Patriots erase 24-point deficit to beat Broncos in OT: NFL
Steelers keep playoff hopes alive, Chiefs dealt 2nd straight loss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 31-yard field goal for New England after a misplayed punt return by Denver, lifting the Patriots to a 34-31 overtime victory over the Broncos on Sunday night.
Denver's Tony Carter ran into Ryan Allen's punt after it landed and Nate Ebner recovered for New England at the Broncos 13-yard line. After Tom Brady ran twice to line up the kick, Gostkowski connected for his 21st successful field goal attempt.
Brady threw for three touchdowns to lead the Patriots (8-3) back from a 24-0 halftime deficit to a 31-24 lead as New England scored on its first five possessions of the second half. Then Peyton Manning threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Demaryius Thomas for the Broncos (9-2), tying it at 31.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Cam Newton converted a fourth-and-10 situation at his own 20 with a completion to keep alive the Carolina Panthers' final possession, and they went on to score a touchdown with 43 seconds left and beat the Miami Dolphins 20-16 Sunday.
Newton hit Greg Olsen with a 1-yard pass for the winning score to cap a 12-play drive. It was the second comeback win in a week for the Panthers, who rallied past the New England Patriots with a late drive last Monday.
The Panthers (8-3) extended their winning streak to seven games, their longest since 2003. Miami (5-6) fell to 2-2 since tackle Jonathan Martin left the team and the Dolphins' bullying scandal began to mushroom.
Miami's Ryan Tannehill nearly connected with Mike Wallace for a 60-yard score in the final seconds.
Backup quarterback Matt Flynn threw for 218 yards to help the Packers storm back from a 16-point deficit for a 26-26 tie as the Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay could only muster field goals in overtime Sunday.
Mason Crosby hit from 20 yards at 10:28 of the extra period and Blair Walsh connected from 35 with 3:54 left.
Greg Jennings, playing his first game at Lambeau Field as a member of the Vikings (3-8-1), dropped a third-down pass with 2:11 left. The Packers (5-5-1) also stumbled on their next possession.
One last chance for the Vikings went nowhere with 1 second left, and the teams walked off with the first tie in the NFL since the Rams and 49ers ended 24-24 on Nov. 11, 2012.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Philip Rivers threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns, the final one a 26-yarder to Seyi Ajirotutu with 24 seconds remaining, to give San Diego a 41-38 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and end the Chargers' three-game losing streak.
The Chiefs had taken the lead when Alex Smith hit Dwayne Bowe in tight coverage for a go-ahead score with 1:22 left. But the Chargers (5-6) still had two timeouts, and they used both of them to quickly move downfield. Ajirotutu's TD was just his third catch of the season.
It also represented the eighth and final lead change in the game.
Smith threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns for the Chiefs, who dropped their second straight after a 9-0 start. They also lost top pass rusher Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to injuries and now have to turn their attention to the Denver Broncos next week.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Tony Romo threw two touchdowns and led a drive that set up Dan Bailey' 35-yard field goal on the final play as the Dallas Cowboys defeated the Giants 24-21 Sunday.
Dallas ended the Giants' four-game winning streak and most of their playoff hopes.
The victory moved the Cowboys (6-5) into a first-place tie with idle Philadelphia in the NFC East and left the Giants (4-7) wondering about what they gave away in two losses to Dallas.
Romo hit two crucial third-down passes on the 14-play drive that covered the final 4:45 after New York tied the game on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Louis Murphy Jr. and a 2-point conversion run by Andre Brown.
Romo hit Jason Witten on TDs of 20 and 2 yards, and Dallas got a defensive touchdown on a 50-yard fumble return by Jeff Heath.
CLEVELAND — Ben Roethlisberger threw two touchdown passes and beat Cleveland again as the Pittsburgh Steelers moved back into the playoff picture with a 27-11 win over the Browns on Sunday.
Roethlisberger connected on a 41-yard TD pass to Antonio Brown in the first half, and hit Emmanuel Sanders on a 4-yarder in the third quarter for the Steelers (5-6), who have turned their season around following a 0-4 start.
Roethlisberger finished 22 of 34 for 217 yards and improved to 16-1 against the Browns (4-7), who have lost five of six and seen a promising year turn into yet another miserable one.
Browns quarterback Jason Campbell sustained a head injury in the third quarter when he was sacked by cornerback William Gay. Campbell was struck in the helmet by Gay and his head snapped back and banged the turf.
DETROIT — Matthew Stafford's fourth interception went in and out of Calvin Johnson's hands inside the Tampa Bay 5 in the final minute, allowing the Buccaneers to hold on for a 24-21 win over the Detroit Lions on Sunday.
Tampa Bay (3-8) has won three straight after losing its first eight, joining the 1978 St. Louis Cardinals as the only team to do that.
Tampa Bay rookie Mike Glennon, meanwhile, avoided mistakes. Glennon was 14 of 21 for 247 yards and threw two touchdowns to Tiquan Underwood, whose second score was an 85-yard reception early in the fourth quarter.
The Lions (6-5) have lost two straight for the first time this season. They can blame five turnovers for throwing away a chance to improve their playoff positioning. Rookie Johnthan Banks made the critical pick at the end of the game.
BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones, Justin Tucker kicked four field goals and the Baltimore Ravens shut down the sputtering offence of the New York Jets in a 19-3 victory Sunday.
The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens (5-6) had lost four of five before bouncing back to beat New York (5-6) and keep their playoff hopes alive. Jones had four catches for 103 yards.
Baltimore won on the strength of its defence, however, as the Jets went 1 for 12 on third-down conversions. Rookie Geno Smith completed nine of 22 passes for 127 yards and two interceptions, both by Corey Graham.
New York had alternated wins and losses in its first 10 games, but the pattern ended here with its second straight defeat. Jets coach Rex Ryan, who helped run Baltimore's defence from 1999-2008, fell to 0-3 against his former team.
HOUSTON — Maurice Jones-Drew ran for a season-high 84 yards and a touchdown and the Jacksonville Jaguars extended the Houston Texans' losing streak to a franchise-record nine games with a 13-6 victory.
The two-time AFC South champions haven't won since Sept. 15.
Jones-Drew's touchdown on Jacksonville's first drive put the Jaguars (2-9) on top, and they never trailed against an inept and ineffective Texans offence. Josh Scobee added two field goals.
Case Keenum had the worst performance in his five starts, throwing for just 169 yards with an interception.
Houston (2-9) was driving late when rookie Ryan Davis grabbed a one-handed interception off a deflection by Keshawn Martin to seal the win.
ST. LOUIS — Tavon Austin's 65-yard touchdown run — his fourth straight this season from beyond midfield — jump-started a 21-point first quarter and the St. Louis Rams defence made some big plays, too, in a 42-21 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
The Rams (5-6) followed up a 30-point rout at Indianapolis after their bye in front of their largest crowd of the season, about half of them clad Bears orange. Late scores by rookie backup running back Benny Cunningham and defensive end Robert Quinn helped finish off the Bears (6-5), who remained tied for the NFC North lead.
Josh McCown passed for 352 yards and two touchdowns with an interception for Chicago, which had won four straight in the series. The Bears had a 62-yard punt return for touchdown by Devin Hester nullified by a holding penalty in the fourth quarter.
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright with 10 seconds remaining to cap a mistake-free performance that put the Tennessee Titans back in playoff contention with a 23-19 victory over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday.
Fitzpatrick also threw a 54-yard TD pass to Justin Hunter and Rob Bironas added three field goals to give Tennessee (5-6) its second win in seven games. But despite the recent slump, the Titans find themselves in a six-way tie for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC with five weeks left in the regular season.
The Raiders (4-7) missed a chance to get into that group as the defence failed to hold onto a late lead and Sebastian Janikowski missed two field goals.
Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald, Karlos Dansby returned an interception 22 yards for a score and the Arizona Cardinals won their fourth in a row with a 40-11 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians beat the team that propelled him to coaching prominence last season, when he took over as Colts interim coach while Chuck Pagano fought leukemia.
Fitzgerald caught five passes for 52 yards, becoming the youngest player in NFL history to reach 11,000 yards receiving.
Arizona's Michael Floyd had his second straight 100-yard receiving day with seven catches for 104 yards for the Cardinals (7-4).
Andrew Luck threw for 163 yards, but had only 84 through three quarters as the Colts (7-4) fell behind 34-3.