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Cowboys and Seahawks get wins with wild finishes while Eagles stop the Falcons

Ezekiel Elliott
Running back Ezekiel Elliott and the Cowboys hope to celebrate their 12th win of the season in a division game against the Giants on Sunday.
(Justin K. Aller / Getty Images)

Ezekiel Elliott ran for 114 yards and two touchdowns — both in the final two minutes — and had an 83-yard catch-and-run for a score as the Cowboys pulled off a thrilling victory for their eighth straight win. 

Dak Prescott overcame an early fumble to pass for 319 yards and two scores for Dallas (8-1), which matched the longest single-season win streak in club history behind the two rookies who hardly seem bothered by the stage. Dez Bryant added six catches for 116 yards, including a 50-yard touchdown reception. 

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 408 yards and three touchdowns. Antonio Brown caught 14 passes for 154 yards, including a 15-yard score with 42 seconds left after Roethlisberger faked a spike to surprise the Dallas defense. 

The heady play — a throwback to Hall of Famer Dan Marino’s move while leading Miami to a victory over the New York Jets in 1994 — gave the Steelers (4-5) a one-point lead. 

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It also gave Prescott and Elliott too much time.

Seahawks 31, Patriots 24

It certainly won’t make up for the Super Bowl loss two seasons back, but
Seattle’s goal-line stand lifted them to a win over New England in Foxborough, Mass. 

Tom Brady couldn’t connect with Rob Gronkowski on a fade pattern on fourth down as New England (7-2) failed four times from inside the two-yard line in the final minute. 

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It was reminiscent of how the Seahawks (6-2-1) lost the 2015 Super Bowl when Malcolm Butler intercepted at the goal line to win the NFL title for the Patriots. 

Doug Baldwin caught three touchdown passes from Russell Wilson, including a 15-yarder for the final margin. Strangely, Seattle went for 2 points and failed on the conversion, leaving the Patriots a chance to tie with a touchdown and an extra point kick. 

But LeGarrette Blount, who earlier rushed for three touchdowns, couldn’t get into the end zone from close range, nor could Brady on a pair of sneaks. 

Dolphins 31, Chargers 24 

Kiko Alonso intercepted Philip Rivers’ pass and returned it 60 yards for a touchdown with 1:01 left to give host Miami a fourth straight win. The Dolphins (5-4) intercepted Rivers four times, all in the fourth quarter. 

Alonso jumped in front of Tyrell Williams and outraced everybody into the end zone for the winning score. 

Two plays into the ensuing drive, Rivers was intercepted again, by Tony Lippett, his second of the game. 

Rivers threw three touchdown passes to move past John Elway for eighth place on the career list with 301. Rivers’ 51-yard touchdown pass to Williams with 4:04 left gave the Chargers (4-6) a 24-21 lead. 

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Miami came right back to get a 27-yard field goal from Andrew Franks to tie it. That was set up by Ryan Tannehill’s 56-yard pass to DeVante Parker and a roughing-the-passer call that put the ball on the San Diego 10. 

Cardinals 23, 49ers 20 

Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 34-yard field goal as time expired in Santa Clara. Catanzaro missed twice on winning field goal tries earlier in the season, most memorably a 24-yarder in overtime of a 6-6 tie against Seattle. 

But this attempt was right down the middle as Arizona (4-4-1) narrowly averted a devastating loss. 

The 49ers (1-8) lost their eighth in a row despite a strong game by Colin Kaepernick, who tied it 20-20 on a 4-yard run with 1:55 to play. 

That was enough time for Carson Palmer to gain redemption after three second-half turnovers, the last an interception by Gerald Hodges that led to the tying touchdown. Palmer completed 4 of 7 passes for 64 yards, including a leaping 26-yard grab by Michael Floyd, as the Cardinals drove from their 15 to the San Francisco 16 to set up the winning kick. 

Eagles 24, Falcons 15

Ryan Mathews ran for 108 yards and two touchdowns, a tenacious defense held down the league’s highest-scoring offense and Philadelphia beat visiting Atlanta. 

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Carson Wentz threw for 231 yards and led the Eagles (5-4) to a comeback victory for the first time this season. Caleb Sturgis made three field goals, including a clutch kick from 48 yards to seal the win late. 

Matt Ryan threw a 76-yard touchdown pass to Taylor Gabriel in the fourth quarter to give Atlanta (6-4) a 15-13 lead, but Philadelphia answered. 

Mathews ran in from the 5 and also converted the 2-point conversion for a 21-15 lead with 7:14 left in the game. 

Atlanta Falcons v Philadelphia Eagles
Eagles running back Ryan Mathews leaps over Falcons defensive back Robert Alford to score a touchdown in the fourth quarter Sunday.
(Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

On Atlanta’s ensuing possession, Julio Jones dropped a pass on third-and-12 and the Falcons punted away. Jones couldn’t make a difficult catch on fourth-and-5 on Atlanta’s next drive. Jones, sporting fashionable cleats to support the NFL’s Salute To Service, had 10 catches for 135 yards. 

The Falcons came in averaging 33.8 points. But they settled for field goals of 38, 43 and 46 yards by Matt Bryant before Ryan connected with Gabriel. 

Mathews had just nine carries combined in the past two games while 33-year-old Darren Sproles was featured. But coach Doug Pederson made a point to establish the run right away. Mathews carried seven times for 34 yards on the first drive, taking it in from the 4 for a 7-0 lead. 

Rookie Wendell Smallwood had 70 yards rushing and Philadelphia finished with a season-high 207 on the ground. 

Ryan completed 18 of 33 passes for 267 yards, with one TD and one interception.

Broncos 25, Saints 23

Denver’s Justin Simmons used a perfectly timed leap over the offensive line to block an extra-point kick that would have given New Orleans a late lead, Will Parks ran it back 84 yards for a defensive two-point conversion, and the Broncos pulled out a wild win in New Orleans. 

The decisive play came while the Superdome crowd was still celebrating Brandin Cooks’ twisting, 32-yard touchdown catch between two defenders. That put New Orleans (4-5) in position to take the lead with 1:28 left. Simmons’ block of Wil Lutz’s kick was scooped up by Parks, who nearly stepped out of bounds as he raced down the left sideline. 

It was the first such play to provide the winning points in an NFL game. The Broncos then recovered an onside kick and ran out the clock. 

Safety Darian Stewart intercepted two passes by Drew Brees and recovered a fumble for the Broncos (7-3), while Trevor Siemian overcame two interceptions by passing for touchdowns to Jordan Taylor and Demaryius Thomas. Siemian finished with 258 yards passing and completed other clutch throws as Denver converted 11 of 19 third downs. 

Brees managed to complete 21 of 29 passes for 303 yards and three touchdowns, with the first two scoring passes going to Willie Snead. 

Chiefs 20, Panthers 17

Marcus Peters stripped Kelvin Benjamin with 20 seconds left, Cairo Santos kicked a 37-yard field goal as time expired and Kansas City overcame a 17-point deficit to top Carolina in Charlotte, N.C. 

The score was tied when Benjamin caught a pass from Cam Newton, and Peters ripped the ball from his arms . Santos’ fourth field goal of the day split the uprights, lifting the Chiefs (7-2) to their fifth straight victory and 17th win in their last 19 games. 

Eric Berry also returned a Newton interception 42 yards for a touchdown as Kansas City’s defense came up with big plays when needed. Alex Smith threw for 178 yards and Spencer Ware ran for 61 yards for the Chiefs, who failed to score an offensive touchdown. 

Newton threw for 261 yards and a touchdown and ran for 54 yards and a score for the Panthers (3-6).

Titans 47, Packers 25

Marcus Mariota threw for 295 yards and four touchdowns and Tennessee routed visiting Green Bay. 

Five different Titans scored a touchdown in the first half as Tennessee put together its best scoring performance this season with 35 points. 

With the win, the Titans (5-5) also matched the five victories over the past two seasons combined. 

DeMarco Murray set the tone on the opening play from scrimmage, running 75 yards for a touchdown . He finished with 123 yards and also threw a TD pass, becoming the first non-quarterback to do that for this franchise in the same game since Earl Campbell on Sept. 7, 1980, for the then-Houston Oilers. 

Brian Orakpo had two of Tennessee’s five sacks, and the Titans also forced three turnovers. 

The Packers (4-5) started a three-game road swing by losing their third straight. Green Bay has lost four of five in dropping below .500 for the first time since Aaron Rodgers’ first year as a starter back in 2008. 

Redskins 26, Vikings 20

Kirk Cousins threw for two touchdowns, Preston Smith had two sacks and a game-altering interception and Washington got its first victory in almost a month with the win in Landover, Md. 

Washington (5-3-1) got all of its second-half points off the foot of Dustin Hopkins, who hit four field goals, including a 50-yarder. The Redskins shut out Minnesota (5-4) in the second half, and Smith sacked Sam Bradford in the final seconds to hand the Vikings their fourth consecutive loss. 

Cousins was 22 of 33 for 262 yards with touchdown passes to Vernon Davis and Jamison Crowder. Robert Kelley ran for 97 yards, helping Washington bounce back from a rough 6-minute stretch. 

Bradford was 31 of 39 for 307 yards, two touchdowns and the interception that Smith tipped and caught with 5:44 left. Stefon Diggs had 13 catches for 164 yards.

Buccaneers 36, Bears 10

Jameis Winston threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns to lead Tampa Bay to a victory over mistake-prone Chicago in Tampa, Fla. 

Winston threw for TDs of 10 yards to Cameron Brate and 43 yards to Freddie Martino, the latter set up by a bizarre highlight-reel play that saw the No. 1 pick in last year’s draft scramble 23 yards backward into his own end zone before avoiding a safety and launching a 39-yard completion to Mike Evans at the Chicago 38. 

Martino, a former practice squad player with two career receptions, scored his first NFL touchdown after a delay penalty pushed the Bucs (4-5) back to the 43. 

Two weeks after returning from injury and helping the Bears (2-7) beat NFC North leader Minnesota, Jay Cutler threw two interceptions and fumbled twice, one resulting in a third-quarter safety that put the Bucs up 29-10. 

The Bucs forced four turnovers overall and sacked Cutler four times. Even though the Bears are last in the league in scoring, it was a confidence-building performance for a defense that yielded 73 points and 1,087 yards — including 857 passing — in home losses to Oakland and Atlanta the previous two weeks. 

Texans 24, Jaguars 13

Brock Osweiler threw two touchdown passes, Kareem Jackson returned an interception 42 yards for a score and Houston handed Jacksonville another home loss. 

The Texans (6-3) scored on offense and defense and set up another score with special teams, a complete team effort that led to their first road win of the season and kept them perfect (3-0) against the AFC South. They won their fifth in a row against Jacksonville. 

The Jaguars (2-7) lost their fourth straight and fell to 0-4 at home. Coach Gus Bradley’s team rallied late, with Blake Bortles hitting Allen Robinson for a touchdown and again for a 2-point conversion. 


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