Thursday, Nov. 22
Green Bay 29, Detroit 27
The Packers held a 16-point lead midway through the fourth quarter, and then had to hold on for a 29-27 victory over the Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Green Bay won in the Silverdome for the first time in five years and for just the second time in the regular season since 1992 to close within a half-game of Chicago in the NFC Central. Ahman Green ran for 102 yards and a touchdown and also caught a 35-yard TD pass
The Lions rallied late on Thanksgiving Day but fell short to the Packers. Detroit made up all but two points of a 16-point deficit in the final seven minutes with two TDs and a two-point conversion. Rookie QB Mike McMahon, who almost led the Lions in a remarkable comeback, threw an incomplete pass on a two-point conversion with 10 seconds left that could have tied the score.
Denver 26, Dallas 24
The Broncos nearly blew a fourth-quarter lead for the second straight week, but held on for a 26-24 Thanksgiving Day victory at Dallas. Jason Elam kicked four field goals to help build a 23-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. Then the Cowboys, who hadn’t scored a touchdown in nine quarters, scored three times.
Sunday Nov. 25
Atlanta 10, Carolina 7
The Falcons were limited to 239 total net yards, but 99 of them came on their only touchdown drive, as they held on to win 10-7 in Carolina. After a successful goal-line stand gave the Falcons the ball at their own 1-yard line, Bob Christian’s career-long 53-yard run moved Atlanta from its 8 to the Panthers 39 yard line. He scored eight plays later to push Atlanta’s lead to 10-0 late in the second quarter. The Panthers were held to 247 total net yards and failed to score on a pivotal goal-line stand Sunday en route to dropping their tenth consecutive game.
Cleveland 18, Cincinnati 0
What better way to respond to a team that beat you earlier in the year than by shutting them out? That’s exactly what the Browns did Sunday, dropping the Bengals 18-0 at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Kevin Johnson caught six passes for 113 yards and a score to give the Browns a boost. In an attempt to shake things up, Bengals coach Dick LeBeau utilized three quarterbacks Sunday against the Browns. It didn’t work. Bengals QBs Jon Kitna, Scott Mitchell and Akili Smith combined for 125 passing yards and five interceptions.
Miami 34, Buffalo 27
The Dolphins overcame a 27-17 deficit in the final eight minutes, with the winning score set up by Nate Clements’ fumble on a kickoff return. A week after throwing three INTs in a loss to the Jets, Jay Fiedler and the Dolphins bounced back in thrilling fashion. Fiedler threw three TD passes, including a 32-yarder to Chris Chambers with 48 seconds remaining, to spark the Dolphins to a 34-27 road victory over the Bills on Sunday. It was Fiedler’s fourth fourth-quarter comeback of the season and sixth of his career. The victory lifted Miami into a first-place tie with the Jets in the AFC East. The Bills have lost five straight this season, and have lost eight in row at home, matching their longest home losing streak since 1983-84.
Pittsburgh 34, Tennessee 24
As the Steelers keep rolling, their latest victory over the Titans in Tennessee being a big one, talk about how far they can go has begun. Steve McNair’s 334-yard, two-TD performance against Pittsburgh Sunday was thrown away when an errant pass fell into Chad Scott’s hands and was returned for a Steelers score in Tennessee’s 34-24 setback.
Kansas City 19, Seattle 7
Priest Holmes did most of the dirty work (190 yards from scrimmage), but fellow running backs Tony Richardson and Mike Cloud got the glory. They each scored a rushing touchdown to lead the Chiefs past the Seahawks 19-7. Shaun Alexander caught six passes for 62 yards and a touchdown, but was held by Kansas City to 43 yards on 13 carries. The Seahawks were out-gained 433-204, including 188-65 on the ground. The Chiefs won for the first time at home this season in five tries.
San Francisco 40, Indianapolis 21
As if they didn’t have enough trouble beating recent opponents, the Colts contributed to their latest loss. Peyton Manning threw three second-half interceptions, and the 49ers turned each of those gifts into a touchdown. Manning was 31 of 51 for 370 yards and one TD but threw a career-high four INTs. The 49ers scored 23 points off Colts turnovers en route to a 40-21 victory at the RCA Dome and dealt Indianapolis a third consecutive loss overall and fourth straight at home. Garrison Hearst ran for 106 yards and two TDs, and Jeff Garcia completed 14 of 22 passes for 179 yards and two TDs. Terrell Owens caught six passes for 103 yards and TD. Hearst averaged 8.8 yards on his 12 carries.
Washington 13, Philadelphia 3
With a 13-3 victory over Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium, Washington became the first team in NFL history to win five straight after starting the season 0-5. The victory moved the ‘Skins to within one game of the NFC East-leading Eagles. After scoring 84 points in their previous two games, the Eagles were shut down by the Redskins in Week 11. Philadelphia was limited to just 186 yards and seven first downs. The Eagles got skinned. Washington used tough defense and ball control to stifle Donovan McNabb, and company. Washington held the ball for more than 37 minutes while limiting Philly’s offense to 186 yards and seven first downs.
Arizona 20, San Diego 17
The Cardinals won back-to-back games for the first time this year when Bill Gramatica kicked a 42-yard field goal with one second left to give Arizona a 20-17 victory in San Diego. Twice the Cardinals answered a fourth quarter Doug Flutie touchdowns pass with a score. David Boston had six receptions for 121 yards and a touchdown. After watching Wade Richey’s miserable performance against the Cardinals, Chargers general manager John Butler called ex-Bills kicker Steve Christie. Christie flew to San Diego to take a physical exam and perform a tryout for the Chargers. If everything goes well for Christie, he might replace Richey, who would be relegated to doing only kickoffs. Christie suffered a groin injury during the preseason and has not played since.
New England 34, New Orleans 17
Coming off a 34-20 win over Indianapolis, the Saints hoped to keep the momentum going in New England. But instead, the Saints fell to .500. New Orleans suffered a 34-17 defeat to the Patriots in the rain at Foxboro. Aaron Brooks, who against the Colts threw for two TDs, ran for one and had only three incompletions, threw only one scoring pass on Sunday. Tom Brady, who earlier in the week was named the Patriots’ starter for the rest of the season, threw four TD passes to lead New England to victory.
Baltimore 24, Jacksonville 21
After scoring 21 unanswered points, the Jacksonville Jaguars gave up a long drive and a touchdown to the Ravens, giving them a 24-21 win at Alltel. Mark Brunell played very well, passing for 259 yards and a score in a losing effort. Stacey Mack added two touchdowns on 50 yards rushing.
Oakland 28, N.Y. Giants 10
The Raiders didn’t take long to make themselves at home in the Meadowlands, scoring on three of their first four possessions before disposing of the Giants 28-10. Rich Gannon continued his MVP form, completing 13 of 20 passes for 221 yards and three touchdowns. Oakland improved to 8-2. New York has now dropped five of its past seven games. The loss puts Big Blue’s playoff hopes in serious jeopardy.
Chicago 13, Minnesota 6
Any confidence the Vikings gained in their Week 10 victory against the Giants was greatly deflated Sunday night when the Bears scratched out a 13-6 victory in the Metrodome. The Vikings were held to two second-half field goals, and the tandem of Randy Moss and Cris Carter collected only nine catches for 70 yards. Chicago came into the game with the most passing yards allowed in the NFL, but held Daunte Culpepper to 209 yards and no touchdowns. Jim Miller had only 97 passing yards, but Terry Allen rushed for 107.