NFL Week 16 Roundup: Dolphins wrap up playoff spot with walk-off field goal

The Detroit Lions clinched their first division title since 1993, the Miami Dolphins wrapped up a playoff spot and the Cleveland Browns took a huge step toward the post-season on Sunday.

Here’s a look at all the Week 16 action.


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Jason Sanders kicked his fifth field goal of the game, a 29-yarder as time expired, and the Miami Dolphins secured a playoff berth with a 22-20 victory over the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.

Tua Tagovailoa threw for 293 yards and a touchdown for the AFC East-leading Dolphins (11-4), who beat a team with a winning record for the first time this season. He connected with Tyreek Hill twice on the decisive drive, which covered 64 yards and took the final 3:27 off the clock.

Hill, who leads the NFL in receiving yards, had nine catches for 99 yards after missing last week’s victory over the New York Jets with an ankle injury.

Dak Prescott went 20 of 32 for 253 yards and two touchdowns for the Cowboys (10-5), who have already clinched a playoff spot but fell a half-game behind Philadelphia in the NFC East.

Prescott put the Dallas in front 20-19 with an 8-yard touchdown pass to a leaping Brandin Cooks in the corner of the end zone. But the Cowboys were haunted by their red-zone struggles earlier in the game, including a fumble by Prescott on first-and-goal from inside the 1 on Dallas’ first possession.

Sanders’ first field goal was a career-long 57-yarder in the first quarter. He added kicks of 52, 54 and 35 yards to help the Dolphins take a 19-10 lead late in the third.

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DENVER (AP) _ Chad Ryland made a career-long 56-yard field goal with two seconds left, and the New England Patriots delivered a near-fatal blow to the Denver Broncos’ playoff hopes with a 26-23 stunner Sunday night.

The Patriots (4-11) scored a pair of touchdowns in a 6-second span of the third quarter, then fended off a furious fourth-quarter rally by the Broncos (7-8).

Ryland’s kick capped a seven-play, 44-yard drive that began with 58 seconds left after the Broncos went three-and-out. Denver had tied it up with a pair of long TD drives and 2-point conversions on its previous two possessions.

Ryland came in as the worst full-time starting kicker in the league in field-goal percentage at 65 per cent (13 of 20), and the rookie missed from 47 yards late in the first half on Sunday night. He also missed an extra point in the third quarter.

The Broncos were 7 1/2-point favorites, according to FanDuel Sportsbook, making the Patriots the fourth underdog to win at Empower Field at Mile High in coach Sean Payton’s first season. This latest upset left the Broncos with just a six per cent chance of ending their eight-year playoff drought, according to the NFL’s calculations.

Bill Belichick improved to 11-10 against the Broncos during his 24-year tenure in New England, denying Denver the status as the only opponent with a winning record against him during his time with the Patriots.

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HOUSTON (AP) — Amari Cooper set a franchise record with 265 yards receiving and scored two touchdowns and a 2-point conversion to move the Cleveland Browns closer to a playoff berth with a 36-22 win over the Houston Texans on Sunday.

Cooper’s performance moved him atop the Browns’ record book ahead of Josh Gordon, who had 261 yards receiving against Jacksonville on Dec. 1, 2013. He has 1,250 yards receiving this season, making him the first receiver in team history with consecutive 1,000-yard seasons.

The Browns can’t clinch a playoff spot this week, but at 10-5 they’re all but guaranteed to secure just their second postseason appearance since 2002. It’s the third time since 1999 that they’ve reached double-digit wins, doing so in 2007 and 2020.

Joe Flacco threw for 368 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions in his fourth start for the Browns, who built a 22-7 halftime lead and cruised to their third straight victory.

Cooper had TD catches of 75 and 7 yards and set up Cleveland’s first score with a 53-yard reception on the first play of the day.

Houston’s wild-card playoff hopes took a blow as the Texans fell to 8-7 on a day when Case Keenum threw for just 62 yards with two interceptions in his second start in place of star rookie C.J. Stroud, who remains out with a concussion. Keenum was replaced by Davis Mills late in the third quarter.

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ATLANTA (AP) — Taylor Heinicke provided the turnover-free leadership at quarterback Atlanta has sought all season, passing for 229 yards and a touchdown to lead the Falcons to a 29-10 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday.

The Falcons (7-8) benched Desmond Ridder this week for the second time this season following two straight losses, providing an opportunity for Heinicke to boost the team’s fading playoff hopes.

Heinicke delivered, completing 23 of 33 passes, including a 24-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Pitts. Tyler Allgeier added a 31-yard touchdown run. The Falcons’ 29 points set a season high.

The Colts (8-7) had won five of six to move into a first-place tie in the AFC South but struggled offensively after opening the game with a long drive capped by Jonathan Taylor’s 1-yard scoring run.

Gardner Minshew faced frequent pressure from the Falcons’ pass rush, including on an incomplete fourth-down pass from the Atlanta 38 with about 10 minutes remaining.

The Colts’ next drive ended with Jessie Bates’ interception of Minshew’s pass over the middle intended for Alex Pierce. It was Bates’ sixth interception of the season.

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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Baker Mayfield threw for 283 yards and two touchdowns to help the NFC South-leading Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat Trevor Lawrence and the reeling Jacksonville Jaguars 30-12 for their fourth straight victory on Sunday.

The Jaguars (8-7) lost their fourth game in a row, this time with Lawrence starting but struggling to find a rhythm after spending the past week in the NFL’s concussion protocol. The third-year quarterback threw a second-half TD pass to Calvin Ridley before spending the fourth quarter on the bench with what the Jaguars announced was a shoulder injury.

A week after having a perfect passer rating of 158.3 in a road win at Green Bay, Mayfield threw a pair of TDs to Mike Evans in building a 20-0 halftime lead. In both cases, the Bucs cashed in on interceptions Lawrence tossed on two of Jacksonville’s first three possessions.

Evans finished with seven receptions for 86 yards. The touchdown catches were his 12th and 13th of the season, and the 10th-year pro joined Hall of Famers Jerry Rice (8), Terrell Owens (7), Marvin Harrison (6) and Randy Moss (6) as the only players in NFL history to have at least 12 TD receptions in five different seasons.

The victory, combined with New Orleans’ loss to the Los Angeles Rams last Thursday night, left the first-place Bucs (8-7) alone atop the NFC South with two weeks left in the regular season. The Saints (7-8) visit Raymond James Stadium next Sunday.

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Jordan Love threw for two touchdowns, ran for one and made two big completions to set up Anders Carlson’s 32-yard field goal with 19 seconds left, and the Green Bay Packers survived a fourth-quarter rally by Carolina to beat the Panthers 33-30 on Sunday and keep their playoff hopes alive.

Love threw touchdown passes of 21 yards to rookie Dontayvion Wicks and 5 yards to Romeo Dobbs and scored on a quarterback sneak as the Packers snapped a two-game losing streak. Aaron Jones became the first Packers player this season to exceed 100 yards rushing or receiving in a game, rushing for 127 yards on 21 carries.

The Packers (7-8) remain one game behind the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams in the NFC wild-card race.

Bryce Young threw for a career-high 312 yards with two touchdown passes to DJ Chark for the Panthers (2-13), who failed to build on the momentum of last week’s 9-7 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Geno Smith threw his second touchdown pass of the fourth quarter on a 5-yarder to Colby Parkinson with 57 seconds left and the Seattle Seahawks kept their playoff hopes alive by beating the Tennessee Titans 20-17 Sunday for their second straight victory.

The Seahawks (8-7) still need to win out and get some help to clinch their second playoff berth in three seasons.

They started slowly after beating Philadelphia on Monday night and traveling cross country for the early kickoff. Smith, who missed the past two games with an injured groin, gave the Seahawks their first lead at 13-10 when he found DK Metcalf in the left corner for an 11-yard TD with 12:10 left.

Derrick Henry put Tennessee back up 17-13 with a 2-yard TD run with 3:21 left.

Smith responded by driving the Seahawks 75 yards over 14 plays for the win.

Tennessee had a final chance. But Boye Mafe led Seattle with two sacks, including one to start the Titans’ last drive. Ryan Tannehill hit Colton Dowell for a 3-yard pass as the rookie ran out of bounds. Officials kept the clock going, and the final seconds ticked off without another play.

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Detroit Lions clinched their first division title in 30 years, using two rushing touchdowns from Jahmyr Gibbs and 106 receiving yards and a third-quarter go-ahead score by Amon-Ra St. Brown to overtake the injury-ravaged Minnesota Vikings 30-24 on Sunday.

Ifeatu Melifonwu picked off Nick Mullens at the 5-yard line with 49 seconds left for Detroit’s fourth interception of the game, an off-target pass to an open Justin Jefferson three plays after his leaping grab in double coverage on third-and-27 kept the last-minute drive alive.

Jared Goff passed for 257 yards without a turnover and David Montgomery had a rushing touchdown for the Lions (11-4) in another prolific performance by one of the NFL’s most potent offenses. Detroit secured a home playoff game for the first time in 22 seasons at Ford Field, where an NFC North champions banner will soon hang. The last one was for winning the NFC Central in 1993.

Mullens threw for two scores, a diving 26-yard catch by Jefferson with 29 seconds left in the first half and a 6-yard toss to K.J. Osborn that gave the Vikings a 21-17 lead early in the third quarter one play after a 47-yard heave to Osborn.

But like the week before in an overtime loss at Cincinnati, the turnovers weighed heavily on the outcome. Kerby Joseph’s first of two picks gave the Lions the ball at the Minnesota 33 in the second quarter, and they reached the end zone in three plays.

Goff was sharp in a redemptive game for him against Vikings defensive coordinator Brian Flores, whose schemes had given him plenty of trouble in previous matchups with New England and Miami when Goff was with the Los Angeles Rams, including Super Bowl 53.

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Greg Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal with 5 seconds left, rescuing the Jets after they blew a 20-point lead in the third quarter, and New York beat the Washington Commanders 30-28 on Sunday.

Jacoby Brissett replaced the benched Sam Howell in the third quarter and led the Commanders on three straight touchdown drives, including Antonio Gibson’s 2-yard run that put Washington ahead 28-27 with 4:52 remaining.

After the Jets (6-9) held Brissett and the Commanders to a three-and-out, they got the ball back with 1:41 remaining. Trevor Siemian marched New York into field goal range and Zuerlein booted the game-winner.

It was the second win in eight games for the Jets, and it came hours after owner Woody Johnson told the New York Post he was bringing back coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas next year.

Siemian finished 27 of 49 for 217 yards with a touchdown pass and an interception in his first start in place of the injured Zach Wilson. Breece Hall ran for 95 yards and two TDs and caught 12 passes for 96 yards in the home finale for New York.

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CHICAGO (AP) — Justin Fields threw for a touchdown and ran for another score, and the Chicago Bears beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-16 on Sunday night.

Tight end Cole Kmet caught four passes for a career-high 107 yards despite missing the second half because of a knee injury.

Khalil Herbert ran for a season-high 112 yards and a touchdown, and the Bears (6-9) got the bounce-back win they were seeking coming off a late collapse at Cleveland a week earlier.

Chicago scored touchdowns on three straight possessions in the first half to go up 21-0 against Arizona (3-12). The Bears hung on after blowing a 10-point lead in a 20-17 loss to the Browns, though things got tight in the closing minutes.

The Cardinals cut it to 24-16 with 6:37 remaining on Kyler Murray’s 38-yard touchdown pass to Greg Dortch, though the 2-point conversion pass was incomplete. Chicago’s Cairo Santos kicked a 29-yard field goal with just over a minute to play.

The Bears finished with 420 yards, including 250 rushing after being held to 88 against Cleveland.

Fields completed 15 of 27 passes for 170 yards after throwing for 166 the previous week. He added 97 yards rushing.

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