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NFC South Recaps: Carolina drops Chicago shootout; Atlanta holds off Seattle rally

Chicago 34, Carolina 29

Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Matt Forte rushed for a career-high 205 yards with one touchdown and Devin Hester ran his way into the record book with a 69-yard punt return for another score, as Chicago gutted out a 34-29 victory over Carolina at Soldier Field.

"It's just about getting to the second level. When the offensive line takes care of the defense, I can start getting tackles downfield," Forte said of his Sunday success. We established the run early, and were able to keep it up for the whole game."

Hester's runback in the second quarter gave him 11 career punt return TDs, surpassing Eric Metcalf's old mark. The fleet return specialist also holds the NFL record for combined return touchdowns with 15.

D.J. Moore added a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown for Chicago.

It took the pressure off Jay Cutler, who only needed to complete 9-of-17 throws for 102 yards for the Bears (2-2), who had dropped two straight since a season-opening rout of Atlanta.

Cam Newton did it all once again, passing for 374 yards with a score and rushing for a pair of touchdowns, but it wasn't enough for the Panthers (1-3), who couldn't maintain momentum from a victory against Jacksonville last Sunday.

Steve Smith caught eight balls for 181 yards and became the franchise leader in total receiving yardage. Olindo Mare hit three field goals in defeat.

Atlanta 30, Seattle 28

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Michael Turner ran for 70 yards and two touchdowns and Matt Ryan threw for 291 yards and one score, as the Atlanta Falcons escaped with a 30-28 win over the Seattle Seahawks.

Trailing by two with less than two minutes to go in the game, Seattle began its the final drive from the 15-yard line. The Seahawks moved the ball up to the Atlanta 45 and looked to be in good shape to steal the game, with 22 seconds left and still holding on to one timeout. On 2nd-and-10 however, Sidney Rice was flagged for a false start penalty, knocking the Seahawks back five yards to midfield.

They would get down to the Falcons 43 before head coach Pete Carroll brought out kicker Steven Hauschka to attempt a 61-yard field goal that would have won the game. Hauschka's kick was short with eight seconds left.

"We had some struggles out there in the second half," Turner said. "They made some adjustments and we have some things to work on. We need to work on the killer mentality, it could have been ugly today. It was nice for us to get this win. We really needed it"

Julio Jones hauled in 11 passes for 127 yards, while veteran tight end Tony Gonzalez caught seven balls for 56 yards and one touchdown for Atlanta (2-2).

Buccaneers take Monday night stage against slumping Colts

(Sports Network) - The Indianapolis Colts had not made a change at quarterback in 13 seasons prior to this one. It's taken just three games for a switch to occur at the all-important position in 2011.

Curtis Painter will make his NFL regular-season starting debut and tries to give the floundering Colts a hard-to-come-by first win of the year in Monday's bout with a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team eager to showcase itself in a rare national television appearance.

Indianapolis has reached the playoffs in nine consecutive seasons, tied for the longest streak in league history, but is off to its first 0-3 start since quarterback Peyton Manning's rookie campaign of 1998. The most plausible explanation for the team's lack of early success has been a serious neck injury to Manning that has rendered the four-time NFL Most Valuable Player unable to play in any of the Colts' three defeats.

 

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