Saints Win Pokes Choke,Again NFL Week 14 Recap
Last-second finishes decided several key games as the 2011 NFL entered its final stretch. Here’s a recap of all the NFL scores and action from Sunday:
N.Y. Giants 37 – Dallas 34
Eli Manning led two touchdown drives in the final six minutes, and the New York Giants beat the Dallas Cowboys 37-34 on Sunday night. Dallas (7-6) had a chance to tie, but kicker Dan Bailey’s 47-yard field goal attempt with 1 second left in the game was blocked by Jason Pierre-Paul. New York (7-6) had to rally after falling behind 34-22 with 5:41 remaining in the game, when the Cowboys’ Dez Bryant scored on a 50-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo. New York’s Brandon Jacobs ran for 101 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score with 46 seconds to play. Manning passed for 400 yards and two touchdowns, while Hakeem Nicks caught seven passes for 154 yards for the Giants. Romo completed 21 of 31 passes for 319 yards and four touchdowns for the Cowboys. Dallas’ running back Felix Jones, who took over after starter DeMarco Murray fractured his ankle in the first half, ran for 106 yards. Laurent Robinson caught four passes for 137 yards and a touchdown for the Cowboys, who dropped into a first-place tie with the Giants in the NFC East.
Denver 13 – Chicago 10 (OT)
Matt Prater kicked a 51-yard field goal in overtime, and the Denver Broncos beat the Chicago Bears 13-10 behind another fourth-quarter comeback led by quarterback Tim Tebow. Chicago (7-6) appeared to be in position for a game-winning field goal in overtime, but running back Marion Barber fumbled. Elvis Dumervil recovered for the Broncos, who then drove into range for Prater. Denver (8-5) had tied the game on Prater’s 59-yard field goal with 3 seconds left in regulation, even though the team trailed 10-0 with under three minutes to play. On the Broncos’ previous possession, Tebow completed all seven of his passes on a seven-play, 63-yard touchdown drive that culminated with his 10-yard scoring pass to Demaryius Thomas with 2:08 remaining. After an onside kick was recovered by the Bears, Barber allowed himself to be pushed out of bounds on third down of the ensuing possession, stopping the clock and forcing Chicago to punt the ball back to Denver with 53 seconds left. Though he was sacked five times, Tebow completed 21 of 40 passes for 236 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He led Denver with 49 rushing yards on 12 carries. Thomas caught seven passes for 78 yards and the Broncos’ lone touchdown. Barber ran for 108 yards and a touchdown for the Bears.
Houston 20 – Cincinnati 19
Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Walter with 2 seconds to play, and the Houston Texans beat the Cincinnati Bengals 20-19. With the victory and Tennessee’s loss to New Orleans, Houston (10-3) clinched the AFC South title and the franchise’s first playoff berth. Yates passed for 300 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on the day. Owen Daniels caught seven passes for 100 yards for the Texans. Ben Tate led Houston with 67 yards rushing, but he also had one of the team’s three fumbles. Cincinnati (7-6) led 19-10 after the third quarter, but it could not hang on for the victory. Bengals’ quarterback Andy Dalton passed for 189 yards and a touchdown, while Cedric Benson ran for 91 yards. Mike Nugent kicked four field goals for Cincinnati.
New Orleans 22 – Tennessee 17
Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes to Marques Colston in the fourth quarter, and the New Orleans Saints beat the Tennessee Titans 22-17. New Orleans (10-3) clinched at least an NFC wild-card playoff spot with the victory and the Bears’ loss to Denver. The Saints lead the NFC South by two games over Atlanta with three to play. Brees completed 36 of 47 passes for 337 yards and the two scores to Colston, who caught seven passes for 105 yards. Tennessee (7-6), which lost starting quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to a calf injury in the first half, could not complete a rally behind rookie Jake Locker. Locker ran six yards for one score and threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Nate Washington with 5:58 remaining to bring the Titans within five points. Two subsequent drives stalled deep in Saints’ territory, including a sack of Locker at the New Orleans’ 5-yard line on the game’s final play. Locker finished with 282 passing yards and 36 more on the ground. Washington caught six passes for 130 yards and the touchdown. Titans’ star running back Chris Johnson was held to just 23 yards on 11 carries.
Detroit 34 – Minnesota 28
DeAndre Levy sacked Vikings’ quarterback Joe Webb on the game’s final play, forcing him to fumble on the Lions’ 1-yard line, and Detroit beat Minnesota 34-28. Replays showed that Levy grabbed Webb’s facemask after hitting the ball, but no penalty was called on Detroit (8-5), whose defensive lineman Cliff Avril recovered the fumble to end the game. Webb rallied Minnesota (2-11) after replacing ineffective starter Christian Ponder in the third quarter. Webb ran for 109 yards, including a 65-yard touchdown, while he passed for 84 yards and a 2-yard score to Toby Gerhart. Gerhart ran for 90 yards on 19 carries for the Vikings. Matthew Stafford completed 20 of 29 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns, as the Lions built early leads of 21-0 and 28-7. Titus Young had four receptions for 87 yards and a touchdown for Detroit. The Lions also scored 14 points on a fumble recovery and interception return on turnovers committed by Ponder, who finished with 115 yards passing, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
New England 34 – Washington 27
Tom Brady passed for 357 yards and three touchdowns, and the New England Patriots beat the Washington Redskins 34-27. New England (10-3) denied a potential, game-tying drive by the Redskins when Santana Moss deflected a Rex Grossman pass into the hands of linebacker Jerod Mayo at the Patriots’ 9-yard line. Tight end Rob Gronkowski had six receptions for 160 yards and two touchdowns for New England. Wes Welker caught seven passes for 86 yards and a score for the Patriots. Rookie running back Roy Helu carried 27 times for 126 yards for Washington (4-9). Grossman had 252 passing yards and two touchdowns for the Redskins. Washington’s Donte’ Stallworth caught four passes for 96 yards, while Jabar Gaffney had six receptions for 92 yards and a score.
Arizona 21 – San Francisco 19
John Skelton threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns in place of injured Kevin Kolb, and the Arizona Cardinals beat the San Francisco 49ers 21-19. Arizona (6-7) got its fifth win in six games. Larry Fitzgerald had seven catches for 149 yards, including a 46-yard touchdown catch and a 53-yard reception which set up the go-ahead scoring pass from Skelton to Andre Roberts. San Francisco (10-3) saw quarterback Alex Smith get sacked five times. Frank Gore ran for 72 yards and a touchdown for the 49ers, who also got four field goals from David Akers.
Atlanta 31 – Carolina 23
Matt Ryan threw two of his four touchdown passes in the fourth quarter, and the Atlanta Falcons beat the Carolina Panthers 31-23 to record a comeback win. Both of Ryan’s late scores were to receiver Julio Jones, including a 75-yard pass with 4:17 remaining. Ryan finished with 320 passing yards for Atlanta (8-5). Jones caught three passes for 104 yards and the two scores, while Atlanta’s Roddy White added seven catches for 84 yards and a touchdown. Michael Turner ran for 76 yards for the Falcons. Carolina (4-9) had a 16-point halftime lead, but could not hold on to win. Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns, but he also had two passes picked off. Steve Smith had six receptions for 125 yards for Carolina. Panthers’ running back DeAngelo Williams carried seven times for 87 yards, including a 74-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.
Philadelphia 26 – Miami 10
Michael Vick passed for 208 yards and a touchdown in his first start after missing three games with broken ribs, and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Miami Dolphins 26-10. Trailing 7-0 after the first quarter, Philadelphia (5-8) capitalized on three Dolphins’ turnovers to score 24 points in the second quarter and keep their slim playoff hopes alive. Eagles’ running back LeSean McCoy had just 38 yards on 27 carries, but he scored two touchdowns. Philadelphia’s DeSean Jackson caught four passes for 59 yards, including his first touchdown since Oct. 9 on a 34-yard pass from Vick with 4:43 left in the first half. The Eagles recorded nine sacks of Dolphins’ quarterbacks. Miami (4-9) starter Matt Moore left the game when he was hit after throwing an incompletion in the second half. J.P. Losman replaced Moore, but he was sacked five times to Moore’s four. Reggie Bush led the Dolphins with 103 yards rushing on 14 carries.
Green Bay 46 – Oakland 16
Aaron Rodgers passed for 281 yards and two touchdowns and the Packers took advantage of three first-half interceptions, as Green Bay routed Oakland 46-16 to clinch a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. Green Bay (13-0) recorded five turnovers on the game, including a 5-yard touchdown return by Erik Walden of a Marcel Reece fumble late in the third quarter. Ryan Grant carried 10 times for 85 yards and two touchdowns for the Packers, including a 47-yard run early in the first quarter. Jordy Nelson caught three passes for 81 yards and a score for Green Bay. Oakland (7-6) trailed 31-0 at halftime and was never in the game after the first quarter. Raiders’ quarterback Carson Palmer passed for 245 yards and a touchdown, but threw four interceptions. Michael Bush ran for 78 yards and a score for Oakland, which was led in receiving by Darrius Heyward-Bey’s five catches for 78 yards.
N.Y. Jets 37 – Kansas City 10
Mark Sanchez threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores, and the New York Jets routed the Kansas City Chiefs 37-10. With the victory, New York (8-5) took over the lead for the final AFC wild-card playoff spot after Cincinnati, Tennessee and Oakland all lost on Sunday. The Jets’ defense held the Chiefs to 221 total yards of offense and sacked Kansas City quarterback Tyler Palko five times. Sanchez completed 13 of 21 passes for 181 yards. Running back Shonn Greene ran for 129 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for another 58 yards for New York. Palko threw for 195 yards, a touchdown and an interception for Kansas City (5-8).
Baltimore 24 – Indianapolis 10
Joe Flacco passed for two touchdowns and Ray Rice ran for 103 yards and a score, as the Baltimore Ravens beat the Indianapolis Colts 24-10. Baltimore (10-3) allowed the Colts just 165 total yards of offense, including just 50 net rushing yards. Flacco threw for 227 yards and touchdowns to Torrey Smith and Dennis Pitta. He was also intercepted once. Rice led the Ravens with six catches for 46 yards. Indianapolis (0-13) scored their only touchdown on the game’s final play, when quarterback Dan Orlovsky threw a 13-yard pass to Jacob Tamme. Orlovsky finished with 136 passing yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Jacksonville 41 – Tampa Bay 14
Maurice Jones-Drew scored four touchdowns, and the Jacksonville Jaguars beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 41-14. Interim coach Mel Tucker got his first win as Jacksonville (4-9) scored 28 points in the second quarter, including a special teams’ recovery of a fumbled punt and a touchdown on a fumble made by Tampa quarterback Josh Freeman. Jones-Drew ran for 85 yards and two scores. He also caught six passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns from quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who finished with 217 passing yards for the Jaguars. Tampa Bay (4-9) committed seven turnovers in losing its seventh consecutive game. Freeman passed for 181 yards, but he threw two interceptions, in addition to his fumble. Running back LeGarrette Blount ran for 74 yards and a touchdown for the Buccaneers. He also had one of Tampa Bay’s four fumbles.
San Diego 37 – Buffalo 10
Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes, and the San Diego Chargers beat the Buffalo Bills 37-10. San Diego (6-7) has now won two straight games after a six-game losing streak. Rivers’ completed 24 of 33 passes for 240 yards and threw two of his touchdowns to Antonio Gates, who finished with 68 yards on seven receptions. Ryan Mathews ran for 114 yards for the Chargers. Buffalo (5-8) lost its sixth straight game and has been eliminated from playoff contention for a 12th straight year. Bills’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick passed for 176 yards, but he threw two interceptions, including one that was returned 26 yards for a touchdown by Steve Gregory. Stevie Johnson caught four passes for 116 yards for Buffalo.
Thursday, Dec. 8