Minnesota 17, Washington 13
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - Rookie Toby Gerhart and Adrian Peterson each scored a touchdown on the ground, as the Minnesota Vikings held off the Washington Redskins, 17-13, in Leslie Frazier's debut as head coach. The Vikings, who lost to the Saints in the NFC championship game last season, got off to a 3-7 start this year. That led to Minnesota's firing of Brad Childress on Monday. Frazier, who was the defensive coordinator, was promoted to interim head coach. Peterson carried the ball six times for 36 yards before tweaking his right ankle. Gerhart played the entire second half and rushed for 76 yards on 22 carries for the Vikings (4-7), who had lost eight in a row on the road in the regular season dating back to a win in Green Bay on November 1, 2009. Brett Favre completed 15-of-23 passes for 172 yards for the victors. Donovan McNabb connected on 21-of-35 passes for 211 yards, a touchdown, and an interception for the Redskins (5-6), who have lost three of four.
Atlanta 20, Green Bay 17
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Matt Bryant connected on a 47-yard field goal with nine seconds left to give the Atlanta Falcons a 20-17 win in a hard- fought battle with the Green Bay Packers at the Georgia Dome. Matt Ryan was 24-for-28 with 198 yards and a score and Michael Turner added 110 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries for the Falcons (9-2), who have won their past five games. Tony Gonzalez had six catches for 51 yards and a touchdown in the victory. The win allowed Atlanta to stay a game ahead of New Orleans, which defeated Dallas on Thanksgiving, for the top spot in the NFC South. Tampa Bay, which hosts Atlanta next week, plays Baltimore later on Sunday with a chance to move into a tie with New Orleans. Aaron Rodgers finished the contest with 344 yards and a score on 26-of-35 passing and added 51 yards on 12 carries with a touchdown for the Packers (7-4), who came into the contest with a four-game winning streak. Jordy Nelson caught a touchdown pass that had tied the game in the final minute.
Pittsburgh 19, Buffalo 16 (OT)
Orchard Park, NY (Sports Network) - Shaun Suisham's fourth field goal of the game, a 41-yarder with 2:14 left in overtime, sent Pittsburgh past Buffalo, 19-16, at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Ben Roethlisberger was 20-of-33 for 246 yards for the Steelers (8-3), who have won three of their last four. Rashard Mendenhall racked up 151 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries and Hines Ward added 107 yards on seven receptions. Ryan Fitzpatrick finished 23- of-45 for 265 yards, one score and an interception for the Bills (2-9), who had won their two previous games after an 0-8 start. Fred Jackson went for 104 yards and a touchdown on five catches and contributed 59 rushing yards, while Steve Johnson posted 68 yards on seven grabs but dropped a potential game-winning TD pass early in the extra session. Rian Lindell made three field goals, including the game-tying kick in the final seconds of regulation.
Cleveland 24, Carolina 23
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - Phil Dawson's 41-yard field goal late in the fourth quarter, coupled with John Kasay's miss of a 42-yard effort as time expired, helped the Cleveland Browns earn a 24-23 win over the Carolina Panthers. Jake Delhomme, playing against his former team after spending the last seven years in Carolina, finished 24-of-35 passing for 245 yards, but threw a pair of interceptions -- one returned for a touchdown by Captain Munnerlyn -- for Cleveland (4-7), which dropped a 24-20 decision at Jacksonville last Sunday and has won three of its last five. Peyton Hillis rushed for 131 yards and three scores, and caught six passes for 63 yards in the victory. Jimmy Clausen returned to the lineup after sitting out last weekend with a concussion and connected on 16-of-28 passes for 195 yards and Jonathan Stewart ran for 98 yards on 12 carries for the Panthers (1-10), who have dropped five in a row since winning their only game of the season against San Francisco on October 24. Kasay booted three field goals in defeat.
Houston 20, Tennessee 0
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Matt Schaub threw two second-quarter touchdown passes, as the Houston Texans snapped a four-game losing streak with a 20-0 victory over AFC South rival Tennessee. Schaub finished with 178 yards on 25-of-35 efficiency for the Texans (5-6), whose last two setbacks came in heartbreaking fashion. A week after Jacksonville's Hail Mary toss on the final play resulted in a stunning defeat on November 14, Houston rallied in the fourth quarter to take a four-point lead against the New York Jets, only to see it erased in a last-minute drive. Arian Foster had 143 yards on 30 carries for Houston, while adding 75 yards on nine receptions. Andre Johnson caught nine passes for 56 yards and one score, but was ejected, along with Cortland Finnegan, in the fourth quarter after throwing punches at the Titans cornerback. Rookie quarterback Rusty Smith made his first NFL start for Tennessee, completing 17-of-31 passes for 138 yards. He was also picked off three times by Glover Quin.
NY Giants 24, Jacksonville 20
East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) - Eli Manning threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Boss for the go-ahead score late in the fourth quarter and the New York defense produced three straight sacks to stymie Jacksonville's final drive, as the Giants rallied for a 24-20 victory over the Jaguars at the New Meadowlands Stadium. Trailing 20-17 with just under six minutes to play, the Giants went 69 yards on six plays to take the lead. Mario Manningham made a nice catch on an underthrown ball for 18 yards to ignite the series, and Brandon Jacobs followed with an 18-yard run up the middle to set up a first down at the Jacksonville 32. After two plays netted nothing, Manning found Boss with a short pass, and the tight end broke one tackle before finding open space on his way to the end zone for the go-ahead score with 3:15 remaining. Jacksonville then started from its own 27 after the kickoff and immediately reached the 48 on a 21-yard pass from David Garrard to Mike Sims-Walker. Mike Thomas caught a pass for 13 yards on 3rd-and-5 before the Jaguars caught a break on another third down when an incomplete pass was negated by a defensive holding penalty to set up a first down at the New York 29. Garrard, who had been sacked just once all game despite fierce pressure, was then dropped on three consecutive plays -- the last resulting in a fumble that the Giants recovered at the Jacksonville 39 with just under 90 seconds left to seal the outcome. Manning completed 14-of-24 passes for 226 yards with a pair of second-half touchdowns, as the Giants (7-4) outscored the Jaguars 18-3 over the final 30 minutes to snap a two-game slide. New York started the day a game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East. Jacobs, starting for the first time this season in place of the turnover-prone Ahmad Bradshaw, ran for 87 yards on 14 carries. Bradshaw contributed 49 yards on nine attempts and also caught four passes for 34 yards while adding a big two-point conversion run. Garrard threw for 162 yards on 20-of-35 passing with an interception and ran for 41 yards with a touchdown for Jacksonville (6-5), which had a three-game winning streak stopped. The Jaguars started the day tied for first in the AFC South with Indianapolis, which was set to play the Sunday night game against San Diego. Maurice Jones-Drew eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the fourth straight game with 113 yards on 21 carries. Rashad Jennings added 53 yards with a score on the ground, as the Jaguars rolled up 207 yards against New York's fourth-rated rush defense.
Miami 33, Oakland 17
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Chad Henne returned to his starting role and had two touchdown passes as the Miami Dolphins took a 33-17 win over the Oakland Raiders. Henne got his starting job back after Tyler Thigpen was ineffective in last week's 16-0 loss to Chicago. Henne finished the contest 17-for-30 with 307 yards and an interception for the win. Patrick Cobbs and Marlon Moore each had a touchdown reception for the Dolphins (6-5), who have won five of six on the road this season. Ricky Williams had 20 carries for 95 yards and his late touchdown sealed the victory. The win keeps Miami in the thick of the playoff chase as the team sits in the eighth spot in the AFC, two games back of the Pittsburgh Steelers for the final wild card spot. Rookie Jacoby Ford returned the opening kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown and had four catches for 108 yards and a score for the Raiders (5-6), who fell two games behind Kansas City, which defeated Seattle on Sunday, for the top spot in the AFC West. Bruce Gradkowski started in place of Jason Campbell and was picked off twice and went 17-of-32 for a touchdown and 252 yards. Oakland's rushing game managed just 16 yards on 12 carries in its second straight loss. Trailing by a point, Miami started the second half with the ball and promptly took the lead. On the fifth play of the drive, Moore caught the short pass in front of the defender, spun around him and raced 57 yards down the right sideline for the score and a 20-14 lead just over two minutes in. After a three-and-out from Oakland, Miami started the next touch at the Oakland 44 after a short punt and a 10-yard return from Davone Bess. However, the team was only able to move 23 yards and a 44-yard field goal from Dan Carpenter made it a 23-14 game with 8:46 left in the third. After Carpenter missed a 50-yard attempt to the right, Oakland moved the ball across midfield, but Chris Clemons stepped in front of the receiver near the goal line and picked off a Gradkowski pass. Miami, though, was unable to take advantage of the turnover and had to punt. Starting at their own 20, Oakland got a big play on the first snap as Gradkowski heaved the ball downfield and Ford ripped it out of the hands of the defender for a 52-yard gain. However, the drive stalled at the Miami 12 and a 30-yard field goal from Sebastian Janikowski made it a 23-17 game with 10:57 to play. Miami took the next possession 73 yards over 13 plays and got a 25-yard field goal from Carpenter, killing almost seven minutes of the clock and taking a 26-17 lead with 4:03 to play. Oakland turned the ball over on downs and Williams sealed the win with a 45- yard scamper into the end zone. The game started off with a big play as Ford took the opening kickoff 101 yards up the middle to give the Raiders the early 7-0 lead. Miami responded on the ensuing drive with a 49-yard field goal from Carpenter. The drive was helped by Janikowski booting the kickoff out of bounds to give Miami the ball at its own 40. The Dolphins then held Oakland to a three-and-out and started the next drive at its own 35. A catch of 13 yards by Bess got the ball across midfield and a two-yard run by Lousaka Polite up the middle on 4th-and-1 got the ball to the Oakland 29. On the next play, Henne lofted the ball over the defender to an in-stride Cobbs for a 10-7 lead with 5:36 left in the first. Henne was picked off by Rolando McClain deep in Oakland territory early in the second quarter, but Yeremiah Bell then picked Gradkowski to keep Oakland from taking advantage. A fumble later in the second by Marcel Reece led to Carpenter lining up for a 51-yard field goal, but it fell short and Oakland got the ball back at its own 42. On the fourth play, Ford made a leaping catch on a pass at the right sideline and raced into the end zone on a 44-yard score for a 14-10 lead with 5:32 left in the half. Miami, though, went 75 yards over 15 plays and got a 23-yard field goal from Carpenter with just seconds left on the first half clock to make it a 14-13 game going into the break.
Kansas City 42, Seattle 24
Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Dwayne Bowe had a career day, catching 13 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns, as the AFC West-leading Kansas City Chiefs took down the Seattle Seahawks, 42-24. Bowe, who came into the game with 11 scores, broke the franchise record for most touchdown receptions in a single-season. Chris Burford held the previous mark of 12 set in 1962. Matt Cassel completed 22-of-32 passes for 233 yards and four touchdowns for the Chiefs (7-4), who snapped a four-game road skid. Jamaal Charles carried the ball 22 times for 173 yards and a score for Kansas City, which has won two in a row since a two-game losing streak. "For us to become a good team you have to go on the road in November and December and beat good teams in hostile environments," Chiefs head coach Todd Haley said. "When you give up blocked punts and kicks you are not happy but we are happy today." Matt Hasselbeck connected on 20-of-37 passes for 282 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions for the Seahawks (5-6), who have lost two in a row and four of five. Ben Obomanu hauled in five passes for 159 yards and a touchdown in defeat. "We are struggling. We are not stopping the run," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said. "Everything starts there. We are not winning the line of scrimmage battle. We never want to come into this stadium and perform like that, let people knock us around." The Chiefs got the ball to start the game and put together a seven-play, 72- yard drive. Bowe made catches of 14 and 19 yards before hauling in a seven- yard TD pass. Seattle moved the ball to the KC 39 with its first possession. On 4th-and-1, Hasselbeck threw an incomplete pass. On Kansas City's next drive, Ryan Succop had a 43-yard field goal blocked. The Chiefs had another special teams mistake on their following possession. Earl Thomas picked up a blocked punt and returned it 10 yards for a touchdown and 7-7 game with 31 seconds left in the first quarter. The Chiefs bridged the first and second frames with an impressive 15-play, 74- yard drive. The visitors converted five third downs on the march. On 3rd-and- goal from the one, defensive end Shaun Smith lined up in the back field. Smith took the handoff and rumbled into the end zone for a 14-7 edge with 7:18 left. On the sixth play of Kansas City's next possession, Bowe caught a 36-yard pass down the right sideline for a 21-7 margin with 1:12 remaining. After Hasselbeck was intercepted, Charles fumbled the football. Seattle took over at the KC 43 with 28 seconds left. Olindo Mare's 43-yard field goal before the half cut the gap to 21-10. The first play of the second half resulted in a 51-yard pass from Hasselbeck to Obomanu. Following a defensive pass interference, Chris Baker caught a 13-yard TD pass to make it a 21-17 contest. KC bridged the third and fourth frames with an 11-play, 71-yard drive. Charles ran for 29 yards to Seattle's 12 on third down. On the first play of the fourth, Charles scampered into the end zone from three yards out to extend the Chief's margin to 28-17. Hasselbeck was sacked and fumbled on the ensuing Seattle possession. Bowe caught a nine-yard pass for his third score of the day to give KC a 35-17 lead with 12:43 to play. After Obomanu caught an 87-yard touchdown pass, Tony Moeaki hauled in a six- yard TD pass for KC to put the game away.
Chicago 31, Philadelphia 26
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - Jay Cutler matched a career-high with four touchdown passes to lead Chicago to a 31-26 victory over Philadelphia in a battle at Soldier Field. Cutler connected on 14-of-21 throws for 247 yards as the Bears (8-3) put together their highest scoring game of the season to win for a fourth straight outing. Matt Forte ran for 117 yards on 14 attempts while Earl Bennett made four catches for 56 yards and had his first career two-TD game for Chicago, which leads Green Bay by one game in the NFC North. "I think we've taken steps each week," Chicago head coach Lovie Smith said. "Even the games we've lost, we found out something we needed to know about our football team. We talked early about getting in position in October and making that run in November and that's exactly what the guys have done." Michael Vick connected on 29-of-44 passes for 333 yards and two scores along with his first interception of the season, and ran nine times for 44 yards for the Eagles (7-4), who had their three-game win streak halted. "I felt like we had opportunities but we didn't take advantage of them," Vick said. "I think the turning point in the game was the turnover before the end of the half. If we score there, it is a different ballgame. We beat ourselves by not making plays that we can make." LeSean McCoy carried 10 times for 53 yards and hauled in eight passes for 67 yards while Jason Avant made eight receptions for 83 yards for Philadelphia, which fell into a first place tie with the New York Giants in the NFC East. David Akers kicked four field goals in defeat in his 183rd career game, which tied former safety Brian Dawkins for the franchise's all-time record. Trailing by 15, Philadelphia advanced to the Bears 10 before a screen pass to McCoy lost nine yards and had to settle for a 36-yard Akers field goal that cut the lead to 31-19 with 4:47 left in the game. The Eagles forced a three-and-out and got the ball back at their own 32 with 4:18 to play. Vick completed six passes to McCoy and Avant before being faced with 4th-and-9 at the Bears 30. Vick then threaded a scoring pass between two defenders to Brent Celek to trim the lead to 31-26 with 1:48 to go. Philadelphia had no timeouts left and was forced into an onside kick that was recovered by Johnny Knox to effectively end the game. The Eagles got on the board first with a 45-yard field goal from Akers with just under nine minutes to play in the opening session. Chicago responded with a quick four-play drive that culminated in Cutler's 10- yard scoring strike to Bennett. A 61-yard run by Forte on two plays prior set up the touchdown. Hester took a screen pass 39 yards to the Eagles 21 on the Bears next touch to set up Cutler's 20-yard scoring toss to a wide open Knox with 2:25 to go in the period to make it 14-3 and finish off a four-play, 59-yard drive. Philadelphia answered with a 10-play, 65-yard march that Vick finished off with an eight-yard scoring toss to Jeremy Maclin. It was Vick's 12th scoring pass of the year without an interception, making him the first quarterback to accomplish that feat from the start of the season since Randall Cunningham did it with the Vikings in 1998. The Eagles reached the Chicago three on their next possession before Vick was sacked by Julius Peppers and recovered his own fumble at the 18. Akers came on to boot a 36-yarder to draw the visitors to within 14-13 with 8:08 to play in the half. A huge momentum swing took place in the final stages of the first half after Vick directed another drive that moved to the Bears four. However, a tipped pass was intercepted in the end zone by Chris Harris, who returned it to his own 37 on the first play after the two-minute warning. It ended a franchise record streak of 220 consecutive passes without a pick to start the season. Chicago capitalized on the turnover, as Cutler found Bennett from six yards out to finish off a six-play, 63-yard drive in only 72 seconds to give the hosts a 21-13 advantage at the intermission. Olsen made a leaping catch in the back of the end zone on Cutler's pass from nine yards out just 84 seconds into the second half to give the Bears a 28-13 lead. Hester returned the opening kick 46 yards and took a short pass 34 yards to the Eagles 18 before a horse collar tackle penalty on rookie safety Nate Allen moved the ball halfway to the goal line. Chicago then authored a season-long 17-play drive that chewed up 10:05 and culminated in Robbie Gould's 23-yard field goal that pushed the advantage to 31-13 with 1:26 left in the period. Philadelphia's next drive stalled at the Bears four before Akers booted a 22- yarder to chip away at the lead with 11:51 left in the contest.
St. Louis 36, Denver 33
Denver, CO (Sports Network) - Sam Bradford threw for a career-high 308 yards and three scores on 22-of-37 passing as St. Louis nearly wasted a 20- point lead but hung on to beat Denver, 36-33, at Invesco Field. Billy Bajema caught a pair of TD passes, Michael Hoomanawanui hauled in one while Steven Jackson rushed for 72 yards on 29 carries for the Rams (5-6), who pulled into a tie atop the NFC West with Seattle by snapping a two-game slide. "Any time you can get a win on the road in this league, it's big," said Bradford. "It's tough to do that, and especially for us because we've had our struggles on the road. To clear that hump and get the victory today was satisfying. Kyle Orton was 24-of-41 for 347 yards and posted three touchdowns for the Broncos (3-8), who have dropped six of their last seven. The loss came a little more than a day after Denver head coach Josh McDaniels and the club itself were fined for an illegal videotaping incident. Brandon Lloyd had four receptions for 76 yards and two TDs, Eddie Royal added a touchdown catch and Knowshon Moreno struck for 56 yards and a score on 12 carries in defeat. "We have to play better defense. I have to coach better," said McDaniels. "Giving up 30-something points every week is a tough to match on offense." Josh Brown was good from 26 yards out and the visitors claimed a 36-20 advantage with 10:50 left in regulation. Two Denver series later, Orton orchestrated a five-play, 50-yard drive and found Royal for a 16-yard score. The conversion pass to Jabar Gaffney fell incomplete, leaving Denver behind 36-26. St. Louis then went three-and-out, and the Broncos took over on their own 41. Orton threw three incompletions on the ensuing series, but again hit Lloyd with 2:35 to play and the Broncos found themselves down only 36-33. The Rams recovered the onside kick but failed to advance the ball, and after a punt, Orton had one last chance with 1:06 left starting at his own 34. A sack and two incompletions forced a 4th-and-16 from the 28, and a pass to Royal was incomplete. Bradford took a knee to run out the remaining seconds. Moreno's four-yard run capped an 80-yard Denver march to open the game, and gave the home team a 7-0 lead. Matt Prater connected from 49 yards out on the Broncos' ensuing drive, but Hoomanawanui broke free of the pack and rolled 36 yards to the end zone for a 10-7 game on the Rams' next touch. Prater managed to get a 40-yarder through the uprights roughly 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter, but the Rams followed with a 13-play drive lasting more than six minutes and went ahead 14-13 when Bradford hit Bajema for a two- yard strike. Bajema hauled in a 26-yard TD pass on the next St. Louis drive and it was 20-13 after the extra point failed. A 45-yard Bradford completion to Danario Alexander helped set up the score. Brown then booted a 28-yarder, and after Royal fumbled away the kickoff to the Rams, Brown connected from 37 yards and the visitors entered halftime up 26-13. Kenneth Darby's one-yard plunge completed the second Rams drive of the second half and put St. Louis ahead 33-13. The Broncos didn't respond until the first play of the fourth when Orton hit Lloyd for a 41-yard TD pass.
San Diego 36, Indianapolis 14
Indianapolis, IN (Sports Network) - The San Diego defense intercepted Peyton Manning four times, returning two picks for touchdowns, and the Chargers scored 20 total points off turnovers Sunday in a 36-14 victory over the Colts. Philip Rivers threw for 185 yards without a mistake and Mike Tolbert rushed 26 times for 103 yards and a touchdown as the Chargers (6-5) won for the fifth time in their last six meetings with Indianapolis. Manning finished 31-of-48 for 285 yards and two touchdowns, as the Colts (6-5) lost for the second week in a row. Kevin Burnett and Eric Weddle jumped in front of Manning passes, returning them a combined 70 yards for a pair of touchdowns. The Chargers also got two field goals off Indianapolis turnovers.