Pats 27 – Browns 26 – New England engineered their most miraculous comeback yet in an unbelievable last-second defeat of Cleveland to remain just one game back from the top seed in the AFC. Unfortunately for the Pats, the win is overshadowed by an even bigger loss: tight end Rob Gronkowski is done for the season with a reported tear to both his ACL and MCL.
As they did the previous two games, New England sleepwalked through the first half and fell behind 12-0 before finally getting on the board via field goal with a minute and a half left in the third. Cleveland immediately answered with an 80-yard bomb from Jason Campbell to Josh Gordon (7 rec, 151 yds, TD) to take a 19-3 edge, but the Pats responded with a rapid scoring drive and six-yard TD run from Shane Vereen. Tom Brady then converted the two-point conversion to Julian Edelman to slice the lead to 19-11 heading into the fourth.
Cleveland appeared to put the game away when Campbell’s four-yard TD pass made it 26-14 with just 2:39 to play before the Pats went ballistic and the Browns fouled themselves out of the lead. Brady hit Edelman for a two-yard score with a minute remaining, but an unnecessary roughness call on the Browns placed the ensuing kickoff at the fifty. When the Pats recovered the onside kick, they thus had a short field, and a questionable pass interference call gave them the ball at the one where Brady found Danny Amendola for the improbable winning score.
49ers 19 – Seahawks 17 – San Francisco snapped Seattle’s seven-game winning streak to deny them the NFC West title for at least another week. The 49ers hit a 22-yard chip shot FG to steal the game with only :29 left.
A bruising eleven-yard TD run from Marshawn Lynch gave Seattle their first lead of the day at 7-6 early into the second quarter. Russel Wilson found Luke Wilson who broke one tackle as he rumbled for a 39-yard score to put the Seahawks up 14-9, but San Francisco responded as Colin Kaepernick hooked up with Vernon Davis for an eight-yard TD in the closing seconds of the first half.
The second half developed into a defensive struggle. After a scoreless third, both teams traded fourth quarter field goals, but the 49ers kick proved the timelier of the two.
Chargers 37 – Giants 14 – San Diego kept their own slim playoff hopes alive while simultaneously eliminating New York from contention in a rout. When the Chargers took a 24-0 score into halftime, the game was essentially over.
Phillip Rivers found a streaking Keenan Allen (3 rec, 59 yds, 2 TD) midway through the opening quarter for the first score of the game, then connected with the rookie again to take a 17-point lead. Rivers added a backbreaking 6-yard score to Danny Woodhead just nineteen seconds before the half to swell the Charger lead to 24.
The Giants finally got on the board with a one-yard TD from Peyton Hillis, but San Diego immediately answered with a one-yard TD run of their own to take a 31-7 advantage into the uneventful final quarter.
Ravens 29 – Vikings 26 – Both teams combined for an astounding 42 fourth quarter points as the Ravens stunned the Vikings in one of the wildest finishes in recent memory. Five different go-ahead TDs were exchanged in the game’s final 2:05, until Joe Flacco zipped a nine-yard TD pass to Marlon Brown with just four seconds remaining to snatch the emotional win.