Hunter Henry has had the franchise tag placed on him by the Los Angeles Chargers, while the Denver Broncos have taken the same step with safety Justin Simmons.

Tight end Henry was set to become one of the top offensive players on the open market but will now remain under the control of the Chargers, who released Thomas Davis and Brandon Mebane on Friday.

The 25-year-old's one-year tag is expected to be worth just over $11million as he remains on a team in transition after they moved on from quarterback Philip Rivers.

Henry has overcome two serious injuries in his first four seasons after being drafted in the second round in 2016.

He missed the entire 2018 regular season but bounced back with 652 yards and five touchdowns in 2019.

The Broncos made the same move by applying the franchise tag to Simmons, who was an All-Pro last year after racking up four interceptions and 15 passes defensed, playing every defensive snap.

"We remain focused on reaching a long-term contract agreement with Justin, and he's a big priority for us," general manager John Elway said of the 2016 third-round pick, whose tag will cost around $12.75m.

"This is a placeholder in that process and our goal is the same - to make sure that Justin is a Bronco for a long time."

Earlier, the Baltimore Ravens franchise tagged Matthew Judon, as teams make their intentions clear with free agency set to begin on March 18.

Austin Ekeler is keen for upcoming free agent Tom Brady to sign for the Los Angeles Chargers and spearhead a Super Bowl run.

With no sign of Brady and the New England Patriots agreeing to terms on a new deal, the NFL's most successful quarterback is heading for free agency for the first time in his career.

The 20-year veteran, a six-time Super Bowl champion, is expected to have many suitors if he hits the market, and the quarterback-needy Chargers are likely to be among those interested in the services of Brady, who this week launched a Hollywood production company.

Philip Rivers was released by the Chargers following 16 seasons with the franchise and running back Ekeler feels Brady fits the bill to replace him under center.

"I think it would be amazing to play with Tom Brady," Ekeler said on NFL Total Access.

"I've been playing with Philip and he's like the GOAT in the Chargers organisation for so long, he's the legend there.

"You have Tom Brady on the other side of the country, he's a legend over there so if I got to play with them it would be an amazing opportunity.

"I feel like I would have been able to play with two GOATs of our century.

"Here's why I think it would be a good fit - we just lost a lot of leadership in Philip Rivers, right? So it's like, all right, there's a void there now. 

"Also, Russell Okung, one of our tackles, got traded. He was one of our team leaders as well. So there's a void in leadership right there.

"It's an opportunity for people to step up, but if you bring a guy like Tom Brady in the room, he's been there, done that. He's already got the leadership qualities and he's already proven that he's a winner. So hey, let's build something around that, too."

Ekeler will be returning to the Chargers after reportedly signing a four-year, $24.5million extension following a breakout 2019.

The Chargers, who had a 5-11 record last season and finished bottom of the AFC West, have the 12th-most cap space in the NFL so would seemingly be in a position to make a run at Brady.

Furthermore, with Ekeler, Keenan Allen and potentially Hunter Henry coming back, they also have the offensive weapons 42-year-old Brady would crave.

"I feel like we have the pieces to make a run [at the Super Bowl] regardless," Ekeler added.

"I feel like that void is there, it's going to be filled by somebody. But we just have the talent around him, whoever that person is, to make them successful."

Philip Rivers will enter free agency after 16 years with the Los Angeles Chargers.

The 38-year-old quarterback has set in excess of 30 franchise records in his long career with the Chargers but stated last month that his time in Los Angeles is likely to be over.

It was announced by the Chargers on Monday that the two parties had mutually agreed for Rivers to depart.

Chargers general manager Tom Telesco said: "After stepping back a bit from last season, we reconnected with Philip and his representatives to look at how 2019 played out, assess our future goals, evaluate the current state of the roster and see if there was a path forward that made sense for both parties.

"As we talked through various scenarios, it became apparent that it would be best for Philip and the Chargers to turn the page on what has truly been a remarkable run.

"We agreed that making this decision well before free agency would allow everyone to put themselves in the best position for success in 2020.

"I've said before that Philip can still compete at a top-starter level and, in a perfect world, number 17 is your quarterback forever.

"Obviously, we live in an imperfect world where the only constant is change. I think Philip's tremendous perspective, both when it comes to football and when it comes to life, helped lend clarity to a very complex situation."

Rivers is unsure what the future holds after his remarkable career with the Chargers came to an end.

"I am very grateful to the Spanos family and the Chargers organization for the last 16 years," said Rivers, a man described by owner Dean Spanos as "the heart and soul" of the franchise.

"In anything you do, it's the people you do it with that make it special. There are so many relationships and memories with coaches, support staff and team-mates that will last forever, and for that I am so thankful.

"I never took for granted the opportunity to lead this team out on to the field for 235 games. We had a lot of great moments, beginning in San Diego and then finishing in LA. I wish my team-mates and coaches nothing but the best moving forward.

"I'm not sure what the future holds, but my family and I look forward to seeing what God has planned for us next."

The Chargers have the sixth pick in the draft and already have veteran quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the ranks

Antonio Gates has officially announced his retirement from the NFL.

The tight end compiled a Hall of Fame resume in 16 seasons with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers franchise he joined as an undrafted free agent in 2003 following a workout.

A former basketball player who never played college football, Gates racked up 11,841 yards, with his 116 touchdowns the most by a tight end in NFL history.

Gates, who did not play in the 2019 season, was a three-time All-Pro and was named to the Pro Bowl eight times in a career that will likely see him inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"After 16 seasons in the NFL, 16 seasons as a Charger, eight Pro Bowl appearances and many records broken, I find it hard to officially put this statement out and retire from the game of football," a statement from Gates read.

"I never dreamed that I would play this game of football so long or how fortunate I would be to play it with just one organisation. I want to thank the Chargers organisation, Dean Spanos and the Spanos family, and the National Football League for the opportunity to live out a dream and play the game I love.

"And to the fans in San Diego, Los Angeles, across the country and around the world, thank you for your unwavering support all these years. There would be no NFL without you.

"While today I am officially retiring as a Charger, I am grateful that I will still be lending my services to the Chargers organisation - just now in a completely different capacity through the team's community engagement initiatives and public facing events.

"Thank you to everyone that helped me create memories that will last a lifetime, both on and off the field. Thank you to my agent, Tom Condon, and management team, Denise White and EAG, for helping me navigate this sport over the last 16 years.

"Thank you to my family for your love and support through the years, and a special thank you to my kids - I am hopeful to have left a legacy that you can be proud of, not just as a football player but also as a father.

"I'm looking forward to beginning the next chapter of my career and am grateful for the opportunity to be back around the team and our fans.

"Thank you to everyone who has been part of this remarkable journey with me. I can't wait to see what's next."

Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers is open to playing for another team in 2020 as the veteran insisted he plans to continue in the NFL.

The Chargers ended their season with a 31-21 defeat at the Kansas City Chiefs in Rivers' possible farewell on Sunday.

Rivers – an eight-time Pro Bowler – is out of contract after this season and the 38-year-old's future remains up in the air.

Pressed on his future post-game, Rivers was overcome with emotion as he fronted the media amid the uncertainty.

"If this is the last time here or last time in this uniform, that's a possibility," Rivers told reporters. "I think in a year like this can drain you a bit and beat you up, but the love is still there. Nothing like competing at this level.

"Living the dream. Even in this situation at 5-10… that tells me that I still have some juice left… Do I still want to [play]? Absolutely."

Rivers – selected by the Chargers with pick four in the 2004 draft – added: "Yeah, I plan to play football. Where that's going to be, that will get sorted out. I've never been in this position. We will just see. I'm very thankful for the 16 years. With uncertainty, comes unknown.

"As I stand today, as long as someone wants me, I'll be playing somewhere. But in a month, I don't know, I might be ready to put on a headset and call a play. If one of 32 teams want me and it's the right situation and I can start that 255th game in a row, I'll be running out there."

Rivers ended the campaign with 390 completed passes for 4,615 yards, 23 touchdowns and 20 interceptions in 16 games this season for the Chargers (5-11).

It was Rivers' lowest number of TDs since throwing 21 in 2007, while his 20 interceptions were the most since tallying 21 in 2016.

"There's a lot of questions that have to be answered," Rivers said. "It's not just, 'Am I back?' And we'll win 12 games. We're far from that being, 'Check that box and we're good.' That would be inaccurate.

"There's a lot of question marks moving forward. As those get answered and how those get answered along with my personal question will clear up a lot of things."

The Kansas City Chiefs pipped the New England Patriots to a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs, while Mason Crosby's last-gasp field goal ensured the Green Bay Packers did not miss out.

With the Patriots suffering a surprise 27-24 loss to the Dolphins, a 31-21 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers saw the Chiefs snatch the number two seed in the AFC.

Unlike New England, the Packers were able to get the win they needed to head straight to the Divisional Round with a 23-20 comeback victory over the Detroit Lions at Ford Field.

The New Orleans Saints did enough to remain in contention for a first-round bye with a resounding 42-10 triumph over the Carolina Panthers, who saw Christian McCaffrey make history.

 

CHIEFS MAKE MOST OF PATS SHOCK

The Patriots looked to have staved off a potential upset against the Dolphins at Gillette Stadium when James White ran into the end zone on third and goal to give them their first lead with 3:53 remaining in the fourth quarter.

However, New England were unable to stop Ryan Fitzpatrick leading a 13-play drive that ended with a five-yard touchdown reception for Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds left.

Tom Brady, who went 16 of 29 for 221 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, moved beyond 4,000 yards in a season for the 11th time in his career and surpassed Peyton Manning for the second-most career touchdown passes in NFL history with his 540th, but was unable to conjure a miracle and help force overtime.

Defeat for the Patriots meant the Chiefs were able to deny them the final bye in the AFC.

After rookie Mecole Hardman's 104-yard kickoff return and an 84-yard rushing touchdown from Damien Williams for the Chiefs in their clash with the Chargers, Hunter Henry made it a three-point game. However, Williams' second score of the day locked up the win.

 

PACKERS MAKE SAINTS WAIT

Against the league's worst passing defense, Aaron Rodgers only had one completion for the Packers in a first quarter that saw his Lions opposite number David Blough take in a 19-yard touchdown pass from wide receiver Danny Amendola.

The Packers trailed by 14 points at half-time but were level when Allen Lazard reeled in a 28-yard touchdown pass from Rodgers with just over five minutes remaining in the final period.

A tremendous play from Aaron Jones got Green Bay into field-goal range and Crosby did not let them down at the death, making his attempt from 33 yards.

That meant the Saints had to wait to find out their fate, with a loss for the San Francisco 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks required to send them through as the second seed behind the Packers.

Drew Brees (253 yards) was key to New Orleans' victory over the Panthers as he became just the fourth player with at least three touchdown passes and no interceptions in four consecutive games in a single NFL season.

 

MCCAFFREY'S RECORD HUNT

The Panthers may have been blown out by the Saints, but McCaffrey did enough for a slice of history.

The third-year tailback joined Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk as the only players in NFL history with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.

McCaffrey finished the season with 2,392 scrimmage yards, the third-most in history and 117 shy of Chris Johnson's record.

 

WINSTON MAKES HISTORY

Jameis Winston's future is a source of great uncertainty and he did himself few favours against the Atlanta Falcons.

The fifth-year quarterback threw his 30th interception of the season in overtime for Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Deion Jones returned it for a game-winning touchdown.

It was the seventh pick six Winston has thrown this season – a new NFL record.

 

Week 17 scores:

New York Jets 13-6 Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns 23-33 Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay Packers 23-20 Detroit Lions
Los Angeles Chargers 21-31 Kansas City Chiefs
Chicago Bears 21-19 Minnesota Vikings
Miami Dolphins 27-24 New England Patriots
Atlanta Falcons 28-22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (OT)
New Orleans Saints 42-10 Carolina Panthers

The Philadelphia Eagles denied the Dallas Cowboys the NFC East title as they boosted their postseason chances, while the Seattle Seahawks endured a forgettable outing against the Arizona Cardinals.

Philadelphia used a 17-9 victory over NFL rivals the Cowboys on Sunday to take a big step towards the playoffs.

The injury-hit Seahawks were left licking their wounds after a damaging 27-13 defeat to the Cardinals in Seattle in the race for the number one seed in the NFC.

 

EAGLES FLYING TOWARDS PLAYOFFS

The Eagles are one game away from a trip to the playoffs after topping the Cowboys in Philadelphia.

Sidney Jones sealed a vital win when he broke up Dak Prescott's fourth-down pass to wide receiver Michael Gallup with just over a minute remaining.

A victory would have sealed back-to-back NFC East titles for the Cowboys (7-8), instead the Eagles (8-7) are in the box seat heading into their final regular-season game against the New York Giants.

"You can see the sense of belief that each of these guys have," said Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz, who was 31 of 40 for 319 yards and a touchdown as his team celebrated a third straight win.

Cowboys QB Prescott – who carried a shoulder issue into the contest – was 25 of 44 for 265 yards, with Dallas needing to beat the Washington Redskins and hope the Eagles lose.

 

SEAHAWKS' TOP SEED HOPES FADE AS INJURIES MOUNT

Already playoff bound, the Seahawks' hopes of clinching the top seed in the NFC potentially vanished after going down to the Cardinals.

The Seahawks dropped to 11-4 for the season, behind leaders the San Francisco 49ers (12-3), New Orleans Saints (12-3) and Green Bay Packers (11-3).

Seattle, who entered the week as the top seed, can seal the NFC West with victory over the 49ers. But they are set to be without running back Chris Carson (hip) and backup C.J. Prosise (broken arm), for the rest of the season.

Kenyan Drake led the Cardinals, rushing for 166 yards and two touchdowns, while Kyler Murray left in the third quarter due to a hamstring injury.

 

MAHOMES PUTS ON A SHOW

Reigning MVP and Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes inspired a 26-3 rout of the Chicago Bears with three scores on the road.

Mahomes – who was 23 of 33 for 251 yards – threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the Chiefs (11-4) stayed in contention for a first-round playoff bye. He also became the first player in NFL history to record 9,000 passing yards and 75 passing touchdowns in his first 30 games.

The streaking Chiefs, coming off a fifth consecutive win, are a game behind the New England Patriots for the AFC's second seed.

Elsewhere, the Oakland Raiders kept their postseason hopes alive by trumping the Los Angeles Chargers 24-17, while the Detroit Lions fell to an eighth consecutive defeat after losing 27-17 to the Denver Broncos.

 

HARBAUGH REVELS IN RAVENS SUCCESS

The Baltimore Ravens clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs for the first time thanks to an 11th successive win – a 31-15 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

"It feels good," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said after locking up homefield advantage.

"The players deserve a tremendous amount of credit for it. It's hard to win any game in the NFL. When you put together this kind of season, it's quite an accomplishment."

 

Week 16 scores:

Atlanta Falcons 24-12 Jacksonville Jaguars
Baltimore Ravens 31-15 Cleveland Browns
Indianapolis Colts 38-6 Carolina Panthers
Miami Dolphins 38-35 Cincinnati Bengals (OT)
New York Jets 16-10 Pittsburgh Steelers
New Orleans Saints 38-28 Tennessee Titans
New York Giants 41-35 Washington Redskins (OT)
Denver Broncos 27-17 Detroit Lions
Oakland Raiders 24-17 Los Angeles Chargers
Philadelphia Eagles 17-9 Dallas Cowboys
Arizona Cardinals 27-13 Seattle Seahawks
Kansas City Chiefs 26-3 Chicago Bears

The San Francisco 49ers suffered a shock loss in the NFL on Sunday, while the Buffalo Bills clinched a playoff spot.

The 49ers (11-3) were beaten for the second time in three games after going down to the Atlanta Falcons.

Meanwhile, the Bills are heading to the playoffs for just the second time since 2000 after overcoming the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Dallas Cowboys claimed a key win and the Oakland Raiders were beaten by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

49ERS STUNNED BY FALCONS

Julio Jones' touchdown with just seconds remaining helped the Falcons get past the 49ers 29-22.

Matt Ryan's five-yard pass to Jones – who had 134 receiving yards – with two seconds remaining, and Olamide Zaccheaus' fumble return as time expired, saw Atlanta (5-9) to their shock win.

Ryan went 25 of 39 for 210 yards and two TDs, while 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo finished with 200 yards after completing 22 of 34 passes.

George Kittle had 134 receiving yards for the 49ers, but his team fell short.

The 49ers are assured of a playoff place, but sit behind the Seattle Seahawks (11-3) in the NFC West. The teams will meet on December 29.

 

BILLS BOOK PLAYOFF SPOT

The Bills rallied past the Steelers 17-10 to clinch a playoff place.

After Stephen Hauschka's 36-yard field goal brought Buffalo level in the fourth quarter, Josh Allen's 14-yard pass to Tyler Kroft secured the win.

Devin Singletary rushed for 87 yards on 21 carries for the Bills, while John Brown had 99 receiving yards.

The Bills (10-4) are second to the New England Patriots (11-3) in the AFC East, while the Steelers (8-6) are in a wildcard place.

 

COWBOYS SNAP LOSING STREAK

The Cowboys ended a three-game losing streak with a 44-21 victory over the Rams.

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns, rushing for 117 yards on 24 carries in the impressive win.

The Rams managed just 22 rushing yards as QB Jared Goff went 33 of 51 for 284 yards, two TDs and an interception.

Dallas top a tight NFC East with a 7-7 record ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) and they meet next week.

 

RAIDERS' COLISEUM FAREWELL ENDS IN LOSS

In their final scheduled game at the Oakland Coliseum, the Raiders went down to the Jaguars 20-16.

Oakland (6-8) are set to miss the playoffs after the defeat as they conceded 14 fourth-quarter points to Jacksonville (5-9).

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings improved to 10-4 by crushing the Los Angeles Chargers 39-10 and the Cleveland Browns' playoff hopes were hit after a 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, who had Kenyan Drake score four TDs.

WEEK 15 SCORES

Seattle Seahawks 30-24 Carolina Panthers
New England Patriots 34-13 Cincinnati Bengals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-17 Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers 21-13 Chicago Bears
Kansas City Chiefs 23-3 Denver Broncos
New York Giants 36-20 Miami Dolphins
Houston Texans 24-21 Tennessee Titans
Philadelphia Eagles 37-27 Washington Redskins
Arizona Cardinals 38-24 Cleveland Browns
Minnesota Vikings 39-10 Los Angeles Chargers
Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16 Oakland Raiders
Dallas Cowboys 44-21 Los Angeles Rams
Atlanta Falcons 29-22 San Francisco 49ers
Buffalo Bills 17-10 Pittsburgh Steelers

The Kansas City Chiefs clinched another division title by overcoming the New England Patriots, while the Seattle Seahawks' winning streak was ended.

The Chiefs handed the Patriots a second straight loss and secured the AFC West crown for the fourth consecutive NFL season.

Seattle's winning streak came to an end at five after losing to NFC West rivals the Los Angeles Rams.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Chargers and Tennessee Titans posted big wins and the Pittsburgh Steelers edged the Arizona Cardinals.

 

CHIEFS CLINCH

Patrick Mahomes helped the Chiefs past the Patriots 23-16 at Gillette Stadium.

Mahomes was 26 of 40 for 283 yards, a touchdown and an interception as the Chiefs improved to 9-4.

The Patriots dropped to 10-3 and had two TDs taken away by controversial officiating calls.

Tom Brady's right elbow was heavily wrapped after the loss, the quarterback finishing 19 of 36 for 169 yards, a TD and an interception.

 

SEAHAWKS' RUN SNAPPED BY RAMS

The Rams stopped the Seahawks' run with a 28-12 victory.

Jared Goff went 22 of 31 for 293 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Seahawks QB Russell Wilson (22 of 36 for 245 yards and an interception) struggled.

The Seahawks are now 10-3 and second in the NFC West, while the Rams (8-5) are chasing a wildcard.

 

CHARGERS, TITANS CRUISE

The Chargers ended a three-game losing run by thrashing the Jacksonville Jaguars 45-10.

Philip Rivers led the Chargers, completing 16 of 22 passes for 314 yards and three touchdowns.

However, the Chargers were eliminated from playoff contention.

The Titans extended their winning streak to four by crushing the Oakland Raiders 42-21.

Titans QB Ryan Tannehill threw three touchdown passes, completing 21 of 27 for 391 yards for Tennessee (8-5), who are in the wildcard chase.

GAROPPOLO EARNS PRAISE, RAVENS ROLL ON

Jimmy Garoppolo threw four TDs in the San Francisco 49ers' thrilling 48-46 win over the New Orleans Saints, earning praise from head coach Kyle Shanahan.

"He's unbelievable. No matter what happens," Shanahan said. "He's had a lot of good games this year.

"He has had some times where he's made some mistakes. But he's the same guy every day. Just to be able to deal with that crowd noise and to deal with adversity that went in and out throughout the game, to be able to deal with me, he's the same and a lot of fun to coach."

The Baltimore Ravens booked their spot in the playoffs thanks to a 24-17 win over the Buffalo Bills.

However, tight end Mark Andrews (knee), linebacker Chris Board (concussion) and safety Anthony Levine Sr. (ankle) suffered injuries.

"Mark is not serious, maybe a thigh bruise type of thing," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said.

"Anthony is not serious, ankle. Both those guys told me they'd be back Thursday. We'll see how that goes as the week goes on."

 

WEEK 14 SCORES:

Atlanta Falcons 40-20 Carolina Panthers
Baltimore Ravens 24-17 Buffalo Bills
Cleveland Browns 27-19 Cincinnati Bengals
Green Bay Packers 20-15 Washington Redskins
Denver Broncos 38-24 Houston Texans
Minnesota Vikings 20-7 Detroit Lions
San Francisco 49ers 48-46 New Orleans Saints
New York Jets 22-21 Miami Dolphins
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-35 Indianapolis Colts
Los Angeles Chargers 45-10 Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh Steelers 23-17 Arizona Cardinals
Kansas City Chiefs 23-16 New England Patriots
Tennessee Titans 42-21 Oakland Raiders
Los Angeles Rams 28-12 Seattle Seahawks

The Jacksonville Jaguars have confirmed rookie Gardner Minshew will replace Nick Foles as their starting quarterback for their Week 14 game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Foles was pulled for Minshew at half-time of the Jags' 28-11 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday having committed three first-half turnovers.

Minshew provided a spark - as he did during eight starts earlier in the year after Foles injured his clavicle, the Jaguars going 4-4 in that time.

Now at 4-8 on the season, the Jaguars have elected to turn back to Minshew, who was a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NFL Draft and has already developed a cult-hero status with a 14-5 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Foles, a former Super Bowl MVP with the Philadelphia Eagles, signed a four-year deal with Jacksonville this offseason but the Jaguars have not won a game he has started in 2019.

Deshaun Watson produced a stunning display to help the Houston Texans upstage the New England Patriots, while the Los Angeles Chargers succumbed to a last-gasp field goal.

Watson finished with four touchdowns as the Texans trumped the Patriots 28-22 in NFL action on Sunday.

Elsewhere, the Chargers succumbed to the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs humbled the Oakland Raiders.

 

PATRIOTS KNOCKED FROM AFC SEED BY WATSON'S TEXANS

Reigning Super Bowl champions the Patriots lost top spot in the AFC after Watson dazzled in Houston, and the Baltimore Ravens prevailed against the San Francisco 49ers in a blockbuster earlier in the day.

Watson threw three touchdown passes and had the first TD reception of his career as Patriots dropped to 10-2 for the season.

Houston's Watson had 234 yards passing to help the Texans (8-4) take a 21-3 lead against the Patriots, while he also caught a touchdown from receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady managed two of his three touchdown passes in the final four minutes – the veteran finishing 24 of 47 for 326 yards and an interception.

 

CHARGERS FALL TO LATE DEFEAT

It was a heartbreaking outing for the Chargers, who went down 23-20 to the Broncos as time expired in Denver.

Brandon McManus' 53-yard field goal saw the Broncos (4-8) past the luckless Chargers (4-8), who had levelled the clash via Michael Badgley's 46-yard attempt with 14 seconds remaining.

McManus converted after a 38-yard pass interference call on Charges cornerback Casey Hayward Jr.

"I thought it was OPI [offensive pass interference]," Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn said post-game.

Denver's rookie quarterback Drew Lock was 18 of 28 for 134 yards, two touchdowns and an interception on debut.

While one Los Angeles team were left frustrated, another celebrated a comprehensive victory.

Jared Goff threw for 424 yards and two touchdowns as the Rams defeated the Arizona Cardinals 34-7.

 

CHIEFS SEIZE CONTROL OF AFC WEST

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs were too good for AFC West rivals the Raiders, triumphing 40-9.

The Chiefs raced out to a 31-0 lead before the Raiders managed to get on the scoreboard in Kansas City.

Chiefs quarterback Mahomes was 15-of-29 for 175 yards and a touchdown, while the reigning MVP also rushed for a TD.

Juan Thornhill's pick-six also inspired the Chiefs (8-4), who opened a two-game lead over the Raiders in the race for the division.

The Raiders (6-6) struggled as QB Derek Carr finished with 222 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.

 

EAGLES 'SELF-DESTRUCTED'

It was a forgettable outing for the Philadelphia Eagles as head coach Doug Pederson reflected on the team's 37-31 loss to the lowly Dolphins.

The Eagles led 28-14 in the third quarter before being outscored 23-3 for the remainder of the game in Miami.

"We self-destructed in a couple of areas today, and it just hurt us," said Pederson, whose team have lost three in a row. "And we didn't make enough plays; they made 'em, we didn't. So those are the things that I talk about when I talk about being a disciplined team."

 

WEEK 13 SCORES:

Tennessee Titans 31-17 Indianapolis Colts
Cincinnati Bengals 22-6 New York Jets
Washington Redskins 29-21 Carolina Panthers
Baltimore Ravens 20-17 San Francisco 49ers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 28-11 Jacksonville Jaguars
Pittsburgh Steelers 20-13 Cleveland Browns
Green Bay Packers 31-13 New York Giants
Miami Dolphins 37-31 Philadelphia Eagles
Los Angeles Rams 34-7 Arizona Cardinals
Denver Broncos 23-20 Los Angeles Chargers
Kansas City Chiefs 40-9 Oakland Raiders
Houston Texans 28-22 New England Patriots

Drew Lock appears poised to make his first NFL start on Sunday after the Denver Broncos activated the rookie quarterback off injured reserve.

Former Missouri quarterback Lock was drafted in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Broncos, but a thumb injury suffered in preseason means he is yet to debut as a professional.

However, the Broncos activated the 23-year-old on Saturday amid reports Lock will be given the start against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.

Denver started the season with veteran Joe Flacco at quarterback, but he was placed on injured reserve on November 1, with Brandon Allen starting the past three games.

The Broncos went 1-2 in that time, with Allen struggling mightily in a 20-3 loss to the Buffalo Bills last week when he went 10-of-25 passing and threw for just 82 yards.

Denver head coach Vic Fangio did not commit to naming his starting quarterback this week but the suggestion is the 3-8 Broncos will see what they have in Lock for the remainder of the season.

Derwin James is set to make his first appearance of the season having been activated ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers' Week 13 game against the Denver Broncos.

The second-year safety was a Pro Bowler last year having been selected 17th overall by the Chargers in the 2018 NFL Draft.

However, he underwent surgery in August due a stress fracture in his foot.

The Chargers also announced fellow defensive back Adrian Phillips, another Pro Bowler last season, has been activated having missed 10 weeks with a broken forearm.

However, with a 4-7 record in the AFC West, the Chargers face an uphill battle to return to the playoffs.

Philip Rivers knows he must cut out the turnovers that are "hurting" the Los Angeles Chargers after they were beaten 24-17 by the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chargers quarterback threw a fourth interception of the game with 24 seconds remaining attempting to pick out Austin Ekeler in the end zone on Monday.

That late underthrow summed up another disappointing evening for Rivers and left the Chargers at 4-7.

The 37-year-old has hurled 14 interceptions this season - with 16 turnovers in total - and is aware that is not acceptable.

"It's a football game," the veteran said. "If you could just pick and choose and never throw them ever, I'd choose to throw zero.

"So I certainly don't want to throw them, but I know it's hurting us right now. So obviously I need to cut them out."

Chargers coach Anthony Lynn said Rivers should not take full responsibility for his tally of turnovers, but must raise his game.

"Philip just has to execute better, as far as turnovers," Lynn said. "Now, when you look at his turnovers, it's not always on the quarterback.

"I mean, sometimes the quarterback is getting hit late, or sometimes a receiver may slip down, so you can't put all of those turnovers on Philip.

"But his turnovers are a little higher than I would like. He knows that. And we have to get better in that area - period."

The Kansas City Chiefs recorded an important 24-17 win over the Los Angeles Chargers in Mexico City in the NFL on Monday.

A pair of third-quarter touchdowns helped the Chiefs (7-4) past AFC West rivals the Chargers (4-7) at the Estadio Azteca.

Chiefs star Patrick Mahomes improved in the second half and finished with 182 yards on the back of 19 of 32 completed passes with one TD and an interception.

Travis Kelce led the Chiefs with 92 receiving yards, including a TD, in a key win for division leaders Kansas City, who had Tyreek Hill suffer a hamstring injury.

Kelce became the fastest tight end in NFL history to reach 6,000 yards and 450 receptions, according to the Chiefs.

Philip Rivers (28 of 52 for 353 yards with one TD) almost saw the Chargers to a late victory, but the QB threw his fourth interception in the dying seconds.

After a first-quarter Michael Badgley field goal for the Chargers, the Chiefs took a 7-3 lead when Tyrann Mathieu intercepted Rivers, allowing LeSean McCoy to rush across from six yards for a TD.

Badgley made two more field goals – either side of one from Harrison Butker – as the Chiefs took a 10-9 lead into half-time.

Mahomes was better in the second half as the Chiefs scored twice to go ahead 24-9.

Darrel Williams rushed over before Mahomes' 23-yard pass for Kelce saw the Chiefs take control.

However, the Chargers responded when Rivers found Keenan Allen and a two-point conversion brought them back within seven.

Rivers looked to lead the Chargers on a scoring drive late and a 50-yard pass to Mike Williams set up a potential TD, but the QB was intercepted again in the closing seconds.

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