SANTA CLARA, California (AP) — Frank Gore caught a 55-yard touchdown from an improvised Colin Kaepernick pass and ran for 119 yards in his first 100-yard game this year, leading the San Francisco 49ers past Philadelphia 26-21 on Sunday to hand the Eagles their first loss.
The 49ers delivered a late goal-line stand as they avoided their first three-game losing streak under fourth-year coach Jim Harbaugh, containing the league’s top passer in Nick Foles. He threw two incomplete passes from the 1 in the waning moments.
On a day the 49ers gave up big plays on special teams, Gore came through. Kaepernick also threw a touchdown pass to Stevie Johnson and Phil Dawson kicked four field goals.
In the key moment, an off-balance Kaepernick threw across his body and across the field, finding Gore open near the opposite sideline more than 20 yards away.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had one quite like that,” Kaepernick said. “It was a great job by Frank.”
Coach Jim Harbaugh didn’t see Gore open and had no idea where Kaepernick was going on that play.
“Kap did a great job keeping his eyes up field. I had no idea. When he stopped, pulled it up and started to throw, I didn’t know where he was going with the ball,” Harbaugh said. “The speed, the angle, the way he got into the end zone was something. I didn’t think he was going to get it in.”
The Buccaneers pulled off a stunning 27-24 win over the Steelers with Mike Glennon hitting a diving Vincent Jackson for a 5-yard touchdown with 7 seconds remaining. The Buccaneers lost to Atlanta by six touchdowns a week ago but bounced back strongly. Glennon passed for 302 yards in his first start of the season, including a 41-yard catch-and-run by Louis Murphy that set up Jackson’s score.
The Dallas Cowboys beat the Saints 38-17 with Tony Romo throwing three touchdowns passes — two to Terrance Williams — and DeMarco Murray running for a pair of scores in another 100-yard game.
The Cowboys kept the Saints scoreless in the first half, but Drew Brees led two scoring drives early in the fourth quarter to cut a 31-3 deficit in half before Dallas, now level with Philadelphia for the NFC East lead, regained control.
Steve Smith had a big day at Baltimore, punishing his former team with seven catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns in the Ravens’ 38-10 win over the Panthers. The 35-year-old receiver, who was released in a cost-cutting move during the off-season after 13 seasons with Carolina, showed the Panthers he can still make the big play.
In other games, the Packers had a 38-17 win over the Bears, the Charges beat the Jaguars 33-14, and the Vikings had a 41-28 win over the Falcons, who lost three starting offensive linemen to injuries.
At Houston, defensive end J.J. Watt had another highlight-reel play to help the Texans overcome a tough day offensively. Houston was down by three in the third quarter and Ryan Fitzpatrick had just thrown a second interception when Watt put his hands up to block an EJ Manuel pass, tipped it to himself and caught it with no Bills in front of him. Kareem Jackson blocked Manuel, and Watt raced to the end zone to put the Texans up 14-10 en route to a 23-17 win.
The Lions moved to 3-1 for the second straight season with a 24-17 win over the Jets, the Colts beat the Titans 41-17 at Indianapolis and the Dolphins beat the Raiders 38-14 at London, with Ryan Tannehill throwing for 278 yards and two touchdowns in the latest international game.