NFL Sunday Recap: Bengals, 49ers pick up huge home wins on a monumental Sunday around the National Football League

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock (13649048h) Philadelphia Eagles A.J. Brown celebrates a touchdown in the 2nd quarter against the Tennessee Titans in week 13 of the NFL season at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia on Sunday, December 4, 2022.. NFL Eagles Titans, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States – 04 Dec 2022

NFL Sunday Recap: Bengals, 49ers pick up huge home wins on a monumental Sunday around the National Football League

Steelers 19, Falcons 16

The Pittsburgh Steelers traveled to Atlanta for a second straight road game following Monday night’s win at Indianapolis, hoping to inch their way back to .500 on the season. Still clinging to legitimate hope in the weak NFC South, the Falcons knew Sunday’s game was a must-win if they wanted to keep pace. Both offenses moved the ball successfully in the first quarter but struggled to finish drives, settling for field goals back-and-forth resulting in a 6-3 Pittsburgh lead. The Steelers’ offense would eventually break the end zone seal in the middle of the second quarter, extending their lead to 13-3 with Connor Heyward’s first career touchdown catch. Another exchange of field goals made it 16-6, and that score would remain through halftime. Pittsburgh extended its lead to 19-6 early in the third, but Atlanta finally broke through not long later to make it 19-13 on Mycole Pruitt’s touchdown catch. Atlanta put together a strong possession when they needed one, but couldn’t finish the job. After settling for a field goal to make it 19-16, the Falcons took the football back in the final moments. Minkah Fitzpatrick finished the job for Pittsburgh before Atlanta’s offense could find any late footing, intercepting Marcus Mariota to preserve the Steelers’ win.

Next Week: Pittsburgh: vs. Baltimore, Atlanta: Bye

Packers 28, Bears 19

Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers have been vocal in recent years about their ownership of the rivalry with the Chicago Bears, but walked into Soldier Field Sunday afternoon with significantly less swagger at 4-8 this season. Chicago knew they had an opportunity to flip the script Sunday afternoon and wasted no time jumping out to a lead. The Bears’ opening drive resulted in a field goal, and Justin Fields broke a massive 56-yard run through the middle of the defense to make it 10-0 with three minutes left in the quarter. Green Bay got on the scoreboard with a field goal early in the second quarter, but the Bears’ offense continued their inspired effort when David Montgomery’s rushing touchdown extended the lead to 16-3. The Packers then gambled on fourth down deep in Chicago territory in the half’s final seconds, and it paid off when Christian Watson’s seventh touchdown catch in four weeks made it 16-10. After a field goal extended Chicago’s lead to 19-10 in the third quarter, A.J. Dillon broke loose for a 21-yard touchdown run to pull Green Bay back within two. The Bears’ next drive had plenty of promise, but ended up all for naught after Cairo Santos’ missed field goal. Mason Crosby did not miss his attempt at the end of the Packers’ next drive, finally putting his team ahead 20-19 with just under five minutes to play. Green Bay officially drove a dagger into the heart of Bears fans after the two-minute warning, as Christian Watson took an end-around carry 46 yards to the end zone. After Aaron Rodgers’ pass found Marcedes Lewis for a successful two-point conversion to make it 28-19, the veteran quarterback saluted the opposing crowd knowing he had reestablished his ownership once and for all.

Next Week: Green Bay: Bye, Chicago: Bye

Lions 40, Jaguars 14

Fresh off a massive comeback win over Baltimore, the Jacksonville Jaguars got off to a shaky start on the road against the Detroit Lions. Travis Etienne fumbled away the football on the Jags’ first series, quickly giving Detroit a scoring opportunity. Jamaal Williams ran in his 14th touchdown of the season moment’s later, putting the Lions ahead 7-0. After a red zone stop by the Lions’ defense forced Jacksonville to settle for a field goal, Detroit marched downfield in short order once again – this time finishing the drive with Jared Goff’s 10-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown. Detroit knocked on the door throughout the first half, kicking three more field goals to Jacksonville’s one to give the Lions a 23-6 lead at the break. Detroit extended its lead again early in the third quarter on D’Andre Swift’s touchdown run, putting them ahead 30-6. Jacksonville, relieved to have Trevor Lawrence back following what appeared to be a gruesome injury in the second quarter, found the end zone for the first time when Lawrence connected with Evan Engram. Jacksonville successfully converted the two-point conversion moments later to make it 30-14. Detroit extended its lead to three possessions again in the fourth with a field goal, ensuring the Lions would improve to 5-7. Jared Goff’s second touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown of the afternoon added a touchdown for fun near the end of the afternoon as Detroit completed the blowout win.

Next Week: Jacksonville: at Tennessee, Detroit: vs. Minnesota

Vikings 27, Jets 22

After an incredible three-touchdown performance against the Bears one week ago, New York Jets’ quarterback Mike White started Sunday’s matchup in Minnesota by throwing an interception to Harrison Smith. Minnesota would convert a field goal several plays later, taking an early 3-0 lead in a battle of teams exceeding expectations. The Jets tied things up before the first quarter concluded, but Dalvin Cook’s touchdown run early in the second put Minnesota back ahead 10-3. Alexander Mattison became the second Minnesota running back to run for a touchdown later in the second quarter, extending the lead to 17-3 on his 10-yard sprint. Each side added three points before the half, returning their respective locker rooms with the Vikings ahead 20-6. New York chipped away at the Minnesota lead as the third quarter droned on, kicking two more field goals to make it 20-12. Jets’ kicker Greg Zuerlein continued his huge afternoon early in the fourth, making his fifth kick of the day to pull New York within five. Having fallen dormant for most of the second half, Kirk Cousins’ woke the Vikings’ offense up midway through the fourth quarter with a touchdown pass to Justin Jefferson. The New York Jets refused to give in despite the deficit. Mike White’s one-yard touchdown run pulled New York back within five with just under seven minutes to go, and the Jets’ defense would earn their offense another chance soon after. The Jets worked their way to the one-yard line of Minnesota, giving themselves three opportunities to score and take a lead with less than two minutes to play – but after two runs were stuffed and Braxton Berrios failed to hold on to Mike White’s pass in the end zone, Minnesota turned New York away. New York forced the Vikings to punt moments later, meaning the Jets had one last opportunity in the game’s final minute needing a touchdown. Camryn Bynum made the play the Vikings required in the final seconds, picking off Mike White’s throw at the goal line to secure Minnesota’s 10th win of the season.

Next Week: New York: at Buffalo, Minnesota: at Detroit

Commanders 20, Giants 20 (OT)

The Washington Commanders entered Sunday’s game with little more to think about than the New York Giants, their opponent this week and two weeks from now, with a bye in between. Washington looked like the sharper team in the first quarter, jumping out to a 10-0 lead after an opening drive field goal and a catch and run for a touchdown by Terry McLaurin. The Giants fired back in the second quarter of what always figured to be a competitive divisional game, kicking a field goal of their own on one drive and polishing off another with Saquon Barkley’s TD run to tie the game at 10. Another field goal from each team made it 13-13 at halftime. New York came out firing in the second half, taking a 20-13 lead on Isaiah Hodgins’ touchdown reception early in the third. After both defenses controlled the action for much of the balance of the game, Washington finally found an equalizing score with less than two minutes left. Jahan Dotson juked his way through the Giants’ defense for a 28-yard touchdown after catching a short pass over the middle from Taylor Heinicke, tying the game 20-20. The Commanders’ defense capitalized on the momentum for a quick stop, giving their offense a chance to win the game with almost 90 seconds still available. Instead, Washington and New York would go into overtime deadlocked at 20 apiece. The overtime period began with four punts, and suddenly time was running out on both teams with the smell of a tie in the air. The Giants finally moved the football into Washington territory with seconds to go, but Graham Gano’s 58-yard field goal at the buzzer never had a chance. A tie, 20-20.

Next Week: New York: vs. Philadelphia, Washington: Bye 

Eagles 35, Titans 10

The Tennessee Titans’ defense has been one of the NFL’s most dominant units this season, but the Philadelphia Eagles weren’t fazed to start Sunday afternoon’s game. Philadelphia QB Jalen Hurts went five-of-six passing on the opening possession, including a 34-yard strike to DeVonta Smith for a 7-0 lead. Tennessee responded to tie the game later in the first quarter on Treylon Burks’ 25-yard touchdown catch, although a nasty hit would knock Burks out of the game and trigger an unnecessary roughness penalty. Former Titans’ wide receiver A.J. Brown, eager for revenge on the team that traded him away in the offseason, ran over a Tennessee defensive back en route to a 41-yard touchdown reception of his own in the second quarter. After a Titans’ field goal in the second quarter, Jalen Hurts ran two yards for the third Eagles’ TD of the afternoon, extending Philadelphia’s lead to 21-10 at the halftime break. A.J. Brown’s revenge game continued early in the third quarter, as his second touchdown catch of the afternoon made it 28-10 Eagles. As the Philadelphia defense continued to dominate the football game, the Eagles’ offense added a late touchdown to make it 35-10 with eight minutes left. Philadelphia continued to suffocate the Titans the rest of the way, taking home a comfortable win over a good Tennessee squad.

Next Week: Tennessee: vs. Jacksonville, Philadelphia: at N.Y. Giants

Ravens 10, Broncos 9

Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens came into Sunday’s matchup with the Denver Broncos hungry for a win after a heartbreaking loss one week ago but little went in their favor in the early going Sunday. Denver jumped out to a 3-0 lead as the Ravens’ offense sputtered, but the real concern began when Lamar Jackson left the game with a knee injury in the second quarter. Backup quarterback Tyler Huntley started on fire, completing five straight passes, but Baltimore would settle for a field goal to cap off his first drive. A Broncos’ field goal before halftime made it 6-3, sending the game into the second half looking like a defensive struggle. With both offenses failing to get anything going, Denver’s defense made the game’s next big play with an interception of Tyler Huntley in the third quarter. Brandon McManus’ third field goal of the afternoon extended the Broncos’ lead to 9-3 a few plays later. Despite a full afternoon of futility by the Ravens’ offense, Baltimore finally scored the game’s first touchdown in the waning minutes. Tyler Huntley’s two-yard plunge put the Ravens up 10-9 with just 28 seconds to play, and the lead would hold as Denver’s last-gasp field goal fell short.

Next Week: Denver: vs. Kansas City, Baltimore: at Pittsburgh

49ers 33, Dolphins 17

Former 49ers’ assistant coach Mike McDaniel led his 8-3 Dolphins into Levi’s Stadium for a homecoming of sorts, desperately hoping to defeat his good friend Kyle Shanahan. The Dolphins’ explosive offense announced its presence in a hurry Sunday afternoon when Tua Tagovailoa’s short pass to Trent Sherfield went for a 75-yard touchdown on the game’s first play. Despite an early injury that led to San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo being carted off the field, San Francisco fought its way in front before long. Robbie Gould’s 47-yard field goal made it 7-3, and Brock Purdy’s short pass to Kyle Juszczyk gave the 49ers a 10-7 advantage. The Dolphins’ added a second-quarter field goal to tie the game at 10, but Purdy’s second touchdown pass of the afternoon – this one to Christian McCaffrey – put San Francisco ahead 17-10 heading into halftime. San Francisco’s defense dominated the third quarter, intercepting Tua Tagovailoa twice, while the 49ers’ offense extended the lead to 23-10 with two more field goals. Dolphins’ speedster Tyreek Hill finally made his presence felt early in the fourth quarter, catching a 45-yard bomb from Tagovailoa to trim the deficit to 23-17. Needing a stop with a few minutes left to give their offense a chance at the game, Miami could not get one. Robbie Gould’s field goal made it 26-17 49ers, rendering a Miami comeback virtually impossible. A fumble returned for a touchdown by San Francisco’s defense would ice the game, sending the 49ers to a gigantic 33-17 victory.

Next Week: Miami: at L.A. Chargers, San Francisco: vs. Tampa Bay

Seahawks 27, Rams 23

The Seattle Seahawks knew their game in Los Angeles Sunday afternoon was a must-win given the difficult schedule ahead, and the shell of the Rams that awaited them was seemingly ripe for the taking. L.A.’s offense, led by backup quarterback John Wolford, put together a beautiful scripted drive to start the game and jump out to a home lead on Cam Akers’ short run. The Seahawks quickly responded with a tying score as Geno Smith connected with Tyler Lockett on a 36-yard touchdown. After the Rams took back the lead with a field goal, Seattle pushed their way downfield again early in the second quarter. Geno Smith’s second touchdown pass of the first half found Noah Fant from four yards out, putting the Seahawks ahead for the first time 14-10. Rams’ kicker Matt Gay added a 54-yard field goal right before halftime, narrowing the deficit to just one. Seattle kicked a field goal to start the second half scoring, extending their lead to 17-13. Each team kicked a field goal in the fourth quarter, making it 20-16 Seattle with six minutes to play. The Rams, left for dead by fans and pundits heading into the week, continued to battle and were rewarded on Cam Akers’ go-ahead touchdown with three minutes to go. Needing a field goal to tie the game in the final minutes, Geno Smith instead led the Seahawks on a touchdown drive – polished off by DK Metcalf’s eight-yard reception with 36 seconds to go. Seattle’s defense would make the 27-23 lead stand in the game’s final moments, leaving Los Angeles with a much-needed victory.

Next Week: Seattle: vs. Carolina, Los Angeles: vs. Las Vegas

Raiders 27, Chargers 20

The Los Angeles Chargers traveled to Las Vegas for their second matchup with the Raiders this season, hoping for a repeat of Week 1’s 24-19 win. L.A.’s defense would come up with the game’s first big play, a 26-yard pick-six for Bryce Callahan to put the Chargers up 7-0 in the first quarter. Los Angeles would extend their lead to 10-0 before the Raiders finally got going, punching in a score of their own when Josh Jacobs broke free for a 20-yard touchdown run. Each team kicked a field goal before the half, sending the game into the intermission with Los Angeles ahead 13-10. It did not take Las Vegas long to flip the script in the third quarter, taking the lead on Davante Adams’ absurd 31-yard touchdown catch after the Chargers fumbled the ball away. Las Vegas would extend their lead on a flea flicker less than four minutes later, this time a 45-yard reception for Davante Adams’ second TD to give the Raiders a 24-13 advantage. The Raiders extended their lead to two touchdowns with a Daniel Carlson field goal, but the Chargers wouldn’t go away. Justin Herbert found Keenan Allen in the back of the end zone on the ensuing Los Angeles drive for a 35-yard score that narrowed the deficit to 27-20. Las Vegas’ defense held on from there, picking up a huge divisional win.

Next Week: Los Angeles: vs. Miami, Las Vegas: at L.A. Rams

Bengals 27, Chiefs 24

The Cincinnati Bengals hosted the Kansas City Chiefs for an AFC Championship rematch Sunday evening in what figured to be one of the most exciting matchups of the Week 13 slate. The Bengals jumped out to a lead on their first possession when Joe Burrow sneaked into the end zone from two yards out, igniting a sellout crowd at Paycor Stadium along the banks of the Ohio River. Cincinnati would extend their lead after Kansas City responded with a field goal, going ahead 14-3 early in the second quarter on Tee Higgins’ 12-yard touchdown catch. The NFL’s top offense responded in the second quarter with a drive of their own, capped off by Patrick Mahomes’ touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon. Cincinnati worked their way inside the Chiefs’ 10-yard line in the half’s final minute, but a fourth-and-short run was stuffed by Kansas City’s defense to keep the score at 14-10. The Chiefs scored first in the second half, taking a 17-14 lead on Isiah Pacheco’s eight-yard touchdown scamper. After an Evan McPherson field goal tied the game back up for Cincinnati, Patrick Mahomes added a rushing touchdown late in the third to put Kansas City back ahead 24-17. The Bengals tightened the game with a field goal and took back the lead in the fourth quarter on Joe Burrow’s completion to Chris Evans, 27-24. Seeking to tie the game with three minutes left, Kansas City turned to Harrison Butker for a 55-yard field goal attempt. The kick missed, and the home crowd at Paycor Stadium could almost taste a massive victory. Cincinnati’s offense held the football the rest of the way, securing an impressive win to improve to 8-4. 
Next Week: Kansas City: at Denver, Cincinnati: vs. Cleveland

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