Robert Alford returns Kirk Cousins’ pass 59 yards in overtime to help the Falcons improve to 5-0.

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ATLANTA — Falcons cornerback Robert Alford didn’t sulk or keep his head down after getting a 42-yard pass interference penalty.

Falcons defensive backs coach Marquand Manuel told him to move onto the next play.

When it was time for someone to step forward in overtime, Alford came through with a 59-yard interception return for a touchdown to help the Falcons improve to 5-0 on Sunday in a 25-19 win over Washington in overtime.

“It feels good,” Alford said. “When we were meeting on the sideline, we all said that it was going to be one of us on the back end that was going to end the game. Happily so, it was just me. God blessed me to make that play. I ended the game for us.”

Falcons coach Dan Quinn, the former Seahawks defensive coordinator, has been pleased with Alford’s overall play.

“The last couple of weeks, it’s just been alive for him,” Quinn said. “He had a bunch of pass breakups last week. Then on the tip that he got today and the of course, the one at the finish today. We couldn’t be more thrilled for him.”

Alford had an up and down day.

He an interception earlier and was called for a pass interference play that helped Washington retake the lead.

But he saved his best play for overtime.

“I (saw) the quarterback take a three-step drop,” Alford said. “It’s always a quick pass when he takes a three step drop. I just relied on my instincts. … I just jumped it and it was there for me to make the play on it.”

Charles tears ACL, could be out for season

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — If the preliminary diagnosis on Jamaal Charles’ injured right knee is correct, the Pro Bowl running back for the Kansas City Chiefs could be done for the season with a torn ACL.

Charles’ knee buckled as he tried to cut to the left Sunday in the third quarter of Kansas City’s 18-17 loss to the visiting Chicago Bears. Charles will have an MRI on Monday.

He missed most of the 2012 season after tearing the ACL in his left knee.

“People saw, the whole time, what was going on,” Reid said, when asked if the injury took the life out of his team. “You’re put in a situation like this and somewhere, you’ve got to make plays. We didn’t do that the second half.”


• Boos, benchings and a blowout: The Detroit Lions sank to new depths in their latest defeat. Matthew Stafford was intercepted three times and was pulled from the game in third quarter, and the Lions remained the NFL’s only winless team after a 42-17 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Detroit turned the ball over six times and heard boos from the fans, especially toward the end of the first half as the offense sputtered.

“I don’t blame them,” coach Jim Caldwell said. “Obviously, that’s poor play. Period. Let’s face the facts.”

Stafford and Dan Orlovsky combined to set an NFL record with 70 pass attempts in a regulation game, surpassing the 69 thrown by Vinny Testaverde of the New York Jets.