NEW ORLEANS — Sam LaPorta had career highs of nine catches for 140 yards, including an early touchdown and a crucial first-down snag in the final minutes, and the Detroit Lions defeated the reeling New Orleans Saints 33-28 on Sunday to post their best record through 12 games since 1962.
The Saints lost quarterback Derek Carr in the fourth quarter to back, shoulder and head injuries. Carr was hurt on a penalized hit by Bruce Irvin, who drove the weight of his body into the quarterback.
Jared Goff passed for 213 yards and two TDs for the Lions (9-3), who raced to a three-touchdown lead and then held off a valiant comeback bid by the Saints. New Orleans (5-7) fell one game behind first-place Atlanta in the league’s weakest division, the NFC South.
After falling behind 21-0 in the first quarter, the Saints pulled as close as 24-21 late in the third. The Saints also had the ball at midfield with a chance to take the lead in the final three minutes, but turned the ball over on downs when Jameis Winston threw behind Chris Olave.
Detroit was able to run out the clock from there, thanks to first-down catches by LaPorta and Josh Reynolds.
TEXANS 22, BRONCOS 17
Nico Collins had a career-high 191 yards receiving and a fourth-quarter touchdown, and Jimmie Ward intercepted Russell Wilson in the end zone with 9 seconds left to preserve Houston’s win over Denver.
Ward leapt in front of intended receiver Lucas Krull to secure the fourth victory in five games for the Texans (7-5) and snap a five-game winning streak for the Broncos (6-6).
Wilson was intercepted a season-high three times, all of them after halftime. Derek Stingley Jr. had the first two picks for the Texans. The Broncos, who had forced 15 turnovers during their winning streak, did not have a takeaway.
Houston rookie C.J. Stroud threw for 274 yards to end a streak of four straight games with at least 300 yards passing. Star rookie receiver Tank Dell injured his ankle in the first half and was carted off the field.
Texans rookie defensive end Will Anderson Jr. had two sacks, four quarterback hits, deflected one of the balls that Stingley intercepted and deflected a punt.
Wilson threw for 186 yards with a touchdown in Denver’s first loss since Oct. 12.
COLTS 31, TITANS 28, OT
Gardner Minshew threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Michael Pittman with 2:31 left in overtime, and Indianapolis beat Tennessee for its fourth straight victory.
The Colts (7-5) had to score a touchdown after the Titans’ Nick Folk made a 46-yard field goal with 4:19 left in overtime. Minshew threw for 312 yards and two touchdowns as he won his fourth straight game for the first time in his five NFL seasons.
Tennessee (4-8) lost at Nissan Stadium for the first time this season and has yet to win consecutive games overall.
The Titans blew a 17-7 lead, and Folk missed his first extra point this season with 5:26 left in regulation that could have put Tennessee up 26-25. Backup quarterback Ryan Tannehill was the holder on the missed kick after punter Ryan Stonehouse, the regular holder, was injured.
The Colts sacked rookie QB Will Levis six times. Derrick Henry ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns for the Titans before leaving in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.
FALCONS 13, JETS 8
Desmond Ridder threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to MyCole Pruitt and Atlanta took sole possession of first place in the NFC South with an ugly win over New York.
The Falcons (6-6) have back-to-back wins for the first time since starting the season 2-0.
The Jets (4-8) got an early safety but couldn’t get anything going — again — on offense in losing their fifth straight game. New York pulled quarterback Tim Boyle and replaced him with Trevor Siemian in the fourth quarter, but it was more of the same misery in a rain-soaked MetLife Stadium that appeared about half full.
Siemian and the Jets had a chance to win with 1:53 left but again were ineffective. New York had three turnovers, and the loss makes the Jets’ playoff chances — and the prospect of Aaron Rodgers returning this season — more remote.
Ridder finished 12 of 27 for 121 yards and the touchdown to Pruitt. Bijan Robinson ran for 53 yards on 18 carries and had three catches for 26 yards.
DOLPHINS 45, COMMANDERS 15
Tyreek Hill had two touchdowns among his 157 yards receiving, and AFC East-leading Miami routed Washington, getting to 9-3 for the first time since 2001.
Tua Tagovailoa was 18 of 24 for 280 yards, including TD passes of 78 and 60 yards to Hill, the NFL’s leading receiver, who was left wide open on his 11th and 12th trips to the end zone this season.
De’Von Achane ran for two touchdowns after missing five of the past six games with a knee injury. Raheem Mostert also had a rushing TD for Miami’s league-leading offense, which put up 406 yards.
The Commanders (4-9) had no answer for Hill in the first game with coach Ron Rivera calling the defensive plays after he fired coordinator Jack Del Rio.
Washington’s Sam Howell threw a pick-6 to Miami linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel and was sacked three times. Howell ran for two touchdowns while going 12 of 23 for 127 yards. He’s been sacked 58 times this season and has thrown 14 picks, both of which lead the league.
CARDINALS 24, STEELERS 10
James Conner ran for 105 yards and a pair of touchdowns against his old team as Arizona won at Pittsburgh for the first time since 1969.
The Cardinals (3-10) took control late in the first half with a 99-yard touchdown drive that ended with a 5-yard strike from Kyler Murray to Trey McBride. They led the rest of the way, enduring a pair of lengthy delays due to severe weather.
The Steelers (7-5) lost starting quarterback Kenny Pickett to an ankle injury late in the first half and scored their only touchdown in garbage time on a pass from backup Mitch Trubisky to Diontae Johnson.
The Cardinals improved to 2-2 since Murray’s return from a torn ACL in his right knee.
Murray completed 13 of 23 passes for 145 yards and had 19 yards rushing. Arizona’s defense bounced back from a nightmarish showing against the Rams a week ago.
CHARGERS 6, PATRIOTS 0
Justin Herbert threw for 212 yards and set up a pair of Cameron Dicker field goals that were all Los Angeles needed to blank New England and its latest hapless quarterback, Bailey Zappe.
The Chargers (5-7) had their first shutout in six years. Keenan Allen came back from a thigh bruise to catch five passes for 58 yards, but the only scoring Los Angeles could manage on a cold and rainy day was a pair of 38-yards field goals in the second quarter.
The Patriots (2-10) benched Mac Jones in favor of Zappe but still lost their fifth straight game. They’ve been shut out at home twice this season, a first in franchise history.
It was the third time in a row that New England gave up 10 or fewer points — and lost. They are the first team to do that since the 1938 Chicago Cardinals.
Zappe was sacked five times — two by Khalil Mack, giving him a career-high 15 for the season and 99 in his career. Zappe finished 13 for 25 for 141 yards.