Marcus Gilchrist intercepted Shaun Hill at the goal line with 56 seconds left to preserve the San Diego Chargers’ 27-24 victory against the visiting St. Louis Rams on Sunday.
Gilchrist jumped the route as journeyman Hill tried to force a pass to Kenny Britt on second-and-goal from the 4. The Rams Hill had beaten Gilchrist on a 7-yard TD pass to Stedman Bailey with 2:04 left that pulled the Rams within three points.
Ryan Mathews had a 32-yard touchdown run and linebacker Andrew Gachkar scored on a 13-yard fumble recovery 21 seconds later to help the Chargers (7-4) tighten the AFC West race.
Philip Rivers shook off a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown by Janoris Jenkins and threw a 29-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to Keenan Allen, who earlier had two turnovers.
Seahawks 19, Cardinals 3
Russell Wilson found backup tight end Cooper Helfet for a 20-yard catch-and-run touchdown late in the third quarter, Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals and Seattle handed visiting Arizona its second loss of the season.
Wilson was sacked a season-high seven times by Arizona’s ultra-aggressive defense and the assortment of blitzes they called to confuse and fluster the Seahawks quarterback. But when Seattle (7-4) needed a scoring drive, after squandering advantageous field position throughout the game, Wilson delivered.
The victory was a must for Seattle if it had any hopes of getting back into the division race. The Seahawks entered the day trailing Arizona (9-2) by three games in the NFC West.
Arizona was held to a season-low 204 total yards.
Broncos 39, Dolphins 36
Peyton Manning threw three of his four TD passes to Demaryius Thomas and C.J. Anderson ran for 167 yards and the go-ahead score in Denver.
Anderson’s 6-yard run with 5:01 left gave the Broncos (8-3) their first lead of the game at 32-28. T.J. Ward’s 37-yard interception return of Ryan Tannehill’s pass set up Wes Welker’s insurance TD catch.
The Broncos needed it after Tannehill drove the Dolphins (6-5) on another scoring drive, hitting Jarvis Landry from a yard out with 1:34 left. Lamar Miller’s 2-point dive made it a 3-point game.
The Dolphins’ onside kick was recovered by — who else? — Anderson, who sealed the game with a 26-yard run.
49ers 17, Redskins 13
Carlos Hyde ran for a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown with 2:59 left, and San Francisco barely squeaked by lowly Washington Redskins in Santa Clara to stay in the thick of the playoff chase.
A fourth-down conversion in their own territory away from losing, the Niners finally capitalized with a rare touchdown in the final period on the way to their third straight victory.
San Francisco (7-4) overcame three turnovers.
Washington coach Jay Gruden won a challenge with 5:36 left that Vernon Davis hadn’t made a first down. San Francisco went for it and Frank Gore converted the fourth-and-1. On the next play, Colin Kaepernick hit Anquan Boldin for a 29-yard gain and safety Ryan Clark was flagged for a 15-yard unnecessary roughness penalty for his hit on Boldin.
Now, the Niners have a quick turnaround before facing the rival and defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks (7-4) at home Thursday night.
Patriots 34, Lions 9
Tom Brady threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns in a pass-heavy offense against the NFL’s stingiest rushing defense and New England stretched its winning streak to seven games with a win at Foxborough, Mass.
The Patriots led 24-6 at halftime as Brady repeatedly found wide-open receivers while the Lions struggled on offense. For the second straight game, Detroit failed to score a touchdown.
New England (9-2) routed a division leader for the third consecutive game, following wins over Denver and Indianapolis. Detroit (7-4) lost for the second straight week against a conference leader. It fell to Arizona 14-6 last Sunday.
LeGarrette Blount rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns three days after signing with New England after being cut by Pittsburgh.
Bengals 22, Texans 13
Andy Dalton passed for 233 yards and a touchdown and A.J. Green had 121 yards receiving to give Cincinnati the win at Houston.
The Bengals (7-3-1) led throughout, but Houston (5-6) cut the lead to 3 late in the third quarter before Cincinnati tacked on two field goals in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
Rookie Jeremy Hill scored on a 2-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter after an interception by Ryan Mallett for Cincinnati’s only touchdown of the second half.
Mallett struggled in his second career start, finishing with 189 yards passing and often overthrowing open receivers. Houston’s only touchdown came on a 60-yard interception return by Johnathan Joseph in the third quarter.
Packers 24, Vikings 21
Eddie Lacy rushed for 125 yards in 25 carries, both season highs, to help Aaron Rodgers and Green Bay hang on for the victory at Minneapolis.
Lacy scored twice, on a run in the first quarter and a catch in the fourth. Then, he rumbled through the line for two first downs to drain the clock after the Vikings (4-7) cut the lead to three with 3:23 remaining.
Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and again avoided a turnover for the Packers (8-3), who stayed out of a potential trap against a struggling team with a game next week against surging New England. They also moved past Detroit into sole possession of first place in the NFC North when the Lions lost to the Patriots.
Green Bay beat Philadelphia 53-20 and Chicago 55-14 the last two games.
Browns 26, Falcons 24Brian Hoyer shook off three interceptions, leading Cleveland down the field in the final minute to set up Billy Cundiff’s 37-yard field goal as time expired for a win at Atlanta.
Taking advantage of the last of Hoyer’s picks, the Falcons drove for Matt Bryant’s 53-yard field goal with 44 seconds remaining to seize the lead.
But Hoyer completed four straight passes, the last of them to the Falcons 19, and spiked the ball with 5 seconds left. Cundiff trotted on and made his fourth field goal of the game for the Browns (7-4).
Atlanta (4-7), coming in improbably tied for first in the woeful NFC South, dropped to 0-7 against teams outside the division.
Isaiah Crowell scored a pair of touchdowns for the Browns, who also were bolstered by the return of Josh Gordon. He had eight catches for 120 yards
Bears 21, Buccaneers 13
Matt Forte rushed for two touchdowns in the third quarter, and the Bears spoiled Lovie Smith’s return to Chicago with the win over Tampa Bay.
Jay Cutler threw a 2-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery as the Bears (5-6) scored 21 straight points to erase a 10-0 halftime deficit. Forte had a 13-yard run that put Chicago ahead to stay, and then added a 1-yard plunge that made it 21-10.
Smith coached the Bears to three playoff appearances and a trip to the 2007 Super Bowl during his successful nine-year run in Chicago. He was hired by Tampa Bay in January, and his first game back at Soldier Field showed just how far he has to go to get the lowly Bucs (2-9) back on track.
Eagles 43, Titans 24
Josh Huff got Philadelphia started and LeSean McCoy kept them going. Huff returned the opening kickoff 107 yards, McCoy ran for 130 yards and Philadelphia beat visiting Tennessee.
Mark Sanchez threw for 307 yards and one touchdown in his third start for the injured Nick Foles. He has 300 yards passing in three straight games, tying a team record.
Rookie Zach Mettenberger had 345 yards passing and two TDs and Delanie Walker had 155 yards receiving for the Titans (2-9).
Now, the Eagles (8-3) can shift their focus to the Cowboys (7-3) for a first-place showdown on Thanksgiving. The top two teams in the NFC East will play twice in 18 days, starting with Thursday’s game at Dallas.
Coming off a 53-20 loss at Green Bay, the Eagles jumped ahead of the lowly Titans immediately and never let up.
Colts 23, Jaguars 3
T.Y. Hilton celebrated the birth of his first child with a 73-yard TD catch, spurring a second-half turnaround that allowed Indianapolis to pull away against visiting Jacksonville.
Andrew Luck was 21 of 32 for 253 yards with one score, but his streak of consecutive 300-yard games ended at eight — one short of Drew Brees’ NFL record.
The Colts (7-4) have won 11 straight against AFC South foes. Jacksonville (1-10) has lost four straight overall and five straight to Indy.
Hilton promised to score a touchdown for his new daughter, but it sure wasn’t easy. Luck was sacked five times, fumbled three times and lost two of those in the first half.
But Indy still led 6-3 at the half and 13-3 after Trent Richardson’s 1-yard TD run in the third quarter. Hilton’s long catch made it 20-3. Adam Vinatieri’s third field goal capped the scoring.