NFL Game Capsules - Week 16
Orchard Park, NY (.com) - The Miami Dolphins controlled their postseason destiny entering Sunday's action, but a second loss to the Buffalo Bills and backup quarterback Thad Lewis has put those playoff hopes in serious jeopardy. Fred Jackson ran for 111 yards with a touchdown, Dan Carpenter kicked four field goals and the Buffalo defense came up with a season-high seven sacks in the Bills' 19-0 triumph over the Dolphins on Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Lewis, whose lone career win came in a 23-21 victory at Miami in Week 7, was back under center with rookie EJ Manuel sidelined by a knee injury. The Duke product threw for 193 yards with an interception for the Bills (6-9), who were coming off a win at Jacksonville last week and have captured two in a row for the first time this season. Miami (8-7) had won three straight entering the contest, including a 24-20 victory over New England last Sunday. The Dolphins could have reached the playoffs for the first time since 2008 by simply beating the Bills and Jets in their final two games, but instead could be eliminated from postseason contention by the end of the day. The Dolphins' loss also gave the Patriots the AFC East crown.
Final Score: Carolina 17, New Orleans 13
Charlotte, NC (.com) - If any doubters remained about the legitimacy of Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers, they were very likely erased in Sunday's game against the New Orleans Saints. Newton shook off a second-half slump to lead a late touchdown drive, capped by a 14-yard pass to Domenik Hixon with 23 seconds left to play that lifted the up-and-coming Panthers to a 17-13 triumph that secured a playoff berth for the new NFC South front-runners. With its 10th win in 11 outings, Carolina (11-4) moved a game ahead of the Saints for first place in the division entering next week's finale at Atlanta. A victory over the Falcons would give the Panthers, in the postseason for the first time since 2008, the NFC's No. 2 seed and an opening- round bye.
Final Score: Cincinnati 42, Minnesota 14
Cincinnati, OH (.com) - Andy Dalton threw for 366 yards and four touchdowns as Cincinnati took down Minnesota, 42-14, on Sunday. Dalton did so on 27-of-38 efficiency, connecting with A.J. Green twice then Jermaine Gresham and Mohamed Sanu once each for the Bengals (10-5), who have locked up a playoff berth thanks to the Bills' 19-0 win over Miami. If Baltimore loses later Sunday against New England, Cincinnati will also take the AFC North title. Green ended up with team highs of 97 yards on seven receptions, while Marvin Jones contributed 85 yards on six grabs. Matt Cassel was held to 114 yards, one score to Jarius Wright and three interceptions on 13-of-27 passing for the Vikings (4-10-1), who failed to maintain momentum from their 48-point performance against the Eagles last week. Adrian Peterson returned after a one-game absence due to a knee injury and was limited to 45 yards on 11 carries. Cordarelle Patterson added a rushing touchdown in defeat.
Final Score: Denver 37, Houston 13
Houston, TX (.com) - Peyton Manning shook hands with teammates on the field. He pulled his helmet off and high-fived more on the sideline, then took a seat by himself on the bench. Manning is alone on top of the NFL's single-season touchdown passes list, too. The Broncos quarterback broke Tom Brady's league record for touchdown passes in a season with No. 51, throwing for four of them Sunday in a 37-13 win over the Houston Texans that clinched the AFC West for Denver. Three of Manning's touchdown passes came in the fourth quarter -- two to Eric Decker and the record-breaker to tight end Julius Thomas in the front right corner of the end zone with 4:28 remaining. Decker found the ball, tucked it inside his jersey and smuggled the keepsake to the sideline. The personal accomplishment came with a team reward for the Broncos (12-3) who wrapped up the division title and a first-round bye with a little help from the Kansas City Chiefs, who lost at home to Indianapolis.
Final Score: Tennessee 20, Jacksonville 16
Jacksonville, FL (.com) - Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 17-of-26 passes for 181 yards, one touchdown and one interception to lead the Tennessee Titans to a 20-16 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars. Shonn Greene carried the ball 19 times for 91 yards and touchdown and Nate Washington caught six passes for 117 yards and a touchdown for the Titans (6-9), who snapped a three-game skid. Chad Henne went 24-for-34 for 237 yards, two touchdowns and one interception, Mike Brown hauled in five passes for 71 yards and a touchdown and Marcedes Lewis caught four passes for 50 yards and a touchdown for Jacksonville (4-11), which will travel to Indianapolis to face the Colts next Sunday.
Final Score: Indianapolis 23, Kansas City 7
Kansas City, MO (.com) - Donald Brown scored two touchdowns, Adam Vinatieri kicked three field goals and the AFC South-champion Indianapolis Colts beat the Kansas City Chiefs by a 23-7 margin. Brown caught a 33-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Luck and recorded a 51-yard score on the ground for the Colts (10-5), who currently have the fourth seed in the AFC. Luck completed 26-of-37 passes for 241 yards for Indianapolis, which can still earn a first-round bye if it beats Jacksonville next week and Baltimore wins out. The Ravens play the Patriots on Sunday and the Bengals next week. Alex Smith connected on 16-of-29 passes for 153 yards and two interceptions for the Chiefs (11-4), who are locked into the fifth seed. The Broncos beat the Texans on Sunday to clinch the AFC West. Jamaal Charles carried the ball 13 times for 106 yards and a score for Kansas City, which had a two-game winning streak snapped.
Final Score: NY Jets 24, Cleveland 13
East Rutherford, NJ (.com) - Geno Smith tossed a pair of touchdown passes to David Nelson and ran for a score as the New York Jets topped the Cleveland Browns 24-13 on Sunday. With the Jets up 17-13 with 3:26 left and facing a 3rd-and-2, Smith was pressured, scrambled and darted through a huge seam up the middle for the game-clinching 17-yard score. Smith was 20-of-36 for 214 yards for New York (7-8), which had dropped four of its last five games coming in. Chris Ivory ran for 109 yards on 20 carries in the triumph. Josh Gordon had six receptions for 97 yards, while Edwin Baker carried the ball 17 times for 64 yards and a touchdown for the Browns (4-11), who have lost six straight.
Final Score: St. Louis 23, Tampa Bay 13
St. Louis, MO (.com) - The St. Louis Rams leaned on a pair of rookies to beat the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 23-13, from the Edward Jones Dome on Sunday. Zac Stacy carried the ball a career-high 33 times for 104 yards and a touchdown, while fellow rookie Stedman Bailey added a 27-yard touchdown run for St. Louis (7-8), which has won two straight overall and its last two meetings against Tampa Bay. Kellen Clemens was efficient with 158 yards on 16-of-20 passing in the win. Mike Glennon threw for 158 yards on 16-of-26 passing and Vincent Jackson hauled in five passes for 98 yards in the Bucs' (4-11) second straight loss. Bobby Rainey rushed for 37 yards on 20 carries and had the lone Tampa Bay touchdown.
Final Score: Dallas 24, Washington 23
Landover, MD (.com) - The Cowboys' obituary hasn't been written just yet. Dallas rallied from a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter and escaped FedEx Field with a season-saving 24-23 victory over the Washington Redskins after Tony Romo threw a touchdown pass to DeMarco Murray with 1:08 remaining. The comeback was a reversal of the Cowboys' fate last week against Green Bay, a game that saw Dallas blow a 23-point halftime lead. Romo, who threw two crucial interceptions in the fourth quarter in that loss, shook off the collapse and resurrected the Cowboys (8-7) with a 51-yard bomb to Terrance Williams on the eventual game-winning drive. It didn't come easily, though, as Murray was knocked back for a 9-yard loss on 3rd-and-goal from the 1, and the Cowboys were down to their final play. Romo stepped up in the pocket and found Murray alone near the right sideline at the 2-yard line. Murray took a hit at the goal line and spun into the end zone for the deciding score, setting up a winner-take-all regular season finale against the Philadelphia Eagles next week for the NFC East title.
December 22, 2013, at 05:38 PM ET
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Brown, Colts down Chiefs
Broncos rip Texans; Manning sets new TD pass mark
Panthers clinch playoff spot with dramatic win over Saints