The New Orleans Saints lost for the first time since the opening game of the season on a weekend which saw a number of winning streaks snapped in spectacular style. Matthew Crist looks back at all the action...
“A field goal in the final seconds of the game saw the Los Angeles Chargers complete a stunning fourth quarter comeback to secure a 33-30 over Pittsburgh, a result which condemned the Steelers to their second defeat on the spin.”
Saints beaten by Cowboys
Drew Brees was picked-off by Cornerback Jourdan Lewis late in the fourth quarter to ensure a surprise 13-10 win for the in-form Dallas Cowboys over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
The victory for Dallas, their fourth in a row, ended the Saints' 10-game win streak and gifted the Los Angeles Rams the opportunity to leapfrog them as the No 1 seed in the NFC, though New Orleans remain favourites for the Super Bowl in February.
As for the Rams, Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and scored two touchdowns to help them overcome the Detroit Lions 30-16 on Sunday, a victory which clinched the NFC West title for a second straight season and put them a step closer to gaining home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs.
Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdown passes as he joined Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the only quarterbacks to reach the 40 TD mark after 12 games as the Chiefs beat the Raiders 40-33.
Steelers stutter again
A field goal in the final seconds of the game saw the Los Angeles Chargers complete a stunning fourth quarter comeback to secure a 33-30 win over Pittsburgh, a result which condemned the Steelers to their second defeat on the spin and trimmed their once comfortable lead in the AFC North to just half a game over Baltimore who defeated Atlanta 26-16.
Bill Belichick earned his 250th victory as New England coach as the Patriots won their eighth game in nine with a 24-10 defeat of the Vikings courtesy of Tom Brady who, as well as completing 24 of 32 passes, also achieved the milestone of 1000 career rushing yards.
The Houston Texans extended their franchise-best winning streak to nine games by capitalising on the Browns' error-prone rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield who was picked-off three times while Ka'imi Fairbairn kicked five field goals in a 29-13 win.
Aldrick Rosas kicked a 44-yard field goal in overtime as the Giants beat the NFC North leaders the Chicago Bears ending a five-game winning streak for the visitors who had tied the game having trailed by 10 points with a minute left of regulation time.
In Green Bay Zane Gonzalez kicked a 44-yard field goal in the dying minutes before Mason Crosby missed a 49-yard attempt for the Packers in a 20-17 defeat which all but ended their postseason hopes and cost Mike McCarthy his job.
The Seahawks made it three wins in a row by beating San Francisco 43-16 as Russell Wilson threw three first-half touchdowns on just four completions, finishing the game with four TD passes to stay in the NFC playoff race.
The Colts were averaging 33 points a game going into the game against Jacksonville but an inspired performance by the Jags ensured a shutout in a 6-0 victory which ended their run of seven straight defeats while also snapping a five-game win streak for Indianapolis.
The Titans rallied from a 16-point deficit to beat the Jets as Marcus Mariota threw an 11-yard touchdown pass with 36 seconds left on the clock, while Tampa Bay beat Carolina 24-7 with Jameis Winston throwing two touchdown passes as the Panthers lost their fourth game in a row.
No favours for Curry on Warriors return
Emmanuel Mudiay scored 28 points to lead the New York Knicks to a 136-134 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday to snap a two-game losing streak while Blake Griffin scored 26 points as Detroit spoiled Stephen Curry's return by beating Golden State 111-102.
Toronto won thier eighth straight game despite missing All-Star guard Kyle Lowry as the Raptors beat the Cavaliers 106-95 and James Harden made six 3-pointers and scored 30 points in total to help Houston to a 121-105 home win over the Bulls.
Boston youngsters Guerschon Yabusele and Robert Williams III were instrumental in an easy win for the Celtics over the Cleveland Cavaliers to maintain their grip on the Eastern Conference and Brooklyn suffered a sixth straight loss going down 102-88 at home to the Wizards with John Wall scoring 30 points and Bradley Beal adding a further 22.
No place like home for Lakers
In the Western Conference the Los Angeles Lakers made it three home victories in four days with a 120-96 win over the Suns on Sunday with LeBron James contributing 22 of the points while Jimmy Butler scored 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter to lead the 76ers to a 103-95 victory against the Memphis Grizzlies.
Also on Sunday New Orleans won 119-109 at the Charlotte Hornets, DeMar DeRozan scored a season-high 36 points as the San Antonio Spurs overcame the Portland Trail Blazers 131-118 and Harrison Barnes scored 30 points before Dorian Finney-Smith tipped in a rebound with 35 seconds on the clock to give Dallas a 114-110 win over the LA Clippers.