Sunday's NFL capsules
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) Facing an opponent with nothing to play for, the Washington Redskins blew their chance to make the playoffs with an uninspired 19-10 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday.
The Redskins would have made the playoffs with a win as long as the Green Bay Packers-Detroit Lions night game didn't end in a tie. Instead, Kirk Cousins was intercepted twice in the second half by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Washington (8-7-1) goes into an offseason filled with questions.
The Packers and Lions each qualified as a result of the Redskins' loss to New York (11-5), which will be the first wild card. Eli Manning played the entire game, going 17 of 27 for 180 yards despite the Giants opting for a conservative approach for much of the second half.
Cousins finished 22 of 35 for 285 yards and a touchdown, but more importantly the interceptions in the third and fourth quarters. Fittingly the game ended with another Washington turnover when tight end Jordan Reed's attempted lateral turned into a Giants touchdown.
CHIEFS 37, BRONCOS 27
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Alex Smith threw for two touchdowns and ran for another, and the Chiefs clinched the AFC West title and a first-round playoff bye in perhaps the final NFL game in San Diego.
The Chiefs (12-4) took the division with the win and Oakland's loss at Denver.
San Diego fired coach Mike McCoy after the game.
Smith, who went to nearby Helix High in La Mesa, scored on a 5-yard scramble early in the second quarter to tie the game at 10. He threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to wide-open Charcandrick West later in the quarter to put the Chiefs ahead for good. That followed the first of two interceptions of Philip Rivers that led to 10 points for the Chiefs.
Smith was intercepted once, on a deflected pass that Jahleel Addae returned 90 yards for a touchdown to pull the Chargers (5-11) to 20-17 in the third quarter.
Smith came right back and threw a 2-yard scoring pass to West, who again was wide open.
Chargers chairman Dean Spanos has until Jan. 15 to decide whether to move the team to the Los Angeles area and join the Rams in a stadium scheduled to open in Inglewood in 2019.
BRONCOS 24, RAIDERS 6
DENVER (AP) - In a game that couldn't have gone much worse, Oakland lost its latest starting quarterback, Matt McGloin, to a shoulder injury, then fell to a team with nothing to play for.
Several Denver players say coach Gary Kubiak will be stepping down for health reasons.
Combined with Kansas City's win over San Diego, the Raiders (12-4) squandered the AFC West title and the first-round bye that went with it - and instead fell to the No. 5 seed.
Now, they are a wild card with a rookie third-stringer, Connor Cook, as their only fully healthy quarterback.
Oakland is at Houston next weekend.
McGloin, who got the start when Derek Carr broke his leg last week, left late in the second quarter. He completed six passes for 21 yards, missing virtually every throw downfield.
Cook was 14 of 21 with a touchdown to Cooper, an interception and a lost fumble against the defending Super Bowl champion Broncos (9-7), who ended a three-game slide.
FALCONS 38, SAINTS 32
ATLANTA (AP) - Matt Ryan bolstered his MVP credentials with a brilliant first half, throwing four touchdown passes to secure a first-round playoff bye.
Ryan was 17 of 19 for 235 yards by halftime, directing the Falcons (11-5) to touchdowns on all five possessions and a commanding 35-13 lead. He finished 27 of 36 for 331 yards, leaving him with a franchise-record 4,944 yards, 38 touchdowns and just seven interceptions this season.
Atlanta is seeded second in the NFC to Dallas.
The Saints (7-9) came into the regular-season finale looking to finish another disappointing season with a three-game winning streak and avoid a third straight losing mark. But they were blitzed early and often by the league's highest-scoring offense.
One consolation for New Orleans: Drew Brees became the first quarterback in league history to throw for 5,000 yards five times. He was 29 of 50 for 350 yards, giving him 5,208 on the season.
His 471 completions this season set an NFL record.
SEAHAWKS 25, 49ERS 23
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) - Russell Wilson threw for 258 yards and a touchdown and the Seahawks rallied from an early 11-point deficit in what could be coach Chip Kelly's final game with the 49ers.
The NFC West champion Seahawks (10-5-1) head to the playoffs as the third seed in the NFC. The Seahawks will host the loser of Sunday night's game between Detroit and Green Bay next week.
The loss capped an awful season for the 49ers (2-14), who matched the franchise record for losses in a season previously reached in 1978, `79 and 2004. San Francisco general manager Trent Baalke told the team's flagship radio station KNBR before the game that he had been fired.
Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin caught two passes for 44 yards, tying the franchise record for catches in a season with 94. Baldwin tied Bobby Engram's mark set in 2007 with an acrobatic 41-yard catch in the second quarter.
PATRIOTS 35, DOLPHINS 14
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) -Tom Brady threw for 276 yards and three scores, and the Patriots clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
New England took a 20-0 lead in the first half, and turned away Miami's comeback bid with the help of a 77-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Julian Edelman and a 69-yard fumble return by linebacker Shea McClellin.
The Patriots (14-2), already assured of a first-round bye, became the ninth team since 1972 to go undefeated on the road during the regular season.
The Dolphins (10-6), beaten for only the second time in the past 11 games, had already earned an AFC wild-card berth. They play their first postseason game since 2008 next weekend at Pittsburgh.
The Patriots had lost their past three games in Miami, and appeared intent from the outset on snapping that streak. By the time they led 20-0, they had advantages of 238 to 30 in yards, and 17 to one in first downs.
STEELERS 27, BROWNS 24
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Steelers backups assured the Browns of the top pick in the 2017 draft.
Landry Jones hit Cobi Hamilton with a 26-yard touchdown with 2:57 left in overtime. The Browns took a lead on Cody Parkey's 34-yard field goal with 7:17 remaining in the extra session.
Jones, who started while the playoff-bound Steelers rested Ben Roethlisberger, took the Steelers 75 yards in nine plays. The last was a pretty lob to the end zone that Hamilton hauled in to give Pittsburgh (11-5) its seventh straight victory.
Jones finished with 277 yards passing and three touchdowns and one interception.
The Steelers will host Miami in the wild-card round next weekend. The Dolphins thumped Pittsburgh 30-15 on Oct. 16.
Isaiah Crowell ran for a career-high 152 yards for the Browns (1-15), who finished with the worst record in franchise history.
The Browns said coach Hue Jackson will return next season.
JETS 30, BILLS 10
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes in what was likely his final game for the Jets.
Despite a 5-11 record, the Jets are making no changes in leadership, meaning both coach Todd Bowles and general manager Mike Maccagnan will remain with the team next season. The team announced the moves after the game.
Bowles is 15-17 in his two-year tenure with New York, which hired him in January 2015 after firing Rex Ryan. Maccagnan is also in his second season with the Jets, and had also been criticized for the team's roster, which likely faces an overhaul this offseason.
The Bills (7-9) also face some uncertainty this offseason after firing coach Rex Ryan earlier in the week and elevating offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn to the interim role. Two other people with direct knowledge of the situation told the AP before the game that Lynn is the clear favorite to take over the job permanently.
TITANS 24, TEXANS 17
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A concussion that sidelined quarterback Tom Savage could have the biggest impact coming out of the Texans' loss.
Savage started for the AFC South champions, left in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion and was cleared. He took a snap to kneel down on the final play of the first half and was diagnosed with a concussion after being re-evaluated at halftime.
That left Brock Osweiler, benched for Savage last month, running the offense. He threw for 253 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a 1-yard TD on fourth-and-goal in the fourth quarter.
Houston (9-7) will host an AFC wild-card game next weekend, possibly with uncertainty at quarterback.
DaQuan Jones recovered a fumble for a touchdown in the first quarter, and the Titans never trailed to finish with their first winning season since 2011.
The Titans (9-7) also ended a five-game skid to the two-time AFC South champs, who had beaten Tennessee eight of the previous nine games in this series. With their six-win improvement from going 3-13 in 2015, the Titans matched the biggest one-year turnaround in franchise history, previously set in 1967 and 1974.
EAGLES 27, COWBOYS 13
PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Tony Romo threw his first touchdown pass in nearly 14 months and the playoff-bound Cowboys played it safe.
The Cowboys (13-3) locked up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs when the Eagles (7-9) beat the Giants on Dec. 22. So Dak Prescott played only two series and Ezekiel Elliott watched from the sideline.
Carson Wentz tossed two TD passes to Zach Ertz to help Philadelphia finish with a two-game winning streak.
Prescott was 4 for 8 for 37 yards before giving way to Romo, who hadn't played in a regular-season game since Thanksgiving 2015 when he broke his left collarbone for the second time in less than three months. Romo broke a bone in his back in the third preseason game against Seattle this season, paving the way for Prescott to have one of the best years by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.
Romo overthrew Terrance Williams on a deep pass on his first play. His first completion was a 16-yarder to Williams on third-and-12. After Dez Bryant drew a pass interference penalty on a deep pass at the Eagles 3, Romo connected with Williams for his first TD pass since Nov. 22, 2015 against Miami.
Romo finished 3 for 4 for 29 yards.
BUCCANEERS 17, PANTHERS 16
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Jameis Winston threw for 202 yards and one touchdown And the Buccaneers broke up Cam Newton's 2-point conversion throw in the closing seconds for their first winning season in six years.
Winston threw a 10-yard pass to Mike Evans to snap a fourth-quarter tie and became the first player in NFL history to start his career with consecutive 4,000-yard seasons.
But the Bucs (9-7) were eliminated from playoff contention, not getting the help they needed in other games for their first berth since 2007.
Winston's franchise record-setting 28th TD pass put the Bucs ahead 17-10 with 3:10 remaining. Newton, however, moved the Panthers (6-10) right down the field, with help of a 47-yard pass to Kelvin Benjamin and two fourth-down completions to set up a 5-yard scoring pass to trim Carolina's deficit to one with 17 seconds left.
The defending NFC champions went for 2 points. Newton's pass intended for tight end Greg Olsen was batted away by safety Bradley McDougald.
VIKINGS 38, BEARS 10
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Sam Bradford concluded his first season with Minnesota with three first-half touchdown passes. Bradford went 25 for 33 for 250 yards and one interception, finishing with a 71.6 percent completion rate to set an NFL single-season record. Drew Brees (71.2 for New Orleans) set the league mark in 2011.
Kyle Rudolph caught 11 passes for 117 yards and a score for the Vikings (8-8), who started 5-0 before stumbling out of their bye week and never recovering.
The Bears (3-13) wound up with their fewest wins in a non-strike year since 1973 after turning the ball over five times. Everson Griffen returned one of their three lost fumbles for a touchdown.
Jordan Howard, the lone bright spot, rushed for 135 yards on 23 carries to break Matt Forte's franchise rookie record and finish with 1,313 yards for the season for Chicago.
COLTS 24, JAGUARS 20
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Andrew Luck threw a 1-yard touchdown pass to Jack Doyle with 9 seconds left. Indy (8-8) went 75 yards in 84 seconds with no timeouts to avoid its first losing season since 2011, sending retiring linebacker Robert Mathis out with a win in his final NFL game.
Jacksonville (3-13) matched the second-worst record in franchise history after blocking a punt with 1:54 to go and breaking a 17-17 tie with 1:33 left.
Instead, Luck took the Colts right downfield for the score.
Mathis extended his league record of strip-sacks to 41 in the fourth quarter, two days after announcing he would retire.
Frank Gore ran 16 times for 62 yards, becoming the fourth player in league history to top 1,000 yards at age 33 or older. He's also the oldest to achieve the milestone since John Riggins in 1984 at age 35, and he's the first Colts to run for 1,000 since Joseph Addai in 2007 - ending the second-longest active streak in the NFL.
BENGALS 27, RAVENS 10
CINCINNATI (AP) - Andy Dalton completed his first 10 passes, one for a touchdown, and Rex Burkhead ran for a pair of scores in the Bengals' fifth straight win at home over the Ravens.
The Bengals (6-9-1) missed the playoffs for the first time in six years, and haven't won a playoff game in 26 years, the sixth-longest streak in NFL history. Coach Marvin Lewis, 0-7 in the postseason, says he'll return in 2017.
Baltimore (8-8) failed to reach the playoffs for the third time in four years. The Ravens played their final game as if they were emotionally hung over from a last-minute loss at Pittsburgh last Sunday that eliminated them.
Ravens receiver Steve Smith caught three passes for 34 yards in what was probably the final game of his remarkable career. The 37-year-old receiver reiterated last week that he's likely retiring. He has 51 games with 100 yards receiving, tied for fourth most in NFL history.
CARDINALS 44, RAMS 6
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Carson Palmer threw touchdown passes to Jeremy Ross, Darren Fells and Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals wrapped up a frustrating season.
Fitzgerald caught five passes and took the overall NFL lead with 107 catches in perhaps his final game for the Cardinals (7-8-1). Arizona missed the playoffs one year after reaching the NFC championship game despite an offense and a defense ranked in the top quarter of the league.
Arizona still finished the year strong with wins over NFC West champion Seattle and Los Angeles (4-12), which has lost seven straight.
The Cardinals' defense sacked Jared Goff seven times and allowed just 122 yards by the Rams, who wrapped up their homecoming season with their worst record since 2011.
David Johnson left the field on a cart in the first quarter with an injured left knee, but Arizona's star running back appeared to be able to put weight on his leg when he returned to watch the second half from the sidelines. Johnson failed to gain 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time in his spectacular season.
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