NFL roundup: Packers clinch NFC’s No. 1 seed
Davante Adams had 11 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown to lead the Packers. Allen Lazard had a receiving touchdown and AJ Dillon added two rushing touchdowns for Green Bay (13-3), which clinched the No. 1 seed, a first-round bye and home-field advantage during the NFC playoffs.
Sean Mannion completed 22 of 36 passes for 189 yards and a touchdown for Minnesota (7-9). Dalvin Cook was limited to just 13 yards on nine carries.
The Packers opened the game with 20 unanswered points before the Vikings notched a field goal before halftime.
Bengals 34, Chiefs 31
Joe Burrow passed for 446 yards and four touchdowns, finding Ja’Marr Chase 11 times for 266 yards and three scores, as Cincinnati clinched the AFC North title by downing visiting Kansas City.
Evan McPherson kicked a 20-yard game-winning field goal as time expired after the Bengals did not score a TD on several goal-to-go opportunities from the 1. Burrow went 30-for-39 and executed a second-half comeback after the Bengals (10-6) trailed by as many as 14. They used 17 consecutive points to gain their first lead with 11:44 remaining. Joe Mixon added 86 yards from scrimmage on 19 touches for Cincinnati.
Kansas City (11-5) dropped to second in the chase for the top AFC playoff seed behind Tennessee, despite a 259-yard, two-touchdown passing performance by Patrick Mahomes.
Buccaneers 28, Jets 24
Tom Brady connected with Cyril Grayson for the game-winning touchdown with 15 seconds left to deliver Tampa Bay a win over New York in East Rutherford, N.J.
The comeback was almost overshadowed by Antonio Brown’s bizarre exit from the game. Brown removed his shoulder pads, jersey and undershirt and left the game midway through the third quarter while his team had the ball.
Brady finished 34-for-50 for 410 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for the Bucs (12-4). Braxton Berrios scored two touchdowns for the Jets (4-12), whose upset bid fell short even though they did not trail in the game until the last 15 seconds. Zach Wilson threw for 234 yards and a touchdown.
Cardinals 25, Cowboys 22
Kyler Murray threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns to Antoine Wesley as visiting Arizona made the plays in the final minutes to hold off Dallas in Arlington, Texas.
The victory snapped Arizona’s three-game skid and halted the Cowboys’ winning streak at four games. Both teams have already clinched spots in the playoffs.
The Cardinals (11-5) scored on five of their first six possessions, but only had two touchdowns in that stretch while building a 22-7 lead late in the third quarter. Dallas (11-5) drew to within eight points on Dak Prescott’s 2-yard touchdown pass to Cedrick Wilson early in the fourth quarter.
Titans 34, Dolphins 3
D’Onta Foreman rushed 26 times for 132 yards and one touchdown Sunday as host Tennessee clinched the AFC South title with a victory over Miami in Nashville.
Ryan Tannehill completed 13 of 18 passes for 120 yards and two touchdowns as the Titans (11-5) won their second straight division title and snapped the Dolphins’ seven-game winning streak. The Titans have made the playoffs in all three years since Tannehill arrived in a trade with the Dolphins.
For Miami (8-8), Tua Tagovailoa completed 18 of 38 passes for 205 yards with an interception. He took four sacks and fumbled three times, losing one.
Patriots 50, Jaguars 10
Mac Jones passed for 227 yards and three touchdowns as New England bounced back from back-to-back losses to clinch a playoff berth by routing Jacksonville in Foxborough, Mass.
Jones’ second TD pass of the game was his 20th of the season, breaking a tie with Jim Plunkett in 1971 for the most by a rookie quarterback in franchise history. Jones completed 22 of 30 passes in the victory.
New England (10-6) clinched its 12th playoff berth in 13 seasons following Miami’s loss to Tennessee. Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence finished 17-of-27 passing for 193 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions — giving the reigning No. 1 overall pick an NFL-leading 17 picks. Jacksonville is 2-14.
Rams 20, Ravens 19
Los Angeles moved a step closer to an NFC West title, overcoming miscues, infighting and a desperate opponent to rally for a win over host Baltimore.
Cooper Kupp and Odell Beckham Jr. had TD receptions, with Beckham’s go-ahead score coming with 57 seconds remaining as Los Angeles extended its winning streak to five games. Because the Arizona Cardinals defeated the Dallas Cowboys, the Rams were prevented from clinching a third NFC West title in the past five seasons.
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford was 26-of-35 passing for 309 yards and two touchdowns, but also had two interceptions, one of which was returned for a Ravens touchdown. Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley returned from the reserve-COVID list to go 20 of 32 for 197 yards and an interception as Baltimore lost its fifth consecutive game to put its playoff hopes on life support.
Eagles 20, Washington 16
Jalen Hurts led a second-half rally and Rodney McLeod made the game-clinching interception with 24 seconds left as visiting Philadelphia came from behind for a win over the Washington Football Team in Landover, Md.
Hurts completed 17 of 26 passes for 214 yards as Philadelphia (9-7) kept its hold on a wild-card spot in the NFC. The Eagles can capture a playoff berth with a win Sunday at home against Dallas. Washington was eliminated from postseason contention.
Taylor Heinicke completed 27 of 36 passes for 247 yards to lead Washington (6-10). Heinicke led a drive in the closing minutes that reached the Philadelphia 30. But on a first-down play, McLeod made a diving catch in the end zone of a Heinicke pass intended for John Bates.
Saints 18, Panthers 10
New Orleans finally scored a touchdown on Alvin Kamara’s fourth-quarter reception and it held on to defeat visiting Carolina.
Brett Maher kicked four field goals to push the Saints into the lead by early in the third quarter. It was mostly defense that boosted the Saints (8-8), who needed to win in order to keep their postseason hopes alive. New Orleans had seven sacks with 3.5 coming from Cameron Jordan.
The Panthers (5-11), who didn’t score in the second half, have lost six games in a row. Taysom Hill threw the 12-yard touchdown pass to Kamara and finished with 222 passing yards on 17 of 28 accuracy. He also led the Saints with 45 rushing yards. Marquez Callaway made six catches for 97 yards.
Chargers 34, Broncos 13
Justin Herbert was 22-of-31 for 237 yards passing and two touchdowns and Austin Ekeler ran for a score as host Los Angeles beat Denver.
Drew Lock was 18-of-25 for 245 yards passing and a score, and Noah Fant had six catches for 92 yards and a touchdown for the Broncos (7-9), who were eliminated from postseason contention.
Ekeler got the Chargers — who remain in the playoff hunt at 9-7 — on the board with a 3-yard touchdown run just 3:11 into the game, making it 7-0. Los Angeles broke it open when Andre Roberts returned a fourth quarter kickoff 101 yards for a touchdown and a 27-6 lead.
49ers 23, Texans 7
Stepping in for injured Jimmy Garoppolo, rookie Trey Lance won his first game as an NFL starting quarterback, throwing second-half touchdown passes to Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel to defeat Houston at Santa Clara, Calif.
With a sixth win in their last eight games, San Francisco (9-7) retained their hold on an NFC wild-card playoff spot with one game remaining. San Francisco will finish the regular season on the road next week against the Rams.
The Texans (4-12), who scored first on an 8-yard TD pass from Davis Mills to Brandin Cooks and led 7-3 at halftime, saw a two-game winning streak come to an end. They close the season at home next week against the Tennessee Titans.
Seahawks 51, Lions 29
Rashaad Penny rushed for a career-high 170 yards and DK Metcalf made three touchdown receptions as Seattle defeated visiting Detroit.
Russell Wilson, playing in a rare meaningless game in his 10-year NFL career, completed 20 of 29 passes for 236 yards and four scores for the Seahawks (6-10). His TD total included a 1-yard TD pass to Tyler Lockett.
Detroit’s Tim Boyle made his second consecutive start for the injured Jared Goff (knee) at quarterback. Boyle was 22-of-37 passing for 262 yards and two touchdowns, with three interceptions.
Bears 29, Giants 3
David Montgomery scored the first of his two rushing touchdowns 18 seconds in as Chicago forced four turnovers and routed visiting New York.
Montgomery scored a pair of 2-yard TDs and finished with 64 yards on 22 carries as the Bears (6-10) won their second straight game. Andy Dalton returned from a groin injury and made his sixth start as rookie Justin Fields was inactive for the second straight game with an ankle injury.
New York’s only points came on a 38-yard field goal by Graham Gano with 7:45 remaining in the first half. The Giants, 4-12, were held to 10 points or less for the third straight game.
Bills 29, Falcons 15
On a snowy afternoon in Buffalo, Devin Singletary scored two second-half touchdowns as the Bills retained their lead in the AFC East race with a victory over visiting Atlanta.
With the win, Buffalo (10-6) remains tied with New England atop the AFC East but owns the tiebreaker edge on the Patriots. The Bills can capture their second straight division title with a win next week at home against the New York Jets.
On a day when Atlanta (7-9) intercepted Josh Allen three times, Singletary rushed 23 times for 110 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 6-yard run in the third quarter. Allen followed with a 2-point conversion pass to Cole Beasley for a 22-15 Buffalo lead.
Raiders 23, Colts 20
Daniel Carlson converted a 33-yard field goal as time expired, lifting Las Vegas to a win over host Indianapolis.
The Colts (9-7) tied the score on Michael Badgley’s 41-yard field goal with 1:56 left, but Las Vegas (9-7) drove 60 yards in 10 plays to set up Carlson’s second game-winner during its three-game winning streak that’s kept its AFC playoff hopes alive.
Indianapolis’ Derek Carr completed 24 of 31 passes for 255 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. NFL rushing leader Jonathan Taylor did his part for Indianapolis with 108 yards and a touchdown in 20 carries.
–Field Level Media