Running back Jerome Harrison helped Detroit (4-0) cap a perfect preseason with a 16-6 victory over the Buffalo Bills (1-3) at Orchard Park, N.J. The last time the Lions went 4-0 in the preseason, they became the NFL’s first team to lose all 16 regular season games in 2008.
Harrison, a six-year NFL veteran out of Washington State, ran for 72 yards and set up the Lions’ two first-half scoring drives.
Giants 18, Patriots 17: Rookie Da’Rel Scott ran a fake punt 65 yards for a touchdown and Derrick Martin returned a fumble 11 yards for a score as New York (2-2) rallied for 15 points in the fourth quarter and beat New England (2-2) at Foxborough, Mass.
Dolphins 17, Cowboys 3: Larry Johnson scored on a 22-yard touchdown run and Matt Moore threw for another score to help host Miami beat Dallas. The Cowboys (2-2) designated 31 of their 80 players as inactive, while the Dolphins (3-1) had 21 inactive players. Three starters were active for each team.
Rams 24, Jaguars 17: Sam Bradford completed 7 of 11 passes for 133 yards and a touchdown for St. Louis (4-0), which defeated host Jacksonville (1-3) and finished the preseason with a perfect record for the first time since 1979.
Eagles 24, Jets 14: Vince Young led Philadelphia (3-1) on two scoring drives before leaving with a hamstring injury as Philadelphia defeated New York at East Rutherford, N.J. Young started for Michael Vick, He was 15 of 23 for 193 yards and a touchdown, but was hurt when he rolled out on a fourth-down play against the Jets (2-2) just before halftime. The severity of the injury wasn’t immediately known.
Colts 17, Bengals 13: Kerry Collins, signed by Indianapolis last week, played most of the first half and went 5 of 10 for 45 yards with a fumble, but the Colts defeated host Cincinnati (1-3). The Colts (1-3) managed only 36 total yards in the half.
Packers 20, Chiefs 19: With most of the Super Bowl champions’ marquee players on the sideline, outside linebacker Vic So’oto likely sealed up his roster spot in the Packers’ victory over Kansas City (0-4) at Green Bay, Wis. So’oto, an undrafted free agent out of BYU who ended up in Green Bay (3-1) after his wife chose among multiple NFL offers, returned an interception 33 yards for a touchdown. He had 11/2 sacks and a forced fumble.
Ravens 21, Falcons 7: Chykie Brown returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown and Baltimore scored the clincher after another Atlanta turnover in a dreadful game won by the visiting Ravens (3-1) over the winless Falcons (0-4).
Bears 24, Browns 14: Johnny Knox came through with a touchdown catch, and if he keeps it up, he just might regain his spot as Chicago’s starting receiver. Knox made an over-the-shoulder grab in the end zone in the early going, backup quarterback Caleb Hanie looked sharp and the host Bears (2-2) defeated Cleveland (1-3).
Vikings 28, Texans 0: Christian Ponder made more plays with his legs than his arm to direct two touchdown drives and make a push for the backup quarterback job as Minnesota (2-2) beat Houston (3-1) at Minneapolis. Matt Leinart was 13 for 16 for 145 yards for the Texans, looking efficient as he prepares to back up Matt Schaub this season.
Titans 32, Saints 9: Tennessee rookie quarterback Jake Locker added a bit of sparkle to an otherwise lackluster game, leading Tennessee over host New Orleans. The Titans’ first-round pick completed 15 of 17 for 132 yards and a touchdown. Locker also ran 22 yards to score. The final preseason game for both teams was a battle of the backups. The Titans briefly played 10 of their regular starters, including quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who took nine snaps, and five defensive starters.
Steelers 33, Panthers 17: Cam Newton threw his first touchdown pass as a pro during Carolina’s loss to Pittsburgh in Charlotte, N.C. The Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 draft pick out of Auburn played only the first series and was 3 of 5 for 25 yards with the 10-yard touchdown pass to Jeremy Shockey. Charlie Batch started for Pittsburgh and was 6 of 8 for 59 yards and led a touchdown drive while playing roughly one quarter. He and Dennis Dixon are competing to back up Ben Roethlisberger.
Redskins 29, Buccaneers 24: John Beck turned in a spotty performance in his last chance to make a case for being Washington’s starting quarterback, completing 10 of 21 passes for 108 yards and an interception in the Redskins’ (3-1) win over Tampa Bay (2-2) in Landover, Md. Beck and Rex Grossman have been battling for the No. 1 job all preseason, with coach Mike Shanahan calling the competition “very close.” Grossman did not play Thursday.
49ers 20, Chargers 17: With San Francisco running back Frank Gore getting the night off after signing a big deal, Anthony Dixon capped the 49ers’ first two drives with 1-yard touchdown runs and San Francisco (2-2) beat host San Diego (2-2).
Cardinals 26, Broncos 7: Rich Bartel completed 12 of 16 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns in one half of play and Arizona’s (2-2) reserves dominated their Denver counterparts at Glendale, Ariz. Brady Quinn started at quarterback for the Broncos (2-2) and struggled, completing 4 of 12 passes for 26 yards with one interception. Tim Tebow took over at halftime and completed 7 of 11 for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Around the league
Running back Fred Taylor is retiring from the NFL after 13 seasons and nearly 12,000 yards. Taylor will sign a one-day contract with the Jacksonville Jaguars today so he can formally retire with the team that drafted him ninth overall in 1998. The former Florida star spent 11 seasons in Jacksonville and remains the franchise’s leading rusher with 11,271 yards. He ranks third with 286 catches and fourth with 2,361 receiving yards. Taylor spent the last two seasons playing sparingly in New England, where he ran 106 times for 424 yards and four touchdowns. Taylor ranks 15th on the NFL’s all-time rushing list with 11,695 yards. … Carolina waived Kentwan Balmer a week after claiming the defensive tackle off waivers from Seattle.