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NFL Week 8 roundup: Giants show signs of life

Chiefs good enough to go 8-0; Bengals’ combo befuddles Jets

The New York Giants went from 0-6 to right in the middle of the NFC East race in six days.

Josh Brown kicked a career-high five field goals, Eli Manning played error-free, and the Giants beat host Philadelphia, 15-7, on Sunday. With Dallas losing to Detroit, the Giants (2-6) are just two games behind the Cowboys in the NFL’s weakest division.

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‘‘We still believe,’’ Manning said. ‘‘These last two weeks we’ve played our best football, together as a team, both sides, helping each other out, relying on each other. We've got to continue to build off that.’’

Michael Vick returned for the Eagles (3-5) after missing 2½ games with a hamstring injury, but clearly wasn’t healthy and was removed for rookie Matt Barkley late in the second quarter.

‘‘I've never had a hamstring injury this bad,’’ Vick said.

The Giants snapped an eight-game road losing streak while extending Philadelphia’s home losing streak to 10 games. The Eagles’ last win at the Linc was over the Giants on Sept. 30, 2012.

Chip Kelly’s high-flying offense that racked up at least 425 yards in each of the first six games has been grounded. The Eagles had just 201 yards of offense and have totaled 479 the past two weeks.

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‘‘We’re unstable at the quarterback spot. We haven’t played well at quarterback and it’s cost us the last two games,’’ Kelly said.

The Giants haven’t allowed a touchdown on defense in the last 10 quarters.

‘‘We've simplified things,’’ defensive end Justin Tuck said. ‘‘[Defensive coordinator] Perry Fewell has done a great job putting in game plans that have allowed athletes to be athletes.’’

Manning was 25 of 39 for 246 yards and didn’t throw an interception for the second consecutive game after getting picked 15 times in first six weeks.

New York opened the season with six losses before defeating Minnesota, 23-7, last Monday night.

Chiefs 23, Browns 17

Host Kansas City got a stiff test from Cleveland, racing out to a big first-half lead and then holding on through a harrowing second half. The result was just the second 8-0 start in franchise history.

The Chiefs are the first team in NFL history to win its first eight games after having the league’s worst record the previous season.

‘‘I mean, not that anybody sneaks up on anybody in this league, but yeah, we’re the only undefeated team,’’ said Alex Smith, who threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns. ‘‘I think that teams have recognized how we’re playing and no question, they’re coming prepared.’’

Jason Campbell, starting in place of the ineffective Brandon Weeden, threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns for the Browns (3-5). His second scoring pass, a 17-yarder to Fozzy Whittaker out of the backfield, got Cleveland within a field goal early in the third quarter.

The Chiefs kept making stops down the stretch, though, and Ryan Succop tacked on his third field goal of the game with 17 seconds left.

‘‘The best you can be right now is 8-0 and that’s where we’re at,’’ Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson said. ‘‘Everybody’s going to give us their best. We know that. If we can take that punch and keep rolling, that’s what we did today.”

Bengals 49, Jets 9

Andy Dalton threw a career-high five TD passes — four to Marvin Jones — as host Cincinnati (6-2) staged its first dominant performance of a promising season. It was the AFC North-leading Bengals’ most lopsided victory during coach Marvin Lewis’s 11 seasons.

Dalton is the first quarterback to throw for five TDs against the Jets since Dan Marino in 1988. He finished 19 of 30 for 325 yards. Jones set a Bengals record for TD receptions, scoring on catches of 9, 6, 17, and 6 yards. He totaled eight receptions for 122 yards.

New York (4-4) took its most lopsided loss since a 45-3 drubbing by the Patriots in 2010. Geno Smith threw two interceptions that were returned for scores before heading to the bench early in the fourth quarter.

‘‘It’s been up-down, up-down all year,’’ said Smith, who was 20 of 30 for 159 yards. ‘‘That’s the way it’s been so far. Sometimes we do it, other times we don't. That’s a part of developing consistency.’’

The Bengals got touchdowns on their first two possessions while the Jets managed only 1 net yard in the first quarter — their fewest for a quarter since 2009.

‘‘It is a statement,’’ Cincinnati defensive end Carlos Dunlap said. ‘‘This is one of the first games we were able to finish because we jumped on them early. This was just a statement game.’’

Saints 35, Bills 17

Drew Brees passed for five scores, two to hobbled tight end Jimmy Graham, and New Orleans (6-1) shook off visiting Buffalo (3-5) in the second half. Brees had a vintage performance — 26 of 34 for 332 yards — and broke a tie with Peyton Manning for most career games with at least five TD passes; Brees now has eight.

Graham played after missing practice most of last week with a left foot injury and scored on 13- and 15-yard passes, powering through tackles at the goal line both times. Rookie receiver Kenny Stills had TDs of 69 and 42 yards and Lance Moore snagged a 15-yard scoring pass in his return from a hand injury that sidelined him three games.

Graham said he’s been told he might have pain in his foot throughout the season and will have to play through it.

‘‘Everyone plays with something going on, so this is no different,’’ Graham said. ‘‘I’ve been preparing myself this week to play, so to get that call was awesome.’’

Bills quarterback Thad Lewis was sacked four times, intercepted once, and lost two fumbles. Buffalo closed to 28-17 on Fred Jackson’s 1-yard TD run, but Brees responded with a 42-yard scoring strike to Stills with 7:34 remaining.

Cardinals 27, Falcons 13

Rookie Andre Ellington rushed for 154 yards on 15 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown run, and Arizona intercepted Matt Ryan four times in a home victory over Atlanta. Ellington’s big run, tied for the third-longest in franchise history, was part of a 21-point second quarter that put the Cardinals (4-4) in control for good.

Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald caught four passes for 48 yards and a TD, in the process becoming the youngest player — at 30 years, 57 days — in NFL history to reach 800 career receptions.

Ryan had thrown three interceptions total in the first six games for the Falcons (2-5). Rashad Johnson had two of Arizona’s interceptions.

With no running game to help — the Cardinals gained 201 yards on the ground to Atlanta’s 27 — Ryan was forced to throw it a season-high 61 times, completing 34 passes for 301 yards and a touchdown. He was sacked four times. Harry Douglas had 12 catches for 121 yards.

49ers 42, Jaguars 10

Colin Kaepernick showed the fans in London how much of a dual threat he is, throwing for one TD and running for two more as San Francisco improved to 6-2. Jacksonville was the “home team” at Wembley Stadium and received plenty of vocal support, but the Jaguars still struggled and fell to 0-8.

Kaepernick ended up with 164 yards passing and 54 yards rushing. Frank Gore also ran for two scores. Linebacker Dan Skuta scored the 49ers’ final points, recovering a fumble and running it back 45 yards.

Jacksonville trailed, 28-0, by the midway point of the second quarter and converted just 4 of 14 third-down attempts.

‘The offensive line did a great job, made it easy for me,’’ said Kaepernick. ‘‘I think this is one of the first games that we started that fast.’’

Sunday’s encounter was the eighth regular-season NFL game at Wembley, the home of England’s national soccer team, and the second this year. The Vikings beat the Steelers, 34-27, last month. There will be three games in London next year.

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