The New York Giants scared the Carolina Panthers, but finally succumbed. The Panthers led the Giants 35-7 in the third quarter, but the Giants ultimately tied the score in the fourth quarter on a 14-yard pass from Eli Manning to Odell Beckham Jr. with 1:46 remaining. However, Graham Gano kicked a 43-yard field goal as time ran out.
Beckman and Panthers’ cornerback Josh Norman were battling each other throughout the game. Beckham struck Norman with his helmet and shoved and punched him. Beckman was penalized three times for roughing and Norman was flagged for hitting Beckham in the helmet. After his tying score, Beckman taunted Norman before he ran to midfield in celebration of the catch. Giants’ Head Coach Tom Coughlin said he considered taking Beckman out of the game for some plays, but he didn’t.
Cam Newton finished with 25 completions on 45 attempts for 340 yards and five touchdowns. He was sacked three times. Newton also contributed 100 yards rushing on eight carries. Ted Ginn Jr. led the Panthers’ receivers with 85 yards on six catches and two touchdowns. Greg Olsen finished with six catches for 79 yards and a touchdown. Corey Brown also scored and caught three passes for 51 yards. Devin Funchess caught two passes for 30 yards and a touchdown.
Manning completed 29 passes on 46 attempts for 245 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. Leading rusher for the Giants was Rashad Jennings, who collected 107 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. Beckman had six receptions for 76 yards and a touchdown. Rueben Randle caught four passes for 47 yards and a score. Will Tye caught five passes for 43 yards and a touchdown and Shane Vereen caught eight passes for 43 yards and a touchdown. PANTHERS 38 GIANTS 35
Matthew Stafford completed 22 of 25 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns as the Detroit Lions beat the New Orleans Saints.
Drew Brees passed for 341 yards and three touchdowns, becoming only the fourth quarterback to break-through 60,000 yards in a career. He also reached 4,000 yards throwing for the 10th straight season. Saints’ wide receiver Brandin Cooks caught 10 passes for 124 yards and a touchdown.
The Lions seemed to have the game in hand at 28-3 in the third quarter after Ameer Abdullah ran 15-yards for a touchdown. However, Brees hit Cooks on a 27-yard touchdown pass and Kai Forbath kicked a field goal after the Lions stopped the Saints offense on third-and-goal from the 4.
Abdullah fumbled on the Lions’ next play from scrimmage and Brees hit Marques Colston with an 11-yard touchdown pass.
Detroit answered with a clutch drive that culminated in a 27-yard touchdown run by Abdullah. Joique Bell scored later.
However, Brees and the Saints were not yet ready to quit. The Saints’ QB hit Ben Watson for a late touchdown with 1:55 left, but Calvin Johnson recovered the Saints’ onside kick attempt. The Lions drove for one last score, but Matt Prater missed a field goal with nine seconds remaining. LIONS 35 SAINTS 27
Tavon Austin scored twice; Benny Cunningham had two big kickoff returns, one for 102-yards and the other for 44-yards; and Case Keenum threw two touchdown passes in the first quarter as the St. Louis Rams beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in what could be the final home game in St. Louis.
The Rams led 31-13 and were playing conservatively when Buccaneers’ quarterback Jameis Winston came up with two touchdown passes in a big fourth quarter. The rookie only had 125 yards passing in the first three quarters, but finished with a career-best 363 yards. A nine-yard touchdown pass to Austin Seferian-Jenkins cut the deficit to eight with 1:34 remaining, but Rams recovered the onside kick attempt.
Buccaneers’ wide receiver Mike Evans caught nine passes for 157 yards and reached the milestone of 1,000 yards for the season.
Wilson finished with 29 completions on 50 attempts for 363 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. Leading rusher for the Bucs was Doug Martin, who gained 91 yards on 18 carries.
Keenum finished with 14 completions on 17 attempts for 234 yards and two touchdowns. He was sacked twice. Leading rusher for the Rams was Todd Gurley, who gained 48 yards on 21 carries and a touchdown. Leading receiver was Kenny Britt with two catches for 71 yards and a touchdown; Jared Cook was second with four catches for 64 yards. RAMS 31 BUCCANEERS 23
Julio Jones set the Atlanta Falcons’ team record for most receptions in a season and caught nine passes for 118 yards and a touchdown as the Falcons beat the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Jones now has 118 catches and surpassed teammate Roddy White, who set the mark of 115 in 2010.
The Jaguars seem to have the momentum after scoring two touchdowns to start the second half. Blake Bortles ran for a score and threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Allen Robinson to tie the game at 17. It was Bortles’ 31st touchdown toss of the season and Robinson’s 13th touchdown.
The Falcons’ offense went on to get two field goals in the fourth quarter. A 31-yard pass interference penalty helped set up a 33-yard field goal and a 46-yarder was good with 1:42 remaining.
Still, the Jaguars had a chance to pull off a comeback. Bortles hit Marquise Lee, but missed Allen Hurns with passes on third and forth down.
With less than two minutes remaining in the first half and first down and goal on the one yard line Bortles threw late to Marcedes Lewis in the end zone and Falcons’ safety Kemal Ishmael stepped in front and intercepted the pass. The play set up a 34-yard field goal for the Falcons as the first half ended.
Matt Ryan finished with 22 completions on 35 attempts for 246 yards, a touchdown and one interception. He was sacked once. Devonta Freeman rushed for 56 yards and a touchdown and also contributed seven catches for 45 yards. White caught three passes for 47 yards.
Bortles finished with 23 completions on 38 throws for 297 yards, a touchdown and an interception. He was sacked twice. He also added 44 yards on six carries. Leading receiver for the Jaguars was Julius Thomas, who caught six passes for 79 yards.
The win ended a Falcons’ six-game losing streak. FALCONS 23 JAGUARS 17
NFC SOUTH STANDINGS Overall Division Conference
c-CAROLINA PANTHERS 14-0 4-0 10-0
ATLANTA FALCONS 7-7 0-4 4-6
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS 6-8 3-2 5-5
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 5-8 2-3 4-7
NFC SOUTH SCHEDULE
PANTHERS @ FALCONS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2015
JAGUARS @ SAINTS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2015
BEARS @ BUCCANEERS SUNDAY, DECEMBER 27, 2015
Courtesy of NBC New York