Aaron Rodgers and the Packers held off the Bucs on Sunday, 35-26, to stay unbeaten at 10-0.
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers missed a few more throws than he usually does, and even threw an interception with the game still in doubt.
He just wasn't at his best against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday — until he absolutely had to be.
With the Packers clinging to a two-point lead and trying to fend off a late rally, Rodgers threw a 40-yard touchdown to Jordy Nelson with 2:55 left and the Packers survived a scare from the Buccaneers for a 35-26 victory.
With a 10-0 record going into a Thanksgiving Day game at Detroit, the Packers remain perfect, even if their quarterback walked away expecting much more from himself. Rodgers threw for 299 yards with three touchdowns, including a pair to Nelson, but wasn't happy with the way he played.
"I'm just frustrated," Rodgers said. "I didn't throw the ball very well. I'm not trying to be ridiculously humble right now, I'm just frustrated. The ball wasn't coming out the way I wanted it to today."
The Packers' defense also had trouble stopping quarterback Josh Freeman and tackling running back LeGarrette Blount, giving Packers coach Mike McCarthy plenty of mistakes to point out going into what will be a much-hyped matchup with the Lions.
"I think it was great for us," McCarthy said. "Adversity is awesome. We're getting ready to play a big game on national TV on Thanksgiving, and adversity (offers) healthy situations to learn from. Especially when you overcome it."
Freeman threw for 342 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Buccaneers (4-6), who have lost four straight but didn't back down against the reigning Super Bowl champions.
RAVENS 31, BENGALS 24
BALTIMORE — Joe Flacco threw for 270 yards and two touchdowns, and the Baltimore Ravens squeezed by the Cincinnati Bengals 31-24 on Sunday to move into first place in the AFC North.
Flacco connected with rookie Torrey Smith on a 38-yard TD to give Baltimore (7-3) a 31-14 lead early in the fourth quarter. Smith finished with six catches for 165 yards, while Ray Rice ran for 104 yards and two scores.
The Bengals (6-4) got to the Baltimore 7 in the final minute but could not score the tying touchdown.
The victory moved the Ravens into a first-place tie with Pittsburgh, but Baltimore is 2-0 against the Steelers and holds the tiebreaker advantage.
Bengals rookie quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 373 yards but was intercepted three times.
49ERS 23, CARDINALS 7
SAN FRANCISCO — Alex Smith threw for 267 yards and two touchdowns and San Francisco forced five turnovers on a soggy day at Candlestick Park.
Smith tossed scores to Kyle Williams and Vernon Davis on the first two drives of the third quarter to help the 49ers pull away for their eighth straight victory. San Francisco (9-1) can clinch the NFC West with a win at Baltimore on Thursday and a loss by Seattle against Washington next weekend.
Patrick Willis, Donte Whitner and Dashon Goldson all intercepted passes by John Skelton. The quarterback for the Cardinals (3-7) lost for the first time in three starts this season in place of the injured Kevin Kolb.
BEARS 31, CHARGERS 20
CHICAGO — Jay Cutler threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, and Chicago won its fifth straight.
Chicago (7-3) continued its remarkable turnaround and handed the Chargers their fifth straight loss, their longest slide since an 0-5 start in 2003. But it wasn't easy.
Philip Rivers threw for 280 yards. For most of the game, he looked more like a Pro Bowl quarterback than the guy who had been turning it over at an alarming rate. But two late interceptions helped preserve the win for Chicago.
The Bears were leading 31-20 when San Diego's Antoine Cason returned an interception 64 yards to the Chicago 20. But instead of driving for a touchdown, Rivers sealed it with an INT.
EAGLES 17, GIANTS 10
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Vince Young threw a go-ahead 8-yard touchdown pass to Riley Cooper with 2:45 to play and the undermanned Philadelphia Eagles finally got things right in the fourth quarter.
In what was a must-win game for Andy Reid's struggling team, the Eagles, who had lost five games in the fourth quarter earlier this season, marched 80 yards in 18 plays over 8:51. They converted six third-down plays, with DeSean Jackson setting up the first-and-goal with a 10-yard catch to the 10.
On third-and-goal, Young found Cooper, who hadn't caught a pass all season, alone in the end zone for the lead that gave the Eagles (4-6) hope in what has been a dismal season.
COWBOYS 27, REDSKINS 24 OT
LANDOVER, Md. — Dan Bailey kicked a 39-yard field goal 9:21 into overtime to give Dallas its third straight win.
The Cowboys rallied after allowing a late fourth-quarter touchdown and improved to 6-4, keeping the pressure on the first-place New York Giants in the NFC East.
The Redskins lost their sixth straight, their longest skid since their 0-7 start in 1998. They sent the game to overtime on Rex Grossman's 4-yard fade pass to Donte' Stallworth with 14 seconds remaining in regulation.
Washington's Graham Gano missed a 52-yard field goal in overtime.
Bailey's winning kick was set up by Tony Romo's 26-yard pass to Dez Bryant.
BROWNS 14, JAGUARS 10
CLEVELAND — Jacksonville rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert's pass into the end zone on the game's final play was incomplete, allowing the Browns to escape.
Gabbert rifled a 3-yard pass high over the middle that went off wide receiver Mike Thomas' outstretched hands, and the Browns (4-6) celebrated a win they nearly gave away.
Colt McCoy shook off an apparent injury and threw a 3-yard TD pass to Josh Cribbs in the fourth to give Cleveland a 14-10 lead. A missed field goal by Browns kicker Phil Dawson with 2:49 left gave the Jaguars (3-7) a final chance and Gabbert nearly pulled off the comeback.
Chris Ogbonnaya rushed for 115 yards and scored on a 1-yard run for Cleveland, ending a TD drought at home that lasted more than 158 minutes.
RAIDERS 27, VIKINGS 21
MINNEAPOLIS — Carson Palmer threw for 164 yards and a touchdown and Oakland capitalized on several mistakes by Minnesota.
Michael Bush rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown for the Raiders (6-4).
Raiders receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey was carted off the field with a neck injury in the fourth quarter. Coach Hue Jackson said Heyward-Bey had total movement in his limbs, and hoped the player would join the team on the trip home and undergo further tests in Oakland.
Heyward-Bey was injured when linebacker E.J. Henderson's knee inadvertently hit him in the back of the head while he was being tackled.
Adrian Peterson left the game in the second quarter with a sprained left ankle and the Vikings (2-8) weren't able to complete a fourth-quarter rally. Peterson will have an MRI to make sure there's no more damage, and he said he hoped to play next Sunday at Atlanta.
DOLPHINS 35, BILLS 8
MIAMI — Miami set up two touchdowns with interceptions, Matt Moore threw for three scores, and the Dolphins' improbable midseason surge gained momentum.
After losing their first seven games, the Dolphins (3-7) have three consecutive victories for the first time since 2008, winning by a combined score of 86-20. Buffalo (5-5) has been outscored 106-26 while losing three in a row.
To make matters worse for the injury-riddled Bills, they lost NFL rushing leader Fred Jackson in the third quarter when he hurt his leg. Receiver Donald Jones (left ankle) and cornerback Terrence McGee (left leg) were carted off the field in the second period.
For the third game in a row, the Dolphins held the opposition without a touchdown.
LIONS 49, PANTHERS 35
DETROIT — Matthew Stafford's fifth touchdown pass of the game, a 7-yarder to Brandon Pettigrew with 2:32 left, completed another big rally.
Detroit (7-3) became the first NFL team since at least 1950 to win three games in a season after trailing by at least 17 points, according to STATS, LLC. Carolina (2-8) led 24-7 in the second quarter.
The Panthers tied it at 35 with 4:59 left on Cam Newton's 6-yard run and 2-point conversion pass to Steve Smith.
Stafford started the game-winning drive with a 30-yard pass to Calvin Johnson and capped it by converting a third down with his TD pass to Pettigrew in the end zone.
Newton, who threw one TD pass and ran for two others, was intercepted four times.
SEAHAWKS 24, RAMS 7
ST. LOUIS — Sidney Rice caught a touchdown pass, drew a pass interference that led to a field goal for Seattle.
Chris Clemons had three of Seattle's five sacks on Sam Bradford, and he also forced the Rams quarterback to fumble twice, both leading to touchdowns.
Marshawn Lynch scored for the fourth straight week, although he missed on a third straight 100-yard game, finishing with 88 yards. The Rams (2-8) totaled 185 yards.
The Seahawks (4-6) won on consecutive weeks for the first time, following up on an upset over Baltimore, and have won 12 of 13 in the series. The game featured 19 punts, including a season-high 10 by the Rams' Donnie Jones.