Originally Published: December 3, 2017 10:30 p.m.
ATLANTA — Case Keenum threw a pair of touchdown passes, and the Minnesota Vikings extended their winning streak to eight straight games, keeping the Atlanta Falcons out of the end zone in a 14-9 victory on Sunday.
Keenum, who was 25 of 30 for 227 yards, hooked up with Jerick McKinnon on a 2-yard scoring play in the second quarter, and went to Kyle Rudolph for a 6-yard TD on the first play of the fourth quarter, capping an 89-yard drive that consumed more than eight minutes.
Minnesota (10-2) turned in a stellar defensive effort against a Falcons team that led the league in scoring a year ago and seemed to be finding its stride during a three-game winning streak, averaging nearly 32 points. While Minnesota remained far ahead in the NFC North, the Falcons’ fell further behind in the NFC South and could be damaged in the wild-card race.
The Falcons (7-5) were held without a touchdown for the first time since Dec. 13, 2015, when they were blanked 38-0 by Carolina. Matt Ryan’s streak of 30 straight games with a touchdown pass also ended, going down as the eighth longest in NFL history.
PATRIOTS 23, BILLS 3
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Rex Burkhead scored twice and the Patriots won their eighth straight in an AFC East showdown overshadowed by injuries and cheap shots.
Bills starting quarterback Tyrod Taylor had a towel draped over his head while being carted off the sideline with a left knee injury early in the fourth quarter.
Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski, meanwhile, was accused of making a dirty hit after pile-driving shoulder-first into the back of the head of Bills cornerback Tre’Davious White, who was laying on the field after making an interception with 4:50 remaining.
White was dazed as he got up and was immediately escorted to the locker room to be evaluated for a concussion. The hit sparked a shoving match between Hyde and Patriots receiver Danny Amendola. Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes was so upset he was flagged for making contact with an official.
Gronkowski was apologetic after the game.
Tom Brady went 21 of 30 for 258 yards and an interception, while improving to 27-3 over Buffalo and breaking Brett Favre’s NFL record for most wins by a quarterback against any one opponent. Favre had 26 wins over Detroit.
Brady needed to simply stand aside and let the Patriots’ rejuvenated rushing attack wear down the Bills in a game New England (10-2) never trailed. Dion Lewis had 92 yards rushing and Burkhead had 78.
The Bills are 6-6.
SAINTS 31, PANTHERS 21
NEW ORLEANS — Rookie sensation Alvin Kamara scored two tackle-shedding touchdowns, and New Orleans took advantage of a pair of Carolina special teams gaffes asthe Saints reclaimed sole possession of first place in the NFC South.
Mark Ingram rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown for the Saints (9-3), who own the head-to-head tiebreaker over Carolina (8-4) with four games to go.
Drew Brees passed for 269 yards, including a 10-yard TD to Michael Thomas a few plays after a botched Panthers punt gave New Orleans the ball on the Carolina 31. In the fourth quarter, a fumble by Panthers punt returner Kaelin Clay near midfield set up Wil Lutz’s 31-yard field goal to give New Orleans a 31-14 lead.
Cam Newton passed for 183 yards and touchdowns of 21 yards to Christian McCaffrey and 24 to Devin Funchess. Newton also ran for 51 yards. Jonathan Stewart added a short TD run for Carolina, which had its four-game winning streak ended.
The Panthers were unable to convert a crucial fourth-and-6 play deep in Saints territory in the fourth quarter. Newton connected with Funchess, who was stopped a yard short by cornerback Ken Crawley.
Kamara finished with 122 yards from scrimmage.
CHARGERS 19, BROWNS 10
CARSON, Calif. — Philip Rivers passed for 344 yards and hit Keenan Allen for a touchdown, and the surging Chargers moved into a tie for first place in the AFC West with a victory over the winless Browns.
Allen had 10 catches for 105 yards in his third straight big game for the Chargers (6-6), who have won six of eight to pull even with Oakland and slumping Kansas City atop the division with four games to go.
New kicker Travis Coons hit four field goals as the Chargers grinded out a win over the Browns (0-12), whose only victory in their previous 30 games was a 20-17 win over the then-San Diego Chargers on Christmas Eve last season.
RAIDERS 24, GIANTS 17
OAKLAND, Calif. — Oakland’s Marshawn Lynch had a 51-yard touchdown run and got his first 100-yard rushing game since coming out of retirement, in New York’s first game without Eli Manning starting in 13 years.
Oakland (6-6) overcame the absences of starting receivers Michael Crabtree (suspension) and Amari Cooper (injury) to win consecutive games for the first time since the opening two games of the season. The Raiders moved into a three-way tie for first place in the AFC West with Kansas City and the Chargers.
Geno Smith lost two fumbles before throwing a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to Evan Engram for the Giants (2-10), while Manning spent the day on the sideline watching.
Smith finished 21 for 34 for 212 yards.
JETS 38, CHIEFS 31
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Josh McCown scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 2:15 left, and the Jets bounced back from a brutal start for a wild and wacky win over the spiraling Chiefs. Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 21-yard field goal to put the Jets (5-7) ahead with 3:55 left. But Kansas City’s Bennie Logan was called for a personal foul for hitting long snapper Thomas Hennessy on the play. That gave the Jets the ball at the 1 with a new set of downs.
After two running plays, McCown threw incomplete — but Steven Nelson was penalized for defensive holding, making it first-and-goal from the 2. Three plays later, McCown kept the ball and shoved his way into the end zone.
McCown’s pass on the 2-point conversion was incomplete, but Nelson was called for holding. An enraged Marcus Peters picked up the penalty flag and tossed it away, drawing an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Elijah McGuire ran it in moments later to convert the 2-point play and make it 38-31.
PACKERS 26, BUCCANEERS 20, OT
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Jones’ 20-yard touchdown run on his only carry, with 5:59 left in overtime, won it.
With the passing game struggling, Green Bay (6-6) wore down the Buccaneers on the ground. Brett Hundley had runs of 18 and 7 yards on the drive to start overtime.
The Packers grinded out a win to stay in the playoff race, though they trail NFC North leader Minnesota by four games. They hope to get starting quarterback Aaron Rodgers back from a collarbone injury in a couple weeks.
Jameis Winston threw two touchdown passes to Cameron Brate in the quarterback’s shaky return from a shoulder injury. But the defense couldn’t hold up in overtime for the last-place Buccaneers (4-8).
Mason Crosby’s 22-yard field goal tied the game at 20 with 2:01 left, giving the team a lift after the Bucs tried to wear out the Packers on the run.
Peyton Barber had 102 yards for 23 carries. Winston finished 21 of 32 for 270 yards, including an 11-yard pass to Brate for a 20-17 lead with 6:02 left.
TITANS 24, TEXANS 13
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — LeShaun Sims intercepted a pass intended for DeAndre Hopkins in the end zone with 1:02 left, and the stayed atop the AFC South.
Marcus Mariota also ran for a touchdown and threw for another, but the Titans needed the interception to preserve the win with Tom Savage throwing for a career-high 365 yards despite the Texans losing four offensive players to injuries during the game.
The Titans (8-4) won their second straight and sixth of their past seven. They improved to 4-1 in the AFC South to stay ahead of Jacksonville, a winner over Indianapolis.
Tennessee didn’t look ready to take advantage of a chance for a little payback against Houston for the 57-14 beat-down the Texans put on them Oct. 1 when Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt were healthy. The Titans even fell behind 10-0 before rallying to tie at halftime.
RAVENS 44, LIONS 20
BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards and two touchdowns, and the Ravens survived a strong comeback bid by Matthew Stafford and the Lions.
After relying heavily on their opportunistic defense for much of the season, the Ravens (7-5) finally received an ample contribution from the league’s 31st-ranked offense. Flacco helped Baltimore take a 20-0 halftime lead and directed three scoring drives in the fourth quarter to keep the Ravens in front.
Flacco completed 23 of 36 passes while guiding an offense that did not commit a turnover.
Stafford completed a team-record 20 straight passes in the second half, twice getting the Lions within a touchdown. But Detroit (6-6) lost a second straight following a three-game winning streak.
JAGUARS 30, COLTS 10
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Blake Bortles threw two touchdown passes, Leonard Fournette scored for the first time in six weeks and the Jaguars swept the series for the second time since they joined the AFC South in 2002.
The Jaguars (8-4) bounced back from a last-second loss at Arizona, reached eight wins for the first time since 2010, and remained in the thick of the playoff picture.
Bortles, Fournette and some more trickery had a lot to do with the latest victory. Bortles completed 26 of 35 passes for 309 yards, with TD passes to Marqise Lee and Keelan Cole.
DOLPHINS 35, BRONCOS 9
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Xavien Howard’s 30-yard interception return for a touchdown highlighted a dominating defensive effort by the Dolphins, and they snapped a five-game losing streak.
The Broncos (3-9) lost their eighth in a row.
Miami (5-7) scored two safeties in a game for the first time in franchise history and held Denver to 1 for 13 on third-down conversions. Trevor Siemian, the Broncos’ third starting quarterback in as many weeks, went 20 for 42 for 219 yards with three interceptions.
Kenyan Drake rushed for 120 yards for Miami on 23 carries, both career highs. He scored on a 42-yard touchdown run — only the Dolphins’ second rush for a TD this year.
Miami won for the first time since Week 7, while the Broncos went from bad to worse, extending their longest skid in 50 years.
49ERS 15, BEARS 14
CHICAGO — Robbie Gould kicked a 24-yard field goal in the closing seconds and Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 293 yards in his first San Francisco start.
Gould made five field goals in his first appearance at Soldier Field since Chicago cut him prior to the 2016 opener. The Bears’ all-time leader in points and field goals made, he shouted at their sideline after he nailed the winner.
Garoppolo was solid in his first start since the 49ers (2-10) acquired him from New England before the trade deadline in October. The suburban Chicago product completed 26 of 37 passes with an interception. And the 49ers picked up the win after losing their first five road games.
Chicago (3-9) dropped its fifth straight, and coach John Fox fell to 12-32 in three seasons with the Bears.
Tarik Cohen returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown. That made him the first NFL rookie with rushing, receiving, passing and punt return TDs in a season since Gale Sayers in 1965.
SEAHAWKS 24, EAGLES 10
SEATTLE — Russell Wilson threw three touchdown passes, the last a 15-yard strike to J.D. McKissic with 7:29 left, and the Seattle Seahawks stayed in the NFC playoff hunt with a 24-10 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday night.
Seattle (8-4) snapped Philadelphia’s nine-game winning streak thanks largely to another masterful performance by its quarterback. Wilson was 20 of 31 for 227 and threw touchdowns of 11 yards to Jimmy Graham, 1-yard to Tyler Lockett and the TD to McKissic after the Eagles had trimmed the lead to seven.
Philadelphia (10-2) was the highest-scoring team in the NFL averaging 31.9 points per game. But the Eagles got just 10 points out of seven drives that at some point reached Seattle territory.