Baltimore downed by Pittsburgh, Romo piles more misery on Philadelphia

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Updated: December 3, 2012

The play offs started to take shape this weekend as no less than 4 teams booked their spots in week 13 of the NFL season. Houston, Atlanta, Denver and New England powered through. Over time worked for Seattle and St. Louis, Baltimore slipped up as Pittsburgh got revenge, Kansas City provided an emotional win, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Indianapolis, Buffalo, the Jets and Green Bay all registered wins. Tony Romo threw for 300 yards and in to process piled more misery on the Eagles as they slipped to another defeat.

Matt Schaub completed 21-of-35 passes for 207 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Houston Texans to a 24-10 win over the Tennessee Titans. The Texans’ defense forced three interceptions and recovered three fumbles, while Arian Foster carried the ball 14 times for 38 yards and a touchdown and Lestar Jean had a 54-yard touchdown reception for Houston (11-1), which clinched its second consecutive playoff berth with the win. Tennessee’s Jake Locker was 21-for-45 passing for 309 yards and a touchdown, but threw three interceptions. Nate Washington had three catches for 96 yards and Chris Johnson rushed for 51 yards on 13 carries for the Titans (4-8), who have dropped four of their last five games overall.

An already challenging season for the Kansas City Chiefs only got tougher following Saturday’s tragic events. But the show went on. And somehow the Chiefs avoided tying their longest losing streak in franchise history. A day after linebacker Jovan Belcher fatally shot his girlfriend before taking his own life at the team’s facility, the Chiefs resiliently took the field and downed the Carolina Panthers, 27-21, snapping their eight-game slide. Belcher was in his fourth year with the Chiefs after signing as an undrafted free agent out of Maine. He started 10 of the 11 games he had played this season and registered 38 tackles. Brady Quinn threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns on 19-of-23 efficiency for the Chiefs (2-10), who avoided joining the 1987 and 2007 Chiefs as the only teams to lose nine straight games in franchise history. Jamaal Charles carried the ball 27 times for 127 yards in the win. Cam Newton completed 15-of-27 passes for 232 yards and three scores, while adding 78 yards on the ground for the Panthers (3-9), who downed the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday.

Greg McElroy came in relief of Mark Sanchez in the third quarter and passed for the lone touchdown of the game to Jeff Cumberland, as the Jets escaped with a 7-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in an otherwise offensively challenged football game, for the second time in three weeks, the St. Louis Rams and San Francisco 49ers battled past regulation in a hard-fought NFC West tussle. But unlike their Week 10 meeting, Sunday’s eerily similar tilt ended with a winner, as Greg Zuerlein connected on a 54-yard field goal with 26 seconds remaining in OT to give the Rams a 16-13 victory at Edward Jones Dome, despite only passing for 112 yards, Ryan Fitzpatrick did account for three touchdowns in leading the Buffalo Bills to a 34-18 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars and Andrew Luck and Donnie Avery got together on a 14-yard score on the final play of the game as the Indianapolis Colts shocked the Detroit Lions, 35-33.

The New England Patriots clinched the AFC East. It was far from easy, however. Tom Brady’s rhythm was disrupted by a spirited Miami defense, but the Patriots capitalized on several miscues on their way to a 23-16 victory at Sun Life Stadium. Brady was 24-of-40 for 238 yards with one touchdown pass to Wes Welker and a rare interception. Stevan Ridley scored on a short touchdown run and picked up critical yards on a fourth-quarter drive to help New England (9-3) prevail and capture the division crown for the 10th time in 12 years.

Andy Dalton shook off two interceptions by capping a late scoring drive with a go-ahead touchdown run in the fourth quarter, as the Cincinnati Bengals escaped Qualcomm Stadium with a 20-13 win over the struggling San Diego Chargers. For the fourth time this season, the Chargers blew a fourth-quarter lead, as Dalton culminated a 14-play, 55-yard drive that ended with his 6-yard plunge over the goal line for a 17-13 lead. Philip Rivers fumbled deep in his own territory on the ensuing possession and threw an interception in the end zone in the final minute to seal the Chargers’ (4-8) fourth consecutive loss.

Brandon Weeden threw for 364 yards and a touchdown to help the Cleveland Browns take a 20-17 decision over the Oakland Raiders while Sidney Rice’s 13-yard touchdown catch in overtime lifted the Seattle Seahawks over the Chicago Bears, 23-17.

Shaun Suisham buried a 42-yard field goal as time expired and the Pittsburgh Steelers exacted a bit of revenge against the Baltimore Ravens with a 23-20 triumph at M&T Bank Stadium. The Ravens defeated the Steelers, 13-10, in Pittsburgh just two weeks ago, but third-string quarterback Charlie Batch — making his second straight start in place of Ben Roethlisberger and Byron Leftwich — was able to chew up the final 6:14 of game clock with a 12-play, 61-yard march that culminated in Suisham’s game-winning kick. Batch finished 25-of-36 passing for 276 yards and a touchdown with one interception. Jonathan Dwyer carried the ball 16 times for 49 yards and a score for Pittsburgh (6-6), which bounced back from an eight-turnover performance in a 20-14 loss to Cleveland last weekend.

 

Peyton Manning had three touchdown passes and the Denver Broncos clinched the AFC West with a 31-23 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Manning went 27-for-38 with 242 yards and an interception as the Broncos (9-3) won their seventh straight game and clinched their division for the second straight year and 12th time in franchise history. Also, Manning moved past Dan Marino for second place all-time for completions and now has 4,986 for his career. Demaryius Thomas totaled eight catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns, while Knowshon Moreno had 69 yards on 20 carries and added four catches for 14 yards in the win.The result also meant that Atlanta clinch the NFC South title.

Tony Romo threw for three touchdowns, including the go-ahead, 6-yard score to Dez Bryant late in the fourth quarter, to lead the Dallas Cowboys past the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-33. Romo completed 22-of-27 passes for 303 yards and three scores to give him 168 passing touchdowns in his career and make him the Cowboys’ all-time leader in passing TDs. Troy Aikman previously held the record with 165. The Eagles have now lost 8 straight.

Tonight’s Monday night football action, features an NFC East clash, New York Giants v Washington. Both sides come into the game on a winning run and with Dallas now breathing down the necks of Dallas in the fight for the play offs, the defending champions will want this win badly.