Carr leads another rally, Raiders top Bills
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — When the Buffalo Bills took a 15-point lead midway through the third quarter, the game was right in the comfort zone for the Oakland Raiders.
Derek Carr led yet another comeback with two touchdown passes in the second half and Khalil Mack helped force two turnovers that rallied the Raiders to their biggest comeback in 16 years with a 38-24 victory over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
The Raiders (10-2) scored the final 29 points to mount their sixth fourth-quarter comeback of the season and win their sixth straight game overall, remaining one game ahead of Kansas City in the tough AFC West.
“We don’t want to be in these positions where we’re playing from behind,” said running back Latavius Murray, who ran for two scores. “We want to dominate from start to finish. We keep finding ourselves in these situations, which is the reason we have to continue to improve and get better.”
The Raiders fell behind 24-9 following touchdowns on the first two drives of the second half for Buffalo (6-6), before mounting the biggest comeback win since rallying from 21 points down to beat Indianapolis 38-31 on Sept. 10, 2000.
Oakland scored touchdowns on three straight drives, including scoring strikes from Carr to Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper for his 11th career fourth-quarter comeback.
With four games left this season, Carr has already matched the win total he posted in his first two years combined as Oakland’s playoff drought reached 13 seasons.
“It’s an exciting time in Oakland,” Carr said. “It’s definitely fun times. We’ve come a long way. … But we still have yet to do anything.”
The defense also tightened by forcing three straight three-and-outs and then getting a turnover when Khalil Mack deflected Tyrod Taylor’s pass that Nate Allen intercepted . Oakland took over at the 16 and put the game away with Murray’s second touchdown run of the game to make it 38-24 on Carr’s 2-point conversion pass to Seth Roberts.
The loss was crushing for the Bills, who entered December with hopes of ending the league’s longest playoff drought. A big day by LeSean McCoy, who had 130 yards rushing, helped stake Buffalo to the big lead, but it wasn’t enough.
The Bills are two games behind Denver for the second wild-card spot in the AFC and could be headed to a 17th straight season without a playoff berth.
“It was one of those situations where everything they did went right and we just couldn’t make a play,” safety Corey Graham said. “I’ve never really been in a situation like that where everything went wrong, just like you couldn’t make a play, and then those guys went on a roll and it was like everything they did turned to gold.”
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CHIEFS 29, FALCONS 28
ATLANTA (AP) — Eric Berry returned an interception for a touchdown, and then brought back another pick for a 2-point conversion that gave the Kansas City Chiefs an improbable 29-28 victory over the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
The Falcons (7-5), rallying from a 27-16 deficit, went ahead 28-27 on Matt Ryan’s 5-yard touchdown pass to Aldrick Robinson with 4:32 remaining.
Atlanta decided to go for 2, looking to stretch the margin to a field goal. But Berry stepped in front of Ryan’s pass and ran 99 yards the other way to give the Chiefs (9-3) their winning margin. It came after Denver won a game in similar fashion last month, returning a blocked PAT for the winning points at New Orleans.
Berry had another huge play with less than a minute to go in the first half, picking off Ryan’s pass over the middle and bringing it back 37 yards for a touchdown. After reaching the end zone, the suburban Atlanta native handed the ball to his mother sitting in the stands at the Georgia Dome.
Those weren’t the only big plays for the Chiefs.
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Carson Palmer threw for 300 yards and three touchdowns and David Johnson scored twice.
The loss by the Redskins (6-5-1) clinched a playoff spot for the 11-1 Dallas Cowboys.
Palmer’s 25-yard touchdown pass to Johnson with 11:09 to play put Arizona ahead 24-20, the fourth lead change of the second half.
After a Washington field goal, Palmer’s 42-yard pass to J.J. Nelson with 1:56 padded gave the Cardinals (5-6-1) a 31-23 lead.
Washington drove to the Arizona 28-yard line before Patrick Peterson’s interception of Kirk Cousins’ pass with 41 seconds left sealed the victory.
Johnson, who also scored on a 1-yard run, became the second player in NFL history to top 100 yards from scrimmage in the first 12 games of a season. Edgerrin James was the other.
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SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jameis Winston threw a go-ahead, 12-yard touchdown pass to Cameron Brate midway through the fourth quarter and Keith Tandy intercepted Philip Rivers in the end zone with 2:56 left to give the Buccaneers their fourth straight victory.
Rivers had the Chargers on the move in the final minutes before Tandy got in front of a pass to Dontrelle Inman and picked it off. Tandy’s momentum carried him into the end zone, giving the Bucs the ball on their 20. They ran out the clock.
The Bucs (7-5) pulled into a tie with Atlanta atop the NFC South.
Rivers threw two second-half interceptions, including Lavonte David’s pick-6.
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PACKERS 21, TEXANS 13
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and the Packers pulled away with two fourth-quarter touchdowns.
The Packers (6-6) weathered snowy conditions at Lambeau Field, making just enough plays on the cold turf.
Brock Osweiler connected with DeAndre Hopkins for a 44-yard touchdown pass with 1:51 left to get within eight for Houston. Nick Novak missed the extra point, with footing slippery at Lambeau.
The Texans (6-6) had one last shot after the Packers failed to run out the clock. But Osweiler’s last-ditch pass-and-lateral play from Houston’s 12 with 4 seconds left failed, handing Houston its third straight loss and dropping it into a tie with Tennessee atop the AFC South.
Nelson finished with eight catches for 118 yards and a touchdown for Green Bay.
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LIONS 28, SAINTS 13
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Matthew Stafford passed for 341 yards and two touchdowns.
Golden Tate exploited a coverage breakdown on third-and-long for a 66-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Detroit (8-4) was clinging to a six-point lead. The Lions, who’ve won seven of eight, dominated statistically, but four opportunities inside the New Orleans 20 ended with Matt Prater field goals, allowing the Saints (5-7) to stay close until the fourth quarter.
This time, however, the Lions pulled away for their most comfortable victory of the season after seven previous victory margins of one to seven points.
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RAVENS 38, DOLPHINS 6
BALTIMORE (AP) — Joe Flacco threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns, and the Ravens overwhelmed the Dolphins in the first half to end Miami’s six-game winning streak.
Baltimore (7-5) led 24-0 at halftime behind Flacco and a dominant performance from the league’s second-ranked defense. Flacco went 27 for 34 for 258 yards and three scores over the first 30 minutes, and the Ravens yielded only 115 yards and intercepted a Ryan Tannehill pass.
That was enough to provide the Ravens with their fourth win in five games. Miami also is 7-5.
Flacco finished with a franchise-record 36 completions in 47 attempts, by far his most impressive outing in an uneven season. He entered with 11 TD passes and 10 interceptions.
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PATRIOTS 26, RAMS 10
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Tom Brady became the NFL’s career leader in victories by a quarterback, earning his 201st by throwing for 269 yards and a touchdown. Brady, who was 33 of 46, had tied Peyton Manning last week in a win over the New York Jets.
His lone touchdown came on a 14-yard pass to Chris Hogan in the first quarter. LeGarrette Blount scored the game’s first touchdown , rumbling for a 43-yard, ankle-breaking score in the first quarter while spinning around safety Maurice Alexander in the process. He finished with 88 yards on 18 carries.
The Patriots (10-2) have won seven of their last eight.
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BRONCOS 20, JAGUARS 10
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Bradley Roby returned an interception 51 yards for a touchdown, helping the Broncos gain ground in the AFC playoff picture.
Roby picked off Blake Bortles’ wobbler across the middle in the third quarter and went untouched the other way. Star linebacker Von Miller hit Bortles as he released the ball.
It was the 11th pick-6 of Bortles’ three-year career and his third in the last four games. Houston and Detroit also returned interceptions for touchdowns in games the Jaguars lost by less than seven points.
The latest one resulted in a seventh consecutive loss for Jacksonville (2-10) and secured another miserable milestone for the small-market franchise. The Jaguars became the fifth team in NFL history to post double-digit losses in six consecutive seasons, joining Tampa Bay (1983-94), Detroit (2001-06), Oakland (2003-09) and Cleveland (2008-13).
Jacksonville had a chance to tie in the final minutes, but Bortles fumbled trying to make a play in the pocket.
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BENGALS 32, EAGLES 14
CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton threw a pair of touchdown passes and Cincinnati finally got its depleted offense moving without receiver A.J. Green.
The Bengals (4-7-1) got their first win since Oct. 23, beating a team that’s in a swoon of its own. The Eagles (5-7) opened the season with three straight wins, but have dropped seven of nine.
Dalton had completions of 50, 44, 29, 23 and 21 yards. The Bengals scored on each of their first six possessions for a 29-0 lead, reinventing themselves with Green and running back Giovani Bernard sidelined by injuries. The previous time they scored on their first six possessions was 2009 against the Bears.