1. NFL: Highlights of Sunday’s early National Football League games

NFL: Highlights of Sunday’s early National Football League games

Highlights of Sunday's early National Football League games:

By: | Published: December 28, 2015 8:38 AM

Highlights of Sunday’s early National Football League games:

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Falcons 20, Panthers 13

The Carolina Panthers’ perfect season ended when they were beaten 20-13 by the Atlanta Falcons.

With one mighty leap, Atlanta’s star receiver Julio Jones jumped over two Carolina defenders and snagged a 70-yard pass from quarterback Matt Ryan for the go-ahead score.

The Falcons handed the Panthers their first loss and, for now, kept them from clinching home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.

Carolina quarterback Cam Newton had two chances to lead comeback drives late in the fourth quarter but couldn’t get the Panthers in the end zone.

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Jets 26, Patriots 20 (overtime)

Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick’s 6-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Eric Decker 2:37 into overtime Sunday gave the New York Jets a dramatic — and potentially controversial — 26-20 win over the New England Patriots.

The Patriots overcame a 14-point second-half deficit to force overtime on quarterback Tom Brady’s 9-yard touchdown pass to running back James White with 1:55 left.

Patriots wide receiver and special teams captain Matthew Slater apparently elected to kick off after New England won the coin toss, though he appeared to be arguing with officials as the teams left the field. Patriots coach Bill Belichick claimed in his postgame remarks that he intended to kick off and had “no regrets” about the decision.

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Ravens 20, Steelers 17

In his first game for Baltimore, quarterback Ryan Mallett threw for a career-high 274 yards and the Ravens shocked the Pittsburgh Steelers with a 20-17 victory.

Mallett signed with the Ravens just 12 days ago after being cut by the Houston Texans earlier in the season. He completed 28 of 41 pass with a touchdown.

Ravens running back Javorius Allen recovered from some costly fumbles over the past two weeks and finished with 79 yards on 18 carries with a touchdown.

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Chiefs 17, Browns 13

The Kansas City Chiefs won their ninth consecutive game, beating the Cleveland Browns 17-13.

The Chiefs’ winning streak tied the club record that was established in the 1969 season by a K.C. team that went on to win Super Bowl IV.

Cleveland quarterback Johnny Manziel kept the Browns in the game.

The Browns last chance came with 1:52 left as the Cleveland offense moved to the Chiefs 18-yard line. But Manziel did not have any timeouts left and could not stop the game clock.

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Bills 16, Cowboys 6

Running backs Mike Gillislee and Karlos Williams combined for 169 rushing yards and a pair of touchdowns while leading the Buffalo Bills to a 16-6 victory over the Dallas Cowboys.

Quarterback Tyrod Taylor also rushed for 67 yards for the Bills, who entered the game leading the NFL in rushing. Taylor now has 517 rushing yards on the season, a record for Bills quarterbacks.

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Bears 26, Bucs 21

The Chicago Bears converted two fumbles into 10 points, leading the way to a 26-21 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Chicago (6-9) got strong running — and zero fumbles — from Jeremy Langford and Matt Forte in handing the Bucs (6-9) their third straight loss.

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Colts 18, Dolphins 12

Running back Frank Gore scored two touchdowns and the Indianapolis Colts kept their playoff hopes alive by defeating the Miami Dolphins 18-12.

The Colts (7-8), already without injured starting quarterback Andrew Luck, lost backup Matt Hasselbeck (shoulder) with 5:33 left, and Indianapolis ahead 8-6 at the time. Charlie Whitehurst came in and played the rest of the game at quarterback.

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Texans 34, Titans 6

Houston quarterback Brandon Weeden snapped a personal 11-game losing streak as a starter as the Texans beat the Tennessee Titans 34-6.

In improving to 8-7, the Texans moved one step away from an AFC South title.

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Lions 32, 49ers 17

Matthew Stafford threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns and the Detroit Lions snapped a nine-game losing streak to the San Francisco 49ers with a 32-17 victory.

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