NFL Week 13: What we learned
Lions 40, Packers 10
In Detroit, the Lions won their first Thanksgiving Day game in ten tries. Detroit blew out Green Bay behind big performances from Matthew Stafford and Reggie Bush. At 7-5, the Lions hold a one-game lead in the NFC North.
Cowboys 31, Raiders 24
In Arlington, DeMarco Murray posted three touchdowns to lift the Cowboys past the Raiders. Dallas rallied back from a 21-7 deficit and controlled the second half. The Cowboys are tied for first in the NFC East.
Ravens 22, Steelers 20
In Baltimore, the Ravens hung on to win a tight matchup after the Steelers failed to convert a two-point conversion to tie the game when Emmanuel Sanders dropped Ben Roethlisberger's pass. Controversy arose after it appeared Mike Tomlin intentionally tripped a Baltimore player from the sideline. The win keeps the Ravens in the AFC North hunt, though they are two games back.
Panthers 27, Buccaneers 6
In Carolina, the Panthers won a franchise-record eighth straight contest led by another impressive game from Cam Newton. Newton accounted for three touchdowns as the Panthers routed the Buccaneers, who had won three straight.
Jaguars 32, Browns 28
In Cleveland, the Jaguars won a competitive matchup and continued to decrease their chances at the first overall pick. Cecil Shorts caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Chad Henne with 40 seconds left to give the Jags the lead and their third win. Josh Gordon became the only player in NFL history to tally 200 receiving yards in consecutive games in the loss.
Patriots 34, Texans 31
In Houston, Tom Brady rallied the Patriots to victory over the hapless Texans, who have lost ten straight. Brady posted 371 yards and two touchdowns, and the Patriots outscored the Texans 27-14 in the second half.
Colts 22, Titans 14
In Indianapolis, the Colts edged the Titans to complete the season sweep. Adam Vinatieri made five field goals to help vault the Colts over the Titans. The win gave Indianapolis a comfortable three-game lead in the AFC South.
Vikings 23, Bears 20
In Minnesota, Blair Walsh hit a 34-yard field goal to win the game in overtime after both teams missed kicks previously in the period. The win, while keeping them mathematically alive for the playoffs, complicates the Vikings' bid for a high draft pick. The Bears, losers of two straight, fell out of first in their division.
Dolphins 23, Jets 3
In East Rutherford, the Miami defense coaxed another poor game out of Geno Smith -- who was pulled at halftime -- on its way to a dominant win. Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns as the Dolphins rolled to victory.
Eagles 24, Cardinals 21
In Philadelphia, Nick Foles led the Eagles to their fourth straight win with three touchdown passes. Foles set the team record for consecutive passes without an interception with 233 in the narrow victory. Bay Area product Zach Ertz caught two touchdowns as the Eagles inserted themselves firmly into the playoff race.
Falcons 34, Bills 31
In Toronto, players having disappointing seasons performed well for both teams, but the Falcons earned their third win. Roddy White caught ten balls and Steven Jackson scored two touchdowns for Atlanta. C.J. Spiller posted 149 yards on 15 carries for Buffalo in the loss.
49ers 23, Rams 13
In San Francisco, sixty minutes of stifling defense and big games from Anquan Boldin and Vernon Davis vaulted the 49ers to their eighth win. San Francisco highly increased its chance of securing a wild-card spot with the win, which became crucial after Seattle all but sewed up the NFC West on Monday night.
Broncos 35, Chiefs 28
In Kansas City, Peyton Manning and the Broncos held off the rallying Chiefs to gain a game in the division and secure the season sweep over their rivals. Eric Decker caught an astounding four touchdown passes from Manning, totaling 174 yards.
Bengals 17, Chargers 10
In San Diego, the Bengals defense loomed large, forcing three turnovers to secure the victory. A.J. Green turned in a productive game, scoring a clutch touchdown to give the Bengals a lead that would stick. Cincinnati now sits comfortably in the AFC North driver's seat.
Giants 24, Redskins 17
In Landover, Justin Tuck exploded for a career-high four sacks to lead the Giants over the Redskins. A controversial call highlighted the end of the contest, when the referees indicated Washington had first down yardage when they did not, causing them to alter their play-calling. The loss eliminated Washington from playoff contention.
Seahawks 34, Saints 7
In Seattle, the Seahawks thumped the Saints from the opening kickoff to keep Russell Wilson undefeated at home for his career. Wilson tossed three touchdowns and tallied 310 passing yards, while also leading the team in rushing yards. Seattle became the first team in the NFL to clinch a playoff berth, and the Saints fell to a tie atop the NFC South.