Peyton Manning threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns, four to Eric Decker, as the Denver Broncos held off a furious rally to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-28 on Sunday and seize control of the American Football Conference West.
Decker had eight catches for a career-high 174 yards for the Broncos (10-2), who moved a game clear of the Chiefs (9-3) in the division. With four games left, Denver also hold the tiebreaker by virtue of two wins over Kansas City in three weeks.
Jamaal Charles had 93 yards rushing for the Chiefs, and capped a 17-play drive with a 1 yard touchdown run with 6 minutes, 32 seconds left in the game to close within a touchdown. After forcing a punt with 3:32 remaining, Kansas City used three long pass plays to move deep into Broncos territory, but Alex Smith’s pass to Dwayne Bowe in the end zone on fourth-and-four with 1:45 left fell incomplete.
EAGLES 24, CARDINALS 21
In Philadelphia, Nick Foles threw three touchdown passes and the Eagles held on. Zach Ertz had two touchdown catches, LeSean McCoy ran for 79 yards as the Eagles (7-5) won their fourth straight to remain tied with Dallas for first place in the NFC East.
Carson Palmer threw for 302 yards and three touchdown passes, but also had two interceptions and lost a fumble as the Cardinals (7-5) had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Foles picked up where he left off last month, when he was the NFC’s Player of the Month and tied an NFL record with seven touchdowns in a game. Foles finished 21 of 34 for 237 yards against a defense ranked eighth.
Foles set a team record for most passes without an interception (233), breaking Michael Vick’s mark of 224 set in 2010.
PANTHERS 27, BUCCANEERS 6
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Cam Newton threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score, as the Panthers earned a club-record eighth straight regular-season victory.
Newton threw touchdown passes to Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr and “Superman” leaped over the pile for another score as the Panthers (9-3) outgained the Buccaneers 426-206.
The Carolina victory sets up a huge showdown next Sunday night with New Orleans with first place in the NFC South on the line.
Newton ran for 68 yards and overcame two interceptions. The third-year quarterback has thrown for 13 touchdown passes and run for five scores during the Panthers’ current win streak.
Carolina’s defense came in allowing the fewest points in the league and flexed their muscles again, forcing two turnovers and sacking rookie Mike Glennon four times to snap a three-game winning streak for Tampa Bay (3-9).
BENGALS 17, CHARGERS 10
In San Diego, Andy Dalton threw a go-ahead, 21-yard touchdown pass to wide-open A.J. Green late in the third quarter as the AFC North-leading Bengals (8-4), coming off their bye, kept a two-game lead over Baltimore.
San Diego (5-7) lost the momentum they gained with a thrilling comeback win at Kansas City a week earlier and saw their playoff hopes dwindle after their fourth loss in five games.
With the score tied at 7, the Bengals got the ball after Dre Kirkpatrick ripped it away from tight end Antonio Gates after a reception at the Cincinnati 25, the Chargers’ third turnover.
Ten plays later, Green split the defense for an easy touchdown.
PATRIOTS 34, TEXANS 31
In Houston, Tom Brady threw for 371 yards and two scores, while Stephen Gostkowski made two long field goals in the fourth quarter.