Green Bay Packers are the only undefeated team in the NFL this season remained after they won a high-scoring contest against the San Diego Chargers 45-38.
Star quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw touchdowns to Jermichael Finley, Jordy Nelson, James Jones and Greg Jennings and the Packers ran back a pair of Philip Rivers interceptions for scores as Green Bay held on for the win despite a wild finish.
Rodgers completed 21 of 26 passes for 247 yards for the Packers who improved to 8-0. He has an NFL-high 24 TD passes.
“I think Aaron has a lot of strengths. His decision-making is clearly the highest level that I have personally been a part of,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy said of his Super Bowl MVP quarterback.
Green Bay built a 21 point lead in the final quarter but Rivers rallied the Chargers throwing two touchdown passes to Vincent Jackson in a span of 67 seconds to get his team within seven.
The Packers’ Charlie Peprah spoiled the Chargers bid to tie the game by intercepting Rivers in the final seconds.
Rivers tied his career high with four touchdown passes but also had three interceptions and San Diego (4-4) has now lost three consecutive games.
“We’re fighting through a rough time right now,” said Rivers. “These tough times, you find out a lot about guys, a lot about yourself.”
In the late game, Joe Flacco connected with Torrey Smith for a 26-yard touchdown pass with just eight seconds left, lifting the Baltimore Ravens to a dramatic 23-20 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“I am excited about it,” Smith said. “I struggled a little bit throughout the game but my teammates kept saying ‘Next play, next play’.”
Smith capped the Ravens’ 92-yard game-winning drive by outracing the Steelers’ William Gay in the endzone as Baltimore halted the Steelers’ four-game win streak.
“I didn’t even know he caught it,” Flacco said. “I thought everybody was celebrating because of pass interference.”
Flacco finished with 298 yards passing and Baltimore swept the season series from the rival Steelers for the first time in five years.
In Foxborough, Massachusetts, Eli Manning finished off a decisive drive by throwing a one-yard touchdown pass to Jake Ballard with 15 seconds left as the New York Giants beat New England 24-20 Sunday.
The late rally brought back memories of the Giants’ comeback in the 2008 Super Bowl between the same two teams, when Manning engineered a 13-yard scoring drive to Plaxico Burress with 35 seconds left for a 17-14 win.
On Sunday, the Patriots appeared to be heading to victory after quarterback Tom Brady tossed a 14-yard scoring pass to Rob Gronkowski, making it 20-17 with 1:36 to go.
But New York answered with a long drive of their own that put the ball on the one-yard line with 30 seconds remaining on the clock.
Three plays later, Manning found Ballard in the end zone for the score.
“I knew we would win,” Giants running back Brandon Jacobs said. “It definitely took me back to the Super Bowl.”
In Landover, Maryland, Frank Gore ran for 107 yards, and the NFL’s stingiest defence forced three turnovers as San Francisco beat Washington 19-11 to extend its winning streak to six games.
The 49ers now have their longest winning streak since 1997, improving to 7-1 on the season.
Washington dropped their fourth consecutive game. They snapped a drought of seven quarters without a touchdown when they scored with 1:10 to play.
In Kansas City, the Miami Dolphins won their first game of the season, dominating the Chiefs 31-3 behind quarterback Matt Moore’s three touchdown passes.
Moore threw for 244 yards and running back Reggie Bush rushed 92 yards for a touchdown.
In other games, Atlanta trounced Indianapolis 31-7, Dallas defeated Seattle 23-13 and the New York Jets stopped Buffalo 27-11.