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Falcons flex muscle; Bears ground Vick and Eagles

ATLANTA (Reuters) - The NFC-leading Atlanta Falcons made it five straight wins after a last-gasp 20-17 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, cementing their status as a Super Bowl contender.

A 47-yard field goal from Matt Bryant with nine seconds to play secured the win for Atlanta (9-2) less than a minute after Aaron Rodgers brought Green Bay level with a 10-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson at the end of a magnificent drive.

Rodgers took the Packers 90 yards and converted a pair of fourth-down passes, the second of which dissected Atlanta's coverage to find Nelson with 56 seconds remaining.

But Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan kept his cool and guided his team to field goal distance and the reliable Bryant did the rest as Green Bay slipped to 7-4.

"It was an exciting game - we knew it would take the full 60 minutes," said Ryan, whose Falcons share first place in the NFL with the New York Jets and New England Patriots, "It was a big win, that is a good football team and if we continue to play like that we will play teams like that down the line."

Philadelphia had been enjoying some outstanding play from quarterback Michael Vick in recent weeks and he was sharp again throwing for 333 yards and two touchdowns.

Chicago responded with 17 straight points and hung on for the win despite a spirited Eagles rally in the fourth quarter where they scored two field goals and a touchdown.

The New York Giants rallied to defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars with Eli Manning's 32-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Boss that clinched a win and snapped a two-game losing streak.

The Minnesota Vikings, who fired coach Brad Childress in midweek, beat the inconsistent Washington Redskins 17-13 to give interim coach Leslie Frazier a win in his debut.

The win also ended a nine-game losing run on the road for Minnesota, whose struggling quarterback Brett Favre delivered a solid performance throwing for 172 yards.

Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, who topped 1,000 yards for the fourth time in his four-year career, ran in for one touchdown before leaving the game with an injury. Rookie Toby Gerhart rushed in for the Vikings' other touchdown.

The Kansas City Chiefs remained first in the AFC West after a 42-24 win over the Seattle Seahawks with Matt Cassel throwing four touchdowns, including three to receiver Dwayne Bowe.

The Pittsburgh Steelers narrowly avoided an upset defeat to the Buffalo Bills needing a 41-yard overtime field goal from Shaun Suisham to secure a 19-16 victory.

Peyton Hillis rushed for 131 yards and three touchdowns for the Cleveland Browns in their 24-23 win over Carolina.

The Houston Texans, with Arian Foster rushing for 143 yards, cruised to a 20-0 win over the Tennessee Titans in a game that will be remembered for a fight between Houston wide receiver Andre Johnson and Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan that ended with both players being ejected after punches were thrown.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Henne, back in the lineup after suffering a knee injury two weeks ago, threw for 307 yards and two touchdowns in 33-17 over the Oakland Raiders.

(Reporting by Simon Evans in Miami; Editing by Frank Pingue)