The Minnesota Vikings could not get anything done against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13. The Seahawks limited running back Adrian Peterson, who leads the NFL in rushing, to 18 yards on the ground. Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater had to do more with his arm but could not; he finished with 118 passing yards and an interception. Cordarrelle Patterson’s 101-yard kickoff return touchdown was the only thing that saved the Vikings from a shutout in the 38-7 loss to Seattle.
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Houston defense struggles in Buffalo
A Houston defense that held opponents to an average of 8.75 points per game during the team’s four-game winning streak was nowhere to be found in Sunday’s 30-21 loss to the Bills. The Texans allowed Buffalo quarterback Tyrod Taylor to throw three touchdowns and run for another, while the Bills gained 187 yards rushing. Thanks to a Colts loss in Pittsburgh, the Texans remain tied for first in the AFC South entering Week 14, but the team will need a quick return to dominance from its defense with the Patriots headed to town this week.
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Giants blow yet another lead
Just when you thought the New York Giants had learned from past mistakes, the team decided to go for it on a fourth-and-2 inside the New York Jets’ 10-yard line with a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter. They missed the conversion and the Jets tied the game late before winning in overtime. It’s easy to question the decision in hindsight, but it doesn’t add up any way you look at it. The Giants had a fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line earlier in the game and opted to kick a field goal. With that loss, it marks the fifth time this season that the Giants have blown a fourth-quarter lead.
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Rodgers wins it with a Hail Mary heave
The Green Bay Packers needed a miracle in Week 13 and got one. After fighting back from a 20-point deficit against the Detroit Lions, the Packers found themselves with one last chance to win the game on an untimed down. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers took the snap, avoided the rush and heaved the ball toward the end zone. Tight end Richard Rodgers came down with it 61 yards later to give Green Bay its most improbable victory of the season -- a 27-23 defeat of Detroit.
Fantastic finish for Dallas against Washington
After six combined field goals and no touchdowns through the first 58 minutes and 13 seconds of Monday’s Week 13 game between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, it looked like we were headed to overtime. Then, DeSean Jackson fielded a routine punt, reversed field to make something happen, and coughed up a fumble recovered by the Cowboys. Instead of letting the final seconds run down before kicking a field goal, Cowboys running back Darren McFadden punched the football in for a touchdown. On the ensuing drive, Jackson atoned for his mistake with a 28-yard touchdown reception on a go route. With one more chance, the Cowboys drove 20 yards in 44 seconds to set up a 54-yard field goal for Dan Bailey -- he nailed it!
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Blaine Gabbert's late-game heroics
The 49ers were in the midst of another pedestrian offensive performance before Gabbert came to the rescue. With under two minutes remaining in regulation, Gabbert called his own number and streaked up the middle for a tying 44-yard touchdown run to force overtime (after the Bears missed a kick to end regulation). Gabbert then ended the game in dramatic fashion on San Francisco's second possession of OT, hitting Torrey Smith in stride for a 71-yard, game-winning touchdown.
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Ryan Tannehill throws for 86 yards, yet Dolphins still win
Ryan Tannehill completed just 9 of 19 passes for 86 yards on Sunday, but the Dolphins still managed to come away with the victory. Lamar Miller played a big role in that, carrying it 20 times for 113 yards -- just the second time he's topped 20 carries in his career. The Dolphins said they would commit to the run, and they did just that.
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Mistakes cost New England in all three phases
The Patriots lost their second game of the season on Sunday, falling to the Eagles 35-28. Uncharacteristically, the Patriots’ mistakes cost them on offense, defense and specifically special teams. They failed to recover a surprise onside kick and had a punt blocked for a touchdown, while they also allowed an 83-yard punt return by Darren Sproles. The Patriots don't make mistakes like that often, but they played a huge role in Sunday’s loss.
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Panthers remain undefeated
Drew Brees tossed for 282 yards and three touchdowns, while the New Orleans Saints scored 38 points against the Panthers. Carolina hadn’t allowed more than 29 points in a game this season before Week 13, but it didn’t matter, as Cam Newton threw for 331 yards and five touchdowns. The end result? Carolina coming from behind late and grabbing yet another victory to get to 12-0.
Marcus Mariota runs wild
Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota, who entered Week 13 with just 137 yards rushing, nearly equaled that total in the 42-39 win over the Jaguars. Mariota ran for 112 yards, including an 87-yard run for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, the third-longest run by a quarterback since 1960. Oh, and he had a pretty decent day throwing the ball as well, completing 20 of 29 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. In the process, he became the first quarterback to throw for more than 250 yards, run for more than 100 yards and throw three touchdowns in the same game.