ORCHARD PARK, New York, Dec 11, (AP): LeSean McCoy scored on a 21-yard run with 1:33 left in overtime to secure the Buffalo Bills’ 13-7 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday in a wintry, white-out setting best suited for snow shoes and sled dogs.
McCoy finished with 156 yards rushing and topped the 1,000-yard mark for the sixth time in his career on a slick, snow-covered field.
The Bills’ sideline erupted after McCoy’s touchdown, with numerous players running on to the field to either make snow angels or engage in celebratory snowball fights.
Buffalo (7-6) stayed alive in the AFC playoff picture, while the Colts (3-10) were mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.
The game began in nearly white-out conditions with a major lake-effect storm blowing in off nearby Lake Erie. The snow fell so hard a half-hour before kickoff it was nearly impossible to see New Era Field’s west-end scoreboard from the east-end stands. McCoy’s touchdown came on Buffalo’s second possession of overtime. Facing third-and-2, McCoy found a crease up the middle and had enough footing to cut to his left and scamper into the end zone untouched.
It was a topsy-turvy game played in a snow-globe setting , with a regular parade of work crews taking the field with snow blowers on their backs to clear the yard lines.
Early in the third quarter, fans were even treated to a rare metrological event of “thunder snow,” as lightning flashed over the stadium. The game was not stopped.
So much snow accumulated on the roof of the first-level suites that fans began building snowmen.
Eagles 43, Rams 35
In Los Angeles, Carson Wentz threw for 291 yards and four touchdowns before leaving with a knee injury, and Jake Elliott kicked the go-ahead 33-yard field goal with 3:45 left as the Eagles clinched the NFC East title.
Two sources familiar with the injury tell The Associated Press that doctors believe Wentz has torn his left anterior cruciate ligament and will miss the rest of the season and playoffs.
Wentz needs an MRI to confirm the severity of the injury. Both people spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to release the information.
Wentz was hit hard as he scrambled into the end zone on a play that was called back because of holding. He stayed in the game and threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Alshon Jeffery four plays later to give the Eagles the lead.
Foles replaced Wentz on the next drive for Philadelphia (11-2).
The NFC West-leading Rams (9-4) then went up 35-31 on Todd Gurley’s second short TD run.
Elliott kicked a 41-yard field goal to pull the Eagles to 35-34. His go-ahead field goal was set up when Chris Long, a second-round draft pick of the then-St Louis Rams in 2008, had a strip-sack of Jared Goff, with Rodney McLeod recovering.
Steelers 39, Ravens 38
In Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh Steelers won one for injured star Ryan Shazier — and wrapped up the AFC North in the process.
Chris Boswell made a 46-yard field goal with 42 seconds left and Pittsburgh’s defense overcame a sloppy night to stop one Baltimore’s last-gasp drive.
The Steelers (11-2) trailed by 11 points going into the fourth quarter but capped an emotionally trying week following Shazier’s spinal injury to rally for their eighth straight victory and third division title in four years.
Ben Roethlisberger threw for 506 yards and two touchdowns, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history to top 500 yards passing three times. Antonio Brown caught 11 passes for 213 yards, including two long gains in the fourth quarter that allowed the Steelers to recover after blowing an early 14-point lead. Le’Veon Bell had 125 yards of total offense and scored three touchdowns.
Baltimore’s Joe Flacco threw for 269 yards passing with two touchdowns and one interception but was strip-sacked by rookie linebacker T.J. Watt on the Ravens’ final snap.
Alex Collins ran for 120 yards and a touchdown for the Ravens (7-6).
Jaguars 30, Seahawks 24
In Jacksonville, Florida, Blake Bortles threw two perfect passes for touchdowns and Jaydon Mickens set up another score with a 72-yard punt return.
The Jaguars (9-4) intercepted three passes by Russell Wilson, including two on deep balls, and won for the sixth time in their last seven games. This victory, coupled with Tennessee’s loss at Arizona, moved Jacksonville atop the AFC South.
It’s the first time since 2010 that the Jaguars have had the outright division lead this late in a season.
The loss didn’t sit well with the Seahawks (8-5), who had two players ejected in the final minute.
Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson was ejected for throwing a punch during a melee that included defensive tackle Michael Bennett and Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette.
More pushing and shoving occurred after the next play, and defensive end Quinton Jefferson was tossed. Jefferson tried to climb into the stands after getting hit with what looked like a plastic bottle. Seattle coach Pete Carroll also got flagged for coming onto the field. Carroll walked into Seattle’s huddle, possibly to calm his players down.
Cardinals 12, Titans 7
In Glendale, Arizona, Phil Dawson kicked four second-half field goals and the Cardinals shut down Tennessee’s offense nearly all day.
Dawson connected from 47, 23, 32 and 35 yards and missed from 40 for the Cardinals (6-7), whose victory came two weeks after they beat then-AFC South leader Jacksonville on the same field.
The Cardinals intercepted Marcus Mariota twice in the second half after the Titans (8-5) nursed a 7-0 lead at halftime.
Mariota completed 16 of 31 passes for 159 yards. Tennessee managed 65 yards rushing against the Cardinals after gaining 198 on the ground in a win over Houston a week ago.
The Cardinals gained 64 yards in the first half and 197 in the second.
Chargers 30, Redskins 13
In Carson, California, Philip Rivers passed for 319 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chargers continued their ferocious playoff push with their fourth straight victory.
Tyrell Williams caught a 75-yard touchdown pass and Hunter Henry had another scoring grab for the Chargers (7-6), who have won seven of nine after an 0-4 start to their relocation season.
While outscoring their opponents 131-53 during their winning streak, the Chargers also moved above .500 for the first time since September 2015 with a dominant offensive performance against Washington.
The Chargers stayed atop the AFC West alongside the Chiefs (7-6), their opponents Saturday in Kansas City.
Kirk Cousins hit Vernon Davis with an early TD pass for the Redskins (5-8), who have lost two straight and six of eight.
Packers 27, Browns 21
In Cleveland, Brett Hundley threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams in overtime as the Packers rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter.
Cleveland fell to 0-13 and made too many crucial mistakes to break into the win column.
On third-and-6, Hundley threw a short pass to Adams, who broke a tackle and went in untouched with 5:05 left as the Packers (7-6) won in overtime for the second straight week — and third time this season. The Packers have stayed alive in the playoff race without Rodgers, who has been out since Oct 15 with a broken collarbone, but is expected to play next Sunday.
It was another devastating loss for the Browns (0-13). Green Bay’s TD came after safety Josh Jones intercepted Browns rookie DeShone Kizer, who inexplicably threw the ball up for grabs while being pressured by Clay Matthews.
Down 21-14 heading into the fourth period, the Packers, who beat Tampa Bay last week in overtime, rallied on Hundley’s 1-yard TD pass to Adams with 17 seconds left in regulation. A 65-yard punt return by Trevor Davis set up Green Bay’s score, which came after Hundley was ruled down inside the 1 after an apparent 6-yard scoring run. Out of timeouts, coach Mike McCarthy elected not to risk a run and Hundley rifled his pass into the corner for Adams, who beat Jason McCourty on the play.
Chiefs 26, Raiders 15
In Kansas City, Missouri, Kareem Hunt ran for 116 yards and a touchdown and the Chiefs shut down Derek Carr and his offense to snap a four-game losing streak.
The suddenly stingy Chiefs (7-6) also made a big statement in the crowded AFC West race. They are tied atop the division with the Chargers; the Raiders are 6-7.
The Chargers visit Kansas City on Saturday night.
Alex Smith threw for 268 yards and Charcandrick West had a touchdown run for the Chiefs, who held the Raiders without points until Marshawn Lynch’s 22-yard run with 8:51 to go.
By that point, the Chiefs were cruising toward their 14th win in 15 divisional games.
Carr was 24 of 41 for 211 yards with a touchdown and two picks, a far cry from his performance when the teams met in October. Carr threw for 417 yards and three touchdowns that day, including the winning toss to Michael Crabtree on the final play of the game.
That loss was part of a midseason swoon for Kansas City, which started 5-0 but lost six of seven to fall into a tie for the division lead — and put its once-solid playoff prospects in peril.
Panthers 31, Vikings 24
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Jonathan Stewart ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns, and the Panthers snapped the Vikings’ eight-game winning streak.
Cam Newton threw for a touchdown and ran for 75 yards as the Panthers (9-4) racked up 216 yards on the ground against the league’s No. 2 ranked defense to pull even with the Saints atop the NFC South standings.
Carolina sacked Case Keenum six times and forced three turnovers to keep the Vikings (10-3) from clinching the NFC North division title.
After the Panthers squandered an 11-point fourth-quarter lead, Newton broke free of the pocket and raced 62 yards for a key first down with 2:00 remaining. Stewart scored his career-high third TD when he jumped over the line of scrimmage, reaching the ball across the goal line for the winning points.
Minnesota couldn’t manage a first down on its final drive and turned over the ball on downs.
Cowboys 30, Giants 10
In East Rutherford, New Jersey, Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes and the desperate Cowboys spoiled Steve Spagnuolo’s debut as interim coach, as well as the return of quarterback Eli Manning to the Giants’ starting lineup.
Prescott threw a go-ahead 20-yard score to tight end Jason Witten with 7:38 to play. Rod Smith scored on an 81-yard pass play with 4:08 left and added a 15-yard scoring run a little more than a minute later after an interception by Sean Lee.
Prescott, who was 20 of 30 for 332 yards, also threw a 50-yard scoring pass to Dez Bryant as the Cowboys (7-6) stayed in the playoff hunt with three games left in the regular season. Dan Bailey added a 21-yard field goal as the Cowboys finished with 454 yards.
New York fell to 2-11.
Manning, who got a standing ovation taking the field, threw a 1-yard TD pass to Rhett Ellison late in the second quarter that gave New York a brief 10-3 lead. Manning finished 31 of 46 for 228 yards with a touchdown and two late interceptions.
The game capped a hectic week for the Giants that started Monday with the firing of second-year coach Ben McAdoo and general manager Jerry Reese and saw Spagnuolo promoted from defensive coordinator to interim coach. He coached the St Louis Rams from 2009-11.
Broncos 23, Jets 0
In Denver, the Broncos snapped their longest losing streak since joining the NFL in 1970 thanks to wide receiver Demaryius Thomas’ big game and a return of Denver’s stingy defense.
Trevor Siemian threw for 200 yards and his favorite target was Thomas , who caught eight passes for 93 yards and a touchdown as the Broncos (4-9) avoided tying their franchise futility record of nine consecutive losses set way back in 1967.
This was their first win in 70 days — and their first shutout since Nov 20, 2005, a 27-0 win over the Jets. It was fueled by a defense that held New York in check all afternoon.
The Jets (5-8) were limited to 100 yards of offense, 59 on the ground and 41 through the air. Jets quarterback Josh McCown was knocked from the game twice by hard hits, including a clean shot by pass rusher Shane Ray in the third quarter that left McCown with a broken left hand.
McCown finished 6 of 12 for 46 yards, and replacement Bryce Petty was 2 of 9 for 14 yards.
Lions 24, Buccaneers 21
In Tampa, Florida, Matthew Stafford passed for 381 yards with an injured throwing hand and set up Matt Prater for a 46-yard field goal in the closing seconds.
Stafford made his 109th consecutive start despite being limited in practice after his right hand was stepped on during the previous week at Baltimore. He completed 36 of 44 attempts against the Bucs (4-9), and the Lions (7-6) overcame two interceptions and a fumble to stop a two-game losing streak.
Jameis Winston rallied Tampa Bay, which has lost eight of 10 following a 2-1 start, with a pair of fourth-quarter TD passes. But once again, the Bucs’ defense couldn’t hold off an opponent down the stretch.
Stafford moved the Lions 49 yards in eight plays to set up Prater’s winning kick with 20 seconds left — the winning drive of the quarterback’s career, and fourth this season.
49ers 26, Texans 16
In Houston, Jimmy Garoppolo threw for a career-high 334 yards and a touchdown to help the 49ers to their second straight win.
Garoppolo again showed that he could be the answer for the 49ers (3-10) at quarterback, going 20 of 33 in his second start for the team. Acquired before the trade deadline from New England, Garoppolo threw for 293 yards in his debut last week to help the 49ers to a 15-14 win at Chicago.
The game was tied when he found Garrett Celek on a 6-yard touchdown pass with about two minutes left in the third quarter to make it 23-16. Celek had a big play earlier in that drive on a 61-yard reception on third down.
DeAndre Hopkins had 149 yards receiving and two touchdowns, but lost a fumble in the fourth quarter with the Texans down by 7 . San Francisco added a 41-yard field goal after that to secure the victory.
T.J. Yates threw for 175 yards and two touchdowns after Tom Savage left with a concussion in the second quarter. Texans (4-9) lost their third straight and sixth in seven games.
Bears 33, Bengals 7
In Cincinnati, Rookie Mitchell Trubisky threw for a touchdown and ran for another in his best showing yet, and the Bears ended a five-game losing streak with their most lopsided victory in five years.
Jordan Howard ran for 147 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Bears (4-9) dominated a matchup of the NFL’s worst offenses. Their rookie quarterback took full advantage of an injury-depleted defense, completing a season-high 25 passes out of 32 attempts for 271 yards. He also ran 4 yards for a score.
The Bengals (5-8) were coming off a 23-20 loss to the Steelers on Monday night that crushed their playoff hopes and gutted their defense. The Bears piled up a season-high 482 yards against a unit missing starting cornerbacks Adam “Pacman” Jones and Dre Kirkpatrick, as well as linebackers Vontaze Burfict and Nick Vigil.
It was Cincinnati’s worst home drubbing since a 34-3 loss to Baltimore in 2008. Many of the 52,002 fans headed for the exits early in the fourth quarter.