The New York Giants outscored the New Orleans Saints 52-27 behind a record-setting performance by rookie David Wilson to maintain a one-game division lead over the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys.
Wilson set a franchise record with 327 all-purpose yards, rushing for two touchdowns and also scoring on a 97-yard kickoff return yesterday in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Eli Manning threw a season-high four touchdown passes as New York won for the second time in its past five games to improve to 8-5 on the National Football League season. Their victory came after the Redskins rallied to beat the Baltimore Ravens 31-28 in overtime and the Cowboys topped the Cincinnati Bengals 20-19 on a 40-yard field goal by Dan Bailey as time expired. The Redskins and Cowboys are 7-6.
“We came in all week knowing what this game meant,” Manning said at a news conference. “We needed to get a win. After the first week of this four-game season, all three (contending) teams in the NFC East won. We have to keep going and keep winning football games.”
The New York Jets overcame a 3-0 halftime deficit to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 17-10, their third win in the past four games. Shonn Greene and Bilal Powell combined for 155 rushing yards and each scored a second-half touchdown for the Jets, while Mark Sanchez was back at quarterback after being benched last week and completed 12-of-19 passes for 111 yards.
The Atlanta Falcons (11-2) suffered their second defeat of the season, falling 30-20 at the Carolina Panthers (4-9), whose quarterback Cam Newton ran for a 72-yard touchdown and threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns.
The Seattle Seahawks won for the fourth time in five games, routing Arizona 58-0 as Marshawn Lynch rushed for three touchdowns and the Cardinals had eight turnovers. The Seahawks (8-5) kept pace in the National Football Conference’s West division with the San Francisco 49ers, who improved to 9-3-1 with a 27-13 win over the Miami Dolphins.
The Green Bay Packers (9-4) won for the seventh time in their past eight games, beating the Detroit Lions 27-20 last night as Aaron Rodgers and Dujuan Harris ran for touchdowns.
The Pittsburgh Steelers lost 34-24 at home to the San Diego Chargers (5-8) despite Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s return from a three-game absence with rib and shoulder injuries.
Elsewhere in Week 14 of the regular season, it was St. Louis 15, Buffalo 12; Cleveland 30, Kansas City 7; Indianapolis 27, Tennessee 23; Minnesota 21, Chicago 14; and Philadelphia 23, Tampa Bay 21.
At MetLife Stadium, Wilson rushed for 100 yards on 13 carries and had 227 yards on kick returns, including his 97-yard first-quarter return that came after Manning had a pass intercepted and returned for a 73-yard touchdown. Manning then threw a 6-yard scoring pass to Bennett in the first quarter to give the Giants a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
“He had a big night,” Manning said of Wilson. “His special teams and his kickoff returns were outstanding. Obviously, giving us a touchdown after I threw an interception for a touchdown was very nice. I appreciated that.”
Manning completed 22-of-35 passes for 259 yards and the Giants’ defense forced four turnovers by the Saints (5-8), who dropped their third straight game following a streak in which they won five of six.
The Jets (6-7) moved within one game of the No. 6 playoff seed in the American Football Conference on the strength of their rushing game in Jacksonville and losses by the Steelers and Bengals, both of whom fell to 7-6.
The Jets are now 4-0 this season when rushing more than 40 times. Greene rushed for 77 yards and had a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that put New York up 7-3 and Powell had 78 yards and a 4-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
The Jets sealed the victory when a pass by Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne was intercepted by Ellis Lankster on the Jets’ 4-yard line with 15 seconds remaining. The Jaguars drop to 2-11 with their sixth home defeat.
The Cowboys rallied from a 19-10 third-quarter deficit in Dallas, where teammate Jerry Brown was remembered before the game with a moment of silence. Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent is in custody on a $500,000 bond after being charged yesterday with intoxication manslaughter following a car crash that killed Brown.
“It was a really tough 24 hours we’ve had as an organization,” Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said in a televised interview. “Our thoughts go out to Jerry and his family. There’s no playbook for this kind of thing.”
Kai Forbath kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, to give the Redskins the victory over local rival Baltimore.
Joshua Morgan, Alfred Morris and Pierre Garcon scored touchdowns for Washington, whose fourth straight win came after rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III left the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. The Ravens fell to 9-4 yet maintain a two-game lead over Pittsburgh in the AFC North.
Week 14 play, which began with the Denver Broncos beating the Oakland Raiders 26-13 on Dec. 6, concludes tonight with the Houston Texans (11-1) visiting the New England Patriots (9-3).