Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores admitted a sensational trick play gave his team the impetus they needed to beat the Philadelphia Eagles 37-31 on Sunday.

The Eagles went 10-0 up early on but fell behind in the second quarter after being bamboozled on a fourth-and-goal when Miami shifted out of field goal formation before punter Matt Haack took a shotgun snap, moved to his left and threw a shovel pass to kicker Jason Sanders in the end zone.

Though Philadelphia regained the lead going into the interval, the Dolphins scored 23 unanswered points in the second half to improve to 3-9 in the NFL.

Explaining the trick play and the unusual formation, Flores told reporters: "It was a fake we've worked on for a few weeks and we felt like that was a good time to run it.

"It gave us a spark. That one worked and gave us a lot of momentum.

"They don't all work, obviously. It's something we practiced and we executed it well.

"Check Haack's passer rating, I think it's pretty good!"

Sanders became the first kicker to catch a touchdown pass in the NFL since 1977 with his score.

Meanwhile, Haack, whose only other passing attempt in the league was intercepted, revealed the defensive look Philadelphia gave Miami allowed the play to work as intended.

"My rookie year I threw an interception on a fake punt... A lot better feeling on this one," he said.

"It's not something you get to experience every day. It was a fun play, glad we got it executed and got the win.

"It's something we've been working on for a long time. We've seen a few different looks in practice, what we liked, what we didn't like. They gave us honestly exactly what we planned for so that was pretty cool.

"It felt so fast. Four guys on me just real quick. I saw a little window and he was wide open so I had to just put it on him, give him a chance."

The Minnesota Vikings will again be without star wide receiver Adam Thielen against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday.

Thielen has missed the team's past two games with a hamstring injury but had been listed as questionable for the crunch Seahawks clash.

However, the Vikings announced on Sunday he had been downgraded to out, meaning Minnesota must wait another week before his return.

Thielen, who has seven touchdowns – six receiving, one rushing – this year, has been battling the issue since Week 7 for the 8-3 Vikings.

Lamar Jackson led the Baltimore Ravens to 10-2 against the San Francisco 49ers and insisted his focus was still on reaching the Super Bowl rather than being named MVP.

Ravens quarterback Jackson looks to be leading the MVP race after an outstanding season, having thrown for 24 touchdowns and rushed for six more heading into Sunday's game.

The 49ers had some success in containing the dynamic 22-year-old, yet he still completed 14 of 23 passes for 105 yards and a touchdown, along with 16 carries for 101 yards and a rushing score.

Jackson also crucially secured a first down in the final moments for Justin Tucker to kick the field goal that clinched a 20-17 win.

Having maintained all season his main concern was not the MVP award, Jackson told FOX Sports: "If it comes, it comes. But I'm chasing one thing right now."

Describing his feelings after an eighth straight win, he added: "It meant a lot - not just to me but to my team-mates. We want to keep it going.

"We're 10-2 right now and we're chasing something right now. We've got to move on to next week to the [Buffalo] Bills and keep it going."

Jackson acknowledged he would have liked to have won the game himself, rather than relying on Tucker, but hailed the team's "GOAT" kicker.

"I'm on the sideline the whole time praying," he said. "This is why we call him the GOAT.

"We relied on him, it came down to him, which I didn't want it to. But it was a great team we played and I'm glad we've got Tuck on our side."

Niners star Richard Sherman explained the difficulty of facing Jackson as he said: "He's a good decision maker.

"He knows his angles, he knows his leverage. He knows when to get down, and he knows when to stay up. He knows when to cut back. He knows when to bounce outside. He knows when to keep it.

"He doesn't take more than what the defense will give him. He doesn't waste time taking shots or looking down the field when it's not there. He'll check it down and take what the defense gives him."

San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan maintained a positive outlook after his side's defeat, though, hoping they will be the opponents if Baltimore go all the way to the Super Bowl.

"I was really proud of the team," he said. "I thought they played extremely hard, all three phases, and we definitely played against a really good team.

"I was really happy with our guys and how they played. We had every chance to win that game but came up a little short there at the end.

"Give credit to them. Hopefully we can earn an opportunity to get the chance to play them some other time again."

Justin Tucker's 49-yard field goal as time expired meant the Baltimore Ravens edged past the San Francisco 49ers to win an eighth straight game.

On a quiet day for red-hot Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, Tucker kept his cool and showed why he is considered one of the NFL's best kickers.

Baltimore's AFC North rivals the Cincinnati Bengals were also victorious, while the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tennessee Titans claimed key wins to boost their wildcard hopes.

 

NIP AND TUCKER AS RAVENS KICKER DELIVERS VICTORY

Sunday's most hotly-anticipated encounter saw the Ravens face the 49ers in a repeat of Super Bowl XLVII.

MVP favourite Jackson was kept to 105 yards passing in a contest where both teams gained more yards through rushing than passing.

Jackson had a rushing score to go along with 101 yards on the ground, though, and his team were victorious thanks to Tucker's field goal.

With the 20-17 victory Baltimore improved to 10-2, the same record that the 49ers have with four games to go.

 

DALTON ENJOYS VICTORIOUS RETURN AS BENGALS BEAT JETS

The last remaining winless team in the NFL claimed their first victory as Andy Dalton returned to lead the Bengals past the New York Jets 22-6 and give rookie head coach Zac Taylor a maiden win.

Cincinnati were 0-11 heading into Sunday's game and turned back to ninth-year quarterback Dalton having benched him following their Week 9 bye.

The move paid dividends as Dalton went 22-for-37 passing and threw one touchdown against a Jets team that had won their previous three games.

Two other struggling franchises, the Redskins and Dolphins, claimed their third wins of the season, Washington beating the Carolina Panthers 29-21 and Miami defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 37-31.

 

STEELERS CLAIM REVENGE OVER BROWNS

Two weeks after losing to the Cleveland Browns in an ill-tempered Thursday night encounter, the Steelers exacted a measure of revenge with a 20-13 success at Heinz Field.

Their previous meeting was marred by the ugly scenes which saw Myles Garrett rip off Mason Rudolph's helmet and hit the Pittsburgh quarterback with it.

Rudolph has since been benched, while Garrett is serving a suspension, and there was no sign of the bad blood on Sunday as the Devlin Hodges-led Steelers improved to 7-5.

Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was sacked five times, completed the game despite suffering a hand injury but it was his interception which ultimately sealed the win for Pittsburgh.

FOLES BENCHED, RODGERS THROWS FOUR TDs

Two former Super Bowl MVPs had contrasting afternoons, with Nick Foles benched by the Jacksonville Jaguars while Aaron Rodgers lit up the New York Giants secondary in the snow.

Foles, a big free-agent signing by the Jags in the offseason, was replaced by Gardner Minshew having committed three first-half turnovers as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers cruised to a 28-11 triumph.

The Green Bay Packers bounced back from their loss to the 49ers last time out, Rodgers throwing four touchdowns - two of which went to Davante Adams - in a 31-13 win over the Giants.

Elsewhere, the Titans beat the Indianapolis Colts 31-17.

 

Week 13 scores:

Tennessee Titans 31-17 Indianapolis Colts
Cincinnati Bengals 22-6 New York Jets
Washington Redskins 29-21 Carolina Panthers
Baltimore Ravens 20-17 San Francisco 49ers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-11 Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13 Cleveland Browns
Green Bay Packers 31-13 New York Giants
Miami Dolphins 37-31 Philadelphia Eagles

Greg Olsen left the Carolina Panthers' game against the Washington Redskins following a helmet-to-helmet hit that saw Ryan Anderson ejected.

Tight end Olsen went to the locker room following the incident late in the third quarter.

It was soon confirmed the Panthers star would not return as he entered concussion protocol.

Olsen had two receptions for 14 yards in the game, which Carolina trailed 15-14 to the 2-9 Redskins at the end of the third.

The 34-year-old has two touchdowns this season, both of which came in the Week 3 win at the Arizona Cardinals.

Nick Foles was benched by the Jacksonville Jaguars at halftime against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after an awful display from the former Super Bowl MVP.

Foles, who led the Philadelphia Eagles to the title two season ago and was a big free-agent acquisition this offseason, was starting his fourth game for the Jaguars on Sunday, having lost the previous three.

And Week 13 was going the same way, as Foles was hooked with Jacksonville 25-0 down through two quarters.

Foles had three turnovers, including two fumbles, and was sacked three times, completing just seven of 14 passes for 93 yards.

Rookie Gardner Minshew was recalled to the fold, having started under center for each of the Jaguars' four wins this year after replacing Foles following a clavicle injury suffered in Week 1.

Safety Damarious Randall will not play against the Pittsburgh Steelers due to a "coach's decision", the Cleveland Browns have announced.

The two AFC North rivals will meet for the first time since their ill-tempered Week 11 encounter, when Myles Garrett ripped off Mason Rudolph's helmet and stuck the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback with it in shocking scenes.

Rudolph, who had appeared to attempt to rip off Garrett's own helmet, has since been benched in favour of Devlin Hodges and will not start on Sunday.

Garrett, who accused the Steelers quarterback of using a racial slur - something Rudolph's agents denied, is serving a suspension.

Pittsburgh offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey is also banned having thrown punches and kicked Browns defensive end Garrett during the melee, and Cleveland have now confirmed Randall will not be involved either.

The safety was ejected in the third quarter two weeks ago for leading with his helmet when he hit Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson.

Randall, who claimed he did not intend to hurt Johnson, later claimed he received death threats online following the game.

Drew Lock appears poised to make his first NFL start on Sunday after the Denver Broncos activated the rookie quarterback off injured reserve.

Former Missouri quarterback Lock was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Broncos, but a thumb injury suffered in preseason means he is yet to debut as a professional.

However, the Broncos activated the 23-year-old on Saturday amid reports Lock will be given the start against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Denver started the season with veteran Joe Flacco at quarterback, but he was placed on injured reserve on November 1, with Brandon Allen starting the past three games.

The Broncos went 1-2 in that time, with Allen struggling mightily in a 20-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills last week when he went 10-of-25 passing and threw for just 82 yards.

Denver head coach Vic Fangio did not commit to naming his starting quarterback this week but the suggestion is the 3-8 Broncos will see what they have in Lock for the remainder of the season.

Derwin James is set to make his first appearance of the season having been activated ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers' Week 13 game against the Denver Broncos.

The second-year safety was a Pro Bowler last year having been selected 17th overall by the Chargers in the 2018 NFL Draft.

However, he underwent surgery in August due a stress fracture in his foot.

The Chargers also announced fellow defensive back Adrian Phillips, another Pro Bowler last season, has been activated having missed 10 weeks with a broken forearm.

However, with a 4-7 record in the AFC West, the Chargers face an uphill battle to return to the playoffs.

The Philadelphia Eagles have ruled running back Jordan Howard out of their Week 13 game with the Miami Dolphins.

Howard will miss a third straight game with a shoulder injury sustained in the Eagles' win over the Chicago Bears on November 3.

A trade acquisition from the Bears in the offseason, Howard has 119 carries for 525 yards and six touchdowns this year.

With Howard again on the sideline, the Eagles will likely turn to rookie Miles Sanders to carry the bulk of the load on the ground in a crucial game in their season. 

The Eagles are 5-6, a game behind the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East, and can ill-afford a defeat against the lowly Dolphins if they are serious about reaching the playoffs.

Dallas Cowboys offensive guard Connor Williams tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) against the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, the team confirmed.

Williams suffered the injury during the 26-15 loss that left the Cowboys with a 6-6 record in the NFL.

Dallas head coach Jason Garrett, who confirmed the ACL tear – as per the team's website, praised Williams

"We like Connor a lot. Connor's been a good player for us," he said.

"He started a lot of games for us last year as a rookie and came back after his injury [knee scope] and did a good job for us in the playoffs.

"He's been the established starter at that left guard spot for us all year long. He's really grown and developed as a player and done a good job for us."

The Cowboys have lost back-to-back games, but still top the NFC East ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles (5-6).

Lane Johnson has signed a new contract with the Philadelphia Eagles, reportedly making him the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history.

Drafted fourth overall by the Eagles in 2013, Johnson has gone on to become a two-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl champion.

The Eagles have now moved to secure the 29-year-old's future, handing him a new deal which will see him remain with Philadelphia for the next four years.

According to reports from NFL media, the contract is worth $72million, with $54.595million guaranteed, following on from new deals for Johnson's team-mates Brandon Brooks, Jake Elliott and Rick Lovato.

"It's smart," Johnson told the Eagles' official website. "They know what they're doing. Ultimately, they want to build a good football team for a long time and core players is where it starts.

"I'm excited to be with Brandon, Jake, and Rick, and there will probably be a few others coming up, too. It's a blessing being around a lot of great people every day. It's a lot of fun."

Johnson missed Week 12 due to concussion protocol but is expected to return to face the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Ryan Kerrigan's streak of consecutive NFL starts will end at 139 as the Washington Redskins linebacker has been ruled out of Sunday's game due to concussion.

Washington's interim head coach Bill Callahan confirmed on Friday that nine-year veteran Kerrigan would miss the 2-9 Redskins' game with the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium.

Four-time Pro Bowler Kerrigan was a first-round draft pick of the Redskins in 2011.

He has 89 sacks in his career, 4.5 of which have come this season.

Kerrigan had the fourth-longest active streak for NFL starts, trailing only Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (215 games), Baltimore Ravens cornerback Brandon Carr (183 games) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh (148 games). 

"I can't even begin to express how much he's meant to this organisation, what he's contributed, what he means to his team-mates and the type of pro he is," Callahan told reporters.

"There's no better example of what a pro should be in the NFL than Ryan Kerrigan."

The AFC-leading New England Patriots have made another change at the kicking position by signing Kai Forbath and releasing Nick Folk.

Bill Belichick's 10-1 team have turned to their fourth kicker of the season having struggled for consistency at the position since Stephen Gostkowski went down with a season-ending injury in October.

Veteran Mike Nugent was originally signed to fill the role but he lasted just four weeks after making five of his eight field-goal attempts, with Folk kicking over the previous three games.

However, amid reports Folk had an appendectomy on Thursday, the Patriots have now turned to Forbath.

The 32-year-old former Washington Redskins, New Orleans Saints, Minnesota Vikings and Jacksonville Jaguars kicker is yet to make an appearance in 2019.

The New Orleans Saints have "bigger fish to fry" after clinching the NFC South championship on Thursday, according to quarterback Drew Brees.

A 26-18 triumph over the Atlanta Falcons on Thanksgiving Day made the Saints the first team to secure a spot in the postseason and avenged a surprise 26-9 loss to the same team at the Superdome in Week 10.

Taysom Hill blocked a punt to set up a three-yard touchdown catch for the opening score, before adding a 30-yard run in the second quarter as the Saints improved to 10-2.

"Three NFC South championships in a row, and this one being the earliest we've been able to secure it, on Thanksgiving, says a lot about our organisation," said Brees, who finished 18 of 30 for 184 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions against the Falcons.

Asked about the players celebrating the title in t-shirts stating "the south is not enough", Brees responded: "This was objective number one, obviously, win the division.

"But I think you know our mindset and the group of guys we have in there, and just kind of how we've progressed each and every year. We've got bigger fish to fry, so to speak.

"We've got a list of goals and objectives and we want to knock them down one by one, but let's keep it simple right now. Let's just focus on playing our best football. I still think it's out there, on both sides of the ball.

"If we continue to do that and get better every week we'll be peaking at the right time."

Head coach Sean Payton said: "Look, it doesn't happen much before Thanksgiving. This is our sixth [division title] now, third in a row. It's one of the goals, and for it to happen this early, it's the first step.

"It's hard to win in this league, it's hard to win on the road. I'm proud of our guys. I'm proud of Mrs B [owner Gayle Benson], ownership.

"You know, a lot of work goes into putting the right team together. And it's a challenging business. It's all worth it when you win and you have a chance and you're playing for something."

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