The Green Bay Packers secured the NFC's top seed on Sunday, while Derrick Henry led the Tennessee Titans to the AFC South title.

Aaron Rodgers again powered the Packers, throwing four touchdown passes in a win over the Chicago Bears.

Despite their loss, the Bears clinched a playoff spot, as did the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Rams.

Meanwhile, Henry made history as the Titans won the AFC South, while the Washington Football Team claimed the NFC East.

 

RODGERS DOMINATES AGAIN AS PACKERS CLINCH TOP SEED

Rodgers completed 19 of 24 passes for 240 yards and four TDs in the Packers' 35-16 victory over the Bears.

The Packers quarterback connected for TDs with Robert Tonyan, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Dominique Dafney and Davante Adams.

Rodgers finished the regular season with 48 TD passes. Alongside Peyton Manning, they are the only players in NFL history with 45-plus TD passes in multiple seasons, according to NFL Research. They won the NFL MVP in each of the previous three instances.

While Green Bay finished with a 13-3 record, the 8-8 Bears also reached the playoffs.

 

HISTORY FOR HENRY AS TITANS WIN AFC SOUTH

The Titans claimed the AFC South for the first time since 2008 after a thrilling 41-38 win over the Houston Texans.

Henry became the eighth player in history to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a single season.

He had 250 rushing yards and two TDs against the Texans. Of the eight players to achieve the feat, Henry was the only one who needed 200-plus yards in his last game to get there, according to Stats Perform.

A.J. Brown had 151 receiving yards, but the Titans needed Sam Sloman's 37-yard field goal as time expired to edge the Texans.

The Titans became the first team in NFL history to have a 250-yard rusher and 150-yard receiver in the same game.

 

WASHINGTON WIN NFC EAST AS COLTS, RAMS REACH PLAYOFFS

The Washington Football Team claimed the NFC East thanks to a 20-14 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes and two interceptions as Washington (7-9) claimed the division.

The Colts (11-5) reached the playoffs thanks to a 28-14 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars, while the Los Angeles Rams (10-6) are also into the postseason after beating the Arizona Cardinals 18-7.

 

Week 17 scores:

Minnesota Vikings 37-35 Detroit Lions
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 44-27 Atlanta Falcons
New England Patriots 28-14 New York Jets
Buffalo Bills 56-26 Miami Dolphins
Cleveland Browns 24-22 Pittsburgh Steelers
New York Giants 23-19 Dallas Cowboys
Baltimore Ravens 38-3 Cincinnati Bengals
Indianapolis Colts 28-14 Jacksonville Jaguars
Tennessee Titans 41-38 Houston Texans
Los Angeles Rams 18-7 Arizona Cardinals
New Orleans Saints 33-7 Carolina Panthers
Green Bay Packers 35-16 Chicago Bears
Los Angeles Chargers 38-21 Kansas City Chiefs
Seattle Seahawks 26-23 San Francisco 49ers
Las Vegas Raiders 32-31 Denver Broncos
Washington Football Team 20-14 Philadelphia Eagles

Kliff Kingsbury is hopeful Kyler Murray can play in the Arizona Cardinals' pivotal Week 17 encounter with the Los Angeles Rams but will not risk him if he cannot play at a high level.

Quarterback Murray suffered a lower leg injury on his final pass attempt as the Cardinals' playoff hopes were dealt a blow with a 20-12 defeat to the San Francisco 49ers on Saturday.

A win for the Cardinals in Week 17 will seal their place in the postseason for the first time since the 2015 season.

But they could be without 2019's first overall pick and Offensive Rookie of the Year against a Rams team also needing a victory to seal a postseason berth.

"We'll see how he feels," Cardinals coach Kingsbury said on 98.7 Arizona Sports Station.

"We're not going to put him out there if he can't play at a high level and doesn't feel safe to play. But we'll just have to see how he progresses."

Kingsbury was asked if the dual-threat quarterback could cope with having to curb his tendency to escape the pocket and make plays with his legs.

"If that's how he's got to play, if he has to adjust his style, he can definitely play from the pocket and try to lead us in that way," Kingsbury added.

Kingsbury would not commit to naming Murray's replacement if he is unable to play, with Chris Streveler the backup and Brett Hundley the third-string signal-caller.

"We'll cross that bridge if that comes up," he said. "We'll see, organisationally, who would be a better fit at that time."

Tom Brady was the star of the show as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers reached the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2007 on Saturday.

Buccaneers quarterback Brady threw four touchdowns to fuel Tampa Bay's drought-ending 47-7 rout of the lowly Detroit Lions.

Ryan Fitzpatrick came off the bench to lead the playoff-chasing Miami Dolphins' wild victory over the Las Vegas Raiders, while the San Francisco 49ers stunned the Arizona Cardinals.

 

BRADY'S BUCS BOOK PLAYOFF BERTH

Six-time Super Bowl champion Brady threw four touchdowns as he reset the single-season franchise high for passing TDs with 36, surpassing former number one pick Jameis Winston's record of 33 posted last season.

Brady produced the best first half of his illustrious career, completing 22 of 27 passes for 348 yards away to the Lions in Detroit, having eclipsed his own record of 340-plus passing yards, four-plus TDs and no interceptions in a single half set with the New England Patriots in 2009.

The 43-year-old superstar became the only NFL player in history to play for 20-plus seasons with one team – the Patriots – and later make the playoffs with another, per NFL Research. Brady is also the first player in the league's history to reach the playoffs in 12 consecutive seasons.

Brady, who was replaced by Blaine Gabbert at the start of the third quarter, also became just the fourth non-specialist to play in 300 regular-season games and the 12th player in NFL history to achieve the feat.

Mike Evans and Rob Gronkowski recorded two touchdowns apiece for the Bucs (10-5), while Chris Godwin and Antonio Brown also finished with TDs against the Lions.

DOLPHINS REMAIN IN HUNT AS RAIDERS BOW OUT

Miami's hopes of advancing to the playoffs are still alive after prevailing 26-25 in a thrilling clash with the Raiders.

The Dolphins (10-5) eliminated the Raiders (7-8) from postseason contention with Jason Sanders' last second 44-yard field goal, after Fitzpatrick had put Miami in position.

Daniel Carlson's field goal had put the Raiders ahead 25-23 with 23 seconds remaining, after Fitzpatrick replaced Dolphins rookie Tua Tagovailoa and threw a 59-yard pass to Myles Gaskin as the clock ticked under three minutes.

Dolphins head coach Brian Flores benched Tagovailoa in the fourth quarter and his decision to introduce Fitzpatrick proved a masterstroke – the veteran nine of 13 for 182 yards and a touchdown.

Tagovailoa was largely ineffective after finishing 17-of-22 passing for 94 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions, while Raiders counterpart Derek Carr was 21 of 34 for 336 yards and a TD.

CARDINALS' PLAYOFF HOPES DEALT BLOW BY BEATHARD AND 49ERS

The injury-hit 49ers took down the Cardinals 20-12 thanks to third-string quarterback CJ Beathard, who threw three touchdown passes.

San Francisco – already out of the postseason picture – left Arizona's playoff hopes up in the air after Beathard starred in his first start since 2018 and unheralded running back Jeff Wilson ran for 183 yards.

Beathard completed 13 of 22 passes for 182 yards for the 49ers (6-9) as the Cardinals (8-7) no longer control their own destiny in the race for the postseason.

The Cardinals' were also left sweating over the fitness of quarterback Kyler Murray, who hurt his leg in the defeat.

"Hurt his leg, so he's getting examined right now," Arizona head coach Kliff Kingsbury said.

 

Week 16 scores:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 47-7 Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers 20-12 Arizona Cardinals
Miami Dolphins 26-25 Las Vegas Raiders

It's championship week in fantasy football.

Week 16 marks the end of the fantasy season in the vast majority of leagues, with Week 17 often too much of a guessing game due to teams frequently resting players for the regular-season finale.

So those lucky enough to have made it through to the final will be carefully studying their line-up, identifying any holes and examining potential waiver claims to address weaknesses and take advantage of favourable matchups.

Which players are worthy of consideration for the biggest week of the fantasy year? Some of the selections may surprise you.

QB: Mitchell Trubisky - Chicago Bears

Are you willing to pin your fantasy title hopes on the man seen as the bust of the 2017 draft class? There is evidence to suggest it's a smart idea.

After a strong Week 14 outing against the Houston Texans, Trubisky cooled off against the Minnesota Vikings, throwing for 202 yards, a touchdown and an interception.

But he has the Bears in the thick of the wild card race at 7-7 and gets to face a Jacksonville Jaguars defense allowing 23 fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.

Mitch may be the answer for fantasy teams that have made it to the championship game while alternating quarterbacks.

RB: Zack Moss - Buffalo Bills

The New England Patriots can't stop the run and nobody can stop the Bills, the likely result of that combination is a strong day for rookie running back Moss.

He had a 13-8 edge over backfield mate Devin Singletary in terms of carries in the rout of the Denver Broncos last week, and averaged 6.2 yards per attempt.

New England allowed 250 rushing yards as they were eliminated from the playoffs by the Miami Dolphins in Week 15, and there's little reason to expect them to put up much resistance this week.

WR: Jalen Reagor - Philadelphia Eagles

In a bind at receiver or the flex position for the title game? Why not look to a suddenly explosive Eagles offense.

The switch to Jalen Hurts at quarterback has breathed new life into the Eagles and his favourite target in last Sunday's defeat to the Arizona Cardinals was namesake Jalen Reagor.

Reagor had eight targets and, while he only turned those into five catches for 49 yards, a similar share should result in better results against a Dallas Cowboys defense giving up an average of 28.5 points per game to opposing wide receivers, the second-most in the league.

TE: Noah Fant - Denver Broncos

The Broncos should be a lot more exciting than they have been in 2020, but when they get half-decent quarterback play then skill-position weapons like Noah Fant can produce.

He had eight catches for 68 yards and a touchdown against the Bills and gets a favourable matchup this week, Denver facing a Los Angeles Chargers team that concedes the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

Bet on this supremely athletic playmaker to positively impact your title hopes.

D/ST: Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals defense has put up double-digit fantasy points in each of the last two weeks. Now Arizona faces an injury-hit San Francisco 49ers side playing out the string after a nightmarish defence of the NFC title.

San Francisco have committed at least two turnovers in each of their last eight games. Regardless of which backup quarterback plays for the Jimmy Garoppolo-less Niners, they are a team an improving Cardinals group can take advantage of.

Patrick Mahomes and Aaron Rodgers headlined the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl rosters announced on Monday.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Mahomes and Green Bay Packers star Rodgers have dominated this season.

Rodgers leads the NFL for touchdown passes with 40, while no player has more than Mahomes 4,462 passing yards.

With his 40 TD passes, Rodgers became the first player with 40-plus passing touchdowns in three seasons in NFL history, having also achieved it in 2011 and 2016.

The Chiefs, Packers, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks each had a league-high seven players make the Pro Bowl.

Seahawks star Russell Wilson made the NFC roster, as did Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray.

With his performance against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, Murray became the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era aged 23 or younger to throw for 400-plus yards and have a 125-plus passer rating in a game. The previous three (Dan Marino, Jared Goff and Mahomes) all reached the Super Bowl in that season.

The 2021 Pro Bowl game was due to be played on January 31, but was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Philadelphia Eagles coach Doug Pederson said in the wake of their dramatic loss to the Arizona Cardinals that he would wait until Monday to name a starting quarterback for Week 16. 

The delay in doing so could hardly seem more pointless after Jalen Hurts gave a previously moribund offense a spark for the third successive week, helping them push a playoff contender to the wire in an absorbing encounter. 

He hasn't even played two and a half games yet, but this was another contest that gave rise to the notion that Hurts, despite the huge contract handed to Carson Wentz in June of last year, is the future at the quarterback position in Philadelphia. 

His back-and-forth duel with dual-threat superstar and fellow former Oklahoma Sooner Kyler Murray also served as further compelling evidence of the ever-expanding merits of investing in athleticism at quarterback. 

Murray, who has dipped in and out of the MVP conversation this season, may have prevailed - a last-gasp heave into the endzone from Hurts falling incomplete - but the Eagles' second-round pick emerged with his reputation significantly enhanced. 

Hurts finished the 33-26 loss with 338 yards passing, three touchdowns and zero interceptions, and ran for 63 yards and another score on the ground.

Posting a passer rating of 102.3, Hurts is the first rookie quarterback in the Super Bowl era to throw at least three touchdown passes and rush for a touchdown in his first road start. 

After putting up 106 rushing yards against the New Orleans Saints in Week 14, he also joins Randall Cunningham (1985) and Lamar Jackson (2018) as the only first-year quarterbacks with at least 50 yards on the ground in their first two starts. 

Following in the footsteps of fellow 2020 draft picks Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert, Hurts is now one of just three rookie quarterbacks to record at least 300 passing yards, three touchdown throws and a rushing score in a single game since 1970. 

His efforts on the ground are in stark contrast to those of Wentz, who has five rushing touchdowns this season but just one game of over 50 yards. While Hurts has yet to throw an interception in two starts - though he did commit one in Week 13 against the Green Bay Packers - Wentz leads the league with 15 picks. 

Therein lies the rub. Entering the NFL in 2016, Wentz had athletic upside. However, he has since been limited by a devastating 2017 knee injury that ruined an MVP-calibre season. With the additional speed Hurts - the second-fastest quarterback at the 2020 NFL Scouting Combine – offers, the Eagles can utilise a new dimension on offense that they did not have with an increasingly statuesque former first-round pick under center. 

Defenses must pay significant respect to the threat of a quarterback run on zone-read plays, while Hurts' ability to scramble decreases the odds of him staying in a muddied pocket and risking a turnover by taking a sack or forcing a throw into a non-existent window. 

It also raises the potential for the spectacular, which arrived in spades on Sunday, most notably on the failed game-tying drive as Hurts fumbled the ball only to regather it, roll to his right and deliver a first-down pass to Dallas Goedert.

 

The composure Hurts showed on that completion is illustrative of a player quickly settling into life at the pro level, and his late-season emergence comes on the heels of an MVP year for Jackson in a campaign during which his dual-threat contemporaries further demonstrated that, with the right coaching, the time needed for young, mobile quarterbacks to adapt to the league is getting shorter. 

Herbert, who is being allowed to use his legs much more than he did at Oregon, is in the midst of one of the best rookie quarterback seasons ever. Josh Allen's third-year transition from athletically gifted wild card to a versatile and supremely accurate field general has the Buffalo Bills at the sharp end of the AFC playoff race, while Murray keeps writing his name in the record books as the Cardinals push towards the postseason. 

Murray had 406 yards passing with three touchdowns and an interception on Sunday, while he too found the endzone on the ground, marking his ninth game with both a passing touchdown and rushing score this season, the most by a quarterback in a single campaign in NFL history. 

He is the fourth quarterback, alongside Allen (10), Steve Grogan (10) and Cam Newton (14), with 10 such games in his first two seasons. Only he and Newton (2015) can claim to have thrown for 25 touchdowns and rushed for 10 in a single season, Murray replicating the feat of Newton's MVP year by taking his passing tally to 26 and his rushing mark to 11.

The rapid rise of Murray, Allen, Herbert and now seemingly Hurts should give confidence to quarterback-needy teams that the 2021 crop of dual-threat signal-callers can start early and be successful. 

Presumptive number one pick Trevor Lawrence, Ohio State's Justin Fields, North Dakota State's Trey Lance and Zach Wilson of BYU all possess the skills to do significant damage through the air and also with their legs. 

Murray and Hurts' bewitching battle encapsulated the impact a quarterback with such diversity to their game can have on the modern NFL when they land in the right environment. 

There is still a place for the traditional drop-back quarterback, of course, but they are increasingly being shunned in favour of more unpredictable and seemingly more influential counterparts. 

At least four more possible success stories are on the horizon in the next draft and franchises requiring change under center need to heed one of the many lessons of a year where nothing has been normal. It is past time to cast aside previous convention. Get a quarterback who can do both, and get them on the field.

The Kansas City Chiefs extended their winning streak in the NFL, while Kyler Murray inspired the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs improved to 13-1 thanks to a hard-fought win over the New Orleans Saints, who welcomed back Drew Brees.

Meanwhile, Murray and Jalen Hurts put on a show as the Cardinals overcame the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Cleveland Browns took another step towards a playoff spot and the New York Jets' wait for a first win came to an end.

 

CHIEFS TOO GOOD FOR SAINTS AS BREES RETURNS

Mahomes and Brees both threw three touchdown passes as the Chiefs recorded a 32-29 victory.

A ninth straight win helped the Chiefs improve to 13-1, and they are on track to secure the top seed in the AFC.

Mahomes completed 26 of 47 passes for 254 yards and three touchdowns, while he was sacked four times.

The Chiefs became the first team in NFL history to win six straight games by six points or fewer, as per Stats Perform.

Brees, returning from injury, made the worst start of his career by going 0-for-six. He finished 15 of 34 for 234 yards, three TDs and an interception.

The Saints (10-4) are ahead of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-5) in the NFC South.

 

CARDINALS OVERCOME EAGLES IN THRILLER

Murray helped the Cardinals (8-6) remain on track for the playoffs with a 33-26 victory over the Eagles (4-9-1).

The Cardinals QB was 27 of 36 for 406 yards, three touchdowns and an interception, while also rushing for 29 yards and a TD.

Making his second start, Hurts almost inspired the Eagles to another win, also throwing for three touchdowns and rushing for another.

Murray and DeAndre Hopkins connected on a 20-yard pass with just over seven minutes remaining for what proved to be the game-winning score.

According to NFL Research, Murray is the fourth quarterback in the Super Bowl era aged 23 or younger to throw for 400-plys yards and have a 125-plus passer rating in a game. The previous three (Dan Marino, Jared Goff and Mahomes) reached the Super Bowl in that season.

 

BROWNS BOOST PLAYOFF CHANCES, JETS WIN

The Browns made it 10 wins in a season for the first time since 2007, brushing past the New York Giants 20-6.

Baker Mayfield starred, completing 27 of 32 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns.

The Jets' wait for a first win of the season came to an end with an upset 23-20 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

However, the success hurt the Jets' chances of landing Trevor Lawrence in the draft, with the Jacksonville Jaguars (also 1-13) now in position to get the Clemson Tigers quarterback

 

Week 15 scores:

Green Bay Packers 24-16 Carolina Panthers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 31-27 Atlanta Falcons
Baltimore Ravens 40-14 Jacksonville Jaguars
Dallas Cowboys 41-33 San Francisco 49ers
Indianapolis Colts 27-20 Houston Texans
Miami Dolphins 22-12 New England Patriots
Chicago Bears 33-27 Minnesota Vikings
Tennessee Titans 46-25 Detroit Lions
Seattle Seahawks 20-15 Washington Football Team
Arizona Cardinals 33-26 Philadelphia Eagles
New York Jets 23-20 Los Angeles Rams
Kansas City Chiefs 32-29 New Orleans Saints
Cleveland Browns 20-6 New York Giants

The Kansas City Chiefs and the New Orleans Saints lock horns in the standout match of NFL Week 15.

Defending champions the Chiefs (12-1) already have the AFC West division title in the bag and can secure a first-round bye if they win on Sunday, Pittsburgh Steelers lose and Buffalo Bills fail to win.

The Saints (10-3) could wrap up the NFC South division title, while the Bills, Los Angeles Rams, Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans are looking to secure playoff berths.

With the use of Stats Perform data, we preview the action this weekend.
 

FEATURED GAME

Kansas City Chiefs at New Orleans Saints - Sunday, 4.25pm (all times Eastern)

- The Chiefs hold a 6-5 advantage over the Saints - including wins in the last two meetings. Both of those games were close – a 27-24 OT win in the last meeting in New Orleans in 2012, and a 27-21 home victory for KC in 2016.
- The Chiefs have won eight games in a row, 10 straight road games, and 21 of their last 22 - including postseason contests. They have won five consecutive games by six points or fewer.
- The Saints saw their nine-game winning streak snapped with Sunday’s 24-21 loss in Philadelphia. New Orleans allowed 400-plus yards for the first time this season and was gashed for 246 yards on the ground – the most allowed by the team in its last 96 games.
- Travis Kelce needs three receptions to reach 600 for his career, 10 catches to reach 100 for the season, and 100 yards for a team-record seventh 100-yard receiving game in 2020. He needs 128 receiving yards to top George Kittle's mark of 1,377 yards in 2018 – the top single-season figure ever by a tight end.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Seattle Seahawks at the Washington Football Team - Sunday, 1pm

- The Seahawks had a season-high in points with their 40-3 win over the New York Jets last week, while also posting their largest victory in any game over the last eight seasons. It was Seattle's eighth game this year with at least 30 points, setting a new franchise record for 30-point games in a single season.

Cleveland Browns at New York Giants - Sunday, 9.20pm

- New York have won six of the last seven meetings between these teams dating back to 1991. Cleveland have scored more than 13 points in just two of those seven games. The Browns' last road win against the Giants came in Week 13, 1985 (35-33).

New England Patriots at Miami Dolphins - Sunday, 1pm

- The Patriots lost 24-3 to the Rams last Thursday, the team's fewest points since a 16-0 home loss to Buffalo on October 2, 2016. That ended New England's streaks of 17 straight seasons with 10+ wins and 11 straight division titles, both of which were the longest such runs in NFL history.

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings - Sunday, 1pm

- The Vikings' 19-13 win in Chicago in Week 10 halted the Bears' four-game winning streak in this series. Chicago have prevailed in the last two meetings in Minnesota and have not won three straight there since 1983-85.

 

ELSEWHERE...

Philadelphia Eagles at the Arizona Cardinals - Sunday, 4.05pm

- Former division rivals in the NFC East, the Eagles and Cardinals have faced off 117 times in regular-season play, with the Cards holding a 57-55-5 edge. This will be just the fourth visit to Arizona for the Eagles in the last 19 seasons; their last road win over the Cardinals came on November 4, 2001.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at the Atlanta Falcons - Sunday, 1pm

- Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes in the Bucs' 26-14 win over the Vikings last week, giving him 30 for the year - his most since 2017 (32). This is his eighth season with 30+ TD passes, the fourth most all-time behind Drew Brees (10), Brett Favre (9) and Peyton Manning (9).

Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to another NFC North title, while Russell Wilson dominated the New York Jets.

Rodgers continued his good form as the Packers overcame the Detroit Lions 31-24 on Sunday, clinching the NFC North for the second straight year.

Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks were untroubled by the Jets, who slumped to 0-13.

Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Steelers fell to a second straight loss and Jalen Hurts inspired the Philadelphia Eagles on his first NFL start.

 

RODGERS HELPS PACKERS CLINCH

Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and went 26 of 33 for 290 yards in the Packers' win, while also rushing in for a score.

The quarterback connected with Davante Adams, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Robert Tonyan, Green Bay seeing out their win despite the Lions closing to within seven twice in the fourth quarter.

Adams caught a receiving TD in an eighth straight game, which is tied for the third longest streak in a single season in the Super Bowl era, as per NFL Research. Only Jerry Rice (12) and A.J. Green (nine) have had longer streaks.

As the Packers improved to 10-3, Detroit fell to 5-8 – including 1-5 at home – and saw quarterback Matthew Stafford replaced by Chase Daniel due to an upper-body injury.

WILSON WONDERFUL AGAINST WINLESS JETS

Seattle were untroubled by the Jets as Wilson completed 21 of 27 passes for 206 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in a 40-3 thrashing.

Wilson recorded his 15th career game with four-plus touchdowns, tied with Peyton Manning for the second most such games in a player's first nine seasons in the Super Bowl era, as per NFL Research. Only Dan Marino (16) has more.

The Seahawks star checked out in the third quarter for Seattle, who joined the Los Angeles Rams on a 9-4 record in the NFC West. Seattle and Los Angeles meet on December 27.

BILLS BEAT STEELERS, HURTS SHINES

The Buffalo Bills handed the Steelers a second straight loss with a 26-15 victory to close in on a first AFC East title since 1995.

Josh Allen was 24 of 43 for 238 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and Stefon Diggs had 130 receiving yards and a TD.

Now 10-3, the Bills moved clear of the Miami Dolphins (8-5) and New England Patriots (6-7) in the AFC East.

Handed their first loss of the season by the Washington Football Team last time out, the Steelers (11-2) are still clear of the Cleveland Browns (9-3) and Baltimore Ravens (7-5) in the AFC North.

In the defeat, the Steelers set an NFL record with a sack in 70 consecutive games. Pittsburgh surpassed the 1999-2003 Tampa Bay Buccaneers' all-time mark.

Replacing the struggling Carson Wentz, Hurts inspired the Eagles to an upset 24-21 win over the New Orleans Saints, whose nine-game winning streak was ended.

Hurts completed 17 of 30 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown and also rushed for 106 yards on 18 carries.

He became the second quarterback all-time to beat a team on a winning streak of nine-plus games on his first career start, according to Stats Perform. He joined former Ram Ron Jaworski (1975).

Week 14 scores:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-14 Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals 26-7 New York Giants
Kansas City Chiefs 33-27 Miami Dolphins
Tennessee Titans 31-10 Jacksonville Jaguars
Dallas Cowboys 30-7 Cincinnati Bengals
Chicago Bears 36-7 Houston Texans
Denver Broncos 32-27 Carolina Panthers
Indianapolis Colts 44-27 Las Vegas Raiders
Seattle Seahawks 40-3 New York Jets
Green Bay Packers 31-24 Detroit Lions
Los Angeles Chargers 20-17 Atlanta Falcons
Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 New Orleans Saints
Washington Football Team 23-15 San Francisco 49ers
Buffalo Bills 26-15 Pittsburgh Steelers

The Kansas City Chiefs wrapped up the AFC West division title for the fifth straight year with a 33-27 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday, while Derrick Henry made history.

After a shaky opening quarter in which Patrick Mahomes threw two interceptions – as many as he had on the season entering Week 14 – the 2018 MVP propelled the Chiefs from behind at Hard Rock Stadium.

Tua Tagovailoa completed 28 of his 48 passes for 316 yards and had a rushing touchdown to make the final period interesting, but Super Bowl champions Kansas City held on for another narrow win.

Henry was crucial as the Tennessee Titans bounced back from their defeat to the Cleveland Browns last weekend, becoming the first player in NFL history to have four games with 200 rushing yards and two rushing touchdowns in an 31-10 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Minnesota Vikings lost 26-14 to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to slip to 6-7, meaning the Arizona Cardinals – who beat the New York Giants 26-7, moved above them into an NFC Wild Card spot.

Their defeat also left the door open for the Green Bay Packers to guarantee they will top the NFC North by at least securing a tie at the Detroit Lions.

 

CHIEFS CLING ON

Miami's defense came out the blocks flying, with Mahomes throwing an interception, being sacked for a 30-yard loss by Jerome Baker and fumbling a snap on his opening two drives.

Mike Gesicki's seven-yard touchdown and a field goal after Mahomes was picked off for a second time – the first time he had multiple INTs in a single game since the Super Bowl – put the Dolphins up 10-0 in the second quarter.

The Kansas City signal-caller helped turn things around, though. Tyreek Hill rushed into the end zone and received a 44-yard touchdown pass from Mahomes after Travis Kelce's TD.

Mahomes may have thrown for 393 yards and two touchdowns but he ended the game with three interceptions for just the second time in his career, while Miami quarterback Tagovailoa finally threw his first pick in the league after 153 pass attempts.

HISTORY FOR HENRY

Henry had 215 yards and two TDs on 26 carries as the Titans comfortably overcame the Jaguars.

The running back has now registered triple figures rushing in nine consecutive road games, with only Hall of Famer Barry Sanders' having experienced a better streak (10 from 1996 to 1997).

Victory never looked in doubt for the Titans after A.J. Brown hauled in a 37-yard pass from Ryan Tannehill with one hand for the opening score in the first quarter.

Jacksonville struggled to get their offense going but James Robinson became only the fourth undrafted rookie in NFL history to rush for 1,000 yards in a season.

PLAYOFF PICTURE CHANGES

Dan Bailey's kicking let down the Vikings against the Buccaneers. He was 0-for-three on field goals and 0-of-one on extra points, the first scoreless player to do that since John Aveni for Washington in 1961.

Buccaneers star Tom Brady finished 15-of-23 passing for 196 yards, two touchdowns, no interceptions and no sacks.

The Vikings slipped behind the Cardinals after Arizona won at the Giants, for whom Daniel Jones lost 52 yards in sacks – he suffered six in total – and fumbled three times.

New York could finish the weekend behind Washington in the NFC East, while the Dallas Cowboys' 30-7 success at the Cincinnati Bengals launched them back into the playoff hunt.

 

Week 14 scores

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26-14 Minnesota Vikings
Arizona Cardinals 26-7 New York Giants
Kansas City Chiefs 33-27 Miami Dolphins
Tennessee Titans 31-10 Jacksonville Jaguars
Dallas Cowboys 30-7 Cincinnati Bengals
Chicago Bears 36-7 Houston Texans
Denver Broncos 32-27 Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton made history and the New England Patriots humiliated the Los Angeles Chargers 45-0 in the NFL, while the Kansas City Chiefs booked their place in the playoffs.

Newton inspired Sunday's demolition of the hapless Chargers in Inglewood, California, where the Patriots kept their postseason hopes alive.

Reigning champions the Chiefs overcame the Denver Broncos to punch their ticket to the playoffs yet again as the New York Giants claimed a huge upset against the Seattle Seahawks.

 

NEWTON STANDS ALONE IN NFL AS PATS RUN RIOT

Patriots quarterback Newton was at the forefront of New England's ruthless demolition of the Chargers on the road.

Newton ran for two touchdowns to become the only NFL quarterback with double-digit rushing TDs in three different seasons, while he also set the league record for most multiple-touchdown games in a season by a QB with four in 2020.

The former MVP finished 12-of-19 passing for 69 yards and a touchdown, while he carried for 48 yards and a pair of TDs as the Patriots claimed back-to-back wins to improve to 6-6.

It was the 29th shutout in New England's history and 12th under head coach Bill Belichick, who moved past Tom Landry for third-most games coached with 455.

According to Stats Perform, New England's win was the largest road shut-out victory in NFL history by a team that entered the game with a losing record.

Los Angeles (3-9) were condemned to their worst loss in franchise history, eclipsing a 49-6 demolition against Kansas City in 1964.

 

CHIEFS FIRST AFC TEAM INTO PLAYOFFS

The Chiefs were far from their best but still trumped the Broncos 22-16 to secure a spot in the postseason for the sixth successive campaign – a franchise record.

Kansas City improved to 11-1 for the season after seeing off Denver for the 11th consecutive time, a streak dating back to 2015.

The Chiefs, who are yet to clinch a fifth straight AFC West title, saw star quarterback Patrick Mahomes finish 25 of 40 for 318 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions.

Mahomes has thrown for at least 300 yards in five consecutive games, having achieved the feat last season and the campaign prior. Via Stats Perform, he is the only quarterback to have a five-plus game streak in three successive seasons.

Travis Kelce caught a touchdown as he posted his fifth consecutive season with 1,000-plus receiving yards – no other tight end in league history even has five total seasons of 1,000 receiving yards, per NFL Research.

Kelce is also the first TE in the Super Bowl era with 1,100-plus receiving yards in his team's first 12 games of a season. He set the previous record in 2018.

Denver's Drew Lock completed 15 of 28 passes for 151 yards, two touchdowns and as many interceptions on the road.

 

GIANTS CLIP SEAHAWKS' WINGS, RODGERS MAKES HISTORY

In what has been described as one of Seattle's worst losses of the Pete Carroll era, the Giants stunned the Seahawks 17-12.

The Giants were 4-7 entering the clash, while the NFC West-leading Seahawks were looking to extend their advantage.

But the Giants – using backup quarterback Colt McCoy – had other ideas against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks, who were outscored 14-0 in the third quarter.

Wilson struggled on home turf in Seattle, where he was sacked five times and finished 27-of-43 passing for 263 yards, one touchdown and one interception.

The Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams are now level atop the NFC West with 8-4 records after the latter beat the Arizona Cardinals 38-28.

Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers became the fastest player to throw 400 career touchdown passes in the Green Bay Packers' 30-16 success against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Rodgers reached the milestone in his 193rd NFL appearance, eclipsing Drew Brees, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, Dan Marino, Brett Favre and Philip Rivers after finding team-mate Davante Adams in the third quarter.

After throwing three touchdown passes, Super Bowl champion Rodgers also became the first player in league history with 35-plus TD passes in five different seasons.

 

Week 13 scores:

Cleveland Browns 41-35 Tennessee Titans
Las Vegas Raiders 31-28 New York Jets
Minnesota Vikings 27-24 Jacksonville Jaguars
Miami Dolphins 19-7 Cincinnati Bengals
Indianapolis Colts 26-20 Houston Texans
Detroit Lions 34-30 Chicago Bears
New Orleans Saints 21-16 Atlanta Falcons
Los Angeles Rams 38-28 Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants 17-12 Seattle Seahawks
New England Patriots 45-0 Los Angeles Chargers
Green Bay Packers 30-16 Philadelphia Eagles
Kansas City Chiefs 22-16 Denver Broncos

Having been viewed as an MVP contender for much of the season, Kyler Murray was held in check by the New England Patriots in Week 12 as the Arizona Cardinals slumped to a damaging defeat.

Murray threw for 170 yards and an interception in Arizona's 20-17 loss in New England, while he ran the ball five times for 31 yards.

It was the second consecutive underwhelming display from last year's first overall pick, following an uninspiring, if more statistically impressive showing, against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 11.

With the Cardinals suffering back-to-back losses and their franchise quarterback suddenly falling below his high standards, it is fair to ask the question: what is wrong with Kyler Murray?

Here we look at some of the numbers to attempt to provide an answer.

 

Off-target and lacking aggression

Murray has typically done an excellent job of delivering his throws accurately. Ball placement has long since been a strength of the former Oklahoma star and, for the season, he has a completion percentage above expectation of 3.2, according to the NFL's NextGen Stats, completing 68.2 per cent of his throws when he has been anticipated to connect on 65 per cent.

He is seventh in the NFL in that metric, but endured a significant drop-off in Week 12, when his completion percentage above expectation was minus 1.3, performing worse than Taysom Hill, Sam Darnold and San Francisco 49ers backup Nick Mullens to name a few.

Additionally, he did not complete a single pass that travelled over 20 yards in the air, per NextGen Stats, having hit on just one such pass against Seattle.

A significant dip in Murray's accuracy and no downfield element to their passing game are worrying signs for the Cardinals, and there are a couple of potential underlying reasons for both.

 

Hopkins handcuffed without Larry

When the Cardinals have won in 2020, All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins has typically played a significant role.

In Arizona victories, Hopkins has 47 receptions for 653 yards and four touchdowns. In defeats, he has 30 catches for 314 yards and zero scores.

The Patriots' willingness to take him away and force Murray to try to beat them using his other receivers played a substantial role in his struggles.

While the Patriots have failed to replicate their defensive dominance of 2019, they remain one of the league's best exponents of man coverage and used it to stifle Murray by shutting down Hopkins, who was limited to five catches for 55 yards thanks in part to an excellent performance from cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

With veteran Larry Fitzgerald missing a game for the first time since 2014 after being placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Murray was unable to get anything going with the remainder of his supporting cast.

More difficult to explain is Hopkins' five-catch, 51-yard performance in the loss to Seattle, who have the worst pass defense in the NFL, a game in which Murray had 269 yards and two touchdowns but suffered an injury that could account for his downturn.

 

Shoulder injury lingering?

Murray sustained a shoulder injury against the Seahawks but has played through it, indicating it is a minor issue.

It is unclear whether it has had much of an impact on Murray's ability throwing the ball. However, his lack of production as a runner suggests it may be more of a problem than Murray has let on.

The Cardinals have run the ball 52 times over the past two weeks. Murray has made just 10 of those attempts and the Cardinals have averaged a mediocre 3.8 yards per carry.

By contrast, in their first nine games, Murray had 87 of Arizona's 288 carries and they averaged 5.5 yards per attempt.

Arizona's passing yardage per attempt has dipped from 7.6 in the first nine games to 5.8 in the last two.

The numbers are reflective of the notion that the Cardinals' offense is better in every facet when Murray runs the ball.

For whatever reason, the Cardinals have gotten away from using Murray in that capacity, with their running backs failing to effectively fill the void.

Arizona occupy the final Wild Card spot at 6-5 but their lead on the chasing pack is just one game.

The Cardinals' run-in sees them face three of the top-12 run defenses in the NFL by yards allowed per game. They face the Los Angeles Rams twice and also meet the New York Giants and the 49ers.

Murray possesses one of the most dynamic skill sets in the NFL and can torture defenses with his running ability. Over recent weeks, however, the diminutive dual-threat star has appeared significantly more human.

For the Cardinals to make sure of a place in the playoffs, they need to get him back running in the open field so he can resume making the otherworldly look routine.

The quest to qualify for the NFL playoffs continues in Week 13, including an intriguing battle between two teams boasting 8-3 records as we get to the business end of the regular season.

Losing had become a horrible habit for the Browns in recent years, but now - behind the two-heading running attack of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt - Cleveland sits at 8-3, putting them firmly on course for a wildcard berth.

Next up for them is a trip to the Tennessee Titans, who leaned on leading rusher Derrick Henry to beat the Colts last time out and seize control of the AFC South. 

The latest round of games also includes a pivotal NFC West battle, while the Steelers have to deal with a short week and the Washington Football Team as they aim to remain unbeaten.

 

FEATURED GAME

Cleveland Browns at Tennessee Titans - Sunday, 1pm (all times Eastern)

- The Titans are 10-5 against Cleveland since the Browns franchise came back in 1999, including winning the previous three meetings. Last season's 43-13 Tennessee win in Week 1 was the largest by either team in the series since the Oilers set a franchise record in a 58-14 victory on December 9, 1990. 

- Cleveland's 8-3 start is the team's best since 1994, when the Browns began 9-3 under Bill Belichick and went on to win a playoff game, the franchise's last postseason triumph. Victory in Week 12 put an end to a 12-year streak of losing seasons. 

- Baker Mayfield is the first Browns quarterback to win three straight starts without throwing an interception since Vinny Testaverde in September 1995. The previous Browns QB with four straight victories and no picks? Frank Ryan, back in 1967. 

- Tennessee are coming off a 45-26 win at Indianapolis, the Titans' most points in a game since 2016 when they put 47 on the Green Bay Packers. Ryan Tannehill attempted just 22 passes in that Week 12 triumph, though he set a season high at 10.05 yards per attempt.

OTHER KEY GAMES

Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals - Sunday, 4.05pm

- The Cardinals were held under 21 points for the first time this season in their 20-17 loss to the New England Patriots last time out. Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this year and posted a 67.0 passer rating in the defeat, the second-worst rating of his NFL career.

New York Giants at Seattle Seahawks - Sunday, 4.05pm

- These teams have split 18 all-time meetings. However, the Seahawks have won the past four, all by double digits. The most recent meeting was in 2017, a 24-7 Seattle triumph. The Giants last visited Seattle in 2014, a game  the home team won by a 38-17 scoreline. 

Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs - Sunday, 8.20pm

- The Chiefs have won their past 10 games against the Broncos, the franchise's second-longest winning streak against any single opponent (11 games against Denver, from 1964 to 1969). Patrick Mahomes threw for 462 yards in the victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 12, meaning he is now responsible for five of the 10 400-yard passing games by a Chiefs quarterback.

Buffalo Bills at San Francisco 49ers - Monday, 8.15pm

- The Bills have not had a 100-yard rusher in 16 games, the fourth-longest active streak in the NFL. Still, throwing the ball has worked just fine for them this season - Josh Allen has become the fourth Bill to pass for over 3,000 yards in consecutive seasons, joining Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jim Kelly and Tyrod Taylor.

ELSEWHERE...

New Orleans Saints at Atlanta Falcons - Sunday, 1pm

- Taysom Hill is the second player in the Super Bowl era to score four rushing touchdowns through two career starts at quarterback, along with Eric Hipple, who did so for the Detroit Lions in 1981. However, the Falcons have improved under Raheem Morris, a 43-6 win over the Las Vegas Raiders last week meaning they are 4-2 since he took charge on an interim basis.

Washington Football Team at Pittsburgh Steelers - Monday, 7pm

- The Steelers are 11-0 for the first time in franchise history after beating the depleted Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday in a game delayed from Thanksgiving. Since 1970, nine of the 11 teams to start 11-0 have gone on to make the Super Bowl, including five that won it.

Aaron Rodgers led the Green Bay Packers to a resounding win in the NFL on Sunday, while Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost again.

Rodgers was in control throughout as the Packers eased to a 41-25 win over the Chicago Bears to strengthen their grip on the NFC North.

Patrick Mahomes had earlier starred for the Kansas City Chiefs, who held off Brady and the Buccaneers.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers left it late against the Los Angeles Rams and the Denver Broncos – without a quarterback – fell.

 

RODGERS' PACKERS DOMINATE BEARS

The Packers handed the Bears a fifth straight loss with a 16-point victory.

Rodgers completed 21 of 29 passes for 211 yards and four touchdowns for Green Bay, who at one stage led 41-10.

During the win, Rodgers became the 11th player in NFL history to reach 50,000 passing yards.

Davante Adams had a receiving touchdown in a sixth straight game, the longest active streak in the NFL. He also tied the Packers' franchise record since at least 1950, according to NFL Research.

The Packers (8-3) are top of the NFC North ahead of the Minnesota Vikings (5-6), Bears (5-6) and Detroit Lions (4-7).

CHIEFS HOLD OFF BUCCANEERS

Mahomes and Tyreek Hill dominated as the Chiefs overcame the Buccaneers 27-24.

Hill caught three touchdown passes and had 269 receiving yards as the Chiefs improved to 10-1 and handed Brady three straight home losses for the first time in his career.

During his performance, Hill had 203 receiving yards in the first quarter. He was the third player since 1980 with 200-plus receiving yards in a single quarter, joining Qadry Ismail (1999) and Lee Evans (2006).

Mahomes was 37 of 49 for 462 yards and three touchdowns, while Brady completed 27 of 41 for 345 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions.

In November, Mahomes averaged 399.5 passing yards per game. That is the most passing yards per game by any quarterback in a single month in NFL history, with minimum four games played, as per Stats Perform.

49ERS EDGE RAMS

Robbie Gould drilled a 42-yard field goal as time expired to lift the 49ers past the Rams 23-20.

Deebo Samuel had 133 receiving yards for the 49ers as Nick Mullens completed 24 of 35 for 252 yards, with one interception.

Rams QB Jared Goff struggled, throwing two interceptions and getting sacked twice while completing 19 of 31 for 198 yards.

The 49ers (5-6) are bottom of the NFC West, behind the Seattle Seahawks (7-3), Rams (7-4) and Arizona Cardinals (6-5).

SAINTS BEAT QUARTERBACK-LESS BRONCOS

With all their quarterbacks declared ineligible to play due to coronavirus protocols, the Broncos fell to the New Orleans Saints 31-3.

Wide receiver Kendall Hinton started at QB for the Broncos. He went one-of-nine for 13 yards and two interceptions.

With Drew Brees sidelined, the Saints improved to 9-2 as Taysom Hill started, throwing for 78 yards and rushing for 44. Latavius Murray had 124 rushing yards.

Week 12 scores:

Atlanta Falcons 43-6 Las Vegas Raiders
Buffalo Bills 27-17 Los Angeles Chargers
Cleveland Browns 27-25 Jacksonville Jaguars
Miami Dolphins 20-3 New York Jets
Minnesota Vikings 28-27 Carolina Panthers
New England Patriots 20-17 Arizona Cardinals
New York Giants 19-17 Cincinnati Bengals 
Tennessee Titans 45-26 Indianapolis Colts
New Orleans Saints 31-3 Denver Broncos
San Francisco 49ers 23-20 Los Angeles Rams
Kansas City Chiefs 27-24 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Green Bay Packers 41-25 Chicago Bears

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