Ravens Down Bills, Clinch AFC Playoff Berth
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Lamar Jackson threw three touchdown passes and the Baltimore Ravens became the AFC’s first team to clinch a playoff berth following a 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Baltimore extended its franchise-best winning streak to nine and improved to 11-2, its best record through 13 games in team history.
Jackson finished 16 of 25 for 145 yards and appeared to blow open the game by putting the Ravens up 24-9 following a 4-yard touchdown pass to Willie Snead with 9:49 left.
Buffalo’s Josh Allen responded with a seven-play, 78-yard touchdown drive capped by his 3-yard pass to Cole Beasley, who dived inside the left pylon. The same two then hooked up on a 2-point conversion.
The outcome wasn’t decided until there were 63 seconds remaining. Facing fourth-and-8 at the Baltimore 16, Allen’s pass over the middle intended for John Brown was broken up by Marcus Peters at the goal line.
Jackson upped his record to 17-3 since being selected with the final pick of the first round in the 2018 draft. Allen, drafted with the seventh pick overall, dropped to 14-10.
Buffalo (9-4) had a three-game winning streak snapped, and fell short 10 days since grabbing national attention following a 26-15 win at Dallas on Thanksgiving Day.
CHIEFS 23, PATRIOTS 16
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Kansas City clinched the AFC West when Bashaud Breeland knocked away Tom Brady’s fourth-down pass attempt to Julian Edelman in the end zone.
The Chiefs survived a series of mistakes and questionable calls by the officials to hold off the Patriots. Combined with Oakland’s loss to Tennessee, the Chiefs (9-4) took their division. And the loss ended the Patriots’ 21-game home win streak in the regular season and playoffs, which was tied for the longest in team history. It also was the third-longest string in NFL history.
New England (10-3) has lost two in a row.
Patrick Mahomes was 26 of 40 for 283 yards, a touchdown and interception. Travis Kelce added a 10-yard TD run. Brady was under pressure all night and finished 19 of 36 for 169 yards, a touchdown and interception.
Trailing 23-16, New England got the ball back on their 32 with 5:04 to play. The Patriots immediately gained 35 yards on a pass from halfback James White to Jakobi Meyers to get into Kansas City territory. Officials appeared to miss a clear pass interference call on a deep pass to Phillip Dorsett and the Chiefs forced a fourth-and-6 at the 29.
But the 42-year-old Brady got free and scrambled 17 yards for a first down.
The Patriots couldn’t get into the end zone, however, losing the rematch of January’s AFC title game.
49ERS 48, SAINTS 46
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Jimmy Garoppolo passed for 349 yards and four touchdowns, Robbie Gould kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired. Garoppolo’s clutch completion to tight end George Kittle for a 39-yard gain — plus a defensive facemask penalty — on fourth-and-2 from the San Francisco 33 helped set up Gould’s winning kick.
The Saints took their last lead on Drew Brees’ fifth touchdown pass of the game — an 18-yarder to Tre’Quan Smith with 53 seconds left. But Brees’ pass on an attempted 2-point conversion fell incomplete, leaving New Orleans’ lead at one point.
TITANS 42, RAIDERS 21
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Ryan Tannehill threw for 391 yards and three touchdowns, Derrick Henry ran for two scores and the Titans won their fourth straight game.
The Titans (8-5) bounced back from a deflected interception on the opening drive to score TDs on five of their next seven possessions to improve to 6-1 with Tannehill as the starting quarterback. The win moved them into a tie for first place in the AFC South with Houston, with the teams set to meet twice in the final three weeks.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Philip Rivers threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns, including an 84-yarder to Austin Ekeler that was the longest completion of the quarterback’s 16-year NFL career.
It was Jacksonville’s fifth consecutive lopsided loss, all by at least 17 points. The 1986 Tampa Bay Buccaneers were the last NFL team to drop five straight by at least 17.
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Jones rushed for a season-high 134 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries. Jones had his third 100-yard rushing game of the season and hauled in six catches for 58 yards. With fewer than three minutes left in the game, the third-year running back had more total yards (192) than the Redskins (187).
Adrian Peterson became the sixth back in NFL history to reach the 14,000-yard mark, running for 76 yards and a score. He now has 14,036 yards in a 13-year career. Curtis Martin is fifth all-time with 14,101 yards.
TAMPA, Fla (AP) — Jameis Winston threw for 456 yards and four touchdowns, helping the Buccaneers rally to beat the reeling Colts.
Winston overcame throwing three more interceptions and having one returned for a TD for the fifth time season to wipe out a 14-point second-half deficit. He led the Bucs (6-7) to their third straight win and fourth in five games.
ATLANTA (AP) — Matt Ryan threw the longest touchdown pass of his career and became the 10th quarterback in NFL history to reach 50,000 yards.
The Panthers (5-8) were officially eliminated from playoff contention with their fifth straight loss, which ruined the debut of interim coach Perry Fewell. He took over after longtime coach Ron Rivera was fired.
BRONCOS 38, TEXANS 24
HOUSTON (AP) — Rookie Drew Lock threw for 309 yards and three touchdowns, Kareem Jackson had an interception and returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown against his former team.
Lock, who made his NFL debut in a win over the Chargers last week, threw for 235 yards with three TDs in the first half. It was the most yards passing in a first half by the Broncos since Peyton Manning had 282 in Week 5 of 2014.
JETS 22, DOLPHINS 21
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Sam Ficken kicked a 44-yard field goal as time expired after New York benefited from a pass interference call determined by the league’s officiating office.
VIKINGS 20, LIONS 7
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Danielle Hunter had three of Minnesota’s five sacks to spearhead a resurgence by the defense to stick the Lions with their sixth straight loss.
Kirk Cousins passed for 242 yards and a touchdown in an efficient if unspectacular performance. Dalvin Cook had 75 yards from scrimmage and a rushing score on 20 touches over three quarters as the Vikings (9-4) took it easy on their star tailback after an injury to his collarbone area forced him out of the previous game.
RAMS 28, SEAHAWKS 12
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Jared Goff passed for 293 yards and two touchdowns, Todd Gurley ran for 79 yards and a fourth-quarter TD and the Los Angeles Rams prevented the Seattle Seahawks from clinching a playoff berth .
Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp caught TD passes while the Rams (8-5) kept their playoff hopes burning and ended the Seahawks’ five-game winning streak.
With an aggressive, inventive game plan on both sides of the ball, Los Angeles recaptured a measure of the excitement from its previous two seasons on offense while also playing superb defense against Russell Wilson, who was sacked five times.
The Rams won for the fifth time in seven games, while the Seahawks (10-3) fell out of first place in the NFC West with just their second loss since Sept. 22 and their first road defeat of the season.
Wilson passed for 245 yards amid constant pressure from the Rams. Quandre Diggs returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown early in the third quarter, but it was the Seahawks’ only touchdown.