Tom Brady threw three touchdown passes and the visiting New England Patriots matched their own AFC record with their 12th consecutive road victory, pummeling the Denver Broncos 41-16 on Sunday night.
These teams have represented the AFC in the past four Super Bowls, and the Broncos (3-6) were hoping a visit from their rivals would help shake them from their funk.
Instead, the Broncos fizzled.
They saw their losing streak reach five games, their longest skid in seven seasons, and they lost back-to-back games to the Patriots (7-2) in Denver for the first time since 1966.
Avoiding Von Miller all night and throwing for 266 yards on 25-of-34 passing, Brady improved to 8-9 against the Broncos, and won for just the fourth time in 11 trips to Denver. His 86th regular-season road win broke a tie with Peyton Manning for most all-time.
For the first time since 1979, the Patriots had a special teams takeaway, a blocked punt and a kickoff return for a touchdown, a trifecta that fueled a comfortable 27-9 halftime lead.
• 49ERS 31, GIANTS 21: At Santa Clara, Calif., C.J. Beathard threw for 288 yards and two TDs and ran for a third score to lead San Francisco past New York for its first victory over the season.
Beathard connected on an 83-yard TD to Marquise Goodwin and a 47-yarder to Garrett Celek in the second quarter as the 49ers (1-9) took advantage of another listless effort by the Giants (1-8) to win for the first time under coach Kyle Shanahan.
Beathard's time as starting quarterback in San Francisco figures to be numbered after the team acquired Jimmy Garoppolo two weeks ago in trade from New England. Garoppolo has been learning the offense and could take over when the team returns from the bye in two weeks.
• FALCONS 27, COWBOYS 7: Adrian Clayborn set an Atlanta record with six sacks, Matt Ryan threw a pair of short touchdown passes and the host Falcons romped past Dallas.
The Cowboys looked anemic offensively in their first game without suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott.
Ryan hooked up with Justin Hardy on a 3-yard pass for Atlanta's first offensive touchdown in the third quarter this season. Early in the fourth, Ryan put the game away for the Falcons (5-4) by tossing one to Austin Hooper for a 1-yard score.
The Cowboys (5-4) surely missed Elliott, who finally began serving a six-game suspension for allegations of domestic abuse after three legal reprieves.
• RAMS 33, TEXANS 7: Robert Woods caught two of Jared Goff's three TD passes during a dominant third quarter, and surging Los Angeles returned after a month away from home for its fourth straight victory.
After struggling to a 9-7 lead during a quiet first half for the NFL's highest-scoring team, the Rams (7-2) ran away with a series of big throws by Goff, who passed for a career-high 355 yards.
Woods caught a 94-yard TD pass to break it open before Sammy Watkins and Woods made TD catches 19 seconds apart late in the third quarter.
Bruce Ellington caught a 26-yard TD pass for the Texans (3-6), who have lost three straight and four of five.
• SAINTS 47, BILLS 10: Mark Ingram scored a career-best three touchdowns and New Orleans won its seventh straight game by plowing through a porous Buffalo defense in Orchard Park, N.Y..
The Saints finished with 298 yards rushing and 32 first downs.
Their defense was just as dominating in limiting Buffalo to 198 yards and 10 first downs.
• STEELERS 20, COLTS 17: In Indianapolis, Ben Roethlisberger's 32-yard completion to Antonio Brown with 35 seconds set up a 33-yard field goal from Chris Boswell as time expired.
The Steelers (7-2) have won four straight overall and five in a row in the series.
But it sure wasn't easy as the Colts (3-7) held Roethlisberger, Brown and Le'Veon Bell in check. Pittsburgh needed two second-half TD passes from Roethlisberger to fight its way out of a 17-3 third-quarter deficit. And Roethlisberger reverted to his traditional form on the Steelers' final possession.
The two -time Super Bowl champion methodically marched the Steelers 70 yards in the final 3 minutes, 10 seconds to give Pittsburgh its only lead.
Roethlisberger was 19 of 31 for 236 yards with one interception. Bell had 26 carries for 80 yards.
• VIKINGS 38, REDSKINS 30: Case Keenum threw touchdowns to four different receivers to build a big lead, and the NFC North-leading Vikings won their fifth in a row.
Keenum was 21 of 29 for 304 yards and TD passes to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, David Morgan and Jarius Wright. Thielen had eight catches for a season-high 166 yards.
Latavius Murray also ran for a score as five players got into the end zone for Minnesota (7-2), which was 8 of 12 on third downs.
Washington quarterback Kirk Cousins had three TDs - two rushing and one passing - and was 26 of 45 for 327 yards with an interception.
• TITANS 24, BENGALS 20: In Nashville, Tenn., Marcus Mariota tossed a 7-yard touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray with 36 seconds left and the Titans rallied for their fourth consecutive victory.
It's the longest winning streak for the Titans (6-3) since takin five straight in 2009, and it's their best start to a season since 2008 when the Titans last reached the playoffs as the AFC's No. 1 seed.
Murray ran for two touchdowns, and Mariota finished with 264 yards passing.
• JAGUARS 20, CHARGERS 17, OT: In Jacksonville, Fla., Josh Lambo kicked a 30-yard field goal with 3:12 remaining in overtime, lifting the Jaguars.
Lambo's kick got tipped at the line of scrimmage and still cleared the crossbar. The former soccer player and one-time Charger ran the other way and slid on both knees near midfield before getting mobbed by teammates.
• LIONS 38, BROWNS 24: In Allen Park, Mich., Matthew Stafford lofted a 29-yard, tiebreaking touchdown to Eric Ebron early in the fourth quarter and the Lions went on to beat the winless Browns.
The Lions (5-4) rallied from first- and second-half deficits to earn consecutive victories for the first time since winning the first two games this season. The Browns, who fell to 0-9 on the season, led 10-0 early in the game for their first double-digit lead of the season, and were up 24-17 in the third after Deshone Kizer led two consecutive touchdown drives.
Cleveland's chances to finally win this season were hurt when Kizer took a shot to the ribs by blitzing defensive back Quandre Diggs late in the third period.
The rookie quarterback, who came back to play late in the fourth, had perhaps his best game. He completed 21 of 37 passes for 232 yards with a 19-yard TD pass to Kenny Britt in the first quarter. Kizer ran seven times for 57 yards, including a go-ahead, 1-yard sneak with 6:01 left in the third.
• BUCCANEERS 15, JETS 10: Ryan Fitzpatrick led two long scoring drives and host Tampa Bay limited the Jets to less than 200 yards of offense until late in the fourth quarter to snap a five-game losing streak.
With Fitzpatrick filling in for injured quarterback Jameis Winston, the Buccaneers (3-6) used three field goals to build a 9-3 lead. Charles Sims put the game out of reach with a 6-yard touchdown reception with just over six minutes remaining.