Prater’s FG gives Broncos win in OT
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Matt Prater kicked a 37-yard field goal with 29 seconds left in overtime to lift Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos to a 16-13 victory Sunday over the San Diego Chargers, who’ve lost six straight games for the first time in 10 years.
The Broncos narrowly avoided the first NFL tie since Cincinnati and Philadelphia ended deadlocked at 13 on Nov. 16, 2008.
Tebow, now 5-1 as the Broncos’ starter, led Denver from its 43 after San Diego’s Nick Novak was wide right on a 53-yard field goal attempt with 2:31 left in overtime. Novak made a 53-yarder in the first quarter, a career-best, and was wide right on a 48-yard try early in the fourth quarter.
Tebow had a 12-yard gain and Willis McGahee ran 24 yards up the middle to set up Prater’s winning kick, which was right down the middle.
The Broncos are 6-5. The Chargers (4-7) are on their longest streak since ending 2001 with nine straight defeats.
Raiders 25, Bears 20
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Sebastian Janikowski kicked a team-record six field goals and Oakland took advantage of three interceptions from Chicago’s fill-in starter Caleb Hanie.
Carson Palmer threw for 301 yards and Michael Bush iced the game with a touchdown run in the fourth quarter to lead the Raiders (7-4) to their third straight win against a Bears team missing starting quarterback Jay Cutler.
Hanie struggled in his first career start in place of Cutler, who broke his right thumb last week in Chicago’s fifth straight win to put a major obstacle into what had been a promising season for the Bears (7-4).
Patriots 38, Eagles 20
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns in a game that all but ended the Eagles’ playoff hopes.
Filling in for the injured Michael Vick for the second straight game, Vince Young couldn’t keep the Eagles in contention despite a career-best 400 yards passing. The Eagles fell to 4-7 in a season that began with Super Bowl expectations.
Angry fans made their feelings known about coach Andy Reid, chanting “Fire Andy!” in the second half.
The defending NFC East champions fell to 1-5 at home and have lost eight of nine at the Linc, including a playoff loss to Green Bay last January.
Down 10-0 early, the AFC East-leading Patriots rallied behind Brady. New England (8-3) scored on five of its next six possessions, excluding a kneel-down at the end of the first half.
Redskins 23, Seahawks 17
SEATTLE (AP) — Rex Grossman found Anthony Armstrong for a 50-yard touchdown and Washington rallied for 16 fourth-quarter points to end a six-game losing streak.
One play after committing a grounding penalty, Grossman stepped up in the pocket on third-and-19 and found Armstrong in the corner of the end zone.
The touchdown pass was Grossman’s second of the game and followed rookie Roy Helu’s leaping 28-yard TD run that pulled the Redskins (4-7) within 17-14.
Grossman finished 26 of 35 for 314 yards
Marshawn Lynch rushed for 111 yards and caught a 20-yard touchdown pass for the Seahawks (4-7).
Steelers 13, Chiefs 9
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Ben Roethlisberger threw a short touchdown pass to Weslye Saunders and the Steelers took advantage of four turnovers by Tyler Palko.
Playing with a broken thumb on his throwing hand, Roethlisberger was 21 of 31 for 193 yards and an interception for the Steelers (8-3), whose defense lost All-Pro safety Troy Polamalu to an injury in the first quarter yet still kept the bumbling Chiefs (4-7) from scoring a touchdown.
Kansas City hasn’t reached the end zone since the third quarter against Denver three weeks ago, a span of 45 offensive drives — including the final one Sunday night.
The Chiefs marched across midfield to the Pittsburgh 37 when Palko dropped back to pass. He was looking for Dwayne Bowe but threw it high and behind him, and Keenan Lewis hauled in the interception with 29 seconds left to seal the game and keep Pittsburgh tied atop the AFC North with Baltimore.
Panthers 27, Colts 19
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Cam Newton threw for 208 yards and ran for one score and DeAngelo Williams scored twice Sunday to help the Carolina Panthers hold off the winless Indianapolis Colts 27-19.
The Panthers (3-8) ended a 12-game road losing streak by winning outside Charlotte, N.C., for the first time since Dec. 27, 2009 when they beat the New York Giants.
Newton was 20 of 27 and carried nine times for 53 yards. Williams ran 15 times for 69 yards including the game-sealing score — a 2-yard TD run with 10:23 left in the game.
The Colts dropped to 0-11 for the first time since 1986 and have lost six home games in a season for the sixth time in the Indianapolis era.
Curtis Painter was 15 of 29 for 226 yards with one TD for the Colts and threw two late interceptions in the end zone, ending any hopes of a comeback.
Falcons 24, Vikings 14
ATLANTA (AP) — Matt Ryan tossed three touchdown passes and Atlanta held on again.
The Falcons (7-4) were up 17-0 at halftime after allowing just 97 yards. But, mimicking the previous week’s closer-than-necessary victory over Tennessee, they let Minnesota (2-9) back in the game.
Toby Gerhart, filling in for injured Adrian Peterson, scored from the 1 late in the third quarter. Then, after Dominique Franks inadvertently touched a punt the Falcons were trying to avoid to set up a Vikings recovery, Christian Ponder went to Percy Harvin for a 39-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-13 to make it 17-14.
But Ryan responded with a 3-yard scoring pass to backup Michael Palmer, and the Falcons held on downs after Harvin’s 104-yard kickoff return to the Atlanta 3.
Texans 20, Jaguars 13
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Matt Leinart injured his throwing shoulder, overshadowing Houston’s victory against the offensively inept Jaguars.
Arian Foster ran for 65 yards and a score, Leinart delivered a perfect touchdown pass to Joel Dreessen before leaving the game and the Texans (8-3) sacked Blaine Gabbert six times. It was good enough for their fifth consecutive win, which moved Houston a little closer to clinching the AFC South.
But Leinart’s shoulder could be a serious setback.
The Texans already lost starter Matt Schaub for the season with a right foot injury. Now, they are down to T.J. Yates and newly signed Kellen Clemens.
Yates completed 8 of 15 passes for 70 yards in relief of Leinart, doing just enough to help the Texans beat the Jaguars (3-8).
Jacksonville benched Gabbert in the fourth quarter. Luke McCown led the team to a late field goal, but his fourth-down pass with about a minute remaining fell incomplete.
Jets 28, Bills 24
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Mark Sanchez threw four touchdown passes, including the winning score to Santonio Holmes with just over a minute remaining.
With the Jets trailing 24-21 and facing a third-and-11 from the Bills 36, Sanchez connected with Plaxico Burress, who made an impressive one-handed grab for the first down. Sanchez quickly ran a quarterback sneak and then, on the next play, rolled out to his right to buy some time and found Holmes alone in the right corner of the end zone to give the Jets the lead with 1:01 left.
The Jets (6-5) entered the game with many players saying they need to win each of their last six to make the postseason. They overcame a valiant comeback attempt by the Bills (5-6), who have lost four straight.
Caradinals 23, Rams 20
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Patrick Peterson tied the NFL record with his fourth punt return for a touchdown this season, Beanie Wells set a franchise mark with 228 yards rushing, and Arizona won its seventh in a row in St. Louis.
Wells averaged 8.4 yards per carry on a career day that included gains of 71 and 53 yards. The latter set up Jay Feely’s go-ahead 22-yard field goal with 4:12 remaining. Rookie Sam Acho also had a career day on defense with two sacks and a fumble recovery for Arizona (4-7), which did enough to overcome another awful outing by John Skelton, who threw two interceptions.
Brandon Lloyd’s 16-yard TD catch from Sam Bradford tied it at 20 with 7:46 to go. Nick Miller had an 88-yard punt return in the first quarter for the Rams (2-9) only three days after he re-signed with the team.
Titans 23, Buccaneers 17
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Chris Johnson ran for a season-high 190 yards, and Matt Hasselbeck threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Damian Williams on fourth-and-2 with 3:01 left.
The Titans (6-5) forced five turnovers and overcame four turnovers of their own. The Bucs outscored them 14-3 off mistakes even though Tennessee got the ball three times on Tampa Bay’s side of the field.
But the Titans got the ninth and final turnover of the game when rookie linebacker Colin McCarthy intercepted Josh Freeman with 2:19 left.
The Bucs (4-7) lost their fifth straight even with LeGarrette Blount running for 103 yards.
Freeman threw for 199 yards and a touchdown, but he had an interception and lost a fumble. He also fumbled the snap on fourth-and-1 before being tackled with 40 seconds left to seal the Titans’ victory.