Giants hold off Browns thanks to Manning’s 2 TDs
CLEVELAND — Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes to Odell Beckham Jr., Jason Pierre-Paul returned a fumble for a TD, and the New York Giants extended their winning streak to six, holding off Cleveland, 27-13, on Sunday to keep the Browns winless.
Manning had three TD passes. They don’t overwhelm anyone, but the Giants (8-3) do just enough to win and are in position to make the playoffs for the first time since 2011, when they won the Super Bowl.
Manning threw a 32-yard TD pass to Beckham in the second quarter and added a 4-yarder to the star wide receiver with 5:10 left to finally put away the Browns (0-12).
Cleveland has lost 15 in a row since last season. It is 3-30 since ending the 2014 season with five consecutive losses.
TAMPA, Fla. — Jameis Winston threw a pair of touchdown passes to Mike Evans and Tampa Bay’s rejuvenated defense shut down Russell Wilson and Seattle.
Evans scored on receptions of 3 and 23 yards in the opening quarter, a grieving Alterraun Verner had one of two interceptions off Wilson, and the Bucs sacked the Seattle quarterback six times.
The Bucs (6-5) have won three straight to climb back into contention for a playoff berth. In addition to stopping Seattle’s three-game winning streak, they remained one game behind first-place Atlanta in the NFC South.
The Seahawks are 7-3-1.
Playing two days after the death of his father, Verner picked off Wilson to stop a promising drive in the final minute of the opening half. The reserve cornerback was embraced on the sideline by teammates, who continued to play inspired defense in the second half.
RAIDERS 35, PANTHERS 32
OAKLAND, Calif. — Derek Carr came back from an injured pinkie to lead another fourth-quarter comeback and the Raiders won their fifth straight game.
Carr threw for 315 yards and two touchdowns despite missing a series after the injury, leading the Raiders (9-2) back from an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter to clinch their first winning season since 2002.
After leading a tying drive earlier in the fourth quarter, Carr hit Michael Crabtree on a 49-yard pass on third-and-9 to help set up Sebastian Janikowski’s 23-yard field goal with 1:45 left.
Cam Newton led the Panthers (4-7) into Oakland territory on the final drive. But Greg Olsen dropped a pass on third down that would have put Carolina in field goal range, and Khalil Mack stripped Newton on a fourth-down sack to seal the win.
The Panthers scored the first 25 points in the second half after Carr left the game when he hurt his right pinkie while fumbling a snap on the second play from scrimmage in the third quarter.
PATRIOTS 22, JETS 17
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Tom Brady tied Peyton Manning for the most wins by a quarterback in NFL history, getting his 200th by throwing a go-ahead 8-yard touchdown pass to Malcolm Mitchell with 1:56 left.
Trailing 17-16 with 5:04 left and the ball on the Patriots 17, Brady led an efficient drive by completing six passes. After James White stretched for 4 yards on fourth-and-4, a 25-yard catch by Chris Hogan put the ball at the 8. Brady then zipped a pass to Mitchell to put the Patriots (9-2) ahead.
A 2-point conversion try by White was initially ruled good, but the call was reversed because the ball never crossed the goal line — giving the Jets (3-8) a final chance.
But Chris Long hit Ryan Fitzpatrick before he could throw, resulting in a fumble that was recovered by Trey Flowers.
It was the 500th win in franchise history for the Patriots, who became the first original AFL franchise to reach the mark.
FALCONS 38, CARDINALS 19
ATLANTA — Taylor Gabriel took two short passes for touchdowns and the Atlanta Falcons returned from a bye week to add to Arizona’s misery.
Gabriel, cut by the winless Browns before the season, scored on plays of 35 and 25 yards that showed off his speed.
His second score finished the Cardinals, who began the season touted as a Super Bowl contender but have been one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams.
The Falcons (7-4) began the day leading the NFC South and moved a step closer to their first playoff berth since 2012. The Cardinals (4-6-1) have lost two straight and three of their past four, putting them in danger of missing the postseason a season after reaching the NFC championship game.
Coach Bruce Arians was on the sideline after falling ill and being briefly hospitalized early in the week, but it did little to inspire his team.
CHARGERS 21, TEXANS 13
HOUSTON — Philip Rivers threw for 242 yards and three touchdowns against the mistake-prone Texans.
Dontrelle Inman had 119 yards receiving and a touchdown to help San Diego (5-6) to the victory.
The Texans (6-5) lost in Houston for the first time this season after winning their first five here. Playing a large part were four turnovers, including three interceptions by Brock Osweiler.
The Chargers were up by four in the fourth quarter when Rivers evaded the rush and delivered a 25-yard pass to Inman. Kareem Jackson was flagged for unnecessary roughness for a helmet-to-helmet hit on the play, leaving San Diego at the 12-yard line. Rivers delivered a touchdown pass to rookie Hunter Henry on the next play to push the lead to 21-10.
Osweiler’s second interception came after that when he badly overthrew C.J. Fiedorowicz and Dwight Lowery made the easy grab.
Houston added a field goal with 37 seconds left and recovered an onside kick. But Osweiler’s first shot at the end zone was knocked down, and the second one was intercepted as time expired.
TITANS 27, BEARS 21
CHICAGO — Marcus Mariota threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and the Titans hung on to beat the depleted Bears.
The Titans (6-6) gave their playoff hopes a boost, though they watched as Chicago (2-9) cut a 20-point lead to six in the fourth quarter. The Titans moved a half-game out of first place in the AFC South.
Matt Barkley, starting for the injured Jay Cutler, led the late surge. The Bears had a first down at the Tennessee 7 in the final minute when Josh Bellamy dropped a pass in the end zone on first down. Barkley’s next three attempts fell incomplete, preserving the win for Tennessee.
Mariota, putting together one of the best seasons ever by a Titans quarterback, came through with another solid performance. The second-year pro completed 15 of 23 passes.
SAINTS 49, RAMS 21
NEW ORLEANS — Drew Brees passed for 310 yards and four touchdowns and Mark Ingram scored twice.
Playing 10 days after being knocked unconscious in a Thursday night loss at Carolina, Ingram rushed for 146 yards on 14 carries, including a 61-yard scamper and a 10-yard touchdown on a fourth-and-1 play. He also scored on a 21-yard screen to the right side of the field, which was wide open as the Rams (4-7) tried to pressure Brees.
Two of Brees’ scoring strikes went to rookie Michael Thomas, whose touchdowns of 6 and 21 yards were part of a nine-catch, 108-yard performance. Brees’ other touchdowns went to Ingram and Brandon Coleman from 6 yards for New Orleans (5-6).
Saints coach Sean Payton also victimized his former defensive coordinator, Gregg Williams, with some razzle-dazzle that produced a 50-yard touchdown pass from receiver Willie Snead to running back Tim Hightower.
DOLPHINS 31, 49ERS 24
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Ndamukong Suh tackled Colin Kaepernick 2 yards short of the goal line as time ran out, and the Dolphins handed the 49ers a franchise-record 10th consecutive loss.
Ryan Tannehill threw for 285 yards and three scores to compensate for a sputtering Miami ground game.
With the 49ers trailing by seven, Kaepernick moved them from their 38 to the 6 in the final 1:44. But he threw incomplete on first down, and then was tackled from behind by the 305-pound Suh on the final play.
The Dolphins (7-4) extended their winning streak to six games, their longest since 2005. Kaepernick passed for three TDs, but the 49ers (1-10) still haven’t won since the season opener.
RAVENS 19, BENGALS 14
BALTIMORE — Justin Tucker kicked four field goals and Baltimore shut down the Bengals’ depleted offense.
Joe Flacco threw for 234 yards and a touchdown to help Baltimore (6-5) snap a five-game losing streak against the Bengals (3-7-1), whose playoff hopes took another serious blow.
The victory was not assured until Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton fumbled when sacked by Elvis Dumervil, and defensive end Lawrence Guy recovered at the Baltimore 21 with 1:05 left and the Ravens up 19-12.
Cincinnati got a safety on the final play when Baltimore punter Sam Koch ran out of the end zone while his blockers intentionally held Cincinnati rushers. A game can end on an offensive penalty.
At this point, the Bengals will need a sensational finish to extend their run of consecutive playoff appearances to six.
BILLS 28, JAGUARS 21
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — LeSean McCoy scored twice, including a career-best 75-yard run.
Tyrod Taylor’s 16-yard touchdown pass to Justin Hunter with 10:46 remaining put the Bills ahead for good during a second half in which the teams traded the lead five times. Taylor also scored on a 7-yard run in helping keep Buffalo in the playoff hunt.
The Bills (6-5) won for the second straight week when trailing at halftime after doing so just once last season. Taylor also produced just the second fourth-quarter comeback of his career.
The Jaguars (2-9) lost for the sixth straight game, their longest skid since opening the 2014 season at 0-6.