- Associated Press - Monday, December 1, 2014

One point was enough for the Cincinnati Bengals to create some separation in the AFC North.

The Bengals increased their lead in the all-winning division to 1 1-2 games on Sunday by squeezing past Tampa Bay 14-13. Their brethren in the sector all fell: Baltimore blowing a lead late and falling to San Diego 34-33; Pittsburgh bowing to New Orleans 35-31; and Cleveland losing at Buffalo 26-10.

“I’m pleased that we basically overcame ourselves and won the football game,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said.

“We had, obviously, the turnovers offensively that led to scores, we had penalties on defense that kept drives alive, and those are things we overcame,” Lewis added. “They’re going to show up once in a while, but we seemed to have them all today. … We kind of got in our own way all day.”

But it turned out far better for the Bengals than for the rest of the division.

The holiday weekend began on Thanksgiving, when Detroit improved to 8-4 with a 34-17 victory over Chicago (5-7). Seattle (8-4) defeated NFC West rival San Francisco (7-5), 19-3. Philadelphia (9-3) grabbed first place in the NFC East ahead of Dallas (8-4) with a 33-10 romp over the Cowboys.

On Monday night, Miami (6-5) visits the New York Jets (2-9).

Bengals 14, Buccaneers 13

At Tampa, Andy Dalton ran for one touchdown and threw to A.J. Green for another, helping the Bengals overcome those mistakes.

Dalton shrugged off three first-half interceptions, and the Bengals (8-3-1) weathered 10 penalties and an ill-advised onside kick to win on the road for the third consecutive week, a franchise first.

Tampa Bay (2-10) threatened in the closing minutes. However, a 21-yard completion that would have put the Bucs in field goal range was overturned after a replay review confirmed the Bucs had 12 men on the field on the play.

The ball was moved back to the 46, an additional 14 seconds were added to the clock, and Tampa Bay turned over the ball on downs.

“Blame the head coach. Bad move on my part, (I) didn’t see it,” coach Lovie Smith said. “We had 12 guys on the field. Can’t happen.”

Chargers 34, Ravens 33

At Baltimore, Philip Rivers capped a frantic drive with a 1-yard touchdown pass to Eddie Royal with 38 seconds to go. The Chargers (8-4) trailed 30-20 with 6:13 remaining and 33-27 with 2:22 left before Rivers brought them back.

Following a pass interference call against Anthony Levine in the end zone, Rivers hit Royal to conclude an 80-yard march to the Chargers’ third straight win.

“These are the kind of games you got to win to get in (the postseason) and these are the kind of games you got to win if you do get in,” Rivers said. “I’m not saying you’re going to win all of them, but if you can’t win these, you’re not good enough.”

Rivers went for 34 for 45 for 383 yards and three touchdowns, two to Keenan Allen.

Baltimore (7-5) lost at home in November for the first time since 2009. The Ravens were 11-0 at home against West Coast teams.

Saints 35, Steelers 32

At Pittsburgh, Drew Brees threw five touchdowns for the ninth time in his career.

Kenny Stills caught five passes for a career-high 162 yards and a score as the Saints (5-7) ended a three-game losing streak.

The Steelers (7-5) kept New Orleans tight end Jimmy Graham without a catch, but it hardly mattered. Brees worked over Pittsburgh’s secondary anyway. Ben Watson, Marques Colston, Erik Lorig and Nick Toon hauled in touchdowns.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 435 yards and two touchdowns, but also threw two interceptions for the Steelers.

Bills 26, Browns 10

QB Kyle Orton and defensive end Jerry Hughes scored touchdowns 10 seconds apart in the third quarter for the host Bills (7-5).

Orton put the Bills ahead 7-3 with a 3-yard pass to Chris Hogan. Buffalo’s defense scored on the next play from scrimmage when Hughes stripped the ball from running back Terrence West, and returned the fumble 18 yards.

It was too deep of a hole for Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel to dig out of. Taking over with 12:01 left after starter Brian Hoyer threw his second interception, Manziel capped an eight-play, 80-yard drive with a 10-yard run that cut Buffalo’s lead to 20-10.

Cleveland (7-5) lost for only the second time in six games.

Packers 26, Patriots 21

In what some predict was a Super Bowl preview, the host Packers moved to 9-3. Aaron Rodgers threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Lacy powered for key yards in the fourth quarter, and the Green Bay defense stood firm late in the game.

Rodgers bested Tom Brady in the first meeting between the star quarterbacks as starters. Rodgers connected with Richard Rodgers and Jordy Nelson for long touchdowns and hasn’t thrown an interception in an NFL-record 360 passes at home, which includes 31 touchdown tosses.

“We have some big goals, and we’re getting into December football now with a chance with everything right in front of us,” Rodgers said.

Brady finished with two touchdown passes to Brandon LaFell for New England (9-3), which had its seven-game winning streak snapped.

Broncos 29, Chiefs 16

At Kansas City, C.J. Anderson rushed for 168 yards and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass, and Demaryius Thomas also had a TD reception from Peyton Manning to help the Broncos (9-3) beat Kansas City for the sixth straight time.

New kicker Connor Barth was perfect on five field-goal attempts, and the Broncos stayed one game in front of San Diego in the AFC West.

Alex Smith threw for 153 yards and two touchdowns for the Chiefs (7-5), the second to Jamaal Charles to make it 26-16 early in the fourth quarter. But Smith’s pass on the 2-point try fell incomplete, and the Broncos added another field goal to put the game away.

Colts 49, Redskins 27

At Indianapolis, Andrew Luck threw a career-high five touchdown passes and topped the 300-yard mark for a franchise-record 10th time this season.

Luck was 19 of 27 for 370 yards and had TD passes of 30, 3, 48, 73 and 79 yards. He broke Peyton Manning’s mark for most 300-yard games in one season and joined Manning and Dan Marino as the only quarterbacks to top 4,000 yards in two of their first three seasons.

He did all that while Washington’s Robert Griffin III, the No. 2 overall pick behind Luck in 2012, watched from the sideline. Griffin’s replacement, Colt McCoy, was 31 of 47 for a career-best 392 yards and three TDs, also a career high.

Indy is 8-4. Washington (3-9) has lost four straight.

Falcons 29, Cardinals 18

At Atlanta, Julio Jones had a career day with 10 receptions for 189 yards and a touchdown to keep the Falcons in first place in the NFC South via a tiebreaker over New Orleans.

Arizona (9-3) still leads the NFC West after its second straight loss, one game in front of defending Super Bowl champion Seattle.

Jones hauled in a 32-yard scoring pass, and Matt Bryant kicked a career-best five field goals for the Falcons (5-7).

The Cardinals went more than 11 quarters without an offensive touchdown until a meaningless score with just over a minute remaining.

Texans 45, Titans 21

At Houston, Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for a franchise-record six touchdowns, and DeAndre Hopkins had a career-best 238 yards receiving and two scores. Fitzpatrick returned to the lineup after being benched for two games for Ryan Mallett, who sustained a season-ending chest injury last week.

“I didn’t know if I’d ever have a chance to play again,” Fitzpatrick said. “It was eye-opening for me not to take it for granted and to embrace it.”

J.J. Watt helped out with his third touchdown reception, two sacks, and he forced and recovered a fumble for Houston (6-6).

Tennessee’s Zach Mettenberger injured his right shoulder playing behind a makeshift offensive line that was missing three starters. Jake Locker took over in the third quarter and threw for 91 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Titans (2-10), who have lost six straight.

Rams 52, Raiders 0

At St. Louis, Tre Mason scored two long touchdowns, and Shaun Hill accounted for three TDs in the rout. St. Louis had an out-of-nowhere 38-point first half that tied for the second biggest in franchise history.

Mason had 113 yards rushing on six carries in the half with an 89-yard score, plus a 35-yard jaunt on a screen pass. Hill was 12 for 15 for 178 yards and two TDs and ran for a 2-yard score.

The Rams (5-7) scored touchdowns on their first five possessions, and through the second quarter had 38 points to top their previous best scoring total for any game this season. The 38-point halftime lead was the largest in franchise history.

The Raiders (1-11) committed five turnovers.

Vikings 31, Panthers 13

At Minneapolis, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen each returned blocked punts for touchdowns, the fifth time in NFL history one team had two in the same game.

Teddy Bridgewater threw for two scores without a turnover, and Griffen had two of the four sacks by the Vikings (5-7) against Cam Newton.

The Panthers (3-8-1) again stumbled out of their bye. They are 0-4 under coach Ron Rivera following the annual in-season week off, and have lost six in a row overall this season.

It was the seventh-coldest game in Vikings history, with a kickoff temperature of 12 degrees. They are playing outside this year for the first time since 1981.

Jaguars 25, Giants 24

At Jacksonville, Josh Scobee kicked a 43-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining, and the Jaguars rallied from a 21-point deficit, their biggest comeback victory ever.

Jacksonville (2-10) ended a four-game losing streak and dealt New York (3-9) a seventh consecutive loss that could raise more questions about coach Tom Coughlin’s future.

The Giants scored 21 points in the second quarter and looked like they would earn their first victory since early October.

But after the break, Geno Hayes forced Eli Manning to fumble, and teammate J.T. Thomas recovered the ball in the end zone. Rookie Aaron Colvin returned a fumble 41 yards for a touchdown in the fourth period. It was the first time in franchise history Jacksonville scored two defensive touchdowns in a game.

___

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL


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