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SECOND-STRING DETMER PLAYS FIRST RATE

SHARE SECOND-STRING DETMER PLAYS FIRST RATE

The Philadelphia Eagles may not be in bad shape if they are forced to begin the season with second-string quarterback Ty Detmer.

Detmer, starting for the injured Rodney Peete, completed 13 of 20 passes for 230 yards, including two touchdowns to Irving Fryar, as the Eagles held off the Pittsburgh Steelers 20-19 Friday night."You've got to earn the respect of the team, and with Rodney out, I had to step forward and get the job done," said Detmer, whom the Eagles signed as a free agent to back up Peete. "The last couple of weeks, I've felt a lot more comfortable in the pocket."

Kordell Stewart, who lost the starting quarterback battle to Jim Miller earlier in the week, nearly led the Steelers to a victory, throwing a 7-yard touchdown pass to Andre Hastings with four seconds left in the game.

The Steelers tried for the 2-point conversion that would have won the game, but Fred McAfee was stopped short of the goal line by Brian Dawkins.

The touchdown pass to Hastings was set up by a 57-yard reception by Johnny Barnes, a catch that gave Pittsburgh the ball on the Eagles 7 with eight seconds left in the game.

Stewart, who finished 18-of-28 for 231 yards, also threw a touchdown pass to Hastings earlier in the fourth quarter.

Peete has a sprained left knee that may keep him out of the Sept. 1 opener at Washington. If he can't play, Detmer, the 1990 Heisman Trophy winner from BYU, would make the first start of his five-year NFL career.

Detmer, a former Green Bay Packer, and Fryar, the 13-year pro who spent the previous three seasons with Miami, hooked up on two long touchdown passes and Gary Anderson added two field goals as the Eagles ended the exhibition season at 2-2.

Fryar had 105 yards on two catches, both touchdowns.

Miller, who won the battle to replace departed free agent Neil O'Donnell as the Steelers quarterback, wasn't as effective as Stewart, the second-year pro whose exploits as a quarterback-running back-wide receiver last season earned him the nickname "Slash."

Although he completed six of nine passes, Miller was sacked three times and only managed to lead Pittsburgh (2-3) to a field goal.

Detmer, who was unimpressive in the three earlier exhibition games, took command of the Philadelphia offense from the first possession.

Frequently rolling out, Detmer completed four of his first six passes to lead the Eagles into position for the field goal that put Philadelphia ahead 3-0.

Falcons 31, Cardinals 30

At Atlanta, Craig Heyward scored three touchdowns for Atlanta and the Falcons held off Arizona's fourth-quarter rally for a victory in their final exhibition game.

Ravens 37, Bills 14

At Orchard Park, N.Y., Jermaine Lewis scored on an 83-yard punt return and Vinny Testaverde threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Michael Jackson as Baltimore scored 30 straight points in the first three quarters.

Panthers 34, Giants 7

At East Rutherford, N.J., Sam Mills and J.C. Price scored on interception returns and Mark Thomas set up a touchdown with another pickoff as Carolina routed New York.

Lions 24, Bengals 17

At Cincinnati, Detroit defensive back Richard Woodley scored on an 80-yard punt return and recovered a fumble to set up another touchdown.

New Orleans 16, Minnesota 13

At New Orleans, Doug Brien kicked a 53-yard field goal with five seconds remaining to give the New Orleans Saints an exhibition victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Jaguars 31, Broncos 24

At Denver, backup quarterback Rob Johnson threw three touchdown passes, helping rally the Jacksonville Jaguars from an early 17-0 deficit to a victory over the Denver Broncos.

Rams 37, Chargers 34

At St. Louis, Jermaine Ross, fighting for a spot on the St. Louis Rams' roster, tied the score with a 28-yard touchdown catch and had two more big plays in the late going in victory over the San Diego Chargers.

Patriots 27, Redskins 19

At Foxboro, Mass., Curtis Martin scored two touchdowns and gained 56 of his 61 yards in the first quarter as the New England Patriots beat Washington despite a strong performance by newly anointed Redskins starting quarterback Gus Frerotte.

Dolphins 19, Bucs 7

At Tampa, Fla., Joe Nedney, whose job was secured when Johnson traded Pete Stoyanovich this week, kicked four field goals and Miami forced four turnovers to beat the Bucs in an exhibition game that was not nearly as close as the score.

Seahawks 20, 49ers 3

At Seattle, backups John Friesz and Stan Gelbaugh passed for second-half touchdowns, leading the Seattle Seahawks to a victory over the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers (1-3) had their first losing preseason since 1990 and lost for the second straight week after being tied at halftime. Todd Peterson kicked two field goals for the Seahawks (3-1).

Raiders 44, Jets 27

At Oakland, Calif., Oakland scored 17 points off turnovers, including Aundray Bruce's 59-yard fumble return for a touchdown, as the Raiders closed the preseason with a victory over the New York Jets.