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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 12 December 2018

Aaron Rodgers comes up clutch for Green Bay as Kansas City Chiefs remain unbeaten in NFL

Aaron Rodgers threw a 12-yard touchdown pass to Devante Adams with 11 seconds left to lift the Green Bay Packers to a 35-31 NFL victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Rodgers carried the Packers on his back down the stretch as the clutch winning drive lasted 62 seconds and took nine plays, including an 18-yard run by Rodgers for a first down.

The scramble out of the pocket to the side of the field was just another example of the way Rodgers dissected the Cowboys defence late in the game at AT&T Stadium.

"I just felt a gap to my left. I knew if I could get out there I would probably have a good lane to run," he said.

US vice-president Mike Pence walked out of a NFL game on Sunday in his home state of Indiana after some players knelt during the national anthem, a form of demonstration that began last year as a symbolic protest about police violence against racial minorities.

In the late game, Alex Smith passed for 324 yards and three touchdowns and engineered a decisive touchdown drive midway through the fourth quarter in the Kansas City Chiefs' 42-34 win over the Houston Texans.

On the winning touchdown, Rodgers placed a perfect pass over the helmet of Cowboys rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis and into the arms of Adams. Rodgers had tried to team up with Adams on the previous play but his toss was short.

"I was going to call a different play, but [Davante] came back and said, 'Call it again.' With his eyes, he just said, 'Throw a better ball,'" Rodgers said.

"I just put a better throw on it and he made a great catch."

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The winning drive came after Dallas quarterback Dak Prescott ran in a go-ahead touchdown for the Cowboys with under two minutes left.

Prescott completed 25 of 36 passes for 251 yards and three touchdowns and Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 116 yards, but it wasn't enough.

The Packers eliminated Dallas from the play-offs on the same field in January, when Rodgers converted a key third-and-20 play in the closing seconds and kicker Mason Crosby nailed a 51-yard field goal as time expired.

Green Bay returned Sunday to do it twice in a year and improve to 4-1 on the season while Dallas dropped to 2-3.

In Houston, Tyreek Hill ensured that the Chiefs would improve to 5-0 and remain as the lone unbeaten team in the NFL when he returned a punt 82 yards for a touchdown with 7:22 left to give Kansas City a 19-point lead.

The Texans not only lost the game, but they lost three-time defensive player of the year JJ Watt to a tibial plateau fracture in his left leg in the first quarter.

Watt may have to undergo season-ending surgery. He played three games last year before undergoing back surgery that kept him out the rest of the season.

Quarterback Watson completed 16-of-31 attempts for 261 yards and five touchdowns for the Texans. DeAndre Hopkins caught three scoring passes for Houston.

Elsewhere, the New York Giants lost again and Odell Beckham's early season woes continued as the receiver will need surgery after breaking his left ankle in a 27-22 loss to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Beckham suffered his injury with about four minutes left in the fourth quarter when he fell awkwardly to the ground.

The injury comes nine days after Beckham was fined US$12,000 for his awkward touchdown celebration against Philadelphia where he tried to imitate a dog urinating in the endzone.

Quarterback Philip Rivers threw three touchdown passes for the Chargers who recorded their first win of the season.

Elsewhere, Ben Roethlisberger turned in his worst home performance in more than 11 years as the Jacksonville Jaguars intercepted five passes in a 30-9 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

"Maybe I don't have it anymore," Roethlisberger told reporters after the game. "I am not playing well enough."

In Detroit, Cam Newton completed 26 of 33 passes for 355 yards and three touchdowns to help Carolina earn a 27-24 road win over Detroit.

Also, Carson Wentz threw a career-high four touchdown passes as the Philadelphia Eagles rolled to a third straight win, 34-7 over the Arizona Cardinals.