NFL Game Capsules - Week 15
Atlanta, GA (.com) - Kirk Cousins and the Washington Redskins nearly overcame a seven-turnover nightmare, but Desmond Trufant tipped away a potential go-ahead two-point conversion in the waning seconds to give the Atlanta Falcons a 27-26 victory at the Georgia Dome. With the Redskins trailing 27-20, Cousins led a crisp two-minute drill that ended in a 3-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss with 18 seconds remaining. Mike Shanahan, just days after making the decision to shut down franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III, made another headline-worthy call by going for the win. Cousins rolled to his right and flew a floater into traffic, Trufant knocked the ball out of the back of the end zone and Atlanta (4-10) secured the onside kick to win for just the second time in the past eight weeks. Steven Jackson rushed for two scores and Tony Gonzalez caught a touchdown pass from Matt Ryan, who finished with 210 yards and an interception on 29-of-38 passing. Griffin watched in street clothes as Cousins passed for 381 yards and three touchdowns, though the second-year backup accounted for three turnovers -- two interceptions and a lost fumble. Alfred Morris and Santana Moss each lost two fumbles for the Redskins (3-11), who are a mired in a six-game slide.
Final Score: Chicago 38, Cleveland 31
Cleveland, OH (.com) - Jay Cutler had three touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter, to lead the Chicago Bears to a crucial 38-31 victory over the Cleveland Browns. Cutler returned under center after missing the previous four games with a high left ankle sprain, with Josh McCown filling in admirably during his absence. Chicago (8-6) went 2-2 without Cutler to stay in the thick of the NFC North race, with Sunday's win giving the team a half-game lead over Detroit, which hosts Baltimore on Monday night. Should Detroit win, though, the Bears will find themselves in second place in the division due to a pair of losses to the Lions this season. Cutler finished the game 22-for-31 for 265 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Matt Forte had 24 carries for 127 yards for Chicago, which has won three of the last four meetings with Cleveland. Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett each caught a Cutler touchdown pass, with Michael Bush adding a score on the ground and Zack Bowman taking an interception into the end zone. Cleveland (4-10) continued its free-fall, as the team has dropped five straight and eight of nine to sit dead last in the AFC North. Jason Campbell had a tough day under center, getting picked off twice and going just 23-for-39 for 273 yards with a late touchdown pass. Tashaun Gipson had two interceptions and returned one for a touchdown for the Browns, while T.J. Ward returned a fumble for a touchdown in the loss.
Final Score: Indianapolis 25, Houston 3
Indianapolis, IN (.com) - Andrew Luck tossed a pair of touchdown passes and the Indianapolis Colts cruised to a 25-3 triumph over the reeling Houston Texans on Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. Luck completed 19-of-32 passes for 180 yards with an interception, while Trent Richardson racked up 102 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown for the AFC South champion Colts (9-5), who bounced back from an ugly 42-28 loss last week at Cincinnati. The turmoil with the Texans, who have lost a franchise-worst 12 straight games, reached a tipping point during the week leading up to Sunday's game, as head coach Gary Kubiak was fired after eight seasons and a pair of division crowns. Wade Phillips, who also handled matters following Kubiak's medical scare on Nov. 3, took over on an interim basis. Despite the change in leadership, the play on the field remained the same for Houston (2-12), which saw quarterback Case Keenum complete just 18-of-34 passes for 168 yards with a pair of interceptions.
Final Score: Buffalo 27, Jacksonville 20
Jacksonville, FL (.com) - E.J. Manuel completed 17-of-24 passes for 193 yards with two touchdowns and rushed for another touchdown to lead the Buffalo Bills in a 27-20 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Robert Woods had five catches for 82 yards and a touchdown, Frank Summers caught three passes for 16 yards and a score for the Bills (5-9), who snapped a two-game skid. Fred Jackson added 17 carries for 80 yards and C.J. Spiller rushed 13 times for 67 yards. Chad Henne was 21-of-36 passing for 237 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and Jordan Todman had 25 carries for 109 yards for Jacksonville (4-10), which had won three straight.
Final Score: Miami 24, New England 20
Miami, FL (.com) - Michael Thomas twice kept the Miami Dolphins' postseason hopes alive and thwarted the New England Patriots' bid for a fourth consecutive come-from-behind win. The safety broke up a would-be touchdown catch before picking off New England quarterback Tom Brady in the end zone with two seconds remaining to seal a 24-20 win at Sun Life Stadium that currently puts the Dolphins in control of the final playoff spot in the AFC. Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdown passes for Miami (8-6), the last erasing a 20-17 deficit with 1:15 left in the fourth quarter. Tannehill finished with 312 yards on 25-of-37 efficiency in the Dolphins' third straight win. They moved a half-game ahead of Baltimore in the battle for the sixth seed. The Ravens visit Detroit on Monday night. Brady completed 34-of-55 passes for 364 yards and two touchdowns, but the Patriots (10-4) squandered an opportunity to clinch their fifth straight AFC East title. New England can still secure a playoff spot with a Ravens loss.
Final Score: Minnesota 48, Philadelphia 30
Minneapolis, MN (.com) - Minnesota was without running backs Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart, but Matt Asiata ran for three touchdowns in the Vikings' 48-30 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. Matt Cassel completed 26-of-35 passes for 382 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Vikings (4-9-1), who put the brakes on Philadelphia's five-game winning streak. Peterson (foot) and Gerhart (hamstring) were inactive for Minnesota, which bounced back from a 29-26 loss to the Ravens last week. Greg Jennings hauled in 11 Cassel passes for 163 yards and a touchdown. The Vikings scored a season-high 48 points against an Eagles team that allowed more than 21 points for the first time in 10 games. Nick Foles connected on 30-of-48 passes for 428 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for the Eagles (8-6), who lead the Cowboys by a half-game in the NFC East. Dallas is currently in action against the Packers. LeSean McCoy carried the ball eight times for 38 yards and caught five passes for 68 yards. The star running back set an Eagles franchise record for most rushing yards in a game with 217 in last week's wild win over the Lions in the snow. DeSean Jackson hauled in 10 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown for Philadelphia, which lost for the first time since Oct. 27.
Final Score: Seattle 23, NY Giants 0
East Rutherford, NJ (.com) - The Seattle Seahawks had a most enjoyable trip to MetLife Stadium. It may not be their last visit there this season. The current NFC front-runners intercepted Eli Manning five times in a stifling defensive effort that set the tone for a 23-0 win over the New York Giants that moved the Seahawks another step closer toward sewing up the conference's No. 1 overall seed. Richard Sherman and Byron Maxwell each had two picks and Seattle (12-2) limited the Giants to 181 total yards in dealing New York its first regular- season shutout loss at home in 18 years. Marshawn Lynch added 120 yards from scrimmage and a touchdown for the Seahawks, who entered Week 15 a game in front of New Orleans in the race for home-field advantage in the playoffs. Seattle has its final two regular- season outings at home, where it has gone 14-0 over the last two years, giving the Seahawks the inside track to represent the NFC when MetLife Stadium hosts Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2. Russell Wilson finished 18-of-27 for 206 yards with an interception and a touchdown pass to Doug Baldwin, who caught six balls for 71 yards in the rout. Manning finished with 156 yards on 18-of-31 passing for New York (5-9), which is assured of a losing season for the first time since the struggling quarterback's rookie campaign in 2004.
Final Score: San Francisco 33, Tampa Bay 14
Tampa, FL (.com) - The San Francisco 49ers moved closer to a playoff berth with a convincing 33-14 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday from Raymond James Stadium. With the Philadelphia Eagles loss to the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco (10-4) needs only an Arizona loss to punch its ticket to the postseason. Colin Kaepernick threw for 203 yards with two touchdowns on 19-of-29 passing and also rushed for 39 yards on seven attempts. Vernon Davis and Michael Crabtree each hauled in a touchdown on five receptions. Davis finished with 79 yards, while Crabtree recorded 45. Frank Gore rushed for 86 yards on 22 carries for San Fran, which won its fourth consecutive game. Mike Glennon was 18-of-34 for 179 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Tampa Bay (4-10). Timothy Wright and Vincent Jackson both caught touchdown passes in the setback.
(Thursday, December 12th)
Final Score: San Diego 27, Denver 20
Denver, CO (.com) - Ryan Mathews ran for 127 yards and a touchdown and Philip Rivers tossed a pair of scores to Keenan Allen as the Chargers shocked the Denver Broncos, 27-20, on Thursday night. The Chargers, who snapped Denver's 10-game AFC West winning steak, held the ball for nearly 39 minutes and converted 6-of-12 third downs. Denver tallied 127 yards on its first two drives of the game, but totaled just 168 yards the rest of the way. The Broncos' 295 total yards and 20 points were a season low. Rivers was 12- of-20 for 166 yards for San Diego (7-7), which is a game back of Miami for the AFC's second wild-card spot. Peyton Manning completed 27-of-41 passes for 289 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for the Broncos (11-3), who are tied with the Kansas City Chiefs in the loss column atop the AFC West.
December 15, 2013, at 05:32 PM ET
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Vikings come alive, end Eagles' win streak
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