OAKLAND -- Jamaal Charles tied a franchise record with five touchdowns in a game, Alex Smith threw five scoring passes and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Raiders, 56-31, on Sunday to clinch at least a wild-card spot.
The Chiefs (11-3) became the fourth team ever to make the playoffs a year after losing at least 14 games. Kansas City is tied for first place in the AFC West with Denver but needs help to win the division because the Broncos swept the season series.
Charles gained 215 yards from scrimmage as the Chiefs put up the highest point total allowed in Raiders' history.
Matt McGloin threw four interceptions and lost a fumble while sharing time with Terrelle Pryor. Oakland (4-10) lost its fourth straight game.
Packers 37, Cowboys 36
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Matt Flynn threw four touchdown passes in the second half, Eddie Lacy had the winning score on a 1-yard plunge and the Green Bay Packers matched the biggest comeback in franchise history, rallying from 23 points down at halftime to beat the Dallas Cowboys, 37-36.
Tony Romo had two interceptions in the final 3 minutes, the first one giving Green Bay a chance for the go-ahead score with the Cowboys in position to run out the clock with a 36-31 lead. Lacy scored with just over 1 1-2 minutes left.
Playing on the same field where they won the 2011 Super Bowl, the Packers matched the 1982 team, which rallied past the Los Angeles Rams after trailing by 23.
The Packers (7-6-1) kept their playoff hopes alive with Aaron Rodgers possibly returning next week.
The Cowboys (7-7) stayed a game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East
Rams 27, Saints 16
ST. LOUIS -- Drew Brees threw interceptions that led to touchdowns on the first two possessions and the St. Louis Rams got big days from Zac Stacy, Robert Quinn and on special teams to top the New Orleans Saints, 27-16.
Quinn had two sacks, giving him an NFC-leading 15, and his quarterback hit on the Saints' first snap of the game altered the flight of the ball on T.J. McDonald's interception.
The Saints (10-4) missed their first chance to clinch a playoff berth, trailing 24-3 at the half, but made it look respectable with two touchdowns in the fourth quarter. They play at Carolina with the NFC South lead on the line next week.
Kellen Clemens threw for two TDs for the Rams (6-8), who recovered an onside kick to set up a field goal in the first quarter, and Michael Brockers blocked a field goal at the end of the half.
Dolphins 24, Patriots 20
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Tom Brady's latest comeback bid came up short, and the Miami Dolphins helped their playoff chances with a 24-20 breakthrough victory over the AFC East-leading New England Patriots.
A fourth-down pass from Brady was intercepted by reserve safety Michael Thomas in the end zone with 2 seconds left, and Miami held on to win.
The Patriots had mounted second-half rallies to win their past three games, and Brady moved them from their own 20 with 1:15 remaining to the Miami 14. But he threw three consecutive incompletions before Thomas sealed the third consecutive victory for the Dolphins (8-6), who improved to 5-2 since tackle Jonathan Martin left the team in a bullying scandal.
Miami snapped a streak of seven consecutive losses against the Patriots (10-4).
Cardinals 37, Titans 34 (OT)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jay Feely kicked a 41-yard field goal in overtime, and the Arizona Cardinals edged the Tennessee Titans, 37-34 in overtime, after blowing a 17-point lead late in the fourth quarter.
Still, the Cardinals (9-5) won their sixth in seven games. With San Francisco and Carolina winning, they remain a game back of both for a NFC wild-card berth.
The Titans scored 17 points in the final 3:12 of regulation to force overtime.
They won the toss and drove to the Cardinals 43 before Antoine Cason intercepted his second pass of the game.
Tennessee (5-9) lost its third straight and eighth in 10 games. The Titans also lost their fifth consecutive home game for the first time since moving to Tennessee in 1997.
The Cardinals scored 21 straight points in the second half, the last when Cason returned his first interception for a TD and a 34-17 lead.
Panthers 30, Jets 20
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton threw for 273 yards and a touchdown, Captain Munnerlyn had two sacks and returned an interception for a score and the Carolina Panthers defeated the New York Jets, 30-20.
Newton was an efficient 16 of 24 passing, including a 72-yard touchdown pass to DeAngelo Williams as the Panthers bounced back from their worst loss of the season, a 31-13 defeat last Sunday to the New Orleans Saints.
Williams had 81 yards rushing and 87 yards receiving for the Panthers (10-4), who'll get another crack at the Saints next Sunday in a game that could determine the NFC South Division title and who'll get a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs.
Geno Smith had a touchdown pass and one costly interception in the fourth quarter for the fading Jets (6-8). Rookie defensive lineman Sheldon Richardson ran for a TD on a goal-line play.
Vikings 48, Eagles 30
MINNEAPOLIS -- Matt Cassel passed for 382 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead the injury-depleted Vikings to a 48-30 victory over Philadelphia, snapping the Eagles' five-game winning streak.
With Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart out, Matt Asiata rushed for the first three touchdowns of his career and Greg Jennings caught a career-high 11 passes for 163 yards for the Vikings (4-9-1). Asiata ran for 51 yards on 30 carries.
Nick Foles threw for 428 yards with three touchdowns and one interception and DeSean Jackson had 10 catches for 195 yards and a score for the Eagles (8-6). They started the day with a one-game lead over Dallas in the NFC East.
Bears 38, Browns 31
CLEVELAND -- Jay Cutler shook off some early rustiness and threw three touchdown passes in his first start since Nov. 10, leading the Chicago Bears to a 38-31 win over the Cleveland Browns.
Cutler, who missed Chicago's previous four games with a sprained left ankle, threw a 4-yard TD pass to Earl Bennett with 5:41 left as Bears (8-6) rallied in the second half and stayed in contention for an NFC playoff spot.
Cutler finished 22 of 31 for 265 yards and validated first-year coach Marc Trestman's decision to stick with him over backup Josh McCown, who had played well while filling in for Chicago's starter.
The Browns (4-10) scored two defensive touchdowns, but as has been the case in recent weeks, Cleveland couldn't get the big stop when it needed one. The Browns have lost five straight, eight of nine and dropped at least 10 games in six straight seasons.
Falcons 27, Redskins 26
ATLANTA -- Desmond Trufant deflected Kirk Cousins' pass on a potential winning 2-point conversion with 18 seconds remaining, and the Atlanta Falcons edged the Washington Redskins, 27-26.
The Falcons scored 20 points off seven Washington turnovers. The Redskins tied a team record with five lost fumbles.
Cousins passed for 381 yards and three touchdowns but had three turnovers in his first start of the season after coach Mike Shanahan decided to bench Robert Griffin III. Griffin watched from the sideline.
Cousins' touchdown pass to Santana Moss gave Washington a chance to force overtime by kicking the extra point. Instead, Cousins' attempted go-ahead 2-point pass for Pierre Garcon was deflected by Trufant.
Steven Jackson ran for two touchdowns for Atlanta.
Alfred Morris had 98 yards rushing but lost two fumbles for Washington.
Seahawks 23, Giants 0
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Marshawn Lynch scored on a twisting 2-yard run, Seattle picked off five Eli Manning passes and manhandled the New York Giants, 23-0.
The Seahawks (12-2) have won six times on the road, a franchise best. They're closing in on the NFC West title and their best overall record; they went 13-3 in 2005 before losing to Pittsburgh in the Super Bowl.
This season's Super Bowl will be played at MetLife Stadium and unless they collapse in their final two games at home, where they are undefeated, the Seahawks will be the NFC favorite to reach the first outdoor Super Bowl in a cold weather city.
New York (5-9) will be deep into its offseason by then with its first losing record since 2004.
It was Seattle's first shutout since a 58-0 romp over Arizona on Dec. 9 last year.
49ers 33, Buccaneers 14
TAMPA, Fla. -- Vernon Davis caught a touchdown pass for the fifth straight game and Michael Crabtree scored his first TD since returning from injury to help the San Francisco 49ers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 33-14.
The victory was the fourth straight for Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers (10-4), who pulled away for good with a 10-minute, fourth-quarter drive that produced a field goal. Kendall Hunter put it well out of reach, scooping up a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and diving 2 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.
Tampa Bay got within 20-14 on Mike Glennon's TD pass to Tim Wright on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Bucs (4-10) didn't get the ball back until after Kaepernick used 17 plays to march the 49ers 77 yards into position for Phil Dawson to kick one of his four field goals.
Colts 25, Texans 3
INDIANAPOLIS -- Andrew Luck threw two touchdown passes, and Robert Mathis broke the Colts' single-season and career sacks records by forcing a second-half safety to lead Indianapolis past reeling Houston, 25-3.
It was just what the AFC South champs needed as a playoff tuneup.
Luck finished 19 of 32 for 180 yards with one interception and needed only two quarters to put up 20 points, four short of the Colts' combined first-half point total from the previous six games.
But the Colts (9-5) did it against a team that has lost 12 straight overall and is 0-12 all-time in Indy.
For Houston (2-12), it looked all too familiar.
Indy took a 20-3 halftime lead, aided by two interceptions by Case Keenum and too many penalties. Keenum also was stripped of the ball by Mathis in the end zone, which led to the safety.
Keenum was 18 of 34 for 168 yards.
Bills 27, Jaguars 20
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- EJ Manuel threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score, leading the Buffalo Bills to a 27-20 victory against the banged-up Jacksonville Jaguars.
Manuel bounced back from the worst game of his rookie season — a four-interception performance at Tampa Bay last week — and left the Sunshine State with his first win in five road starts.
The former Florida State star didn't do anything spectacular, just dinking and dunking the Jaguars for 193 yards. He also ran for 37 yards, including an 8-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
The Bills (5-9) scored 10 points in the final 2:14 of the first half for a 20-10 lead. The Jaguars (4-10) rallied to tie the game in the fourth on Chad Henne's 13-yard TD pass to Marcedes Lewis.
Manuel answered, though, capping an 89-yard drive with a 1-yard TD pass to Frank Summers.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun