Because there’s still some life in the 37-year-old arm of Charlie Batch, the Pittsburgh Steelers remain alive in the AFC North.
Batch directed a 61-yard drive in the closing minutes and Shaun Suisham kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired to give the Steelers a 23-20 victory over the Ravens Sunday in Baltimore.
Playing without injured Ben Roethlisberger for a third straight week, the Steelers turned to Batch for the second game in a row. The 15-year veteran went 25 of 36 for 276 yards, threw for a touchdown, and rallied the Steelers in a must-win game against their hated division rivals.
Pittsburgh (7-5) snapped a two-game losing streak and kept alive its hopes of overtaking Baltimore (9-3) in the AFC North.
Pittsburgh trailed, 13-3, in the first half and 20-13 in the fourth quarter before coming back. Batch missed a wide-open Mike Wallace in the end zone near the end of the first half, but the QB more than made up for it after halftime, leading the Steelers on three scoring drives.
Jets 7, Cardinals 6
Third-string quarterback Greg McElroy stepped in for a struggling Mark Sanchez and energized the Jets and their fans by throwing a touchdown pass to cap his first NFL drive early in the fourth quarter. It improved New York to 5-7 and sent Arizona (4-8) to its eighth straight loss.
With Tim Tebow inactive as he heals from two broken ribs and the Jets needing to win their last five games to have a chance of making the playoffs, Ryan pulled Sanchez for McElroy late in the third quarter — as the crowd at MetLife Stadium cheered wildly.
McElroy then led the Jets to their only points with an impressive 10-play drive, rolling right on a bootleg and tossing a 1-yard pass to Jeff Cumberland in the end zone five seconds into the fourth quarter.
Broncos 31, Buccaneers 23
Host Denver wrapped up its second straight AFC West title as Peyton Manning threw for three scores, setting a franchise season record with 29 touchdown passes. The Broncos (9-3) have won seven straight, scoring at least 30 points for the sixth time in that stretch.
Tampa Bay (6-6) took a 10-7 lead into the third quarter before Manning hit Demaryius Thomas on two scoring passes and Von Miller returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown.
Packers 23, Vikings 14
Green Bay safety Morgan Burnett picked off Christian Ponder twice in the red zone in the second half and Mason Crosby converted the miscues into field goals to help the Packers (8-4) overcome Adrian Peterson’s big day at Lambeau Field. Peterson finished with 210 yards rushing, including an 82-yard score that gave Minnesota (6-6) a 14-10 lead.
Seahawks 23, Bears 17
Russell Wilson connected with Sidney Rice for a 13-yard touchdown with 7:33 left in overtime in Chicago as Seattle won for just the second time on the road this year. At 7-5, the Seahawks are in the lead for the NFC’s second wild-card spot. The Bears (8-4) fell out of the NFC North lead.
Rams 16, 49ers 13
Twenty-six seconds away from the teams’ second tie in three weeks, Greg Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal in overtime to give St. Louis (5-6-1) a home win over San Francisco (8-3-1). The rookie’s winning kick came after he made a 53-yarder as time expired in regulation.
Cowboys 38, Eagles 33
Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes to give him a franchise-record 168, and host Dallas improved to 6-6 while sending Philadelphia (3-9) to its eighth consecutive defeat. The Cowboys trailed, 27-24, when Romo led an 86-yard drive that was capped by a 6-yard scoring pass to Dez Bryant with 5:35 left.
Bills 34, Jaguars 18
Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes and scored on a 1-yard run to lead Buffalo (5-7) to a rout of visiting Jacksonville. The Jaguars (2-10) had just 236 total yards — 4 more than the Bills gained on the ground.
Bengals 20, Chargers 13
Andy Dalton scrambled 6 yards for the go-ahead score with 4:11 left and Cincinnati (7-5) won its fourth consecutive game. Host San Diego (4-8) committed two turnovers in the final 3:54.
Browns 20, Raiders 17
Brandon Weeden threw for a career-high 364 yards and a touchdown and made key plays on the clinching 94-yard drive that helped Cleveland (4-8) snap a 12-game road losing streak. The Raiders (3-9) have lost five in a row.