NFL

Rodgers and Packers hold off Ravens to clinch division title, Bengals edge Broncos as Bridgewater hurt

By Sports Desk December 19, 2021

Aaron Rodgers hit another career milestone as the Green Bay Packers held off a fourth-quarter charge by the Baltimore Ravens to clinch the NFC North with a 31-30 victory Sunday. 

Division champions for the third consecutive year, the Packers became the first NFL team to lock up a playoff berth. 

Green Bay led 31-17 before Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley, making his second career start, ran for a pair of touchdowns in the final five minutes. 

After the second of those, with 45 seconds remaining, Baltimore head coach John Harbaugh opted to go for a two-point conversion that would have put the Ravens (8-6) on top, but Huntley could not connect on his pass attempt to Mark Andrews. 

That last defensive stand allowed Rodgers and the Packers (11-3) to escape with a win that gave them the division crown as the veteran quarterback completed 23 of 31 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns.

The last of those, an 11-yard strike to Marquez Valdes-Scantling early in the fourth quarter, was the 442nd touchdown pass of the quarterback's career, tying him with Brett Favre for the most in Packers history. 

His opposite number Sunday, the 23-year-old Huntley, was starting with Ravens star Lamar Jackson sidelined by ankle injury. 

Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2020, Huntley had a brilliant game, rushing for 73 yards and two scores while completing 28 of 40 passes for 215 yards and two more scores. 

Andrews was his top target all day, catching 10 passes for 136 yards and both of those TDs, but the tight end could not get his hands on the critical conversion try at the end. 

 

Bengals edge Broncos after Bridgewater injury

Joe Burrow hit Tyler Boyd for a 56-yard touchdown pass late in the third quarter that proved the difference as the Cincinnati Bengals picked up a key road win with a 15-10 defeat of the Denver Broncos. 

The lone Bengals TD of the afternoon came about five minutes after the Broncos (7-7) lost quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a head injury. 

Bridgewater collided with Bengals linebacker Joe Bachie in a scramble out of the backfield and both players went down. Bridgewater had to be carted off the field and was transported to a Denver hospital as a precaution. 

His replacement, Drew Lock, finished the drive with a 25-yard touchdown pass to Tim Patrick but Denver did not score again. 

Burrow completed 15 of 22 passes for 157 yards for the Bengals (8-6), who are tied with the Ravens atop the AFC North. 

 

Garoppolo, 49ers keep up winning ways

The San Francisco 49ers rolled to their fifth victory in six games, downing the Atlanta Falcons 31-13. 

Jimmy Garoppolo completed 18 of 23 passes for 235 yards and a touchdown and Jeff Wilson Jr. rushed for 110 yards and a score for San Francisco (8-6). 

The victory coupled with division leader Arizona's stunning loss in Detroit earlier Sunday kept the 49ers firmly in playoff contention as they sit third in the NFC West behind the Cardinals (10-4) and Los Angeles Rams (9-4). 

Related items

  • Browns bringing back Clowney on another one-year deal Browns bringing back Clowney on another one-year deal

    Jadeveon Clowney is heading back to the Cleveland Browns after being rewarded for a healthy 2021 season.

    A three-time Pro Bowl defensive end, Clowney's ability has rarely been in question, but he had been limited to just eight games for the Tennessee Titans ahead of joining the Browns last year.

    The Browns gave their new signing a one-year year last April worth up to $10million and were duly rewarded with one of the best seasons of his career.

    Playing opposite Myles Garrett, Clowney finished with nine sacks and two forced fumbles in 14 starts – each the second-best returns of his career.

    Only Garrett (16) had more sacks for the Browns, and Clowney has done enough to convince the team to invest again for 2022.

    According to ESPN, the player is returning on another 12-month deal, this time with a value up to $11m.

    The Browns finished a disappointing third in the AFC North at 8-9 in 2021 but will hope to be contenders after trading for quarterback Deshaun Watson.

    Watson played on the same Houston Texans team as Clowney between 2017 and 2018.

  • 'There are no violations' – Texas' Fisher hits back after Alabama coach Saban alleges recruitment breaches 'There are no violations' – Texas' Fisher hits back after Alabama coach Saban alleges recruitment breaches
  • Eagles sign Bradberry to one-year deal Eagles sign Bradberry to one-year deal

    The Philadelphia Eagles have boosted their defense with the signing of cornerback James Bradberry on a one-year deal.

    Bradberry arrives on a deal reportedly worth $10million following his release by the New York Giants, who let him go for salary cap relief.

    A Pro Bowler in 2020, Bradberry has delivered consistent production across his NFL career.

    His 2020 season with the Giants saw him record 18 pass breakups and three interceptions, and he followed that up with 17 breakups and four picks in 2021, despite the Giants finishing bottom of the NFC East with a 4-13 record.

    Only J.C. Jackson (37) and Xavien Howard (36) have registered more breakups than Bradberry's tally of 35 over the past two seasons.

    He will now form what looks an imposing starting cornerback partnership with Darius Slay.

    Since 2016, Slay and Bradberry are the only two players in the NFL to register at least 15 interceptions and 80 or more pass breakups.

    Having excelled on a struggling Giants team, the Eagles will hope Bradberry can continue to thrive on a defense that was the eighth-best in opponent yards per play allowed in 2021 as they look to take the next step following last season's Wild Card round exit.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.