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Denver's NFL post-season hopes in danger

AAP logoAAP 11/12/2016

A year ago, the Tennessee Titans lost their way in the race for the No.1 overall draft pick, and now find themselves tied atop the AFC South and coming off a very big upset of Super Bowl champions Denver.

DeMarco Murray ran for 92 yards and a touchdown, and the Titans held on to beat the Broncos 13-10 on Sunday (Monday AEDT) and keep a piece of the lead in their division.

"We're definitely a team that's on the rise," Titans linebacker Brian Orakpo said.

With the win, the Titans (7-6) also climbed above .500 for the first time all season and are tied atop the AFC South with Houston, a 22-17 winner over Indianapolis.

The Broncos' faltering offence failed to put any points on the board until the fourth quarter, when Trevor Siemian's touchdown pass found Emmanuel Sanders to breathe life into a static contest.

Denver then twice fluffed chances to complete the comeback, with Bennie Fowler dropping a pass in the end zone before AJ Derby was stripped by Avery Williamson in the final minute to seal a result that drops the Broncos to 8-5 and in grave danger of missing the post-season.

Gary Kubiak's men face a nightmare end to the regular season as they host Tom Brady's New England Patriots next week - who they beat to reach last season's Super Bowl - before key match-ups against divisional high-flyers the Kansas City Chiefs and the Oakland Raiders.

"The schedule is nasty, but we can win those games," Denver outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware said.

"I feel like everybody has to be on the same accord and have that mentality of do-or-die."

The result was critical in the Titans' playoff bid as they improved to 7-6 to be level at the top of the AFC South with the Houston Texans, who beat divisional rivals the Indianapolis Colts 22-17.

In Sunday's other games, the New York Giants snapped the Cowboys' 11-game winning streak with a 10-7 victory, preventing Dallas clinching the NFC East.

Le'Veon Bell ran for a Pittsburgh-record 236 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Steelers to their fourth straight victory, 27-20 over the Buffalo Bills.

The Miami Dolphins held off a late Arizona Cardinals rally to win 26-23 and make the most of the Broncos' slip and join them with an 8-5 record in the race for an AFC wildcard place.

The Detroit Lions moved a step closer to claiming their first NFC North title since 1993 thanks to a 20-17 win over the Chicago Bears.

The Minnesota Vikings remain two games back as they rallied to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars 25-16.

The Washington Redskins won their divisional clash against the Philadelphia Eagles 27-22, while the Atlanta Falcons ran riot against the Los Angeles Rams 42-14, and the New York Jets earned a 23-17 overtime victory against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Carolina Panthers beat the San Diego Chargers 28-16, the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Cleveland Browns 23-10, the Green Bay Packers hammered the Seattle Seahawks 38-10, and an 11-16 success for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers over the New Orleans Saints gave them their fifth win on the bounce.

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