A review of Sunday's early action in the NFL as Carolina set a new franchise record with eight consecutive wins.
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The Carolina Panthers set a new franchise record for consecutive wins with a one-sided 27-6 dismissal of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.
Cam Newton threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a score himself as the Panthers earned their eighth straight regular-season victory.
Newton, who also ran for 68 yards, connected with Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn Jnr on touchdown passes as the Panthers improved to 9-3.
Tampa Bay's rookie quarterback Mike Glennon was sacked four times as the Bucs fell to 3-9.
Stephen Gostkowski held his nerve from two fourth-quarter field goals as the New England Patriots made heavy weather of a 34-31 win over the Houston Texans.
Houston came into the match nursing a nine-game losing streak and almost stopped the rot with a famous win only for the Patriots to roar back late on.
Tom Brady threw for 371 yards and two touchdowns as the Patriots improved to 9-3, while the Texans are now 2-10 after slipping to their 10th straight defeat.
Ryan Tannehill threw for 331 yards and two touchdowns as the Miami Dolphins improved to 6-6 with a 23-3 victory over the New York Jets (5-7), while Nick Foles threw for 237 yards and three touchdowns to lead the 7-5 Philadelphia Eagles to a narrow 24-21 victory over the Arizona Cardinals, who slip to 7-5 after seeing their four-game winning streak brought to an end.
Adam Vinatieri slotted five field goals and Donald Brown ran for a touchdown as the Indianapolis Colts defeated the Tennessee Titans 22-14, while Cecil Shorts' last-minute touchdown reception saw the Jacksonville Jaguars to a 32-28 win over the Cleveland Browns.
The Minnesota Vikings saw Adrian Peterson rush for 211 yards but still needed overtime to see off the Chicago Bears 23-20, with Blair Walsh's 34-yard field goal with 1:43 left sealing the win.
Peyton Manning piled up the stats as he threw for 403 yards and five touchdowns and the Denver Broncos held on to beat the Kansas City Chiefs 35-28.
Manning passed 4,000 yards for the season, reaching 4,125 and extending his own record to 13 career 4,000-yard seasons. He also broke his own Broncos franchise record of 37 touchdown passes in a season as he moved to 41. And if that was not enough, it was Manning's eighth five-TD game of his career, tying Drew Brees for the NFL record.
Eric Decker caught four of them for a career-high 174 yards, but even with all of that, the Chiefs were in the red zone, down by seven, inside the final two minutes, but on fourth down Alex Smith's pass to Dwayne Bowe fell incomplete.
Matt Bryant's 36-yard field goal three minutes into overtime gave the Atlanta Falcons a 34-31 win over the Buffalo Bills in Toronto.
Andy Dalton found AJ Green with a 21-yard TD pass that lifted the Cincinnati Bengals to a 17-10 victory over the San Diego Chargers, keeping them two games clear of Baltimore in the AFC North.
The San Francisco 49ers enjoyed a 23-13 win over the St Louis Rams which came with the bonus of a first appearance of the season for Michael Crabtree after Achilles surgery.
Colin Kaepernick threw for 275 yards in the win.
The New York Giants scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter as they came back to beat the Washington Redskins 24-17.
Washington scored only three points in the second half as Justin Tuck sacked Robert Griffin III four times.
The win keeps the Giants in the NFC East hunt but the Redskins' post-season hopes are over for another year.