Vikings use pick six, kickoff TD to take down Cardinals
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Xavier Rhodes returned one of his two interceptions 100 yards for a touchdown and Cordarrelle Patterson took the second-half kickoff 104 yards for a score as the Vikings stopped their four-game losing streak.
The Vikings (6-4) used those momentum-shifting plays they’d been missing to hold onto a first-place tie with Detroit in the NFC North, with a rematch against the Lions looming in four days. After fueling a 5-0 start with four return touchdowns, the Vikings didn’t produce any over their last four games.
Danielle Hunter had two of the team’s four sacks, the most by the Vikings since their most recent victory six weeks ago.
David Johnson rushed for 103 yards and a score and tacked on 57 yards and a touchdown receiving, but the Cardinals (4-5-1) netted only 27 yards after halftime. They fell further into the background of the NFC playoff picture with four more road games remaining.
SEATTLE (AP) — Russell Wilson threw for 272 yards and a touchdown, and caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Doug Baldwin and Seattle rolled past Philadelphia.
Wilson became the first quarterback in franchise history to catch a touchdown, a perfect end-around pass from Baldwin to Seattle’s athletic QB as he ran down the left sideline and dove into the end zone to give the Seahawks (6-2-1) a 23-7 lead.
Wilson was already causing headaches for the Eagles (5-4) well before his TD catch. He scrambled and threw across his body to find Jimmy Graham on a 35-yard catch-and-run touchdown in the second quarter as Seattle built a 16-7 halftime lead that was more than enough. Rookie C.J. Prosise had a 72-yard touchdown run on Seattle’s fifth offensive play — the longest run ever by a Seattle player since CenturyLink Field opened in 2002.
STEELERS 24, BROWNS 9
CLEVELAND (AP) — Le’Veon Bell scored on a 1-yard touchdown run long after time expired in the first half and Pittsburgh had eight sacks and snapped a four-game losing streak with a win over winless Cleveland.
The Steelers (5-5) scored eight points with zeroes showing on the clock before halftime after they were awarded two extra plays because of defensive penalties against the Browns (0-11). Three NFL teams previously went 0-11 before winning a game, while seven had even worse starts.
Steelers defensive tackle Javon Hargrave recovered a fumble by QB Josh McCown for a TD with 3:36 left to seal Pittsburgh’s win. The Steelers came in with a league-low 13 sacks before unloading on the Browns.
Bell finished with a season-high 146 yards rushing. Ben Roethlisberger improved to 20-2 in starts against Cleveland, still paying for not drafting the Ohio native in 2004.
COWBOYS 27, RAVENS 17
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes, two to Dez Bryant, in the first game with Tony Romo as his backup, and the Cowboys set a franchise season record with their ninth straight win.
The Cowboys (9-1) punted on their first four possessions — a first this season — against the NFL’s No. 1 defense. They marched 92 and 88 yards on their first two drives of the second half to break a 10-10 tie. Both drives ended with TD passes to Bryant , who had six catches for 80 yards.
Romo, who broke a bone in his back in a preseason game, was active for the first time since Thanksgiving last year, and was the Dallas backup for the first time in 10 years.
The Ravens (5-5) lost to Dallas for the first time in five games in franchise history.
GIANTS 22, BEARS 16
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Eli Manning threw a go-ahead 15-yard touchdown pass to rookie Sterling Shepard in the third quarter as the Giants rallied for their fifth straight win.
Manning (21 of 36 for 227) also threw a third-quarter touchdown to Will Tye, Rashad Jennings scored on a 2-yard run and Robbie Gould kicked a 46-yard field goal on a day he missed two extra points in a gusty MetLife Stadium.
The Giants (7-3) got a second-half shutout from their defense and a clinching interception from Landon Collins as injuries on the offensive line finally caught up with the Bears (2-8) and left Jay Cutler under constant pressure.
The winning streak is New York’s longest in the regular season since 2010, while the Bears’ start matches their worst since 2002.
COLTS 24, TITANS 17
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck led the Indianapolis Colts to a big early lead, and the defense held on in the second half. Indianapolis (5-5) evened its record by winning back-to-back games for the first time this season.
And by earning their 11th straight victory in the series, the Colts climbed into second place in the AFC South.
For Tennessee (5-6), it was more frustration against an old nemesis.