Published December 10, 2013
| Sports Network
Oakland, CA – Chicago, IL (SportsNetwork.com) - Josh McCown threw four touchdown passes and ran one in, while Matt Forte amassed 175 yards and a score as the Chicago Bears crushed the Dallas Cowboys, 45-28, on Monday night. Making his fourth straight start in place of an injured Jay Cutler, McCown was 27-for-36 for 348 yards, while Forte carried the ball 20 times for 102 yards, and added seven catches for 73 yards and a score for the Bears (7-6), who snapped a two-game skid. With the win, Chicago moved into a tie with Detroit for first place in the NFC North. The Lions, though, hold the tiebreaker as they beat the Bears in both matchups this season. Tony Romo went just 11-for-20 for 104 yards, but didn't turn over the ball and had three touchdown passes for the Cowboys (7-6), who had won their past two coming in. Dallas, which fell to 11-16 in December with Romo under center, dropped into second place in the NFC East, one game behind the Eagles, who defeated the Lions on Sunday.
(Sunday, December 8th)
Final Score: Baltimore 29, Minnesota 26
Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Sometimes pundits use the phrase, "whichever team finishes with the ball will win the game." In Baltimore on Sunday, that phrase held true during a bizarre fourth quarter that saw a total of 42 points scored. Marlon Brown caught a 9-yard touchdown pass from Joe Flacco with four seconds left on the clock, capping a back-and-forth final two minutes and giving the Baltimore Ravens a dramatic 29-26 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Dennis Pitta caught a 1-yard touchdown pass with 2:07 to play in the game and Flacco hit Torrey Smith for a 2-point conversion as the Ravens (7-6) took a 15-12 advantage. Minnesota wasted no time, scoring in just two plays. Matt Cassel hit Jerome Simpson for 27 yards on first down to the Baltimore 41, and Toby Gerhart broke numerous tackles as he rumbled up the middle on the following play to put Minnesota back up in front, 19-15, with 1:27 on the clock. Blair Walsh pooched the ensuing kickoff to Jacoby Jones, who caught the short kick and raced 77 yards down the sideline to return serve with 1:16 to play. Following two incompletions from Cassel, Cordarrelle Patterson caught a wide-receiver screen, followed a convoy of blockers and his speed did the rest as he scampered into the end zone for a 79-yard score. The final Baltimore score was aided by an 18-yard pass interference penalty on Chad Greenway. Pitta caught an 18-yard pass two plays later and Brown ended it with a beautiful grab in the back of the end zone on the following play. Flacco threw for 245 yards on 28-of-50 passing with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Brown finished with seven receptions for 92 yards and the triumphant touchdown. Cassel, starting in place of an injured Christian Ponder, threw for 265 yards on 17-of-38 passing with two touchdowns for Minnesota (3-9-1). Gerhart rushed for 89 yards on 15 carries in place of Adrian Peterson, who left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.
Final Score: Cincinnati 42, Indianapolis 28
Cincinnati, OH (SportsNetwork.com) - Andy Dalton accounted for four touchdowns -- three passing and one rushing -- to lead the Cincinnati Bengals to a 42-28 win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday. Dalton threw for 275 yards on 24- of-35 passing and BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 48 yards and two touchdowns as the Bengals (9-4) won their third game in a row and remained unbeaten at home. A.J. Green, Marvin Jones and Jermaine Gresham all had touchdown catches for the AFC North leaders and Giovani Bernard led all rushers in the game with 99 yards on 12 carries. The Bengals missed tackles on touchdown catches by Da'Rick Rogers and LaVon Brazill that got the Colts back into the game in the third quarter but they scored three touchdowns in the last 18 minutes of the game to stay in front. Rogers, an undrafted rookie cut by the Bills in the preseason, had his first six career receptions for 107 yards and two touchdowns. Brazill also scored twice and Andrew Luck threw for 326 yards and four touchdowns for the AFC South-leading Colts (8-5), who can win the division with a Titans' loss to the Broncos.
Final Score: Green Bay 22, Atlanta 21
Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Matt Flynn threw for 258 yards and a touchdown in a solid substitute start, helping the Green Bay Packers to an elusive first win since Aaron Rodgers' injury with a 22-21 edging of the Atlanta Falcons at Lambeau Field. Flynn shook off an interception that was returned 71 yards for a touchdown by the Falcons' Sean Weatherspoon near the end of the first half to rally the Packers for 12 unanswered points, the last six coming on his 2-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Quarless with 12:01 remaining. He made good on 24-of-32 attempts in a critical victory for Green Bay (6-6-1), which entered Sunday's play 1 1/2 games behind Detroit for first place in the NFC North. The Packers also entered the matchup with four losses and a tie over their previous five outings, a stretch that began when Rodgers fractured his left collarbone in an eventual 27-20 setback to Chicago on Nov. 4. Quarless finished with 66 yards on six catches, while Eddie Lacy added 65 rushing yards and a touchdown on 20 carries. Matt Ryan put up 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns on a 20-of-35 completion rate for Atlanta (3-10), but was intercepted once and lost a fumble during a scoreless second half. Roddy White caught eight Ryan passes for 74 yards, with Steven Jackson recording 71 yards on 15 rushes in the loss.
Final Score: New England 27, Cleveland 26
Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Another sluggish start. Another nail-biting finish for the New England Patriots. Tom Brady threw two touchdowns passes 30 seconds apart inside of the two-minute warning and the AFC East-leading Patriots rallied for a 27-26 win over the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium. New England (10-3) orchestrated its third consecutive comeback win without tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was carted off the field in the third quarter after suffering what is believed to be a torn ACL. Gronkowski caught a pass from Brady up the seam before his right knee absorbed the brunt a hit by defensive back T.J. Ward. After being tended to by medical personnel, Gronkowski was helped onto a cart. He is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday to confirm the injury. Cleveland quarterback Jason Campbell acquitted himself very well in a return from a concussion and seemingly had the Browns in position to win after his third touchdown pass gave them a 26-14 lead with 2:39 remaining in the fourth quarter.
Final Score: NY Jets 37, Oakland 27
East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Geno Smith threw for one touchdown and ran for another to lead the New York Jets to a 37-27 win over the Oakland Raiders at MetLife Stadium. Smith, who was pulled from last week's 23-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins, bounced back and completed 16-of-25 passes for 219 yards and also rushed for 50 yards on five caries. Kellen Winslow caught three passes for 61 yards and Jeremy Kerley finished with four catches for 41 yards and a touchdown for the Jets (6-7), who snapped a three-game losing streak. Nick Folk was 3-for-3 on field goals, including a season-long 51- yarder in the win. Oakland started the game alternating between Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor at quarterback, but stuck with McGloin from the midway point of the second. McGloin finished 18-for-31 for 245 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Pryor was a pedestrian 2-for-5 for 20 yards in just two series. Marcel Reece rushed for a career-high 123 yards and a touchdown and Rod Streater caught seven passes for a career-high 130 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders (4-9), who have dropped 13 straight games played in the Eastern time zone. Oakland's last win in the Eastern time zone came against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Dec. 6, 2009.
Final Score: Philadelphia 34, Detroit 20
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - It took a while for LeSean McCoy and the Eagles to find their footing in the snowy conditions at Lincoln Financial Field on Sunday. But once they did, it was smooth sledding. McCoy carried the ball 29 times for a franchise-record 217 yards and scored two of Philadelphia's four fourth-quarter touchdowns, as the Eagles rallied for a 34-20 victory over the Detroit Lions. Snow started falling in the hours leading up to Sunday's tilt and remained constant for much of the game, leaving both high-powered offenses hampered. Trailing 14-6 to start the fourth, Philadelphia turned to its ground game, with McCoy scoring from 40 and 57 yards out, respectively, around a 98-yard kickoff return from Detroit's Jeremy Ross. Following a Detroit three-and-out, Nick Foles capped a 7-play, 71-yard march with a 1-yard TD surge and Chris Polk added a 38-yard touchdown run to cap the Philadelphia rally. Foles finished 11-of-22 passing for 179 yards and a touchdown, but threw his first interception of the season in the win. DeSean Jackson added four catches for 59 yards and a score for the Eagles (8-5), who have won five straight games. Philadelphia now holds sole possession of first place in the NFC East after Dallas lost to Chicago on Monday, while Detroit (7-6) is tied with the Bears for the top spot in the NFC North, but does hold the tiebreaker thanks to sweeping the series this season.
Final Score: Miami 34, Pittsburgh 28
Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Pittsburgh Steelers nearly pulled off a miracle, but Antonio Brown barely stepped out of bounds on his way to the end zone on a final play that featured five laterals, and the Miami Dolphins escaped snowy Heinz Field with a 34-28 victory. Charles Clay's gritty 12- yard touchdown catch with 2:53 remaining put the Dolphins in front and Caleb Sturgis added a 27-yard field goal for a six-point margin before the Steelers got one final chance. They almost pulled it off in a finish that would have rivaled the Cal-Stanford collegiate game from 1982. Facing 4th- and-9 from his own 21 with just a few seconds remaining, Ben Roethlisberger's pass was caught up the right sideline and the laterals began. Roethlisberger wound up with the ball again and flung it toward Brown along the left sideline near the Pittsburgh 40. Brown eluded a couple of Miami defenders and took it all the way to the end zone for what would have been a stunning finish, but officials ruled he stepped on the sideline at the 13-yard line to end the game.
Final Score: Tampa Bay 27, Buffalo 6
Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Bobby Rainey rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 27-6 victory over the Buffalo Bills. Mike Glennon completed 9-of-25 passes for 90 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Tampa Bay (4-9), which has won four of its last five after dropping right in a row to start the year. Vincent Jackson caught three passes for 70 yards and a touchdown and Timothy Wright had two catches for 21 yards and a score Rookie E.J. Manuel never got into a rhythm in this one, completing 18-of-33 passes for 184 yards and a career-worst four interceptions as Buffalo (4-9) lost for the fifth time in six tries. Dan Carpenter was good on both of his field goal attempts in the setback.
Final Score: Kansas City 45, Washington 10
Landover, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Dexter McCluster returned a punt for a touchdown and Quintin Demps did the same on a kickoff to highlight a 38-point first half that led the Kansas City Chiefs to a 45-10 rout of the Washington Redskins Sunday at a wintry FedEx Field. Alex Smith passed for 137 yards and a pair of scores on 14-of-20 efficiency for the Chiefs (10-3), who put the brakes on a three-game skid in emphatic fashion. Jamaal Charles ended with a game-high 151 yards rushing and a TD on 19 attempts and also caught a pass for another touchdown. Dwayne Bowe added 69 yards and a receiving score on four grabs. Robert Griffin III was an ineffective 12-of-26 for 164 yards, including a touchdown to Logan Paulsen and a pick for the Redskins (3-10), who skidded to their fifth consecutive loss. Kirk Cousins finished the contest 7-of-16 for 59 yards. Aldrick Robinson totaled 67 yards on four receptions for Washington, while Evan Royster exited in the first half with a high left ankle sprain and did not return.
Final Score: Denver 51, Tennessee 28
Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Peyton Manning continued his run of success with 397 yards and four touchdown passes as the Denver Broncos ripped off 24 consecutive points en route to a convincing 51-28 decision over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday. Manning set a single-game club record with 39 completions on a personal-record 59 attempts for the Broncos (11-2), who maintained their one-game edge over the Chiefs in the AFC West as well as a one-game lead over New England for the top spot in the conference with their fifth win in six games. Matt Prater connected on all three of his field-goal attempts, and set a new NFL record when he booted a 64-yard try on the final play of the first half. Eric Decker led a stacked receiving corps with 117 yards and a score on eight catches, while Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas added a TD grab apiece in the rout. Wes Welker did not return after halftime, diagnosed with a concussion, but posted 61 yards and a touchdown on five catches before departing. Knowshon Moreno led the rushing attack thanks to 78 yards and one end-zone foray on 14 carries. Ryan Fitzpatrick was held to 172 yards on 13-of-24 passing with a touchdown and interception for the Titans (5-8), who have dropped four of their last five to jeopardize their playoff hopes. Justin Hunter notched 114 yards and a score on four receptions, Shonn Greene crossed the goal line twice on rushes and Chris Johnson was held to 46 yards and one TD on 12 carries in defeat.
Final Score: Arizona 30, St. Louis 10
Glendale, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - Carson Palmer completed 27-of-32 passes for 269 yards and a touchdown to lead the Arizona Cardinals to a 30-10 win over the St. Louis Rams at University of Phoenix Stadium. Larry Fitzgerald caught 12 passes for 96 yards and a touchdown while Andre Ellington and Rashard Mendenhall added one rushing score apiece for the Cardinals (8-5), winners in five of their last six games. Arizona rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu was carted off the field in the third quarter with an apparent leg injury. Mathieu attempted to return to the sideline after he was tackled awkwardly fielding a free kick, but collapsed in pain. Kellen Clemens was 16-for-27 passing for 181 yards and two interceptions, and Zac Stacey added a rushing score for the Rams (5-8), who have dropped two straight and five of seven overall. The Rams also lost a rookie to injury as Tavon Austin left the game early in the fourth quarter with an apparent right ankle injury. Austin broke a 56-yard rush off an end around, but was injured after he was tackled inside the Cardinals' 5-yard line.
Final Score: San Diego 37, NY Giants 14
San Diego, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Philip Rivers got the better of Eli Manning once again, tossing three touchdown passes to lead the San Diego Chargers to a much-needed 37-14 victory over Manning's New York Giants at Qualcomm Stadium. Rivers completed a crisp 21-of-28 attempts for 249 yards without an interception in the one-sided win, which kept San Diego (6-7) a game back of Baltimore and Miami in the race for the final wild card spot in the AFC. Keenan Allen was on the receiving end of two of Rivers' scoring strikes, while Ryan Mathews ran for a touchdown while compiling 103 yards on 29 carries. Manning, traded for Rivers on the day of the 2004 NFL Draft after originally being chosen by San Diego with the No. 1 overall pick, was intercepted twice while managing 259 yards and a touchdown on 20- of-32 passing against the team he balked at playing for while still a college prospect. The Chargers have now won all three meetings between the clubs since both quarterbacks entered the league. Hakeem Nicks amassed 135 yards on five catches for New York (5-8), which was officially elminated from playoff consideration with the setback.
Final Score: San Francisco 19, Seattle 17
San Francisco, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Frank Gore's 51-yard run set up Phil Dawson's fourth field goal of the game, a 22-yarder with 26 seconds left to lift the San Francisco 49ers over the Seattle Seahawks 19-17 on Sunday. The 49ers (9-4) pulled within two games of Seattle (11-2) in the NFC West and kept the already playoff-bound Seahawks from clinching a division title. Gore's run started to the left, but he cut back through the middle, slipping through would-be tacklers Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas and taking it to the right sideline before going down without being tackled. Though he looked like he may have tweaked something, Gore returned for four more carries. Colin Kaepernick scrambled left to pick up a first down on 3rd-and-7 and the 49ers trimmed as much time as they could off the clock before Dawson split the uprights. San Francisco cornerback Eric Wright intercepted Russell Wilson on a deep ball on Seattle's next play to seal the 49ers' third straight win. Kaepernick threw for 175 yards with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis and an interception, and Gore ran for 110 yards on 17 carries. Seattle had its seven-game winning streak snapped, losing for the first time since falling on the road to the Indianapolis Colts on Oct. 6. The Seahawks had already locked up a playoff berth with Monday's 34-7 home win over the New Orleans Saints. Wilson threw for 199 yards and a touchdown and Marshawn Lynch rushed for 72 yards with an 11-yard touchdown run.
Final Score: New Orleans 31, Carolina 13
New Orleans, LA (SportsNetwork.com) - A trip back into the comforts of its own dome was exactly what New Orleans needed. Drew Brees surgically picked apart the Carolina Panthers' top-ranked defense and the Saints drew first blood in the first of two critical meetings between the NFC South squads in three weeks. Brees tossed four touchdown passes and the Saints snapped the Panthers' eight-game winning streak and regained solo possession of first place in the NFC South with a 31-13 victory. Brees was stymied to 147 yards passing in the Saints' 34-7 loss to the Seahawks in Seattle on Monday night, but he responded by throwing for 313 yards on 30-of-42 efficiency against the Panthers. New Orleans tallied three touchdowns in the second quarter against a Carolina defense that hadn't allowed more than two in a single game this season. Brees was 14-of-16 for 159 yards in the frame. The Panthers' defense came in allowing just 13.1 points per game. Brees became the fastest player -- fifth player overall -- to eclipse the 50,000-yard passing mark in the triumph. Marques Colston had nine receptions for 125 yards and two scores, while Jimmy Graham added a pair of TD catches for the Saints (10-3), who moved to 7-0 at the Superdome this year and will travel to Carolina in two weeks. Junior Galette notched three of the Saints' five sacks. Cam Newton completed 22-of-34 passes for 160 yards and a touchdown for Carolina (9-4), which hadn't tasted defeat since falling to the Arizona Cardinals 22-6 in Glendale on Oct. 6.
(Thursday, December 5th)
Final Score: Jacksonville 27, Houston 20
Jacksonville, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - The Jacksonville Jaguars snapped a franchise-worst seven-game home losing streak with a 27-20 victory over the penalty-prone Houston Texans on Thursday. Chad Henne completed 12-of-27 passes for 117 yards and two touchdowns for the Jaguars (4-9), who won in Jacksonville for the first time since Nov. 25, 2012. Maurice Jones-Drew carried the ball 14 times for 103 yards before leaving with a hamstring injury. Marcedes Lewis, Cecil Shorts and Jordan Todman each caught touchdown passes for Jacksonville, which has won three in a row for the first time since Oct. 31-Nov. 21, 2010. The quarterback carousel continued for the Texans (2-11), who have dropped a franchise-worst 11 consecutive contests after a promising 2-0 start. Case Keenum connected on 16-of-29 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown and an interception before being replaced late in the third quarter. Matt Schaub completed 17-of-29 passes for 198 yards, one touchdown and an interception. Andre Johnson hauled in 13 passes for 154 yards for Houston, which committed 14 penalties for 177 yards. Garrett Graham caught eight passes for 73 yards and a score.