The final error in a game filled with mistakes helped the New England Patriots to a stunning comeback win.
Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 31-yard field goal in overtime after a misplayed punt return by Denver, lifting the Patriots to a 34-31 victory over the Broncos on Sunday night in Foxborough, Mass.
"We had some plays in the first half that didn't go our way, so it was nice to get a good bounce and we needed it," said Tom Brady, who helped the Patriots put together a terrific comeback in the second half.
Denver's Tony Carter ran into Ryan Allen's punt after it landed, and Nate Ebner recovered for New England at the Broncos 13-yard line. After Brady ran twice to line up the kick, Gostkowski connected.
The Patriots lost fumbles on their first three possessions, but Brady threw for three touchdowns to lead the Patriots (8-3) from a 24-0 halftime deficit to a 31-24 lead as New England scored on its first five possessions of the second half. Then Peyton Manning threw an 11-yard scoring pass to Demaryius Thomas for the Broncos (9-2), tying it at 31.
But Carter's gaffe was the third lost fumble for the Broncos in the second half.
Rivers stuns Chiefs
Philip Rivers called it the kind of game that could save the Chargers' season. The once-embattled quarterback stoically marched San Diego downfield against Kansas City, then found Seyi Ajirotutu with a 26-yard scoring strike with 24 seconds remaining that gave San Diego (5-6) a 41-38 victory at Arrowhead Stadium and ended its three-game losing streak.
"It's one of those you'll never forget, that's for sure," said Rivers, who threw for 392 yards and three touchdowns against a Kansas City defense that had been among the NFL's best.
The touchdown pass to Ajirotutu answered one that Alex Smith had thrown to Dwayne Bowe with 1:22 left in the game.
Smith wound up throwing for 292 yards and three touchdowns for the Chiefs, who lost their second straight after a 9-0 start. They also lost top pass rushers Tamba Hali and Justin Houston to injuries, and now face the prospect of playing the Broncos next week without them.
Hali has a sprained right ankle and Houston a sprained left elbow, and Chiefs coach Andy Reid said that both of them are due for MRI exams on Monday.
Flynn rallies Pack to tie
Green Bay backup quarterback Matt Flynn threw for 218 yards and helped spark a rally from a 16-point deficit early in the fourth quarter to the Minnesota Vikings. But the teams could only muster field goals in overtime and had to settle for a 26-26 draw.
Flynn, who started this season with the Raiders, was Aaron Rodgers' former backup and was re-signed by the Packers last week. He replaced the ineffective Scott Tolzien and finished 21 of 36 for 218 yards and a touchdown.
"Looking at the guys' eyes in the huddle, I don't think there was any doubt," Flynn said. "I'm proud of the guys for fighting, but we just have to finish."
The game also featured the first career touchdown for the Vikings' Rhett Ellison, a South Bay product and son of former 49ers linebacker Riki Ellison. Rhett Ellison scored on a 12-yard reception from quarterback Christian Ponder.
The only time the brother vs. brother subplot got really physical was when Chris Long played the role of peacemaker.
Racing off the sideline where he'd taken a play off, the St. Louis Rams defensive end rescued a teammate and dragged Chicago Bears guard Kyle Long out of a first-half fracas before it could escalate.
"One way to defuse that situation was to get everybody out of there," Chris Long said. "He happened to be a body I saw, so I grabbed him."
Until they posed for photos after the game with Mom and Dad -- Hall of Famer Howie Long -- after the Rams outmuscled the Bears 42-21 on Sunday, it had been mostly just another game day.
On the play that ended with his big brother dragging him off the field, Kyle Long said he'd been reacting to a cheap shot in the back "about 30 yards away from the play."
"You can't lose your cool, and I lost my cool," he said.
Former Raiders quarterback Jason Campbell left with a concussion after a sack in the third quarter in the Cleveland Browns' loss against Pittsburgh. Campbell was hit from the side by blitzing cornerback William Gay, who came in untouched.
Seahawks CB suspended
The Seattle Times reported that Seahawks cornerback Walter Thurmond has been suspended four games for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy, adding to Seattle's challenge against New Orleans next Monday.