EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — There’s an air of invincibility and inevitability about the New England Patriots.
Invincible because since January, they haven’t lost. Inevitable because of the feeling they will find a way —something they did in their toughest test this season, edging the New York Giants 27-26 Sunday on Stephen Gostkowski’s 54-yard field goal with one second remaining.
“You’re one kick away from being Public Enemy No. 1,” Gostkowski said. “You’re always one kick away from trending on Twitter as the No. 1 loser in America. But it’s fun being on a good team. It’s kind of like being on a baseball team where everybody’s got a hit, and you can’t wait to get up there and get a hit, too.”
The Giants, who seemed to have New England’s number, were poised to knock off the Patriots (9-0) on Josh Brown’s fourth field goal with 1:47 remaining. But you don’t beat the Patriots with field goals.
After Brown made his franchise-record 27th straight, from 29 yards, Tom Brady drove the Patriots 44 yards, converting a fourth-and-10 on the series. He also got lucky when Giants rookie safety Landon Collins dropped an interception; Collins said he hit his head on the turf and lost the ball.
Gostkowski, the NFL’s leading scorer the last three seasons, sent his winning kick soaring through the uprights. The Patriots kicker is as close to a sure thing as there is among NFL kickers, and the distance is irrelevant.
New York (5-5) has given the Patriots fits under Tom Coughlin, including two Super Bowl wins, and nearly pulled off another victory. A 5-yard pass to Odell Beckham Jr. on New York’s final drive was originally called a touchdown, then reversed by video review.
Cardinals 39, Seahawks 32 — Carson Palmer threw for 363 yards and three touchdowns, Andre Ellington had a 48-yard touchdown run with 1:58 remaining and Arizona moved three games ahead in the NFC West with a wild 39-32 victory over Seattle (4-5). Palmer helped the Cardinals (7-2) build leads of 19-0 and 22-7 at halftime, only to watch Seattle rally and take a 29-25 lead early in the fourth quarter on Bobby Wagner’s 22-yard fumble return.
Lions 18, Packers 16 — Matthew Stafford threw for two touchdowns, and Detroit (2-7) stopped a 24-game road losing streak against struggling Green Bay (6-3). Mason Crosby missed a 52-yard field goal as time expired after the Packers recovered an onside kick fumbled by Calvin Johnson with about 31 seconds left. Detroit (2-7) had stopped Green Bay on a 2-point conversion attempt after Aaron Rodgers hit Justin Perillo for an 11-yard touchdown pass on the previous drive.
Panthers 27, Titans 10 — Cam Newton completed his first 11 passes — the longest streak of his career —and undefeated Carolina (9-0) shut out Tennessee (2-7) in the second half. The Panthers extended their league-best winning streak to 13 games as Newton ran for a touchdown and passed for another score.
Steelers 30, Browns 9 — Ben Roethlisberger came off the bench to throw for 379 yards and three touchdowns for Pittsburgh (6-4). Johnny Manziel passed for a career-high 372 yards with a touchdown and an interception but was also sacked six times for Cleveland (2-8), which is 2-13 in is last 15 games under coach Mike Pettine.
Buccaneers 10, Cowboys 6 — Jameis Winston scored on a 1-yard quarterback keeper with 54 seconds remaining, giving Tampa Bay (4-5) a victory that extended Dallas’ (2-7) longest losing streak since 1989 to seven games.
Redskins 47, Saints 14 — Kirk Cousins threw for a career-high four touchdowns — each one longer than any scoring pass he’d completed all season — to lead Washington (3-5) past New Orleans (4-5). Cousins went 20-for-25 for 324 yards, zero interceptions and a perfect passer rating of 158.3.
Bears 37, Rams 13 — Zach Miller caught two touchdown passes, including an 87-yard score that was Chicago’s longest play since 2010, and rookie Jeremy Langford also had two TDs as the Bears (4-5) beat the inconsistent Rams (4-5).
Dolphins 20, Eagles 19 — Ryan Tannehill threw a go-ahead 4-yard touchdown pass to Jarvis Landry and the defense held on to lead Miami (4-5) over Philadelphia (4-5), which lost quarterback Sam Bradford to a concussion and injured left shoulder.
Jaguars 22, Ravens 20 — Jason Myers kicked a 53-yard field goal after Jacksonville (3-6) got one final play on a facemask penalty with no time left in Baltimore (2-7), where the Jaguars ended their 13-game road losing streak.