Hurts, Eagles secure playoff spot, thump rival Giants 48-22
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Jalen Hurts threw for two touchdowns and ran for another as the NFL-best Philadelphia Eagles punched their ticket to the playoffs with a 48-22 victory over the fading New York Giants on Sunday.
Hurts threw for 217 yards and hit DaVonta Smith on a 41-yard fourth-down TD strike and A.J. Brown on a 33-yarder as the Eagles (12-1) scored on their first three possessions. The third-year quarterback also ran for 77 yards, highlighted by a 10-yard TD scamper late in the third quarter.
Miles Sanders ran for 144 yards and scored on runs of 3 and 40 yards as the Eagles handed the Giants their worst loss under first-year coach Brian Daboll. Philadelphia secured its second straight postseason appearance and fifth in six seasons.
The Eagles finished with seven sacks, including three by Brandon Graham.
Daniel Jones and Tyrod Taylor threw touchdown passes for for the Giants (7-5-1). They have one win in their last six games (1-4-1) and their hopes of their first playoff berth since 2016 are slipping with four games remaining.
The Eagles, who have the league’s second-ranked defense and third-ranked offense, dominated from the start. They sacked Jones twice on the opening series and Hurts then took over, driving them 84 and 91 yards for touchdowns.
CHARGERS 23, DOLPHINS 17
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (AP) — Justin Herbert threw for 367 yards and a touchdown and Los Angeles’ short-handed defense frustrated Miami’s Tua Tagovailoa.
The Chargers (7-6) moved into position for the final AFC playoff berth, ahead of the New York Jets.
Herbert completed a career-high 39 passes on 51 attempts for his 21st 300-yard game. He became the first NFL quarterback to throw for 13,000 yards in his first three seasons.
Tyreek Hill scored two touchdowns for the Dolphins, one of them on an improbable recovery of Jeff Wilson Jr.’s fumble that Hill took 57 yards to the end zone. But Tagovailoa had his worst game as an NFL starter, completing 10 of 28 passes for 145 yards and a touchdown as the Dolphins (8-5) lost their second straight.
The Chargers held Miami to 219 yards despite not having safety Derwin James, cornerback Bryce Callahan and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day because of injuries.
Mike Williams had six catches for 116 yards and a touchdown, Austin Ekeler had 104 scrimmage yards and a 1-yard TD run, and Keenan Allen added 12 receptions for 92 yards.
49ERS 35, BUCCANEERS 7
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Brock Purdy threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score in his first career start and San Francisco’s vaunted defense spoiled Tom Brady’s Bay Area homecoming.
Purdy outplaying the NFL’s most accomplished quarterback ever was partially overshadowed by another key injury for the 49ers (9-4).
A week after losing quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to a broken left foot that opened the door for Purdy to start, the Niners lost star receiver Deebo Samuel to an ankle injury that forced him to be taken off the field in tears on a cart.
That was about the only thing that didn’t go right for the 49ers, who thoroughly dominated Brady and Tampa Bay (6-7) to win their sixth straight game. The last pick in the 2022 draft led the Niners to five touchdowns on their first seven possessions.
Purdy finished 16 of 21 for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Christian McCaffrey ran for 119 yards, including a 38-yard TD, and scored on a 27-yard pass.
Brady finished 34 for 55 for 253 yards with one TD and two interceptions. The Bucs still lead the lackluster NFC South.
LIONS 34, VIKINGS 23
DETROIT (AP) — Jared Goff threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns, leading surging Detroit past NFC North-leading Minnesota.
The Vikings (10-3) needed a win or tie to clinch the division title. Kirk Cousins threw for 425 yards, including a franchise-record 223 to Justin Jefferson on 11 catches. But Dalvin Cook ran for just 23 yards on 15 carries, and Minnesota couldn’t stop Goff.
Detroit (6-7) has won five of six, its best stretch since its last postseason appearance in 2016.
Goff completed 27 of 39 passes. He started the scoring with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Jameson Williams, his first catch since injuring his left knee 11 months ago playing for Alabama in the NCAA national championship game.
Goff threw a tiebreaking, 48-yard touchdown pass to DJ Chark, who finished with a season-high six catches and 94 yards. The QB gave Detroit a two-touchdown lead in the third quarter with a 5-yard pass to Josh Reynolds after coach Dan Campbell called a fake punt from his 26.
Cousins was 30-of-40 passing with touchdowns to K.J. Osborn and Adam Thielen.
BILLS 20, JETS 12
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Josh Allen threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score on consecutive possessions and Buffalo beat AFC East rival New York in wet, chilly and windy conditions.
Allen’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Dawson Knox in the closing minute of the second quarter led to Buffalo scoring on four consecutive drives, capped by a pair of field goals by Tyler Bass, including a 49-yarder.
The AFC-leading Bills (10-3) won their fourth straight since a two-game skid, which included a 20-17 loss at the Jets. Buffalo has won at least 10 of its first 13 games for the seventh time in franchise history.
The Jets (7-6) have lost four of six, a slump that has made their playoff chances shaky. New York hasn’t qualified for the postseason since 2010.
New York was undone by having quarterback Mike White briefly sidelined twice by injuries to his ribs as well as a pair of turnovers in the second half. As a precaution, coach Robert Saleh said White was sent to a hospital after the game to be evaluated.
White finished 27 of 44 for 268 yards and no turnovers. Allen was 16 of 27 for a season-low 147 yards. More important, he didn’t turn the ball over as he did twice in Buffalo’s loss to the Jets last month.
JAGUARS 36, TITANS 22
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Trevor Lawrence threw for a career-high 368 yards and three touchdowns and ran for a score, and Jacksonville won at Tennessee for the first time since 2013.
The Jaguars (5-8) snapped a five-game skid against their oldest division rival with just their second victory in this series in 11 games. Doug Pederson became the first Jacksonville coach to win in Nashville since Gus Bradley on Nov. 10, 2013.
Jacksonville had four sacks and turned four turnovers into 20 points — three for 17 points in the first half. The Jaguars scored 29 straight points and have won two of three.
Jaguars tight end Evan Engram caught 11 passes for a career-high 162 yards and had two TD receptions.
The Titans (7-6) lost their third straight, matching their longest skid since coach Mike Vrabel’s opening season in 2018. Derrick Henry ran for 96 yards and a touchdown in the first quarter but didn’t do much after that, finishing with 121 yards on 17 carries.
Ryan Tannehill threw a TD pass to Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and a 2-point conversion to Chig Okonkwo to pull Tennessee within 36-22. But the Titans turned it over on downs with 1:59 left, allowing the Jaguars to run out the clock.
COWBOYS 27, TEXANS 23
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Ezekiel Elliott scored the go-ahead touchdown with 41 seconds remaining and Dallas rallied to beat hapless Houston.
Houston (1-11-1) appeared in position to end a seven-game losing streak after Dak Prescott threw an interception inside the Dallas 10 with 5:37 to go and the Texans leading by three.
The Cowboys (10-3) stiffened against a makeshift Texans offense, stuffing backup quarterback Jeff Driskel on a fourth-down run to give Prescott another shot starting just outside his own goal line.
The star quarterback delivered, starting with a 21-yard completion to Dalton Schultz from the 2. Later, an 18-yarder to Schultz put Dallas at the Houston 4. Elliott scored on third down from the 2 to cap the 98-yard, 11-play drive.
Tony Pollard scored twice for Dallas, which stayed two games behind Philadelphia in the NFC East.
After going back to Davis Mills as the starter following a two-game benching, the Texans threw in a wrinkle with Driskel offering a hybrid wildcat/throwing role that included his first TD pass since 2020.
BENGALS 23, BROWNS 10
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Burrow shook off a sloppy start to throw two touchdown passes and Cincinnati ended a five-game skid to its Ohio rival.
The Bengals (9-4) have won five straight and nine of 11 and remained tied for the AFC North lead with Baltimore. Burrow picked up his first win in five starts against the Browns (5-8), whose playoff hopes are now all but nonexistent.
Cleveland quarterback Deshaun Watson was sharper than in his debut with the team last week and threw his first touchdown pass in 707 days, a 13-yarder to David Njoku in the third quarter.
But Watson also threw an interception and two incompletions on fourth down in the fourth quarter. Watson finished 26 of 42 for 276 yards, and the Bengals bottled up Cleveland running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.
Burrow threw a 15-yard TD pass to Ja’Marr Chase and a 45yard scoring pass on a flea-flicker to Trenton Irwin. Burrow was largely reliant on Chase after his other top receivers, Tyler Boyd and Tee Higgins, left the game with injuries. Chase had 10 receptions for 119 yards in his second game since missing a month with a hip fracture.
The Bengals quarterback finished 18 for 33 for 239 yards and threw a fourth-quarter interception. Joe Mixon rushed for 96 yards.
CHIEFS 34, BRONCOS 28
DENVER (AP) — L’Jarius Sneed intercepted Denver backup quarterback Brett Rypien late in the fourth quarter, and Patrick Mahomes atoned for a three-interception day by leading Kansas City on a clock-chewing drive.
The Broncos (3-10) lost QB Russell Wilson to a concussion, and the Chiefs (10-3) won their 14th straight over their rival.
Denver made a game of it by scoring three touchdowns in a 3 1/2-minute stretch spanning halftime after falling behind 27-0.
Mahomes threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, including a no-look hook pass on one of Jerick McKinnon’s two TD receptions.
Jerry Jeudy caught three touchdown passes for Denver, the last one from Rypien after Wilson took a hard hit on a 14-yard scramble to the Kansas City 2 early in the fourth quarter. Wilson was escorted off the field and the Broncos ruled him out with a concussion shortly thereafter.
The Chiefs reached double digits in wins for the eighth straight season and inched closer to winning their seventh consecutive AFC West crown. The Broncos have lost five straight.
RAVENS 16, STEELERS 14
PITTSBURGH (AP) — J.K. Dobbins ran for 120 yards and a touchdown in his return from a knee injury, and Baltimore overcame the loss of backup quarterback Tyler Huntley to beat AFC North rival Pittsburgh.
Huntley filled in for injured star Lamar Jackson but entered the concussion protocol in the second half. He was replaced by undrafted rookie Anthony Brown.
Justin Tucker kicked three field goals to help division-leading Baltimore (9-4) end a four-game losing streak to the Steelers, who also lost their quarterback, Kenny Pickett, to concussion protocol.
Brown spent most of his quarter-plus of play handing off to Dobbins or Gus Edwards while the Steelers self-destructed. Baltimore ran for 215 yards, the most Pittsburgh (5-8) has allowed since giving up 249 to the Ravens in the 2021 regular-season finale.
Pittsburgh lost Pickett to a concussion in the first half, and backup Mitch Trubisky threw three interceptions in Baltimore territory as the Steelers fell out of realistic playoff contention.
Trubisky finished 22 of 30 for 276 yards and a 10-yard touchdown pass with 2:30 remaining to get the Steelers within two. Baltimore churned out a first down on its ensuing possession to run out the clock.
PANTHERS 30, SEAHAWKS 24
SEATTLE (AP) — Chuba Hubbard and Raheem Blackshear both had rushing touchdowns, Sam Darnold threw a TD pass, and Carolina beat Seattle to stay in the thick of the NFC South race.
Carolina (5-8) built leads of 17-0 and 20-7 to take advantage of a sloppy first-half performance by the Seahawks (7-6). In the second half, the Panthers simply ran through Seattle’s defense and delivered a blow to the Seahawks’ hopes of winning the NFC West.
Carolina (5-8) won for the third time in four games, pulled even with Atlanta and moved within one game of NFC South-leading Tampa Bay after the Buccaneers lost at West-leading San Francisco.
Seattle couldn’t stop Hubbard, Blackshear and D’Onta Foreman on the ground. Carolina rushed for 223 yards, with 180 coming from those three backs. Foreman and Hubbard each had 74 yards.
Hubbard’s 2-yard TD run early in the second quarter gave Carolina a 17-0 lead and Blackshear’s 8-yard run with 6:57 remaining made it 27-17. Blackshear’s TD capped a drive where Carolina ran on eight of 10 plays and gained 68 of its 74 yards on the ground.
Darnold was 14 of 24 passing for 120 yards. Geno Smith was shaky for Seattle, finishing 21 of 36 for 264 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. He was sacked three times.
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