MINNEAPOLIS - Adrian Peterson rushed for 116 yards and two touchdowns in his return from a knee injury, and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson continued his steady improvement to lead surging Minnesota to a 42-10 romp over free-falling Detroit yesterday.

Jackson was 18 of 24 for 204 yards and two touchdowns, and the Vikings (6-6) scored TDs on their first six possessions to win their third in a row.

The streak has the Vikings right back in the thick of the NFC playoff picture, thanks in large part to a November swoon by the Lions that has an all-too familiar feel for their long-suffering fans.

Jon Kitna threw for 260 yards and one touchdown for the Lions (6-6), who have lost four in a row after a 6-2 start.

Jets 40, Dolphins 13

MIAMI - A shaky showing by rookie quarterback John Beck doomed the Dolphins' latest bid for a win.

Beck threw three interceptions and lost two fumbles, and Miami fell to 0-12 by losing to New York (3-9).

Beck's turnovers led to a touchdown and three field goals. In three starts, he has yet to direct the offense to a touchdown.

Despite the Dolphins' woeful record, they were favored by 11/2 points, and the game was touted as their best remaining chance to avoid the NFL's first 0-16 season. Instead, the margin of defeat was their widest yet.

Miami extended a franchise-record losing streak to 15 games.

Cardinals 27, Browns 21

GLENDALE, Ariz. - Arizona turned three of Cleveland's four turnovers into touchdowns, Edgerrin James topped 100 yards rushing for only the second time this season and the Cardinals (6-6) held on to win.

Kurt Warner threw two touchdown passes and Neil Rackers kicked a pair of late field goals for the Cardinals.

Derek Anderson had two touchdown tosses, but was intercepted twice and fumbled the football away once for the Browns (7-5).

Raiders 34, Broncos 20

OAKLAND, Calif. - JaMarcus Russell's debut may have drawn the biggest cheers. Josh McCown delivered the biggest plays.

McCown threw three touchdown passes for Oakland despite missing two series when Russell played for the first time, and the Raiders capitalized on Denver miscues to win.

Justin Fargas carried 33 times for 146 yards and a touchdown and Oakland (4-8) scored 24 points off four turnovers to snap a five-game losing streak to Denver (5-7).

Chargers 24, Chiefs 10

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Coach Norv Turner finally found a way to beat Kansas City. All it took was two touchdowns and 177 yards rushing by LaDainian Tomlinson and eight sacks by the defense.

Toss in Philip Rivers' 38-yard touchdown pass and San Diego (7-5) waltzed past Kansas City (4-8), making Turner 1-6 lifetime against the Chiefs.

Shawne Merriman had three of the eight sacks, which broke the Chiefs' record of seven allowed in a game. The Chargers also had three interceptions.

Rams 28, Falcons 16

ST. LOUIS - Gus Frerotte threw three touchdown passes in the first half, then sweated out two second-half interceptions that fueled an Atlanta comeback in the victory by St. Louis (3-9).

Chris Redman threw two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter after replacing an ineffective Joey Harrington for the Falcons (3-9), who cut the gap to 21-16 midway through and had a chance to take the lead.

Buccaneers 27, Saints 23

NEW ORLEANS - New Orleans' Devery Henderson fumbled a late, awkward toss from Reggie Bush, allowing substitute starting quarterback Luke McCown to drive Tampa Bay (8-4) for a touchdown with 17 seconds left that won the game.

The Saints (5-7) probably have to win out to even have a chance at a wild-card playoff berth.

Steelers 24, Bengals 10

PITTSBURGH - Hines Ward caught two touchdown passes from Ben Roethlisberger to break the Steelers' record for career scoring catches, and Pittsburgh (9-3) rolled past Cincinnati (4-8).

The Steelers shook off an early 7-0 deficit to open a two-game division lead over the Cleveland Browns (7-5) and all but eliminate the Bengals (4-8) for the third straight year.

Titans 28, Texans 20

NASHVILLE - Tennessee's Vince Young threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns in rallying the Titans (7-5) to victory over Houston (5-7), snapping a three-game skid.

Tennessee defensive end Antwan Odom knocked Matt Schaub out of the game for the second time this year, sacking him and hurting his left shoulder in the first quarter. By the time backup Sage Rosenfels settled in, it was too late for the Texans.

Panthers 31, 49ers 14

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Vinny Testaverde threw two touchdown passes and Carolina (5-7) snapped a five-game losing streak with the win over San Francisco (3-9), Carolina's first home victory in more than a year.