Texans and Falcons survive close encounters
Houston quarterback Matt Schaub passed for 527 yards, equalling the second-highest total in a single National Football League game, as the Texans fought their way back to defeat Jacksonville on Sunday.
Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Atlanta’s Matt Ryan also got it right as the Packers and Falcons fought back to register wins and stay on track for the playoffs. The Packers (7-3) beat NFC North rivals Detroit (4-6) 24-20.
The Texans and Falcons, who share the best record in the NFL at 9-1, both survived tight games against opponents they were expected to easily beat.
The Falcons held off the Arizona Cardinals (4-6) 23-19 while the Texans escaped with a 43-37 win over the struggling Jaguars (1-9).
The New England Patriots (7-3) thrashed the Indianapolis Colts (6-4) 59-24, matching a franchise record for points scored. Quarterback Tom Brady threw three touchdowns.
Peyton Manning, who left the Colts for Denver, led the Broncos (7-3) to a 30-23 win over the San Diego Chargers (4-6). It was Mannings 148th career win, tying John Elway in second place for the most wins by a starting quarterback.
Drew Brees also had three touchdown passes as the New Orleans Saints (5-5) beat the Oakland Raiders (3-7) 38-17.
The Dallas Cowboys (5-5) beat the Cleveland Browns (2-8) 23-20 and Tampa Bay (6-4) scored a 27-21 victory over the Carolina Panthers (2-8).
The New York Jets (4-6) beat the St Louis Rams (3-6-1) 27-13 and the Washington Redskins (4-6) defeated Philadelphia (3-7) 31-6.
The Kansas City Chiefs (1-9) were beaten 28-6 by the Cincinnati Bengals (5-5).
The Packers extended their winning streak to five games but only after a late strike against the Lions.
Trailing by six points with less than two minutes to go, Green Bay quarterback Rodgers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Randall Cobb that decided the outcome. A late field goal just extended the margin.
Atlanta quarterback Ryan led the Falcons to an unconvincing win against the Cardinals, who have lost six in a row after starting the season 4-0.
The Texans were two touchdowns behind in the final quarter when they clawed their way back against the Jaguars, scoring twice to force overtime before receiver Andre Johnson scored a walk-off touchdown on a 48-yard pass from Schaub.