Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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NFL roundup: Prater kicks record field goal in Broncos’ big win

Matt Prater, Britton Colquitt

Denver Broncos kicker Matt Prater, bottom, celebrates 64-yard field goal with Britton Colquitt during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans on during the first half of an NFL football game on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

DENVER — Unbothered by the freezing weather, Matt Prater set an NFL record with a 64-yard field goal and Peyton Manning threw four more touchdown passes Sunday, lifting the Denver Broncos to a 51-28 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

The temperature was 14 degrees when Prater kicked his record setter to close the first half and pull Denver within 21-20.

Manning opened the third quarter by leading the Broncos on a pair of touchdown drives, and the Broncos (11-2) easily wrapped up a playoff spot.

Denver’s quarterback set a franchise record with 39 completions and finished with 397 yards.

Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 172 yards for the Titans (5-8), who went 73 yards in five plays to score on the game’s first drive and led 21-10 in the middle of the second quarter.

SAINTS 31, PANTHERS 13

NEW ORLEANS — It only took six days — and a return to the Superdome — for Drew Brees and the Saints to shake off their worst performance this season and look like legitimate contenders again.

Brees passed for 313 yards and four touchdowns and New Orleans beat Carolina 31-13 on Sunday night to regain sole possession of first place in the NFC South and snap the Panthers’ winning streak at eight games.

“Love this offense. Love what Sean Payton’s put together,” Brees said. “I love the group of guys that I get a chance to play with.”

The Panthers’ defense had not allowed more than two touchdowns in a game this season until the Saints scored three in the second quarter alone, when Brees completed 14 of 16 passes for 159 yards.

The Saints also became the only team this season to score more than 24 points against Carolina, which entered the game No. 1 in scoring defense, allowing 13.1 points per game.

EAGLES 34, LIONS 20

PHILADELPHIA — LeSean McCoy ran for a franchise-best 217 yards, including touchdowns of 57 and 40 yards, and the Eagles overcame two TD returns by Jeremy Ross in a blizzard.

Ross returned a punt 58 yards for a score and ran a kickoff 98 yards. But McCoy sprinted 57 yards up the middle for a tying TD, and Nick Foles connected with Riley Cooper on the 2-point conversion. Foles sneaked in from the 1 and Chris Polk had a 38-yard touchdown run to cap a 28-point fourth quarter for the Eagles (8-5).

Snow began falling two hours before kickoff and intensified after the game started. Workers used shovels and handheld blowers to clear off yard lines. Conditions were so poor neither team tried a field goal, and there were 2-point conversion attempts after seven of the eight TDs.

The Eagles, looking to go worst-to-first in the NFC East, won their fifth straight game and took over sole possession of first place. Dallas can make it a tie for the top spot with a victory at Chicago on Monday night.

The Lions (7-6) have a half-game lead over the Bears in the NFC North.

RAVENS 29, VIKINGS 26

BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to rookie Marlon Brown with 4 seconds left to ice the win. Brown’s catch concluded a five-play, 80-yard drive that took only 41 seconds.

It came after Matt Cassel threw a 79-yard touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson with 45 seconds remaining. Just before that, Baltimore’s Jacoby Jones took a kickoff 77 yards for a score, which followed a 41-yard touchdown run by Toby Gerhart, who had replaced an injured Adrian Peterson (ankle) for Minnesota (3-9-1).

The zaniness began when Flacco threw a 1-yard, fourth-down pass to Dennis Pitta with 2:05 go to for a 15-12 Ravens lead.

Baltimore (7-6) has its first three-game winning streak of the season and the inside track for the second AFC wild card.

PATRIOTS 27, BROWNS 26

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the final 61 seconds and New England recovered an onside kick to set up the comeback win.

The Patriots (10-3) cut the deficit to 26-21 on Brady’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Julian Edelman with 1:01 left. Cleveland received a 15-yard penalty on the play, then Kyle Arrington recovered the onside kick at the Cleveland 40-yard line.

Brady completed a 10-yard pass to Danny Amendola, then Leon McFadden was called for defensive pass interference in the end zone. That put the ball at the 1, where Brady connected with Amendola again.

The Browns (4-9) moved to the Patriots 40 with 1 second left, but Billy Cundiff missed a 58-yard field goal.

New England lost tight end Rob Gronkowski to a leg injury in the third quarter.

BENGALS 42, COLTS 28

CINCINNATI — Andy Dalton threw for three touchdowns and ran for another as the Bengals remained perfect at home and in control of the AFC North.

The Bengals (9-4) improved to 6-0 at Paul Brown Stadium on a cold, windy day: 28 degrees at kickoff with a wind chill of 19 and light flurries.

Dalton gave his most consistent performance since October, throwing for three touchdowns that kept the Bengals ahead and finishing it off with an 8-yard run in the fourth quarter. Dalton was 24 of 35 for 275 yards without a sack or interception.

The Colts (8-5) had another slow start in the cold, falling behind 21-0 before Andrew Luck threw four touchdown passes to keep them close. But they clinched the AFC South when Tennessee lost at Denver.

CHIEFS 45, REDSKINS 10

LANDOVER, Md. — The Chiefs scored on their first four possessions in the snow, sacked Robert Griffin III five times and Kirk Cousins once, and returned both a punt and a kickoff for a touchdown.

The score was 17-0 after the first quarter and 38-10 at halftime. Quintin Demps immediately answered the lone Redskins touchdown with a 95-yard kickoff return that resembled at times a winter stroll, part of a stunning tally of 321 return yards by Kansas City in the first half alone.

Jamaal Charles ran 19 times for 151 yards for Kansas City.

The Chiefs (10-3), who lost two to the Denver Broncos sandwiched around a defeat to the San Diego Chargers after starting 9-0, beat up on a bad team. The Redskins (3-10) certainly qualify: Sunday’s game was their fifth straight loss, and coach Mike Shanahan appears increasingly likely to be gone after a third losing season in four years.

CARDINALS 30, RAMS 10

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Carson Palmer completed 27 of 32 passes, 12 of them to Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals ended an eight-game losing streak against NFC West foes.

Palmer, questionable for the game with a sore right elbow, threw for 269 yards and a touchdown as the Cardinals (8-5) won for the fifth time in six games.

Arizona’s Karlos Dansby returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown and John Abraham tackled Kellen Clemens for a safety.

Tavon Austin’s 56-yard run set up the only touchdown for the Rams (5-8), a 1-yard run by Zac Stacy. Austin injured his left ankle on the play and didn’t return.

The Cardinals lost rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu in the third quarter with a left knee injury.

DOLPHINS 34, STEELERS 28

PITTSBURGH — Charles Clay caught two touchdown passes, including a 12-yard strike from Ryan Tannehill with 2:53 remaining.

Daniel Thomas ran for 105 yards and a score. His zig-zag 55-yard burst at snowy Heinz Field set up Clay’s winner. Tannehill completed 20 of 33 passes for 201 yards and three scores for the Dolphins (7-6). Miami won for the third time in its last four games.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 349 yards and three scores but the Steelers (5-8) lost their second straight game. Antonio Brown raced into the end zone after a series of laterals on the final play, but officials ruled he stepped out of bounds before scoring.

The Steelers snapped the ball at their own 21 just before the clock hit all zeros. Emmanuel caught a short pass from Roethlisberger, starting a flurry of laterals that included getting the ball into the hands of 330-pound tackle Marcus Gilbert. Gilbert flipped it to Roethlisberger who then appeared to throw it forward to Brown. No flags were thrown, however, as Brown raced down the sideline before touching the sideline.

PACKERS 22, FALCONS 21

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Matt Flynn threw for 258 yards and the Packers’ struggling defense forced a key fourth-quarter turnover to snap a five-game winless string.

Mike Neal’s sack forced Matt Ryan to fumble. Defensive lineman Johnny Jolly scooped up the loose ball and celebrated with a little belly dance at chilly Lambeau Field.

Four plays later, Flynn found Andrew Quarless for a 2-yard go-ahead score with about 12 minutes left for the Packers (6-6-1).

The score completed a comeback from an 11-point halftime deficit and whipped the fans swathed in parkas and knit caps into a frigid frenzy. It was 9 degrees when the game started, with a wind chill of minus-1.

Matt Bryant missed a 52-yard field goal with 6:42 left for Atlanta (3-10).

CHARGERS 37, GIANTS 14

SAN DIEGO — Philip Rivers found rookie Keenan Allen for two of his three touchdown passes, and the Chargers kept alive their long-shot playoff hopes.

Manning dropped to 0-3 against San Diego since 2004, when the Chargers took him with the No. 1 overall draft pick and then sent him to the Giants for Rivers and a handful of draft picks. The Giants (5-8) were knocked out of playoff contention.

Manning was picked off twice, the first time when Donald Butler came up with a deflected pass midway through the first quarter. Three plays later, Allen caught a 43-yard pass and lunged for the pylon for the score.

Allen had three catches to push his season total to 61, breaking LaDainian Tomlinson’s team rookie record of 59 in 2001.

BUCCANEERS 27, BILLS 6

TAMPA, Fla. — Mike Glennon threw two touchdown passes and Bobby Rainey scored on an 80-yard run on the second play of the day. The Bucs (4-9) intercepted EJ Manuel four times en route to their fourth win in five games following an 0-8 start.

Manuel, Buffalo’s first-round draft pick out of Florida State, was sacked seven times and doubled his interception total for the season.

The Bills (4-9) have lost five of six, are assured of finishing without a winning record for the ninth straight year, and also are likely to extend the NFL’s longest current playoff drought to 14 consecutive seasons.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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