ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Rookie EJ Manuel took another step toward securing the Buffalo Bills' starting job, and the defense stuffed the Minnesota Vikings in a 20-16 preseason victory Friday night.
Manuel went 10 of 12 for 92 yards and a touchdown through three series in the second half. He out-shined veteran Kevin Kolb, who went 13 of 21 for 111 yards and an interception in the first half.
Jerry Hughes had two sacks starting in place of defensive end Mario Williams (soreness). Backup linebacker Jamie Blatnick recovered a fumble for a touchdown for Buffalo (2-0).
The Vikings (0-2) struggled on offense without their star player, Adrian Peterson, who continues to be rested through the preseason. They combined for 74 yards offense and four first downs in the first half.
Minnesota made the score respectable with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter (see full recap).
Brady nearly perfect in Pats' win
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- Tom Brady put to rest worries about his knee. His nearly perfect arm was never a concern.
Two days after spraining his left knee, the New England star completed his first 11 passes before missing his last one and threw his first touchdown pass to new top wide receiver Danny Amendola. Brady played the first two series, then rested as the Patriots went on to a 25-21 exhibition victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Friday night.
Bucs quarterback Josh Freeman worked two possessions and had a much rougher time against the team they'll face in the third game of the regular season. He was sacked three times and completed only two of three passes for 8 yards before rookie Mike Glennon took over (see full recap).
Brees strong in Saints' victory
NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees passed for 202 yards and a touchdown while leading five scoring drives, and the Saints survived a sloppy second half for a 28-20 preseason victory over the Oakland Raiders on Friday night.
Brees' scoring strike was a 16-yarder to rookie Kenny Stills, who made the most of his second straight game playing with the first-team offense.
Brees completed 78 percent of his passes (14 of 18), including a 56-yarder to Nick Toon, setting up Mark Ingam's 2-yard TD run.
New Orleans' new defense under coordinator Rob Ryan thrived, sacking Matt Flynn five times in the first half.
The Saints (2-0) led 23-0 before the Raiders (1-1) scored on Flynn's lone TD pass, an 18-yarder to Denarius Moore, late in the first half. Flynn was 12 of 16 for 124 yards (see full recap).
Chiefs overcome Smith's struggles
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith struggled against his former team, and backup San Francisco quarterback B.J. Daniels threw a late touchdown pass to give the 49ers a 15-13 victory over Kansas City in a preseason game Friday night.
Phil Dawson hit all three of his field-goal attempts for the 49ers, two of them 55-yarders, while the Chiefs' Quintin Demps returned a kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown.
Smith was just 7 of 16 for 62 yards while playing the full first half, but he did help Kansas City to two field goals. The 49ers didn't go easy on him, either: Defensive tackle Tony Jerod-Eddie was flagged for delivering a helmet-to-helmet hit on Smith in the second quarter.
Colin Kaepernick, who took over Smith's starting job in San Francisco last season, only played the first offensive series. He threw a pair of passes with one completion for minus-3 yards (see full recap).