The Houston Oilers weren't concerned with history, San Francisco's Joe Montana continued to write it and, thanks to New Orleans newcomer Steve Walsh, John Fourcade may be about to become history.

Among the NFL's major happenings, the Oilers avenged last year's 61-7 shellacking at the hands of Cincinnati by trouncing the Bengals 48-17, Montana had career highs of 476 yards and six touchdowns passes in the 49ers' 45-35 victory over Atlanta and Walsh made a successful debut with the Saints by throwing three TD passes in a 25-20 triumph over Cleveland."We don't worry about history," Houston coach Jack Pardee said, downplaying the revenge angle. "We'll just enjoy this one and start getting ready to play the next one."

Montana described his 32-of-49 performance as "on and off. At times I played pretty well, but I didn't feel like I played up to the standard of the Super Bowl. I was up and down."

Jerry Rice caught 13 passes, a club record, for 225 yards. Five went for touchdowns, tying an NFL record.

Walsh, obtained from Dallas three weeks ago, was even more modest than Montana.

"The receivers made me look good. I don't think I threw one right on the numbers," said Walsh, who didn't start but completed 15 of 26 passes for 243 yards.

The 49ers remained unbeaten, as did the New York Giants with a 24-20 victory over Washington.

Minnesota visits Philadelphia tonight. Buffalo, Indianapolis, Miami and New England had the week off.

Oilers 48, Bengals 17

The Oilers enjoyed the present too much to think about the past. Warren Moon threw a career-high five touchdown passes - to five different receivers - as Houston (3-3) beat Cincinnati (4-2) in the Astrodome for the sixth straight year. It was the most points for the Oilers in 19 years.

Moon, who left with 12:08 to play, completed 21 of 33 passes for 369 yards and has 20,204 NFL passing yards. He became the first quarterback to surpass 20,000 passing yards in both the NFL and Canadian Football League, where he threw for 21,228 while playing for Edmonton.

One week after Cincinnati's Boomer Esiason passed for a club-record 471 yards, he managed only 130.49ers 45, Falcons 35

The Montana-Rice show enabled the 49ers to extend their NFL record for consecutive regular-season road victories to 13.

Rice's TD receptions covered 24, 25, 19, 13 and 15 yards. He tied the NFL touchdown catch record set by Bob Shaw of the Chicago Cardinals against Baltimore in 1950 and tied by San Diego's Kellen Winslow against Oakland in 1981.

Montana also threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Mike Sherrard. The six scoring passes broke the club record of five set by Montana twice previously and by several others. Mike Cofer also got in on the fun with a club-record 56-yard field goal.

It also was the 13th consecutive victory for the 49ers (5-0), including their three playoff victories last year en route to a second consecutive Super Bowl championship.

Saints 25, Browns 20

Walsh replaced Fourcade with 10:49 left in the second quarter after the Browns (2-4) had tied the score 3-3. Walsh marched the Saints (2-3) 79 yards in 14 plays on his first series, capping it with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Dalton Hilliard. The drive consumed 9:41, the longest possession of the season for the Saints.

Giants 24, Redskins 20

The Giants are 5-0 for the first time since 1941 and beat Washington (3-2) for the fifth straight time - by a total of 18 points. The difference came on three big plays by quarterback Phil Simms, starting with the longest passing play of his career, an 80-yard hookup with Stephen Baker for a touchdown.

Chiefs 43, Lions 24

Free agent Barry Word rushed for a team-record 200 of Kansas City's 563 total yards and Bill Maas led the defense with two sacks, one for a safety on Bob Galgiano.

Word, outperforming All-Pros Barry Sanders and Christian Okoye, broke the record of 193 yards by the late Joe Delaney. Word carried 18 times as the Chiefs (4-2) ran up their highest point total in more than five years.

Raiders 24, Seahawks 17

Short touchdown passes by Jay Schroeder capped the first three drives as Los Angeles (5-1) retained a one-game lead over Kansas City in the AFC West. Schroeder, who was 19-of-26 for 235 yards, hit Steven Smith for a 1-yard TD in the first period before connecting with Mervyn Fernandez and Ethan Horton from 3 yards out in the second quarter.

Buccaneers 26, Packers 14

Vinny Testaverde passed for a season-high 292 yards and Wayne Haddix scored from 45 yards out with one of Tampa Bay's five interceptions. Testaverde completed 17 of 29 passes, including a 14-yard scoring toss to Ron Hall, giving him eight TD passes and only two interceptions.

Steelers 34, Broncos 17

Bubby Brister threw four touchdown passes, three to rookie tight end Eric Green, as revitalized Pittsburgh (3-3) handed Denver (2-4) its third straight loss. Brister also threw a 6-yard TD pass to Louis Lipps and Merril Hoge ran six yards for another score. Brister completed 21 of 28 passes for 353 yards.

Cardinals 20, Cowboys 3

Johnny Johnson rushed for 120 yards - the first time a Phoenix player has broken 100 since 1988 - and the Cardinals' defense harried Troy Aikman all afternoon. He completed 9 of 25 passes for 61 yards, was intercepted twice and sacked four times as Dallas fell to 2-4.

Chargers 39, Jets 3

Marion Butts ran for 121 yards and two touchdowns and San Diego's strong pass rush combined with New York errors. Poor play by the Jets' special teams, including a dropped snap by punter Joe Prokop, put the Chargers (2-4) in good position early.

Bears 38, Rams 9

Jim Harbaugh, playing with a cracked rib, passed for two touchdowns and ran for another. Harbaugh completed 18 of 25 passes for a career-high 248 yards and the Bears (5-1) scored on their first four possessions for a 28-0 halftime lead.


(Additional information)

NFL All-Time Passers, Game

The top National Football League passing yardage performances with opponent, date, completions-attempts and touchdowns:

554, Norm Van Brocklin, LA Rams vs. N.Y. Yankees, Sept. 28, 1951 (27-41, 5 TD)

521, Dan Marino, Miami vs. N.Y. Jets, Oct. 23, 1988 (35-60, 3 TD)

513, Phil Simms, N.Y. Giants vs. Cincinnati, Oct. 13, 1985 (40-62, 1 TD)

509, Vince Ferragamo, LA Rams vs. Chicago, Dec. 26, 1982 (30-46, 3 TD)

505, Y.A. Tittle, N.Y. Giants vs. Washington, Oct. 28, 1962 (27-39, 7 TD)

496, Joe Namath, N.Y. Jets vs. Baltimore, Sept. 24, 1972 (15-28, 6 TD)

490, Tommy Kramer, Minnesota vs. Washington, Nov. 2, 1986 (20-35, 4 TD)

490, Boomer Esiason, Cincinnati vs. LA Rams, Oct. 7, 1990 (31-45, 3 TD)

486, Doug Williams, Tampa Bay vs. Minnesota, Nov. 16, 1980 (30-55, 4 TD)

479, Ken O'Brien, N.Y. Jets vs. Miami, Sept. 21, 1986 (29-43, 4 TD)

476, Joe Montana, San Francisco vs. Atlanta, Oct. 14, 1990 (32-49, 6 TD)