Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
Nam Y. Huh/Associated Press
Matt Ryan threw for 353 yards and overcame two big turnovers by leading another late touchdown drive to give the Atlanta Falcons a 24-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on an 80-yard touchdown in the third quarter, but the NFC South leaders found themselves trailing 23-17 after the Bucs marched for a touchdown, then forced a fumble by Ryan to set up a field goal that put the Falcons in catchup mode.
Michael Turner’s 1-yard touchdown run put Atlanta ahead for good with 7:55 left. Connor Barth missed a 56-yard goal for Tampa Bay (6-5) in the closing minutes, and the Bucs’ four-game winning streak ended when Josh Freeman’s desperation pass fell incomplete in the end zone with no time remaining.
The win enabled the Falcons (10-1) to keep pace with Houston for the NFL’s best record. Turner also scored a fourth-quarter touchdown that helped the Falcons overcome mistakes to beat Arizona 23-19 last week.
Bears 28, Vikings 10
CHICAGO – Jay Cutler threw for 188 yards and a touchdown after missing a game because of a concussion as Chicago ended a two-game losing streak.
Tied with Green Bay for the NFC North lead and just a game ahead of Minnesota (6-5) coming in, the Bears (8-3) grabbed a 25-3 halftime lead thanks to Cutler’s pinpoint passing. The defense held Adrian Peterson in check early on, although he finished with 108 yards rushing.
The win could prove costly. The Bears lost wide receiver Devin Hester (concussion), running back Matt Forte (ankle), cornerback Charles Tillman (ankle) and both starting guards to injuries.
Bengals 34, Raiders 10
CINCINNATI – Andy Dalton threw three touchdown passes, and Cincinnati showed its former quarterback, Carson Palmer, that it has moved on without him.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 129 yards and a touchdown against the NFL’s most generous defense. He had runs of 48 and 39 yards – the longest of his career – to set up scores.
Palmer had a tough time all-around in his return to Cincinnati, going 19 of 34 for 146 yards with four sacks and an interception.
With their third consecutive win, the Bengals (6-5) moved back into the playoff chase. Oakland (3-8) lost its fourth in a row.
A brawl in the fourth quarter resulted in Oakland’s Tommy Kelly and Lamarr Houston and Cincinnati’s Andrew Whitworth getting ejected.
Browns 20, Steelers 14
CLEVELAND – Chris Rainey’s fumble with 2:25 left – Pittsburgh’s seventh of eight turnovers – was recovered by Cleveland’s Phil Taylor, and the Browns handed their hated rivals a potentially devastating loss.
Charlie Batch, starting at quarterback for Pittsburgh because of injuries to Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich, was picked off three times, and the Steelers (6-5) lost five fumbles, the last on the final play of the game to help the Browns (3-8) beat Pittsburgh for just the second time in 18 games.
Browns quarterback Brandon Weeden sustained a head injury in the final minutes. Backup Colt McCoy finished the win. Batch was 20 of 34 for 199 yards.
Colts 20, Bills 13
INDIANAPOLIS – T.Y. Hilton scored on a 75-yard punt return and caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck.
Hilton is the first player in franchise history to score by punt return and pass reception in the same game. Indy improved to 7-4.
Luck was 20 of 37 for 240 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Buffalo (4-7) ended its red-zone drought with 11:30 left with a 1-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick to Lee Smith to make it 20-13.
Jaguars 24, Titans 19
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Chad Henne threw two touchdown passes, sparking the NFL’s worst offense for the second consecutive week.
The Jaguars (2-9) snapped a seven-game losing streak and were competitive at home for the first time this season.
Henne, making his first start in more than 13 months, found Cecil Shorts III on a 59-yard touchdown play in the third quarter and hooked up with rookie Justin Blackmon for a 7-yard score in the fourth.
The Titans (4-7) cut the lead to 21-19 on Jake Locker’s 6-yard pass to Kenny Britt with 4:52 remaining and had the ball with a chance to take the lead. But Russell Allen tipped Locker’s pass over the middle, and Dwight Lowery – back on the field after a five-week absence – had his first interception of the season.
Dolphins 24, Seahawks 21
MIAMI – Dan Carpenter kicked a 43-yard field goal on the final, and Miami scored 17 points in the last 8:08.
Rookie Ryan Tannehill drove Miami 65 yards in the final 92 seconds to set up the winning kick. He finished 18 for 26 for 253 yards and a score.
Leon Washington returned a kickoff for a touchdown for the eighth time to tie the NFL career record and put Seattle ahead with eight minutes left. Miami answered with an 80-yard drive capped by Tannehill’s 29-yard scoring pass to Charles Clay, making it 21-all.
Miami (5-6) broke a three-game losing streak. The Seahawks (6-5), who are unbeaten at home this year, lost for the fifth time in six road games.
Ravens 16, Chargers 13
SAN DIEGO – Justin Tucker kicked a 38-yard field with 1:07 left in overtime to complete a stunning comeback for the Baltimore Ravens, who beat the staggering San Diego Chargers on Sunday.
San Diego led 13-3 on Nick Novak’s 30-yard field goal with 7:51 to go in regulation and seemed headed for its first win against a team with a winning record this season.
But the Ravens converted on fourth-and-29 from their 37 when Ray Rice caught a short pass from Joe Flacco and weaved through the defense to the San Diego 33 with 1:37 to play. After a review, the ball was moved back to the 34 and the refs measured. The new spot gave the Ravens a first down by the length of the ball.
Six plays later, Tucker kicked a 38-yard field goal to tie the game as regulation expired.
The Ravens (9-2) won their fourth in a row and for the eighth time in nine games. The Chargers (4-7) were pushed closer to being eliminated from the playoff picture.
Rams 31, Cardinals 17
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Janoris Jenkins became the first player in Rams history and the first NFL rookie since 1960 to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game, and St. Louis dominated the second half to hand the Arizona Cardinals their seventh loss in a row Sunday.
Arizona rookie Ryan Lindley was intercepted four times in his first NFL start.
Jenkins’ returns of 36 and 39 yards emphatically ended the Rams’ streak of five consecutive games without an opponent turnover.
Sam Bradford had a pair of 37-yard touchdown passes – to Lance Kendricks and Chris Givens – for the Rams (4-6-1), who snapped a five-game winless streak and beat Arizona (4-7) for the second time this season.
The Rams’ Steven Jackson rushed for 139 yards in 24 carries.
49ers 31, Saints 21
NEW ORLEANS – Ahmad Brooks and Donte Whitner returned interceptions for touchdowns, the 49ers sacked Drew Brees five times, and San Francisco ended the New Orleans Saints’ three-game winning streak, 31-21 on Sunday.
Colin Kaepernick was solid in his second-career start, while Alex Smith, deemed healthy enough to suit up, watched from the sideline. Kaepernick passed for 231 yards, including a short touchdown to Frank Gore. He also ran for a 7-yard score. He threw his first career interception, but it was inconsequential.
Brees finished with 267 yards and three touchdowns. After rushing for 140 yards or more in each of its previous three games, New Orleans (5-6) managed only 59 yards against San Francisco (8-2-1).
One of Brees’ scoring passes went to Marques Colston, who set a Saints record with his 56th career touchdown with the club.
Giants 38, Packers 10
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Eli Manning threw for three touchdowns, giving him 200 for his career, and the New York Giants sacked Aaron Rodgers five times in a rout of the Green Bay Packers.
Coming off their bye, the Giants (7-4) put to rest concerns about a dormant offense and a tired arm for Manning. He connected with rookie Rueben Randle, Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks for scores.
Paul Connors/Associated Press