By Julian Linden
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - The Green Bay Packers survived a scare from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before sealing a hard-fought 35-26 win on Sunday to match their best start to an NFL season in nearly half a century.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers made up for a rare interception when he threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jordy Nelson with 2:55 left on the clock to extend the Packers' unbeaten run to 10 games, their best start to a season since 1962.
The win saw the Packers remain three wins clear of Detroit in the NFC North standings after the Lions beat the Carolina Panthers 49-35.
Detroit (7-3) quarterback Matthew Stafford threw a five touchdown passes, equaling his career high, while Carolina (2-8) rookie Cam Newton threw a career-worst four interceptions while also rushing for two touchdowns.
The Buccaneers (4-6) threatened to pull off the biggest upset of the year when Dezmon Briscoe scored a touchdown with less than five minutes to go to cut the deficit to 28-26 before Rodgers, the MVP in last season's Super Bowl win, ended their comeback.
Dan Bailey kicked a 39-yard field goal in overtime to lift Dallas (6-4) to a 27-24 win over the Washington Redskins (3-7) and keep the Cowboys in reach of NFC East leaders, the New York Giants (6-3).
The Redskins, who suffered their sixth straight loss, had a chance to win with a field goal in overtime but Graham Gano missed his 52-yard attempt.
The San Francisco 49ers (9-1) registered their eighth consecutive win of the season, beating their division rivals, the Arizona Cardinals (3-7) 23-7, to remain five games clear of Seattle Seahawks (4-6), who beat St Louis Rams 24-7, in the NFC West.
The Oakland Raiders (6-4) held on to beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-21 to remain on top of the AFC West standings.
Carson Palmer threw one touchdown and ran for another in his 100th NFL start while the Vikings suffered a blow when Adrian Peterson left the field with an ankle injury after scoring a touchdown in the opening quarter.
The Baltimore Ravens (7-3) joined the Pittsburgh Steelers at the top of the AFC North standings with a 31-24 home win over the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Buffalo Bills (5-5) missed their chance to move ahead of the New York Jets (5-5) in the AFC East after a 35-8 hammering from the Miami Dolphins (3-7), who recorded their third straight win after losing their first seven games.
(Editing by Rex Gowar)