The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are poised to sign running back Le'Veon Bell after an injury to regular starter Leonard Fournette.

Fournette sustained a hamstring injury in the Super Bowl champions' surprise 9-0 loss to divisional rivals the New Orleans Saints on Sunday.

He is expected to be placed on injured reserve and miss the rest of the regular season but should return in time for the playoffs.

Per reports from NFL.com and ESPN, the Bucs – who have a 10-4 record – will now turn to Bell, who will support Ronald Jones in filling the void left by Fournette.

Bell has been without a team since being released by the Baltimore Ravens last month and will sign pending a physical examination, which will take place on Wednesday.

The two-time first-team All-Pro played in just five games for the Ravens this season, rushing for 83 yards and two touchdowns.

He is best known for a successful five-year spell with the Pittsburgh Steelers to start his career.

After taking a year out of the NFL amid a contract dispute with the Steelers, he went on to join the New York Jets and also spent time with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2020.

The man he is replacing, Fournette, sits in a tie for ninth in the NFL with eight rushing touchdowns in 2021, while his 812 yards on the ground put him 11th.

Fournette is also yet to fumble in 171 attempts this season.

The Bucs will look to bounce back from their loss to the Saints with another divisional game as they play on the road against the Carolina Panthers on Boxing Day.

Tom Brady's team remain three games clear of the Saints atop the NFC South in their ongoing bid to repeat as Super Bowl winners.

Aaron Rodgers says the Green Bay Packers need to savour the moment after clinching the NFC North division and a playoff berth with Sunday's 31-30 win over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Packers secured the NFC North title for the third straight season with the victory as Rodgers threw three touchdown passes to equal Brett Favre's franchise record.

The win improved the Packers' record to 11-3, well clear of the Minnesota Vikings (6-7) in the NFC North. Green Bay also remain in pole position for top seeding in the NFC ahead of the Dallas Cowboys, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals who all have 10-4 records.

"You have to savour these a little bit," Rodgers said at the post-game news conference. "These are special.

"It's just the first step in our goals, but a lot of times the coach-speak - I'm not saying that [Packers head coach] Matt [LaFleur] did this - but a lot of times there might be coach-speak that takes over and says, 'Hey, you know this is just one goal and we have bigger goals and stuff,'.

"I think it's important to keep that perspective on how special accomplishing this is three years in a row and so just to enjoy it, to savour it, savour these moments. These are special moments."

Rodgers completed 23 of 31 attempts for 268 yards, with his third touchdown pass for Marquez Valdes-Scantling bringing him level with Favre with 442 career TD passes for the Packers.

The Packers QB will look to break the record when they host the Cleveland Browns at Lambeau Field on Christmas Day.

"[Tying the record] means a lot," Rodgers added. "It’s been a special run for me to follow up a legend. Hopefully, I can break that record at home on Christmas next week."

The divisional title is also LaFleur's third having taken over as Packers head coach in 2019.

"We're certainly happy about winning the North again," LaFleur said. "But also understand that there's three very tough games in front of us and we're going to have to continue to work every day to improve in order for us to get to where we want to go.

"We'll always celebrate victories. That was our first goal that we accomplished but I think this team has higher aspirations."

For the second time in three weeks, Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh opted to try for a two-point conversion and the win in the final minute of regulation rather than kicking the extra point and hoping to prevail in overtime. 

Just as they had against the Pittsburgh Steelers a fortnight earlier, the Ravens failed to convert Sunday and fell in heart-breaking fashion, 31-30 to the Green Bay Packers. 

Green Bay led 31-17 before Ravens quarterback Tyler Huntley, starting in place of the injured Lamar Jackson, 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. 

Harbaugh had told Huntley before the first of those touchdown drives that he planned to go for the win in regulation again if the Ravens found themselves in a similar position to the one they were in against the Steelers, and the coach did not second-guess himself afterward. 

"We were just trying to get the win right there," Harbaugh told reporters. "I think our chances of winning right there were a little bit higher than in overtime, maybe, if you calculate it out. I felt good about it. I thought we had a good play. Again, they made a really good play."

Had the Ravens decided to kick the extra point and tie the game at 31-31, there were no guarantees they would even have made it to overtime, considering Aaron Rodgers would have had some time to work his magic before time ran out. 

That made it a slightly different call than the one Harbaugh made against the Steelers, when the Ravens scored with just 12 seconds to play in the game. 

Either way, Harbaugh said those two failures in quick succession – not to mention a failed two-point try earlier in the fourth quarter in a two-point loss to the Cleveland Browns last week – would not affect his process going forward. 

"It’s situation to situation," Harbaugh said. "To me, in both of those cases, that gave us the best chance to win. Because we didn’t win doesn’t make it not true. It’s still true now, just as true as it was then. So, it doesn’t always work out."

Harbaugh's players backed his decision, with Andrews saying the move fit Baltimore's persona. 

"I think people that second-guessed that are wrong," he said. "I think that was the right thing to do. We’re an aggressive team.”

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). 

Green Bay Packers head coach Matt LaFleur has no doubt Aaron Rodgers will be "ready to go" for Sunday's clash with the Baltimore Ravens.

Rodgers went through the week with any work in practice as the NFC North-leading Packers prepare to visit AFC North leaders the Ravens in Baltimore.

Reigning NFL MVP Rodgers has been dealing with a fractured left pinky toe, but the Packers are not concerned about his availability.

"He did not do anything today other than our walk-through prior to practice," LaFleur told reporters on Friday, with a win against the Ravens locking up the NFC North title.

"But as far as him playing in the game, we don't have any concerns. Certainly, yeah, you'd love to have him get those live reps just for the timing purposes.

"But again, is it what it is. We'll make the best of it, and there's no doubt in my mind he'll be ready to go."

Rodgers threw four touchdowns and no interceptions against the Chicago Bears last week – it was his 28th career game with at least four TD passes and zero interception, tied with Tom Brady for the most such games in NFL history (including playoffs).

The Packers dropped 45 points on the Bears at Lambeau Field, their highest scoring output since 2014 against the Philadelphia Eagles (53-20 win). The Packers are averaging 30.7 points per game at home but 20.6 points on the road, the third-largest differential in the NFL, according to Stats Perform.

The Green Bay Packers will clinch the NFC North title if they avoid defeat against the wounded Baltimore Ravens, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers could win the NFC South in Week 15.

AFC North leaders Baltimore will be striving to avoid a third consecutive defeat when they face the Packers but have this week been managing quarterback Lamar Jackson's ankle sprain.

Tampa Bay can seal the division title provided they are not beaten at home by the New Orleans Saints on Monday, while the New England Patriots are among the teams looking to book a playoff spot ahead of their showdown with the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.

Stats Perform previews the standout games and the best of the rest.

Green Bay Packers (10-3) @ Baltimore Ravens (8-5)

The Ravens have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, losing by one point against the Pittsburgh Steelers and by two at the Cleveland Browns. It is the first time in franchise history the Ravens have lost consecutive games by two points or fewer.

Green Bay scored 45 points in a win over the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field last week, their highest scoring output since 2014 against the Philadelphia Eagles (53-20 win). The Packers are averaging 30.7 points per game at home but 20.6 points on the road, the third-largest differential in the NFL.

Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdowns and no interceptions against the Bears. It was his 28th career game with at least four TD passes and no interceptions, tied with Tom Brady for the most such games in NFL history including the postseason.

Davante Adams is Rodgers' top target and has gone over 100 receiving yards in three straight games. He is now tied with James Lofton for the most 100-yard receiving games in Packers history with 33.

New England Patriots (9-4) @ Indianapolis Colts (7-6)

The Patriots have conceded 13 or fewer points in each of their past five games. That is the longest such streak in Patriots history and the longest by any NFL team since 2008 (Pittsburgh, five games). 

Mac Jones and the Patriots attempted only three passes last time out in their 14-10 Week 13 win at Buffalo. Since 1950, there have been only two other instances of an NFL team attempting no more than three passes in one game: the Kansas City Chiefs (three) in a 24-10 win against the Oakland Raiders in 1968, and the Buffalo Bills (two) in a 16-12 victory over the New York Jets in 1974.

But Indianapolis know how to run the ball, too. They have gained 996 yards rushing over their previous five games, their highest total over a five-game span since gaining 1,024 in 1976. The Colts have scored 12 rushing TDs in the stretch, matching their best five-game total in the past 30 seasons. 

Through the air, Carson Wentz has had five interceptions from his 420 pass attempts this season. His interception rate (1.2 per cent) is the third-lowest among the 32 qualifying NFL quarterbacks. 

New Orleans Saints (6-7) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-3)

The Bucs have won four consecutive games and are due a victory over the Saints, having lost the past six clashes between the two teams.

Brady reached yet another landmark last week, with his 58-yard touchdown pass to Breshad Perriman taking his tally of touchdown passes in the NFL to 700. The only other quarterback with at least 600 is former Saint Drew Brees (608).

Taysom Hill had multiple rushing touchdowns for the fourth time in his career last week and added 73 rushing yards. The only other Saints quarterback to rush for at least 50 yards and multiple TDs is Archie Manning (52 yards, 2 TDs on October 17, 1971 against the Dallas Cowboys).

Expect a fast start from Tampa. The Bucs have outscored opponents by 70 points in the first half of games this season, behind only Indianapolis (73) for the best mark in the league.

Elsewhere...

The Los Angeles Rams (9-4) are closing in on the playoffs and will have home advantage when they face the Seattle Seahawks (9-4). The Rams have won six of the past eight matchups between these teams, including a 26-17 win in Seattle in Week 5 this year.

Heinz Field will stage a battle between the Steelers (6-6-1) and a Tennessee Titans (9-4) side scenting the AFC South title. The Titans shut out an opponent for the second time in 20 seasons with a 20-0 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars last week. 

The Cowboys (9-4) travel to lock horns with the New York Giants (4-9) with the NFC title within their grasp. Dak Prescott lost both of his starts against the Giants as a rookie in 2016 but is 8-0 in his starts against them since then. Ron Jaworksi, from 1977 to 1981, was the last QB to win nine starts in a row against the Giants.

Darrell Bevell has stepped in to take over as the Jaguars' interim head coach after Urban Meyer was fired on Wednesday. Jacksonville start life after Meyer attempting to avoid a record-breaking eighth consecutive loss to the Houston Texans, with both sides a dismal 2-11 this season.

Lamar Jackson has not practiced this week due to his ongoing ankle injury, but the Baltimore Ravens are not ruling the star quarterback out of Sunday's game against the Green Bay Packers.

Jackson suffered an ankle sprain in Baltimore's 24-22 NFL defeat to the Cleveland Browns last week, having been doubtful heading into the contest.

The former MVP threw only four passes for 17 yards before taking a hit in the first play of the second quarter and being replaced by Tyler Huntley.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh has been bullish all week about Jackson's availability to face Aaron Rodgers' high-flying Packers, despite not practicing and offered an update on Wednesday.

"It's day-to-day right now. We've just got to see how it responds," Harbaugh told reporters on Wednesday. "He's not going to practice today, but we'll see going forward how that goes."

Jackson's injury is not a high ankle sprain, offering hope of a quick recovery and Harbaugh had said on Monday that "the plans are right now, in my mind, for Lamar to be out there."

Harbaugh confirmed if Jackson was declared fit, the Ravens would not rest him with a view to their crunch divisional Week 16 game against the Cincinnati Bengals.

"I would say that factors zero percent [into the decision]," Harbaugh said. "We're trying to win this game. Every win right now is… you want every win you can get."

Jackson is enjoying a strong season for the Ravens, completing 242 of 378 passes for 2,865 yards with a 64 percent completion rate for 16 touchdowns. He has also allowed 13 interceptions, having only committed 18 across his previous three seasons.

Baltimore lead the AFC North with an 8-5 record, narrowly ahead of the Bengals (7-6) and Browns (7-6) with four regular-season games remaining.

The Ravens have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, losing by one point against the Pittsburgh Steelers and by two points against Cleveland. According to Stats Perform, it is the first time in franchise history Baltimore have lost consecutive games by two points or fewer.

The Baltimore Ravens are planning for Lamar Jackson to be fit to face the Green Bay Packers next weekend.

Jackson suffered a sprained right ankle during the Ravens' 24-22 defeat to the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

The quarterback had been doubtful for the Week 14 game due to an ankle problem and threw only four passes for 17 yards before taking a hit in the first play of the second quarter and being replaced by Tyler Huntley 

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh on Monday revealed he hopes Jackson can face the Packers, but it is too early to know if he will be available.

He said: "The plans are right now, in my mind, for Lamar to be out there.

"So, we'll see where it goes this week. If he can go, he'll go. If not, Tyler will be the quarterback. That's where we're at."

Harbaugh said Jackson had not sustained a high-ankle sprain and "we'll just have to see what it is from there, and how he feels this week going forward."

Baltimore lead the AFC North with an 8-5 record, narrowly ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) and Cleveland Browns (7-6) with four regular season games remaining.

Jackson is enjoying a strong season for the Ravens, completing 242 of 378 passes for 2,865 yards with a 64 percent completion rate for 16 touchdowns.

He has also allowed 13 interceptions, having only committed 18 across his previous three seasons.

Following Jackson's exit, Huntley almost pulled off a comeback victory for the Ravens against the Browns.

The Ravens also confirmed on Monday that safety Tony Jefferson is back after being signed to the practice squad.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson is facing a stint on the sidelines in the run to the NFL playoffs after suffering a right ankle sprain in Sunday's 24-22 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Jackson was doubtful pre-game with an ankle sprain and managed only four of four passes for 17 yards before taking a hit and making way for Tyler Huntley.

The former MVP left Baltimore's locker room in a protective boot.

Baltimore lead the AFC North with an 8-5 record, narrowly ahead of the Cincinnati Bengals (7-6) and Browns (7-6) with four regular season games remaining.

"Lamar has an ankle sprain. We'll look at it more [Monday] and we'll see where we're at," Ravens head coach John Harbaugh said at the post-game news conference.

"We'll see how he responds [Monday], we'll see how it responds."

Jackson is enjoying a strong season for the Ravens, completing 242 of 378 passes for 2,865 yards with a 64 percent completion rate for 16 touchdowns.

He also allowed 13 interceptions, having only committed 18 across his previous three seasons.

In Jackson's absence, backup Huntley almost pulled off a comeback victory for the Ravens against the Browns, offering hope they can still fire without their star quarterback.

"Tyler showed a lot of grit, and I felt like the whole team did that," Harbaugh said. "That's who we are and that's why we have a chance to still win the championship in the AFC North and go on from there. That's what we'll be fighting to do in the next four weeks."

The Kansas City Chiefs are making statement after statement as they power towards the postseason, with a 48-9 trouncing of the Las Vegas Raiders just the latest.

Andy Reid's Chiefs were somewhere near their ruthless best in the NFL on Sunday, winning a sixth straight game to improve to 9-4, Patrick Mahomes completing 20 of 24 passes for 258 yards and two touchdowns in the rout.

It moved him third all-time in the most yards thrown by a Chiefs quarterback, above Alex Smith, with a total of 17,794 yards.

Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed for 37 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs looked formidable in defense and offense at Arrowhead Stadium.

A fumble on the first play from Josh Jacobs was clinically punished by Mike Hughes as the Chiefs had a dream start, and by half-time they led 35-3.

Curiously, they won and limited their opponents to exactly nine points for a third successive game, after previous successes against the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos.

Tyreek Hill went through 1,000 yards receiving for the season as he took four catches for 76 yards to reach 1,030, for his fourth 1,000-yard season in the NFL.

Mahomes was masterful though, the quarterback ending a two-game run without a TD pass by posting a season-best pass completion rate of 83.3 per cent. He stretched his record run to 20 consecutive regular season wins in QB starts in November or later.

For the Raiders, it was more of the same against the Chiefs, having become accustomed to losses in this game. They have won just three of 18 games in the rivalry since Reid was appointed head coach of the Chiefs in 2013.


JACKSON DOWN, BROWNS BOOSTED

Star quarterback Lamar Jackson was carted out of the Ravens' clash with the Cleveland Browns, and it was a day to forget for Baltimore.

A 24-22 loss means they slipped to 8-5 for the season, while the Browns improved to 7-6, bolstering their Wild Card hopes.

Jackson, doubtful pre-game with an ankle sprain, managed only four of four passes for 17 yards before taking a hit and making way for Tyler Huntley (27 of 38 for 270 yards and one TD).

The Ravens, frontrunners in the AFC North, almost pulled off a stunning comeback against their divisional rivals, having trailed 24-6 at half-time, but it proved just beyond them.

Baker Mayfield went 22-of-32 for 190 yards and two touchdowns for the Browns.

NEWTON WOES PERSIST

Cam Newton has now lost 11 straight games as a Carolina Panthers starter and held himself largely culpable for the latest in that long line.

He also became the first quarterback in NFL history with a rushing touchdown in each of his first four games of a season, but Carolina's 29-21 loss to the Atlanta Falcons was a sickener for the former MVP.

He had 15 completions from 23 passes for 178 yards, splitting QB duties with PJ Walker, as turnovers and failed drives blighted the day for the Panthers.

Newton said: "Pretty much everything they did, we knew was coming. I've got to do a better job of protecting the football. I hold myself to a high standard to do those things and when it doesn't happen it's just inexcusable.

"We had such a great momentum for those drives and they were just drive killers, game killers in essence

"We were driving on both of those turnovers I had. To be optimistic, you see what we're capable of, but we've got to do it for ourselves."

There is a new leader in the AFC after the New England Patriots' remarkable victory over the Buffalo Bills on Monday, stretching their winning streak to seven games.

But after battling the elements as well as the Bills in Buffalo, Bill Belichick's Pats have a bye in Week 14.

That allows others the opportunity to recover ground – including the Bills, who face New England great Tom Brady on Sunday. It is not a meeting they have enjoyed previously, as Stats Perform explores.

Buffalo Bills (7-5) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers (9-3)

Just like Belichick, Brady has enjoyed taking on the Bills – and he had plenty of opportunities to do so with the Pats in the AFC East.

Brady is 32-3 against Buffalo in his 35 career starts, with no starting quarterback in NFL history recording more wins against a single team. His .914 winning percentage in these games represents the highest by a starting QB against one team (minimum 20 starts).

Aged 44, Brady remains one of the best passers around, with a league-leading 74 TD passes over the past two seasons.

Bills QB Josh Allen is joint-third on that list (63 TDs), and Buffalo need his offense to fire, making the most of the platform afforded to him by the defense. After the 14-10 loss to the Pats, the Bills became the first team this season to lose two games in which they allowed 14 points or fewer (also 9-6 at Jacksonville).

Las Vegas Raiders (6-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (8-4)

The Chiefs are one of three 8-4 AFC teams close behind the 9-4 Pats and will back themselves to tie that record in a matchup they have dominated.

Since 2013, when Andy Reid was appointed head coach, the Chiefs are 14-3 against the Raiders, with only New England against the New York Jets (16 wins) and the Seattle Seahawks against the San Francisco 49ers (15) beating a divisional opponent on more occasions in that span.

This is a time of year in which Patrick Mahomes tends to excel, now on a record run of 19 consecutive regular season wins in QB starts in November or later, but Kansas City's turnaround on defense has been key to their recent improvement.

The Chiefs head into this game having become the first team in NFL history to have a five-game streak allowing 25 or more points and a five-game streak allowing fewer than 20 points in the same season, with the latter sequence ongoing.

Baltimore Ravens (8-4) @ Cleveland Browns (6-6)

Another 8-4 AFC rival, along with the Tennessee Titans, the Ravens again face the Browns in the tightly contested AFC North.

Cleveland's previous game – before their Week 13 bye – was in Baltimore, making them the first team since 1991 to play the same team in back-to-back regular season games, although the Browns beat the Pittsburgh Steelers in Week 17 last year before beating them again the following week in the playoffs.

The Ravens won 16-10 in Week 12 as Browns QB Baker Mayfield completed just 48.6 per cent of his passes, meaning he now has a 2-6 career record when completing no more than half of his pass attempts.

Lamar Jackson was far from convincing in that game, tossing four interceptions, but he had his sixth career game with at least 250 passing yards and 50 rushing yards against the Steelers last week – five of those coming in 2021. The Pittsburgh game was his second loss from those six.

Elsewhere...

The Washington Football Team believe again after four straight wins to move into a playoff place at 6-6, aiming to become only the third team to start 2-6 and make the postseason. One of the previous two examples was Washington last year, who won both games against the Dallas Cowboys, teeing up a potential three-game winning streak against this week's opponents – just their third ever.

Aaron Rodgers has claimed he "owns" the Chicago Bears, and the numbers show exactly what the Green Bay Packers QB means. He is 21-5 in the regular season and 1-0 in the postseason against the Bears, who will fear this week's matchup.

The Cincinnati Bengals have painful memories of playing the 49ers, having lost 12 of 16 games against San Francisco, including two Super Bowls. Joe Burrow will hope to get back on track in the latest meeting, however, having led the league with 14 picks to this point. Boomer Esiason, with 22 in 1990, was the only previous Bengals QB to lead the league outright in interceptions.

Lamar Jackson blamed himself for not executing the pass for a two-point conversion that would have seen the Baltimore Ravens edge past the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Baltimore attempted the two-point conversion after Jackson had led the Ravens to a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining, only for the 24-year-old's throw to narrowly miss Mark Andrews' fingertips in the endzone.

The Steelers therefore squeezed to a 20-19 victory, snapping a two-game losing streak after being inspired by Ben Roethlisberger, who threw two fourth-down touchdowns on Sunday.

But 2019 MVP Jackson, whose 60-yard drive during the closing two minutes set up a tantalising conclusion, bemoaned his lack of cutting edge as Baltimore opted for the winner-takes-all two-pointer as opposed to kicking for a point.

"I was in the moment," Jackson told reporters. "We just scored. I was cool with it. I wanted to win. I didn't want to go to overtime anyway.

"T.J. Watt's got range. He's a long guy. I had to throw around him and try to make something happen. That's all, I just came up short.

"We're just not finishing. We're always one play away. When we get down in the red zone, we've just got to fix that. We've just got to get in the lab and find ways to keep our drives going, try not to have sacks.

"I'm very confident. You saw the last drive. We were rolling, hitting passes, guys running their routes, catching the ball and getting YAC. We just do that consistently, we'll be fine. We just have to do it early and finish the whole game like that."

Jackson continues to be Baltimore's main outlet, once again making eight carries for 55 yards as the Ravens' lead rusher.

But the quarterback's passing was slightly off, throwing an avoidable pick in Baltimore's opening drive while he has now been sacked an already career-high 37 times in 11 starts this season, compared to the last when he suffered just 29 in four more starts.

Ravens head coach John Harbaugh, though, believes his team and coaching staff need to do more to protect Jackson.

"We can put him in a better position too in terms of getting the ball out quick with some of those calls," Harbaugh added. "Seven sacks is too many. It's way too many. That's on us as a coaching staff to get that cleaned up."

The Ravens (8-4), despite the loss, still lead the AFC North by one game as they next prepare to face the Cleveland Browns (6-6).

Ben Roethlisberger deflected questions regarding his NFL future following the Pittsburgh Steelers' 20-19 win over the Baltimore Ravens on as rumours mount about an offseason departure.

Roethlisberger has reportedly former team-mates and people within the Steelers organisation that he expects 2021 to be his final season with Pittsburgh.

There were doubts over the 39-year-old quarterback before he committed to another campaign in Pittsburgh.

Drafted by the Steelers in 2004, six-time Pro Bowler Roethlisberger has guided the franchise to two Super Bowl victories during his career at Heinz Field.

After helping the Steelers hold off the high-flying Ravens on Sunday, Roethlisberger dismissed the report as he refused to be drawn on his future.

"I haven't told everybody that, no," Roethlisberger said at the post-game news conference after the Steelers snapped a two-game skid and three-game winless run in total. "Honestly, we've just got done with this game, I'm exhausted.

"We play in a couple hours, it feels like. That's my focus. My focus is on Minnesota and what we have to do to get ready.

"I'll address any of that stuff after the season. I've always been a one-game-at-a-time, one-season-at-a-time person. I'm going to stay that way."

Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin insisted there was no distraction to manage, fresh from Roethlisberger throwing two touchdown passes, completing 21 of 31 attempts for 236 yards, to beat the Ravens.

"There's nothing to manage," Tomlin said at the news conference. "Ben doesn't allow it to become an issue.

"Ben has been pretty solid in terms of his expressions that he's singularly focused on what it is that we're doing now. He'll deal with those things on the other side of this journey, and I'm with him on it."

The Pittsburgh Steelers survived a wild finish as Ben Roethlisberger's team held on to edge Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens 20-19 in the NFL.

Baltimore went for the two-point conversion and the win after the Ravens scored a touchdown with 12 seconds remaining on Sunday, but Jackson's pass went agonisingly off Mark Andrews' fingertips with the endzone in sight.

The Steelers prevailed in another thrilling AFC North battle to snap a two-game skid after Roethlisberger (21-of-31 passing for 236 yards and two TDs) threw two fourth-down touchdowns to fuel Pittsburgh.

After a scoreless opening period, Devonta Freeman rushed for a TD as the Ravens (8-4) took a 10-3 lead into the final quarter away to the Steelers (6-5-1).

The fourth period came to life, veteran quarterback Roethlisberger started the comeback with an early 29-yard touchdown pass to Diontae Johnson before the pair combined against less than two minutes from the end.

Trailing 20-13, former MVP Jackson (23-of-37 passing for 253 yards and a touchdown) led an eight-play, 60-yard drive for his only touchdown of the game but Baltimore were unable to complete the two-point conversion at the death.

Since the 2016 season, six of Pittsburgh's seven wins against Baltimore have come by seven points or less, per Stats Perform.

 

Seahawks snap skid by sinking Niners

The Seattle Seahawks needed a victory and they got it after powering past the San Francisco 49ers 30-23.

In a mistake-filled contest, the Seahawks ended their run of three consecutive losses behind Russell Wilson's two-touchdown display in Seattle.

Future Hall of Famer Adrian Peterson made his debut for the Seahawks and scored his 126th career touchdown on a one-yard rush. It broke a tie with Hall of Famer Walter Payton and moved the 36-year-old into a tie with Jim Brown for 10th in NFL history.

Jimmy Garoppolo threw two interceptions for the beaten 49ers.

The Los Angeles Rams also snapped a three-game skid, rolling over the Jacksonville Jaguars 37-7 after Odell Beckham Jr., Cooper Kupp and Van Jefferson all caught TD passes from Matthew Stafford.

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