Cowboys 20, Bengals 19
Numb. Grieving. Distracted. The Cowboys were all those things on Sunday, dealing with the death of one teammate and the tribulations of another.
Winners, too, though they hardly felt like it.
Dan Bailey kicked a 40-yard field goal as time ran out, sending the Cowboys to a win over the host Cincinnati Bengals that ended a tough afternoon with a little bit of relief and their playoff chances enhanced.
Didn’t last long, though. There will be a lot more emotional days ahead in Dallas.
“It’s a hard, hard situation we’re in,” quarterback Tony Romo said. “There’s no playbook for this sort of thing in life.”
The Cowboys overcame a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes behind Romo, who held his hand over his heart during a moment of silence to honor teammate Jerry Brown before the kickoff. The linebacker died in an auto accident early Saturday.
The Cowboys (7-6) learned about Brown’s death on their flight Saturday. Coach Jason Garrett told his team that the best way to honor him was to play well in a game with playoff implications.
The Cowboys salvaged the game by scoring on their last two drives against the Bengals (7-6), who had won four in a row. Romo threw a 27-yard TD pass to Dez Bryant with 6:35 to go. Anthony Spencer’s sack of Andy Dalton forced a punt, and Romo completed four passes on the drive to Bailey’s winning kick. Romo finished 25-of-43 for 268 yards.
Giants 52, Saints 27
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 host New York Giants. The win allowed the Giants (8-5) to maintain their one-game lead in the NFC East over Washington and Dallas. Manning had TD passes of 6 yards to Martellus Bennett, 5 yards to former University of Akron star Domenik Hixon, 25 yards to Hakeem Nicks and 10 yards to Victor Cruz.
Redskins 31, Ravens 28
With Robert Griffin III sidelined with a sprained right knee, the host Washington Redskins (7-6) rallied behind backup Kirk Cousins to tie the score in the final minute of regulation, then Kai Forbath kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime. Cousins stepped in and hit former Mount Union standout Pierre Garcon for an 11-yard touchdown pass, then ran in the 2-point conversion with 29 seconds to play.
The Ravens lost back-to-back games for the first time since 2009 and fell to 9-4.
Panthers 30, Falcons 20
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 host Charlotte Panthers racked up 475 total yards to avenge an early season loss with a dominating performance against the NFC South champion Falcons (11-2). The Panthers (4-9) opened a 23-0 lead en route to snapping a five-game losing streak against the Falcons.
Vikings 21, Bears 14
Adrian Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Harrison Smith returned an interception for a score to lead the host Minnesota Vikings (7-6). Peterson topped 100 yards before the first quarter was over. 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.
Chargers 34, Steelers 24
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 (7-6) quarterback Ben Roethlisberger get comfortable in his first game in nearly a month. Roethlisberger completed 22-of-42 passes for 285 yards and three second-half touchdowns.
Colts 27, Titans 23
Andrew Luck led the host Indianapolis Colts back from a 13-point second-half deficit and Adam Vinatieri made two fourth-quarter field goals. Luck has now engineered six fourth-quarter comebacks for Indy (9-4). Former Copley High School standout 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. Rob Bironas gave the Titans (4-9) a 23-21 lead with a 25-yard field goal, but VInatieri hit from 53 yards to retake the lead and from 40 to seal it.
Jets 17, Jaguars 10
Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell ran for short touchdowns and the visiting 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
Nick Foles threw two touchdown passes in the final four minutes, including a 1-yarder to Jeremy Maclin with no time remaining to enable the visiting Philadelphia Eagles (4-9) to end an eight-game losing streak — their longest in 42 years. Foles completed 32-of-51 passes for 381 yards in his fourth start.
Rams 15, Bills 12
Sam Bradford threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson with 48 seconds left to lift the visiting St. Louis Rams over the Buffalo Bills (5-8). 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 game in a row for the first time since closing the 2006 season with three victories.
Seahawks 58, Cardinals 0
Marshawn Lynch had three touchdown runs and host Seattle (8-5) set a franchise record for points as the Seahawks forced eight turnovers. Richard Sherman and Bobby Wagner each had two interceptions. Arizona (4-9) was shut out for the first time since 2003.
49ers 27, Dolphins 13
Frank Gore ran for a 1-yard touchdown and reached 1,000 yards rushing for the sixth time in his career to lift the visiting San Francisco 49ers (9-3-1) over the Miami Dolphins (5-8). 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 consecutive start since being promoted.
Packers 27, Lions 20
Dujuan Harris scored on a 14-yard run with 11:49 to play to break a 17-17 tie and lift the host Green Bay Packers (8-4). The Lions (4-9) opened a 14-0 lead early in the second quarter, but the Packers rallied to score 17 unanswered points and took a 17-14 lead on Aaron Rodgers’ 27-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter.