Chargers 41, Chiefs 38
Philip Rivers came through when the San Diego Chargers needed him the most.
The once-embattled quarterback threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns, the final one a 26-yarder to Seyi Ajirotutu with 24 seconds remaining, to give the Chargers a victory over the host Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday and end a three-game losing streak.
The Chiefs had taken the lead when Alex Smith hit Dwayne Bowe for a go-ahead score with 1:22 left. But the Chargers (5-6) still had two timeouts, and they used both to quickly move downfield. Ajirotutu’s TD in tight coverage was just his third catch of the season.
It also represented the eighth and final lead change in the game.
Smith threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns for the Chiefs, who dropped their second in a row after a 9-0 start. They also lost top pass rushers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to injuries and now have to turn their attention to the Denver Broncos next week.
Packers 26, Vikings 26
Backup quarterback Matt Flynn threw for 218 yards to help the host Packers storm back from a 16-point deficit, but Minnesota and Green Bay could only muster field goals in overtime.
Mason Crosby hit from 20 yards at 10:28 of the extra period, and Blair Walsh connected from 35 with 3:54 left.
Greg Jennings, playing his first game at Lambeau Field as a member of the Vikings (3-8-1), dropped a third-down pass with 2:11 left. The Packers (5-5-1) also stumbled on their next possession.
One last chance for the Vikings went nowhere with 1 second left, and the teams walked off with the first tie in the NFL since the Rams and 49ers ended 24-24 on Nov. 11, 2012. It was the first game under the tiebreaking rules instituted in 2012 that ended in a tie after both teams kicked field goals to begin the extra period. It was the second time a game had each team make field goals to open overtime; Houston won the other last November over Jacksonville.
Rams 42, Bears 21
Tavon Austin’s 65-yard touchdown run — his fourth straight this season from beyond midfield — jump-started a 21-point first quarter. The host Rams (5-6) followed a 30-point rout of Indianapolis in front of their largest crowd of the season, about half of them clad in Bears orange, with another big win. Late scores by rookie running back Benny Cunningham and defensive end Robert Quinn helped finish off the Bears (6-5), who remained tied for the NFC North lead with Detroit.
Josh McCown passed for 352 yards and two touchdowns with an interception for Chicago, which had won four straight in the series. The Bears had a 62-yard punt return for a touchdown by Devin Hester nullified by a holding penalty in the fourth.
Ravens 19, Jets 3
Joe Flacco threw a 66-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones, Justin Tucker kicked four field goals and the host Ravens shut down the sputtering offense of the Jets.
The defending Super Bowl champion Ravens (5-6) had lost four out of five before bouncing back to beat New York (5-6) and keep their playoff hopes alive. Jones had four catches for 103 yards and returned five punts for 108 yards.
Baltimore won on the strength of its defense, however, as the Jets committed three turnovers and went 1-for-12 on third-down conversions. Rookie Geno Smith completed 9-of-22 passes for 127 yards and two interceptions, both by Corey Graham.
Panthers 20, Dolphins 16
Make it seven wins in a row for the Carolina Panthers, and two consecutive late comebacks led by Cam Newton.
The Panthers quarterback converted a fourth-and-10 at his 20 with a completion to keep alive the winning drive, and visiting Carolina went on to score a touchdown with 43 seconds left. Newton hit Greg Olsen with a 1-yard pass to cap a 12-play drive.
Carolina also rallied past the New England Patriots with a late drive last Monday.
The Panthers (8-3) overcame a 16-3 first-half deficit to extend their longest winning streak since 2003. Miami (5-6) fell to 2-2 since tackle Jonathan Martin left the team and the Dolphins’ bullying scandal began to mushroom.
Buccaneers 24, Lions 21
Matthew Stafford’s fourth interception went in and out of Calvin Johnson’s hands to rookie Johnthan Banks inside the Tampa Bay 5 in the final minute, allowing the visiting Buccaneers to hold on. Tampa Bay (3-8) has won three in a row after losing its first eight, joining the 1978 St. Louis Cardinals as the only team to do that.
Tampa Bay rookie Mike Glennon, meanwhile, avoided mistakes. Glennon was 14-of-21 for 247 yards and threw two touchdowns to Tiquan Underwood, whose second score was an 85-yard reception early in the fourth quarter.
Johnson had seven receptions for 115 yards, but he and the Lions didn’t take advantage of the Bucs playing the second half without cornerback Darrelle Revis (groin).
Cardinals 40, Colts 11
Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes to Larry Fitzgerald, Karlos Dansby returned an interception 22 yards for a score and the host Cardinals won their fourth in a row.
Cardinals coach Bruce Arians beat the team that propelled him to coaching prominence last season, when he took over as Colts interim coach while Chuck Pagano fought leukemia. Arians was the NFL’s Coach of the Year for 2012.
Fitzgerald caught five passes for 52 yards, becoming the youngest player in NFL history to reach 11,000 yards receiving.
Arizona’s Michael Floyd had his second straight 100-yard receiving day with seven catches for 104 yards for the Cardinals (7-4).
Cowboys 24, Giants 21
Tony Romo threw two touchdowns and led a drive that set up Dan Bailey’ 35-yard field goal on the final play. Dallas ended the host Giants’ four-game winning streak and most of their playoff hopes.
The victory moved the Cowboys (6-5) into a first-place tie with idle Philadelphia in the NFC East and left the Giants (4-7) wondering about what they gave away in two losses to Dallas.
Romo hit two crucial third-down passes on the 14-play drive that covered the final 4:45 after New York tied the game on a 4-yard touchdown pass from Eli Manning to Louis Murphy Jr. and a 2-point conversion run by Andre Brown.
Romo hit Jason Witten on TDs of 20 and 2 yards, and Dallas got a defensive touchdown on a 50-yard fumble return by Jeff Heath.
Titans 23, Raiders 19
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Kendall Wright with 10 seconds remaining to cap a mistake-free performance that put the visiting Titans back in playoff contention.
Fitzpatrick also threw a 54-yard TD pass to Justin Hunter and Rob Bironas added three field goals to give Tennessee (5-6) its second win in seven games. But despite the recent slump, the Titans find themselves in a six-way tie for the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC with five weeks left in the regular season.
Jaguars 13, Texans 6
In a matchup of the AFC’s worst teams, the Texans couldn’t stop their skid.
Maurice Jones-Drew ran for a season-high 84 yards and a touchdown and the visiting Jaguars extended the Texans’ losing streak to a franchise-record nine games. The two-time AFC South champions haven’t won since Sept. 15.
Jones-Drew’s touchdown on Jacksonville’s first drive put the Jaguars (2-9) on top, and they never trailed against an inept Texans offense.
Josh Scobee kicked field goals of 30 and 53 yards to help the Jaguars win.