NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — It’s heating up in Green Bay.
Yep, the Packers couldn’t be hotter. Aaron Rodgers passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns, Julius Peppers returned his second interception of the season for a score, and Green Bay’s defense stuffed high-octane Philadelphia for a 53-20 rout.
The Packers (7-3) raced to a 30-6 halftime lead. Green Bay is the first team in NFL history to score at least 28 points in the first half of four consecutive home games.
“We felt strongly that this game was going to come down to big plays, the big-play opportunities,” coach Mike McCarthy said, “and I thought our players did an excellent job in all three phases.”
Rodgers threw for two touchdowns in the first half, while Micah Hyde scored on a 75-yard punt return.
“This is not easy,” said Rodgers, who broke Tom Brady’s NFL record of 288 straight passes at home without an interception. “There’s a lot of preparation that goes into it. It takes 11 guys to win, to do the job to make something like that happen.”
Peppers finished off the Eagles by returning Mark Sanchez’s pass 52 yards for a 39-6 lead in the third quarter. Green Bay is tied with Detroit for first place in the NFC North.
Sanchez threw two picks and was credited for two lost fumbles, including a snap that sailed over his head, which he was unable to scoop up and the Packers ran in for a touchdown.
“Look, that’s the way some of these games go,” Sanchez said. “But to be totally honest, whether we won 100-0 or we lost the way we did, just like last week, what everybody else says on the outside really doesn’t affect what we have going on in our building. We’re a tight-knit group. We’re a family. We’ll clean it up next week.”
Philadelphia (7-3) was held to 11 points below its NFC-leading scoring average and is tied with Dallas atop the NFC East.
On Monday night, Pittsburgh (6-4) is at Tennessee (2-7).
The weekend began with Miami (6-4) beating Buffalo (5-5) 22-9 on Thursday night.
Off this week were Baltimore (6-4), the New York Jets (2-8), Jacksonville (1-9) and Dallas (7-3).
RAMS 22, BRONCOS 7
At St. Louis, the Rams’ defense made life miserable for Peyton Manning. Although Manning was 34 for 54 for 389 yards with two interceptions, he was held to a 42-yard touchdown pass to Emmanuel Sanders, ending a streak of 15 consecutive games with at least two touchdown throws.
The Broncos (7-3) were held to 28 yards rushing and failed twice on fourth down deep in St. Louis territory.
Rookie Tre Mason had 29 carries for 113 yards, the most allowed by the Broncos’ top-ranked run defense. Kenny Britt had four catches for 128 yards with a 63-yard score and Greg Zuerlein was a career-best 5 for 5 on field goals for the Rams (4-6), who also have beaten Seattle and San Francisco this season.
PATRIOTS 42, COLTS 20
At Indianapolis, unheralded Jonas Gray rushed for 199 yards and a franchise-record four touchdowns in his fourth career game.
His first two scoring runs gave New England a 14-10 halftime lead. His other two helped put the game away in the second half. Tom Brady sealed it with a late TD pass to Rob Gronkowski.
“I am blessed beyond belief,” Gray said. “The coaches put together a great game plan, hammered it in all week. The linemen kept keeping me positive.”
Brady threw two TD passes as the AFC-best Patriots (8-2) earned their sixth consecutive victory. New England also has won five in a row against Indianapolis (6-4).
Colts quarterback Andrew Luck was 23 of 39 for 303 yards with two scores. He extended his franchise record of consecutive 300-yard games to eight and moved within one of Drew Brees’ NFL record.
CARDINALS 14, LIONS 6
The Cardinals (9-1) increased their lead in the NFC to two games thanks to a staunch defense
Drew Stanton, the replacement for injured Carson Palmer, threw touchdown passes to Michael Floyd on Arizona’s first two possessions.
“It was a great win for us,” Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said, “and solidifies the belief in our locker room that whoever steps in steps up.”
Arizona won its sixth in a row; the Cardinals, with their best record through 10 games since 1948, have a three-game lead over Seattle and San Francisco in the NFC West.
CHIEFS 24, SEAHAWKS 20
At Kansas City, the Chiefs stopped Seattle on fourth down three times late in the fourth quarter and moved into a tie for the AFC West lead with Denver.
Jamaal Charles ran for 159 yards and two touchdowns, and Knile Davis also ran for a score as the Chiefs (7-3) won their fifth straight.
Russell Wilson threw for 178 yards and two touchdowns, and Marshawn Lynch had 124 yards rushing for Seattle (6-4). But Lynch, fresh off a four-touchdown game, was stuffed twice by the Kansas City defense with the outcome hanging in the balance.
“We’re sitting there with three fourth-down plays late in the game,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, “and they stepped up and did a phenomenal job there getting off the field.”
CHARGERS 13, RAIDERS 6
At San Diego, Philip Rivers threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to Malcom Floyd on the game’s third play from scrimmage, and San Diego held on to extend the Raiders’ losing streak to 16.
The skid by the Raiders (0-10) is the equivalent of a full season.
Rivers hurt his right leg midway through the third quarter but stayed in the game. The injury appeared to get progressively worse, and Rivers was walking gingerly on the sideline in the fourth period a backup Kellen Clemens warmed up. But Rivers went back in after Sebastian Janikowski kicked a 25-yard field goal to pull the Raiders within a touchdown.
The Chargers (6-4) snapped a three-game losing streak and welcomed back Ryan Mathews, Manti Te’o and Melvin Ingram, who had been out since September.
BENGALS 27, SAINTS 10
At New Orleans, Andy Dalton rebounded from one of the worst outings of his career by passing for three touchdowns.
The game represented a dramatic reversal for Dalton, who completed only 10 passes for 86 yards and had a passer rating of 2.0 in a 24-3 loss to Cleveland last week.
Against New Orleans (4-6), Dalton gave the Bengals (6-3-1) an early lead they never relinquished. He was 16 of 22 for 220 yards, did not throw an interception and finished with a passer rating of 143.9.
Two of Dalton’s touchdown passes went to tight end Jermaine Gresham and the other to A.J. Green.
TEXANS 23, BROWNS 7
At Cleveland, J.J. Watt caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from first-time starter Ryan Mallett, and Watt also dominated on defense.
Along with his TD, Watt had a strip sack, made five tackles — three for a loss — recovered a fumble and hurried Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer into several bad throws.
Mallett threw a pair of TD passes. The four-year veteran was promoted during the bye week after the Texans (5-5) benched Ryan Fitzpatrick.
The Texans played without star running back Arian Foster (groin), but rookie Alfred Blue gained 156 yards on a franchise-record 36 carries.
The Browns (6-4) lost for just the second time in seven games.
49ERS 16, GIANTS 10
Rookie linebacker Chris Borland intercepted a fourth-down pass by Eli Manning at the 49ers 2 with 4:43 to play, capping a goal-line stand and sending error-plagued New York (3-7) to its fifth straight loss.
“Four shots from the 4-yard line.” Giants coach Tom Coughlin said. “It’s inexcusable that we didn’t score.”
Borland had two of the 49ers’ five interceptions as the Niners (6-4) survived a game in which a big advantage in time of possession and takeaways did not translate into a blowout on the scoreboard. He is the first rookie in franchise history with two picks in one game.
Linebacker Aldon Smith returned to the 49ers after a nine-game suspension.
FALCONS 19, PANTHERS 17
Matt Ryan threw for 268 yards and a touchdown, Matt Bryant added four field goals and Atlanta (4-6) moved into a tie for first place in the lowly NFC South.
Bryant’s 44-yard field goal with 2:08 left put Atlanta ahead for good.
Carolina’s Graham Gano missed a 46-yard field goal try with 1:27 remaining and had a 63-yarder blocked as time expired.
The Falcons (4-6) moved into a tie with New Orleans for the division lead and already has beaten the Saints.
Cam Newton overcame two early interceptions to throw for 292 yards and two fourth-quarter touchdowns, but it wasn’t enough for the host Panthers (3-6-1), who have lost five straight.
BUCCANEERS 27, REDSKINS 7
Mike Evans caught seven passes for 209 yards and scored two touchdowns to help Tampa Bay (2-8) end a five-game losing streak. Evans became the first rookie to post three consecutive 100-yard games with at least one touchdown in each since Randy Moss in 1998. According to STATS, he’s also the first rookie with 200 yards receiving and two touchdowns since Anquan Boldin in 2003.
Evans is the youngest player in NFL history with a 200-yard receiving game.
Tampa Bay forced three turnovers and sacked Robert Griffin III six times on the latest embarrassing day for the host Redskins (3-7), who were booed early and often.
BEARS 21, VIKINGS 13
At Chicago, Jay Cutler threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bears won for just the second time in seven games.
Ryan Mundy intercepted Teddy Bridgewater’s 29-yard pass in the end zone in the closing minute, and the Bears hung on for their first home win.
Alshon Jeffery had 135 yards receiving and a touchdown catch, Brandon Marshall added 90 yards and two TD receptions, and Matt Forte ran for 117 yards.
Jared Allen had a sack against Minnesota (4-6), his former team. The Bears (4-6) prevailed after joining the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons as the only teams to give up 50 or more points in consecutive games with blowouts at New England and Green Bay.
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