San Diego 27, Denver 20 - The Chargers (7-7) shocked the host Broncos on Thursday night behind solid defense and a balanced, ball control offense that allowed them to hold the ball for nearly 39 minutes as quarterback Philip Rivers threw a pair of scoring passes to wide receiver Keenan Allen. Chargers' running back Ryan Mathews gained 127 yards on the ground and also scored a TD to lead the way.
The Chargers defense limited Denver (11-3) to their lowest point total for the season and also their lowest yardage total (295, including just 18 rushing yards) in a single game this year.
Miami 24, New England 20 - The Dolphins (8-6) held on for the home victory as the defense intercepted Tom Brady's pass attempt on fourth down in the end zone. The Patriots (10-4) held a 20-17 lead following Brady's second TD pass of the game with four minutes left.
Miami QB Ryan Tannehill (312 pass yards) came through in the clutch with his third TD pass of the game with a 14-yard strike to Marcus Thigpen to make the difference.
Pittsburgh 30, Cincinnati 20 - The host Steelers dominated this game with big plays on special teams (blocked punt to set up TD and a punt return TD) and a defense that limited the Bengals to just 57 yards rushing in the win.
The Bengals (9-5) blew a big chance to move up to the second spot in the AFC playoff race with the loss as QB Andy Dalton had two touchdown passes in the loss.
Chicago 38, Cleveland 31 - The Bears (8-6) marked the return of QB Jay Cutler as a starter back from injuries with the road win that put them back into first place in the NFC North.
Cutler overcame two interceptions (including a pick six) with three TD passes and RB Matt Forte' ran for 127 yards to pace the offense and Zach Bowman had two interceptions on defense, including one for a touchdown.
Green Bay 37, Dallas 36 - The Packers overcame a 26-3 halftime deficit as QB Matt Flynn threw four TD passes in the big win that kept them in the NFC North race at 7-6-1. Dallas slipped to 7-7 and remains in second place in the NFC East, one game behind Philadelphia.
Packers' RB Eddie Lacy (141 yards) scored the winning touchdown on a one-yard run with 1:31 remaining in the game. That play was set up when Cowboys' QB Tony Romo (two TD passes and two INT) was picked off at midfield.
|Jamaal Charles scored five TD in rout of Oakland.|
Kansas City 56, Oakland 31 - Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, the Heftyinfo NFL Player of the Week, scored FIVE touchdowns (four receiving and one rushing) to go with his eight receptions for 195 yards in the rout of the host Oakland Raiders.
Kansas City improved to 11-3 and tied Denver in the AFC West division while also clinching a playoff spot with the big win.
Minnesota 48, Philadelphia 30 - This may have been the shocker of the day Sunday afternoon when the host Vikings (4-9-1), playing without running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, rode the legs of Matt Asiata for three running scores to go with two TD passes and a rushing score from QB Matt Cassel, who threw for 382 yards. The Eagles (8-6) had a five game win streak snapped despite 428 yards passing from QB Nick Foles.
Baltimore 18, Detroit 16 - The Ravens (8-6) survived the road game on Monday Night Football thanks to six field goals, including the go ahead 61-yard field goal with 38 seconds remaining in the game, by kicker Justin Tucker. The Lions (7-7) fell out of first place in the NFC North division with their fourth loss in five games.
Elsewhere Around the NFL . . . . . . .
The Seattle Seahawks (12-2) rolled to a 23-0 shutout win at New York as their defense limited the Giants to only 156 yards in total offense, including a paltry 25 yards rushing for the game . . . The San Francisco 49ers (10-4) won a big game over Tampa Bay, 33-14 on the road to keep pace in the NFC West as the defense stifled the Bucs, limiting them to 183 total yards . . . Carolina (10-4) rolled at home over the New York Jets, 30-20 behind balanced offense and a defensive score . . . The St. Louis Rams ambushed Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, 27-16 as RB Zac Stacy ran for 133 yards and a TD in the win. The Saints (10-4) dropped back into a tie for first place in the NFC South with Carolina . . . Arizona (9-5) won 37-34 in OT on the road at Tennessee after blowing a 17-point lead late in the fourth quarter on a 41-yard FG by Jay Feely. Cardinals' RB Rashard Mendenhall scored two rushing touchdowns in the win . . . The Indianapolis Colts (9-5) romped to a 25-3 home win over the hapless Houston Texans (2-12), who lost for the 12th consecutive game as Colts' QB Andrew Luck threw two TD passes . . . Buffalo (5-9) won on the road in Jacksonville, 27-20 as QB E.J. Manuel passed for two touchdowns and ran for another in the win . . . The Atlanta Falcons (4-10) held off the visiting Washington Redskins, 27-26 by stifling the potential go-ahead two-point conversion attempt in the closing seconds. Washington QB Kirk Cousins (383 pass yards) had three TD passes in the loss.