By DAVID GINSBURG
BALTIMORE — A second straight overtime loss reinforced for Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton just how slim the difference is between winning and losing in the NFL.
Cincinnati rallied from a 17-point deficit and forced overtime on a desperation heave from Dalton to A.J. Green on the final play of regulation Sunday.
But the Baltimore Ravens bounced back in overtime and won 20-17 on a 46-yard field goal by Justin Tucker with 5:27 left in the extra session.
The spirited comeback, the 51-yard TD pass to Green and a tremendous performance by Bengals linebacker Vincent Rey all went for naught as Cincinnati (6-4) missed an opportunity to all but oust the defending Super Bowl champion Ravens (4-5) from the AFC North race.
It was the second straight overtime loss for the Bengals, who were coming off a 22-20 defeat at Miami.
“We were close today,” Dalton lamented. “We’ve been close in these overtime games. We’ve got to whatever we can to make one more play, put ourselves in a better position where we can score and have a chance to not let the other team have it. Again, it didn’t happen today.”
The Bengals were hurt by nine penalties totaling 134 yards, five sacks and three interceptions.
“We hurt ourselves a lot with penalties this game and we couldn’t catch a break,” coach Marvin Lewis said. “In the first half, it was just incredible. I’ve never seen a run of penalties so one-sided.”
The Ravens won with only 189 yards of offense. Joe Flacco threw two interceptions and lost a fumble and Ray Rice gained a mere 30 yards on 18 carries.
“Sometimes you have to win by any means necessary,” Rice said. “Winning heals a lot. Now we’ve got to get on a roll to get back where we want to be.”
Dalton went 24-for-51 for 274 yards as the Bengals lost to Baltimore for the fifth time in six games.
On the last-second heave in regulation, Green positioned himself behind the pack and caught the deflection after it flicked off the hand of Ravens safety James Ihedigbo, who earlier had the first two interceptions of his career.
“I was just looking for someone to tap the ball so I could catch it,” Green said.
The Bengals won the toss before overtime and moved to the Baltimore 33 before Giovani Bernard caught a short pass, reversed field and was tackled for an 11-yard loss on fourth down.
Baltimore then got a pair of first downs before Tucker kicked the winner.
With 151 yards receiving, Green set a franchise record with his fifth straight 100-yard game. And, making his second start of the season, Rey had 13 tackles, three sacks and his first career interception.
All of it occurred in a losing effort.
A gusty afternoon proved troublesome for the Bengals. Mike Nugent missed a 42-yard field goal into the wind and Dalton repeatedly overthrew his receivers. In the second quarter, Ihedigbo picked off a high pass and returned it 37 yards to set up a touchdown for a 17-0 lead.
Baltimore mustered only 94 yards in offense before halftime but took advantage of Bengals’ miscues to put together scoring drives of 53, 58 and 11 yards.
Cincinnati had more penalty yards than total offense (114-102) in the first half,and Dalton was 8-for-21 for 47 yards and an interception.
The Bengals’ opening possession ended with a failed fourth-and-1 gamble at the Baltimore 47. Flacco immediately went long. Although he underthrew Jacoby Jones, a pass interference call against Reggie Nelson covered 48 yards. On third down, Dallas Clark caught a 1-yard pass in the end zone — the Ravens’ only first-quarter touchdown since the season opener.
Baltimore quickly got the ball back and a facemask penalty against Cincinnati’s Chris Crocker contributed to a 58-yard drive that ended with a field goal to make it 10-0.
Things didn’t get better for the Bengals. Nugent shanked a field-goal try to the left and Ihedigbo’s first interception set up a 7-yard touchdown pass to Torrey Smith.
Cincinnati converted only 5-of-19 third-down plays but was 3-for-5 on fourth down.
Notes: Not only did Ihedigbo get two INTs but tied with Daryl Smith for the team lead with nine tackles. … Dalton’s run of four straight 300-yard games ended. … Baltimore is 9-1 at home in November since 2008.
JAGUARS 29, TITANS 27
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Jacksonville Jaguars are winless no more.
Maurice Jones-Drew and Jordan Todman each ran for a touchdown and the Jaguars held off the Tennessee Titans 29-27 Sunday.
The Jaguars (1-8) scored the most points in a game this season for first-year coach Gus Bradley. They never trailed and forced four turnovers they turned into 17 points.
The Titans scored twice in the final 4:15, the last on a 14-yard TD pass by Ryan Fitzpatrick to Delanie Walker with 40 seconds left. But Johnathan Cyprien recovered the onside kick to seal the victory, leaving Tampa Bay as the only winless team. The Buccaneers host Miami tonight.
On a day the Titans (4-5) held a moment of silence for late owner Bud Adams, they lost quarterback Jake Locker to an injured right foot that had him on crutches and in a walking boot in the second half.
PANTHERS 10, 49ERS 9
SAN FRANCISCO — Drayton Florence’s interception in the final minute sealed victory for Carolina to snap the San Francisco 49ers’ 5-game winning streak and give the Panthers their fifth straight win.
Graham Gano kicked a 53-yard field goal with 10:05 remaining that held up as the Panthers (6-3) twice shut down Colin Kaepernick on last-ditch drives with swarming defense.
DeAngelo Williams broke two tackles for a 27-yard touchdown run late in the first half that pulled Carolina within 9-7. Gano missed wide left on a 48-yard field goal in the third period but came through later.
San Francisco (6-3) got the ball back with 5:25 left at its 1, then again with 1:02 to go.
Phil Dawson kicked a season-best 52-yard field goal among his three for the 49ers, who lost tight end Vernon Davis and rookie safety Eric Reid to concussions.
BRONCOS 28, CHARGERS 20
SAN DIEGO — Peyton Manning threw for 330 yards and four touchdowns, three to Demaryius Thomas, as he efficiently led the Broncos in their first game since coach John Fox had heart surgery.
Fox, who was released from the hospital Friday, planned to watch the game on TV at his offseason home in Charlotte, N.C., a team spokesman announced.
With interim coach Jack Del Rio in charge, Manning kept the Broncos (8-1) rolling. He threw touchdown passes of 11, 7 and 34 yards to Thomas on consecutive drives spanning the second and third quarters.
Julius Thomas had a 74-yard catch-and-run on Denver’s first drive.
The Broncos’ scoring drives lasted 57 seconds; 2 minutes, 27 seconds; 1:25; and 3:26.
Manning has thrown for 3,249 yards and 33 touchdowns in nine games. San Diego fell to 4-5.
CARDINALS 27, TEXANS 24
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Carson Palmer threw two touchdown passes and the Cardinals sent the Texans to their franchise-record seventh consecutive loss.
The Texans (2-7) were without coach Gary Kubiak, who collapsed on the sidelines against Indianapolis last Sunday night with what was diagnosed as a mini-stroke. Defensive coordinator Wade Phillips is filling in as interim coach.
Arizona (5-4) scored on the game’s first play when John Abraham knocked the ball out of Case Keenum’s arm and Matt Shaughnessy returned it 6 yards for a touchdown.
Keenum threw three touchdown passes, two on remarkable catches by Andre Johnson.
J.J. Watt forced two fumbles, recovering both for Houston. The second one set up Johnson’s 5-yard TD catch that cut the lead to three with 4:34 to play.
LIONS 21, BEARS 19
CHICAGO — Calvin Johnson had two second-half touchdown receptions, Reggie Bush rushed for 105 yards and Lions took over first place in the NFC North.
Johnson broke Herman Moore’s franchise record with his 63rd career touchdown reception with 2:22 to go, giving the Lions a 21-13 lead with a 14-yard grab. He also had a tiebreaking 4-yard TD reception on the first drive in the third quarter.
Bush had 89 yards on the ground in the second half as Detroit (6-3) swept the season series against Chicago (5-4).
Jay Cutler threw for 250 yards and a touchdown in his first action since he injured his groin last month. He looked progressively worse as the game wore on and departed before the Bears’ final drive with what the team announced was an ankle injury.
SEAHAWKS 33, FALCONS 10
ATLANTA — Russell Wilson threw a pair of touchdowns passes and Marshawn Lynch ran for 145 yards in a one-sided follow-up to last season’s NFC divisional playoffs.
After struggling for victories the last two weeks, the first-place Seahawks (9-1) blew out a team that not so long ago was talking Super Bowl, but now is just two defeats away from its first losing season since 2007.
The Falcons (2-7) trailed 23-3 at the half after the Seahawks scored a touchdown with 1 second remaining — a complete reversal of their postseason game last January.
Atlanta led 20-0 in that one after two quarters and was still up by 20 early in the fourth. Wilson led what appeared to be a historic comeback, putting the Seahawks ahead 28-27 with less than a minute remaining. The Falcons bounced back with two long passes and Matt Bryant’s field goal for a 30-28 victory that sent Atlanta to the NFC championship game.
This one was totally devoid of drama.
RAMS 38, COLTS 8
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Tavon Austin returned one punt 98 yards for a touchdown, caught TD passes of 57 and 81 yards and almost single-handedly ended the Rams’ 3-game losing streak.
The touchdown catches were the only receptions Austin had on his biggest day of the season as St. Louis (4-6) won for the first time since Kellen Clemens replaced the injured Sam Bradford.
It was the Colts’ worst loss since a 55-point thrashing at New Orleans in 2011. Indy (6-3) fell for the second time at home this season and only the third time in coach Chuck Pagano’s career.
Robert Mathis had two sacks for the Colts, giving him a 13 1/2.
EAGLES 27, PACKERS 13
GREEN BAY, Wis.— A week after tying the NFL record by passing for seven TDs, Nick Foles connected for three long touchdowns against the injury-ravaged Packers.
Foles connected with DeSean Jackson for a 55-yard score in the first half. Touchdown passes to Riley Cooper from 45 and 32 yards highlighted a 17-point second half for the up-tempo Eagles.
The Eagles, the NFL’s road warriors, improved to 5-5, with all their victories coming away from Philly.
Philadelphia handed Green Bay its first back-to-back home losses since 2008, Rodgers’ first season as the starter. It was the worst home loss for the Packers since falling 38-10 to the New York Jets on Dec. 3, 2006.
Already without franchise quarterback Aaron Rodgers because of a left collarbone injury, the Packers (5-4) lost backup Seneca Wallace to a groin injury.
GIANTS 24, RAIDERS 20
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Terrell Thomas returned an interception 65 yards to set up a go-ahead 1-yard touchdown run by fellow comebacker Andre Brown and the Giants won their third straight game.
The error-prone Giants (3-6) handed the Raiders (3-6) their first 17 points on first-half turnovers. But they got 115 yards rushing by Brown in his first game this season — he’s had two broken left legs the last two years — and another big defensive game to keep their season alive.
Despite throwing another pick-6, Eli Manning threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Rueben Randle and Cooper Taylor scored on a 21-yard return with a blocked punt. Josh Brown added a field goal.
Terrelle Pryor scored on 1-yard run and Tracy Porter on a 43-yard interception return for Oakland. Sebastian Janikowski kicked two field goals.
STEELERS 23, BILLS 10
PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh shut down rookie quarterback E.J. Manuel in his return.
A week after giving up 610 yards and 55 points in a loss to New England, Pittsburgh held the Bills (3-7) to 227 total yards, more than one-third coming on a meaningless drive in the final minutes.
Manuel completed 22-of-39 passes for 155 yards with a touchdown and an interception. The Steelers limited Buffalo to 95 yards rushing, nearly 50 below its average, and sacked Manuel three times.
Ben Roethlisberger passed for 204 yards and a touchdown, Le’Veon Bell added 52 yards rushing and a score as the Steelers (3-6) snapped a 2-game losing streak.