The Latest: Colts lead Titans at the half 17-10
The Latest on Week 17 of the NFL’s regular season (all times Eastern):
The Indianapolis Colts lead the Tennessee Titans 17-10 at halftime in the race for the AFC’s final playoff spot.
Andrew Luck has thrown for 196 yards and two touchdowns compared to Blaine Gabbert who has 73 yards passing for the Titans. The Colts are outgaining Tennessee 253-97 in total offense.
Adam Vinatieri, the NFL’s oldest active player who just turned 46 on Friday, kicked a 53-yard field goal with 39 seconds left in the first half to give the Colts a 17-7 lead.
Vinatieri is 4 of 6 from 50 yards or longer this season.
Gabbert drove the Titans 55 yards for a 38-yard field goal by Ryan Succop as the first half ended to trim the Colts’ lead.
The Colts were cruising up 14-0 when the Titans got just enough pressure on Luck for linebacker Jayon Brown to pick off a pass and return it 22 yards for a touchdown.
Brown also stripped Marlon Mack of the ball with the Colts inside the Tennessee 20.
— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.
Andrew Luck is proving simply untouchable, and he’s got the Indianapolis Colts cruising toward the AFC’s sixth and final playoff berth.
With Marcus Mariota sidelined by injury for Tennessee, Luck has been nearly perfect and has the Colts up 14-0 having held the ball for nearly 17 minutes.
Luck is 13 of 15 for 142 yards and two touchdowns, his second a 9-yarder to Eric Ebron with 9:26 left in the second quarter.
The Colts have outgained the Titans 192-15 to open the game.
— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.
Colts coach Frank Reich and coach Mike Vrabel of the Titans have something else on the line other than the sixth and final spot in the AFC playoffs.
The winner will have the second-best record among first-year head coaches in the NFL.
Chicago coach Matt Nagy had the best mark at 12-4 guiding the Bears to an amazing turnaround.
Reich and Vrabel come in with their teams both 9-6. With a win, Vrabel would be the first coach with this franchise to win 10 games in his first season since Bum Phillips went 10-4 in 1975 with the then-Houston Oilers.
Reich has Andrew Luck at quarterback, while Vrabel is starting backup Blaine Gabbert with Marcus Mariota inactive with neck and foot injuries.
— Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee.
The Baltimore Ravens squeezed past the Browns and into the playoffs, using two rushing touchdowns by rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson and a late defensive stand to beat Cleveland 26-24 and take the AFC North title.
Kenneth Dixon accounted for 117 of Baltimore’s season-high 296 yards on the ground, Jackson had 90 and the rejuvenated Ravens (10-6) ended a three-year playoff drought with their sixth win in seven games.
Fourth-seed Baltimore will open the postseason next weekend at home against the Los Angeles Chargers.
In other late games:
Nick Foles’ magic stretched all the way back to Minnesota.
Foles did it again, leading the Philadelphia Eagles to a 24-0 victory over the Redskins and the defending Super Bowl champions earned the NFC’s final wild-card berth when Chicago beat the Vikings.
The Eagles (9-7) will play at the Bears (12-4) next weekend.
Also, Sebastian Janikowski made a 33-yard field goal on the final play and the Seattle Seahawks beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-24, wrapping up the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoffs and a matchup at Dallas.
The NFC North champion Chicago Bears refused to let up, riding Jordan Howard for 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns and that relentless defense for a 24-10 victory over Minnesota that kept the rival Vikings out of the playoffs.
With the 24-0 win by Philadelphia at Washington, the Vikings (8-7-1) watched the Eagles claim the last wild-card spot and went home wondering what happened to their offense after signing Kirk Cousins for $84 million guaranteed to be the franchise quarterback.
The Browns’ Baker Mayfield set the NFL rookie record with his 27th TD pass of the season against Baltimore.
The top pick in the draft from Oklahoma got the record on a 1-yard TD pass to Antonio Callaway in the fourth quarter.
The previous mark of 26 was set by Peyton Manning (1998) and Russell Wilson (2012).
The Chiefs finally clinched their third consecutive AFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and Patrick Mahomes and the rest of Kansas City’s offense continued to shatter records in a 35-3 whitewash of the rebuilding Oakland Raiders.
Mahomes threw for 281 yards, highlighted by a 67-yard TD pass to Tyreek Hill and an 89-yard TD toss to Demarcus Robinson. That gave the first-year starter 5,097 yards and 50 touchdown passes, joining Peyton Manning as the only QBs to hit 5,000 and 50 in the same season.
Nate Sudfeld has replaced Nick Foles at quarterback for the Eagles in the fourth quarter against the Redskins.
Foles sustained a chest injury and was questionable to return. He was 28 of 33 for 221 yards two TDs and one interception. Foles completed 25 straight passes at one point, tying Philip Rivers’ NFL record.
— Rob Maaddi reporting from Landover, Md.
Patrick Mahomes became the third quarterback in NFL history with a 50-touchdown pass season when he connected with Demarcus Robinson on an 89-yarder midway through the third quarter against Oakland.
Peyton Manning set the record of 55 with the Broncos in 2013, while the Patriots’ Tom Brady threw also threw 50 touchdown passes in the 2007 season.
Mahomes’ long TD strike, which gave Kansas City a 28-3 lead, also gave him 5,061 yards passing this season. He’s the sixth quarterback with at least 5,000 yards in a season and the second with that many yards and 50 TD passes — Manning threw for 5,477 during his 55-TD season.
Nick Foles tied Philip Rivers’ NFL record for consecutive completions by connecting on 25 straight passes in Philadelphia’s game against Washington.
Foles had a chance to break the mark, but threw an incomplete pass to Nelson Agholor inside the Redskins 5. The Eagles lead the game 17-0 late in the third quarter.
— Rob Maaddi reporting from Landover, Md.
The Arizona defense continues to give Seattle problems.
The Seahawks have gone three-and-out on five straight possessions against the Cardinals and are clinging to a 14-13 lead in the third quarter.
Russell Wilson has been sacked five times, the most allowed by the Seahawks since Week 2 against Chicago when the Bears had six sacks of Wilson.
Seattle will clinch the No. 5 seed in the NFC with a win or a Minnesota loss.
The Los Angeles Rams are rolling toward a first-round playoff bye with a 31-10 lead over San Francisco at halftime.
Los Angeles forced four turnovers by the Niners and repeatedly capitalized for points. Cory Littleton returned his second interception 19 yards for a TD in the second quarter.
But the Rams also got a scare when left tackle Andrew Whitworth left the field with a knee injury. Whitworth is the cornerstone of LA’s prolific offense, but a win over San Francisco would secure him an extra week off to rest during a first-round playoff bye.
49ers left guard Laken Tomlinson was taken off the field on a cart with a right knee injury.
The Pittsburgh Steelers might not have to check the scoreboard to know their playoff fate.
The Steelers trail the Cincinnati Bengals 10-3 at the half. The Steelers need a win and a Baltimore loss to Cleveland win the AFC North or a win and a tie between Tennessee and Indianapolis to earn a wild-card spot.
Pittsburgh’s offense is struggling without injured wide receiver Antonio Brown. The Bengals have scored the game’s lone touchdown on a 58-yard pick-six by Shawn Williams. The interception was the league-leading 16th thrown by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger this year.
The Minnesota Vikings have put themselves in a big hole at halftime against the Chicago Bears, with their spot in the playoffs still hanging in the balance.
Chicago’s defense has been relentless again, forcing punts on each of Minnesota’s first five possessions and keeping the Vikings without a first down until the six-minute mark of the second quarter.
The Vikings finally moved the ball far enough to reach field-goal range and cut the deficit to 13-3 on Dan Bailey’s 45-yarder with 53 seconds remaining before the break.
The Bears have a 205-49 advantage in total yards, and they will receive the second-half kickoff.
The Vikings can still get the NFC’s second wild-card spot if Philadelphia loses at Washington, but the Eagles are leading 10-0 at halftime.
— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis
The Baltimore Ravens have scored on all four of their possessions in the first half of a game they need to win to capture the AFC North title.
Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson has run for 69 yards and two touchdowns to help the Ravens take a 20-7 lead. Kenneth Dixon has five runs for 79 yards and Baltimore has already amassed 182 yards on the ground.
The Chiefs must have decided they waited long enough to clinch the AFC West.
After blowing opportunities to wrap up the division the past two weeks, the Chiefs have roared to a 21-0 lead over Oakland early in the second quarter.
Tyreek Hill has a TD catch, Damien Williams has a scoring run and Daniel Sorensen returned an interception 54 yards for another touchdown.
The Raiders already have three turnovers — the pick and fumbles by Doug Martin and Derek Carr.
Kansas City would also clinch the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs with a victory, which means home-field advantage throughout.
The Chiefs haven’t reached the AFC title game since January 1994.
The Rams have forced three turnovers by the 49ers in the first quarter.
After Aqib Talib returned a fumble inside the San Francisco 10 on the Niners’ opening drive, Cory Littleton and Blake Countess intercepted tipped passes from Nick Mullens.
Los Angeles scored touchdowns off the first two turnovers, taking a big early lead despite running five only offensive plays for 19 yards.
The playoff-bound Rams can clinch a first-round bye with a win.
They hadn’t forced three turnovers in the first quarter of a game since September 2009.
— Greg Beacham reporting from Los Angeles
The Seattle Seahawks’ hopes of tying the NFL record for fewest turnovers in a season ended in the first quarter against Arizona.
Russell Wilson was intercepted by David Amerson on Seattle’s first offensive possession. The Seahawks had 10 turnovers on the season and were trying to match that mark set by the 2010 New England Patriots and 2011 San Francisco 49ers, who both finished the season with just 10 turnovers. It was just the second turnover by the Seahawks in the past six games, both Wilson interceptions.
Wilson rebounded to throw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Lockett to become Seattle’s all-time leader in TD passes with 196.
Early on, Philip Rivers is off target. The Los Angeles Chargers quarterback has been picked off by Broncos defensive backs Isaac Yiadom and Will Parks in the first quarter.
Rivers has thrown two interceptions in three straight games.
He has 31 TD passes this season and 12 interceptions.
Jaguars decision-maker Tom Coughlin blasted running backs Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon after the season finale in Houston.
Fournette, who was inactive because of foot/ankle injuries, and Yeldon were caught by TV cameras sitting on the bench and chatting while the offense had the ball most of the game. They were clearly disengaged with teammates and coaches.
“I am disappointed in the behavior today from T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette,” Coughlin said. “They were disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player.”
Former Ravens wide receiver Breshad Perriman caught a 28-yard touchdown pass to give the Browns a 7-3 lead over Baltimore.
Perriman, a former No. 1 pick, was a bust with the Ravens and they cut him before this season began.
After the score, he was booed soundly by the hometown fans who know Baltimore must win this game to clinch the AFC North title and end a three-year playoff drought.
Tyreek Hill has set the Chiefs’ franchise record for receiving yards in a season, hauling in a 67-yard touchdown pass from Patrick Mahomes to cap their opening drive against Oakland.
Hill came into the game with 1,378 yards. His long touchdown catch on a perfectly thrown post route moved Hill past Derrick Alexander, who set the previous record of 1,391 yards in 2000.
It was the 49th touchdown pass of the season for Mahomes, who earlier in the drive set the Chiefs record for completions in a season. He entered the game tied with Trent Green with 369.
The Chiefs can clinch the AFC West and No. 1 seed in the playoffs with a win over the Raiders.
The Houston Texans clinched the AFC South title as Deshaun Watson threw for 234 yards and ran for a touchdown, and DeAndre Hopkins had 147 yards receiving in a 20-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The Texans (11-5) won nine in a row after starting 0-3 to save their season and will make their fifth playoff appearance after winning the division for the fifth time in franchise history.
Houston returns to the postseason for the third time in four years after bouncing back from last year’s 4-12 record in a season where Watson and J.J. Watt sustained season-ending injuries.
Also in Sunday’s early games, Tom Brady threw for three first-half touchdowns and the New England Patriots clinched their ninth straight first-round bye in the playoffs with a 38-3 victory over the New York Jets.
The Patriots (11-5) finished the season undefeated at home, and they guaranteed themselves at least one playoff game in Foxborough. New England could still earn the No. 1 seed in the AFC if both Kansas City and the Los Angeles Chargers lose later Sunday.
The Jaguars are sticking with coach Doug Marrone, top decision-maker Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell in 2019.
Team owner Shad Khan made the announcement minutes after Jacksonville’s season finale, a 20-3 loss at Houston.
Khan said he gave Coughlin the option of making changes, but that he “preferred entering the 2019 season with as much stability as reasonable or possible at the top of our football operation.” Coughlin agreed.
Khan gave all three one-year contract extensions after Jacksonville made the 2017 AFC championship game.
“I have the same trust in Tom, Dave and Doug as I did upon their introduction two years ago, and I do believe our best path forward for the moment is the one less disruptive and dramatic,” Khan said.
“Stability should not be confused with satisfaction, however. I am far from content with the status quo and while it’s best to put 2018 behind us, I will not overlook how poorly we accounted for ourselves following a 3-1 start.
“There were far too many long Sundays over the last three quarters of the season, with today’s loss in Houston being the final example, that cannot repeat itself in 2019. That’s my message to our football people and players, but also our sponsors and fans, both of whom were remarkable.”
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers’ up-and-down season has ended with a concussion.
The Green Bay Packers confirmed the diagnosis early in the fourth quarter, trailing 24-0 to the Detroit Lions. Rodgers lost his helmet on a sack on his second play of the game.
He played two more series before walking back to the locker room early in the second quarter, when he was replaced by DeShone Kizer.
Rodgers was also dealing with lingering left knee and groin injuries.
Miami Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso and defensive end Robert Quinn, and Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Jordan Mills have been ejected following a late hit on quarterback Josh Allen during the third quarter.
Allen was already sliding when Alonso dived in front of him and kicked the quarterback in the helmet.
A scuffle broke out amid a group of players, and Quinn came running in at full speed from about 20 yards and dived atop the pile.
Alonso was ejected for kicking Allen, while Quinn and Mills were ejected for personal foul penalties.
Quinn remained on the sideline for the remainder of the Bills series, which ended with LeSean McCoy scoring on a 9-yard run.
Officials then went to the Dolphins sideline, and Quinn was escorted to the locker room.
— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.
Halfback Saquon Barkley has joined Hall of Famer Eric Dickerson (2,212 yards in 1983) and Edgerrin James (2,139 in 1999) as the only rookies with at least 2,000 scrimmage yards in NFL history.
He hit the plateau with a 68-yard run in the third quarter that set up a TD pass to TE Evan Engram.
Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty suffered a head injury early in the third quarter and the team said his return was questionable.
McCourty was injured on the same play as linebacker Dont’a Hightower and safety Patrick Chung.
McCourty went to the team’s injury tent behind the bench before heading to the locker room. The other two players returned to the game.
Saquon Barkley has broken Reggie Bush’s NFL record (88) for most catches by a rookie running back. The No. 2 overall pick in the draft came into the game needing two catches to break the record set in 2006. He tied it in the first quarter and claimed it late in the second with a 17-yard dump-off pass over the middle. The Giants trail 14-7 at the half.
Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers walked back to the locker room with 10:36 left in the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.
It’s unclear when Rodgers may have gotten hurt, but he lost his helmet during a sack early in the first quarter. He has also been dealing with lingering left knee and groin injuries.
The first half has been painful overall for the Packers, who trail 14-0 to the Detroit Lions. The second touchdown came after kicker Matt Prater took a direct snap after lining up for a field-goal try and finding a wide-open Levine Toilolo for an 8-yard touchdown
Referee Walt Coleman is officiating the final regular-season game of his 30-year career at the Patriots-Jets game.
Appropriately, it’s in Foxborough, Massachusetts.
New Englanders remember Coleman from the snowy 2002 playoff game against Oakland in which he cited the then-obscure “Tuck Rule” to overturn a fumble call and keep the Patriots alive.
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady lost the ball, but because he had not tucked the ball back into his body it was considered to be in the act of throwing and thus an incomplete pass. A fumble would have essentially clinched the game for the Raiders. Instead, Adam Vinatieri tied it with a field goal and kicked another in sudden death to win it.
And Coleman never called another Raiders game in his career.
The game is looked upon as the start of the Patriots’ dynasty.
AP freelancer Ken Powtak reporting from Foxborough, Mass.
Dolphins cornerback Torry McTyer has been escorted off the field after being knocked woozy by a hit from Bills tight end Logan Thomas.
McTyer was tracking Bills running back Chris Ivory running up the middle of the field, when Thomas leaned his shoulder and bowled him over near the goal line on Buffalo’s opening possession.
McTyer was on the field and was slow getting up before being immediately escorted up the tunnel.
The Dolphins announced McTyer was being evaluated for a concussion.
McTyer was starting in place of Xavien Howard, who missed his fourth consecutive game with a knee injury.
— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York.
The Buffalo Bills have honored retiring defensive tackle Kyle Williams before their season finale against the Miami Dolphins.
Williams was the final Bills player out of the tunnel and was then greeted by his wife, Jill, and five children at the 35-yard line. He pumped his fist while running out on the field to a large cheer from the fans.
Williams on Friday announced this will be his final game and that he is retiring after 13 seasons, all with the Bills. As he’s done all year, Williams was among the first players on the field and spent time sitting on the Bills bench.
He is Buffalo’s longest-tenured active player and holds Bills records among defensive tackles with 183 games played and entered the game with 48½ sacks.
Before the Bills took the field, the team aired on the stadium video scoreboards a variety of interviews of players congratulating Williams, followed by a note which read, “Thank you, Kyle Williams.”
— John Wawrow reporting from Orchard Park, New York
There are plenty of playoff implications heading into the final day of the NFL’s regular season on Sunday.
Already in the playoffs, the Texans need a win over the Jaguars to clinch the AFC South.
In Kansas City, the Chiefs need a win over Oakland to clinch the AFC West and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
The Patriots need a win over the New York Jets to secure a first-round bye and would clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs with a win and losses by Kansas City and the Chargers. If Houston wins and the Patriots lose or tie the Texans would receive a first-round bye.
Baltimore would clinch the AFC North with a win over Cleveland and would clinch the division and a first-round bye with a victory and losses by New England and Houston.
The Chargers need a win over Denver and a loss by Kansas City to clinch the AFC West and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
The Colts will earn a playoff berth with a win over Tennessee. They would win the AFC South with a victory and a loss by Houston. The Titans would win the AFC South with a win and a loss by Houston. They could secure a first-round bye with a victory and losses by Houston, New England and Baltimore.
The Steelers would clinch the AFC North with a win over Cincinnati and a loss or tie by the Ravens.
In the NFC, the Rams need a win or tie over San Francisco or a loss or tie by Chicago to secure a bye in the first round.
The Bears would get a first-round bye with a win and a loss by the Rams.
The Vikings would clinch a playoff berth with a win or tie against Chicago or a loss or tie by the Eagles at Washington.
The defending Super Bowl champion Eagles need a win and a loss by the Vikings to earn a playoff berth.