EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - The Kansas City Chiefs suffered their second straight loss of the season on Sunday, falling to the San Diego Chargers on a wild day of upsets, which included a rare tie, in the National Football League.
Just a week after their nine-game unbeaten start came to a shuddering halt, the Chiefs gave up a last-minute touchdown in a 41-38 defeat to the Chargers to slip to 9-2.
Kansas City snatched the lead with 1:22 left on the clock when wide receiver Dwayne Bowe scored, only for San Diego to steal the win when Seyi Ajirotutu scored on a 26-yard pass from Philip Rivers with 24 seconds to play.
Despite the loss, the Chiefs, easily the most improved team this season, remain on course to make the playoffs with only a handful of teams able to break free of the pack in a season where little has gone according to script.
The Green Bay Packers missed a golden opportunity to join the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears at the top of the NFC North on Sunday when they were held to a 26-26 tie by the Minnesota Vikings.
The Packers (5-5-1) looked set to end their three-game losing streak since star quarterback Aaron Rodgers was sidelined with a broken collarbone when they overturned a 23-7 deficit to force overtime and Mason Crosby kicked a 20-yard field goal to go ahead.
But the Vikings (2-8-1) levelled the score with Blair Walsh’s 35-yard field goal as the game finished in a tie, only the fourth in the NFL since the turn of the century.
The result left the Packers half a game behind the Lions and Bears, who both suffered upset defeats.
The Lions were beaten 24-21 by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who registered their third straight win after starting the season 0-8.
The Buccaneers’ rookie quarterback Mike Glennon threw two touchdown passes to Tiquan Underwood, including the go-ahead 85-yard score, while the Lions contributed to their own downfall with five turnovers.
The Bears were hammered 42-21 by the St. Louis Rams, who improved to 5-6 with their second consecutive win. The Rams scored off the third play of the game, when rookie wide receiver Tavon Austin ran 65 yards, and were never headed after piling on 21 points in the opening quarter.
The Carolina Panthers, one of the few teams able to win consistently, chalked up their seventh straight win with a 20-16 comeback victory over the Miami Dolphins.
Trailling by 13 points late in the second quarter, the Panthers (8-3) scored 17 unanswered points, capped by quarterback Cam Newton’s one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Greg Olsen with 43 seconds remaining.
The defending Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens, beat the New York Jets 19-3 to leave both teams in a five-way tie at 5-6 for the second AFC wildcard spot.
They were joined by the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat the Cleveland Browns 27-11.
Reporting by Julian Linden; Editing by Gene Cherry