- Associated Press - Monday, December 15, 2014


Monday, Dec. 15

New Orleans at Chicago, 8:30 p.m. ESPN. The Saints and Bears come in with identical records (5-8) and are coming off tough weeks. New Orleans got blasted 41-10 at home last week by Carolina. Meanwhile, Chicago offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer acknowledged he was a source behind a critical report by the NFL Network about quarterback Jay Cutler.




- Eli Manning, Giants, was 23 of 34 for 250 yards and three TDs - all to Odell Beckham Jr. - as New York defeated Washington 24-13.

- Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, threw for 360 yards in Pittsburgh’s 27-20 win at Atlanta, increasing his season total to a franchise-record 4,415 yards.

- Tony Romo, Cowboys, passed for 265 yards and three TDs - all to Dez Bryant - in Dallas’ 38-27 win at Philadelphia.

- Alex Smith, Chiefs, threw for 297 yards and two scores in Kansas City’s 31-13 win over Oakland.

- Tom Brady, Patriots, had two touchdown passes in New England’s 41-13 rout of Miami.

- Teddy Bridgewater, Vikings, was 31 of 41 for 315 yards with a touchdown in Minnesota’s 16-14 loss at Detroit.



- Jeremy Hill, Bengals, rushed for 148 yards and two touchdowns in Cincinnati’s 30-0 rout of Cleveland.

- DeMarco Murray, Cowboys, had a pair of TD runs in Dallas’ 38-27 win at Philadelphia.

- Arian Foster, Texans, ran 26 times for 99 yards in Houston’s 17-10 loss at Indianapolis.

- Eddie Lacy, Packers, rushed for 97 yards on 15 carries in Green Bay’s 21-13 loss at Buffalo.

- Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, ran for 91 yards and a TD in Seattle’s 17-7 win over San Francisco.



- Odell Beckham Jr., Giants, caught three touchdown passes and made 12 receptions, one shy of tying the team’s single-game record, as New York topped Washington 24-13.

- Dez Bryant, Cowboys, caught a career-best three touchdown catches from Tony Romo and Dallas rallied to beat Philadelphia Eagles 38-27.

- Harry Douglas, Falcons, had 10 catches for a season-high 131 yards in place of the injured Julio Jones in Atlanta’s 27-20 loss to Pittsburgh.

- Antonio Brown, Steelers, had 10 receptions for 123 yards in Pittsburgh’s 27-20 win at Atlanta, and also set a franchise record for catches in a season with 115 to eclipse the 112 by Hines Ward in 2002.

- Demaryius Thomas, Broncos, had six catches for 123 yards as Denver beat San Diego 22-10.

- Greg Olsen, Panthers, tied a career high with 10 catches for 110 yards in Carolina’s 19-17 win over Tampa Bay.


Special Teams

- Darian Stewart and Kamar Aiken, Ravens. Stewart blocked Bryan Anger’s punt, and Aiken scooped up the ball and went 11 yards for a touchdown in Baltimore’s 20-12 win over Jacksonville.

- Marcus Thigpen, Bills, scored on a 75-yard punt return in Buffalo’s 21-13 win over Green Bay.

- Connor Barth, Chiefs, made all five of his field-goal attempts in Kansas City’s 31-13 victory over Oakland.

- Mario Williams, Bills, blocked Mason Crosby’s 53-yard field-goal attempt in Buffalo’s 21-13 win over Green Bay.

- Mike Nugent, Bengals, kicked two 44-yard field goals and a 34-yarder in Cincinnati’s 30-0 win over Cleveland after missing practice time this week after his father died.



- Bacarri Rambo, Bills, came off the bench to replace injured backup safety Duke Williams to intercept Aaron Rodgers on consecutive drives in the second half of Buffalo’s 21-13 win over Green Bay.

- William Gay, Steelers, returned an interception 52 yards for a touchdown in Pittsburgh’s 27-20 win at Atlanta.

- Kyle Arrington, Patriots, returned a blocked field goal 62 yards for a score as New England routed Miami 41-13.

- Kendrick Lewis, Texans, had a 27-yard interception return for a TD in Houston’s 17-10 loss at Indianapolis.

- Terrell Suggs, Ravens, had 2 1/2 sacks as Baltimore brought down Blake Bortles eight times in a 20-12 win over Jacksonville.



New England’s Bill Belichick earned his 229th career win Sunday, tying Hall of Famer Curly Lambeau for the fourth-most total victories in NFL history. … New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. had 12 receptions for 143 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first rookie in NFL history with 12 catches, 140 yards receiving and three TD catches in a game. He has a team-high nine touchdowns and his 972 yards receiving are a team record for a rookie, beating Jeremy Shockey’s 894. … Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger increased his season total to 4,415 yards passing, surpassing his previous franchise record of 4,328 from 2009 with two games to go. … Pittsburgh’s Le’Veon Bell finished with 47 yards rushing and 72 yards receiving in the Steelers’ 27-20 win at Atlanta, falling short of becoming the first player in NFL history with four straight 200-yard games in total yardage. He pushed his total yards for the season to 2,043, eclipsing Barry Foster’s team record of 2,034. … With 209 career games and 142 career wins, Indianapolis wide receiver Reggie Wayne now holds both franchise records. … Indianapolis improved to 13-0 all-time at home against the Texans with a 17-10 victory, and has won 12 straight over AFC South foes. … Houston’s J.J. Watt had seven tackles, two hits and two passes defensed against the Colts to join former Dolphins star Jason Taylor as the only players since 1991 with 10 sacks and 10 passes defensed in two different seasons. … Baltimore wide receiver Steve Smith became the 18th player in NFL history with 900 catches.



Oakland’s 31-13 loss at Kansas City was its 10th straight on the road. The Raiders still have not won back-to-back games since Weeks 7 and 8 of the 2012 season. The teams combined to convert eight of 31 third downs, and had 21 penalties. … New England scored on its four series of the third quarter and piled up 24 points, a team record for that period, en route to a 41-13 win over Miami. … The Patriots became the first team in NFL history with 11 division titles in 12 years. They missed only in 2008, when Tom Brady suffered a season-ending knee injury in the opener and Miami won the AFC East. The Patriots’ six consecutive division titles are one short of the NFL record since 1970 set by the Los Angeles Rams from 1973-79. … The New York Jets’ 16-11 win at Tennessee marked the first time in NFL history that a game ended with that score. … With Buffalo’s 21-13 win over Green Bay, the Bills are assured their first eight-win season since going 9-7 in 2004. … The Titans have lost eight straight and 11 of 12 in their worst skid since 1994 when home was in Houston. … Denver’s 12th straight division road win tied San Francisco’s NFL record set from 1987-90. … Detroit went 7-1 at home during the regular season. The previous time that happened was 1995, when the team still played at the Silverdome.



Denver, New England and Indianapolis all clinched division titles with victories Sunday, while Arizona earned a playoff berth without even playing. The Broncos won the AFC West for the fourth straight year with a 22-10 victory at San Diego. The Patriots beat Miami 41-13 to win the AFC East for the sixth consecutive year and become the first team in NFL history with 11 division titles in 12 years. The Colts held off the Houston Texans 17-10 to clinch the AFC South division title and a third consecutive playoff appearance. The Cardinals, who beat St. Louis 12-6 on Thursday night, earned their first playoff spot since the 2009 season when the Dallas-Philadelphia game Sunday night didn’t end in a tie. The Cowboys won 38-27.



Cleveland Browns rookie Johnny Manziel couldn’t live up to the enormous hype surrounding his first NFL start as the Cincinnati Bengals rolled to a 30-0 win Sunday over the Browns. He completed 10 of 18 passes for 80 yards, threw two interceptions and was sacked three times. He was also constantly taunted by Bengals players, who gleefully flashed Manziel’s “money-rubbing gesture” in his face every chance they got.



Peyton Manning played through a thigh injury and flu-like symptoms to lead Denver to a 22-10 victory against the San Diego Chargers, helping the Broncos clinch their fourth straight AFC West title. Manning came out of the game late in the second quarter after apparently hurting his thigh while blocking linebacker Donald Butler on a run by C.J. Anderson. He returned for the start of the third quarter and on Denver’s second possession threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas to give the Broncos a 16-3 lead. Manning completed 14 of 20 passes for 233 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions.



Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers went 17 of 42 for 185 yards, with two interceptions in the Packers’ 21-13 loss at Buffalo. He had been picked off just three times this season, and none since throwing two in Green Bay’s last loss, 44-23 at New Orleans on Oct. 26.



Baltimore sacked Jacksonville rookie Blake Bortles eight times in the Ravens’ 20-12 win over the Jaguars. Terrell Suggs was credited with 2 1/2 sacks and rookie Timmy Jernigan, starting for the suspended Haloti Ngata, had two. Baltimore’s season-high eight sacks increased the number Jacksonville has yielded this season to 62.



The Cincinnati Bengals overwhelmed the Browns on the field and on the stat sheet in a 30-0 win, recording their first shutout since Dec. 21, 2008 - in Cleveland. Cincinnati had 347 yards to Cleveland’s 107. The Bengals picked up 24 first downs to five for the Browns, who went just 1 of 10 on third down.



The 49ers’ 17-7 loss at Seattle and Detroit’s win over Minnesota eliminated San Francisco (7-7) from making the postseason. It’s the first time in Jim Harbaugh’s four seasons the 49ers won’t be playing in January, and will only heighten questions about Harbaugh’s future with the club.



With Minnesota trailing Detroit 16-14, the Vikings sent Blair Walsh out to attempt a 68-yard field goal - which would have been the longest in NFL history. Walsh’s kick came up short and wide to the left, and Detroit held on for the victory. “Stranger things have happened to us,” Detroit offensive lineman Rob Sims said. “But maybe this is our time. Maybe things are changing.”



Washington’s Robert Griffin III scrambled for an apparent 8-yard touchdown for a 17-7 lead in the second quarter against the New York Giants, diving over the pylon, then running on to the field and spiking the ball with emphasis. The video review by referee Jeff Triplette showed that Griffin lost control of the ball diving over the pylon and the play was ruled a touchback. The call incensed veteran Redskins receiver Santana Moss so much that he stormed after the officials and was ejected. Triplette said Moss was ejected for inappropriate language directed first at him and then at field judge Alex Kemp.



Carolina’s Derek Anderson completed 25 of 40 passes for 277 yards and a TD in the Panthers’ 19-17 win over Tampa Bay. He improved to 2-0 as a starter in place of Cam Newton, who missed the game while recovering from a car accident Tuesday that left him with two fractures in his lower back. Both of Anderson’s wins have come against Tampa Bay.



Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker dislocated his left, non-throwing shoulder when he was hit by New York Jets defensive end Quinton Coples late in the first half of 16-11 loss to the Jets and didn’t return. … Houston quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was carted off the field with an air cast covering his left leg early in the second quarter of a 17-10 loss at Indianapolis. Fitzpatrick was injured on a 2-yard run with 13:29 to go. … Another quarterback was forced out of a game when Washington’s Colt McCoy left after aggravating a neck injury on the opening series against the New York Giants. … San Francisco running back Frank Gore left with a concussion after falling to the turf after throwing a block in the second quarter against Seattle. Also in the game, 49ers middle linebacker Chris Borland and Seattle left tackle Russell Okung (chest) were both injured on Eric Reid’s interception return on the final play of the first half. … Cleveland cornerback Joe Haden will undergo an MRI on Monday after injuring his shoulder in a loss to Cincinnati. The Browns also lost rookie cornerback Justin Gilbert with a concussion.



“He was sick. I don’t think it was Jordan game flu sick, but he was sick.” - Denver running back C.J. Anderson on Peyton Manning, referring to how sick Michael Jordan was when he scored 38 points in Game 5 of the 1997 NBA Finals.


“It was tough. When you get beat, you get beat and you take it like a man. I felt like it was a fail on my part.” - Cleveland’s Johnny Manziel, who struggled in his first NFL start, a 30-0 loss to Cincinnati.


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

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