CINCINNATI (AP) — Andy Dalton returned from his three-week exile Sunday and got a long-awaited win for the coach who benched him, throwing a touchdown pass during a 22-6 victory over the New York Jets that ended the longest losing streak in Cincinnati Bengals history.
The Bengals (1-11) had lost 13 in a row since the end of last season, with newcomer Zac Taylor waiting until December to get his first head coaching win. Taylor benched Dalton after the eighth loss, deciding to see whether Ryan Finley fit into the team’s long-term plans.
With the rookie struggling and the season careening toward 0-16, Taylor reversed course and went back to Dalton. He made the difference in front of the smallest crowd in Paul Brown Stadium history. Carlos Dunlap and Sam Hubbard dunked Taylor with ice water in the final seconds.
Texans 28, Patriots 22
HOUSTON — Deshaun Watson threw three touchdown passes and had the first TD reception of his career, and the Houston Texans frustrated Tom Brady in a 28-22 victory over the New England Patriots on Sunday night.
Watson had 234 yards passing and threw touchdown passes of 14, 13, and 35 yards as Houston (8-4) built a 21-3 lead against New England’s vaunted defense. His TD catch came on a short flip from receiver DeAndre Hopkins on a trick play from the 6-yard line.
Brady completed two of his three TD passes in the final 4 minutes to pull within six. A Patriots player got a hand on Jake Bailey’s onside kick attempt with 50 seconds remaining, but the ball bounced out of bounds.
STEELERS 20, BROWNS 13
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers and Browns kept things civil in their highly anticipated rematch, which ended the way they always seem to end at Heinz Field: the Steelers walking off in triumph.
Devlin “Duck” Hodges threw for 212 yards with a touchdown and an interception in his second career start. Rookie Benny Snell ran for 63 yards and his first NFL touchdown, and the banged-up Steelers exacted revenge for their whipping at the hands of the Browns two weeks ago with a 20-13 victory on Sunday.
RAVENS 20, 49ERS 17
BALTIMORE — Neither rain, wind nor the San Francisco 49ers’ top-ranked defense could prevent Lamar Jackson from guiding the Baltimore Ravens to their franchise-record eighth straight win.
Jackson weathered miserable conditions to run for 101 yards and Justin Tucker kicked a tiebreaking 49-yard field goal as time expired in a possible Super Bowl preview. The combination of driving rain, a stiff wind and San Francisco’s rugged defense was difficult for Jackson to handle. He completed only 14 of 23 passes for 105 yards and lost a fumble.
CHIEFS 40, RAIDERS 9
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Patrick Mahomes threw for a touchdown and ran for a touchdown, while Juan Thornhill returned a pick 46 yards for another score.
LeSean McCoy and Darwin Thompson also had TD runs for the Chiefs (8-4), who took a two-game lead over the Raiders by finishing off a season sweep. That means Kansas City can clinch a fourth straight division title with a win over New England and an Oakland loss to Tennessee next weekend.
BRONCOS 23, CHARGERS 20
DENVER — Brandon McManus’ 53-yard field goal as time expired, set up by a long interference call, capped a furious final 14 seconds.
Rookie quarterback Drew Lock’s debut win for Denver came a month after Brandon Allen beat Cleveland. It made the Broncos the first team in league history to have two quarterbacks start and win their NFL debuts in the same season.
TITANS 31, COLTS 17
INDIANAPOLIS — Tye Smith returned a blocked field goal 63 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 5:02 left to play.
The Titans (7-5) snapped a three-game losing streak in the series, winning for only the third time in the past 17 meetings. It also allowed Tennessee to leapfrog the Colts in the AFC South.
PACKERS 31, GIANTS 13
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes in the snow and the Packers rebounded from a dismal West Coast performance.
The Packers sent the Giants to their eighth straight loss, their worst skid since 2004.
Rodgers finished 21 of 33 for 243 yards with no interceptions on a slippery, snowy day at MetLife Stadium. Rodgers hit Davante Adams on touchdown passes of 8 and 17 yards, found a wide-open Allen Lazard for 37 yards and capped the performance with a 1-yarder to Marcedes Lewis.
DOLPHINS 37, EAGLES 31
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — DeVante Parker made two acrobatic touchdown receptions and kicker Jason Sanders also had a circus-like scoring catch.
REDSKINS 29, PANTHERS 21
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Derrius Guice ran for 129 yards and two touchdowns and the Redskins made a late goal-line stand. Adrian Peterson added 99 yards and a score as the Redskins (3-9) piled up 248 yards on the ground and scored their most points this season.
BUCCANEERS 28, JAGUARS 11
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nick Foles ended his first three drives with turnovers that Tampa Bay turned into touchdowns. It was Jacksonville’s fourth consecutive loss by at least 17 points and could mean the end of coach Doug Marrone’s tenure with the team. At the very least, the skid will have owner Shad Khan considering changes over the final month of the season.