UNDATED (AP) — The Green Bay Packers have claimed first place in the NFC North with a win over the Vikings and the Lions’ loss to the Patriots. In the Packers’ 24-21 win Eddie Lacy rushed for 125 yards on 25 carries, both season highs, and Aaron Rodgers passed for two scores. The victory puts the Pack on top of the division with a record of 8-3 while the loss dropped the Vikings to 4-7.
The Lions started the day tied with Green Bay for the NFC North lead but by losing to the Patriots 34-9 they fall to 7-4. Like so many other teams the Lions couldn’t contain Tom Brady as the New England quarterback threw for 349 yards and two touchdowns against the NFL’s stingiest rushing defense. The Patriots, who are 9-2, led 24-6 at halftime as Brady repeatedly found wide-open receivers while the Lions struggled on offense. For the second straight game, Detroit failed to score a touchdown. LeGarrette Blount (bluhnt) rushed for 78 yards and two touchdowns three days after signing with New England after being cut by Pittsburgh.
The Lions are playing host to the Bears on Thanksgiving while the Packers next Sunday are home to the Patriots, who have won seven straight.
In other Week 12 action:
— Peyton Manning threw three of his four TD passes to Demaryius Thomas and C.J. Anderson ran for 167 yards and the go-ahead score in the Denver Broncos’ come-from-hind 39-36 win over the Miami Dolphins. Anderson’s 6-yard run with 5:01 left gave the 8-3 Broncos their first lead of the game at 32-28. T.J. Ward’s 37-yard interception return of Ryan Tannehill’s pass set up Wes Welker’s insurance TD catch.
— Mark Sanchez threw for 307 yards and one touchdown in his third start for the Eagles as the replacement for injured Nick Foles and Philadelphia beat Tennessee 43-24. Sanchez has hit for 300 yards passing in three straight games now, tying a team record. The 8-3 Eagles will now turn their attention to Dallas as the top two teams in the NFC East square off on Thanksgiving.
__ The Dallas Cowboys are NFL road warriors as they remain tied with Philadelphia atop the NFC East. They are the only NFL team undefeated on the road by rallying past the New York Giants 31-28 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. Tony Romo hit Dez Bryant with a 13-yard TD pass with 61 seconds left for the winning score at the Meadowlands. The Cowboys are 8-3 overall and 5-0 away from home. Romo tossed four TDs while completing 18 of 26 for 275 yards. Once again, DeMarco Murray was a force on the Cowboys ground game, carrying 24 times for 121 yards.
— Cincinnati remains in first place in the AFC North after a 22-12 win over Houston. Andy Dalton threw for 233 yards and a touchdown and A.J. Green had 121 yards receiving for the Bengals, who are now 7-3-1. The loss dropped the Texans to 5-6. Houston cut the lead to 3 late in the third quarter before Cincinnati tacked on two field goals in the fourth quarter to secure the win.
— Cleveland kept its post season hopes alive and well with a final-second field goal by Billy Cundiff. His 37-yarder as time expired gave the Browns a 26-24 win over the Falcons in Atlanta. Cleveland quarterback Brian Hoyer shook off three interceptions to complete four straight passes on the final drive of the game. Cundiff finished with four field goals in the contest, which saw the return of Cleveland receiver Josh Gordon from a suspension. He had eight catches for 120 yards. Despite being just 4-7, the Falcons are still very much in the race for the lead in the NFC South.
— AFC South-leading Indianapolis walked all over Jacksonville, 23-3. The 7-4 Colts have won 11 straight from divisional opponents while the Jaguars have lost four in a row overall and five straight to the Colts. The Jags are now 1-10 on the year. Indy quarterback Andrew Luck saw his streak of consecutive 300 yard games come to an end as he completed 21 of 32 for 253 yards and a score. For the game Luck was sacked five times, fumbled three times and lost two of those in the first half.
— Lovie Smith returned to Chicago’s Soldier Field for the first time since being dismissed by the Bears as coach and left with a loss. Smith took over Tampa Bay in January and in his return game his old team beat his new squad 21-13. Matt Forte (FOR’-tay) rushed for two touchdowns in the third quarter and Jay Cutler threw a 2-yard TD pass to Alshon Jeffery as the Bears scored 21 straight points to erase a 10-0 halftime deficit.
— San Francisco rallied past Washington 17-13. Carlos Hyde ran for a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown with 2:59 left. The 7-4 Niners have a quick turnaround before facing the rival and defending Super Bowl champion 7-4 Seahawks at home Thursday night.
— Russell Wilson scrambled, slipped, eluded and finally got the Seattle Seahawks in the end zone. The Seahawks handed the Arizona Cardinals their second loss of the season, 19-3. Wilson was sacked a season-high seven times by Arizona’s defense and the assortment of blitzes they called to confuse and fluster the Seahawks quarterback. But when Seattle needed a scoring drive, after squandering advantageous field position throughout the game, Wilson delivered. Wilson found backup tight end Cooper Helfet on a 20-yard catch-and-run touchdown late in the third quarter. The defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks are 7-4, just two games back of the NFC West-leading Cardinals.
— Marcus Gilchrist intercepted Shaun Hill at the goal line with 56 seconds left to preserve the San Diego Chargers’ 27-24 victory against the St. Louis Rams. Philip Rivers shook off a 99-yard interception return for a touchdown by Janoris Jenkins and threw a 29-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to Keenan Allen. The 7-4 Chargers are in the thick of the wild card race in the AFC.