Cleveland Browns 26 (7-4), Atlanta Falcons 24 (4-7)
In Josh Gordon’s return to the field, the Cleveland Browns overcame big mistakes late to win on a last-second field goal, 26-24 in Atlanta over the Falcons.
Atlanta got the scoring going with a 10 play, 57 yard drive, ending in a Matt Ryan touchdown pass to Julio Jones just over nine minutes into the game, but Cleveland answered right back with a 10 play, 80 yard jaunt, ending in an 11 yard touchdown run for rookie Isaiah Crowell with 1:33 left in the first quarter. A pair of Ryan turnovers led to a pair of Billy Cundiff field goals (33, 37), but the Falcons took the lead right before half with a Ryan touchdown pass from eight yards out to Jacquizz Rodgers with 55 seconds to go in the second quarter.
After a Cundiff 32 yard field goal on their opening possession of the second half to go up 16-14, Crowell scored on a 26 yard run in the final minute of the third quarter to make it a two-score game. Atlanta would get back in it with a 14 play, 80 yard drive that concluded with a one-yard touchdown run by Steven Jackson with 9:31 left, and a pair of Brian Hoyer interceptions in the fourth quarter, including one in the redzone, allowed the Falcons to take the lead with a 53 yard field goal by Matt Bryant with 44 seconds left.
But Hoyer completed four passes, including one to Gordon, to set up Cundiff for a 37 yard field goal at the end of regulation for the victory. Hoyer was 23 of 40 for 322 yards and three interceptions, with Crowell rushing for 88 yards and two touchdowns, and Gordon catching eight passes for 120 yards in his debut to complement Andrew Hawkins’ five receptions for 93 yards.
Ryan finished 27 of 43 for 273 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, with 96 yards on nine catches for Roddy White.
Philadelphia Eagles 43 (8-3), Tennessee Titans 24 (2-9)
After a blowout loss in Green Bay, the Eagles responded in their return home with a big win over the Titans, 43-24.
10 return TD for the Eagles, by far the most in the @nfl
— Andrew Siciliano (@AndrewSiciliano) November 23, 2014
Philadelphia started fast, as rookie Josh Huff took the opening kickoff 107 yards for a touchdown, and then reached the endzone again four minutes later with a four yard run by Darren Sproles. After a Cody Parkey field goal from 36 yards out made it 17-0 after the end of the first quarter, rookie Zach Mettenberger had a tipped pass get caught by Justin Hunter, who ran about 25 yards into the endzone to complete a 40 yard touchdown connection on the first play of the second quarter.
Following another Parkey field goal, a 68 yard pass from Mettenberger to Delanie Walker helped set up a two-yard touchdown run by Shonn Greene with 8:22 left in the half, but the Eagles answered with a 10 play, 69 yard drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown run by LeSean McCoy with four and a half minutes left in the half, though Ryan Succop hit a 20 yard field goal to make it 27-17 heading into the locker room.
The Eagles would dominate in the second half, though, as Mark Sanchez threw a 14 yard touchdown pass to James Casey just three and a half minutes into the half, and three more Parkey field goals in the fourth quarter helped sealed a win. Sanchez was 30 of 43 for 307 yards, a touchdown and an interception, while McCoy ran for 130 yards and a touchdown, while Mettenberger finished 20 of 39 for 345 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, with Walker catching five passes for 155 yards.
New England Patriots 34 (9-2), Detroit Lions 9 (7-4)
The Patriots continue to make the case that they are the best team in the NFL, with their third straight blowout win over a team that entered the week leading their division, beating the Lions 34-9.
After Detroit began the game with a 48 yard field goal by Matt Prater, New England answered with a 9 play, 64 yard drive that ended with a Tom Brady touchdown pass to Tim Wright with just over three minutes left in the first quarter. Following a 20 yard field goal by Prater less than a minute and a half into the second quarter, Danny Amendola returned a kick 81 yards, and it only took two plays for the Patriots to cash in with a three-yard touchdown run from LeGarrette Blount, who returned to the team this week to make it 14-6 with 12:43 left in the half.
To conclude a 13 play, 93 yard drive, Brady scrambled and found a wide open Wright for an 8 yard touchdown with 2:42 left, and then led a 40 yard drive in the final minute to set up Stephen Gostkowski for a 35 yard field goal at the end of the first half. New England’s defense held strong the rest of the way for the win, with Brady completing 38 of 53 for 349 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, with Brandon LaFell catching nine passes for 98 yards and Julian Edelman compiling 11 grabs for 89 yards, and Blount rushing for 78 yards and two touchdowns in his first game back in a Patriot uniform.
Matthew Stafford was limited to 18 of 46 for 264 yards and an interception, with Golden Tate catching four passes for 97 yards.
Green Bay Packers 24 (8-3), Minnesota Vikings 21 (4-7)
In a tough NFC North battle in Minnesota, Aaron Rodgers and Eddie Lacy made enough plays for the Packers to win their third straight game out of the bye over the Vikings, 24-21.
With just over a minute and a half left in the first quarter, Lacy finished a six play, 54 yard drive with a one-yard touchdown run for the first score of the game. On the ensuing Minnesota possession, the Vikings drove 74 yards in 14 plays, with rookie Teddy Bridgewater finding Charles Johnson for a 22 yard touchdown catch to tie the game with eleven minutes left in the half.
But Rodgers would give Green Bay the lead with a one-yard touchdown pass to rookie tight end Richard Rodgers with 5:23 left in the half, with Blair Walsh making a 39 yard field goal in the final minute to cut it to 14-10 heading into the locker room. Following a Walsh (51) field goal that was answered by a Mason Crosby 48 yard field goal in the third quarter, the Packers drove 87 yards in 11 plays, with Rodgers tossing a shuffle pass to Lacy, who ran into the endzone from 10 yards out to make it 24-13 with 8:41 to go.
But Minnesota answered immediately, as Bridgewater led a 13 play, 79 yard drive, ending with a touchdown pass to Greg Jennings from 5 yards out and a two-point conversion pass to Johnson with 3:23 to go, but Green Bay ran out the clock. Rodgers was 19 of 29 for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while Lacy had 125 yards, a touchdown run and catch, while Bridgewater finished 21 of 37 for 210 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.
Indianapolis Colts 23 (7-4), Jacksonville Jaguars 3 (1-10)
Despite a sloppy first half that included three turnovers and Andrew Luck’s streak of consecutive 300 yard passing games ending at 8, the Colts were able to beat the lowly Jaguars easily, 23-3.
The teams exchanged field goals in the opening quarter, and Adam Vinatieri gave Indianapolis the lead with a 20 yard kick just before the end of a half with four combined turnovers, including two lost fumbles from Luck and five sacks on the young quarterback from Jacksonville’s defense. But the Colts kicked into gear, as after a one-yard touchdown run by Trent Richardson with eight and a half minutes left to go in the third quarter, Luck went deep to T.Y. Hilton for a 73 yard touchdown less than two and a half minutes later, and honored his newborn baby with a rock the baby to sleep celebration.
After a Vinatieri 32 yard field goal eight seconds into the fourth quarter, Indianapolis shut out Jacksonville the rest of the way. Luck was 21 of 32 for 253 yards and a touchdown, with Hilton catching four passes for 122 yards and a score, while Blake Bortles finished 15 of 27 for 146 yards and an interception.
Seattle Seahawks 19 (7-4), Arizona Cardinals 3 (9-2)
In a matchup against the team with the NFC’s best record and an NFC West rival, the Seahawks proved they still have the ability to play at an elite level, beating the Cardinals 19-3.
Much of the scoring in this one went by the way of field goal kicking, as Seattle moved the ball deep in Arizona territory, but five first-half sacks forced them to settle for four field goal attempts, three of which were made by Steven Haushka, though Chandler Catanzaro made a 23 yarder at the end of the half to make it 9-3. After another Haushka field goal six and a half minutes into the third quarter, Seattle drove 75 yards in 9 plays, with Russell Wilson finding Cooper Helfet for a 20 yard touchdown to make it 19-3, with the Seahawks defense holding the rest of the way.
Wilson finished 17 of 22 for 211 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 73 yards on 10 carries, while Drew Stanton completed 14 of 26 for 149 yards and an interception.
San Diego Chargers 27 (7-4), St. Louis Rams 24 (4-7)
A last minute interception for San Diego helped them keep pace in the AFC playoff race with a 27-24 win over St. Louis.
After the two teams exchanged field goals in the first quarter, a promising drive for the Chargers ended with an interception by Janoris Jenkins, who returned the pass 99 yards for a touchdown just three and a half minutes into the second quarter, though Nick Novak hit a 48 yard field goal at the end of the half to cut the Rams’ lead to 10-6. Five minutes into the second half, Ryan Mathews ran for a 32 yard touchdown, and 21 seconds later Corey Liuget forced a fumble that was recovered by Andrew Gachkar for a 13 yard touchdown.
Little over three minutes later, though, Tavon Austin took a speed sweep six yards for a touchdown to make it 20-17, but an 11 play, 93 yard drive by the Chargers concluded with a 29 yard touchdown pass from Rivers to Keenan Allen with just over eight minutes left to again give San Diego a 10 point advantage. St. Louis again cut the lead to 3 with a 13 play, 80 yard drive in which Shaun Hill found Stedman Bailey for a 7 yard touchdown pass with just over two minutes left, and the Rams had a chance to win it at the Chargers’ four yard line with 1:03 left, but Hill was intercepted in the endzone by Marcus Gilchrist, sealing a win.
Rivers was 29 of 35 for 291 yards, a touchdown and an interception, with Mathews rushing for 105 yards and a touchdown, and Allen catching six passes for 104 yards. Hill was 18 of 35 for 198 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions, and a lost fumble, while Bailey caught seven passes for 89 yards and a touchdown.
Denver Broncos 39 (8-3), Miami Dolphins 36 (6-5)
A week after a dissapointing offensive performance in St. Louis, the Broncos overcame special teams miscues and a talented Dolphins defense to win 39-36.
Miami took their opening possession 80 yards in seven plays, ending with a three-yard touchdown run by Daniel Thomas, and following a Denver field goal, Ryan Tannehill scored on a one-yard touchdown just over two minutes into the second quarter to make it 14-3. Peyton Manning answered with an 11 play, 77 yard drive, finding Demaryius Thomas for a five-yard touchdown, but Tannehill drove the Dolphins 87 yards in 10 plays, finding Mike Wallace for a 10 yard touchdown with less than two minutes in the half, but Manning threw a 14 yard scoring pass to Thomas with 12 seconds to go in the second quarter to make it 21-17 at halftime.
Following a missed field goal and a Isaiah Burse fumble that was recovered by Miami at the Broncos 12, Tannehill found rookie receiver Jarvis Landry for a five-yard touchdown pass with 2:11 left in the third quarter to again give the Dolphins an 11 point lead. But on the ensuing Denver possession, Manning and Thomas connected for a 5 yard touchdown in the first minute of the first quarter to cut the lead to 3 with a two-point conversion, and then went 70 yards in 11 plays, concluding with a 10 yard touchdown run by C.J. Anderson.
Tannehill was intercepted by T.J. Ward, who returned it to the Dolphins’ eight yard line, with Manning going to Wes Welker for a two yard touchdown two plays later with 3:13 left, and a Tannehill touchdown pass to Landry from one yard out to cut it to 3 with a two-point conversion wasn’t enough after a missed onside kick. Manning was 28 of 35 for 257 yards and four touchdowns, with Anderson rushing for 167 yards and a touchdown in his second career start, and Emmanuel Sanders and Thomas dominated in the passing game, with Sanders grabbing nine passes for 125 yards, and Thomas catching 10 passes for 87 yards and three touchdowns.
Tannehill finished 26 of 36 for 228 yards, three touchdowns and an interception.
San Francisco 49ers 17 (7-4), Washington Redskins 13 (3-8)
For the third straight week, the 49ers were able to survive a close game and keep themselves in the NFC West race, beating the Redskins 17-13.
San Francisco struck first with a 30 yard touchdown pass from Colin Kaepernick to Anquan Boldin less than four minutes into the game, with Washington tying it with five and a half minutes left in the second quarter with a one-yard touchdown run from Alfred Morris, though Phil Dawson hit a 41 yard field goal on the final play of the half to make it 10-7. Kai Forbath hit a field goal at the end of the third quarter and midway through the fourth quarter to give the Redskins a 13-10 lead, but Kaepernick hit Boldin for a 29 yard gain that included an unnecessary roughness penalty, setting up rookie Carlos Hyde for a four-yard touchdown run with three minutes to go, and the 49ers defense held the rest of the way.
Kaepernick was 20 of 29 for 256 yards, a touchdown and an interception, finding Boldin nine times for 137 yards and a touchdown, while Robert Griffin III completed 11 of 19 passes for 106 yards, a lost fumble and was sacked five times, while Morris ran for 125 yards and a touchdown.
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