KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Peyton Manning threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns, four to Eric Decker, and the Denver Broncos held off a furious rally to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-28 Sunday and seize control of the AFC West.
Decker had eight catches for a career-high 174 yards for the Broncos (10-2), who moved a game clear of the Chiefs (9-3) in the division. With four games left, Denver also holds the tiebreaker by virtue of two wins over Kansas City in the last three weeks.
Jamaal Charles had 93 yards rushing for the Chiefs, and capped a 17-play drive with a 1-yard touchdown run with 6:32 left in the game to close within a touchdown.
After forcing a punt with 3:32 remaining, Kansas City used three long pass plays to move deep into Broncos territory. But Alex Smith's pass to Dwayne Bowe in the end zone on fourth-and-4 with 1:45 left fell incomplete.
PANTHERS 27, BUCCANEERS 6
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Cam Newton threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns and ran for another score, and the Panthers earned a franchise-record eighth straight regular-season victory.
Newton threw touchdown passes to Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jr. and "Superman" leaped over the pile for another score as the Panthers (9-3) outgained the Buccaneers 426-206.
The Carolina victory sets up a huge showdown next Sunday night with New Orleans with first place in the NFC South on the line.
Newton ran for 68 yards and overcame two interceptions. The third-year quarterback has thrown for 13 touchdown passes and run for five scores during the Panthers' current win streak.
Carolina's defense came in allowing the fewest points in the league and flexed its muscles again, forcing two turnovers and sacking rookie Mike Glennon four times to snap a three-game winning streak for Tampa Bay (3-9). Glennon had thrown a touchdown pass in an NFL record eight straight games to start his career.
BENGALS 17, CHARGERS 10
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Andy Dalton threw a go-ahead, 21-yard touchdown pass to wide-open A.J. Green late in the third quarter and the AFC North-leading Bengals (8-4), coming off their bye, kept a two-game lead over Baltimore.
San Diego (5-7) lost the momentum it gained with a thrilling comeback win at Kansas City a week earlier and saw its playoff hopes dwindle after its fourth loss in five games.
With the score tied at 7, the Bengals got the ball after Dre Kirkpatrick ripped it away from tight end Antonio Gates after a reception at the Cincinnati 25, the Chargers' third turnover.
Ten plays later, Green split the defense for an easy touchdown, with safety Eric Weddle and cornerback Marcus Gilchrist only able to watch.
EAGLES 24, CARDINALS 21
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Nick Foles threw three touchdown passes and the Eagles held on. Zach Ertz had two TD catches, LeSean McCoy ran for 79 yards and the Eagles (7-5) won their fourth straight to remain tied with Dallas for first place in the NFC East.
Carson Palmer threw for 302 yards and three TD passes, but also had two interceptions and lost a fumble as the Cardinals (7-5) had their four-game winning streak snapped.
Foles picked up where he left off in November, when he was the NFC's Player of the Month and tied an NFL record with seven TDs in a game. Foles finished 21 of 34 for 237 yards against a defense ranked eighth.
Foles set a team record for most passes without an interception (233), breaking Michael Vick's mark of 224 set in 2010. He also moved within one TD pass of tying Peyton Manning's mark of 20 and zero interceptions to start a season.
PATRIOTS 34, TEXANS 31
HOUSTON (AP) — Tom Brady threw for 371 yards and two scores, and Stephen Gostkowski made two long field goals in the fourth quarter.
The Texans' franchise-record skid reached 10 games. Gary Kubiak coached from the sideline for the first time since suffering a mini-stroke Nov. 3. He missed one game before working the last two games from the booth.
New England overcame a 24-point first-half deficit last week to beat the Broncos 34-31 in overtime. The Patriots (9-3) trailed by 10 at halftime in this one and the lead changed five times in a wild second half. New England tied it with a 53-yard field goal and took a 34-31 lead with another one from 53 with about three minutes left.
Ben Tate ran for 102 yards and three touchdowns for the Texans (2-10), who haven't won since Sept. 15. It was the first 100-yard rushing game since 2011 for Tate, who has been slowed since Oct. 20 with four broken ribs.
The victory ended a three-game road skid for the Patriots, who have won 16 of their last 17 December games.
GIANTS 24, REDSKINS 17
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Eli Manning completed 22 of 28 passes for 235 yards, and Justin Tuck had four sacks to help shut down Robert Griffin III in the second half, leading New York over Washington.
Andre Brown had a pair of touchdown runs, including a 1-yarder early in the fourth quarter that put the Giants ahead for good.
Griffin was 16 for 17 at halftime, but he went 8 for 15 in the second half, and the Redskins managed only 96 total yards after halftime.