THE Silver and Black command control in the AFC West, Kansas City beat Atlanta in historic fashion, and Tom Brady breaks another record.
It’s all in the NFL Week 13 Wrap!
AUSSIES IN ACTION
In Pittsburgh, punter Jordan Berry faced off against fellow Aussie, Brad Wing of the Giants, with the former getting the win on the night. Berry had four punts with two inside 20 for a 37 yard net average, while Wing also punted four times for a 44.3 yard average.
Denver Broncos defensive end Adam Gotsis had two tackles in his side’s win over Jacksonville.
OAKLAND RAIDERS 38 — BUFFALO BILLS 24
Derek Carr threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns to rally the Oakland Raiders to their biggest comeback in 16 years with a 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
After falling behind 24-9 following touchdowns on the first two drives of the second half for Buffalo (6-6), the Raiders (10-2) took the game over with 29 straight points and won their sixth straight to remain one game ahead of Kansas City in the tough AFC West.
The defense also tightened by forcing three straight three-and-outs and then getting a turnover when Khalil Mack deflected Tyrod Taylor’s pass that Nate Allen intercepted . Oakland took over at the 16 and put the game away with Latavius Murray’s second touchdown run of the game to make it 38-24 on Carr’s 2-point conversion pass to Seth Roberts.
The loss was crushing for the Bills, who entered December with hopes of ending the league’s longest playoff drought. A big day by LeSean McCoy, who had 130 yards rushing, helped stake Buffalo to the big lead, but it wasn’t enough.
The Bills are two games behind Denver for the second wild-card spot in the AFC and could be headed to a 17th straight season without a playoff berth.
KANSAS CITY CHIEFS 29 — ATLANTA FALCONS 28
Eric Berry returned an interception for a touchdown, and then brought back another pick for a 2-point conversion that gave the Kansas City Chiefs an improbable 29-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
The Falcons (7-5), rallying from a 27-16 deficit, went ahead 28-27 on Matt Ryan’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson with 4:32 remaining.
Atlanta decided to go for 2, looking to stretch the margin to a field goal. But Berry stepped in front of Ryan’s pass and ran 99 yards the other way to give the Chiefs (9-3) their winning margin. It came after Denver won a game in similar fashion last month, returning a blocked PAT for the winning points at New Orleans.
Berry had another huge play with less than a minute to go in the first half, picking off Ryan’s pass over the middle and bringing it back 37 yards for a touchdown. After reaching the end zone, the suburban Atlanta native handed the ball to his mother sitting in the stands at the Georgia Dome. Those weren’t the only big plays for the Chiefs.
SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 40 — CAROLINA PANTHERS 7
Thomas Rawls ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns in the first half, Tyler Lockett took a reverse 75 yards for a score to open the second half and the Seattle Seahawks routed the Carolina Panthers 40-7 on Sunday night.
Another prime-time game in Seattle was clouded with odd story lines right from the outset when Carolina quarterback Cam Newton was benched for the first play, only to watch backup Derek Anderson throw an interception. It was the start of miserable night for Carolina and a slaughter that moved Seattle one step closer to the NFC West title.
Rawls and the run game set the tone for Seattle, gashing the second-best run defense in the NFL for 240 yards. Russell Wilson was 26 of 36 for 277 yards and a 1-yard scoring pass to Jimmy Graham in the fourth quarter. The Seahawks rolled up a season-high 534 yards and kept a three-game lead over Arizona in the division with four remaining.
Seattle safety Earl Thomas broke a bone in his lower left leg during a first-half collision with teammate Kam Chancellor while trying to intercept Newton’s pass. Thomas hobbled off the field putting no weight on the leg and X-rays revealed a “cracked tibia,” coach Pete Carroll told Seattle’s radio broadcast.
On the play after Thomas’ injury, Newton hit Ted Ginn Jr. on a 55-yard touchdown pass to pull the Panthers to 10-7. It would be the only highlight for Carolina.
Newton’s benching was for a dress code violation, according to the NBC broadcast and the single play he missed could not have gone worse. Newton finished 14 of 32 for 182 yards.
PITTSBURGH STEELERS 24 — NEW YORK GIANTS 14
The Pittsburgh Steelers ended the New York Giants’ winning streak with a familiar formula.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Le’Veon Bell rolled up 182 yards of total offense, and Pittsburgh’s resurgent defense harassed Eli Manning into a flurry of mistakes in a dominant 24-14 win.
Antonio Brown edged good buddy Odell Beckham Jr. in their personal showdown, catching six passes for 54 yards and an acrobatic scoring grab at the back of the end zone. Tight end Ladarius Green added six receptions for 110 yards, both career highs, and a touchdown as the Steelers (7-5) won their third straight to keep pace with Baltimore atop the AFC North.
Manning completed just 24 of 39 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns and two picks in the red zone for the Giants (8-4), whose six-game run ended with a thud. Beckham was largely a non-factor despite a game-high 10 receptions for 100 yards.
New York managed just 56 yards rushing and couldn’t convert on it few opportunities. Both of Manning’s interceptions came near the Pittsburgh goal line and the Giants missed on all three of their fourth-down attempts.
GREEN BAY PACKERS 21 — HOUSTON TEXANS 13
Aaron Rodgers threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and the Packers pulled away with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
The Packers (6-6) weathered snowy conditions at Lambeau Field, making just enough plays on the cold turf.
Brock Osweiler connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 44-yard touchdown pass with 1:51 left to get within eight for Houston. Nick Novak missed the extra point, with footing slippery at Lambeau.
The Texans (6-6) had one last shot after the Packers failed to run out the clock. But Osweiler’s last-ditch pass-and-lateral play from Houston’s 12 with 4 seconds left failed, handing Houston its third straight loss and dropping it into a tie with Tennessee atop the AFC South.
Nelson finished with eight catches for 118 yards and a touchdown for Green Bay.
DETROIT LIONS 28 — NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 13
Matthew Stafford passed for 341 yards and two touchdowns.
Golden Tate exploited a coverage breakdown on third-and-long for a 66-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Detroit (8-4) was clinging to a six-point lead. The Lions, who’ve won seven of eight, dominated statistically, but four opportunities inside the New Orleans 20 ended with Matt Prater field goals, allowing the Saints (5-7) to stay close until the fourth quarter.
This time, however, the Lions pulled away for their most comfortable victory of the season after seven previous victory margins of one to seven points.
The Lions also became the first team in 60 Saints home games to stop Drew Brees from completing a touchdown pass, although tight end Coby Fleener had a pass bounce off his hands at the goal line.
ARIZONA CARDINALS 31 — WASHINGTON 23
Carson Palmer threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns, David Johnson scored twice and the Arizona Cardinals held on to beat Washington 31-23.
The loss (6-5-1) clinched a playoff spot for the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys. Palmer’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Johnson with 11:09 to play put Arizona ahead 24-20, the fourth lead change of the second half.
After a Washington field goal, Palmer’s 42-yard touchdown pass to J.J. Nelson with 1:56 padded gave the Cardinals (5-6-1) a 31-23 lead. Washington drove to the Arizona 28-yard line before Patrick Peterson’s interception of Kirk Cousins’ pass with 41 seconds left sealed the victory.
Johnson, who also scored on a 1-yard run, became the second player in NFL history to top 100 yards from scrimmage in the first 12 games of a season. Edgerrin James was the other.
Johnson carried the ball 18 times for 84 yards and caught nine passes for another 91.
Larry Fitzgerald caught 10 passes for 78 yards, moving past Cris Carter into third on the NFL career receptions list. Cousins completed 21 of 37 passes for 271 yards and a touchdown. His 59-yard pass to DeSean Jackson on the first series of the second half set up his 1-yard touchdown sneak.
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 28 — SAN DIEGO CHARGERS 21
Jameis Winston threw a go-ahead, 12-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Brate midway through the fourth quarter and Keith Tandy intercepted Philip Rivers in the end zone with 2:56 left to give the Tampa Bay Buccaneers their fourth straight victory, 28-21 victory against San Diego on Sunday.
Rivers had the Chargers on the move in the final minutes before Tandy got in front of a pass to Dontrelle Inman and picked it off.
Tandy’s momentum carried him into the end zone, giving the Bucs the ball on their 20. They were able to run out the clock. The Bucs (7-5) pulled into a tie with Atlanta atop the NFC South.
Tampa Bay benefited from a short punt by Drew Kaser to start the winning drive on their 46. Winston found Brate for the TD on the fourth play of the drive, and then hit Mike Evans on a conversion pass for a 28-21 lead. Rivers threw two second-half interceptions, including Lavonte David’s pick-6. The Chargers (5-7) were trying to get back to .500 for the first time since Week 2. They remain buried in the AFC West basement.
BALTIMORE RAVENS 38 — MIAMI DOLPHINS 6
Joe Flacco threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns, and the Ravens overwhelmed the Dolphins in the first half to end Miami’s six-game winning streak.
Baltimore (7-5) led 24-0 at halftime behind Flacco and a dominant performance from the league’s second-ranked defense. Flacco went 27 for 34 for 258 yards and three scores over the first 30 minutes, and the Ravens yielded only 115 yards and intercepted a Ryan Tannehill pass.
That was enough to provide the Ravens with their fourth win in five games. Miami also is 7-5.
Flacco finished with a franchise-record 36 completions in 47 attempts, by far his most impressive outing in an uneven season. He entered with 11 TD passes and 10 interceptions.
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 26 — LA RAMS 10
Tom Brady became the NFL’s career leader in victories by a quarterback, earning his 201st by throwing for 269 yards and a touchdown. Brady, who was 33 of 46, had tied Peyton Manning last week in a win over the New York Jets.
His lone touchdown came on a 14-yard pass to Chris Hogan in the first quarter. LeGarrette Blount scored the game’s first touchdown , rumbling for a 43-yard, ankle-breaking score in the first quarter while spinning around safety Maurice Alexander in the process. He finished with 88 yards on 18 carries.
The Patriots (10-2) have won seven of their last eight.
On the same day that Los Angeles coach Jeff Fisher and general manager Les Snead were given contract extensions, the recently relocated Rams (4-8) proved they still have a long way to go after losing for the seventh time in eight outings.
DENVER BRONCOS 20 — JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS 10
Bradley Roby returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown, helping the Broncos gain ground in the AFC playoff picture.
Roby picked off Blake Bortles’ wobbler across the middle in the third quarter and went untouched the other way. Star linebacker Von Miller hit Bortles as he released the ball.
It was the 11th pick-6 of Bortles’ three-year career and his third in the last four games. Houston and Detroit also returned interceptions for touchdowns in games the Jaguars lost by less than seven points.
The latest one resulted in a seventh consecutive loss for Jacksonville (2-10) and secured another miserable milestone for the small-market franchise. The Jaguars became the fifth team in NFL history to post double-digit losses in six consecutive seasons, joining Tampa Bay (1983-94), Detroit (2001-06), Oakland (2003-09) and Cleveland (2008-13).
Jacksonville had a chance to tie in the final minutes, but Bortles fumbled trying to make a play in the pocket.
The Broncos (8-4) rebounded from an overtime loss against Kansas City, and with Miami’s loss at Baltimore, moved into position to get one of the conference’s wild-card spots.
CINCINNATI BENGALS 32 — PHILADELPHIA EAGLES 14
Andy Dalton threw a pair of touchdown passes and Cincinnati finally got its depleted offense moving without receiver A.J. Green.
The Bengals (4-7-1) got their first win since Oct. 23, beating a team that’s in a swoon of its own. The Eagles (5-7) opened the season with three straight wins, but have dropped seven of nine.
Dalton had completions of 50, 44, 29, 23 and 21 yards. The Bengals scored on each of their first six possessions for a 29-0 lead, reinventing themselves with Green and running back Giovani Bernard sidelined by injuries. The previous time they scored on their first six possessions was 2009 against the Bears.
The only bad moment: Mike Nugent missed another PAT kick wide to the right, his fourth miss in a span of five tries. Nugent made field goals from 32, 33, 26 and 38 yards, the last one deflecting off the left upright.
CHICAGO BEARS 26 — SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 6
Jordan Howard ran for 117 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and the Bears handed San Francisco its 11th straight loss.
The 49ers (1-11) extended their franchise-record losing streak and set a club low with 6 yards net passing on a day when Colin Kaepernick got lifted for Blaine Gabbert.
The Bears (3-9) finished with a season high in points and picked up a rare win in a matchup between two of the NFL’s worst teams.
Matt Barkley, making his second start with Jay Cutler sidelined by a season-ending shoulder injury, went nearly the entire first half without a completion. But he led a touchdown drive near the end of the second quarter and finished 11 of 18 for 192 yards.
DALLAS COWBOYS 17 — MINNESOTA VIKINGS 15
Dez Bryant caught four passes for 84 yards and the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter, helping the Cowboys win their 11th straight game with a 17-15 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Thursday night.
In a hard-fought battle with cornerback Xavier Rhodes, Bryant’s 56-yard catch set up Ezekiel Elliott’s 1-yard TD in the first half. Bryant caught an 8-yard scoring pass in the fourth quarter after a fumbled punt by Minnesota’s Adam Thielen.
Elliott rushed for 86 yards on 20 carries for the Cowboys (11-1). They have the longest single-season winning streak in franchise history.
Sam Bradford threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon with 25 seconds to play, but the 2-point conversion pass failed. Bradford argued for a penalty after he was hit in the face by a defender, but there was no call for the Vikings (6-6). Minnesota played without coach Mike Zimmer after he had emergency eye surgery Wednesday night.