No changes at the top of the National Football League’s eight divisions on Sunday, but the Pittsburgh Steelers, Indianapolis Colts, Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks all won games that kept them in the fight for divisional titles.
Pittsburgh hung a game behind first place Baltimore in the AFC North by snapping the New York Giants’ four-game winning streak, 24-20, at MetLife Stadium.
Surprising Indianapolis remained two games behind Houston in the AFC South by ending Miami’s win streak at three, 23-20. Green Bay defeated Arizona, 31-17, to stay 1½ games behind streaking Chicago in the NFC North while Seattle defeated Minnesota, 30-20, to climb to within 1½ games of idle San Francisco in the NFC West.
Atlanta extended its win streak to eight games while Chicago has won six in a row and Green Bay four. Indianapolis and Denver have won their last three. Carolina ended its five-game losing streak by winning at Washington. Jacksonville lost its fifth in a row.
Game of the day Steelers 24, Giants 20
The scoop: Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Wallace hooked up on a 51-yard TD pass in the first minute of the fourth quarter to get the Steelers close, and Isaac Redman scored on a 1-yard run with 4:02 left to put Pittsburgh in front to stay.
Why the Steelers won: No Eli Manning comebacks in this one. After forcing a punt on the Giants’ possession after the Redman touchdown, they ran out the remaining 2:52.
On a roll
Falcons 19, Cowboys 13
The scoop: Matt Bryant kicked four field goals and Michael Turner scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 3-yard run early in the fourth quarter and unbeaten Atlanta held on for its eighth win in a row. Dan Baley gave the Cowboys a 6-0 first quarter lead with two field goals. Dallas got close on a 21-yard pass from Tony Romo to Kevin Ogletree with 5:21 left. Bryant’s fourth field goal, from 32 yards, iced it with 17 seconds left.
Why the Falcons won: They held the Cowboys to 65 rushing yards.
Bears 51, Titans 20
The scoop: Chicago keeps coming up with defensive touchdowns and turnovers. The Bears scored on a blocked punt and a 46-yard interception return by Brian Urlacher in routing the Titans. Jay Cutler threw three touchdown passes to Brandon Marshall after the defense and special teams had sparked the Bears to a 21-2 lead. Charles Tillman of the Bears forced four fumbles as Chicago rolled up its highest point total since 1980.
Why the Bears won: Chicago led, 28-3, after one quarter even though it managed just 35 yards of offense. They had two return touchdowns and scoring drives of just 8 and 16 yards.
Packers 31, Cardinals 17
The scoop: Aaron Rodgers’ fourth TD pass of the game, to Tom Crabtree on a 72-yard play as time ran out in the third quarter, broke the game open for Green Bay. Up to that point the Cardinals were hanging around with hopes of an upset. Instead, they suffered their fifth straight defeat.
Why the Packers won: Arizona had no running game, gaining just 54 yards on 18 attempts for a 3.0 average. Its longest gain was 11 yards.
Broncos 31, Bengals 23
The scoop: Peyton Manning threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to bring Denver from behind after Cincinnati had taken the lead, 20-17, early in the period. Manning had three TD throws in all, two to Eric Decker, who has seven TD catches on the season.
Why the Broncos won: They sacked Andy Dalton five times, three by Von Miller, and intercepted him twice.
Colts 23, Dolphins 20
The scoop: Andrew Luck easily won a duel of rookie quarterbacks with Ryan Tannehill of the Dolphins, throwing for 433 yards, most ever by an NFL rookie. Adam Vinatieri’s 43-yard field goal with 5:58 left won it for Indy after the Dolphins had tied it on Dan Carpenter’s 31-yarder with 13:12 to go. Two Colts, Donald Avery (108) and T.Y. Hilton (102), went over the 100-mark in receiving yards and Reggie Wayne had seven receptions for 78 yards. Tannehill completed 22 of 38 for 290 yards and one touchdown. Neither quarterback was intercepted.
Why the Colts won: They had only one three-and-out series the entire game, piling up 516 total yards.
Buccaneers 42, Raiders 32
The scoop: Rookie Doug Martin ran for 251 yards, a season’s high in the NFL, and four touchdowns, including runs of 67 and 70 yards, as Tampa Bay held off Carson Palmer and the Raiders. The Bucs built a 28-10 lead in the third quarter on Martin’s 67-yarder, then saw the Raiders close to 35-32 with 3:51 left. Martin increased his season’s total to 794 yards on 154 carries, a 5.2 average with a league-leading seven rushing touchdowns. Josh Freeman threw for two touchdowns for Tampa Bay, one to Mike Williams (Riverside) for 4 yards.
Why the Bucs won: They had successive TD drives of 80, 60, 68 and 70 yards in the second half after trailing 10-7 at the Break.
On the skids
Lions 31, Jaguars 14
The scoop: Mikel Leshoure scored three touchdowns in the second quarter and the Lions never looked back in winning their second in a row. Calvin Johnson caught seven passes for 129 yards but no touchdowns for the Lions. The Jaguars didn’t score until the fourth quarter. By then they trailed, 24-0.
Why the Lions won: They scored TDs on three straight series in the second quarter.
Panthers 21, Redskins 13
The scoop: The supposed duel between Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III never developed as Carolina led almost all the way and snapped a five-game losing streak. Newton passed for one touchdown, ran for another, and D’Angelo Williams gave the Panthers the lead, 7-3, with a 30-yard run.
Why the Panthers won: Their improving defensive front sacked Griffin three times and never let him get untracked.
Seahawks 30, Vikings 20
The scoop: Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch (881) failed to overtake Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson (957) for the NFL rushing lead but he helped the Seahawks to their fourth straight home victory. Seattle took the lead for good, 20-17, with 44 seconds left in the first half on an 11-yard pass from Russell Wilson to Golden Tate. Lynch ran for 124 yards while Peterson had 182.
Why the Seahawks won: Christian Ponder of the Vikings completed only 11 of 22 for 63 yards and lost 19 yards on four sacks. He was intercepted once.
Dog of the day
Ravens 25, Browns 15
The scoop: No touchdowns for the Browns. Baltimore scored 11 points in the last 4:26 after Cleveland had taken a 15-14 lead on a 41-yard Phil Dawson field goal, his fifth of the game. Joe Flacco passed 19 yards to Torey Smith for the go-ahead score.
Why the Ravens won: They forced Cleveland to settle for field goals in five drives into Baltimore territory.
News wire services contributed to this report.