Flacco, Ravens bring Dolphins’ six-game win streak to halt
BALTIMORE | Joe Flacco threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns, and the Baltimore Ravens overwhelmed the Dolphins in the first half of a 38-6 victory Sunday that ended 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 and at least a share of first place in the AFC North.
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.
Miami (7-5) didn’t score until Tannehill threw a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter following a fumble recovery that started the drive at the Baltimore 8.
That made it 24-6, and Flacco answered with a 53-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman with 12:49 left.
Two of Flacco’s TD passes went to tight end Dennis Pitta, who’s enjoying a fine season in his return from a second hip surgery. Pitta had nine catches for 90 yards and leads Baltimore with 61 receptions, but he hadn’t reached the end zone since December 2013.
Steelers 24, Giants 14
PITTSBURGH | Ben Roethlisberger passed for 289 yards and two touchdowns, Le’Veon Bell rolled up 182 yards of total offense, and Pittsburgh’s resurgent defense harassed Eli Manning into a flurry of mistakes.
Antonio Brown edged good buddy Odell Beckham Jr. in their personal showdown, catching six passes for 54 yards and an acrobatic scoring grab at the back of the end zone. Tight end Ladarius Green added six receptions for 110 yards, both career highs, and a touchdown as the Steelers (7-5) won their third straight to keep pace with Baltimore atop the AFC North.
Manning completed just 24 of 39 passes for 195 yards with two touchdowns and two picks in the red zone for the Giants (8-4), whose six-game run ended with a thud. Beckham was largely a nonfactor despite a game-high 10 receptions for 100 yards.
Bengals 32, Eagles 14
CINCINNATI | 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.
Raiders 38, Bills 24
OAKLAND, CALIF. | Derek Carr threw for 260 yards and two touchdowns to rally the Raiders to their biggest comeback in 16 years.
After falling behind 24-9 following touchdowns on the first two drives of the second half for Buffalo (6-6), the Raiders (10-2) took the game over with 29 straight points.
The Raiders won their sixth straight to remain one game ahead of Kansas City in the tough AFC West.
Buccaneers 28, Chargers 21
SAN DIEGO | 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.
Chiefs 29, Falcons 28
ATLANTA | Eric Berry returned an interception for a touchdown, and then brought back another pick for a 2-point conversion that gave the Chiefs an improbable victory.
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.
Packers 21, Texans 13
GREEN BAY, WIS. | 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.
Lions 28, Saints 13
NEW ORLEANS | 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.
Patriots 26, Rams 10
FOXBOROUGH, MASS. | 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.
Broncos 20, Jaguars 10
JACKSONVILLE, FLA. | 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.
Bears 26, 49ers 6
CHICAGO | Jordan Howard ran for 117 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and the Bears handed San Francisco its 11th straight loss.
The 49ers (1-11) extended their franchise-record losing streak and set a club low with 6 yards net passing on a day when Colin Kaepernick got lifted for Blaine Gabbert.
Baltimore’s Dennis Pitta had 90 yards receiving and two touchdowns in a 38-6 win over Miami Sunday.