Marcus Mariota threw for 226 yards and two touchdowns, and the Tennessee Titans hung on to beat the depleted Chicago Bears 27-21 on Sunday.
The Titans (6-6) gave their playoff hopes a boost, though they watched as Chicago (2-9) cut a 20-point lead to six in the fourth quarter.
Matt Barkley, starting for the injured Jay Cutler, led the late surge. The Bears had a first down at the Tennessee 7 in the final minute when Josh Bellamy dropped a pass in the end zone on first down. Barkley's next three attempts fell incomplete, preserving the win for Tennessee.
The Titans moved one-half game out of first place in the AFC South when Houston lost to San Diego.
Mariota, putting together one of the best seasons ever by a Titans quarterback, came through with another solid performance. The second-year pro completed 15 of 23 passes.
Rishard Matthews added 64 yards receiving, including a diving touchdown grab near the end of the first half. Delanie Walker had three catches for 50 yards and a touchdown, and the Titans headed into their bye on a winning note after losing at Indianapolis last week.
With Cutler nursing a right shoulder injury, the Bears were forced to give Barkley his first career start. The former Southern California star struggled before coming on strong down the stretch, going 28 for 54 for 316 yards with the first three touchdowns of his career and two interceptions.
Besides Cutler, the Bears also held out LB Leonard Floyd (concussion) and G Josh Sitton (ankle). WR Alshon Jeffery served the second game of a four-game suspension for violating the NFL's policy on performance enhancers, while LB Jerrell Freeman served his first game after being suspended on Monday.
Linebacker Danny Trevathan suffered a right knee injury late in Sunday's 27-21 loss and coach John Fox said it was serious.
Trevathan was injured away from the ball when the Titans handed off to Derrick Henry on second-and-5 at their 22 with just under three minutes remaining. Trevathan stayed down clutching his right leg and was tended to for several minutes before being helped off the field.
It was the latest injury for a team that's been hit hard all year. Chicago was missing a long list of players, including quarterback Jay Cutler.
Even so, the Bears cut a 20-point deficit to six in the fourth quarter.
The Bears will host San Francisco on Sunday.
>>Packers on Monday Night Football
Monday night's game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia could serve as an elimination game.
The Green Bay Packers have lost four in a row to plunge to 4-6 and 14th place in the NFC playoff race. Even with an upset victory over the Philadelphia Eagles, they would remain two games behind the division-leading Lions after their Thanksgiving Day win over Minnesota.
The Eagles have crashed back to Earth with losses in five of their last seven games. At 5-5, they are in ninth place in the NFC and trail Washington (6-3-1) for the final NFC wild-card spot.
For the Packers, this is unexpected territory as they join New England as the only teams to qualify for the playoffs in each of the past seven seasons.
The Packers had seven starters out by the end of the Washington game, including both starting cornerbacks and both starting inside linebackers. With the injuries to Jake Ryan (ankle) and Blake Martinez (knee) at inside linebacker, the Packers might be forced to move Clay Matthews back inside, where he played the previous season-and-a-half.
There's a chance the Packers could get back second-year cornerback Damarious Randall, who's missed the past five games following groin surgery, but veteran Sam Shields will spend the rest of the season on injured reserve with a concussion.