NFL roundup: Bears beat Rams, shake up playoff picture
In a marquee matchup of flashy offense against tough defense, it was all defense.
The Chicago Bears held the Los Angeles Rams to 214 total yards and kept them out of the end zone Sunday night, logging a 15-6 win at Soldier Field that might play a major role in shaping the NFC playoffs when they start next month.
Chicago (9-4) moved another step closer to the NFC North title. If Minnesota (6-5-1) loses on Monday night in Seattle, the Bears can wrap up the division crown next week at home against Green Bay.
Los Angeles (11-2), meanwhile, sealed the NFC West last week but fell out of the No. 1 seed in the conference on Sunday. New Orleans (11-2) won earlier Sunday in Tampa Bay, and owns the top seed by virtue of a 45-35 win over the Rams on Nov. 4 in the Superdome.
Dolphins 34, Patriots 33
Kenyan Drake scored to complete a two-lateral miracle final play as host Miami scored from 69 yards out and stunned New England.
With seven seconds left on the clock, Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill completed a 14-yard pass to Kenny Stills, who lateraled to DeVante Parker, who then found Drake. Drake ran the final 51 yards, scooting past stumbling tight end Rob Gronkowski, whom the Patriots had inserted into the game to stop a “Hail Mary” pass.
Tannehill finished 14-of-19 passing for 265 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions. He battled a sore ankle after he got stepped on in the second quarter, but returned and kept the Dolphins (7-6) in playoff contention with the win. New England (9-4) had a chance to clinch its division for the 10th straight year but instead lost for the fifth time in its last six trips to Miami.
Chiefs 27, Ravens 24 (OT)
Quarterback Patrick Mahomes converted two fourth downs on a game-tying drive in regulation and kicker Harrison Butker atoned for a missed field goal with a 35-yarder in overtime as host Kansas City edged Baltimore.
Mahomes finished with 377 yards passing, going 35 of 53 with two touchdowns and an interception against the NFL’s top-ranked defense. With the win, the Chiefs (11-2) clinched a berth in the playoffs while retaining the best record in the AFC.
Starting quarterback Lamar Jackson was injured in overtime after getting sacked by Kansas City linebackers Justin Houston and Dee Ford. Faced with two snaps and 22 yards to gain from the Baltimore 41-yard line, backup quarterback Robert Griffin III could not engineer a first down, throwing two incompletions as the Ravens fell to 7-6.
Saints 28, Buccaneers 14
Special teams ace Taysom Hill flipped the momentum with a blocked punt and Drew Brees converted second-half touchdowns with a short pass and a fourth-down leap to lift New Orleans to a comeback victory over host Tampa Bay and claim the Saints’ second consecutive NFC South title.
The Saints (11-2), who won back-to-back division titles for the first time in franchise history, looked sluggish, falling behind 14-3 at halftime, but they scored 25 unanswered points with three second-half touchdown drives and a 36-yard field goal by Will Lutz to put the game away.
The Bucs (5-8) dominated the Saints in the first half, taking a 14-3 lead, and it could have been even more lopsided because kicker Cairo Santos missed a 46-yard field goal after Tampa Bay had driven to a first-and-10 at the New Orleans 22.
Chargers 26, Bengals 21
Darius Philon’s sack on a two-point conversion attempt with less than two minutes remaining sealed Los Angles’ victory over visiting Cincinnati and helped to solidify the Chargers’ playoff chances.
The Chargers (10-3), the top wild-card team in the AFC, remain behind the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC West standings. The Chargers and Chiefs are set for a showdown at Kansas City on Thursday night.
Bengals quarterback Jeff Driskel was 18 of 27 for 170 yards and a touchdown in his second career start as Cincinnati (5-8) lost its fifth consecutive game and dropped to 5-8 after opening the season with a 4-1 record.
Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 (OT)
Quarterback Dak Prescott threw a 15-yard touchdown pass to Amari Cooper with 1:55 remaining in overtime to lift Dallas past visiting Philadelphia.
The pass was deflected by Rasul Douglas and into Cooper’s hands before he raced in for the winning score and the fifth straight win for the Cowboys, who never let the Eagles touch the ball in overtime.
Prescott was 42 of 54 for a career-high 455 yards, two interceptions and three touchdowns, all to Cooper, who caught 10 passes for 217 yards. The Cowboys improved to 8-5, two games ahead of the Eagles (6-7) and Washington Redskins (6-7) in the NFC East with three games to play.
Packers 34, Falcons 20
Aaron Rodgers broke Tom Brady’s NFL record for most consecutive passes without an interception in style, setting the mark on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb that helped Green Bay beat visiting Atlanta.
The pass was Rodgers’ 359th in a row without an interception dating to Week 4 of this season, a twice-deflected pass against Buffalo. Brady went 358 passes without an interception during the 2010 and 2011 seasons. Rodgers’ record-setting play, in the midst of an otherwise subpar season by his historic standards, came in the third quarter to give Green Bay a 27-7 lead.
The outcome made a winner of interim coach Joe Philbin, who replaced Mike McCarthy after the Packers (5-7-1) fired the 13th-year head coach shortly after last week’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals. The Falcons (4-9) lost their fifth in a row.
Raiders 24, Steelers 21
Derek Carr hit Derek Carrier for a 6-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal with 21 seconds remaining to give host Oakland an upset of Pittsburgh.
In a seesaw game, Carr was 5 of 7 for 74 yards on the winning drive. For the game, he threw for 322 yards and also had a scoring pass to Lee Smith. Doug Martin ran for a touchdown for the Raiders (3-10).
Chris Boswell slipped and shanked a 40-yard field-goal attempt as time expired, leaving Pittsburgh (7-5-1) with a three-game losing streak. Ben Roethlisberger missed most of the second half, apparently injured on a second-quarter sack, but returned to lead the Steelers to a go-ahead score with 2:55 remaining.
Browns 26, Panthers 20
Jarvis Landry scored two touchdowns and set up another as Cleveland handed visiting Carolina its fifth straight defeat.
Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield completed 18 of 22 throws for 238 yards and one touchdown as Cleveland (5-7-1) won for the third time in four games.
The Panthers (6-7) are now eliminated from NFC South title contention even though two of their three remaining games come against the first-place New Orleans Saints. Christian McCaffrey scored two rushing touchdowns for the Panthers, who are 1-6 in road games.
Colts 24, Texans 21
Andrew Luck threw for 399 yards and two touchdowns as Indianapolis snapped host Houston’s nine-game winning streak with a win at NRG Stadium.
Luck completed 27 of 41 passes for Indianapolis (7-6), which bounced back from a 6-0 upset loss last week at Jacksonville. He found wide receiver T.Y. Hilton, who had been a game-time decision with a shoulder injury, nine times for 199 yards.
Deshaun Watson hit on 27 of 38 passes for 267 yards for the Texans, who dropped to 9-4 but still lead the AFC South by two games over the Colts and Tennessee with three games remaining.
Giants 40, Redskins 16
Rookie Saquon Barkley rushed for a career-high 170 yards, Eli Manning threw three touchdown passes and visiting New York routed Washington. Manning and Barkley both left after three quarters with the score 40-0.
Barkley, who carried the ball 14 times, reeled off a 78-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Manning completed 14 of 22 passes for 197 yards and no interceptions for the Giants (5-8), who have won four of five.
In his first start for Washington (6-7) in place of Colt McCoy, quarterback Mark Sanchez completed 6 of 14 passes for 38 yards and two interceptions. He was sacked five times before being replaced by Josh Johnson in the third quarter.
49ers 20, Broncos 14
George Kittle caught an 85-yard touchdown pass on a record-setting day to help San Francisco build a big lead en route to a win against Denver in Santa Clara, Calif.
Kittle caught seven passes for 210 yards, an all-time record for a 49ers tight end, helping San Francisco (3-10) snap a three-game losing streak while handing the Broncos (6-7) a critical setback in their pursuit of a playoff spot in the AFC.
Phillip Lindsay was held to 30 yards rushing on 14 carries, but did manage a 1-yard touchdown run for the Broncos, who fell a game behind Baltimore, Indianapolis, Tennessee and Miami in the chase for the final playoff berth in the AFC with just three games to play.
Jets 27, Bills 23
Sam Darnold threw for 170 yards and a touchdown and Elijah McGuire scored on fourth-and-goal from the 1 with 1:17 remaining as visiting New York came back to beat Buffalo.
Darnold returned after missing three games with a foot injury to win the duel with fellow rookie quarterback Josh Allen and snap the Jets’ six-game losing streak and lift them to 4-9. It was the first meeting between Darnold, the third-overall selection in the 2018 draft, and No. 7 pick Allen. Both quarterbacks were inactive for Buffalo’s 41-10 win at New York in Week 10.
Allen ran for 101 yards and a touchdown for the Bills (4-9). He was 18 of 36 passing for 206 yards with two interceptions and continued to power the Buffalo offense with his legs.
Lions 17, Cardinals 3
Matthew Stafford completed 15 of 23 passes for 101 yards to lead visiting Detroit to a win in Glendale, Ariz., in a matchup of two struggling teams.
Arizona (3-10) shares the worst record in the NFL with the San Francisco 49ers and Oakland Raiders with three games to play as teams look ahead to 2019 and what assets they can get in next spring’s draft.
Arizona entered last in the league in scoring offense behind a patchwork offensive line, while the Lions (5-8) were 23rd.
–Field Level Media