×

Texans Edge Titans To Take Control of AFC South

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) passes as he is pressured by Tennessee Titans inside linebacker Rashaan Evans (54) in the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 15, 2019, in Nashville, Tenn. The Texans won 24-21. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Houston Texans grabbed control of the AFC South by beating the Tennessee Titans 24-21 Sunday.

The defending division champs are looking for Houston’s fourth AFC South title in six years under coach Bill O’Brien. The Titans haven’t won this division since 2008, and Mike Vrabel is Tennessee’s third coach since then.

Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked a 29-yard field goal with 3:26 left for the winning points.

The Texans (9-5) nearly blew a 14-0 halftime lead. Deshaun Watson threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns, but Tennessee also intercepted him twice inside the Titans 1.

The Titans (8-6) snapped a four-game win streak with only their second loss in seven games. Now they will need help in the final two games to earn their second playoff berth in three seasons.

When the Titans tied it at 14 early in the fourth quarter, the Texans scored 10 straight points. Carlos Hyde ran for a 10-yard TD, then Fairbairn’s field goal finished Houston’s scoring.

PACKERS 21, BEARS 13

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Aaron Jones ran for two scores, Davante Adams caught another in the 200th edition of he NFL’s oldest rivalry.

With the win, the Packers (11-3) clinched a playoff spot and swept the regular-season series between the teams for the 15th time in the last 26 seasons and the seventh time in the last 11 seasons. Green Bay defeated Chicago 10-3 in the season opener.

Green Bay now leads the all-time series 99-95-6. The Bears (7-7) saw their three-game win streak end.

PATRIOTS 34, BENGALS 13

CINCINNATI (AP) — Tom Brady threw a pair of touchdown passes to move within one of the NFL career record, Stephon Gilmore returned one of his two interceptions 64 yards for a score, and the Patriots clinched a playoff berth.

A week that started with intrigue — a Patriots crew videotaping the Bengals’ sideline in Cleveland — concluded with more New England history. The Patriots have made the playoffs 11 consecutive seasons, extending their NFL record.

Brady had touchdown passes of 23 and 7 yards that left him with 538 for his career, one shy of Peyton Manning’s record.

CHIEFS 23, BRONCOS 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Patrick Mahomes threw for 340 yards and two touchdowns, and Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce were on the receiving end of many of his biggest throws, as the AFC West champions romped to remain in the hunt for the No. 2 playoff seed and a potential first-round bye.

Like a bunch of kids getting a snow day from school, the Chiefs enjoyed every minute of it.

Hill caught five passes for 67 yards and both scores, and Kelce hauled in 11 catches for 142 yards to become the first tight end in NFL history with four consecutive 1,000-yard receiving seasons, helping the Chiefs (10-4) beat the Broncos for the ninth straight time. Denver (5-9) hasn’t won in Kansas City since Sept. 17, 2015.

COWBOYS 44, RAMS 21

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dak Prescott threw two touchdown passes and Ezekiel Elliott ran for two scores. The Cowboys (7-7) ended their second three-game losing streak of the season, and the defending NFC East champions stayed even with Philadelphia atop the division with a showdown looming next week.

The defending NFC champion Rams (8-6), who already needed help to get into the playoffs, didn’t help themselves with another poor showing a week after their most impressive game of the season in a win over Seattle.

FALCONS 29, 49ERS 22

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Matt Ryan teamed with Julio Jones on a 5-yard pass that was ruled a touchdown after a replay reversal with 2 seconds left. Jones was called short of the goal line with the Falcons (5-9) trailing 22-17. But a replay showed the ball breaking the plane with the Jones in the air while being tackled by Jimmie Ward.

When things couldn’t get crazier, they did: On the final kickoff, Atlanta scored another touchdown when Olamide Zaccheaus came up with the ball as the 49ers were tossing it around in desperation.

The 49ers (11-3) still clinched their first playoff berth since a 2013 run to the NFC championship game with the Rams’ loss at Dallas.

VIKINGS 39, CHARGERS 10

CARSON, Calif, (AP) — Dan Bailey kicked four field goals and Ifeadi Odenigbo scored Minnesota’s second defensive touchdown in three games.

Los Angeles led 10-9 midway through the second quarter before Minnesota scored 30 unanswered points. The Chargers (5-9), who have dropped four of their last five, committed seven turnovers, their most since having seven against the Giants in 1986. The seven turnovers resulted in 20 Minnesota points.

SEAHAWKS 30, PANTHERS 24

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Russell Wilson threw for 286 yards and two touchdowns, Chris Carson ran for 133 yards and two scores.

The Seahawks (11-3) wrapped up a postseason berth for the seventh time in the last eight seasons with a Rams loss at Dallas. They also tied San Francisco for the NFC West lead.

It was the 100th regular season win for Seahawks coach Pete Carroll.

EAGLES 37, REDSKINS 27

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — Carson Wentz recovered from a late fumble by leading a 75-yard, go-ahead scoring drive and throwing his third touchdown pass of the day to keep the Eagles’ NFC East hopes on track.

Wentz threw TD passes to running back Miles Sanders, tight end Zach Ertz and receiver Greg Ward and was 30 of 43 for 266 yards. The 4-yard pass from Wentz to Ward with 26 seconds left put Philadelphia up for good and electrified a stadium full of green-clad Eagles fans.

JAGUARS 20, RAIDERS 16

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Gardner Minshew threw two TD passes to Chris Conley in the final 5:15 of the game and the Jaguars spoiled the final scheduled game at the Oakland Coliseum.

The Raiders (6-8) broke out to a 16-3 lead and appeared comfortably ahead before falling apart in the closing minutes to put a damper on an already somber day in Oakland.

The Jaguars (5-9) drove 79 yards to draw within 16-13 on Minshew’s 6-yard TD pass to Conley.

GIANTS 36, DOLPHINS 20

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning threw two touchdowns in what might have been his final home start for the Giants and New York snapped a franchise record-tying nine-game losing streak.

Saquon Barkley ran for 112 yards and scored two walk-in touchdowns and New York’s much-maligned defense added a safety as the Giants (3-11) handed the Dolphins (3-11) their second loss in as many weeks at MetLife Stadium.

Manning, who lost his starting job to first-round draft pick Daniel Jones in Week 3 and got it back last week when the rookie sprained an ankle, threw a 51-yard scoring pass to Golden Tate in the second quarter. He threw a go-ahead 5-yarder to Darius Slayton on the opening series of the second half. BUCCANEERS 38, LIONS 17

DETROIT (AP) — Jameis Winston became the first player in NFL history to throw for 450 yards in consecutive games. Winston threw three touchdowns in the first half — four overall — and a career-high 458 yards one week after throwing for 456 yards.

The Buccaneers (7-7) have won four straight and five of six, but their surge started too late for them to get in the playoffs race.

Detroit (3-10-1) has dropped seven games in a row and 10 of 11, increasing the scrutiny of embattled coach Matt Patricia.

The Lions looked like they were still competing for their coach, and themselves, after falling behind 21-0 in the first half. Running back Wes Hills, signed Saturday, ran for a second TD early in the fourth quarter to cut Tampa Bay’s lead to 24-17.

The comeback hopes ended with a thud.

Sean Murphy-Bunting returned an interception 70 yards for a score and a 14-point lead. Winston followed with his fourth TD pass, connecting with Breshad Perriman for a third time.

——

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP–NFL

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press.

NEWSLETTER

Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

COMMENTS

Starting at $4.39/week.

Subscribe Today