Steve Beuerlein completed a magnificent day by rushing for a five-yard touchdown as time expired, giving the Carolina Panthers a 33-31 victory over the host Green Bay Packers yesterday.
Beuerlein picked apart the Packers' pass defense for 373 yards and three touchdowns. He also led the Panthers on a 63-yard drive for the winning score, converting a fourth down with a desperate 18-yard pass to Wesley Walls four plays before the touchdown.
The Packers made a horrendous clock management blunder in the final minute. After tackling Walls at the 5 on third down with 45 seconds to play, the Packers, who had three timeouts, allowed the clock to run down to 0:05.
"I'm miffed at myself about it," Packers Coach Ray Rhodes said. "I don't know how much time I could have left our offense, but I was hoping to at least leave them something, and I didn't get that part done."
BENGALS 44, BROWNS 28: Corey Dillon rushed for 192 yards and three touchdowns in less than three quarters as the Bengals ground down Cleveland in the last NFL game at Cincinnati's Cinergy Field.
The Bengals are scheduled to move a few blocks to Paul Brown Stadium in 2000.
Coach Bruce Coslet sat Dillon down late in the third quarter with a 44-21 lead, ending the running back's pursuit of team and league rushing records for a game. Walter Payton holds the NFL record with 275 yards rushing against Minnesota in 1977.
RAMS 30, SAINTS 14: For the second straight week, St. Louis had a 300-yard passer (Kurt Warner), a 100-yard rusher (Marshall Faulk) and two 100-yard receivers. Faulk scored two touchdowns and rushed for 154 yards in New Orleans.
Warner completed 21 of 31 passes for 346 yards and two touchdowns, Isaac Bruce reached 1,000 yards receiving with four receptions for 102 yards, and Torry Holt caught six passes for 113 yards.
The Saints have lost four straight games, 11 of 12 and are 14-31 under Coach Mike Ditka. Ditka stormed out of his postgame news conference when the first question was if he still believed he could turn things around for the Saints.
GIANTS 19, BILLS 17: Cary Blanchard kicked a 48-yard field goal with 40 seconds left to give visiting New York a victory over Buffalo. He was 4 for 4 in the game.
"It's all feel," said Blanchard, whose confidence, and foot, never wavered. "It's like hitting a golf shot. When it left my leg, I knew it was good."
The win kept the Giants in a second-place tie with Dallas, one game behind Washington in the NFC East. The Bills trail Indianapolis by three games in the AFC East and are struggling just to make the playoffs.
"We can kiss the division goodbye," said Bills tailback Antowain Smith, who gained 19 yards on six carries as Buffalo's running game managed just 76 yards. "I guess we thought they were going to give us the game."
Blanchard, signed after Brad Daluiso was lost for the season Oct. 18, kicked three other field goals, two of 21 yards and one of 42 yards, making him 13 of 14 for the season.
JETS 28, DOLPHINS 20: Keyshawn Johnson caught 11 passes for 144 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns, lifting New York over visiting Miami.
Miami has lost three straight and four of five. Dan Marino was 18 for 39 for 192 yards, and particularly struggled in the second half. His game ended when Omar Stoutmire returned an interception 67 yards for a score.
Marino was outplayed by Ray Lucas, New York's inexperienced backup quarterback, who went 22 for 38 for 230 yards.
49ERS 26, FALCONS 7: Fred Beasley had two short touchdown runs and Charlie Garner had another while surpassing 1,000 yards rushing for the season as San Francisco beat visiting Atlanta, which had 105 yards offense.
Bryant Young sacked Chris Chandler in the end zone for a safety and Wade Richey kicked a 23-yard field goal for the 49ers, who avoided matching the longest losing streak in club history by snapping their eight-game skid.