- Associated Press - Sunday, November 20, 2011

DETROIT — Matthew Stafford threw five touchdown passes, the final one a 7-yarder to Brandon Pettigrew with 2:32 left, and the Detroit Lions rallied for a 49-35 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.

The Lions became the first NFL team since at least 1950 to win three games in a season after trailing by at least 17 points, according to STATS, LLC. The Panthers led 24-7 in the second quarter before Stafford got the Lions going.

After Detroit went ahead 35-27 with 8:02 left in the fourth quarter, Carolina tied it at 35 with 4:59 left on quarterback Cam Newton’s 6-yard run and 2-point conversion pass to Steve Smith.

Stafford started the game-winning drive with a 30-yard completion to Calvin Johnson and capped it with his scoring pass to Pettigrew in the end zone.

The Lions sealed the win when Newton threw an interception on the Panthers’ first play after the kickoff. The No. 1 pick in the NFL draft this year threw a season-high four interceptions.

Newton was 22 of 38 for 280 yards with a TD pass and also ran for two scores.

Stafford, selected No. 1 overall in the 2009 draft, bounced back from throwing two interceptions in the first quarter and finished 28 of 36 for 335 yards. His five TD passes matched his career best.

Kevin Smith gave a surprising boost on the ground, running for a career-high 140 yards and scoring a career-best three touchdowns two weeks after he was sitting on a couch without a job.

Packers 35, Buccaneers 26

GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes, and Green Bay survived a scare from Tampa Bay to remain the NFL’s only undefeated team.

With the Packers leading by two and trying to fend off a rally by the Buccaneers in the fourth quarter, Rodgers found Jordy Nelson for a clinching 40-yard touchdown with 2:55 left in the game - Nelson’s second TD catch of the afternoon.

Josh Freeman threw for 342 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Tampa Bay, which has lost four straight.

LeGarrette Blount had 107 yards rushing for the Bucs, including a 54-yard touchdown run in the second quarter.

Tampa Bay trailed by four and seemed to have some momentum when it tried a surprise onside kick before halftime. After a replay review gave the ball to Green Bay at the Tampa Bay 38, Rodgers drove for a 5-yard touchdown to Nelson that gave the Packers a 21-10 lead going into the half.

Bears 31, Chargers 20

CHICAGO — Jay Cutler threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns as Chicago defeated San Diego, the Bears’ Tfifth straight win.

The Chargers suffered their fifth straight loss, their longest slide since an 0-5 start in 2003. Rivers threw for 280 yard, but two late interceptions helped preserve the win for Chicago.

The Bears were leading 31-20 when San Diego’s Antoine Cason returned an interception 64 yards to the Chicago 20. But instead of driving for a touchdown, Rivers sealed it with a pick.

Falcons 23, Titans 27

ATLANTA — Roddy White had seven receptions for a season-high 147 yards, and Jonathan Babineaux led an Atlanta defense that held off Tennessee.

The Falcons bounced back from an overtime loss to New Orleans, but it wasn’t easy. Jake Locker took over for injured Matt Hasselbeck and threw a pair of touchdown passes to Nate Washington to make a game of it for the Titans.

Raiders 27, Vikings 21

MINNEAPOLIS — Carson Palmer and Oakland weren’t in the celebrating mood after beating the Minnesota Vikings to remain in first place in the AFC West.

Their thoughts were with injured receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, who was carted off the field in the second half with a neck injury.

Palmer threw for 164 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score in a victory over Minnesota.

Michael Bush rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders. Adrian Peterson left the game in the second quarter because of an injured left ankle for the Vikings.

49ers 23, Cardinals 7

SAN FRANCISCO | Alex Smith threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns, and San Francisco forced five turnovers to blow past Arizona on a rainy afternoon at Candlestick Park.

Smith tossed scores to Kyle Williams and Vernon Davis on the first two drives of the third quarter to help the 49ers pull away for their eighth straight victory. San Francisco can clinch the NFC West with a win at Baltimore on Thursday and a loss by Seattle against Washington next weekend.

Browns 14, Jaguars 10

CLEVELAND — Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s pass into the end zone on the game’s final play was incomplete, allowing Cleveland to escape with a win.

Colt McCoy shook off an apparent injury and threw a 3-yard TD pass to Josh Cribbs in the fourth to give Cleveland a 14-10 lead. A missed field goal attempt by Browns kicker Phil Dawson with 2:49 left gave the Jaguars a final chance.

Chris Ogbonnaya rushed for 115 yards and scored on a 1-yard run for the Browns.

Dolphins 35, Bills 8

MIAMI — Miami set up two touchdowns with interceptions, and Matt Moore threw for three scores, in a drubbing of Buffalo.

After losing their first seven games, the Dolphins have three consecutive victories for the first time since 2008, winning by a combined score of 86-20. The Bills have been outscored 106-26 while losing three in a row.

Seahawks 17, Rams 7

ST. LOUIS — Sidney Rice caught a touchdown pass and drew a pass interference call in the end zone that led to a field goal and Seattle turned back St. Louis.

The Seahawks sacked Rams quarterback Sam Bradford five times and forced him to lose two fumbles that led to touchdowns. Marshawn Lynch scored for the fourth straight week for Seattle.

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