Cut­ler leads Bears to sur­prise win over Packers

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LOS AN­GE­LES: Cam New­ton ran for a touch­down and Carolina’s de­fense scored two more on in­ter­cep­tions as the Pan­thers im­proved to 11-0 with a 33-14 rout of the Dal­las Cow­boys on Thurs­day. Gra­ham Gano kicked four field goals, in­clud­ing one from 50 yards, for Carolina who were play­ing on the US Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day for the first time in fran­chise history. The Detroit Li­ons ham­mered the Philadel­phia Ea­gles 45-14 and in a later game the Green Bay Packers hosted the Chicago Bears as the NFL sched­uled three hol­i­day con­tests on Thurs­day.

The Dal­las loss is com­pounded be­cause star quar­ter­back Tony Romo had to leave the game in the third quar­ter fa­vor­ing his left arm fol­low­ing a hard hit by Pan­thers line­backer Thomas Davis. Carolina’s de­fense sti­fled the Cow­boys’ at­tack which in­cluded two in­ter­cep­tions by Pan­ther line­backer Luke Kuechly in the sec­ond quar­ter. Carolina safety Kurt Coleman and Kuechly scored in­ter­cep­tions in the first half to give the Pan­thers a 23-3 lead head­ing into the third quar­ter. Pan­ther coach Ron Rivera said they prac­tice plays like those and this time it worked out.

“One of the things we do work on is, ‘Hey, we score with the ball,’” Rivera said. “We try to cre­ate that picket fence go­ing down one side or the other. “Kurt just made a great cut­back and was able to put it in the end zone. Luke knew im­me­di­ately where he was sup­posed to go and he picked up a row of block­ers.” New­ton was su­perb, con­nect­ing on 16-of-27 passes for 183 yards and rushed for 45 yards and a touch­down. New­ton led the Pan­thers on a 14-play, 80-yard touch­down drive to ice the game late in the third quar­ter. He capped the drive with a four-yard touch­down run with 18 sec­onds left in the quar­ter, putting the Pan­thers ahead 30-6. Romo com­pleted 11-of-21 passes for 106 yards and three in­ter­cep­tions be­fore he left the game. Romo missed seven weeks with a bro­ken clav­i­cle ear­lier this sea­son and the team said he rein­jured the left clav­i­cle. Dal­las was 0-7 with Romo out of the lineup.

BEARS 17, PACKERS 13 Jay Cut­ler threw for 200 yards and a score as Chicago held off Green Bay on fourth-and-goal from the 8 with 22 sec­onds left. Aaron Rodgers’ throw to the end zone de­flected off re­ceiver Da­vante Adams’ hands on the rain. James Jones couldn’t hang on to a po­ten­tial touch­down catch on third down. Cor­ner­back Tracy Porter in­ter­cepted Rodgers’ pass with 3:19 left at the Bears 45 on the Packers’ pre­vi­ous drive. The high­light of the night for Green Bay turned out to be the re­turn of Brett Favre, whose name and No 4 was un­veiled at half­time next to the team’s other re­tired num­bers. Chicago (5-6) has won three of its last four. The Packers (7-4) lost a sec­ond straight home game. Jeremy Langford ran for a touch­down for Chicago.

LI­ONS 45, EA­GLES 14 Matthew Stafford equaled a ca­reer high with five touch­down passes, three to Calvin John­son, as Detroit routed Philadel­phia for its third straight vic­tory. Stafford threw for more than 200 yards and three touch­downs with­out a turnover in the first half to help the Li­ons (4-7) take a 24-7 lead. He fin­ished 27 of 38 for 337 yards. The Ea­gles (4-7) have lost three straight. They have al­lowed at least 45 points in two straight games in one sea­son for the first time in team history. Mark Sanchez started for Philadel­phia with Sam Brad­ford in­ac­tive be­cause of a shoul­der in­jury. Sanchez was 19 of 27 for 199 yards and two touch­downs. —Agen­cies

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