(Reuters) - Ben Roethlisberger threw for six touchdowns and Tom Brady five as the quarterbacks for the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots enjoyed wins on Sunday.
Roethlisberger threw a career best 522 yards, completing 40 of 49 passes as the Steelers snapped Indianapolis Colt’s five- game winning streak with a hugely entertaining 51-34 victory.
The Patriots crushed the Chicago Bears 51-23 while defending Super Bowl champions the Seattle Seahawks got back to winning ways with a 13-9 victory at Carolina.
In the battle of two teams with 5-1 records before Sunday’s games, the Arizona Cardinals defense held firm on the final play to defeat the Philadelphia Eagles 24-20.
The Steelers and the Colts produced 1,087 yards of offense and 11 touchdowns and while Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck threw for 400 yards and three touchdowns he ended up the loser.
Two-time Super Bowl winner Roethlisberger was just 33 yards short of breaking Norm Van Brocklin’s single game passing record which was set at 554 yards in 1951.
The evergreen Brady was also in his finest form, completing 30 of 35 passes for 354 yards as the Patriots destroyed the Bears taking a 38-7 lead by halftime.
Rob Ninkovich ended the game as a contest when he ran in a 15-yard fumble return after Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was stripped just before the half.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski had three touchdown receptions for New England and put up 149 yards on nine catches.
Arizona join the Dallas Cowboys, who play the Washington Redskins on Monday, with a league best 6-1 record after a thrilling win over the Eagles.
Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer connected with John Brown on a 75-yard pass for the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter but the Arizona defense were tested to the limit on the final drive of the game.
The Eagles, needing a touchdown, had a first down at the Arizona 16-yard line with 13 seconds remaining and on the final play of the game quarterback Nick Foles threw a ‘Hail Mary’ to Jordan Matthews in the end zone but the receiver’s superb catch was out of bounds.
Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson struggled to get going against the Panthers in a game in which both offenses misfired but he came up with the winning play with 47 seconds left when he zipped a 23-yard touchdown pass to Luke Willson.
The Seahawks snapped a two game losing streak with the victory while the Panthers fall to 3-4-1.
The New York Jets benched quarterback Geno Smith for Michael Vick after he threw three first-quarter interceptions in the 43-23 home loss to the Buffalo Bills - Rex Ryan’s team’s seventh straight defeat.
There appears no end to the Jets’ miserable season as starting quarterback Smith, after completing just two of eight passes for five yards, did not come out for the second quarter with Vick given the nod by Ryan.
The former Atlanta and Philadelphia quarterback offered some improvement on Smith as he threw for 153 yards but he also produced three turnovers with an interception and two fumbles.
All three of New York’s touchdowns came on the ground with Chris Ivory running in twice. The Bills improve to 5-3 with quarterback Kyle Orton throwing for 238 yards and four touchdowns.
The Detroit Lions (6-2) produced an outstanding comeback to beat the struggling Atlanta Falcons (2-6) 22-21 at Wembley Stadium in London, coming back from a 21-0 deficit at the half.
The victory came via a 48-yard field goal from Matt Prater on the final play of the game with Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford throwing for 325 yards and two touchdowns while receiver Golden Tate put up 151 yards including a 59-yard touchdown pass to get Detroit back in the game in the third.
Editing by Gene Cherry