MINNEAPOLIS – The Vikings made sure Aaron Rodgers ended up on the sidelines rather than on the field.
Greg Joseph scored a 29-yard field goal when the time ran out to give the Vikings a 34-31 win over the Packers in a classic back-and-forth with their league rival and longtime archenemy.
As the only team in the NFL that year to have a lead of seven or more points in each game, all but one game in Minnesota were decided by a score. Kirk Cousins fitted for 341 yards and three touchdowns to help the Vikings stay one step ahead of Rodgers for most of the afternoon.
Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, all on Green Bay’s last four full possession, with the exception of one knee-down to end the first half. All of these drives covered 74 yards or more.
COLTS 41, INVOICES 15
In Orchard Park, NY, Jonathan Taylor set a franchise record in the second year of running back by scoring five goals and taking the NFL lead in both yards and touchdowns in a loss to the unraveling Bills.
The Colts (6-5) won five out of six to get back into the AFC playoff race. Taylor helped allay concerns for a team that had gambled away three leads in the fourth quarter this season.
Taylor became the first NFL player to score five TDs in one game since New Orleans’ Alvin Kamara scored six TDs in a 52-33 win over Minnesota last Christmas Day and was the first to do so against Buffalo.
WASHINGTON 27, PANTHER 21
In Charlotte, NC, Taylor Heinicke dwarfed returning Cam Newton by throwing 206 yards and three touchdowns against the league’s top-ranked pass defenses and helping Washington bring the 2015 MVP back to Bank of America Stadium with a 27-21- Spoil victory against the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Terry McLaurin had five catches for 103 yards and one touchdown as Washington (4-6) stacked 369 yards offensive.
Newton hopes to lead the Panthers (5-6) to a playoff run in his first start since returning to Carolina, where he spent nine seasons.
RAVENS 16, BEARS 13
In Chicago, Tyler Huntley led a winning drive topped off by Devonta Freeman’s 3-yard run with 22 seconds remaining, and Baltimore beat the Bears.
Lamar Jackson was sidelined for the AFC North-leading Ravens (7-3) due to an illness that excluded him 90 minutes before kick-off after making a few throws on the field. The 2019 MVP was in full training on Friday after having endured the previous two days.
Coach John Harbaugh said the disease wasn’t COVID-19 or influenza. He said Jackson seemed to feel better after the game, despite expecting to continue testing.
BROWN 13, LION 10
Nick Chubb caught a touchdown pass in Cleveland and stormed for 130 yards helping to pass the clock while the Browns held out to avoid a season-wrecking surprise and keep Detroit winless with a sloppy win over the Lions.
Chubb returned to Cleveland’s lineup after an absence from a game due to COVID-19. The star running back had a 5 yard TD reception from Baker Mayfield and then helped the Browns (6-5) put away the Lions (0-9-1).
Leading by 3, the Browns got the ball back to the left at 2:29. As the spectators at FirstEnergy chanted “Chubb, Chubb” before every snap, coach Kevin Stefanski Mayfield had the ball passed to one of the NFL’s best defenders.
49ERS 30, JAGUAR 10
In Jacksonville, Florida, Jimmy Garoppolo tossed two touchdown passes for the third straight time, and the 49ers dominated Jacksonville for their third win in four weeks.
The 49ers (5-5) put down a 31:10 stunner against the Los Angeles Rams on Monday night, covered 2,700 miles, started at 10 a.m. West Coast time and looked like a playoff contender for the second time in six days.
San Francisco scored one goal on their first five ball possession times, including opening the game with a 20-game field goal drive that lasted more than 13 minutes, and set the tone for another long day for the Jaguars -8th).
Dolphins 24, nozzles 17
In East Rutherford, NJ, Tua Tagovailoa appeared for his post-game press conference in pajama pants speckled with dogs in Christmas hats.
Yes, the Miami Dolphins quarterback is already in the vacation mood. And for the third win in a row, he felt pretty good-humored.
“We had a few mishaps, but it didn’t matter,” said Dolphins quarterback Tagovailoa after a 24-17 win over the New York Jets on Sunday. “We just kept going.”
EAGLE 40, SAINT 29
In Philadelphia, Jalen Hurts ran for three touchdowns, Darius Slay returned an interception for a score, and the Eagles beat New Orleans.
Miles Sanders ran 94 yards, Hurts had 69, Jordan Howard added 63 and the Eagles amassed 242 yards on the ground against a team that allowed 72.9 yards per game. The Eagles have exceeded 175 yards in four straight games, including more than 200 in three wins in that range.
The Eagles (5-6) have won two straight wins for the first time this season and Sirianni took his first home win in five attempts.
TEXAN 22, TITAN 13
In Nashville, Tennessee, the Texans nabbed the NFL’s longest active skid by beating the Titans to end the league’s longest winning streak. The Texans (2-8) had lost eight straight defeats since their season opener and had not scored a TD on the road since September 19.
Houston’s win also marks the latest win in a season by the worst-record team against the best-record team in the same conference since the 1970 merger. Cincinnati’s win over Pittsburgh in week 7 of the 1979 season was the previous one, according to the Elias Sports Bureau Victory.
BENGALS 32, RAIDERS 13
In Las Vegas, Nevada, Bengals running back Joe Mixon ran for 123 yards, scored two touchdowns, celebrated in the end zone by pretending to shake and throw a pair of dice, and Cincinnati defeated the Raiders.
The rested Bengals (6-4) came back from their bye week and grabbed a two-game skid to get back into the AFC North race, while the Raiders (5-5) their third episode since their bye week lost when they ran the AFC West
CARDINALS 23, SEAHAWKS 21
In Seattle, Colt McCoy threw 328 yards and two touchdowns, and the Cardinals beat the Seahawks.
McCoy was sidelined 2-1 with Kyler Murray, including division road wins in San Francisco and Seattle. The Cardinals will go into their farewell with the best record in the NFL and an expectation of Murray and DeAndre Hopkins to return after the break.
CHARGERS 41, STEELERS 37
In Inglewood, California, Justin Herbert tossed Mike Williams a 53-yard touchdown pass with 2:17 remaining and the Chargers held Pittsburgh off.
Los Angeles (6-4) had a 27-10 lead going into the fourth quarter before the Steelers (5-4-1) rallied for a 37-34 lead on Chris Boswell’s 45-yard field Goal 3:24 minutes ahead. Los Angeles took over at 25, scoring four games later when Williams was wide open and standing untouched on the left sideline.
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