KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kanas City Chiefs put the game in the hands of their defense.
It came through one more time.
Alex Smith threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chiefs held off the Cleveland Browns late in the fourth quarter to preserve a 23-17 victory Sunday and remain the NFL’s lone undefeated team.
The Chiefs (8-0), off to their best start since winning their first nine games in 2003, built a 20-7 lead late in the first half before the Browns made it a game.
Jason Campbell, starting in place of the ineffective Brandon Weeden, threw for 293 yards and two touchdowns. His second scoring pass, a 17-yarder to Fozzy Whittaker out of the backfield, got Cleveland (3-5) within a field goal early in the third quarter.
The Chiefs kept stopping the Browns down the stretch, though. They were forced to punt with 3:55 left but managed to force Campbell out of the pocket on fourth down, and his pass back across the field bounced off Davone Bess’s hands for an incompletion.
It was one of several drops for Bess, who also fumbled on a punt return.
Ryan Succop tacked on his third field goal of the game with 17 seconds left, and the Browns were unable to do anything with their final possession before time expired.
Jamaal Charles had 74 yards rushing for the Chiefs, who have leaned continuously on their defense this season. They cranked up the pressure on Campbell when it mattered down the stretch, and still have not allowed more than 17 points in a game this season.
Patriots 27, Dolphins 17
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England Patriots shook off another mediocre performance by Tom Brady and played strong defense in the second half to beat the Miami Dolphins.
Trailing 17-3 after gaining just 59 yards in the opening half, the Patriots quickly turned the game around in the third quarter with two touchdowns in a span of seven plays.
The Patriots (6-2) outscored the Dolphins (3-4) in the third quarter 17-0. Miami lost its fourth straight game.
Brady completed 13 of 22 passes, only the fifth time this season he went over 50 percent, but threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Dobson with 6:32 gone in the third quarter that began the comeback.
He threw for 76 of his 116 yards in the third quarter when the team scored 17 points. In their first seven games, the Patriots were outscored 44-9 in that period.
New England got the ball for the second time in the third quarter after Caleb Sturgis’ 46-yard field goal attempt hit the right upright.
Stevan Ridley rushed 23 yards to the Miami 41, a 23-yard completion to Rob Gronkowski moved the ball to the 18 and Brandon Bolden ran 4 yards. Then Brady threw his touchdown pass to Dobson, cutting the deficit to 17-10.
The Patriots regained possession two plays after the kickoff when Logan Ryan sacked Tannehill, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Rob Ninkovich at the Miami 13. It was one of six sacks against Tannehill, who began the game having been sacked an NFL-high 26 times.
Three plays later, Bolden scored on a 2-yard run. Stephen Gostkowski’s extra point tied it at 17 with 6:42 left in the quarter.
Broncos 45, Redskins 21
DENVER — In all those years roaming the sidelines in Denver, Mike Shanahan never saw one get so ugly, so fast.
Not surprisingly, Peyton Manning had a hand in turning Shanahan’s homecoming sour.
After being showered with applause, then staked to a two-touchdown lead, the Broncos’ old coach watched Manning and the Broncos score the last 38 points in a come-from-behind victory over the Washington Redskins.
Manning overcame four turnovers and threw for 354 yards and four touchdowns, as the Broncos came back from a 21-7 deficit early in the third quarter.
Manning led the Broncos (7-1) on a 75-yard scoring drive to make it 21-14, the key play coming when Knowshon Moreno ran for 5 yards on fourth-and-2 from the Washington 22.
Then, after the defense forced a punt, it was Manning picking and poking again, moving Denver 83 yards in 16 plays for the tying score, a 1-yard pass to Joel Dreessen on the first play of the fourth quarter.
Robert Griffin III threw three straight incompletions and Sav Rocca followed by shanking a punt 15 yards. On the next play, Manning gave Denver a 28-21 lead with a screen pass Moreno took in for a 35-yard touchdown.
Saints 35, Bills 17
NEW ORLEANS — A hobbled tight end and speedy rookie receiver provided Drew Brees all the help he needed for another vintage performance.
Brees passed for five touchdowns and 332 yards, and the New Orleans Saints pulled away for a victory over Buffalo.
Saints tight end Jimmy Graham played after missing practice most of the week with a left foot injury and scored on 13- and 15-yard passes over the middle, powering through tackles at the goal line both times.
Rookie Saints receiver Kenny Stills had touchdowns 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.
Bills quarterback Thad Lewis was sacked four times, intercepted once, lost two fumbles and appeared shaken up at times, but stayed in the game, finishing with 234 yards passing and one touchdown. Buffalo’s Fred Jackson scored on a 1-yard run.
The game matched Bills coach Doug Marrone against his former boss in New Orleans, Sean Payton.
Graham’s second touchdown, which he scored after the catch by muscling through Jairus Byrd’s tackle, gave the Saints (6-1) a 28-10 lead in the third quarter.
Buffalo (3-5) closed to 28-17 on Jackson’s TD, set up by a pair of roughing-the-passer penalties called on reserve defensive back Corey White.
49ers 42, Jaguars 10
LONDON — Colin Kaepernick led the way with his arm and with his feet, throwing for one touchdown and running for two more to lead the San Francisco 49ers over the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley Stadium.
Kaepernick ended up with 164 yards passing and 54 yards rushing to improve the team to 6-2. Frank Gore also ran for two scores.
The Jaguars (0-8) were the “home” team at London’s iconic soccer venue, playing in the British capital for the first of their four-year run of regular-season NFL games in London.
They had plenty of fan support, too, with many of the 83,559 spectators waving their giveaway Jaguars flags throughout the evening.
None of that affected what was happening on the field, and on the field it wasn’t pretty for the Jags.
Cardinals 27, Falcons 13
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Andre Ellington made his first NFL start one to remember.
The sixth-round draft pick from Clemson rushed for 154 yards on 15 carries, including an 80-yard touchdown run, and the Arizona Cardinals intercepted Matt Ryan four times in a victory over the Atlanta Falcons.
Ellington’s big run, tied for third-longest in Cardinals 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 touchdown, in the process becoming the youngest player — at 30 years, 57 days — in NFL history to reach 800 career receptions.