Quarterback Jalen Hurts returned after a two-game absence, Jake Elliott kicked five field goals and the Philadelphia Eagles finally clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a 22-16 win over the visiting New York Giants on Sunday.
Hurts had missed the last two games, replaced by Gardner Minshew in losses to Dallas and New Orleans, as the Eagles (14-3) failed to secure the top seed. Sunday’s win also locked up the NFC East title for Philadelphia.
Hurts led six scoring drives and the Eagles never trailed the Giants (9-7-1), who had already sewn up the No. 6 seed and opted to rest quarterback Daniel Jones, Pro Bowl running back Saquon Barkley and other starters.
Philadelphia secured a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and also broke a franchise record for wins set in 2004 and 2017 (both 13-3). That 2017 squad also earned the No. 1 seed and went on to win Super Bowl LII.
Bills 35, Patriots 23
Nyheim Hines returned two kickoffs for touchdowns as Buffalo closed the regular season with a victory over New England in Orchard Park, N.Y.
Hines scored from 96 and 101 yards out to become the 11th player in NFL history with two kickoff return touchdowns in the same game. Buffalo (13-3) clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC with the win, and the Patriots (8-9) were eliminated from postseason contention with their loss and Miami’s win over the New York Jets.
The game was the first for the Bills since safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during Monday night’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Seahawks 19, Rams 16 (OT)
Jason Myers kicked four field goals, including a 32-yarder with 4:34 remaining in overtime, as Seattle kept its playoff hopes alive with a victory against visiting Los Angeles.
The Seahawks (9-8) need a Detroit victory or tie Sunday night at Green Bay to earn the NFC’s final wild-card berth. The Seahawks had a chance to win on the final play of regulation, but Myers’ 46-yard field-goal attempt hit the right goal post. Geno Smith completed 19 of 31 passes for 213 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions, both by Jalen Ramsey. Smith finished the regular season with 4,282 yards passing, surpassing Russell Wilson’s team record of 4,219 set in 2016.
The injury-plagued Rams (5-12) capped the worst season by a defending Super Bowl champion. The Rams’ Cam Akers rushed for 104 yards on 21 attempts and Baker Mayfield was 13-of-26 passing for 147 yards and one TD. Matt Gay kicked three field goals for Los Angeles.
Dolphins 11, Jets 6
Jason Sanders made three field goals to help Miami return to the playoffs and beat New York in Miami Gardens, Fla.
The Dolphins (9-8) snapped a five-game losing streak and coupled with Buffalo’s win over the New England Patriots, secured their first playoff berth since 2016. The Jets (7-10), who were already eliminated entering Sunday’s game, lost six consecutive games to finish their season.
Sanders’ 50-yard field goal with 23 seconds remaining put the Dolphins ahead 9-6. The Jets had one last chance and tried multiple laterals on their final play. However, one of those errant laterals ended up rolling through the end zone for a safety.
Vikings 29, Bears 13
Alexander Mattison ran for two touchdowns and Greg Joseph kicked three field goals to boost visiting Minnesota to victory against Chicago, while earning the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs.
The Vikings (13-4), the NFC North champions, rebounded from last week’s lopsided loss at Green Bay, outgaining the Bears 482-259. Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins went 17-for-20 passing for 225 yards and a touchdown in the first half before yielding to backup Nick Mullens for the remainder of the game.
Chicago (3-14) closed the season on a 10-game losing streak, continuing the longest slide in the franchise’s 123 seasons. The Bears had 14 losses for the first time in their history and will have the No. 1 selection in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Falcons 30, Buccaneers 17
Rookie Desmond Ridder threw his first two career touchdown passes and Tyler Allgeier rushed for 135 yards as Atlanta closed a disappointing season with a victory against visiting Tampa Bay.
Atlanta (7-10) scored all of the second half’s 20 points to avoid a solo spot in last place in the NFC South.
The Buccaneers (8-9), who clinched the NFC South and a home playoff game a week earlier, were largely tuning up for the postseason. Tampa Bay had 222 yards of total offense.
Bengals 27, Ravens 16
Joe Burrow passed for 215 yards and one touchdown and Cincinnati notched its eighth consecutive victory by dispatching visiting Baltimore.
Third-seeded Cincinnati will host sixth-seeded Baltimore again next weekend in the AFC wild-card round. Joe Mixon rushed for a score and Ja’Marr Chase caught eight passes for 86 yards and a touchdown for the Bengals (12-4).
Baltimore’s Anthony Brown was 19-of-44 passing for 286 yards and two interceptions in his first career NFL start. Tyler Huntley (shoulder, wrist) was ruled out before kickoff while Lamar Jackson (knee) sat out for the fifth straight game for the Ravens (10-7).
Texans 32, Colts 31
Davis Mills hit Jordan Akins for a 28-yard touchdown pass and a two-point conversion with 50 seconds left, lifting Houston over host Indianapolis.
Mills, who was 22-of-38 for 298 yards with three scores and two interceptions, led a 14-play, 83-yard drive that enabled the Texans to finish 3-13-1. It also cost Houston the No. 1 overall pick in the NFL draft as the Chicago Bears lost to the Minnesota Vikings to end up 3-14.
Sam Ehlinger completed 23 of 35 passes for 209 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Colts (4-12-1), who finished the season with a seven-game losing streak under interim coach Jeff Saturday.
Panthers 10, Saints 7
Eddy Pineiro kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired, and visiting Carolina defeated New Orleans to sweep the season series.
Moments before Pineiro’s kick, the Saints (7-10) missed an opportunity to take the lead when Wil Lutz’s 55-yard field-goal attempt was blocked, giving the Panthers the ball at their 45 with 1:20 remaining. After a sack, Sam Darnold ran for 13 yards and completed a 21-yard pass to Terrace Marshall Jr. to set up the game-winner for Carolina (7-10).
Chris Olave caught a 25-yard touchdown pass and became the third rookie in Saints history to have 1,000 receiving yards. The Panthers tied it 7-7 in the third quarter when Darnold fumbled inside the 1 and offensive lineman Michael Jordan recovered in the end zone.
Steelers 28, Browns 14
Najee Harris rushed for 84 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries to lead host Pittsburgh past Cleveland.
Because of the Miami Dolphins’ win over the New York Jets, Pittsburgh (9-8) was still eliminated from playoff contention. Kenny Pickett completed 13 of 29 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown for the Steelers, who won their final four games to avoid their first losing season under coach Mike Tomlin.
Deshaun Watson went 19-of-29 passing for 230 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Cleveland (7-10).
Broncos 31, Chargers 28
Russell Wilson was 13-for-24 passing for 283 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, Latavius Murray rushed for 103 yards and a score and host Denver beat Los Angeles.
Courtland Sutton, Eric Tomlinson and Tyler Badie had TD catches and Jerry Jeudy had five receptions for 154 yards for the Broncos (5-12), who ended a nine-game losing streak within the AFC West Division.
Justin Herbert was 25-for-37 passing for 273 yards and two touchdowns, and Austin Ekeler had four receptions to set a Chargers single-season record with 107. San Diego (10-7) was locked into the No. 5 seed and a matchup at Jacksonville in the wild-card round next week before the start of the game.
49ers 38, Cardinals 13
Host San Francisco ended the regular season on a 10-game winning streak, dominating the second half against Arizona while earning the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs.
The 49ers (13-4) delivered a similar performance in the second half against the Cardinals to earn a 38-10 victory in Week 11, as they outscored Arizona 21-0 following the break. On Sunday, they had a 17-0 advantage in the second half.
The Cardinals (4-13) finished with seven consecutive defeats, and nine losses in their last 10 games. Defensive end J.J. Watt played the final game of his career and went out with a bang, registering two sacks to give him 12.5 for the season. He had five tackles (three for a loss), with two quarterback hits and a pass defended.
Commanders 26, Cowboys 6
In his NFL debut, rookie Sam Howell threw for a touchdown on his first career pass and ran for another score as Washington rolled to a victory over Dallas in Landover, Md.
On a day when Washington honored Hall of Fame quarterback Sonny Jurgensen by retiring his jersey, Howell finished with 11 completions in 19 attempts for 169 yards and one interception, as the Commanders (8-8-1) notched their first win since Nov. 27.
With five defensive starters sidelined by injuries, Washington limited Dallas (12-5) to 182 total yards and 10 first downs. Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott completed 14 of 37 passes for 128 yards and a touchdown. He also threw a pick-6.
–Field Level Media