PRO FOOTBALL—Quarterback Steve Grogan passed for two touchdowns and ran for a third as New England rallied from a 20-9 third-quarter deficit to stun Pittsburgh 30-27 with the Super Bowl champions' second loss in three games. Grogan, who engineered the Patriots' 30-14 upset of Miami the week before, surprised the Steelers on a fourth-and-two gamble at the Pittsburgh 38-yard line when he connected with Tight End Russ Francis for a touchdown to bring the Patriots to within 20-16. Minutes later Grogan combined with Wide Receiver Darryl Stingley on a 58-yard touchdown play to give the Patriots a 23-20 lead, and then he ran across from the six-yard line to increase the lead to 30-20. Another young quarterback, Dan Fouts, led surprising San Diego to a 43-24 rout of St. Louis. Fouts threw for four touchdowns, three during San Diego's 27-point scoring blitz in the second quarter, as the Chargers, who won only two of 14 games in 1975, won for the third straight week. Meanwhile, an old quarterback, Fran Tarkenton, spent the second half on the bench, nervously watching Minnesota escape with a 10-9 victory over Detroit when the Lions blew an extra-point conversion with 2:01 to play. Tarkenton failed to move the Vikings during the scoreless first half, and Coach Bud Grant replaced him with Bob Lee, noting that Tarkenton had suffered a rib injury in the first quarter. However, Grant indicated later that the injury was hardly reason enough for a benching. Previously winless Atlanta defeated previously undefeated Chicago 10-0, and in a battle of winless teams, New Orleans gave Coach Hank Stram a pleasant return to Kansas City with a 27-17 victory over the Chiefs as rookie Tony Galbreath, who had played at Missouri, scored on runs of 74 and nine yards. Tampa Bay finally scored its first NFL points on three Dave Green field goals, but Buffalo survived a lackluster 39-yard (in 20 carries) performance by O. J. Simpson for a 14-9 victory. Jim Plunkett riddled Seattle's secondary with three touchdown passes in San Francisco's 37-21 triumph. Tommy Casanova and Ken Riley returned interceptions for touchdowns as Cincinnati smothered winless Green Bay 28-7, while Rick Upchurch scored on punt returns of 73 and 47 yards as Denver clouted Cleveland 44-13. Roger Staubach moved Dallas 54 yards in 20 seconds—the big play coming on a 16-yard Staubach pass to Drew Pearson—to set up Efren Herrera's decisive 32-yard field goal with three seconds to play, the Cowboys winning 30-27. Per custom, both New York teams lost. Miami recovered three fumbles by Steve Davis to beat the winless Jets 16-0, while NFL rushing leader John Cappelletti ran for 85 yards and scored two touchdowns in Los Angeles' 24-10 defeat of the winless Giants. And Mike Rae, filling in for the injured Ken Stabler, passed Oakland to a 14-13 win over Houston (page 18).
GOLF—J. C. SNEAD shot a final-round four-under-par 68 to win the $175,000 Kaiser International Open in Napa, Calif. Snead finished with a 14-under-par 274, two strokes better than Johnny Miller and Gibby Gilbert.
Donna Caponi Young won her second LPGA tournament in two weeks, shooting a six-under-par 282 to win the $35,000 first prize in the $205,000 Carlton at Calabasas (Calif.) Park Country Club (page 24).
HARNESS RACING—KEYSTONE ORE ($2.60), driven by Stanley Dancer, earned the $56,905 winner's share in the $153,799 Little Brown Jug for 3-year-old pacers after an eight-horse raceoff at the Delaware (Ohio) County Fairgrounds (page 62).
Young Quinn ($13.00), driven by Joe Marsh Jr., set a world record for aged pacers and recorded the third-fastest mile ever (1:55), defeating favored Nero by a neck in the $40,000 George M. Patchen Series at The Meadowlands in East Rutherford, N.J.
HORSE RACING—PROUD DELTA ($13.00), ridden by Jorge Velasquez, upset previously unbeaten Revidere in the $108,200 Beldame Stakes at Belmont Park. Carrying 123 pounds, the 4-year-old filly covered the mile and an eighth in 1:46[4/5] (page 73).
Run Dusty Run ($6.20), Darrell McHarrugue in the irons, overtook Royal Ski in the stretch to win the $215,755 Arlington-Washington Futurity at Arlington Park. Run Dusty Run won the 6½-furlong race for 2-year-olds by 1¾ lengths in 1:16[2/5].
MOTOR SPORTS—CALE YARBOROUGH won the rain-shortened $100,000 Old Dominion 500 at Martinsville, Va., as he led pole-sitter Darrell Waltrip by nearly a lap when the race was curtailed after 178.5 miles. It was Yarborough's fourth NASCAR victory in his last five races, and eighth of the season.
The International Automobile Federation awarded first place in the British Grand Prix to NIKI LAUD A of Austria, after disqualifying James Hunt, who had finished first in the July 18 race. Lauda's Ferrari team protested Hunt's victory, claiming Hunt should not have been allowed to restart his car after a crash on the first turn.
JEAN-PIERRE JABOUILLE of France won the European Formula II drivers' championship by taking the final event of the season in Hockenheim, West Germany. Winning the first heat and finishing second in the final in his Elf Renault, he defeated compatriot Rene Arnoux by one point.
Jay Springsteen of Flint, Mich., riding a 750-cc. Harley-Davidson, won the 25-mile San Jose AMA Camel Pro-Series National Championship, defeating defending national points champion Gary Scott for the $5,950 top money. Springsteen averaged 95.384 mph over the one-mile dirt course.
PARACHUTING—GREG SURABKO of the Soviet Union jumped to the men's world championship at the military airport of Guidonia near Rome. Surabko won both the style and precision competitons. Rina Klaburn of East Germany took the women's style event, while M. A. Ledbetter won the accuracy competition.
MODERN PENTATHLON—LAJOR DOBI of Hungary won the junior world championship at Zielona Gora, Poland. Dobi finished with 5,342 points—20 points ahead of Jan Barty of Czechoslovakia.
MILEPOSTS—NAMED: As manager of the Toronto Blue Jays, who join the American League next season, ROY HARTSFIELD, 51. A second baseman for the Boston Braves during a three-year major league career, Harts-field managed Hawaii the past four years, winning Pacific Coast League championships in 1975 and 1976.
RESIGNED: Effective at the end of the current season, BILL RIGNEY, 58, as manager of the San Francisco Giants. Rigney first managed the Giants in 1956, when the team was still in New York; he was fired after 58 games of the 1960 season. In 1961 he began a nine-year stint as manager of the Angels, first in Los Angeles, then in Anaheim. From 1970 to 1972 he managed the Minnesota Twins, winning the 1970 Western Division championship. He returned to the Giants this season.
SOLD: After four years in receivership, the HOUSTON ASTROS, to their major creditors—General Electric Credit Corporation and Ford Motor Credit Corporation. Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but Astro Owner Judge Roy Hofheinz was given an option to reacquire the team for $20 million.
DIED: JOHN QUINN, 68, general manager of the Boston-Milwaukee Braves (1945-58) and vice-president and general manager of the Philadelphia Phillies (1959-72); after a long illness; in Stanton, Calif.