SAM FARMER / ON THE NFL

NFL Week 7: These moments will stick in the memory

Running a reverse

After abysmal starts to the season, Green Bay and New Orleans have each won consecutive games.

The Packers (4-3), who followed last week's victory over the Texans with a 30-20 win over St. Louis, are above .500 for the first time this season. It was also the first time this season they have won back-to-back games.

The Saints (2-4) finished Aaron Kromer's coaching stint on a high note, with a 35-28 win at Tampa Bay. Kromer coached the first six games in place of interim Coach Joe Vitt, who was suspended for his role in the bounty scandal.

Vitt, eager to get back to work as the stand-in for the suspended Sean Payton, met the Saints at the airport in Tampa and flew home with them. He makes his coaching debut next Sunday night at Denver.

"We want to get on a streak here," said quarterback Drew Brees, who threw for four touchdowns and erased a 14-point deficit against the Buccaneers. "You've got to win more than one before you're on a streak. So now we've got two, and we want to keep that going."

Back home

Chuck Pagano, the cancer-stricken Colts coach, has been released from a hospital and watched Sunday's Cleveland-Indianapolis game from home.

Pagano learned he had a treatable form of leukemia last month, and it's unclear if he will return this season. Bruce Arians has stepped in as interim coach and the team is 2-1 under him.

Indianapolis players didn't know Pagano had been released from the hospital until Colts owner Jim Irsay told them after the game. Quarterback Andrew Luck said that news was even more thrilling than the victory.

Free falling

Since going 4-0 for the first time since 1974, the Cardinals have lost three in a row, averaging only 11 points in those three defeats. Arizona's next three games won't be any easier: home against San Francisco, then at Green Bay and Atlanta.

"Nobody's ready to call it a season," Cardinals quarterback John Skelton said after Sunday's loss at Minnesota. "We're going to get back to our winning ways, starting with San Francisco this week."

Bumps, bruises, breaks

It's bad enough to lose a running back. Jacksonville lost its star running back and starting quarterback in Sunday's overtime loss at Oakland.

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew suffered a left foot injury on the second play from scrimmage and was carted to the locker room. He was later on the sideline on crutches. In the second quarter, quarterback Blaine Gabbert suffered an injury to his left (non-throwing) shoulder and was replaced by Chad Henne.

In the Redskins-Giants game, Washington tight end Fred Davis hopped off the field because of a torn Achilles' tendon, probably a season-ending injury.

Browns running back Trent Richardson was pulled from action in the second half against the Colts because Cleveland Coach Pat Shurmur thought the back's rib injury limited his effectiveness.

From foe to friend

This is bizarre: In preparing for their game at Carolina, the Dallas Cowboys called on inspiration from former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs, once a bitter Cowboys rival.

Gibbs, who lives in Charlotte, N.C., spoke to the Cowboys during a chapel service Saturday night at the behest of Dallas Coach Jason Garrett.

"He came into chapel, and talked about some of his low times," Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said after his team's 19-14 victory. "He spoke about some of the coaching errors. He wasn't directing it to the team at all, relative to our criticism this week of our sideline coaching decisions, but he talked a little about a couple that bit him.

"The players told me that when they hear Joe Gibbs talk about a few bad decisions, they know anybody can make them."

No word on whether the Cowboys were able to reserve Gibbs for the night of Nov. 21.

They play the Redskins the next day.

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