Pats Stumble, Lose to Eagles by Point

The Minnesota Vikings won their eighth National Football League game in eight starts yesterday afternoon, and the Houston Oilers won their first game after seven defeats.

The Vikes trampled the Cleveland Browns, 26-3, while Houston eked out a 31-27 victory over the Baltimore Colts.

Rams' Horn Blown

The Atlanta Falcons edged the Los Angeles Rams, 15-13, in an important contest. Atlanta (5-3) now trails the Rams (6-2) by only one game in the Western Division of the National Conference.

The New England Patriots blew a 17-0 lead and lost, 24-23, to the Philadelphia Eagles, and the Chicago Bears upset the Green Bay Packers, 31-17.


Saintly Saints

The suddenly respectable New Orleans Saints shut out the Buffalo Bills, 13-0, for their fourth win against four losses. O.J. Simpson of Buffalo gained 79 yards to bring his league-leading rushing total to 1075 yards in eight games.

Both New York teams lost: the Giants, 42-0, to the Oakland Raiders, and the Jets, 24-14, to the Miami Dolphins. Miami (7-1) now has a two-game lead over Buffalo (5-3) in the American East.

The Kansas City Chiefs (4-3-1) remained one game behind Oakland (5-2-1) in the American West by defeating the San Diego Chargers, 19-0.

The Dallas Cowboys improved their record to 5-3 with a 38-10 win over the Cincinnati Bengals. The Washington Redskins (5-2), a half-game ahead of Dallas in the National East, play tonight against the Pittsburgh Steelers (6-1), first in the American Central.

The Denver Broncos and St. Louis Cardinals played to a 17-17 tie yesterday afternoon. The Detroit Lions defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 30-20.