DeSean Jackson scored on a 65-yard punt return on the final play of the game and the Philadelphia Eagles scored 28 points in the final 7:28 to stun the New York Giants 38-31 Sunday and take over first place in the NFC East.
Michael Vick engineered the great escape by throwing for two touchdowns and running for another in the incredible late rally that all but clinched the division for the Eagles (10-4).
"By far, this is one of the greatest comebacks of my career, being down by such a huge deficit," Vick said after throwing for two touchdowns and running for another in the incredible late rally that all but clinched the division for the Eagles (10-4).
"We were able to come back in a short period of time," added Vick, who threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns overall and ran for a game-high 130 yards. "It's outstanding. I give a lot of credit to my teammates. I have to thank God for the opportunity but it was, by far, one of the best."
The win gave the Eagles a sweep of the season series with New York (9-5). They need to either win one of their final two home games (Minnesota or Dallas) or have New York lose one of its two road games (Green Bay or Washington) to capture the division.
For Giants fans it brought back memories of "The Fumble" by Joe Pisarcik, the giveaway that allowed another group of Eagles to steal a late win in 1978 when all New York had to do was take a knee.
The loss left Giants coach Tom Coughlin so angry he threw his notes as Jackson backed into the end zone on his only punt return of game.
"I've never been around anything like this in my life," Coughlin said. "It's about as empty as you get to feel in this business, right there."
Atlanta clinched a playoff spot with the Giants' loss.
Rookie Matt Dodge, who had been instructed to punt the ball out of bounds, got a high snap and hurried to get his kick off. He hit a line drive kick that Jackson bobbled at his 35. Once he regained control, Jackson broke threw the initial wave of coverage and sped down the right sideline. It was apparent he was about to score, but instead of simply going into the end zone, he danced along the goal line before going in with zeros showing on the clock.
"I always try to do something out of the ordinary," Jackson said. "I probably would have dove in from the 12-yard line if I could. I knew nobody was going to catch me. I look to do things for excitement. The fans pay for that. I just wanted to bring that out of them."
As Jackson scored, the Eagles jumped on each other in a celebration they never could have expected. They were victimized by Eli Manning's four touchdown passes, including an 8-yarder to Kevin Boss with 8:17 to play for a 31-10 lead.
This loss could cripple the Giants' playoff hopes. They need to win out to clinch a postseason berth and the Packers' game will be crucial, especially because the final playoff spot might come down to head -to-head with New York and Green Bay.
Colts 34, Jaguars 24
Peyton Manning threw two touchdown passes and Donald Brown ran for another score as Indianapolis stayed in the playoff hunt with a 34-24 victory over Jacksonville.
The Colts (8-6) share the AFC South lead with Jacksonville (8-6) and can clinch a seventh division title in eight years by winning their last two games.
Jacksonville had a chance to secure the title with a victory, but again failed to sweep the season series. The Jags have never won two straight against Indy.
Manning was 29 of 39 for 229 yards with no interceptions for the second straight game. Indy also ended Maurice Jones-Drew's streak of consecutive 100-yard games at six.[GALLERY id=4247 cat=sports]
Ravens 30, Saints 24
Ray Rice ran for 153 yards and scored two touchdowns, and the Baltimore Ravens beat New Orleans 30-24 to end the Saints' six-game winning streak.
The Ravens (10-4) won by reviving their lagging running game and managing to hold onto a fourth-quarter lead.
Rice scored on a 10-yard run and caught a 17-yard pass from Joe Flacco.
Drew Brees went 29-for-46 for 267 yards for the Saints (10-4).
Jets 22, Steelers 17
Mark Sanchez stood up to the pressure created by the Steelers' defence and his team's two-game losing streak, scrambling for the Jets' first offensive touchdown in 12 quarters and leading a decisive field-goal drive as New York won in Pittsburgh.
The Jets (10-4) held on to win even as Ben Roethlisberger drove the Steelers (10-4) from their own eight to the Jets 10 in the final 2:08, only to throw incomplete on the game's final two plays.
Roethlisberger repeatedly kept the drive going, finding rookie Emmanuel Sanders for 29 yards on third-and-24, Mike Wallace for 18 on third-and-10 and Antonio Brown for 16 on third-and-10. The Steelers had to go for a touchdown rather than settling for a field goal because Mewelde Moore was tackled in the end zone for a safety with 2:38 remaining.
Despite the loss, events elsewhere helped guarantee the Steelers will do no worse than a wildcard berth.
Falcons 34, Seahawks 18
Matt Ryan threw for 174 yards and three touchdowns, Jonathan Babineaux recovered a fumble for a touchdown and the Atlanta Falcons wrapped up an NFC playoff spot.
The Falcons (12-2) won their eighth straight game, their longest winning streak since the 1998 Super Bowl season. Ryan had touchdown throws of three yards to Jason Snelling, 24 to Michael Jenkins and five to Roddy White, who finished with seven catches.
Jamaal Anderson forced a fumble by Seattle QB Matt Hasselbeck in the end zone on the first offensive play of the second half for the Seahawks (6-8). Anderson appeared to get away with a facemask penalty on the play, but Babineaux came out of the scrum with the TD.
Hasselbeck threw two interceptions and was eventually replaced by Charlie Whitehurst, but Seattle remains tied with St. Louis on top of the NFC West.
Chiefs 27, Rams 13
Matt Cassel returned to the lineup 11 days after an emergency appendectomy and threw a touchdown pass in leading the Kansas City Chiefs to a 27-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams.
Jamaal Charles scored on a short run and helped clinch it with a late 80-yard burst for the Chiefs (9-5), who retained a one-game lead over the Chargers in the AFC West.
Thomas Jones became the NFL's 25th player to rush for 10,000 yards, and scored the final touchdown on a two-yard run with 3:26 to go, one play after Ron Bartell ran down Charles just shy of the goal line.
Charles had 126 yards on 11 carries and Jones had 62 yards on 22 carries. The Rams fell to 6-8.
Raiders 39, Broncos 23
Jason Campbell threw a 73-yard touchdown pass to Marcel Reece and Jacoby Ford scored on a 71-yard run to help the Oakland Raiders overcome Tim Tebow's two long touchdowns in his first career start and beat the Denver Broncos 39-23 Sunday.
Michael Bush added two short touchdown runs to keep the Raiders (7-7) in the hunt for a playoff berth for at least one more week.
Oakland trails Kansas City by two games in the AFC West and will need to win the final two games and get help in order to win the division.
The Broncos (3-11) have long been eliminated from the playoff chase, having lost nine of 10 games to tie the franchise record for losses in a season.
Tebow became the third player to throw a TD pass of at least 30 yards and run for a score of at least 40 yards in the same game.
Lions 23, Buccaneers 20
Dave Rayner's third field goal, a 34-yarder with 9:51 left in overtime gave the Detroit Lions a 23-20 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and ended the longest road losing streak in NFL history at 26 games.
Rayner kicked a 28-yarder as time expired in regulation to force the extra period.
The Lions took the overtime kickoff and drove 63 yards -- covering most of the distance on two big runs and a 12-yard reception by Calvin Johnson on third-and-eight -- to set up the game-winner.
The Lions (4-10) won on the road for the first time since 2007. Bucs fell to 8-6.
Titans 31, Texans 17
Kerry Collins threw for two touchdowns and 237 yards and Chris Johnson ran for a TD and 130 yards as the Tennessee Titans snapped a six-game skid by beating the Houston Texans 31-17.
With the win and Indianapolis downing Jacksonville 34-24, the Titans (6-8) keep their anemic playoff hopes alive for another week with their first victory since Oct. 24.
The Houston Texans (5-9) have lost seven of their last eight and never really were in this one.
Cowboys 33, Redskins 30
David Buehler made a 39-yard field goal with 50 seconds left, giving the Dallas Cowboys a 33-30 victory over the Washington Redskins that was a lot tougher than it had to be.
The Cowboys led 27-7 early in the third quarter and 30-14 at the start of the fourth.
They could have broken the game open even wider but got only field goals out of drives that reached the 20, two and three, and failed to score on drives that reached the one and 18.
By pulling it out, Dallas improved to 4-2 under interim coach Jason Garrett, guaranteeing no worse than a break-even finish in his tenure. The Cowboys (5-8) and Redskins (5-8) are tied for third place in the NFC East.
Bills 17, Dolphins 14
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes and the resurgent Buffalo Bills made themselves at home in Miami, winning 17-14 to further dim the Dolphins' already-faint playoff hopes.
Buffalo looked woeful in a season-opening loss at home against Miami, but that was before Fitzpatrick took over at quarterback. He went 16 for 26 for 223 yards in the rematch.
The Dolphins, who have won only once in Miami this season, again sputtered on offence. Chad Henne threw a costly interception and kicker Dan Carpenter went 0 for 4, missing from 48, 61, 53 and 48 yards.
Buffalo (4-10) won for the fourth time in six games after starting 0-8. Miami (7-7) is 1-6 at home and 6-1 on the road.
Bengals 19, Browns 17
Cedric Benson ran for a season-high 150 yards and a touchdown, and the Cincinnati Bengals ended a 10-game losing streak that matched the longest in their franchise history, beating the Cleveland Browns 19-17.
The Bengals (3-11) hadn't won since Sept. 26. Terrell Owens was on the sideline with a knee injury for the long-awaited win.
Cincinnati took a straight-ahead approach against the Browns (5-9), who clinched their 10th losing record in 12 years since returning as an expansion team.
The Browns got a touchdown pass from rookie Colt McCoy on a trick play and another on a botched Bengals coverage with 2:13 to go.
Panthers 19, Cardinals 12
Jimmy Clausen outplayed John Skelton in a matchup of rookie quarterbacks, John Kasay kicked four field goals, and the Carolina Panthers beat the punchless Arizona Cardinals 19-12 to snap a seven-game losing streak.
Clausen threw only his second touchdown pass of the season in his first win in eight starts.
Jonathan Stewart rushed for 137 yards and the Panthers (2-12) gave coach John Fox a win in likely his final home game in Carolina.
The Cardinals (4-10) mustered 218 yards in their eighth loss in nine games. In his second start, Skelton threw an interception and lost a fumble.