Falcons Edge Packers to Maintain Lead in N.F.C.

San Diego (6-5) won its fourth game in a row and kept pace in the A.F.C. West race, one game behind Kansas City. Indianapolis (6-5) lost its second in a row but likewise kept pace in the A.F.C. East, where it remained tied with Jacksonville for the lead.

Fans started leaving after the Colts committed their fourth of five turnovers, a fumble by Javarris James early in the fourth quarter. Colts fans had not seen such a debacle since a 31-3 loss to the on Sept. 14, 1997.

Manning finished 31 of 48 for 285 yards with two touchdowns, but he has thrown seven interceptions in the last two weeks — the most over any two-week span in his career.

The Chargers’ Kevin Burnett returned the first interception 29 yards for a score. Eric Weddle matched that with a 41-yarder in the third quarter that broke the game open. San Diego shut out Indianapolis for the final 30 minutes.

Falcons Have Eye on Future

Matt Bryant kicked a 47-yard field goal with nine seconds left to give the Falcons a 20-17 victory over the , one of the teams trying to chase down Atlanta (9-2) in the N.F.C. standings. The host Falcons (9-2) were well aware of the possible ramifications of their victory if the teams meet again. “I have no plans of going to Lambeau Field in January,” Falcons receiver Roddy White said. “I plan on staying right here and sleeping in my own bed in the playoffs.” Aaron Rodgers guided Green Bay (7-4) on a 90-yard drive — twice converting on fourth down — to tie the score with 56 seconds left. But Eric Weems broke loose on the kickoff return and was dragged down by Matt Wilhelm with a flagrant face-mask tackle, giving the Falcons the ball at the Green Bay 49. Matt Ryan completed four straight passes, and Bryant made the winning kick.

¶Jay Cutler tied a career high with four touchdown passes and the Bears beat and the Eagles, 31-26, at Soldier Field. The victory was the fourth straight for the Bears (8-3) and it put them a game ahead of Green Bay in the N.F.C. North. The (7-4) had won three in a row, but they were unable to break off big plays and fell into a tie with the Giants for the N.F.C. East lead. Vick passed for 333 yards and 2 touchdowns, but he also threw his first interception in four years. During the game, authorities said a man died after falling at least 20 feet from a ledge at the stadium.

Escape in Buffalo

Shaun Suisham made a 41-yard field goal with 2 minutes 14 seconds left in overtime to give the Steelers a 19-16 victory over the , but Buffalo receiver Stevie Johnson could not bear to watch. He sat with his head down at the end of the Bills’ bench, upset because he could have ended the game on the previous possession but dropped what would have been a 40-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Fitzpatrick. “I had the game in my hands and I dropped it,” Johnson said. Rashard Mendenhall had 151 yards rushing and Suisham made all four of his field-goal attempts for the Steelers (8-3), but Buffalo (2-9) proved feisty in its bid for a third straight win.

¶Facing the coach who never started him in college, Pete Carroll, quarterback Matt Cassel threw four touchdown passes as the visiting remained on top of the A.F.C. West with a 42-24 win over the Seahawks (5-6). Jamaal Charles rushed for 173 yards for Kansas City (7-4).

Haymakers in Houston

A feisty duel between the All-Pros Andre Johnson and Cortland Finnegan exploded into a full-blown fistfight late in the ’ 20-0 victory over the . Both players were ejected and could face further discipline from the league. Johnson, a Texans receiver who was fined last year after a scuffle with Finnegan, a Titans cornerback, blamed him for their latest fight. “I guess he thought it was funny,” Johnson said. Midway through the fourth quarter, Finnegan charged Johnson at the line of scrimmage, and Johnson responded by pulling off Finnegan’s helmet and landing three punches.

¶Chad Henne returned from a benching and injury to pass for 307 yards and 2 touchdowns, and Dan Carpenter kicked four field goals to help the visiting beat the , 33-17. Davone Bess had 111 yards receiving and ran for 95 yards for the Dolphins (6-5). The Raiders (5-6) started the fan favorite Bruce Gradkowski over Jason Campbell at quarterback, but he threw two interceptions.

Around the League

¶ scrambled 10 yards for a key first down to help the (4-7) seal their 17-13 victory over the and give Leslie Frazier a victory in his first game as Minnesota’s interim coach. Favre had not gained more than 4 yards on a run since 2008. “He looked younger,” Adrian Peterson said of the 41-year-old Favre. “He looked like he was 38.” The Redskins (5-6) rushed for only 29 yards and had an apparent 77-yard punt-return touchdown in the fourth quarter nullified by a penalty.

¶John Kasay’s 42-yard field-goal attempt grazed the left upright as time expired, allowing the Browns to escape with a 24-23 win over the visiting . Kasay got a chance at his 14th career game-winner after the rookie quarterback Jimmy Clausen drove the Panthers (1-9) to Cleveland’s 25 with five seconds left. Seven of Cleveland’s games have been decided by 7 points or fewer, but the Browns (4-7) are only 2-5 in them.

¶The rookie Sam Bradford threw three touchdown passes in his first 300-yard game and the visiting (5-6) held on to beat the , 36-33, a little more than a day after the league fined Denver (3-8) and its coach, Josh McDaniels, for a videotaping scandal. There was more than a smattering of boos when McDaniels was introduced, as well as signs in the crowd calling for his firing.

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