The Atlanta Falcons got their revenge, and made quite a statement as well in doing so. Matt Ryan threw three touchdown passes, including a pair to Julio Jones, and the Falcons dealt the New York Giants their first regular-season shutout in 16 years with an authoritative 34-0 victory at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta (12-2) got its payback for a 24-2 throttling by the Giants during last season's NFC Wild Card Playoffs behind a near-flawless performance from Ryan, with the standout quarterback completing a sharp 23-of-28 passes for 270 yards without a turnover. The Falcons' defense did its part as well, intercepting New York's Eli Manning twice in the first half and stopping the Giants on downs three times over the course of the game. Manning managed just 161 yards on an off-target 14-of-26 efficiency as New York (8-6) was held scoreless in a non-playoff setting for the first time since a 24-0 setback at Philadelphia on Dec. 1, 1996. Jones ended with 74 yards on six catches and Tony Gonzalez added a touchdown grab for the NFC South champion Falcons, who could have clinched a first-round playoff bye if San Francisco had lost to New England on Sunday night. The Niners came up with a 41-34 win over the Patriots.
Final Score: Denver 34, Baltimore 17
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - The Denver Broncos hadn't beaten the Ravens in Baltimore in their last five tries. But that was before they had Peyton Manning. Manning tossed a touchdown pass, Knowshon Moreno ran for a score and the surging Broncos won their ninth straight game with a 34-17 thumping of the Ravens. Manning, who has won each of his past nine starts against Baltimore, including two playoff meetings, threw for 204 yards on 17-of-28 efficiency for Denver (11-3), which is in the midst of its longest winning streak since the 1998 squad won their first 13 contests en route to the team's second consecutive Super Bowl. Moreno carried the ball 22 times for 118 yards, Eric Decker caught eight passes for 133 yards and a score and Chris Harris returned an interception 98 yards for a touchdown in the triumph. Following last Sunday's 31-28 overtime setback to the Washington Redskins, the Ravens fired offensive coordinator Cam Cameron a day later and elevated quarterbacks coach and one of Manning's mentors, Jim Caldwell, to the post. The offense, though, didn't get the jolt it was looking for. Baltimore (9-5), which has lost three straight contests, registered three-and- outs on each of its first five possessions and didn't record its initial first down until Bernard Pierce broke off a 14-yard run on a 2nd-and-6 at the 8:12 mark of the second quarter. Joe Flacco was 20-of-40 for 254 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in defeat.
Final Score: Green Bay 21, Chicago 13
Chicago, IL (Sports Network) - James Jones caught three touchdown passes from Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers wrapped up the NFC North with a 21-13 win over the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday. Rodgers finished the game 23-for-36 for 291 yards for the Packers (10-4), who have won three straight and eight of their last nine to roll to their second straight division crown. Kicker Mason Crosby continued to struggle for Green Bay, missing both of his field goal attempts as he is now just 9-for-18 in his past seven games. Randall Cobb had six catches for 115 yards in the game. Jay Cutler passed for just 135 yards on 12-of-21 attempts with a touchdown and an interception for the Bears (8-6), who have lost three straight games and five of six to see their division title hopes end and have their postseason chances placed in jeopardy.
Final Score: Washington 38, Cleveland 21
Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) - After leading the Redskins to a come-from- behind win last weekend, rookie Kirk Cousins once again stepped up for Washington in a big way. Starting in place of injured quarterback Robert Griffin III, Cousins threw for 329 yards and two touchdowns in his first NFL start to help the Redskins claim a 38-21 victory over the Cleveland Browns and a share of first place in the NFC East. Winners of five straight for the first time since 2005, the Redskins (8-6) find themselves tied for the division lead with the Dallas Cowboys and the New York Giants after Dallas defeated the Pittsburgh Steelers, 27-24, in overtime and the Giants were blown out, 34-0, against the Falcons in Atlanta on Sunday. Leonard Hankerson hauled in both of Cousins' TD passes, and while Alfred Morris was held under the century mark for the first time in four games, he did rush for 87 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries in the win. Trent Richardson ran for two scores to set a new franchise record for rookie rushing touchdowns in a season, but only amassed 28 yards on 11 carries as Cleveland (5-9) was denied a chance at its first four-game winning streak since 2009. Brandon Weeden threw for 244 yards and a touchdown, but added two second-half interceptions. He completed 21-of-35 passes in the setback.
Final Score: Houston 29, Indianapolis 17
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Matt Schaub threw a touchdown pass to Andre Johnson, Arian Foster gained 165 yards on 27 carries and the Houston Texans shook off a humbling beatdown at New England with a division-clinching 29-17 win over the Indianapolis Colts at Reliant Stadium. Schaub ended with 261 yards on 23-of-31 efficiency for the Texans (12-2), who rebounded from Monday night's 42-14 loss to capture their second straight AFC South title. Johnson made 11 catches for 151 yards. Indianapolis rookie Andrew Luck had two touchdown passes, but was held to 186 yards on a season-low 13 completions in 27 attempts. The Colts (9-5) had won seven of their last eight games. However, the seven victories had come against teams that entered Week 15 with a combined 29-62 record. The one loss in that span came against New England in similar fashion to Sunday's setback, a 59-24 blowout on Nov. 18.
Final Score: Miami 24, Jacksonville 3
Miami, FL (Sports Network) - The Miami Dolphins must be happy with their quarterback decision. Rookie Ryan Tannehill threw a pair of touchdown passes and former Miami starter Chad Henne struggled in his return to Sun Life Stadium, as the Dolphins earned a 24-3 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Henne spent the previous four seasons in Miami and had a record of 13-18 as the Dolphins' starting quarterback, including 0-4 last year before a shoulder injury ended his campaign in October. He left as a free agent to sign with Jacksonville in March and the Dolphins selected Tannehill with the eighth overall pick in the draft. Tannehill won the job in a training camp battle with Matt Moore and has led the Dolphins (6-8) to as many wins as they had all of last year. On Sunday he completed 22-of-28 passes for 220 yards without an interception and also ran for 52 yards on eight carries. Reggie Bush added 104 yards on the ground for Miami, which dominated for most of the second half and scored the game's final 24 points. The Dolphin defense also stopped the Jaguars three times on fourth down inside Miami territory. Henne took over as the Jacksonville starter when Blaine Gabbert went down for the season in mid-November. He connected on 18-of-34 throws for 221 yards Sunday in defeat. The Jaguars (2-12) have dropped three in a row and are one loss away from having the worst season in franchise history, surpassing the 4-12 mark in the club's 1995 expansion campaign.
Final Score: New Orleans 41, Tampa Bay 0
New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) - After two less-than-stellar performances, Drew Brees looked like a two-time NFL Offensive Player of the Year once again. Brees completed 26-of-39 passes for 307 yards and four touchdowns to lead the New Orleans Saints to a 41-0 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday. Lance Moore, Joe Morgan, David Thomas and Darren Sproles each caught a touchdown pass for the Saints (6-8), who put the brakes on a three-game losing streak. Jabari Greer had two interceptions in the win. Josh Freeman struggled, completing 26-of-47 passes for 279 yards, four interceptions and a lost fumble. Doug Martin, who was second in the league in yards from scrimmage entering the game, picked up just 35 yards combined for the Buccaneers (6-8), losers of four straight.
Final Score: Minnesota 36, St. Louis 22
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Adrian Peterson ran for 212 yards -- including an 82-yard touchdown -- on 24 carries on Sunday, as the Minnesota Vikings dropped the St. Louis Rams, 36-22, on Sunday at Edward Jones Dome. Peterson has 1,812 rushing yards this season and still has a shot at reaching Eric Dickerson's NFL record of 2,105 rushing yards in a single season, as he sits just 294 yards short of eclipsing the mark with two games to play. Christian Ponder threw for 131 yards on 17-of-24 passing and ran for a touchdown, while Blair Walsh kicked five field goals for the Vikings (8-6), who have won two straight and thrust themselves into the playoff picture, moving into a second-place tie in the NFC North with the Chicago Bears, who lost to Green Bay. Jerome Simpson led the receiving corps with four catches and 27 yards, and Everson Griffen added a 29-yard pick-six for the Vikings. Sam Bradford threw for 377 yards and three touchdowns on 35-of-55 passing, while Stephen Jackson ran for 73 yards on 13 carries. Jackson became the 27th player in NFL history to reach the 10,000 rushing yard plateau with a 9-yard dash in the third quarter, but it wasn't enough for the Rams (6-7-1), who had a three-game winning streak snapped. Danny Amendola, Lance Kendricks and Brian Quick caught touchdown passes in the setback.
Final Score: Arizona 38, Detroit 10
Glendale, AZ (Sports Network) - Beanie Wells had three scores on the ground and Arizona returned two interceptions for touchdowns as the Cardinals snapped a nine-game skid with a 38-10 win over the reeling Detroit Lions. Arizona (5-9) managed just 196 yards of offense in the game, but took full advantage of four Detroit turnovers by turning them into 28 points to win for the first time since winning the first four games of the season. Wells finished the game with 17 carries for 67 yards while Ryan Lindley, was a paltry 14-for-21 with 104 yards and an interception for the Cardinals, who avoided tying the longest losing streak in franchise history when the 1943 team, then based in Chicago, dropped 10 in a row. Detroit (4-10), meanwhile, is in the midst of a six-game losing streak and is now in double-digit losses after going 10-6 last season. Matthew Stafford was picked off three times and finished the game 24-for-50 with 246 yards. The lone bright spot of the game for Detroit was superstar wide receiver Calvin Johnson, who caught 10 passes for 121 yards. He tied the NFL record with his seventh straight 100-yard receiving game, which was also accomplished by Charley Hennigan in 1961 and Michael Irvin in 1995.
Final Score: Seattle 50, Buffalo 17
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Russell Wilson became the first Seattle quarterback to run for three touchdowns in one game in the Seahawks' 50-17 victory over the Buffalo Bills at Rogers Centre in Toronto. All three of Wilson's rushing touchdowns came in the first half for the Seahawks (9-5), who sit second in the NFC West behind 10-3-1 San Francisco, which defeated New England later Sunday. Wilson, who ended with nine carries for 92 yards, also set the franchise record for rushing yards in a season by a QB that was set in 1993 by Rick Mirer (343). Wilson now has 402 rushing yards. Wilson also completed 14-of-22 passes for 205 yards and a touchdown for Seattle, which has scored 131 points during a three- game winning streak. The Seahawks were coming off a 58-0 rout of the Arizona Cardinals last week, a franchise record for most points scored in a game. It's the third time in NFL history that a team has put up 50 points in back-to-back games. Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 10 times for 113 yards and a score for Seattle, which welcomes San Francisco to town next Sunday night. Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 21-of-38 passes for 217 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions for the Bills (5-9), who played a regular- season game in Toronto for a fifth straight season. C.J. Spiller carried the ball 17 times for 103 yards and a score for Buffalo, which was mathematically knocked out of playoff contention for a 13th consecutive season -- the NFL's longest active drought. Stevie Johnson caught eight passes for 115 yards and a touchdown.
Final Score: Carolina 31, San Diego 7
San Diego, CA (Sports Network) - Cam Newton threw for 231 yards and two touchdowns as the Carolina Panthers crushed the San Diego Chargers, 31-7, at Qualcomm Stadium on Sunday. Newton continued his strong play of late, completing 19-of-33 passes on the day to help the Panthers (5-9) to their third win in four games. DeAngelo Williams rushed for 93 yards on 22 carries and also caught two passes for 51 yards and a touchdown. Steve Smith led all receivers with six catches for 57 yards and a score. The Carolina defense constantly harassed Phillip Rivers, who fumbled four times and was sacked on five occasions for San Diego (5-9), which was coming off an impressive win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Chargers totaled just 164 yards of offense for the game and scored their lone touchdown in fourth quarter on a Rivers pass to Antonio Gates. Rivers finished with 121 yards passing on 16- of-23 efficiency in the loss.
Final Score: Dallas 27, Pittsburgh 24 (OT)
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Brandon Carr intercepted Ben Roethlisberger on the second play of overtime to set up Dan Bailey's 21-yard field goal that lifted the surging Dallas Cowboys to a thrilling 27-24 overtime triumph over the slumping Pittsburgh Steelers at Cowboys Stadium. Carr's pick was the second critical turnover forced by Dallas in rallying from a 24-17 deficit with just over 10 minutes left in regulation. The Cowboys tied the game on a 3-yard touchdown run from DeMarco Murray that came shortly after Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown lost a fumble on a punt return near midfield. Tony Romo did his part as well in the Cowboys' third consecutive victory and fifth triumph in their last six tilts, throwing for a pair of touchdowns and amassing 341 passing yards while completing 30-of-42 throws. The result also placed Dallas (8-6) in a three-way deadlock with the New York Giants and Washington for first place in the NFC East with two games remaining in the regular season. The previously front-running Giants were routed at Atlanta earlier in the day, while the Redskins defeated Cleveland for their fifth straight win. Dez Bryant, playing with a fractured left index finger sustained at Cincinnati last week, also aided the Cowboys' cause by catching a 24-yard touchdown pass from Romo in the third quarter while finishing with 59 yards on four grabs. Roethlisberger put up 339 yards and two touchdowns on 24-of-40 passing, but his costly interception triggered Pittsburgh's second straight loss and fourth setback in five games. The Steelers (7-7) now trail fellow AFC North member Cincinnati by one game for the AFC's second Wild Card berth heading into next weekend's showdown between the teams in Pittsburgh. Both Brown and Heath Miller recorded touchdown catches for the Steelers, with Miller amassing 92 yards on seven receptions. Mike Wallace totaled 95 yards on four catches in a losing cause.
Final Score: Oakland 15, Kansas City 0
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Sebastian Janikowski accounted for all of Oakland's points on five field goals, as the Raiders posted a 15-0 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 15 action from the AFC West. Carson Palmer finished 18-of-29 for 178 yards for the Raiders (4-10), who snapped a six-game losing skid. Darren McFadden totaled 110 yards on 30 carries with four grabs for 25 yards, and Rod Streater posted 62 yards on five receptions. Brady Quinn threw for 136 yards and one interception on 18-of-32 efficiency for the Chiefs (2-12), who have dropped 10 of their last 11 outings. Dexter McCluster had seven receptions for 59 yards in the setback, Kansas City's first by shutout since Dec. 12, 2010 at San Diego in a 31-0 loss.
Final Score: San Francisco 41, New England 34
Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - Colin Kaepernick threw for 216 yards and four touchdowns as the San Francisco 49ers managed to fend off a late comeback and post a 41-34 victory over the New England Patriots on a cold and rainy Sunday night at Gillette Stadium. Kaepernick completed 14-of-25 passes, fumbled four times and was picked off once, but it was enough for the 49ers (10-3-1), who have won four of their last five games and clinched a playoff berth in the process. Michael Crabtree paced the offense with 107 yards and two scores on seven receptions. Randy Moss and Delanie Walker each had a TD grab, while Frank Gore added 83 yards on 21 carries. Tom Brady completed 36 passes on a career-high 65 attempts for 443 yards and one touchdown, but was intercepted twice as the Patriots (10-4) rallied from a 28-point second- half deficit but saw their seven-game win streak come to a halt. Brandon Lloyd and Aaron Hernandez each posted 10 catches, with the former racking up 190 yards and the latter totaling 92 yards and one score. Danny Woodhead posted two TDs on the ground en route to 61 yards on 12 carries.
Thursday, December 13th
Final Score: Cincinnati 34, Philadelphia 13
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It took a second-half resurgence, but the Cincinnati Bengals kept their hopes of a second straight playoff appearance alive on Thursday night. The Bengals scored 24 unanswered points in the second half off four Philadelphia turnovers, as Cincinnati's defense stifled the mistake-prone Philadelphia Eagles in a 34-13 triumph at Lincoln Financial Field. BenJarvus Green-Ellis rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries, while Andy Dalton threw for 127 yards and a score on 13-of-27 passing and also rushed for a touchdown in the victory. Defensive tackle Wallace Gilberry added a 25-yard fumble return touchdown for the Bengals (8-6), who have won five of six and trail the Baltimore Ravens by just one game for the AFC North division lead after they were trounced by the Denver Broncos, 34-17, on Sunday. Cincinnati travels to Pittsburgh next Sunday to take on the Steelers. Eagles rookie quarterback Nick Foles finished 16-of-33 passing for 182 yards with a touchdown pass, an interception and a fumble, while fellow rookie Bryce Brown rushed for just 34 yards on 16 carries in the setback. Jeremy Maclin hauled in four passes for a game-high 73 yards for the Eagles (4-10), who snapped an eight-game losing streak last weekend with a last- second triumph in Tampa Bay.