Prescott, Cowboys survive Eagles, backup QB Minshew, 40-34
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns, Brett Maher kicked the go-ahead field goal late and the Dallas Cowboys beat the Philadelphia Eagles 40-34 on Saturday.
Gardner Minshew threw two scoring passes and had a TD run filling in for the injured Jalen Hurts, but his second interception set up Maher’s go-ahead kick.
Four days after speaking at the memorial service of his college coach, Mike Leach, Minshew had Philadelphia 19 yards from a potential winning touchdown in the final seconds, but his desperation pass into the end zone on fourth-and-10 wasn’t anywhere near a receiver.
The NFL-leading Eagles (13-2) had two turnovers in the final five minutes and missed a chance to clinch the NFC’s top seed in a matchup of playoff-bound division rivals. Dallas (11-4), the defending NFC East champ, kept alive faint hopes of catching them.
The Eagles had their five-game winning streak stopped. They got off to a strong start when defensive end Josh Sweat snared an ill-advised throw by Prescott and ran 42 yards for a touchdown and an early 10-0 lead.
CeeDee Lamb’s second TD catch made it 34-34 with 5:49 left in the game. Rookie cornerback DaRon Bland took the ball away from Philadelphia receiver Quez Watkins for Minshew’s second interception, leading to Maher’s 48-yard kick for a 37-34 lead.
Minshew threw for 355 yards, completing 24 of 40 passes in his first start of the season.
VIKINGS 27, GIANTS 24
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Greg Joseph kicked a career-long 61-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Minnesota a 27-24 victory that prevented New York from clinching a playoff spot.
Kirk Cousins threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns for the Vikings (12-3), including a 3-yard toss to Justin Jefferson with 3 minutes to go that was set up by a blocked punt. Jefferson finished with 12 catches for 133 yards, and T.J. Hockenson had a career-high 13 receptions for 109 yards and the other two TDs.
After Jefferson’s score put the Vikings up by eight, the Giants (8-6-1) tied it up on Saquon Barkley’s 27-yard rush up the middle on fourth-and-2 and Daniel Jones’ 2-point conversion pass to Daniel Bellinger.
With no timeouts left, Cousins found Jefferson for a third-down completion on a bubble screen. Jefferson turned that into a 17-yard gain to set up Joseph’s game-ending kick.
Jones went 30 of 42 for 334 yards and a touchdown to Isaiah Hodgins, but his teammates had trouble holding onto the ball. The Giants got the help they needed with losses by NFC pursuers Detroit and Seattle, but they didn’t seal the deal to secure a wild-card spot.
BENGALS 22, PATRIOTS 18
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Joe Burrow threw three touchdown passes and Cincinnati forced a late turnover in the red zone to preserve its win over New England.
The Bengals (11-4) won their seventh straight game and remained in the driver’s seat for a second consecutive AFC North title despite nearly blowing a 22-0 halftime lead.
The Patriots had the ball on the Cincinnati 5 with just over a minute to play when Rhamondre Stevenson was hit by Vonn Bell and fumbled, leading to Josh Tupou’s recovery. The Bengals punted it back four plays later, but the Patriots turned the ball over on downs.
Burrow finished 40 of 52 for 375 yards with two interceptions. Trenton Irwin had two touchdown catches. Tee Higgins had eight catches for 128 yards and a TD.
The Patriots (7-8) entered the week one game outside of the final AFC playoff spot. They have lost four of five.
Mac Jones finished 21 of 33 for 240 yards and two touchdowns. New England had 10 penalties for 82 yards and managed just 285 total yards. Nick Folk missed two extra points on a day when the temperature was 17 degrees with a wind chill of 4.
STEELERS 13, RAIDERS 10
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Kenny Pickett threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to George Pickens with 46 seconds remaining, and Pittsburgh honored the memory of the late Franco Harris as it rallied to beat Las Vegas.
On the night the Steelers retired Harris’ No. 32 — the Hall of Fame running back died Wednesday at age 72 — Pittsburgh (7-8) kept its faint playoff hopes alive by delivering another last-second victory over the Raiders. Las Vegas (6-9) was pushed to the brink of elimination from the postseason.
A day after the 50th anniversary of Harris’ “Immaculate Reception” win over the Raiders in the 1972 playoffs, Pickett deftly drove the Steelers 76 yards in 10 plays, the last a dart over the middle to a wide-open Pickens in the end zone.
Pickett completed 26 of 39 for 244 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Tight end Pat Freiermuth caught seven passes for 66 yards and Najee Harris had 95 total yards as the Steelers won for the fifth time in seven games.
Derek Carr threw for 174 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions, the last one a floater down the middle of the field that was picked off by Cam Sutton with 29 seconds to go. Pittsburgh rookie Connor Heyward ran for a first down to help the Steelers run out of the clock.
The Raiders lost their eighth one-score game of the year and could be eliminated from the playoffs by the end of the week.
49ERS 37, COMMANDERS 20
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Brock Purdy threw two more long touchdown passes to George Kittle and San Francisco beat Washington for its eighth straight win.
Purdy kept up his impressive play since taking over for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo early in Week 13. He has thrown two TD passes in four straight games for the 49ers (11-4) and has won all three of his starts. San Francisco continued its chase of Minnesota (12-3) for the second NFC playoff seed.
Taylor Heinicke threw two TD passes for Washington (7-7-1) but also lost a fumble and threw an interception in the fourth quarter. He was replaced after his second giveaway by Carson Wentz.
The Commanders are winless in their last three games, but still hold a half-game lead over Seattle and Detroit in the race for the final playoff spot in the NFC.
The Niners broke the game open in the third quarter thanks to some more big plays from Purdy. They took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove to the go-ahead score when Kittle got open deep for a 34-yard TD. Kittle scored again later in the quarter on a 33-yard catch-and-run to make it 21-7.
Wentz, playing for the first time since Week 6, threw a 20-yard TD pass to Curtis Samuel.
RAVENS 17, FALCONS 9
BALTIMORE (AP) — Tyler Huntley threw a first-half touchdown pass, and Baltimore kept Atlanta out of the end zone as it ended up securing a playoff spot.
About a half-hour after Baltimore (10-5) took care of the Falcons, New England lost to Cincinnati to put the Ravens in the playoffs. The Ravens won for the second time in three games without quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has been out with a knee injury.
Gus Edwards ran for 99 yards and J.K. Dobbins rushed for 59 for Baltimore. Huntley’s 6-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson in the second quarter was the first TD catch by a Ravens wide receiver since Week 3.
Huntley ran for a 2-point conversion that put the Ravens up 14-0 — and Baltimore’s defense has allowed more than 14 points in a game just once since the start of November.
Atlanta (5-10), which entered just a game behind first-place Tampa Bay in the NFC South, has lost four straight — including rookie QB Desmond Ridder’s first two starts — and six of seven.
BILLS 35, BEARS 13
CHICAGO (AP) — Devin Singletary and James Cook ran for long touchdowns in the third quarter, Buffalo beat Chicago to win the AFC East.
The Bills (12-3) won their sixth straight game, secured their third straight division title and remained on track for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.
Josh Allen ran for a TD and threw for another in the game’s closing minutes, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the most touchdowns in a player’s first five NFL seasons.
Chicago (3-12) matched a franchise record with its eighth straight loss. Justin Fields threw for 119 yards and a touchdown, but ran for a season-low 11 yards a week after after joining Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson as the only QBs with 1,000 yards rushing in a season.
The temperature at kickoff was 9 with a minus-12 wind chill — only three degrees warmer than the record low for a Bears home game.
Singletary scored on a 33-yard run on the opening drive of the second half and finished with 106 yards in the game. Cook added 99, including a 27-yarder in the third following a fumble by the Bears’ David Montgomery, giving the Bills a 21-10 lead.
CHIEFS 24, SEAHAWKS 10
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, and Kansas City shut down Geno Smith and Seattle’s slumping offense.
Travis Kelce had six catches for 113 yards, and Kadarius Toney and Jerick McKinnon had touchdown catches as the AFC West champion Chiefs (12-3) remained tied with Buffalo for the conference’s best record with two games to go.
The Chiefs stopped the Seahawks (7-8) twice on fourth down, picked off their Pro Bowl quarterback in the end zone and dealt coach Pete Carroll’s team its fifth loss in six games along with a near-knockout blow to its playoff hopes. Kansas City has won 16 consecutive regular-season games against NFC opponents.
Kenneth Walker III was the bright spot for Seattle, running for 107 yards.
The wind chill was minus-2 at kickoff, and the tarp was frozen to the field when workers tried to remove it three hours before the game. Seattle’s offense was downright frigid as the Chiefs jumped out to a 17-0 lead.
PANTHERS 37, LIONS 23
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — D’Onta Foreman ran for a career-high 165 yards and a touchdown, Chuba Hubbard added 125 yards rushing and Carolina racked up a franchise-record 320 yards on the ground to beat Detroit and keep its NFC South title hopes alive.
Sam Darnold completed 15 of 22 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score to improve to 3-1 as Carolina’s starting QB. Raheem Blackshear and D.J. Moore also scored for the Panthers, who amassed a team-record 570 yards of offense in the coldest game ever played at Bank of America Stadium.
The Panthers had seven runs of longer than 20 yards against a Lions defense that had allowed just 84 yards rushing per game over the last five weeks. Foreman and Hubbard both exceeded 100 yards rushing in the first half as the Panthers built a 24-7 lead.
Carolina (6-9) can clinch its first division title since 2015 with wins at Tampa Bay and New Orleans.
Jared Goff threw three touchdown passes to third-string tight end Shane Zylstra for the Lions. Detroit (7-8) had won six of its previous seven games to move into playoff contention.
TEXANS 19, TITANS 14
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Davis Mills threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks with 2:52 left, and the Houston snapped a nine-game skid by beating sliding Tennessee in a game delayed because of power issues.
Kickoff was delayed by an hour in a joint agreement by the Titans, the NFL and local emergency management officials after rolling power blackouts. Even with the delay, it was the coldest home game in Titans history with a temperature of 20 at kickoff and the wind chill at 6.
Ogbonnia Okoronkwo had two of the Texans’ four sacks by halftime, and Houston (2-12-1) also forced three turnovers.
Linebacker Christian Harris intercepted rookie Malik Willis at the Houston 41 with 1:33 left, and Texans safety Jalen Pitre picked off Willis’ final pass in the end zone to seal the victory.
Houston fell behind 14-10 in the third quarter but held Tennessee scoreless from there.
The Titans (7-8) have blown their four-game lead atop the AFC South, falling into a tie with Jacksonville. Henry ran for 126 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown.
SAINTS 17, BROWNS 10
CLEVELAND (AP) — Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill each had touchdown runs and New Orleans eliminated Cleveland from the playoffs.
The Saints (6-9) were 0-6 in outdoor games this season before rallying to beat the Browns (6-9) in the coldest game in New Orleans history. The temperature was 6 degrees at kickoff.
Deshaun Watson drove Cleveland to the Saints 15 in the final minute, but he was sacked on fourth down with 19 seconds left by Carl Granderson.
Kamara scored on a 4-yard run late in the third quarter — set up by Daniel Sorensen’s interception of Watson and 36-yard return — as the Saints overcame a 10-0 deficit. New Orleans came in trailing Tampa Bay by one game in the weak NFC South.
Watson had a 12-yard rushing TD but struggled to pass in the blustery conditions (15 of 31 for 135 yards) and fell to 2-2 as a starter since returning from his 11-game suspension for sexual misconduct allegations.
AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL