The Inexperienced Bay Packers secured the highest seed within the N.F.C. playoffs, whereas making a superb argument for Aaron Rodgers because the N.F.L.’s most useful participant. The Buffalo Payments acquired the No. 2 seed within the A.F.C., whereas successfully ending the Miami Dolphins’ season. And the Cleveland Browns, after 17 seasons that led to frustration, are again within the playoffs. It was an thrilling Sunday even by Week 17 requirements, and the playoff area was almost finalized heading into the nightcap between Washington and Philadelphia.
Right here’s what we discovered:
Subsequent Week’s Playoff Matchups
Indianapolis Colts (11-5) at Buffalo Payments (13-3), 1 p.m., CBS
The Colts solely certified for the playoffs as a result of the Payments throttled the Miami Dolphins. Now they should journey to Orchard Park, N.Y. for their very own flip towards the Payments’ well-rounded juggernaut.
Los Angeles Rams (10-6) at Seattle Seahawks (12-4), 4:40 p.m., Fox
The Rams are determined to get Jared Goff again at quarterback following the surgical procedure he had on the thumb of his throwing hand. John Wolford did a pleasant job filling in for Goff on Sunday towards the Cardinals, however he’s not an answer on the highway in Seattle.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) at Giants or Washington, 8:15 p.m., NBC
Dwelling groups all the time must be taken significantly within the playoffs, even when it’s a sub-.500 N.F.C. East champion that solely acquired right here as a result of each division will get a playoff group.
Baltimore Ravens (11-5) at Tennessee Titans (11-5), 1:05 p.m., ESPN and ABC
With highly effective working video games and quarterbacks who can benefit from a stacked field to stretch the sector, these groups are extra comparable than you may guess.
Chicago Bears (8-8) at New Orleans Saints (12-4), 4:40 p.m., CBS, Nickelodeon and Prime Video
Chicago ought to be grateful for the N.F.C. East, as with out that division’s ineptitude, folks would most likely be specializing in the Bears making the playoffs and not using a successful report.
Cleveland Browns (11-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (12-4), 8:15 p.m., NBC
Cleveland was in a position to maintain on for a win over Pittsburgh this week in Cleveland, however subsequent week’s recreation in Pittsburgh might look considerably completely different with Ben Roethlisberger again below heart for the Steelers.
One* Sentence About Sunday’s Video games
*Besides when it takes extra.
Browns 24, Steelers 22 It got here in a recreation by which Pittsburgh performed with out the defensive stalwarts Cam Heyward and T.J. Watt, however Cleveland nonetheless impressed on the bottom, racking up 192 yards on 31 carries, letting the group’s largest energy carry it to the playoffs.
Payments 56, Dolphins 26 Miami was hopeful that Tua Tagovailoa might care for issues himself, since Ryan Fitzpatrick — the N.F.L.’s equal of an ace aid pitcher — was positioned on the Covid-19 reserve checklist. It didn’t work out. Whereas Tagovailoa threw for 361 yards and a landing, the rookie was additionally intercepted 3 times, together with a pick-six, and by no means mounted a lot of a problem to Buffalo’s dominance on either side of the ball.
Packers 35, Bears 16 The beeping sound you hear is Chicago backing into the playoffs. The Bears got here into the day with management of their very own destiny, however wanted assist to earn a wild card after quarterback Mitchell Trubisky was largely ineffective and working again David Montgomery was restricted to three.1 yards a carry.
Colts 28, Jaguars 14 Indianapolis seemed to be teetering on the sting of a second consecutive brutal second-half collapse, however some terrific play by the group’s protection, and Jonathan Taylor’s 45-yard landing run within the fourth quarter, powered the Colts to victory. Taylor entered the season as a backup to Marlon Mack, however his 253 yards dashing and two touchdowns on Sunday gave him 1,169 yards and 11 touchdowns in a terrific rookie yr.
Titans 41, Texans 38 There have been loads of good issues to say about Tennessee after it clinched a hard-won A.F.C. South title, however Houston’s gamers might maintain their heads up excessive after a terrific second half by quarterback Deshaun Watson made the division rival Titans battle for it.
Buccaneers 44, Falcons 27 Antonio Brown (11 catches, 138 yards, two touchdowns) and Chris Godwin (5-133-2) each had terrific video games for Tampa Bay, however the Buccaneers can be holding their collective breath awaiting an replace on the well being of huge receiver Mike Evans, who injured his knee on an incomplete move ultimately zone. Evans had 46 yards receiving earlier than the harm, giving him 1,006 for the season — he’s the primary N.F.L. huge receiver to have 1,000 or extra yards in every of his first seven seasons.
Ravens 38, Bengals 3 J.Ok. Dobbins confirmed off why many individuals consider he’s Baltimore’s prime working again going ahead, rumbling for 160 yards and two touchdowns on simply 13 carries. However Lamar Jackson was almost as efficient, dashing for 97 yards on 11 carries, which left him with 1,005 for the season. He now owns the No. 1 and No. 3 dashing seasons by a quarterback in N.F.L. historical past.
Seahawks 26, 49ers 23 San Francisco was main by 9-6 after three quarters, however Russell Wilson took over within the fourth, throwing two landing passes to Tyler Lockett. Alex Collins ran in a rating as effectively and the sport wouldn’t have been as shut if not for a garbage-time rating by San Francisco’s Jeff Wilson Jr.
Saints 33, Panthers 7 Covid-19 protocols led to New Orleans being with out almost all of its working backs, however that didn’t gradual the group down within the slightest. Ty Montgomery, who performs some huge receiver but additionally has expertise at working again, crammed in admirably, carrying the ball 18 instances for 105 yards. That, mixed with Drew Brees’s three passing touchdowns and a dashing landing from Taysom Hill, was greater than sufficient towards Carolina.
Rams 18, Cardinals 7 It may not work within the playoffs, however Los Angeles was in a position to finish Arizona’s season with an offense led by quarterback John Wolford, who got here into the day with zero profession passing makes an attempt and left it with 231 yards passing, a team-leading 56 yards dashing and his first profession victory.
Giants 23, Cowboys 19 In what stands out as the good encapsulation of the N.F.C. East this season, the Giants’ victory got here all the way down to working again Wayne Gallman recovering his personal fumble within the closing minutes, simply two performs faraway from Dallas’ Andy Dalton just about handing Massive Blue the win with an interception.
Vikings 37, Lions 35 Justin Jefferson recorded 133 yards receiving, which put him at 1,400 for the season. He broke Randy Moss’s franchise report for a rookie receiver, and completed lower than 100 wanting the 1,473 Invoice Groman had for the A.F.L.’s Houston Oilers in 1960.
Minnesota’s ability gamers have been undoubtedly glad to pad their statistics, however they need to needless to say Detroit’s protection was so unhealthy this season that it allowed 6,716 whole yards and 519 factors, breaking franchise information set in the course of the Lions’ winless season in 2008.
Chargers 38, Chiefs 21 It got here towards Kansas Metropolis’s backups, however Chargers quarterback Justin Herbert was awfully spectacular in throwing for 302 yards and three touchdowns in a win that has the potential to avoid wasting Coach Anthony Lynn’s job. Herbert was not even anticipated to begin this season, however after being pressured into responsibility in Week 2, he completed with 4,336 yards passing and a rookie report 31 passing touchdowns.
Raiders 32, Broncos 31 This recreation didn’t have any playoff implications, and it was typically pretty ugly, but it surely had a lot to supply. Denver took a late lead with a 92-yard landing move from Drew Lock to Jerry Jeudy. Las Vegas took it again with a 1-yard Josh Jacobs landing run and a 2-point conversion with simply 24 seconds remaining. After swings like that, the sport completed in the one logical means: Maxx Crosby of the Raiders blocked Brandon McManus’s try at what would have been a 63-yard game-winning area aim.
Patriots 28, Jets 14 In what was Coach Adam Gase’s last game with the club, and is likely to be Sam Darnold’s final as its beginning quarterback, the Jets went into the fourth quarter tied, 14-14, after which fell aside, permitting Cam Newton to throw a pair of game-sealing landing passes. New England got here into the day with an N.F.L.-low eight landing passes this season, however managed 4 — together with one by a large receiver — towards the Jets.