Winning was required to keep pace in the NFC East playoff race.
Losing was all that was needed in the AFC North.
The defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants beat New Orleans with an offensive eruption fueled by David Wilson’s record-setting performance. That 52-27 romp kept the Giants one game in front of Washington, which rallied to beat Baltimore 31-28 in overtime despite a knee injury to outstanding rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
Dallas also remained a game behind New York with a comeback 20-19 victory at Cincinnati.
Pittsburgh completed the futility for AFC North contenders, falling at home to San Diego, 34-24.
Baltimore (9-4) kept its two-game lead in the division, but has jeopardized getting a bye for the playoffs if it wins the AFC North.
Also, NFC West leader San Francisco beat Miami 27-13, while runner-up Seattle set a franchise record for points in a 58-0 rout of Arizona.
Green Bay’s 27-20 victory over Detroit, along with Chicago losing 21-14 at Minnesota, means the Packers take the NFC North with a win at Soldier Field next Sunday.
Indianapolis took a stronger hold on the top AFC wild card with a comeback 27-23 victory over Tennessee.
NFC South winner Atlanta blew a chance to clinch a first-round bye as it fell at Carolina, 30-20.
• Nick Foles, Eagles, had a rookie-record 32 completions while throwing for 381 yards and two touchdowns to help Philadelphia end an eight-game skid — the team’s longest in 42 years — with a 23-21 victory at Tampa Bay.
• Philip Rivers, Chargers, threw three touchdown passes, two to Danario Alexander, in San Diego’s 34-24 win over Pittsburgh.
• Eli Manning, Giants, threw four touchdown passes as New York cruised to a 52-27 rout of New Orleans.
• Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers, completed 22 of 42 passes for 285 yards and three touchdowns in his first game back — a 34-24 loss to San Diego — after spraining his right shoulder and dislocating a rib nearly a month ago.
• Jamaal Charles, Chiefs, ran for 165 yards, breaking off an 80-yard TD run on the game’s first play for Kansas City, in a 30-7 loss at Cleveland.
• Adrian Peterson, Vikings, rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns to lead Minnesota to a 21-14 victory over the Chicago Bears.
• Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, had three touchdown runs ran for 128 yards on 11 carries in Seattle’s 58-0 win over Arizona.
• Brandon Marshall, Bears, had 10 catches for 160 yards and a TD in Chicago’s 21-14 loss at Minnesota.
• Kenny Britt, Titans, caught eight passes for 143 yards in a losing cause as Tennessee was edged 27-23 by Indianapolis.
• Jason Avant, Eagles, had seven receptions for 133 yards to help Philadelphia top Tampa Bay 23-21.
• David Wilson, Giants, returned a kickoff 97 yards for one touchdown, ran for 100 yards and two more scores and piled up a team-record 327 all-purpose yards in a 52-27 win over the New Orleans Saints. He’s the first player in NFL history with 200 kickoff return yards and 100 yards rushing in the same game.
• Phil Dawson, Browns, kicked field goals of 23, 24 and 34 yards and his first made him the 25th player in NFL history to make 300 as Cleveland topped Kansas City 30-7.
• Bobby Wagner and Richard Sherman, Seahawks, each had two interceptions — Sherman returned one for a TD — in Seattle’s 58-0 win over Arizona.
• Aldon Smith, 49ers, had two sacks in San Francisco’s 27-13 win over Miami for an NFL-leading 19½, passing Fred Dean’s franchise-best single-season mark of 17½ and within three of Michael Strahan’s seasonal NFL record set in 2001.
Chicago’s Brandon Marshall joined Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison and Wes Welker as the only players in history with at least four seasons of 100 or more receptions. Marshall also set the all-time Bears record with his 101st catch this year. … Cleveland’s Brandon Weeden earned his fifth win, most by a Browns rookie starter. Bernie Kosar won four in 1985. … Pittsburgh’s Ben Roethlisberger became the 25th quarterback in NFL history to surpass 29,000 yards passing and 1,000 career yards rushing … Indianapolis’ Reggie Wayne passed Andre Reed for No. 10 on the league’s career receptions list. Reed had 951. Wayne has 956. … San Francisco’s Frank Gore finished with 63 yards rushing, caught two passes and also matched his mentor, Roger Craig, and late Hall of Famer Joe Perry for the franchise record in rushing touchdowns with 50. And, no, Gore didn’t grow up a Dolphins fan in his native South the San Francisco 49ers’ 27-13 victory against the Dolphins on Sunday.
Dallas overcame a nine-point deficit in the closing minutes of a 20-19 win at Cincinnati behind Tony Romo, who held his hand over his heart during a moment of silence to honor teammate Jerry Brown before the kickoff. The linebacker died in an auto accident early Saturday. Defensive lineman Josh Brent, who was driving, was still jailed in Texas on Sunday, charged with intoxication manslaughter. It was the second consecutive week that an NFL team was playing a day after losing a teammate. Kansas City beat Carolina 27-21 one day after linebacker Jovan Belcher shot his girlfriend and then himself at the Chiefs’ practice complex.
Andrew Luck engineered his sixth fourth-quarter comeback this season, one more than Ben Roethlisberger had in 2004 and Vince Young had in 2006 — the highest single-season total by a rookie quarterback since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger. It came on the same day he passed Peyton Manning for the most yards passing by a rookie in Colts history and moved into second among all NFL rookies, trailing only Carolina’s Cam Newton (4,051). Luck has 3,792 yards with three games to play.
Robert Griffin III went down during Washington’s final drive of regulation Sunday, with the Redskins trailing the Baltimore Ravens by eight. Fellow rookie Kirk Cousins, who had played in only one other game this season, stepped in and hit Pierre Garcon for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 29 seconds remaining, then ran the quarterback draw for the 2-point conversion to tie the game. The Redskins won 31-28 in overtime.
Robert Griffin III sprained his right knee in the Washington Redskins’ overtime win over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday, but a team spokesman said an MRI revealed that “everything is clear” in terms of significant ligament damage. Spokesman Tony Wyllie said Griffin does not have a major knee injury and specifically ruled out a season-ending torn ACL. … Chicago’s Jay Cutler was 22 for 44 for 260 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in a 21-14 loss to Minnesota, but took a wicked hit to the head from Everson Griffen in the fourth quarter. He has a neck injury.