TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Matt Ryan threw for 353 yards and overcame two big turnovers by leading another late touchdown drive to give the Atlanta Falcons a 24-23 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on an 80-yard TD in the third quarter, but the NFC South leaders found themselves trailing 23-17 after the Bucs marched for a touchdown, then forced a fumble by Ryan to set up a field goal that put the Falcons in catchup mode.
Michael Turner’s 1-yard TD run put Atlanta ahead for good with 7:55 left. Connor Barth missed a 56-yard goal for Tampa Bay (6-5) in the closing minutes, and the Bucs’ four-game winning streak ended when Josh Freeman’s desperation pass fell incomplete in the end zone with no time remaining.
The win enabled the Falcons (10-1) to keep pace with Houston for the NFL’s best record. Turner also scored a fourth-quarter TD that helped the Falcons overcome mistakes to beat Arizona 23-19 last week.
BRONCOS 17, CHIEFS 9
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Peyton Manning threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns, and Denver rallied for its sixth straight win.
Manning hit tight end Jacob Tamme late in the first half and wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in the third quarter, and that was more than enough to overcome three field goals by the Chiefs’ Ryan Succop as Kansas City lost its eighth straight game.
Knowshon Moreno added 85 yards rushing for the AFC West-leading Broncos (8-3). Moreno got the start in place of Willis McGahee, who went on injured reserve this week with a knee injury.
Jamaal Charles ran for 107 yards for the Chiefs (1-10), who failed again to punch the ball into the end zone. They still haven’t scored a touchdown since the first quarter against Pittsburgh on Nov. 12, a span of more than 11 quarters and 173 minutes of game time.
BEARS 28, VIKINGS 10
CHICAGO (AP) — Jay Cutler threw for 188 yards and a touchdown after missing a game because of a concussion as Chicago ended a two-game losing streak.
Tied with Green Bay for the NFC North lead and just a game ahead of Minnesota (6-5) coming in, the Bears (8-3) grabbed a 25-3 halftime lead thanks to Cutler’s pinpoint passing. The defense held Adrian Peterson in check early on, although he finished with 108 yards rushing.
The win could prove costly. The Bears lost wide receiver Devin Hester (concussion), running back Matt Forte (ankle), cornerback Charles Tillman (ankle) and both starting guards to injuries.
49ERS 31, SAINTS 21
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Colin Kaepernick ran for one score that he made look easy and threw for a touchdown in another performance that validated coach Jim Harbaugh’s decision to start him.
The San Francisco defense added its share of big plays and the 49ers ended the Saints’ three-game winning streak.
Ahmad Brooks and Donte Whitner each returned interceptions for touchdowns and the 49ers sacked Brees five times.
Kaepernick was solid in his second career start while Alex Smith, deemed healthy enough to suit up after recovering from a concussion, watched from the sideline. Kaepernick passed for 231 yards, including a short touchdown to Frank Gore. He also ran for a 7-yard score. He threw his first career interception, but it was inconsequential.
Brees finished with 267 yards and three TDs. New Orleans is 5-6, San Francisco is 8-2-1.
RAVENS 16, CHARGERS 13 OT
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Justin Tucker kicked a 38-yard field with 1:07 left in overtime to complete a stunning comeback.
San Diego led 13-3 on Nick Novak’s 30-yard field goal with 7:51 to go in regulation and seemed headed for its first win against a team with a winning record this season.
But the Ravens converted on fourth-and-29 from their 37 when Ray Rice caught a short pass from Joe Flacco and weaved through the defense to the San Diego 33 with 1:37 to play. After a review, the ball was moved back to the 34 and the refs measured. The new spot gave the Ravens a first down by the length of the ball.
Six plays later, Tucker kicked a 38-yard field goal to tie the game as regulation expired.
The Ravens (9-2) won their fourth straight and for the eighth time in nine games. The Chargers (4-7) were pushed closer to being eliminated from the playoff picture.
RAMS 31, CARDINALS 17
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Janoris Jenkins became the first player in Rams history and the first NFL rookie since 1960 to return two interceptions for touchdowns in the same game and St. Louis dominated the second half to hand the Arizona Cardinals their seventh loss in a row, 31-17 on Sunday.
Arizona rookie Ryan Lindley was intercepted four times in his first NFL start.Continued...