Defensive end Chandler Jones intercepted a bizarre, unnecessary lateral pass by New England’s Jakobi Meyers on the final play of the game and returned it 48 yards for a touchdown, giving the Las Vegas Raiders a 30-24 NFL victory over the Patriots.
With the game tied 24-all, the Patriots decided to run a series of pitches in a last-ditch attempt to avoid overtime.
Rhamondre Stevenson threw the ball to Meyers, who heaved it across the field only to see it caught by a rival in Jones, who stiff-armed Patriots quarterback Mac Jones and then had nothing but open field in front of him.
Sunday’s wild finish bailed out the Raiders (6-8), who led 17-3 at halftime before allowing the Patriots (7-7) to score 21 straight points.
Las Vegas scored two touchdowns in the final 32 seconds and seriously damaged New England’s playoff hopes.
Stevenson had 19 carries for 172 yards for New England, including a 34-yard touchdown with 3:43 left that appeared to put the game away.
But the Raiders answered inside the final minute, when Derek Carr found Keenan Cole in the left corner of the end zone for a 30-yard TD.
In Tampa, Joe Burrow threw for four second-half touchdowns as surging Cincinnati rallied from a 17-point deficit to beat Tom Brady and the Buccaneers 34-23.
The Bengals (10-4) won their sixth straight and retained sole possession of first place in the AFC North.
Trey Flowers intercepted Brady to set up one touchdown and Logan Wilson sacked the seven-time Super Bowl champion to force a fumble that led to another TD.
The first-place Bucs (6-8) wasted an opportunity to take a two-game lead over Carolina, Atlanta and New Orleans in the woeful NFC South.
Burrow began Cincinnati’s comeback from a 17-0 deficit with a field goal drive in the final 1:39 of the opening half. He threw scoring passes of five yards to Tee Higgins, three yards to Tyler Boyd, eight yards to Ja’Marr Chase and 12 yards to Mitchell Wilcox.
Burrow finished 27 of 39 for 200 yards and an interception.
Brady lost for the first time in his 23-year career after leading by at least 17 points. He was 89-0 in such games before Sunday. The 45-year-old quarterback was 30 of 44 for 312 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.
In Jacksonville, Rayshawn Jenkins intercepted Dak Prescott’s bobbled pass and returned it 52 yards for a touchdown that gave the Jaguars a 40-34 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in overtime.
Noah Brown failed to secure Prescott’s low throw, and Jenkins made a shoelace grab and went untouched the other way to end Jacksonville’s NFL-record 20-game skid against NFC teams.
The Cowboys (10-4) ended a four-game winning streak and failed to secure a playoff spot. Jacksonville (6-8), meanwhile, could gain ground on Tennessee in the topsy-turvy AFC South.
Jacksonville won the toss in overtime and had a chance to win it with Trevor Lawrence, who threw for 318 yards and four touchdowns. But the Jaguars went three-and-out, giving the Cowboys a chance to win after squandering a 27-10 lead. Prescott’s third-down pass proved to be a difference-maker.
In other games, Kansas City won 30-24 at Houston in overtime, Detroit won 20-17 at the New York Jets, the Los Angeles Chargers won 17-14 at home to Tennessee, Phildelphia won 25-20 at Chicago, Pittsburgh prevailed 24-16 at the Carolina Panthers, New Orleans edged out the visiting Atlanta 21-18, the New York Giants won 20-12 at Washington, and Denver won 24-15 at home to Arizona.
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