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NFL Rewind:

Neither team turned in an impressive display of offensive football, but winning is all that counts. That's why the Houston Texans and Tennessee Titans are still tied for first place in the American Football Conference South Division.

The Texans who are undefeated in divisional play this season (4-0) triumphed over the Colts, 22-17, knocking Indianapolis out of what had been a three-way tie for first in the division. In  Tennessee's most important home game in five years, the Titans squeezed by Denver, 13-10, putting a serious crimp in the Broncos' changes of winning the AFC West again and hurting their playoff hopes. Denver trails first place Kansas City and Oakland by two full games with three to play. The Broncos have games remaining against each however.

Atlanta routed the Rams 42-14 in Los Angeles and Tampa Bay  got by New Orleans, 16-11, at home to maintain the tie between the two teams for the lead in the NFC South.

Cleveland's losing streak reached 13 for the season, 16 overall, while San Francisco lost its 12th in a row and Jacksonville its eighth straight.

A capsule look at Sunday's Week 14 NFL games:

 

Game of the day

Texans 22, Colts 17

The scoop: Brock Osweiler and the Houston passing offense was ineffective again, but the running game helped the Texans to a 16-3 lead on three Nick Novak field goals and a 2-yard run by Lamar Miller, who had 105 of his team's 187 rushing yards. Andrew Luck threw touchdown passes to Frank Gore and T.Y. Hilton to bring the Colts to within 19-17. Another Novak field goal, his fifth of the game tying a franchise record, made itt 22-17 with 2:47 left. Luck couldn't get the Colts to the end zone for the win, however. He threw a fourth-down incompletion in the final minute from the Houston 42.
Why the Texans won: Luck threw two interceptions and lost a fumble leading to nine Houston points.

The contenders

Titans 13, Broncos 10

The scoop: Marcus Mariota had a tough day for Tennessee, which built a 13-0 halftime lead on a 1-yard run by DeMario Murray and two Ryan Succop field goals then went scoreless in the second half. Trevor Siemian returned to action for Denver and passed 3 yards to Emanuel Sanders for his team's only touchdown. Denver attempted only nine running plays for 18 yards. Mariota, who had been on a roll, completed 6 of 20 passes for 88 yards and was sacked twice. He threw no interceptions, however, and ran eight times for 38 yards.
Why the Titans won: Denver was driving for a tying field  goal or a winning touchdowns when A.J. Derby fumbled after an 11-yard pass reception to the Denver 40 and Daimion Stafford recovered for Tennessee with 53 seconds left.

Redskins 27, Eagles 22

The scoop: Chris Thompson scored on a 25-yard sweep with 1:53 left to win it for the Redskins, keeping Washington solidly in the NFC playoff hunt with a 7-5-1 record. Kirk Cousins passed for two Redskins touchdowns, one an 80-yard bomb to DeSean Jackson, who beat ex Bill Leotis McKelvin on the play. McKelvin returned an interception 29 yards to bring the Eagles within two points and they took a 22-21 lead on a 41-yard Caleb Sturgis field with with 4:59 left.
Why the Redskins won: The Eagles' offense could produce only one touchdown and three field goals.

Dolphins 26, Cardinals 23

The scoop: Ryan Tannehill was knocked out of the game with a knee injury in the second half. Backup Matt Moore came in and directed a 44-yard drive to set up Andrew Franks' game-winning field goal from 21 yards on the final play of the game. The drive was set up by a 20-yard punt return by Jarvis Landry. Tannehill hit on 15 of 20 for 195 yards and three touchdowns before he left the game. J.J. Nelson ran 56 yards on an end-around and also caught an 8-yard pass from Carson Palmer to enable Arizona to tie the game at 23-all with 3:01 left. A key play in the outcome was a two-point return of a blocked extra point kick by Walt Aikens of the Dolphins that  made it 23-15 Miami instead of 21-16.
Why the Dolphins won:  Carson Palmer of the Cards had a miserable day. He threw two interceptions, one leading to a Miami touchdown, and lost a fumble. He completed 18 of 33 for only 145 yards

Buccaneers 16, Saints 11

The scoop: Drew Brees did not throw a touchdown pass for the second game in a row. In fact, the Saints were limited to three field goals and a safety by the Bucs, who stayed tied for first with Atlanta in the NFC South. The only touchdown in the game was a 1-yard run by Doug Martin of Tampa Bay 10 seconds into the second quarter.
Why the Bucs won: New Orleans had to settle for three field goals in four trips into Tampa Bay territory. The fourth trip ended in an interception.

Packers 38, Seahawks 10

The scoop: Aaron Rodgers hit Davante Adams on a 66-yard TD bomb just 1:30 into the game and the Packers were off the races. Rodgers passed for three TDs, two to Jordy Nelson in Green Bay's third straight win which left the Packers tied with Minnesota in second place in the NFC North.
Why the Packers won: They intercepted Russell Wilson five times and scored touchdowns after three of them.

Falcons 42, Rams 14

The scoop: Matt Ryan passed for three touchdowns and Atlanta returned an interception and a fumble for scores in building a 42-0 lead in the L.A. Coliseum. Believe it or not, the Rams outgained Atlanta, 312-286 and had more first downs, 21-18, but they also turned the ball over five times.
Why the Falcons won: L.A.'s first 10 possessions: six punts, two interceptions, two fumbles.

Lions 20, Bears 17

The scoop: Detroit needed a late touchdown, a 7-yard run by quarterback Matthew Stafford for his first of the season, to defeat Chicago. The Bears had moved ahead 17-13, its only lead of the game, on a 24-yard interception return by Cre'Von LeBlanc. Stafford passed 19 yards to Anquan Boldin with 16 seconds left in the first half for the only other Lions touchdown. Matt Barkley passed for the other Chicago TD.
Why the Lions won: Chicago's offense could produce only 10 points.

Vikings 25, Jaguars 16

The scoop: Minnesota struggled to get past Jacksonville, which lost its eighth in a row. It was a field goal duel, four for the Vikings Kai Forbath and three for the Jags' Jason Myers, until Blake Bortles passed 14 yards to Bryan Walters for a 16-12 Jacksonville lead with 3:50 left in the third quarter. The Vikings answered with a 1-yard run by Matt Asiata and a 3-yard pass from Sam Bradford to tight end Kyle Rudolph, the latter with 2:13 left. Jacksonville's next series, its last, ended with a blocked field goal attempt from 61 yards with 5 seconds left.
Why the Vikings won: Down nine points, why attempt a 61-yard field goal with time running out? Good question. That's why the Jaguars are the Jaguars.

They also ran

Panthers 28, Chargers 16

The scoop: San Diego fell behind 10-0 early, then lost running back Melvin Gordon to a hip injury. Down 26-7, the Chargers rallied and thought they had closed the deficit to three when Trovon Reed intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it 100 yards for an apparent touchdown. However, the touchdown was nullified after video review determined that Reed was down by contact at the 3-yard line. Three plays later, Philip Rivers was sacked in the end zone for a safety. An interception, the third of the game thrown by Rivers, ended the next San Diego possession. Cam Newton completed only 10 of 27 passes for 160 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Carolina.
Why the Panthers won: San Diego turned the ball over three times in its six possessions on the first half and fell behind 23-0.

Bengals 23, Browns 10

The scoop: Cincinnati scored three first-half touchdowns and managed just a 44-yard Mike Nugent field goal in the second. Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes to Tyler Eifert. Robert Griffin III started at quarterback for the Browns and scored on a 1-yard sneak for the Cleveland touchdown.  It was the 16th loss in a row for Cleveland, which is 0-13 for this season.
Why the Bengals won: Cleveland managed only three first downs and 52 total yards in the first half .

Dog of the day.

Jets 23, 49ers 17 (OT)

The scoop: New York started Bryce Petty instead of Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback but the Jets' star was running back Bilal Powell, who ran 19 yards for the winning touchdown at 8:35 of overtime. Powell also had a 5-yard touchdown run in the third quarter as he carried 29 times for 145 yards. The 49ers took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, the first score coming on a one-play, 7-yard drive after Jimmie Ward intercepted a Petty pass and returned it 8 yards.  Colin Kaepernick (15 of 26, 133 yards) hit Carlos Hyde on a 7-yard pass for the 49ers' TD. Hyde carried 17 times for 192 yards with no rushing touchdowns. New York tied the game on a 50-yard Nick Folk field goal with 38 seconds left in regulation.
Why the Jets won:  They limited San Francisco to 32 yards and two first downs in the second half.

 

News wire services contributed to this report

email: mnorthrop@buffnews.com.

 

 

 

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