Charles E. Sutton | 12/14/2012, 1:57 p.m.
Panthers Stun Falcons
The Carolina Panthers beat the Atlanta Falcons 30-20 on Sunday, as Cam Newton passed for 287 yards and two touchdowns and scored on a 72-yard run. Newton had a career-high 116 yards rushing as the Panthers piled up 475 total yards to avenge an early-season defeat with a strong performance against the NFC South champion Falcons.
Carolina (4-9) entered the game with little to play for except to gain some level of revenge on the Falcons who beat the Panthers 30-28 earlier this season at the Georgia Dome. Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns and had a costly fourth-quarter interception.
Carolina dominated Atlanta through two and a half quarters, opening a 23-0 lead and holding a 356-86 advantage in total yards to break a five-game losing streak against Atlanta.
Cowboys 20, Bengals 19
The grieving Dallas Cowboys rallied for a big win on Sunday, beating the Cincinnati Bengals, 20-19, on Dan Bailey's 40-yard field goal as the clock expired. The Cowboys (7-6) came back from a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes behind quarterback Tony Romo. Dallas linebacker Jerry Brown died in a car accident Saturday. Defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was driving, is charged with intoxication manslaughter. Head Coach Jason Garrett told his team the best way to honor Brown was to play well. The late-game comeback was just enough to defeat Cincinnati (7-6). Romo finished the game 25 of 43 for 268 yards with a touchdown, an interception and three sacks.
Vikings 21, Bears 14
The Minnesota Vikings still have a shot at making the playoffs, thanks to an outstanding performance by running back Adrian Peterson and an opportunistic defense. Peterson, who had more than 100 yards rushing before the first quarter ended, ran for 154 yards and two touchdowns, and defensive back Harrison Smith had a pick six to lead the Vikings (7-6) to a 21-14 win over the struggling Bears on Sunday. Quarterback Jay Cutler went 22 for 44 for 260 yards, one TD and two interceptions for the Bears (8-5), who have dropped four of their last five.
Chargers 34, Steelers 24
Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's sprained right shoulder appears to be fine. But everything else about the Steelers (7-6) needs to improve. San Diego quarterback Philip Rivers passed for three touchdowns, two to Danario Alexander, and the Chargers (5-8) beat the Steelers, 34-24. The victory was San Diego's first in 15 regular-season games in Pittsburgh and broke a four-game losing streak. Roethlisberger went 22 for 42 for 285 yards and three touchdowns in his first game in almost a month.