NFL roundup: Brady, Patriots slip past Steelers
PITTSBURGH -- Tom Brady beat the Pittsburgh Steelers once again, and he got help from Duron Harmon.
Brady led the New England Patriots to the winning touchdown with 56 seconds left, guiding the Patriots to a 27-24 win over the Steelers. The result ruined Pittsburgh's chance to clinch a first-round playoff bye and potentially home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The game was marred by a calf injury sustained in the first half by Steelers receiver Antonio Brown, who was taken to a hospital for further examination and treatment.
Brady led the Patriots (11-3) to a touchdown scored by Dion Lewis on an 8-yard run that capped a 77-yard drive, completing a rally from a 24-16 deficit. Ben Roethlisberger scrambled to give the Steelers (11-3) two more chances at winning the game, but his final pass was deflected by Eric Rowe and intercepted by Harmon in the end zone with five seconds left.
Jaguars 45, Texans 7
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Blake Bortles passed for three touchdowns in the first half to lead Jacksonville to a victory over Houston and clinch its first playoff berth since 2007. The Jaguars led 31-0 at the half, the largest halftime margin in franchise history.
Jacksonville (10-4) remained in control of first place over the AFC South under first-year head coach Doug Marrone. The Jaguars won 17 games in the previous five seasons, the lowest total in the NFL.
Houston (4-10), which has lost four straight and seven of its last eight, was outscored 74-14 en route to being swept by the Jaguars.
Vikings 34, Bengals 7
MINNEAPOLIS -- Case Keenum passed for 236 yards and two touchdowns, and Minnesota's defense dominated Andy Dalton and Cincinnati.
Latavius Murray added 76 yards rushing and a touchdown for Minnesota (11-3), which clinched the NFC North with its ninth win in the past 10 games.
Brian Robison had two of the Vikings' three sacks and Eric Kendricks returned a first-quarter interception for a touchdown. Minnesota held Cincinnati (5-9) to 161 yards and a 1-of-13 conversion rate on third down.
Eagles 34, Giants 29
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Nick Foles threw four touchdown passes as NFC East champion Philadelphia off New York to clinch a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Foles, who was 24 of 38 for 237 yards, took over as the starting quarterback for the Eagles (12-2) after they lost Carson Wentz last week to a season-ending knee injury.
Eli Manning finished 35 of 54 for 427 yards with three touchdowns and one interception for the Giants (2-12).
Panthers 31, Packers 24
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Cam Newton threw three of his four touchdown passes in the opening 18 minutes of the second half as Carolina upstaged the return of Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
Newton completed 20 of 31 passes for 242 yards as the Panthers (10-4) remained in at least a first-place tie in the NFC South.
Rodgers was intercepted three times, all on underthrown balls. He completed 27 of 45 passes for 287 yards, but the Packers (7-7) saw their postgame aspirations damaged.
Saints 31, Jets 19
NEW ORLEANS -- Drew Brees threw two touchdown passes, including a 4-yard slant to Michael Thomas with 7:39 left, and New Orleans overcame three turnovers in its win.
The victory kept the Saints (10-4) in first place in the NFC South. Even though they are tied with 10-4 Carolina, the Saints swept the Panthers in two games this season and own the head-to-head tiebreaker.
The Jets (5-9) kept the game close with their defensive pressure and ability to stuff the run into the fourth quarter, but they could not generate enough offense behind quarterback Bryce Petty, a third-year player making his fifth NFL start.
Bills 24, Dolphins 16
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- LeSean McCoy became the 30th player in NFL history to surpass 10,000 career rushing yards while helping Buffalo keep its playoff hopes alive.
McCoy compiled 96 total yards (50 rushing, 46 receiving) and two touchdowns as the Bills improved to 8-6 for just the third time in the 18 years since the team last reached the postseason.
The loss diminished the Dolphins' playoff chances following an upset win over New England on Monday night. Jay Cutler was 28 of 49 for 274 yards and three interceptions for Miami (6-8). Kenyan Drake ran for 78 yards and a touchdown, and Cody Parkey kicked three field goals.
Ravens 27, Browns 10
CLEVELAND -- Ball-hawking Baltimore forced four more turnovers and converted two of them into touchdowns to defeat Cleveland.
The Ravens (8-6) kept alive their wild-card playoff hopes. They would clinch a playoff spot by beating the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals in Baltimore the final two weeks regardless what the other contenders do.
The Browns (0-14) have lost 16 straight games to division opponents dating back to 2015.
Redskins 20, Cardinals 15
LANDOVER, Md. -- Kirk Cousins threw a pair of touchdown passes as Washington defeated Arizona.
The Redskins (6-8) never trailed and stopped Arizona on downs at the Washington 21-yard line with 16 seconds left.
Arizona (6-8) went 0-for-6 in the red zone and 4-for-19 on third down. The Cardinals haven't scored a touchdown in their past two games and were officially eliminated from the playoff hunt.
Rams 42, Seahawks 7
SEATTLE -- Todd Gurley ran for three touchdowns and caught a scoring pass as Los Angeles took control of the NFC West with a dismantling of Seattle.
The Rams (10-4) avenged an earlier 16-10 loss to Seattle and opened a two-game lead over the Seahawks (8-6) with two games remaining.
Gurley followed a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs with a 57-yarder with 28 seconds left in the first half that put the Rams up 34-0. Gurley added a 14-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter that made it 40-0.
49ers 25, Titans 23
SAN FRANCISCO -- Robbie Gould's sixth field goal of the day, a 45-yarder on the final play of the game, allowed San Francisco to overtake Tennessee.
Gould's 20th consecutive successful field goal came 67 seconds after Ryan Succop had nailed a 50-yard field goal to give the Titans (8-6) a 23-22 lead.
The win was the third in a row for the 49ers (4-10) since promoting Jimmy Garoppolo to starting quarterback. The ex-New England Patriot passed for 381 yards and a second-quarter touchdown to tight end Garrett Celek.