Baltimore grab initiative in AFC North, Manning leads Denver to another win

Updated: November 19, 2012

Peyton Manning led Denver to a 5th consecutive win, Baltimore seized the initiative in the AFC North, while Green Bay, Washington, Houston and Tampa all registered wins in the divisional matchups on NFL Sunday. There were also wins for New Orleans, New England, the Jets, Cincinnati, Dallas and Atlanta.

The Atlanta Falcons turned the ball over six times and Matt Ryan threw a career-high five interceptions, but somehow managed to beat the Arizona Cardinals, 23-19. The Falcons (9-1) took their first lead of the game with under seven minutes to play, when Michael Turner capped a 7-play, 70-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. Ryan completed 28-of-46 passes for 301 yards for Atlanta, which bounced back from a 31-27 loss to New Orleans last week. Turner carried the ball 15 times for 46 yards. It’s the first time a quarterback threw five picks and no touchdowns in a win since Green Bay Packers quarterback Bart Starr did it in 1967. The Cardinals (4-6) benched quarterback John Skelton after he connected on 2- of-7 passes for six yards in the first quarter. Ryan Lindley, a sixth-round pick in this year’s draft, took over and completed 9-of-20 passes for 64 yards.

Andy Dalton threw a pair of touchdown passes and rushed for another score on Sunday, as the Cincinnati Bengals downed the Kansas City Chiefs, 28-6, at Arrowhead Stadium. Dalton completed 18-of-29 passes for 230 yards, while BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the ball 25 times for 101 yards and a touchdown for the Bengals (5-5), who have won two straight on the heels of a four game skid.

Robert Griffin III threw for 200 yards and a career-high four touchdowns on 14-of-15 efficiency while rushing for 84 more, as the Washington Redskins dispatched the reeling Philadelphia Eagles by a 31-6 count in an NFC East clash.

Bilal Powell had the most effective day of his career, rushing for two touchdowns and helping the New York Jets to a much needed 27-13 victory over the St. Louis Rams. Powell rushed for just 42 yards on 11 carries, but scored twice in the fourth quarter to help secure the win for New York (4-6).

Aaron Rodgers had two touchdown passes, including the game-winner to Randall Cobb late in the fourth quarter as the Green Bay Packers took a 24-20 win over the Detroit Lions in an NFC North battle at Ford Field. Rodgers passed for 236 yards and an interception on 19-of-27 attempts with Cobb and Jermichael Finley each catching a score for the Packers (7-3), who have won five straight.

Josh Freeman found Dallas Clark down the left sideline for the deciding touchdown to lift the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a 27-21 overtime win against the Carolina Panthers. Freeman finished the game 25-for-46 passing for 248 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Vincent Jackson had six catches for 94 yards and Doug Martin carried the ball 24 times for 138 yards, including 48 yards on the decisive drive for the Bucs (6-4), who have won four straight.

Dan Bailey’s 38-yard field goal with 6:13 left in overtime capped a furious comeback that lifted the Dallas Cowboys to a hard-earned — and much-needed — 23-20 triumph over the Cleveland Browns at Cowboys Stadium. Dallas (5-5) had to string together a pair of rallies — first overcoming a 13-0 halftime deficit and later trailing 20-17 in the final minute of regulation — to notch its second straight victory, a win that closed the Cowboys within one game of the New York Giants for first place in the NFC East.

Andre Johnson went 48 yards with a screen pass for the winning touchdown late in overtime, as the Houston Texans avoided a major scare and came away with a 43-37 win over Jacksonville in a thriller at Reliant Stadium. Johnson finished with 14 catches for 273 yards, while Schaub threw for a career-high 527 yards with five touchdowns and two interceptions in the victory. The Texans (9-1) have won four in a row and were perhaps, looking past the one-win Jaguars with a Thanksgiving Day date in Detroit on the immediate horizon.

Peyton Manning threw for 270 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Denver Broncos to a 30-23 decision over the San Diego Chargers in an AFC West matchup. Manning finished with 25-of-42 efficiency and an interception returned for a score by Eric Weddle for the Broncos (7-3), who have won five consecutive outings.

Drew Brees tossed three touchdown passes and the New Orleans Saints stayed red-hot, easily defeating the Oakland Raiders, 38-17. After losing their first four games, the Saints (5-5) have reeled off three straight victories and have won five of six to get back into the NFC playoff race.

The New England Patriots blew out the Indianapolis Colts at Gillette Stadium. But the 59-24 victory was overshadowed by reports of Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski having suffered a broken forearm. Tom Brady threw two of his three touchdown passes to Gronkowski as New England cooled off the Colts. Brady completed 24-of-35 passes for 331 yards, while Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen each rushed for fourth-quarter scores in the lopsided win, the fourth in a row for New England (7-3). Julian Edelman had a well-rounded performance. He scored on a punt return, caught five passes for 58 yards with one touchdown and added a 47-yard run.

Jacoby Jones returned a punt 63 yards for a touchdown, and the Baltimore Ravens emerged with a 13-10 victory over the Ben Roethlisberger-less Pittsburgh Steelers in a key AFC North clash at Heinz Field. Joe Flacco had 164 yards on 20-of-32 passing for the Ravens (8-2), who have won 12 straight games against divisional opponents. Byron Leftwich filled in for Roethlisberger, who was sidelined with shoulder and rib injuries, but couldn’t lead the Steelers (6-4) to a fifth consecutive win.

Week 11 concludes tonight as top of the NFC North the Bears travel to top of the NFC West San Francisco. Jay Cutler will be looking to get Chicago back to winning ways following their loss to the Texans last week. Cutler has completed 151/255 for 1814 yards and 12 touchdowns so far this season, tonight he will have to be on his best if they want to keep a hold on division with Green Bay breathing down their necks. Alex Smith and the 49ers will be looking to make it 3 consecutive wins at Candlestick park. Smith has started to find his range in recent games and another confident performance by himself and Gore will be crucial against the strong Bears defence.