NFL roundup: Bengals keep pace in wild-card race
Andy Dalton scrambled up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:11 left for the go-ahead score and visiting Cincinnati won its fourth straight game Sunday, 20-13, over the staggering San Diego Chargers.
On second-and-goal, Dalton pump-faked right and then ran up the middle, dived for the end zone and got the ball across.
The Bengals (7-5) remained tied with Pittsburgh in the race for the AFC’s second wild-card berth.
Kansas City 27, Carolina 21: Against the backdrop of an unthinkable tragedy, the Kansas City Chiefs gave themselves a reason to be proud – and perhaps the impetus to let the healing begin.
Brady Quinn threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns, and Jamaal Charles ran for 127 yards in the Chiefs’ 27-21 victory over their Carolina Panthers. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak during one of the most difficult seasons the franchise has ever experienced.
New England 23, Miami 16: Tom Brady had his least efficient game of the year and even threw an interception, but New England took advantage of Miami’s mistakes and clinched their fourth consecutive AFC East title.
A botched punt, roughing-the-punter penalty and fumble by Miami led to 17 New England points, and another penalty negated a Dolphins touchdown.
Houston 24, Tennessee 10: The Houston Texans clinched their second straight playoff berth and set a franchise record for wins in a season.
Rookie linebacker Whitney Mercilus recovered a fumble and had two sacks, and the Texans (11-1) remain tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NFL with their sixth straight win. After needing overtime the past two games, the Texans forced six turnovers and had six sacks of Jake Locker when they weren’t batting down a handful of other passes.
Denver 31, Tampa Bay 23: Peyton Manning threw three touchdowns, including one to defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, to help Denver wrap up the AFC West.
The Broncos (9-3) won their seventh straight and the Tampa Bay (6-6) loss clinched the NFC South for Atlanta, which won on Thursday.
St. Louis 16, San Francisco 13, OT: Rookie Greg Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in overtime after booting a 53-yarder as time expired in regulation.
The winning kick allowed the Rams to avoid a second tie in three weeks against the NFC West leaders.
Seattle 23, Chicago 17, OT: Russell Wilson connected with Sidney Rice on a 13-yard touchdown with 7:33 left in overtime to lift Seattle.
Unbeaten in five home games, the Seahawks finally figured a way to win on the road after dropping five of their first six, and knocked off the NFC North leaders in the process.
Indianapolis 35, Detroit 33: Andrew Luck threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Donnie Avery with no time left to lift Indianapolis.
With the final seconds ticking away, the rookie quarterback moved up in the pocket, flipped a short pass to Avery, and the receiver ran untouched into the end zone to complete a rally that started with Lions up 12 points midway through the fourth quarter.
The Colts (8-4) stayed in control of the AFC wild-card race with the win. Detroit (4-8) lost for the fourth straight time, including three in a row at home after leading in the final quarter.
Green Bay 23, Minnesota 14: James Starks had Green Bay’s first rushing touchdown in almost two months, Morgan Burnett picked off Christian Ponder twice and the Packers overcame a monster day by Adrian Peterson.
Cleveland 20, Oakland 17: Brandon Weeden threw for a career-high 364 yards and a touchdown as Cleveland snapped a 12-game road losing streak.
Weeden hit fellow rookie Josh Gordon on a 44-yard score in the second quarter and Trent Richardson scored on a 3-yard run after Sheldon Brown made a key interception deep in Cleveland territory when the Raiders (3-9) were driving for the potential tying or go-ahead score in the fourth quarter.
N.Y. Jets 7, Arizona 6: Third-string quarterback Greg McElroy stepped in for a struggling Mark Sanchez and led New York to its only score.
Buffalo 34, Jacksonville 18: Ryan Fitzpatrick directed five straight scoring drives in helping Buffalo keep alive its slim playoff hopes.