NFL highlights


On a Sunday dominated by defense, the Pittsburgh Steelers made the play of the day.

Levon Kirkland made a leaping tackle to stop Drew Bledsoe’s quarterback sneak on fourth-and-goal from the 1 on the final play, allowing the Steelers to hold on for a 17-14 victory over the New England Patriots.

‘‘Man, we had a push on that play, I’ve never seen penetration like that,’‘ Steelers lineman Donald Evans said. ‘‘Joel (Steed) and Jeff (Zgonina) had so much pressure, they saved our season.’‘

The Steelers, playing without injured All-Pro running back Barry Foster for the third straight game, possibly could have have fallen out of playoff contention with a loss. Instead, Pittsburgh remained a game behind Houston (8-4) in the AFC Central.

The Patriots (1-11) lost their seventh straight game, the last six defeats by a combined 20 points. Bledsoe thought his team had won this one.

‘‘All I had to do was break the plane of the goal line, and I’m sure I did it,’‘ he said.

Bledsoe committed six turnovers, but drove the Patriots from their own 5 toward the Pittsburgh goal line in the final minutes. The Patriots stopped the clock with 17 seconds left, and rather than ask erratic kicker Scott Sisson to try a tying field goal, coach Bill Parcells went for the win.

Bledsoe took the snap and jumped over the middle, but Kirkland met him in midair and stopped him.

‘‘I thought we had the play, and it looked like he scored to me,’‘ Parcells said. ‘‘I’ve got to try to get these guys a win.’‘

In other games—highlighted by eight touchdowns on returns of interceptions or fumbles—Chicago defeated Green Bay 30-17, the New York Giants beat Miami 19-14, Kansas City defeated Seattle 31-16, Houston topped Atlanta 33-17, Minnesota downed Detroit 13-0, Indianapolis beat the New York Jets 9-6, the Los Angeles Raiders defeated Buffalo 25-24, San Diego stopped Denver 13-10, Cleveland stopped New Orleans 17-13, Phoenix beat the Los Angeles Rams 38-10 and Washington took Tampa Bay 23-17.

On Sunday night, Cincinnati was at San Francisco. On Monday night, Philadelphia is at Dallas.

Giants 19, Dolphins 14

At Miami, New York forced three turnovers, earned a safety on a sack and turned back three scoring threats to beat bloodied quarterback Steve DeBerg and the Dolphins.

DeBerg needed seven stitches in his chin after being flattened by two Giants. He missed parts of two possessions and returned to the game at the start of the fourth quarter.

The game between division leaders left both at 9-3. The Giants played for the first time in Miami since the AFL-NFL merger, and became the first NFC team to win at Joe Robbie Stadium since it opened six years ago.

Chiefs 31, Seahawks 16

At Seattle, Marcus Allen scored three touchdowns, increasing his AFC-leading total to 13, and Joe Montana completed 20 of 30 passes for 239 yards for Kansas City.

Montana played for the second time since missing three games because of a pulled hamstring. The Chiefs (9-3) are 6-1 when Montana has been healthy enough to start.

Derrick Thomas scored on an 86-yard fumble return and Albert Lewis intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble. Seattle (5-7) lost to the Chiefs for the fifth straight time.

Oilers 33, Falcons 17

At Houston, Atlanta coach Jerry Glanville was hounded by his former fans at the Astrodome while the Oilers tied a team record with six interceptions.

Ray Childress recovered a fumble in the end zone as the Oilers (8-4) won their seventh straight game, their longest winning streak since 1962. Atlanta (5-7) had won five of six.

Glanville, forced out as the Oilers coach in 1989, was surrounded by three security guards in his return to Houston. He was booed when he entered the stadium wearing his trademark black denim jeans and sunglasses.

Vikings 13, Lions 0

At Pontiac, Mich., Lamar McGriggs returned an interception 63 yards for a touchdown and Minnesota sent the Lions their first shutout since the 1991 opener.

Jack Del Rio had three of the Vikings’ five interceptions. Rodney Peete was picked off four times and Andre Ware was intercepted once. The Lions played without injured Barry Sanders, the NFL’s leading rusher.

Jim McMahon made his first start since dislocating his left shoulder Halloween night in Minnesota. He guided the Vikings (6-6) to a pair of field goals by Fuad Reveiz.

Colts 9, Jets 6

At East Rutherford, N.J., Dean Biasucci kicked a 38-yard field goal with one second left and Indianapolis beat New York in the rain and wind.

An interception by Eugene Daniel on a tipped pass by Boomer Esiason set up the winning kick. The Colts (4-8) ended a four-game losing streak, and won for the third time this season by a 9-6 score. New York (7-5) has lost 11 of the last 14 to the Colts.

Raiders 25, Bills 24

At Orchard Park, N.Y., Tim Brown caught a 29-yard touchdown pass from Jeff Hostetler with 4:58 left, lifting Los Angeles over Buffalo.

Brown caught 10 passes for 183 yards, both career highs, and helped the Raiders (7-5) stay in playoff contention. The Bills (8-4) made two turnovers in the fourth quarter and blew an eight-point lead, and lost for the third time in four games.

Chargers 13, Broncos 10

At San Diego, John Carney kicked a 34-yard field goal with three seconds left, lifting the Chargers over Denver.

Stan Humphries guided San Diego (6-6) on a 12-play, 79-yard drive to the winning points. John Elway went over the 3,000-yard mark in passing for the eighth straight season, but could not lead Denver (7-5) to another fourth-quarter comeback.

Browns 17, Saints 13

At Cleveland, the Browns sacked Wade Wilson nine times and ended a four-game losing streak.

Vinny Testaverde and Todd Philcox each threw a touchdown pass to Michael Jackson for Cleveland (6-6). New Orleans (7-5) tied a team record for most sacks allowed, and lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Cardinals 38, Rams 10

At Tempe, Ariz., Ron Moore became the first Cardinals player in 16 years to run for four touchdowns as Phoenix beat Los Angeles.

Moore scored once on a 19-yard run through traffic in the third quarter and three times from 1 yard out. Wayne Morris was the last to accomplish the feat, for St. Louis against New Orleans on Oct. 23, 1977.

Moore ran for 126 yards in 29 carries for Phoenix (4-8). Jerome Bettis ran for 115 yards on 16 carries for the Rams (3-9).

Redskins 23, Buccaneers 17

At Tampa, Fla., Kurt Gouveia returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown and Darrell Green picked off two passes to spark Washington.

The Redskins (3-9) had lost six straight road games, and three in a row overall. Tampa Bay (3-9) was assured of a losing record for the 11th consecutive season.