ATLANTA — The Vikings frustrated Matt Ryan, blanketed Julio Jones and kept the Atlanta Falcons out of the end zone.
Minnesota's eighth straight victory was all about defense.
Case Keenum threw a pair of touchdown passes, including the go-ahead score on the first play of the fourth quarter, but the guys on the other side of the line were largely responsible for the Vikings extending their winning streak to eight in a row Sunday with a grind-it-out, 14-9 victory over the Falcons.
"It was a hard one," coach Mike Zimmer said. "We've got a good bunch of fighters on this football team, and I think maybe they really believe now."
Keenum strengthened his hold on the starting job by going 25 of 30 for 227 yards. He hooked up with Jerick McKinnon on a 2-yard scoring play in the second quarter and went to Kyle Rudolph for a 6-yard touchdown on the first play of the fourth quarter, capping an 89-yard drive that consumed more than 8 minutes (see full recap).
Saints alone atop NFC South after win over Panthers
NEW ORLEANS — Rookie sensation Alvin Kamara scored two tackle-shedding touchdowns, New Orleans took advantage of a pair of Carolina special teams gaffes, and the Saints reclaimed sole possession of first place in the NFC South with a 31-21 victory over the Panthers on Sunday.
Mark Ingram rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown for the Saints (9-3), who own the head-to-head tie-breaker over Carolina (8-4) with four games to go.
Drew Brees passed for 269 yards, including a 10-yard TD to Michael Thomas a few plays after a botched Panthers punt gave New Orleans the ball on the Carolina 31.
In the fourth quarter, a fumble by Panthers punt returner Kaelin Clay near midfield set up Wil Lutz's 31-yard field goal to give New Orleans a 31-14 lead (see full recap).
Aaron Jones' TD run gives Packers OT win over Bucs
GREEN BAY, Wis. — It's hard to remember the last time that the Green Bay Packers won a game with only 84 yards passing.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers might be able to spice up the offense again soon, as long as the running game keeps churning out yards and the defense gets sacks in victories to stay in the playoff race.
Aaron Jones' 20-yard scoring run on his only carry , with 5:59 left in overtime, gave Green Bay a 26-20 win Sunday over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
With the passing game struggling, the Packers (6-6) wore down the Buccaneers on the ground. Rodgers' replacement, Brett Hundley, had runs of 18 and 7 yards on the drive to start overtime (see full recap).
McCown, Chiefs' poor discipline lead Jets to wild win
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Brutal start, wild finish and quite an impressive victory for the New York Jets. As for Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs, this one surely stings.
Josh McCown scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak with 2:15 left , and the Jets bounced back from an early deficit Sunday and held on for a wacky 38-31 win that was filled with big plays, bad penalties and lots of lead changes.
"When you see it go back and forth, it's hard, because eventually one team gives in," McCown said. "We just stayed together."
Chandler Catanzaro kicked a 21-yard field goal to put the Jets (5-7) ahead with 3:55 left. But Kansas City's Bennie Logan was called for a personal foul for hitting long snapper Thomas Hennessy in the head on the play. That gave the Jets the ball at the 1 with a new set of downs (see full recap).