NFL roundup: Chiefs clinch AFC West crown; Bills defeat Steelers
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs overcame a 30-yard sack, four turnovers and a 10-point deficit Sunday to clinch their fifth consecutive AFC West title by beating Miami 33-27 on Sunday.
Mahomes was picked off three times, his first multi-interception game in more than two years, but threw for 393 yards and two scores to help the Chiefs (12-1) earn their eighth consecutive victory.
Tyreek Hill ran through the Dolphins’ secondary and behind it, scoring on a 32-yard run and a 44-yard reception when Mahomes hit him in stride at the goal line.
Travis Kelce had eight catches for 136 yards and a touchdown, Mecole Hardman scored untouched on a 67-yard punt return, and Kansas City’s defense was stout against Tua Tagovailoa and the Dolphins’ injury-riddled offense. Chris Jones sacked the rookie for a safety for a 30-10 lead.
The Chargers finally find some late-game magic as Michael Badgley kicks a 43-yard field goal as time expires in a 20-17 win over the Atlanta Falcons.
Kansas City reached 12 wins for the third consecutive season, the longest streak in club history, and has the best 13-game record in franchise history. The Chiefs set a team record with their 10th road win in a row.
The Dolphins (8-5) hurt their playoff prospects by losing for only the second time in the past nine games. Tagovailoa passed for 316 yards and two scores to Mike Gesicki, but also threw his first career interception, which came on his 154th attempt on a long pass that deflected off receiver Jakeem Grant.
Bills 26, Steelers 15
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes and safety Taron Johnson returned an interception 51 yards for a score in the win for Buffalo.
The Bills won for the sixth time in seven outings, and inched closer to claiming their first AFC East title since 1995 and third playoff berth in four seasons. Buffalo can clinch both as early as Monday night if Baltimore loses to Cleveland.
The AFC North-leading Steelers (11-2) have lost consecutive games in six days following a 23-17 loss to Washington, and dropped a game behind the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs (12-1). Pittsburgh was still able to clinch its first playoff berth in three years before kickoff by virtue of the Miami Dolphins’ 33-27 loss to Kansas City earlier in the day.
The Bills have won at least 10 of their first 13 games of a season for the first time since 1991.
Allen broke the game open by throwing touchdown passes 3:21 apart on Buffalo’s first two drives of the second half to put Buffalo ahead 23-7.
Packers 31, Lions 24
DETROIT — Aaron Rodgers ran for a tiebreaking score in the third quarter and threw three touchdown passes and the Packers clinched the NFC North title.
The Packers (10-3) knocked Matthew Stafford out of the game with a rib injury in the fourth quarter and went on to win their third straight game and second straight division championship. The Packers clinched the division with the win and Minnesota’s loss to Tampa Bay earlier in the day.
The Packers’ win combined with the Saints’ loss in Philadelphia gives Green Bay the top seed in the NFC. The teams are both 10-3, but the Packers beat the Saints earlier this season.
Detroit (5-8) scored first and pulled into a tie late in the second quarter, but simply couldn’t stop Rodgers. The two-time MVP completed his first eight passes for 119 yards and two scores. Rodgers finished 26 of 33 for 290 yards, three TDs and did not throw an interception for a third straight game. He ran 6 yards, untouched, to put the Packers ahead 21-14 for his 30th career rushing TD to break Tobin Rote’s team record for a quarterback.
Green Bay receiver Davante Adams also broke a franchise record. He extended his touchdown reception streak to eight games, turning a short pass from Rodgers into a 56-yard TD in the first quarter. Adams broke the franchise record set by Hall of Famer Don Hutson, who had a pair of seven-game streaks in the 1940s. He finished with seven catches for 115 yards and Green Bay tight end Robert Tonyan had his ninth TD reception of the season.
Stafford went toward the team’s locker room in the fourth, returned to the field to throw some passes, then retreated out of view again.
Eagles 24, Saints 21
PHILADELPHIA — Jalen Hurts ran for 106 yards and threw for 167 and one touchdown, Miles Sanders had 115 yards rushing and a pair of scores. The Eagles (4-8-1) snapped a four-game losing streak and stayed within reach in the woeful NFC East.
The Saints (10-3) had won nine in a row and were 8-0 over the past two seasons without Drew Brees before running into the inspired Eagles. The loss dropped the Saints to the No. 2 seed in the NFC behind Green Bay, but they already have secured a playoff berth.
Hurts was 17 of 30 in his first career start after replacing Carson Wentz. He fumbled late in the fourth quarter. The 2019 Heisman Trophy runner-up began the season as the third-string quarterback. He was elevated to backup in Week 2 and took a few snaps each week until Wentz was benched during a 30-16 loss at Green Bay last Sunday.
Taysom Hill was 28 of 38 for 291 yards, two TDs, one interception and was sacked five times by Philly.
Sanders brook loose for an 82-yard TD run in the second quarter, giving the Eagles a 17-0 lead. It was the fourth-longest run in franchise history. Sanders has three runs of 70-plus yards since October. He had a 74-yard TD run against Pittsburgh and a 74-yard run against Baltimore.
Washington 23, 49ers 15
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Rookies Chase Young and Kamren Curl scored defensive touchdowns and Washington grabbed sole possession of first place in the NFC East.
Washington (6-7) has won four straight games and is one game ahead of the New York Giants. It is Washington’s first four-game winning streak since 2016.
Washington can thank its young, impressive defense for this win. The team took a 13-7 lead at halftime after Young scooped up a fumble, shook off a tackle and ran 47 yards down the left sideline for a touchdown with 1:11 left in the second quarter. It was Young’s first professional touchdown.
Even at 264 pounds, the No. 2 overall pick easily outran the San Francisco offense into the end zone, palming the football in his left hand as he cruised past the pylon.
Curl delivered Washington’s next huge moment on the final play of the third quarter. He snagged a pass from Nick Mullens and ran 76 yards the other way for a 23-7 advantage. Curl was the team’s seventh-round pick this year.
Washington is the first team to get defensive touchdowns from two rookies in the same game since the Rams against the Texans in 2013.
The game was in Arizona because of coronavirus restrictions in the 49ers’ home county of Santa Clara. The 49ers (5-8) have lost five of their past six games.
Colts 44, Raiders 27
LAS VEGAS — T.Y. Hilton caught two touchdown passes from Philip Rivers and Jonathan Taylor rushed for a career-best 150 yards and two scores.
Rivers passed for 244 yards and Taylor had a key 62-yard TD run for the Colts (9-4), who racked up 456 total yards while scoring on seven of their first eight drives in their fourth victory in five games.
Safety Khari Willis clinched the win with a 53-yard interception return for his first career touchdown with 5:22 to play. Indianapolis stayed securely in one of the conference’s wild-card spots and remained atop the AFC South alongside Tennessee, which has a better divisional record for now.
Derek Carr passed for 316 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Raiders (7-6), who have lost three of four after a strong start to their relocation season. Foster Moreau and Nelson Agholor made TD catches in the first half, but the offense couldn’t keep up while Indianapolis marched up and down the field to little resistance.
Seahawks 40, Jets 3
SEATTLE — Russell Wilson threw four more touchdowns passes to give him a career-high with 36 for the season before finally resting in the fourth quarter.
Seattle (9-4) rebounded exactly as it hoped after last week’s surprisingly poor offensive performance in its loss to the New York Giants, and stayed even with the Los Angeles Rams on top of the NFC West.
Wilson threw touchdowns to Freddie Swain and DK Metcalf in the first half, and added TD tosses to Will Dissly and David Moore in the third quarter. It was his fifth game this season with at least four TD passes. Metcalf commandeered a TV broadcast camera as part of his TD celebration after catching a 5-yard TD in the second quarter, his 10th of the season.
Wilson finished 21 of 27 for 206 yards and checked out late in the third quarter, giving way to former Jets QB Geno Smith for his first action since joining Seattle last season.
For the Jets, it was another miserable day in their forgettable season. Days after firing defensive coordinator Gregg Williams after the collapse at the end of last week’s loss to Las Vegas, the Jets (0-13) showed little resistance on defense and little excitement on offense as they lost their franchise-record 13th straight.
Buccaneers 26, Vikings 14
TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns. Brady tossed TD passes of 48 yards to Scotty Miller and 2 yards to Rob Gronkowski to rebound from losing two straight home games entering Tampa Bay’s bye. Ronald Jones had a 1-yard TD run and Ryan Succop kicked field goals of 18 and 48 yards.
The Bucs (8-5) lost three of four games to division title contenders leading into last week’s bye, including a pair of 27-24 losses at home to the Rams and reigning Super Bowl champion Chiefs. They entered Sunday holding the sixth playoff spot in the NFC, with the Vikings (6-7) nipping at their heels after winning five of six following a 1-5 start.
Tampa Bay sacked Kirk Cousins six times, the last producing a fumble that ended any chance of a rally in the closing minutes. Cousins finished 24 of 37 passing for 225 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. Dalvin Cook rushed for 102 yards on 22 carries, but Minnesota chances were undermined by another poor performance by kicker Dan Bailey, who missed an extra point and three field goals.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell sat in the stands, wearing a face covering. The Super Bowl will be held at Raymond James Stadium on Feb. 7.
Cardinals 26, Giants 7
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Haason Reddick had a franchise-record five sacks and three forced fumbles as the Cardinals spoiled the return of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones and moved back into an NFC playoff spot.
Kyler Murray added a touchdown pass as Arizona (7-6) snapped a three-game skid and ended a four-game winning streak that had moved the Giants (5-8) to the top of the NFC East.
Mike Nugent came off the practice squad and added his first four field goals in more than a year, and Kenyan Drake scored on a 1-yard dive as Arizona won for only the second time in six games.
The Cardinals finished with eight sacks. Reddick broke the team mark of 4 1/2 by Curtis Greer on Dec. 18, 1983 against the Eagles
Murray went 24 of 35 for 244 yards and ran 13 times for 47. DeAndre Hopkins had nine catches for 136 yards.
Titans 31, Jaguars 10
JACKSONVILLE, Tenn. — Derrick Henry ran for 215 yards and two touchdowns, his best performance in five trips to his hometown area, and the Titans handed the Jaguars a 12th consecutive loss. It was Henry’s fourth game with at least 200 yards and two scores, setting an NFL record he previously shared with Hall of Famers Jim Brown, Barry Sanders and LaDainian Tomlinson.
Henry also topped the century mark for the ninth consecutive road game, leaving him one shy of the NFL mark set by Sanders over the 1996 and 1997 seasons.
Enjoying a big performance about 25 miles from his hometown of Yulee was something new for Henry. He hadn’t reached triple digits rushing in any of his four previous games in Jacksonville. He managed just 13 yards as a rookie in 2016, followed by outings of 92, 57 and 44 yards in front of friends and family.
He didn’t even need a full half to surpass all those outings Sunday against the Jaguars (1-12).
Henry had 170 yards on 17 carries in the first 30 minutes, including a 36-yard touchdown run. He added a 47-yard scamper early in the third as the Titans (9-4) started to pull away.
Jaguars running back James Robinson became the first rookie in NFL history to top 1,000 yards in the first 14 weeks of a season. He also became the fourth undrafted rookie in NFL history to reach 1,000 yards rushing, joining Indianapolis’ Dominic Rhodes (1,104 in 2001), Denver’s Phillip Lindsay (1,037 in 2018) and Tampa Bay’s LeGarrette Blount (1,007 in 2010).
Cowboys 30, Bengals 7
CINCINNATI — Andy Dalton was good enough in his return to Cincinnati, tossing two touchdown passes. Cincinnati greatly contributed to the cause of its longtime quarterback, who was playing in Paul Brown Stadium for the first time since he was cast aside by the team before the season. The Bengals fumbled the ball away on their first three drives, one fumble returned for a touchdown, and leading to 17 first-half points by the Cowboys (4-9). That was all they needed.
Dalton was serviceable, going 16 for 23 for 185 yards, as the Cowboys stayed in contention in the weak NFC East. He threw an 11-yard, second-quarter touchdown to Amari Cooper, and hit Tony Pollard for a 7-yard score with 2:00 left in the game.
On the first Cincinnati drive, running back Giovani Bernard fumbled for the first time in 830 carries, leading to a Dallas field goal. The Bengals were driving on the next series when running back Trayveon Williams’ fumble was recovered by linebacker Aldon Smith and returned 78 yards for a touchdown.
Broncos 32, Panthers 27
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Drew Lock threw for 280 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, and Diontae Spencer returned a punt 83 yards for his first career score.
Lock connected on touchdown throws of 49 and 37 yards to rookie KJ Hamler and also threw scoring strikes to Nick Vannett and Tim Patrick to help the Broncos snap a two-game slide. Hamler, the team’s second-round draft pick, twice beat veteran cornerback Rasul Douglas for touchdowns.
The Broncos (5-8) sacked Teddy Bridgewater four times, including one by Dre’Mont Jones on Carolina’s final possession in which the Panthers turned over the ball on downs.
Bridgewater threw for 283 yards for the Panthers (4-9), who have lost seven of their last eight.
Bears 36, Texans 7
CHICAGO — Mitchell Trubisky threw three touchdown passes to outplay Deshaun Watson in their first meeting since they entered the NFL, and the Bears snapped a six-game losing streak.
David Montgomery ran for an 80-yard touchdown on Chicago’s first play from scrimmage, helping the Bears stopped their worst skid since the 2002 team dropped eight in a row to match a franchise record. The Bears (6-7) sacked Watson seven times, including a safety by Khalil Mack, to tie a career high for the Texans quarterback.
General manager Ryan Pace’s decision to draft Trubisky with the No. 2 overall pick in 2017 when he could have gone with Watson or Patrick Mahomes drew even more attention than usual during the week. But on Sunday at least, Chicago’s quarterback delivered.
Trubisky buried the Texans (4-9) in the first half, throwing for three TDs as the Bears grabbed a 30-7 lead. Facing one of the NFL’s worst defenses, he completed 24 of 33 passes for 267 yards. He had a 126.7 rating in his third start since returning to the lineup with Nick Foles (hip and glute) injured.
Montgomery tied the fourth-longest run in franchise history and finished with a season-high 113 yards on 11 carries.
Allen Robinson caught nine passes for 123 yards, matching a season high and giving him 1,027 for the season. It’s the second straight year he has reached 1,000 yards.
Get our high school sports newsletter
Prep Rally is devoted to the SoCal high school sports experience, bringing you scores, stories and a behind-the-scenes look at what makes prep sports so popular.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.