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N.F.L. Scores: Packers Take Advantage of Seahawks’ Secondary

It was a wild second half, made even wilder as the Eagles resorted to sideline tryouts for a new longsnapper after a series of injuries. Brent Celek, a tight end, was sent out for one attempt but his snap was fumbled by Donnie Jones resulting in a turnover on downs that Washington converted into a touchdown. Trey Burton, also a tight end, then got a shot and found more success, with his snap being handled cleanly by Jones, who got it down for a 41-yard field goal by Caleb Sturgis.

It was not one of Kirk Cousins’ prettier games. The Washington quarterback completed 14 of 21 passes for 234 yards and 2 touchdowns, and his pick-six early in the fourth quarter initially appeared to be disastrous. But thanks to rushing touchdowns by Robert Kelly and Thompson, the game did not require Cousins to carry the entire offense.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, continued a season-long theme of looking great at times but ultimately falling short as Wentz continues to try to adjust to life in the N.F.L.

Steelers Ride Le’Veon Bell Against Bills

Photo

Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor bounced off a hit by Steelers linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) in the first half.

Credit
Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

With the conditions in Buffalo getting brutal, and Ben Roethlisberger struggling with turnovers, the Pittsburgh Steelers put the ball in Le’Veon Bell’s hands and the star running back carried the team to a 27-20 victory over the Bills.

Snow fell steadily in the game, with the condition of the field causing a significant delay to start the second half, but the Steelers, after initially showing a commitment to the passing game, let the weather Roethlisberger’s three interceptions convince them to go back to basics.

Bell was more than up to the task, carrying the ball 38 times for a career-high 236 yards and 3 touchdowns, while also catching 4 passes for 62 yards. His 198 yards from scrimmage fell just short of Antonio Brown’s franchise record of 306.

Playing in just his tenth game of the season following a three-game suspension, Bell’s efforts put him over 1,000 rushing yards in a season for just the second time in his four-year career, with his average of 105.3 yards a game representing a career high. The three touchdowns doubled his output for the season.

With Bell shouldering the load for his team’s offense, Pittsburgh’s defense struggled some to contain the Buffalo offense in the second half, but ultimately did enough to secure the Steelers’ eighth win of the season while dropping Buffalo’s record below .500.

Here’s what else happened so far in N.F.L. Week 14:

Lions Hang On: Matthew Stafford scrambled for a 7-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter to give the Detroit Lions 20-17 victory over the Chicago Bears. On the Lions’ previous drive, Cre’Von LeBlanc intercepted Stafford and returned the pick for a touchdown to give the Bears a brief lead.

Tannehill Hurt as Dolphins Beat Cardinals: Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdown passes before being sidelined with a knee injury, and Andrew Franks kicked a 21-yard field goal as time expired to help the Miami Dolphins beat the Arizona Cardinals 26-23 Sunday.

Tannehill limped to the locker room late in the third quarter after being hit around the legs by defensive tackle Calais Campbell as he released a completion. The Dolphins led 21-9 when Tannehill departed, and backup Matt Moore failed to lead Miami to a first down in his first three series. — Associated Press

■ Tickets for underwhelming matchup between the Bengals (4-7-1) and the Browns (0-12) were listed on Stubhub for as little as $6 before the game, with the cold weather, snow, and awful football all contributing to keeping fans away. Those who stayed home seem smart as Cleveland lost to Cincinnati, 23-10. It was an underwhelming return for Browns quarterback Robert Griffin III, who was 12-for-28 for just 104 yards.

Seahawks Face Packers Without Earl Thomas

For the first time since 2009, the Seattle Seahawks will take the field without Earl Thomas, the team’s All-Pro safety, who broke his leg in last week’s win over Carolina. Suddenly a team that had been thinking Super Bowl has to figure out how to replace one of its three or four most important players.

There is a tendency in the N.F.L. to give too much credit to individuals, but there are certain schemes that require key players and Thomas and his fellow safety Kam Chancellor have combined with Richard Sherman to form one of the greatest secondaries in N.F.L. history. Thomas and Chancellor eliminate the middle of the field, which allows Sherman and a rotating cast of other cornerbacks to thrive in coverage on the outside.

Seattle has clearly suffered in the times that Chancellor has been forced out of games, and now will have to go up against Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers without a player who has been a fixture in 107 consecutive games. Steven Terrill, a fourth-year player, filled in for Thomas after the injury last week and presumably would continue to do so for the remainder of the season.

The Packers had looked like a pushover just a few weeks ago when the team’s record dropped to 4-6, but with two consecutive wins, and Rodgers setting a goal to “run the table” and finish 10-6, they will try to take advantage of the cold and snowy conditions at Lambeau Field to give them a third straight win.

Here are the other key story lines for N.F.L. Week 14:

■ The Jets and Giants could not be facing more different opponents. The Giants have their hands full with the Dallas Cowboys, winners of 11 consecutive games, while the Jets offense should get a boost from a game against the woeful defense of the San Francisco 49ers, losers of 11 straight.

■ Julio Jones is unavailable for the Atlanta Falcons with a toe injury.

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