the Giants did very little. And Barber pulled his hamstring in the second period. The Jets' first-string offense scored on its opening drive for the third straight game, going 60 yards on 12 plays, with Richie Anderson finishing it off with a 16-yard reception. Barber, who had 96 yards on 13 carries, fumbled at the end of a magnificent 54-yard run.

Dolphins 24, Texans 3

HOUSTON -- Miami spoiled Houston's coming out party at Reliant Stadium. After tailgating, celebrating and fireworks-spiced introductions ended, Ricky Williams scored the first touchdown in the first game played in the new stadium. The Texans (1-3) didn't have too many bright moments in their debut in their $449 million retractable-roof stadium. Quarterback David Carr was sacked four times, including three times in the second quarter. He played three quarters and threw two interceptions, one setting up a late third-quarter touchdown run of 1-yard by Robert Edwards. Carr completed 6-of-15 for 69 yards in his roughest outing of the exhibition season.

Falcons 21, Cowboys 19

IRVING, Texas -- Both Atlanta's Michael Vick and Dallas' Quincy Carter left after taking jarring hits on which they were sandwiched by defenders. Cowboys rookie kicker Billy Cundiff, getting an extended tryout in his attempt to beat out incumbent Tim Seder, missed a 22-yard field goal with three seconds remaining when his kick hit off the crossbar. Cundiff had made field goals of 46 and 25 yards in the first half, when he also was wide right on a 44-yard attempt. After replacing Vick, Doug Johnson threw two TD passes, including a 41-yarder to Alvis Whitted with 14:11 remaining that put the Falcons ahead to stay at 14-13. Rookie Kurt Kittner added a 30-yard scoring pass to tight end Brian Kozlowski with 8:20 left. Rookie Woody Dantzler, who was a quarterback at Clemson, returned the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown. But Anthony Wright's pass on the two-point conversion was incomplete to Ken-Yon Rambo. Carter was hurt with about nine minutes left in the third quarter, when he was crushed between defensive end Brady Smith and linebacker Keith Brooking as he threw a pass. Carter's helmet popped off when he was hit. Vick was expected to play the entire first half. But he was limited to just two series, bruising his right elbow when he got sandwiched between Ebenezer Ekuban and La'Roi Glover with about 13 minutes left in the second quarter.

Redskins 40, Bucs 10

TAMPA, Fla. -- Shane Matthews threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Rod Gardner, and Greg Scott returned a fumble 66 yards for another TD in Steve Spurrier's return to the state where he is revered as a coach. Spurrier's explosive offense has been the center of attention during Washington's unbeaten preseason, but the defense was equally impressive against Tampa Bay. LaVar Arrington and Champ Bailey intercepted passes by Brad Johnson on the Bucs' first two possessions, the latter setting up Matthews' TD pass to Gardner. Donte Curry intercepted Shaun King and ran 20 yards for Washington's last TD with 2:31 remaining in the game. The Bucs (2-1) also lost four fumbles, including the one Scott scooped up after Delbert Cowsette sacked Rob Johnson with the Bucs threatening to score early in the third quarter. Washington (4-0) averaged 36 points and 391 yards passing in its first three exhibitions with much of it coming against second- and third-stringers. Spurrier's aggressive style with reserves in the game drew criticism from some people who felt the Redskins were trying to run up the score. The Bucs couldn't make those claims. Rookie Patrick Ramsey made his Redskins debut at quarterback in the second half and threw a 12-yard TD pass to ex-Buc Jacquez Green after Tampa Bay's Travis Stephens fumbled a kickoff at the Washington 27. Matthews, who led an 88-yard scoring drive in the second quarter, produced 148 yards and 16 points in the first half. The Redskins finished with 260 yards total offense. With seven turnovers and several costly penalties, the Bucs didn't give themselves a chance. Brad Johnson, who completed 9-of-14 passes for 90 yards, left in the second quarter after throwing a 7-yard TD pass to Keenan McCardell. John Howell's interception of Ramsey set up Martin Gramatica's 48-yard field goal early in the third quarter. Matthews, starting in place of Danny Wuerffel who was out with the flu, was 8-of-15 for 97 yards and one interception. Ramsey, a first-round draft pick who missed two weeks of training camp in a contract holdout, was 10-of-20 for 117 yards and was sacked four times.

Colts 19, Bills 7

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis' starters needed 3:07 to produce their first touchdown of the preseason, then settled for four field goals by Mike Vanderjagt. But about the only element of one of the NFL's highest-scoring offenses that appeared in synch was the Peyton Manning-to-Marvin Harrison connection. Manning completed 12-of-23 passes for 104 yards, while Harrison caught eight passes for 74 yards. Edgerrin James, the NFL's two-time rushing champ, sat out for the third straight week. The Colts also lost wide receiver Qadry Ismail with an elbow injury in the first quarter and backup quarterback Brock Huard in the third quarter with a thumb injury on his throwing hand. Buffalo committed 11 in the first half, one more than its total from the first two games combined, and finished with 16 penalties for 97 yards. The offense wasn't much better. It produced 228 total yards, including a minus-7 yards rushing in the first quarter, and managed only 12 first downs.




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