Craig Heyward, in the doghouse for most of his three seasons with New Orleans, turned in his second straight 100-yard rushing game yesterday, including a 47-yard touchdown run that led the Saints over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 35-7, in New Orleans.
It was the fourth straight loss for the Buccaneers (4-6).
Heyward, trimmed down to 259 pounds, rushed for 155 yards yesterday and 122 a week ago. He carried 11 times for 35 yards in the first seven games.
Said Saints Coach Jim Mora: "He's the same guy he was 2 1/2 years ago. He's just getting more opportunities now, and he's making the most of them."
On his 47-yard touchdown burst -- the longest run of the season by a New Orleans back -- Heyward broke through the grasp of Wayne Haddix at the line of scrimmage, stiff-armed Harry Hamilton, then bowled Ricky Reynolds into the end zone.
That touchdown put New Orleans (4-5) ahead to stay, 14-7. Heyward scored on a two-yard plunge in the third quarter to make it 28-7, bouncing off the line and breaking two tackles.
Brett Perriman scored on 26-yard pass from Steve Walsh in the second quarter, and Rueben Mayes ran for two touchdowns.
Quarterback Chris Chandler led Tampa Bay on a 15-play, 80-yard drive to a touchdown on the game's opening possession. Chandler completed all four of his passes on the drive for 37 yards and ran three times for 23 yards, including a 12-yard burst for the touchdown on a forward flip over defensive back Toi Cook.
Chandler (five of seven passing for 44 yards) sustained a concussion on a third-quarter sack by Rickey Jackson and Jim Wilks, and Vinny Testaverde replaced him.
Testaverde fumbled his first snap on a sack by Pat Swilling, and Renaldo Turnbull recovered for New Orleans on the Buccaneers 7-yard line, setting up Heyward's second score. Swilling had four sacks.
Vikings 17, Lions 7: Rich Gannon passed for 146 yards and scored one of Minnesota's two touchdowns in Pontiac, Mich., spoiling the first start by rookie Andre Ware.
Both teams are 3-6, but the Vikings have won two in a row and the Lions have lost the last two.
All three Minnesota scores came after turnovers. The Vikings had four interceptions and recovered a fumble.
Ware, the 1989 Heisman Trophy winner, completed five of 11 passes for 48 yards and ran six times for 34 yards. He started in place of Rodney Peete, who had a pulled hamstring and wasn't in uniform. The Lions' first two possessions ended with interceptions.
"Andre Ware's an NFL quarterback," said safety Joey Browner, who had two interceptions. " . . . The scheme we used defensively, he just wasn't able to figure out."
Bob Gagliano started the second half, completing eight of 13 for 84 yards with two interceptions. He threw an 18-yard touchdown to Jeff Campbell.
Chargers 19, Broncos 7: In San Diego, cornerback Gill Byrd intercepted two passes, setting up 10 second-half points, and Denver was turned away by a fourth-quarter goal-line stand.
The Chargers (5-5) won their third straight game, getting four field goals from John Carney and a touchdown from linebacker Gary Plummer.
San Diego's Marion Butts rushed for 114 yards on 16 carries.
Denver (3-6) put together an 18-play drive after Plummer's touchdown, reaching San Diego's 1-yard line with 3 1/2 minutes remaining.
But defensive end Lee Williams tackled Bobby Humphrey for a one-yard loss, John Elway's second-down pass was incomplete and Williams sacked Elway for a nine-yard loss. On fourth down safety Vencie Glenn tipped away an end zone pass.
Colts 13, Patriots 10: Jeff George salvaged a miserable day with a 26-yard scoring pass to Bill Brooks with 2:05 to play before 28,924 in Foxboro, Mass.
The seventh straight loss dropped the Patriots to 1-8. The Colts (3-6) snapped a three-game slide.
George, the top choice in this year's NFL draft, completed four of 22 passes before succeeding on his two most important throws of the game with his team trailing by 10-6.
His 22-yard completion to Albert Bentley moved the ball to the Patriots 34-yard line. After Eric Dickerson ran eight yards, George found Brooks for the touchdown.
The Patriots got to the Colts 44 with 1:01 left, but Marc Wilson threw two incompletions and was sacked twice.