Packers hold off Patriots 26-21
GREEN BAY, Wisconsin (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns and Eddie Lacy ran for key yards in the fourth quarter as the Green Bay Packers fended off the New England Patriots 26-21 Sunday in a high-profile matchup between Super Bowl contenders.
Rodgers bested Tom Brady in the first meeting between the star quarterbacks as starters. Rodgers connected with Richard Rodgers and Jordy Nelson for long touchdowns.
Leading by five, the defense held firm late for the Packers (9-3). Mike Daniels and Mike Neal combined to sack Brady on third down for a 9-yard loss, and kicker Stephen Gostkowkski pushed a 47-yard field-goal attempt wide right with 2:40 left.
The Packers sealed it after Rodgers converted to Cobb on third-and-4 with the Patriots out of timeouts.
At Kansas City, Missouri, Peyton Manning threw two touchdown passes and Connor Barth was perfect on five field-goal attempts as the Denver Broncos downed the Kansas City Chiefs 29-16.
C.J. Anderson added 168 yards rushing and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass, and Demaryius Thomas also had a TD grab to help the Broncos (9-3) beat Kansas City for the sixth straight time.
The victory kept Denver a game up on San Diego in the division race.
Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton ran for one touchdown and threw to A.J. Green for another, as the Bengals overcome numerous mistakes to edge the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14-13.
Dalton shrugged off three first-half interceptions as the Bengals weathered 10 penalties and an ill-advised onside kick that cost them momentum after taking the lead in the second half to win on the road for the third consecutive week. That’s a franchise first that seemed improbable following a lopsided home loss to Cleveland a month ago.
The Bengals lead the tightest division race in the NFL, with a 1½-game lead over each of their AFC North rivals — all of whom lost.
The San Diego Chargers slid past the Baltimore Ravens 34-33 after Philip Rivers capped a frantic drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal with 38 seconds to go.
The Chargers trailed 30-20 with 6:13 remaining and 33-27 with 2:22 left before Rivers brought them back.
Drew Brees threw five touchdowns for the ninth time in his career as the New Orleans Saints dominated the sloppy Pittsburgh Steelers 35-32, while Buffalo quarterback Kyle Orton and defensive end Jerry Hughes scored touchdowns 10 seconds apart in the third quarter to lead the Bills past the Cleveland Browns 26-10.
In other games, Julio Jones caught 10 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown to keep the Atlanta Falcons in first place in the NFC South with a 29-18 win over the Arizona Cardinals and the Houston Texans downed the Tennessee Titans 45-21
The St. Louis Rams blanked the Oakland Raiders 52-0 and the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Washington Redskins 49-27, the Minnesota Vikings downed the Florida Panthers 31-13 and the Jacksonville Jaguars were 25-24 winners over the New York Giants.
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