Falcons keep up the pace, Browns upset Steelers

Sun Nov 25, 2012 6:10pm EST
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By Simon Evans

(Reuters) - Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons kept pace with the 10-1 Houston Texans after a scrappy 24-23 win at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

The Cleveland Browns took advantage of the Pittsburgh Steelers' injury problems to record a 20-14 win over their old rivals while Peyton Manning threw for 285 yards and two touchdowns as his Denver Broncos beat Kansas City 17-9.

The Cincinnati Bengals pushed themselves into playoff contention with a 34-10 crushing of the Oakland Raiders and Jay Cutler enjoyed a winning return with Chicago against the Minnesota Vikings.

Ryan threw for 353 yards and a touchdown, with one interception, while receiver Julio Jones had 147 yards and a touchdown, but the Falcons had to work for their win against an improved Tampa Bay (6-5).

The Buccaneers grabbed the lead in the fourth quarter when Doug Martin ran his second touchdown of the game, a one-yard rush at the end of an 82-yard drive.

Connor Barth's 48-yard field goal extended the lead to 23-17 but Falcons running back Michael Turner powered in for a three- yard touchdown to give Atlanta a one-point advantage.

Still, the Bucs had one more chance to secure a win but this time Barth failed with a field-goal attempt from 56 yards as Atlanta held on against their divisional rivals.


Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) races away from Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Leonard Johnson (29) to score on an 80 yard pass from Matt Ryan during their NFL football game in Tampa, Florida, November 25, 2012. REUTERS/Pierre DuCharme