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NFL roundup: Dolphins hold off Brady, Patriots
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Tom Brady’s latest comeback bid came up short, and the Miami Dolphins helped their playoff chances with a 24-20 breakthrough victory Sunday over the AFC East-leading New England Patriots.
The Patriots had mounted second-half rallies to win their past three games, and Brady moved them from their own 20 with 1:15 remaining to the Miami 14. But he threw three consecutive incompletions before Thomas sealed the third consecutive victory for the Dolphins (8-6), who improved to 5-2 since tackle Jonathan Martin left the team in a bullying scandal.
Miami snapped a streak of seven consecutive losses against the Patriots (10-4). Ryan Tannehill threw for 312 yards and three touchdown passes, including a 14-yarder to Marcus Thigpen with 1:15 left that provided the winning margin.
Brady went 34 for 55 for 364 yards and two scores. Julian Edelman made 13 catches for 139 yards, and Danny Amendola added 10 receptions for 131 yards.
VIKINGS 48, EAGLES 30
MINNEAPOLIS — Matt Cassel passed for 382 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score to lead the injury-depleted Vikings over Philadelphia, snapping the Eagles’ five-game winning streak.
With Adrian Peterson and Toby Gerhart out, Matt Asiata rushed for the first three touchdowns of his career and Greg Jennings caught a career-high 11 passes for 163 yards for the Vikings (4-9-1). Asiata ran for 51 yards on 30 carries.
Nick Foles threw for 428 yards with three touchdowns and one interception and DeSean Jackson had 10 catches for 195 yards and a score for the Eagles (8-6). They started the day with a one-game lead over Dallas in the NFC East.
Playing for pride and probably coach Leslie Frazier’s job, the Vikings produced quite the spoiler performance against the previously surging Eagles.
49ERS 33, BUCCANEERS 14
TAMPA, Fla. — Vernon Davis caught a touchdown pass for the fifth straight game and Michael Crabtree scored his first TD since returning from injury to help the San Francisco 49ers beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The victory was the fourth straight for Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers (10-4), who pulled away for good with a 10-minute, fourth-quarter drive that produced a field goal. Kendall Hunter put it well out of reach, scooping up a fumble on the ensuing kickoff and diving 2 yards into the end zone for a touchdown.
Tampa Bay got within 20-14 on Mike Glennon’s TD pass to Tim Wright on the first play of the fourth quarter. The Bucs (4-10) didn’t get the ball back until after Kaepernick used 17 plays to march the 49ers 77 yards into position for Phil Dawson to kick one of his four field goals, extending his franchise-record streak of consecutive successful attempts to 24.
Kaepernick completed 19 of 29 passes for 203 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. Frank Gore rushed for 86 yards to go over 1,000 in a season for the seventh time in his career.
By Tammy Bruce
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