Redskins Win Game, Lose RGIII
New York Giants tight end Martellus Bennett celebrates his 6-yard touchdown reception with fans during the first half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints, Sunday, Dec. 9, 2012, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Landover, Md. — With Robert Griffin III sidelined with a sprained right knee, the Washington Redskins rallied behind backup Kirk Cousins to tie the game in the final minute of regulation, then Kai Forbath kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime yesterday for a 31-28 victory over the Baltimore Ravens.
Griffin was hurt at the end of a 13-yard scramble while attempting to lead the game-tying drive with the Redskins trailing 28-20. He left for one play, returned for four, then was no longer able to continue.
Cousins stepped in and hit Pierre Garcon for an 11-yard touchdown pass, then ran in the 2-point conversion with 29 seconds to play.
The Redskins have won four straight to improve to 7-6. The Ravens lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2009 and fell to 9-4.
Cowboys 20, Bengals 19
Cincinnati — The grieving Cowboys rallied for a significant win on Dan Bailey’s 40-yard field goal as time ran out.
Dallas overcame a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes behind Tony Romo, who held his hand over his heart during a moment of silence to honor teammate Jerry Brown before the kickoff.
Brown died in an auto accident early Saturday. Defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was driving, remained in jail in Irving, Texas, charged with intoxication manslaughter.
The Cowboys (7-6) learned about Brown’s death on their flight to Cincinnati on Saturday. Coach Jason Garrett told his team that the best way to honor him was to play well in a game with playoff implications for both teams.
Giants 52, Saints 27
East Rutherford, n.j. — Rookie David Wilson Returned A Kickoff 97 Yards For One Touchdown, Ran For Two More Scores And Piled Up 327 All-Purpose Yards And Eli Manning Threw Four Touchdown Passes To Lead The Giants.
The win allowed New York (8-5) to maintain its one-game lead in the NFC East over Washington and Dallas. The loss all but ended the playoff hopes of Drew Brees and the Saints (5-8), who turned the ball over four times in losing their third straight.
Seahawks 58, Cardinals 0
Seattle — Marshawn Lynch had three touchdown runs and Seattle set a franchise record for points. The Seahawks forced eight turnovers. Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner each had two interceptions.
Seattle (8-5) kept firm grasp on the final NFC wild-card spot and kept alive slim chances of catching San Francisco in the NFC West race. The Seahawks also picked up their first division victory and assured coach Pete Carroll of his first eight-win season in three years with them.
Niners 27, Dolphins 13
San Francisco — Frank Gore ran for a 1-yard touchdown and reached 1,000 yards rushing for the sixth time in his career.
Gore finished with 63 yards, Anthony Dixon also had a 1-yard scoring run and Colin Kaepernick ran for a late 50-yard touchdown and threw for 185 yards in his fourth straight start since being promoted over Alex Smith.
Panthers 30, Falcons 20
Charlotte, n.c. — Cam Newton threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 72-yard run.
Newton piled up a career-high 116 yards on the ground as the Panthers racked up 475 total yards to avenge an early-season loss with a dominating performance against the NFC South champion Falcons.
Vikings 21, Bears 14
Minneapolis — Adrian Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Harrison Smith returned an interception for a score.
Peterson topped 100 yards before the first quarter was over, helping the Vikings (7-6) overcome another lackluster day from quarterback Christian Ponder to get a win that will keep their faint playoff hopes alive.
Jay Cutler threw for 260 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions and couldn’t finish the game for the Bears (8-5), who have lost four of their last five. He took a wicked hit to the head from Everson Griffen in the fourth quarter, remained in the game for the rest of that drive, but was replaced by Jason Campbell with 3 minutes to play.
Browns 30, Chiefs 7
Cleveland — Rookie Travis Benjamin’s electrifying 93-yard punt return touchdown gave Cleveland momentum and the Browns won their third straight game.
Benjamin’s game-changing runback helped the Browns (5-8) continue their resurgence under second-year coach Pat Shurmur, whose future in Cleveland remains uncertain. The Browns have one more win than last season, and their longest winning streak since 2009.
Chargers 34, Steelers 24
Pittsburgh — Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes, two to Danario Alexander, and San Diego won for the first time in 15 regular-season visits to Pittsburgh.
The Chargers (5-8), who snapped a four-game losing streak, dominated from the outset. They never let Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger get comfortable in his first game in nearly a month.
Colts 27, Titans 23
Indianapolis — Andrew Luck led Indianapolis back from a 13-point second-half deficit and Adam Vinatieri made two fourth-quarter field goals.
Delone Carter cut the deficit to 20-14 with a 1-yard TD run on Indy’s opening possession of the second half. And after Pat McAfee’s 52-yard punt went out of bounds at the Titans 1-yard line, Cassius Vaughn jumped in front of Nate Washington, picked off Jake Locker’s pass and scored on a 3-yard interception return to make it 21-20.
Jets 17, Jaguars 10
Jacksonville, Fla. — Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell ran for short touchdowns and the New York Jets kept their postseason hopes alive.
The Jets (6-7) were shut out at halftime for the second consecutive week, but they didn’t need to change quarterbacks to spark the offense this time. Instead, they just pounded the Jaguars (2-11) up the middle.
Eagles 23, Buccaneers 21
Tampa, Fla. — Nick Foles threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final four minutes, including a 1-yarder to Jeremy Maclin with no time remaining.
The rally allowed the Eagles to end an eight-game losing streak — their longest in 42 years.
Rams 15, Bills 12
Orchard Park, n.y. — Sam Bradford threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson with 48 seconds left.
Bradford was 5 of 8 for 68 yards to cap a 14-play, 84-yard drive. St. Louis (6-6-1) continued its late-season resurgence by winning its third straight for the first time since closing the 2006 season with three victories.
Packers 27, Lions 20
Green Bay, Wis. — Green Bay is a victory away from clinching the NFC North title after beating Detroit.
DaJuan Harris rushed for a score in his first NFL game, Aaron Rodgers added the longest TD run of his career, and Mike Daniels returned a fumble 43 yards as the Packers (9-4) opened a one-game lead over Chicago. Beat the Bears next weekend at Soldier Field, and Green Bay will win the NFC North for a second straight year.
The loss was the fifth straight for Detroit (4-9). This wasn’t quite as excruciating as the previous three, though, when the Lions gave up fourth-quarter leads and fell by a total of nine points.
The Packers have won 22 straight at home against the Lions, the longest streak in the NFL.