No playoff berths or division titles were clinched but three ugly losing streaks ended, another continued and the surprising Washington Redskins and Indianapolis Colts kept winning — in dramatic fashion — in the National Football League on Sunday.
Losses kept Baltimore from clinching a playoff berth in the AFC and Atlanta from wrapping up a first-round playoff bye in the NFC. Wins by Dallas, Minnesota, Washington and St. Louis kept San Francisco from clinching at least an NFC playoff spot despite a 27-13 win over the Miami Dolphins.
Philadelphia rallied for a 23-21 win at Tampa Bay, ending an eight-game losing streak — the Eagles’ longest in 42 years. Carolina snapped a five-game losing streak against the Falcons, 30-20. San Diego upset the Steelers in Pittsburgh, 34-24, to end its losing streak at four. Arizona, however, dropped its ninth in a row, 58-0 at Seattle.
The Redskins won their fourth straight, defeating Baltimore, 31-28, in overtime, while the Colts extended their win streak to three and maintained the lead in the race for the first AFC wild-card playoff berth by rallying past Tennessee, 27-23.
Game of the day
Giants 52, Saints 27
The scoop: Rookie David Wilson returned a kickoff 97 yards for one touchdown, ran for two more scores and piled up 327 all-purpose yards and Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes to lead the rout. The win allowed the Giants to maintain their one-game lead in the NFC East over Washington and Dallas and all but ended the playoff hopes of the Saints (5-8).
Why the Giants won: Bounties or not, the Saints’ special teams and pass defense were terrible.
Panthers 30, Falcons 20
The scoop: Cam Newton threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 72-yard run. Newton piled up a career-high 116 yards on the ground against the NFC South champions. Carolina gained a measure of revenge on Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, who they felt disrespected them after Atlanta’s 30-28, come-from-behind win earlier this season at the Georgia Dome. Ryan threw for 342 yards and two scores and had a costly fourth-quarter interception.
Why the Panthers won: Newton was a one-man show, accounting for three touchdowns and 403 yards of total offense — and no turnovers.
Redskins 31, Ravens 28 OT
The scoop: With Robert Griffin III sidelined with a sprained right knee, Washington rallied behind backup Kirk Cousins to tie the game in the final minute of regulation, then Kai Forbath kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime. Cousins stepped in and hit Pierre Garcon for an 11-yard touchdown pass, then ran in the two-point conversion with 29 seconds to play.
Why the Redskins won: Defense kept them in the game, forcing two turnovers and two three-and-outs on the Ravens’ first four possessions of the second half.
Vikings 21, Bears 14
The scoop: Adrian Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Harrison Smith returned an interception 56 yards for a score. Peterson topped 100 yards before the first quarter was over, helping the Vikings keep their faint playoff hopes alive. Quarterback Jay Cutler took a wicked hit to the head in the fourth quarter and was replaced by Jason Campbell with 3 minutes to play.
Why the Vikings won: Smith’s interception return was the difference in a game in which the Vikings were outgained by 190 yards.
The rookie show
Colts 27, Titans 23
The scoop: Andrew Luck led Indianapolis back from a 13-point second-half deficit and Adam Vinatieri made two fourth-quarter field goals. Delone Carter cut the deficit to 20-14 with a 1-yard TD run on Indy’s opening possession of the second half. And after Pat McAfee’s 52-yard punt went out of bounds at the Titans 1-yard line, Cassius Vaughn jumped in front of Nate Washington, picked off Jake Locker’s pass and scored on a 3-yard interception return to make it 21-20. Rob Bironas gave the Titans a 23-21 lead with a 25-yard field goal, but Vinatieri hit from 53 yards to retake the lead and from 40 to seal it.
Why the Colts won: Locker was careless with the ball, throwing two second-half interceptions.
Eagles 23, Buccaneers 21
The scoop: Rookie Nick Foles threw a pair of touchdown passes in the final four minutes, including a 1-yarder to Jeremy Maclin with no time remaining. Foles completed 32 of 51 passes for 381 yards.
Why the Eagles won: The Bucs gave up 381 passing yards and had no interceptions even though they sacked Foles six times.
Browns 30, Chiefs 7
The scoop: Rookie Travis Benjamin’s electrifying 93-yard punt return touchdown gave Cleveland the lead and momentum as the Browns won their third straight, their longest winning streak since 2009. The Chiefs crumbled after Ryan Succop missed a 27-yard field goal that would have made it 10-0 and Benjamin’s long return. Jamaal Charles ran for 165 yards, breaking off an 80-yard TD run on the game’s first play for K.C.
Why the Browns won: After giving up 151 yards on K.C.’s first two possessions, they held the Chiefs to 157 yards and no points thereafter.
Chargers 34, Steelers 24
The scoop: Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes, two to Danario Alexander, and San Diego won for the first time in 15 regular-season visits to Pittsburgh. The Chargers never let Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger get comfortable in his first game in nearly a month. He also threw an interception and had a botched screen pass turn into an easy San Diego score.
Why the Chargers won: Pittsburgh had only 69 rushing yards.
In the playoff picture
Packers 27, Lions 20
The scoop: Green Bay took sole possession of first place in the NFC North and handed Detroit its fifth loss in a row. The Packers overcame a 14-0, first-half deficit. The rally included a 43-yard fumble return by rookie defensive tackle Mike Daniels. They snapped a 17-all tie in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard run by DuJuan Harris.
Why the Packers won: Their offensive line took charge in the second half.
Jets 17, Jaguars 10
The scoop: Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell ran for short touchdowns and New York kept its postseason hopes alive. The Jets were shut out at halftime, but this time they didn’t need to change quarterbacks. Instead, they just pounded the Jaguars up the middle. Mark Sanchez, benched last week, was hardly a factor.
Why the Jets won: They took advantage of good field position to start all three of their scoring drives.
Cowboys 20 Bengals 19
The scoop: Dallas stayed a game behind the Giants by rallying to win on Dan Bailey’s 40-yard field goal as time ran out. The Cowboys overcame a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes as Tony Romo threw a 27-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant, then led the drive to Bailey’s kick.
Why the Cowboys won: Romo kept eluding a heavy rush and was sacked only three times while Andy Dalton of the Bengals was taken down five times.
49ers 27, Dolphins 13
The scoop: San Francisco maintained its 1½-game lead over Seattle in the NFC West as Colin Kaepernick ran 50 yards to ice the game for the Niners. That was after the defense had stopped Miami on a first-and-10 situation at the San Francisco 35.
Why the 49ers won: Their defense twice stopped Miami on downs in the final 4:10.
Dog of the day
Seahawks 58, Cardinals 0
The scoop: Marshawn Lynch had three touchdown runs and Seattle set a franchise record for points, topping the 56 they scored against the Bills in 1977. The Seahawks forced eight turnovers. Seattle kept firm grasp on the final NFC wild-card spot and kept alive slim chances of catching San Francisco in the NFC West.
Why the Seahawks won: Their opponent was the Cardinals.
News wire services contributed to this report.