Patriots wide receiver and Albany native Deion Branch led New England in receiving on Sunday against the Eagles with six catches for 125 yards.
PHILADELPHIA — The way Tom Brady was getting everyone involved, it’s a surprise no linemen or linebackers caught passes.
Brady threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns and the New England Patriots beat the Eagles 38-20 Sunday in a rematch of the 2005 Super Bowl.
Filling in for the injured Michael Vick for the second straight game, Vince Young couldn’t keep Philadelphia’s fading playoff hopes alive despite throwing for a career-best 400 yards passing.
The AFC East-leading Patriots (8-3) stayed in the hunt for the No. 1 seed in the conference behind a surgical-like effort from Brady.
The six-time Pro Bowl quarterback finished 24 of 34, Deion Branch had 125 yards receiving and Wes Welker caught eight passes for 115 yards and two TDs. Brady’s favorite targets, tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, also chipped in.
Gronkowski caught his 11th TD pass and Hernandez had six receptions. BenJarvus Green-Ellis scored twice on the ground.
“It was more balanced today,” Brady said. “That’s how it needs to be. You have to run it. You have to throw it to everybody. We did a good job maximizing all the guys.”
The Eagles (4-7) are all-but-mathematically eliminated from playoff contention in a season that began with Super Bowl expectations.
Tebow, Broncos stay hot with OT win against Chargers
SAN DIEGO — Tim Tebow wasn’t watching as San Diego’s Nick Novak lined up to attempt a 53-yard field goal that would have given the Chargers an overtime victory over the Denver Broncos.
He was praying, of course.
Did Tebow ask for a miss?
“I might have said that. Or maybe a block. Maybe all of it,” the Denver quarterback said with a laugh.
Whatever, it worked.
Novak missed wide right. Tebow moved the Broncos down the field and Matt Prater kicked a 37-yard field goal with 29 seconds left in overtime to lift the Broncos to a 16-13 victory Sunday over the Chargers, who’ve lost six straight games for the first time in 10 years.
The Broncos narrowly avoided the first NFL tie since Cincinnati and Philadelphia ended deadlocked at 13 on Nov. 16, 2008.
Some people have a problem with Tebow wearing his religion on his sleeve. But he has been a savior for the Broncos, going 5-1 since coach John Fox elevated him to starter in the wake of his performance in a close loss to the Chargers on Oct. 9 in Denver.
Still, Hall of Famer John Elway, the Broncos’ executive vice president of football operations, won’t commit to the unconventional Tebow for his passing numbers and poor third-down conversions.
The Broncos (6-5) have won four straight to trail Oakland by one game in the AFC West.
Angry fans made their feelings known about coach Andy Reid, chanting “Fire Andy!” in the second half.
“The way we played, I can understand,” Reid said.
The defending NFC East champions fell to 1-5 at home and have lost eight of nine at the Linc, including a playoff loss to Green Bay last January.
Down 10-0 early, the Patriots rallied behind Brady. New England scored on five of its next six possessions, excluding a kneel-down at the end of the first half.
“Overall we did a great job of staying composed on the sideline and making the right adjustments and doing pretty much what we game planned for,” Branch said.
PANTHERS 27, COLTS 19: Cam Newton threw for 208 yards and ran for one score and DeAngelo Williams scored twice Sunday to help the Carolina Panthers hold off the winless Indianapolis Colts 27-19.
The Panthers (3-8) ended a 12-game road losing streak by winning outside Charlotte, N.C., for the first time since Dec. 27, 2009 when they beat the New York Giants.
Newton was 20 of 27 and carried nine times for 53 yards. Williams ran 15 times for 69 yards including the game-sealing score -- a 2-yard TD run with 10:23 left in the game.
The Colts dropped to 0-11 for the first time since 1986 and have lost six home games in a season for the sixth time in the Indianapolis era.
Curtis Painter was 15 of 29 for 226 yards with one TD for the Colts and threw two late interceptions in the end zone, ending any hopes of a comeback.
JETS 28, BILLS 24: Mark Sanchez threw four touchdown passes, including the winning score to Santonio Holmes with just over a minute remaining.
With the Jets trailing 24-21 and facing a third-and-11 from the Bills 36, Sanchez connected with Plaxico Burress, who made an impressive one-handed grab for the first down. Sanchez quickly ran a quarterback sneak and then, on the next play, rolled out to his right to buy some time and found Holmes alone in the right corner of the end zone to give the Jets the lead with 1:01 left.
TITANS 23, BUCCANEERS 17: Chris Johnson ran for a season-high 190 yards, and Matt Hasselbeck threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Damian Williams on fourth-and-2 with 3:01 left.
The Titans (6-5) forced five turnovers and overcame four turnovers of their own. The Bucs outscored them 14-3 off mistakes even though Tennessee got the ball three times on Tampa Bay’s side of the field.
But the Titans got the ninth and final turnover of the game when rookie linebacker Colin McCarthy intercepted Josh Freeman with 2:19 left.
The Bucs (4-7) lost their fifth straight even with LeGarrette Blount running for 103 yards.
BENGALS 23, BROWNS 20: A.J. Green made a leaping catch for a 51-yard gain in the final minute, setting up a field goal that rallied Cincinnati.
The surprising Bengals (7-4) stayed right behind Baltimore and Pittsburgh in the AFC North with another second-half comeback forged by their rookie big-play combination.
Andy Dalton threw a high down-the-middle pass that Green went way above the defenders to grab. Green was run out of bounds at the 2, and the Browns (4-7) forced Cincinnati to settle for Mike Nugent’s 26-yard field goal with 38 seconds left — the Bengals’ first lead of the game.
TEXANS 20, JAGUARS 13: Matt Leinart injured his throwing shoulder, overshadowing Houston’s victory against the offensively inept Jaguars.
Arian Foster ran for 65 yards and a score, Leinart delivered a perfect touchdown pass to Joel Dreessen before leaving the game and the Texans (8-3) sacked Blaine Gabbert six times. It was good enough for their fifth consecutive win, which moved Houston a little closer to clinching the AFC South.
RAIDERS 25, BEARS 20: Sebastian Janikowski kicked a team-record six field goals and the Oakland Raiders took advantage of three interceptions from Chicago’s fill-in starter Caleb Hanie to beat the Bears 25-20 Sunday.
Carson Palmer threw for 301 yards and Michael Bush iced the game with a touchdown run in the fourth quarter to lead the Raiders (7-4) to their third straight win against a Bears team missing starting quarterback Jay Cutler.
Hanie struggled in his first career start in place of Cutler, who broke his right thumb last week in Chicago’s sixth straight win to put a major obstacle into what had been a promising season for the Bears (7-4).