Packers edge Lions in key NFC North battle: NFL roundup
Bucs, Cowboys, Texans win in OT
The Green Bay Packers stayed on their roll in the Motor City.
Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes, including a 22-yarder to Randall Cobb with 1:55 left, and the Packers came through with a 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday for their fifth straight win.
Mason Crosby made a 39-yard field goal with 19 seconds to go after missing two field goals earlier in the game.
Matthew Stafford couldn't put the Lions ahead on either of their last two drives in a game he'd like to forget.
Stafford threw two interceptions — one of which was returned 72 yards by Green Bay safety M.D. Jennings for a go-ahead score in the third quarter — and lost a fumble.
Green Bay (7-3) moved a half-game behind first-place Chicago in the NFC North. The Bears play at San Francisco on Monday night.
Detroit (4-6) has dropped two in a row, making its goal of playing in consecutive postseasons very difficult.
Rodgers was 19 of 27 for 236 yards with two TDs, the first of which was a 20-yard connection with wide open Jermichael Finley early in the second quarter to give Green Bay its first lead, and an interception.
Cobb had nine catches for 74 yards and the game-winning TD, a twisting grab in the end zone. Finley had three receptions for 66 yards and a score.
James Starks helped the Packers strike somewhat of an offensive balance with 74 yards rushing on 25 carries.
Stafford completed just 17 of 39 passes — missing many receivers badly — for 266 yards with a 25-yard TD pass to Calvin Johnson that put Detroit ahead 17-14 late in the third quarter. He lost a fumble at midfield in the third quarter one drive after throwing a pass directly toward rookie cornerback Casey Hayward, who started for the injured Sam Shields.
In Detroit's last home game three weeks ago against Seattle, Stafford threw a winning TD pass with less than a minute left for the second time this season and for the fourth time in his four seasons.
He didn't come close to pulling off another rally.
The Lions lost 5 yards after Rodgers' second TD pass and on the final play of their next possession without a timeout, Stafford threw a 30-yard pass to Johnson and the receiver's lateral was recovered by safety Jerron McMillian at the Green Bay 30.
Johnson, who dropped some passes, had five receptions for 143 yards and caught a TD pass from Stafford for the second straight week after they failed to connect for a score in the first eight games of the season.
Mikel Leshoure had 84 yards rushing and a 1-yard TD run that gave Detroit a 10-7 lead midway through the second quarter.
The Lions settled for field goals after driving inside the Green Bay 10 early and late in the game and those missed opportunities proved to be costly.
If Green Bay lost, Crosby would've gotten a lot of the blame for staying in a funk in which he missed seven of 12 field goals. He missed a 50-yard field goal at the end of the first half — failing to take advantage of a second chance after Detroit called a timeout to rattle him — and missed a 38-yard kick midway through the fourth quarter.
PITTSBURGH — Jacoby Jones returned a punt for a touchdown, Justin Tucker kicked two field goals and the Baltimore Ravens took control of the AFC North with a 13-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday night.
The Ravens (8-2) moved two games in front of the Steelers (6-4) by shutting down Pittsburgh's offence, which sputtered without injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Byron Leftwich, making his first start in more than three years, completed 18 of 39 passes for 201 yards and an interception. He ran for a score but was also sacked three times.
Baltimore's Joe Flacco wasn't much better, completing 20 of 32 passes for 164 yards, but the Ravens didn't need Flacco to dominate to beat the Steelers for the third straight time at Heinz Field.
ATLANTA — Matt Ryan overcame a career-worst five interceptions, guiding Atlanta to its only offensive touchdown in the fourth quarter, and the Falcons rallied for a sloppy victory.
The Falcons (9-1) turned it over a total of six times, but Michael Turner scored on a 1-yard run with 6:40 remaining to give Atlanta its first lead of the game. Ryan set up the score with four completions for 64 yards, including a 9-yarder to Tony Gonzalez on third-and-5 at the Arizona 10.
Coming off a bye, Arizona (4-6) lost its sixth straight game. The Cardinals tried to bolster their anemic offence by switching quarterbacks, replacing John Skelton with rookie Ryan Lindley, but Larry Fitzgerald couldn't hang on to a fourth-down pass after Ryan's fifth pick.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady threw for three touchdowns, Andrew Luck misfired on two interceptions returned for touchdowns as the Patriots tied their single-game scoring record.
The first matchup between the three-time Super Bowl winner and the star rookie was no match.
Brady got plenty of help — touchdowns on a 68-yard punt return by Julian Edelman and on interception returns of 59 yards by newcomer Aqib Talib and 87 yards by Alfonzo Dennard. And Rob Ninkovich's fifth forced fumble of the season set up Rob Gronkowski's second scoring grab on the next play.
The Patriots (7-3) won their fourth straight game and extended their lead in the AFC East to three games over the other three teams. The Colts (6-4) had their four-game winning streak stopped by the NFL's best offense and one of its worst defenses.
DENVER — Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns and Von Miller had three sacks, as the Denver Broncos defeated the San Diego Chargers 30-23 on Sunday to take a three-game lead in the AFC West.
Manning threw for 270 yards and Miller finished the day with 13 sacks on the season — most in the NFL. He now has 423 passing touchdowns in his career, passing Dan Marino (420) for second on the all-time list. Brett Favre is first with 508.
The Broncos quarterback got off to a slow start, throwing an interception that Eric Weddle returned for a score and an early 7-0 lead. But the Broncos (7-3) took a 10-7 lead early in the second quarter and never trailed again.
Manning won his 148th regular-season game as a starting quarterback, tying John Elway for second on the all-time list. Brett Favre has 186.
The Chargers (4-6) lost for the fifth time in six games.
HOUSTON — Andre Johnson caught a screen pass from Matt Schaub and ran 48 yards for the winning touchdown in overtime as the Texans rallied to beat Jacksonville.
Schaub threw a career-high five touchdown passes, completed a franchise-record 43 passes and finished with 527 yards passing, second most in NFL history. Warren Moon also threw for 527 yards for the Houston Oilers in December 1990 against Kansas City.
Norm Van Brocklin holds the record with 554 for the Rams in 1951.
Johnson caught 14 passes for 273 yards, both career highs. The Texans (9-1) won an overtime game for the first time at Reliant Stadium.
Chad Henne threw a career-high four touchdown passes in relief of injured Blaine Gabbert for the Jaguars (1-9). Rookie Justin Blackmon had 236 yards receiving.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Josh Freeman threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Dallas Clark in overtime to cap the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 27-21 comeback win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
It was Freeman's third touchdown pass of the game for the Buccaneers (6-4).
Carolina appeared to have the game in hand after a 29-yard touchdown pass from Cam Newton to Brandon LaFell put the Panthers (2-8) up 21-10 with 4:34 left in the game. But after a 40-yard field goal by Connor Barth, the Panthers' offence couldn't put the game away and had to punt.
Freeman led the Bucs 80 yards on seven plays in 50 seconds, despite not having any timeouts. He finished the drive with a perfectly thrown 24-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson between three defenders with 12 seconds left. Freeman went back to Jackson for a 2-point conversion on a slant route to tie the game and send it into overtime.
ARLINGTON, Texas — Dan Bailey kicked a 38-yard field goal in overtime and Dallas overcame a critical fumble by Tony Romo that sparked a wild ending.
Bailey's winning kick with 6:07 remaining in overtime came after both teams punted once in the first overtime game at Cowboys Stadium. Bailey hit a tying 32-yard field goal with two seconds left in regulation.
Dallas (5-5) rallied from a 13-0 halftime deficit and went ahead 17-13 on Romo's 28-yard pass to Dez Bryant.
A fumble by Browns rookie Brandon Weeden on a sack appeared to put the Cowboys in control, but Romo gave it right back with a fumble on another sack.
The Cowboys made one goal-line stand in the final minutes, but the Browns got another chance and went ahead 20-17 on Weeden's 17-yard pass to Benjamin Watson.
LANDOVER, Md. — Robert Griffin III threw four touchdown passes Sunday, and the Washington Redskins broke a three-game losing streak with a lopsided win over the skidding Philadelphia Eagles.
Griffin completed 14 of 15 passes for 200 yards and also ran 11 times for 85 yards. He threw for scores of 6, 49, 61 and 17 yards — one in each quarter.
Philadelphia's Nick Foles was 21 for 46 for 204 yards in his first NFL start, and his first two series ended with interceptions. Foles was starting in place of Michael Vick, who suffered a concussion in last week's loss to the Dallas Cowboys.
The Redskins improved to 4-6. The Eagles (3-7) have dropped six straight, accelerating the countdown toward the possible end of Andy Reid's 14-year tenure as coach.
ST. LOUIS - Mark Sanchez directed a turnover-free offence and Bilal Powell ran for the first two touchdowns of his career, helping the New York Jets end a three-game losing streak.
Chaz Schilens scored on a 25-yard reception and Nick Folk kicked a pair of 51-yard field goals for the Jets (4-6), who were outscored 58-16 the previous two games. The Jets overcame a controversial practice week with several anonymous players quoted in a newspaper report disparaging the ability of backup quarterback Tim Tebow, who had a handful of snaps but was no factor.
Brandon Gibson caught a pair of short touchdown passes for the Rams (3-6-1), who committed three turnovers and are in an 0-4-1 slump. St. Louis' defence hasn't forced a turnover in five straight games, tying the NFL's longest such slump since 1950 according to STATS LLC.
OAKLAND, Calif. — Drew Brees threw three touchdown passes and Malcolm Jenkins returned an interception for a score to get the New Orleans Saints back to .500.
Lance Moore caught two touchdown passes and Mark Ingram ran for a TD as the Saints (5-5) won for the fifth time in six games since an 0-4 start. They are in position to make a late-season playoff run despite the season-long distraction from the bounty scandal.
The Raiders (3-7) lost their third straight game under first-year coach Dennis Allen as their banged-up defence got picked apart by Brees' precision passing. Oakland has allowed 135 points in those defeats — the most in a three-game span for the franchise since allowing 141 in the first three games in 1961.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Andy Dalton threw for 230 yards and accounted for three touchdowns, A.J. Green caught a touchdown pass in his ninth straight game and the Cincinnati Bengals beat the woeful Chiefs.
Green finished with six catches for 91 yards in another dazzling performance, Mohamed Sanu had a scoring grab and BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 101 yards and a touchdown as the Bengals (5-5) won their second straight following a maddening four-game losing streak.
Cincinnati now plays its next four games against teams with losing records.
None of them are as bad as the Chiefs.
Jamaal Charles had 87 yards rushing for Kansas City (1-9), but that was the only highlight for a team that lost its seventh straight amid a gloomy crowd at Arrowhead Stadium.