By Charles E. Sutton
WI Staff Writer
Cowboys 27, Steelers 24 (OT)
Brandon Carr picked off Ben Roethlisberger to set up Dan Bailey’s 21-yard field goal in overtime, enabling the Dallas Cowboys to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24 on Sunday.
For the second consecutive week, the Cowboys won on a Bailey kick on the final play of the game. It was their second win since practice squad linebacker Jerry Brown was killed in a one-car accident that led to manslaughter charges against teammate Josh Brent.
The Cowboys (8-6) are now in a three-way tie for the NFC East lead with the Washington Redskins and New York Giants. The Steelers (7-7) have lost four of their last five games.
Vikings 36, Rams 22
Adrian Peterson rushed for a season-high 212 yards, including an 82-yard touchdown that paved the way for Minnesota’s big second quarter in a win that spoiled St. Louis’ home finale.
Peterson has accumulated 1,812 yards rushing this season, leaving him 294 short of breaking the NFL’s single-season record of 2,105 set by Eric Dickerson of the Los Angeles Rams in 1984. Less than a year removed from a serious knee injury, Peterson has two games remaining to surpass Dickerson.
The Vikings (8-6) scored 10 of their 23 points in the second quarter off turnovers by Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, including defensive end Everson Griffen’s 29-yard interception return.
Packers 21, Bears 13
Green Bay clinched its second consecutive NFC North title with a victory over Chicago on Sunday.
Packers’ quarterback Aaron Rodgers connected with James Jones for three touchdown passes. Green Bay has beaten Chicago six straight times in the NFL’s oldest rivalry.
The Packers have won 12 consecutive games against NFC North opponents, the longest streak in the league.
The Bears have dropped five out of six and are in danger of missing the playoffs after starting the season 7-1. Clay Matthews continued to dominate Chicago with two sacks of Jay Cutler, and Alshon Jeffery hurt the Bears (8-6) with three offensive pass interference calls late in the second half.
Texans 29, Colts 17
For the second consecutive year, Houston is the AFC South champion after beating Indianapolis on Sunday.
Andre Johnson racked up 151 yards receiving and a touchdown, Bryan Braman scored a touchdown on a blocked punt and Shayne Graham kicked five field goals.
The Texans (12-2) captured their first AFC South title last season after the Colts plummeted without injured quarterback Peyton Manning. The Colts (9-5) had won three straight contests and needed to beat the Texans to clinch a playoff spot a year after going 2-14.