Cowboys win after tragedy
The Dallas Cowboys put an off-field tragedy behind them to beat the Cincinnati Bengals 20-19 on Sunday.
Dan Bailey's 40-yard field goal as time ran out secured the win for Dallas, who overcame a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes behind quarterback Tony Romo, who held his hand over his heart during a moment of silence to honour team-mate Jerry Brown before the kickoff.
Brown died in a car accident early on Saturday. Defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was driving, remains in jail in Irving, Texas, charged with intoxication manslaughter.
The Cowboys (7-6) learned about Brown's death on their flight to Cincinnati on Saturday.
The Atlanta Falcons suffered only their second defeat of the season as they went down 30-20 to the Carolina Panthers.
Panthers quarterback Cam Newton threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 72-yard run as the NFC South champion Falcons slipped to 11-2.
Newton recorded a career-high 116 yards on the ground as the Panthers (4-9) racked up 475 total yards.
The most dramatic finish in the day's early games came in Washington, where back-up quarterback Kirk Cousins steered the Redskins to a 31-28 overtime victory over the Baltimore Ravens (9-4).
With Robert Griffin III sidelined with a sprained right knee and his side 28-20 behind, Cousins stepped in to find Pierre Garcon for an 11-yard touchdown pass and then run in the two-point conversion with 29 seconds left.
Kai Forbath then kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime as the Redskins improved to 7-6.
Adrian Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Harrison Smith returned an interception for a score to lead the Minnesota Vikings to a 21-14 victory over the free-falling Chicago Bears.
Peterson was over 100 yards before the first quarter was over, helping the Vikings (7-6) overcome the 8-5 Bears, who have now lost four of their past five games.
Elsewhere, Andrew Luck led Indianapolis back from a 13-point second-half deficit and Adam Vinatieri made two fourth-quarter field goals as the Colts rallied to beat the Tennessee Titans 27-23.
Luck, the number one overall draft pick, has now engineered six fourth-quarter comebacks this season for the Colts (9-4).
Travis Benjamin's 93-yard punt return for a touchdown gave Cleveland momentum and the Browns won their third straight game, beating the Kansas City Chiefs 30-7.
Trent Richardson also had a pair of one-yard TD runs for Cleveland, who improved to 5-8.
Sam Bradford threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Gibson with 48 seconds left to lift the St Louis Rams to a 15-12 win over the Buffalo Bills.
Bradford completed five of his eight pass attempts in the decisive 14-play, 84-yard drive as the Rams won their third straight game for the first time since the end of the 2006 season.
Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell ran for short touchdowns as the New York Jets kept their post-season hopes alive with a 17-10 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Jets (6-7) failed to score in the first half for the second consecutive week, but ground out victory in the second thanks to Greene and Powell.
In Pittsburgh, the Steelers went down 34-24 to the San Diego Chargers, with visiting quarterback Philip Rivers throwing three touchdown passes, two of them to Danario Alexander.
Philadelphia quarterback also contributed three touchdowns - throwing for two and running for another - as the Eagles rallied to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23-21.
Foles threw two touchdown passes in the final four minutes as the Eagles ended an eight-game losing streak, their longest in 42 years.