Browns 24, Raiders 21It's hard to label Cleveland a "winner" after knocking off still-winless Oakland to raise its record to 1-3, but bouncing back from an 18-point deficit isn't easy against anyone (though it's probably easiest against Oakland). Browns quarterback Charlie Frye led the team back with three touchdown passes, but nearly erased that rally when he threw an ill-advised pass into the end zone with three minutes remaining.
"It was a boneheaded by me. I forced it," Frye admitted. "I was really worried until I remembered we were playing against the Raiders and they were as likely to eat the football as they were to complete a pass with it."
Panthers 21, Saints 18New Orleans slipped from the ranks of the undefeated, dropping their first contest to Carolina. As the clock wound down to end the game, Saints coach Sean Payton threw a red challenge flag to protest the final score.
"I know our team's not very good," he pleaded, "but didn't you see all that footage on CNN after the hurricane? I thought we were getting a free pass this year because everyone felt sorry for us. What was all that 'throwing to Steve Smith' stuff? You know we can't defend him!"
Ravens 16, Chargers 13Baltimore extended it best start ever, going to 4-0 for the first time in team history in a game that pitted two of the league's top defenses against one another. At least that was how CBS hyped it, jumping to the conclusion that statistics derived from a San Diego playing two games against two of the league's worst teams then having a week off made a legitimate case for their being "the NFL's best defense."
Steve McNair led the Ravens to the victory and was widely praised as Baltimore's savior by his teammates until someone stopped to notice that the guy barely completed 50 percent of his passes, threw as many interceptions as he did touchdowns and struggled to surpass the 150 yards passing.
"On second thought," deduced tight end Todd Heap, "maybe he's not so great. Just that compared to [former Ravens starter] Kyle Boller he looks like the second coming of John Elway! It' like jumping into a cold pool right after you get out of the hot tub!"
Chiefs 41, 49ers 0With an extra week to prepare, Damon Huard's Kansas City Chiefs looked much more like the team fans have come to expect when they visit Arrowhead Stadium. The quarterback threw for two touchdowns, but more importantly kept the defense honest, opening up room for Larry Johnson to run for 101 yards and two scores of his own.
"I have a much better grasp of the offense," Huard smiled. "I'm looking forward to spending the next two weeks getting ready for our next game." Huard later learned that every team only gets one bye week per season and that he'd be back on the field next weekend, prompting him to borrow a prescription pill bottle from Terrell Owens.