NFL Today, Week 17

NFL

SCOREBOARD

Saturday, Jan. 9

Indianapolis at Buffalo, 1:05 p.m. CBS. Philip Rivers and the Colts (11-5) clinched a playoff berth with the help of Jonathan Taylor’s franchise-record 253 yards rushing in a win over Jacksonville in the regular-season finale. They’ll take on Josh Allen and the dangerous Bills (13-3) who scored a team-record 501 points on the way to winning the AFC East and hosting their first home playoff game in 24 years.

Los Angeles Rams at Seattle, 4:40 p.m. Fox. The Rams (10-6) are hoping to have quarterback Jared Goff back after he missed the regular-season finale following surgery on his right thumb. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks (12-4) are the NFC’s No. 3 seed and enter the postseason on a four-game winning streak.

Tampa Bay at Washington, 8:15 p.m. NBC. Tom Brady led the Buccaneers (11-5) to the playoffs after a 13-year drought, but star wide receiver Mike Evans’ availability is uncertain after he injured his left knee in the regular-season finale. Tampa Bay, which has won four straight, will face Washington (7-9). Led by coach Ron Rivera and comeback quarterback Alex Smith, the NFC East champions are the third team to win a division with a losing record during a full 16-game season.

STARS

Passing

– Tom Brady, Buccaneers, threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns in helping playoff-bound Tampa Bay clinch the fifth seed in the NFC with a 44-27 win over Atlanta.

– Aaron Rodgers, Packers, passed for four touchdowns, breaking his franchise record for scoring tosses in a season while leading Green Bay to the No. 1 seed in the NFC with a 35-16 victory over playoff-bound Chicago.

– Cam Newton, Patriots, had three touchdown passes and caught another to help New England rally to beat the New York Jets 28-14.

– Lamar Jackson, Ravens, threw three touchdown passes and ran for 97 yards in a 38-3 rout of Cincinnati, becoming the first quarterback in NFL history with two seasons of more than 1,000 yards rushing.

– Justin Herbert, Chargers, had three touchdown passes and ran for another score to lift Los Angeles past a Kansas City team resting many starters, 38-21.

– Josh Allen, Bills, went 18 of 25 for 224 yards and three touchdowns while playing just the first half of Buffalo’s 56-26 rout of Miami.

– Kirk Cousins, Vikings, threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns, lifting Minnesota past Detroit 37-35.

Rushing

– Derrick Henry, Titans, became the eighth player to run for 2,000 yards by rushing for a career-high 250 in Tennessee’s 41-38 victory over Houston.

– Jonathan Taylor, Colts, ran for a franchise-record 253 yards and two scores to help Indianapolis clinch a playoff spot with a 28-14 victory over Jacksonville.

– J.K. Dobbins, Ravens, rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns, including a 72-yard scoring romp in the third quarter, to help Baltimore to a 38-3 victory at Cincinnati.

– Ty Montgomery, Saints, ran for 105 yards on 18 carries in New Orleans’ 33-7 rout of Carolina.

– Nick Chubb, Browns, ran for 108 yards, including a 47-yard touchdown, in Cleveland’s 24-22 win over Pittsburgh that ended the NFL’s longest postseason drought.

– Antonio Williams, Bills, rushed for two TDs in his NFL debut, a day after being called up from the practice squad, to help Buffalo roll past Miami 56-26.

Receiving

– Antonio Brown and Chris Godwin, Buccaneers. Brown had his most productive day since joining Tampa Bay midway through the season with 11 catches for 138 yards and two TDs in a 44-27 win over Atlanta. Godwin had five receptions for 133 yards and two scores.

– Tyler Lockett, Seahawks, had 12 catches for 90 yards and two scores in Seattle’s 26-23 victory at San Francisco.

– Brandin Cooks, Texans, caught 11 passes for 166 yards and two scores in Houston’s 41-38 loss to Tennessee.

– Marvin Jones Jr., Lions, had eight receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns in a losing cause as Detroit fell 37-35 to Minnesota.

– A.J. Brown, Titans, caught 10 passes for 151 yards and a TD in Tennessee’s 41-38 win at Houston.

– Sterling Shepard, Giants, caught eight passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, along with a 23-yard TD run, in New York’s 23-19 victory over Dallas.

– Justin Jefferson, Vikings, had nine receptions for 133 yards in Minnesota’s 37-35 win at Detroit and broke the NFL rookie record for yards receiving set by Anquan Boldin in 2003.

Special Teams

– Sam Sloman, Titans, booted a 37-yard field goal that hit the right upright and went through with no time left to give Tennessee a 41-38 victory over Houston to clinch the AFC South title.

– Isaiah McKenzie, Bills, returned a punt 84 yards for a touchdown to go along with his two TD catches in Buffalo’s 56-26 rout of Miami.

– Maxx Crosby, Raiders, blocked Brandon McManus’ 63-yard field-goal try with 9 seconds left in Las Vegas’ 32-31 win at Denver after blocking McManus’ record 70-yard attempt on the last play of the first half.

– Graham Gano, Giants, made a 50-yard field goal in New York’s 23-19 win over Dallas to pass Josh Brown for the franchise record with his 30th consecutive made field goal.

– A’Shawn Robinson, Rams, blocked a 37-yard field goal try by Mike Nugent in the fourth quarter of Los Angeles’ 18-7 victory over Arizona.

Defense

– Josh Norman and Dean Marlowe, Bills. Norman returned an interception 16 yards for a touchdown and Marlowe had two picks in Buffalo’s 56-26 win over Miami.

– Leonard Williams and Xavier McKinney, Giants. Williams had three sacks and McKinney intercepted Dallas’ Andy Dalton in the end zone with 1:15 remaining to help seal New York’s 23-19 victory.

– Troy Hill, Rams, returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown in Los Angeles’ 18-7 win over Arizona.

– Benson Mayowa, Seahawks, had two sacks, including a strip-sack, in Seattle’s 26-23 win at San Francisco.

– Chase Winovich, Patriots, had two sacks in New England’s 28-14 win over the New York Jets.

– Jahlani Travai, Lions, forced two fumbles in Detroit’s 37-35 loss to Minnesota.

PLAYOFF BOUND

The Cleveland Browns are back in the postseason, qualifying for the first time since 2002 on Sunday by surviving a late Pittsburgh rally for a 24-22 win over the Steelers, who rested quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and several other starters. The Browns (11-5) had the NFL’s longest playoff drought. … With a 28-14 win over the Jets, the Bills (13-3) clinched the AFC’s No. 2 playoff seed in completing a season in which they matched a single-season record for wins, set in both 1990 and ’91, and won their first East Division title in 25 years. … The Green Bay Packers clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC by beating the playoff-bound Chicago Bears 35-16. The Packers (13-3) earned a bye while winning their sixth in a row and beat Chicago (8-8) for the 19th time in 22 games, counting the postseason. … Washington (7-9) became the first team in the Super Bowl era to reach the playoffs following a 2-7 start. Washington is also the third team to win a division title with a losing record during a full 16-game season. Seattle (2010) and Carolina (2014) previously did it and each won a playoff game.

MILESTONES

Derrick Henry ran for a career-high 250 yards in Tennessee’s 41-38 win at Houston to become the eighth player in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards with a franchise-record 2,027. … Tom Brady threw four TD passes in Tampa Bay’s 44-27 win over Atlanta to finish with a team single-season record 40 in his first season with the Bucs. Brady also joined Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Dan Marino as the only players with multiple seasons of at least 40 TD passes. Rodgers has done it three times, the others twice. … The Bucs’ Mike Evans became the first player in NFL history to begin a career with seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons before leaving with a left knee injury late in the first quarter. … Rodgers joined Peyton Manning (2004 and 2013) as the only players to throw for at least 45 touchdowns in multiple seasons. He finished with a Packers-record 48 this season, surpassing his previous high of 45 in his first MVP season of 2011. … The Chargers’ Justin Herbert set the NFL records for the most touchdown passes (31) and completions (396) by a rookie.

FRANCHISE MARKS

Buffalo’s Josh Allen finished the season with 4,544 yards passing to eclipse the team’s single-season record of 4,359 set by Drew Bledsoe in 2002. … Cam Newton’s 49-yard run on New England’s opening drive of a 28-14 win over the Jets was the longest by a quarterback in franchise history. Steve Grogan held the previous record, twice making 41-yard runs. Newton also passed Grogan for the single-season mark for yards rushing by a quarterback. … DK Metcalf set Seattle’s single-season record for yards receiving, a mark previously held for 35 years by Hall of Famer Steve Largent. Largent had 1,287 yards in 1985, and Metcalf finished with 1,302 yards. Tyler Lockett also went over 1,000 yards for the season, and he and Metcalf joined Joey Galloway and Brian Blades in 1995 as the only Seahawks teammates to accomplish that feat in the same season. … Davante Adams broke Sterling Sharpe’s Packers mark record for receptions in a season and tied his mark for touchdown catches in a year. Adams had six receptions to bump his total to 115 and surpass Sharpe’s mark of 112 in 1993. His 6-yard score late in the game gave him 18 TDs, matching Sharpe’s team record in 1994. … Jonathan Taylor rushed for a franchise-record 253 yards and two scores, capping Indianapolis’ 28-14 playoff-clinching victory over Jacksonville with a 45-yard touchdown run with 3:35 to go. Taylor also joined Pro Football Hall of Famer Edgerrin James as the only players in franchise history to run for 200 yards in a game.

STREAKS & STATS

With a 56-26 win over Miami, Buffalo finished the season with 501 points, a franchise best in topping the record of 445 set in 1991. It was the Bills’ second-most points in team history, and two shy of the record set in a 58-24 win over Miami on Sept. 18, 1966. … Miami’s Xavien Howard matched a single-season franchise record with 10 interceptions, tying Dick Westmoreland (1967). Howard also became the NFL’s first player to have 10 interceptions in one season since Antonio Cromartie had that many with the Chargers in 2007. … Baltimore’s Lamar Jackson has run or passed for at least one touchdown in 36 straight starts, the longest active streak in the NFL. … Ravens punter Sam Koch was forced to end his franchise-record streak of 239 consecutive games played when he was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. He hadn’t missed a game in his 15-year NFL career. … Detroit’s defense broke franchise records by allowing 519 points and 6,716 yards, breaking marks set by its winless team in 2008 and ranking among the worst in NFL history. … The Jets finished 2-14 for the first time in team history. It’s the franchise’s second-worst record, with the 1-15 squad of 1996 the only team worse.

RUNNIN’ RAVENS

Baltimore ran for a club-record 404 yards in a 38-3 win at Cincinnati, becoming the fourth team since 1950 to rush for more than 400 in a single game. The Ravens, led by J.K. Dobbins’ 160 yards rushing, amassed 525 total yards in advancing to the playoffs for the third straight season. Lamar Jackson ran for 97 yards and became the first quarterback in NFL history with two seasons of more than 1,000 yards rushing.

OH, HENRY!

Derrick Henry ran for a career-high 250 yards in Tennessee’s 41-38 victory over Houston that gave the Titans (11-5) their first AFC South title since 2008. Henry finished the regular season with a franchise-record 2,027 yards rushing to become the eighth player in NFL history to run for 2,000 yards. He passed Chris Johnson, who had 2,006 yards in 2009. Henry had touchdown runs of 52 and 6 yards in his third straight 200-yard rushing game against the Texans.

DOUBLE TROUBLE

New England wide receiver Jakobi Meyers threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to quarterback Cam Newton in the Patriots’ 28-14 win over the New York Jets. Meyers, who also had a touchdown pass in Week 10, is the fourth wide receiver with two touchdown passes in one season in the Super Bowl era, joining Odell Beckham Jr. (2018), Antwaan Randle El (2010) and Rod Gardner (2003).

SIDELINED

Arizona quarterback Kyler Murray sat out most of the first three quarters of the Cardinals’ 18-7 loss to the Los Angeles Rams with an ankle injury. He was hurt on the first possession Sunday and didn’t return until early in the fourth quarter. … Tampa Bay wide receiver Mike Evans was carted to the locker room with a left knee injury late in the first quarter and did not return to the Buccaneers’ 44-27 victory against Atlanta. He was injured one play after a 20-yard reception made him the first player in NFL history to begin a career with seven consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. … Seattle defensive tackle Jarran Reed left in the third quarter of the Seahawks’ 26-23 win at San Francisco because of an abdominal injury. … Jets rookie left tackle Mekhi Becton left New York’s 28-14 loss at New England with a high ankle sprain. Rookie wide receiver Denzel Mims didn’t return after suffering a concussion in the second quarter. … Cleveland defensive end Olivier Vernon suffered an ankle injury in the fourth quarter of the Browns’ 24-22 win over Pittsburgh. Vernon didn’t put any weight on his leg while being assisted to the medical tent and was then carted to the locker room.

SPEAKING

”It’s a moment I’ll never forget. But we’re not satisfied. We expected to be here.” – Cleveland quarterback Baker Mayfield after the Browns clinched their first playoff appearance since 2002 with a 24-22 win over Pittsburgh.

”We’ve said this from Day 1 in training camp: We believe we have a team that is good enough to win it all and that has to start by getting in the playoffs. Now that we’re here, that’s our belief. – Indianapolis coach Frank Reich after the Colts clinched a postseason berth.

”This is a special season. It will always be a special season for me. It’s been a special year as well. … It’s such a difficult time for so many people. I have such an understanding and appreciation for how difficult it’s been on so many people. I’ve really just tried to have a good perspective, an attitude of gratitude and really just enjoy every moment of this season.” – Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers after the Packers clinched the top seed in the NFC with a 35-16 win at Chicago.

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