Last Update on December 09, 2013 01:34 GMT
UNDATED (AP) -- Several NFL games in the eastern half of the country were played in cold, snowy conditions, leading to some interesting results.
In Baltimore, Joe Flacco threw a 9-yard scoring pass to rookie Marlon Brown with 4 seconds left, capping a flurry of scores on an icy field giving the Ravens a 29-26 victory over Minnesota. Following a first half played in a driving snowstorm, the teams combined for five touchdowns in the final 125 seconds. Brown's catch concluded a five-play, 80-yard drive that took 41 seconds. The win gives the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens their first three-game winning streak of the season and the inside track for a wild card berth in the AFC. The loss dropped the Vikings, who lost running back Adrian Peterson to an injury in the second quarter, to 3-9-1.
By winning, Baltimore kept pace with Cincinnati in the AFC North. Behind three touchdown passes by Andy Dalton the Bengals remained perfect at home with a 42-28 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Dalton finished the day 24 of 35 for 275 yards without a sack or interception.
Cincinnati is 9-4 on the season and 6-0 at home. The game time temperature was 28 degrees with a wind chill of 19 and light flurries. The loss dropped the Colts, who got four touchdown passes from Andrew Luck, to 8-5.
Matt Prater broke an NFL record while helping the Denver Broncos clinch an AFC playoff berth. Prater clubbed a 64-yard field goal as the first half expired before the Broncos completed a 52-28 thrashing of the Titans. He broke the NFL mark of 63 yards shared by four players.
Peyton Manning was productive once again, completing a team-record 39 of his 59 passes for 397 yards, four touchdowns and no interceptions. Eric Decker followed his four-touchdown performance last week with eight receptions for 117 yards and a TD as the AFC West-leading Broncos improved to 11-2.
The Eagles and Lions played in blizzard-like conditions in Philadelphia. LeSean McCoy rushed for a franchise-best 217 yards, including touchdowns of 57 and 40 yards as the Eagles overcame two TD returns by Jeremy Ross to beat the Lions 34-20. Ross returned a punt 58 yards for a score and ran a kickoff 98 yards. But McCoy ran 57 yards up the middle to tie it, and Nick Foles connected with Riley Cooper on the 2-point conversion. Foles sneaked in from the 1 and Chris Polk had a 38-yard TD run to cap a 28-point fourth quarter for the 8-5 Eagles.
Philly has won five straight and has sole possession of first place in the NFC East. Second place Dallas, which is 7-5, plays at Chicago Monday night. The Lions have a half-game lead over the Bears in the NFC North.
There was a wild finish in Foxborough, Mass., as the Patriots came back late in the game to beat the Browns 27-26. Tom Brady keyed the win by throwing two touchdown passes in the final 61 seconds. A key play came late in the fourth quarter when New England's Kyle Arrington recovered an onside kick at the Cleveland 40-yard line after a Brady touchdown pass. The 4-9 Browns then moved the ball to the Patriots 40 with 1 second left, but Billy Cundiff missed a 58-yard field goal. New England, which is 10-3, lost tight end Rob Gronkowski to a leg injury in the third quarter.
San Francisco prevented Seattle from clinching the NFC West crown while maintaining control of its playoff destiny. Phil Dawson's fourth field goal of the afternoon was a go-ahead, 22-yard kick with 26 seconds left to give the 49ers a 19-17 win over the Seahawks. The game-winning kick came about six minutes after Steven Hauschka drilled a 31-yarder to put the Seahawks ahead.
Frank Gore ran for 110 yards on 17 carries as the 9-4 Niners avenged a blowout loss in Seattle earlier this season.
The Seahawks dropped to 11-2.
Arizona's 30-10 rout of St. Louis leaves the Cardinals 8-5 and currently one game behind the 49ers for the final NFC playoff berth. Carson Palmer completed 27 of his 32 passes for 269 yards, one TD and no interceptions as the Cardinals beat an NFC West foe for the first time in nine tries. Larry Fitzgerald was Palmer's primary target with 12 grabs for 96 yards and a touchdown that put the Cardinals ahead 14-3 in the first quarter. Arizona also got a touchdown from Karlos Dansby, who returned an interception 23 yards.
Two teams going in different directions met outside Washington, D.C., with the Chiefs beat the Redskins 45-10. KC scored on its first four possessions and improved to 10-3 on the season while the `Skins fell to 3-10. The Chiefs' defense also got in on the act with five sacks of Robert Griffin III and one of his replacement, Kirk Cousins. The game was never in doubt as the Chiefs led 17-0 after the first quarter and 38-10 at the half.
Philip Rivers was efficient in San Diego's 37-14 romp over the New York Giants, completing 21 of his 28 throws for 249 yards and three touchdowns. All three scoring passes came in the first half to help the Chargers carry a 24-0 lead into intermission.
The Chargers turned two of the Giants' three turnovers into touchdowns and improved to 6-7 to keep their fading playoff hopes alive.
Geno Smith of the Jets had a good day, throwing for a touchdown and running for another as New York set a season high for points beating the Raiders 37-27. The victory snapped a three game losing skid for the New Yorkers and improved their record to 6-7. The Raiders, which are 4-9 on the season, have lost three straight and 13 consecutive games in the Eastern time zone.
It was cold in Pittsburgh, but the warm-weather Dolphins prevailed over the Steelers 34-28. Charles Clay caught two touchdowns, including a 12-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill with 2:53 remaining as the `Fins improved to 7-6. The Steelers, who are all but out of the playoff picture now, fell to 5-8. Miami blew a 10-point third-quarter lead but rallied to win for the third time in its last four games. Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH'-lihs-bur-gur) passed for 297 yards and three scores but the Steelers lost their second straight game.
The Packers are back in the win column. Matt Flynn threw for 258 yards and the Green Bay defense forced a key fourth-quarter turnover in a 22-21 win over the Atlanta Falcons to snap a five-game winless slide. Mike Neal's sack forced Matt Ryan to fumble and defensive lineman Johnny Jolly scooped up the loose ball, leading to the winning pass from Flynn. Matt Bryant missed a 52-yard field goal with 6:42 left for Atlanta.
Rookie Mike Glennon rebounded from one of his worst performances of the season to throw two touchdown passes and lead the Buccaneers a 27-6 victory over the Bills. The 4-9 Bucs intercepted EJ Manuel four times en route to their fourth win in five games following an 0-8 start. Manuel, Buffalo's first-round draft pick out of Florida State, was sacked seven times and doubled his interception total for the season. The 4-9 Bills have lost five of six and are assured of finishing without a winning record for the ninth straight season.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-BOWL GAMES
UNDATED (AP) -- The college bowl schedule is taking shape following yesterday's conference championship games.
No. 23 Georgia and Nebraska have been paired in the Gator Bowl, a rematch of last year's Capital One Bowl.
Virginia Tech and 17th-ranked UCLA have accepted bids to meet in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31.
Notre Dame will face Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium on Dec. 28.
Houston will face a Southeastern Conference team in the BBVA Compass Bowl.
Middle Tennessee will make its first bowl appearance in three years when the Blue Raiders play Navy in the Armed Forces Bowl.
North Texas is going to its first bowl game since 2004, accepting an invitation to play in the Heart of Dallas Bowl against a Big Ten team.
Boise State has accepted an invitation to play in the Hawaii Bowl against a yet-to-be named opponent on Christmas Eve.
Buffalo is heading back to the postseason for the second time in school history, this time against San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
Ohio University is headed to the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl to face East Carolina.
Middle Tennessee will play Navy in the Armed Forces Bowl.
Arkansas State will face Ball State in the GoDaddy Bowl.
UNDATED (AP) -- The end-of-season Associated Press Top-25 football poll is out and, as expected, Florida State is No. 1 with Auburn No. 2.
The results of Saturday's games paved the way for the poll as both the Seminoles and Tigers won, while last week's No. 2 Ohio State lost in the Big Ten title game.
Following FSU and Auburn in the poll are Alabama, Michigan State and Pac-12 champ Stanford. The Spartans climbed from 10th to fourth with their win over the Buckeyes.
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-NOTRE DAME
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) -- Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly says nose guard Louis Nix III has signed with an agent and will forego his final year of eligibility to enter the NFL draft, where he is projected by many to be a first-round draft pick. The season came to an end for Nix on Nov. 21 when he underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.
UNDATED (AP) -- This has been a lost season for the New York Knicks. The Knicks are 5-14 after losing to the Celtics 114-73 in the most lopsided game of the NBA season. Jordan Crawford led the Boston cause with 23 points while Jared Sullinger added 21. The Celtics are first in the weak Atlantic Division with a record of 10-12.
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