Dolphins 24 – Pats 20 – New England’s streak of improbable comeback wins was finally ended by Miami to muddy up the AFC playoff picture for another week. Both teams traded late fourth quarter go-ahead TDs before the Pats stalled at the Fins 14-yard line when Brady threw a pick in the end zone with only two seconds left.
Unlike their previous several contests, New England played well from the outset and enjoyed a 10-point lead that Miami cut to a FG after a timely 39-yard TD from Ryan Tannehill to Mike Wallace with just over thirty seconds til halftime. In a reversal of the Patriots recent fortunes, the Dolphins scored 10 straight second half points to take a 17-10 lead early into the fourth quarter. After a Pats FG, Brady found Julian Edelman who snaked his way 24-yards for the go-ahead and seemingly winning 20-17 lead with a little over four minutes to play.
Then the Fins did what New England has become so accustomed to and engineered a game-winning final drive. Tannehill converted a fourth and five along the way before he found Marcus Thigpen out of the backfield for a 14-yard TD. Brady took over with a little over a minute left, but after a dropped TD and inexplicable no-call on a clear pass interference, the Pats streak of miraculous victories was finally snapped.
Seahawks 23 – Giants 0 – Eli Manning threw five INTs in perhaps his worst game of the year as New York was blanked at home by visiting Seattle. The Seahawks also forced four sacks and out-rushed the Giants 134 yards to 25 in the dominant road win.
Seattle was up a FG when Marshwan Lynch earned his Beast Mode moniker after breaking tackles from nearly half the Giants defenders in a punishing two-yard TD run with just over five minutes left in the second quarter. The Seahawks added a late FG to take a 13-point lead into intermission.
Seattle stalled inside the ten and settled for another FG midway through the third before Russel Wilson fired a 12-yard strike to Doug Baldwin early in the fourth to put the Giants out of their misery and seal the statement victory.
49ers 33 – Bucs 14 – San Francisco won their fourth straight with a manhandling of Tampa Bay. Although the Bucs managed to narrow the gap to less than a TD early in the third, they were largely dominated by the stellar 49er defense that gave up only 183 total yards.
The Niners were up ten when Colin Kaepernick unleashed a 52-yard bomb to Vernon Davis to take a 17-0 lead with just under two minutes til the half, but Tampa went on a crucial seven-play, eighty yard drive in just over a minute to trim the lead to 17-7 before the break.
A 92-yard Tampa scoring drive was capped with a 24-yard TD pass and suddenly San Fran was up just 20-14 early in the fourth. Tampa withstood a FG drive but their trick play on the ensuing kickoff resulted in a fumble return TD for the 49ers and effectively ended the game.
Packers 37 – Cowboys 36 – The Packers overcame a 23-point halftime deficit to shock Dallas at Jerry World. A spectacularly acrobatic five-yard TD catch from Dez Bryant appeared to seal the game at 36-24 halfway through the fourth, but a pair of Tony Romo INTs on the Cowboys final two possessions gave the pivotal win away as the Pack converted both turnovers into TDs.