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NFL Game Capsules - Week 16

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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. 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 locked up a playoff berth for the third straight season thanks to the Bills' 19-0 win over Miami. In addition, with Baltimore's 41-7 home loss to New England, Cincinnati became AFC North champions for the first time since 2009. 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 has won two in a row. 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. Charles had five total touchdowns in last week's game against Oakland. Sunday's game was possibly a playoff preview. If Indianapolis ends up as the No. 4 seed, the two teams will meet again in the wild-card round of the playoffs.

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.

Final Score: NY Giants 23, Detroit 20 (OT)

Detroit, MI (.com) - Josh Brown's 45-yard field goal midway through overtime officially knocked the fading Detroit Lions out of playoff contention, while lifting the New York Giants a 23-20 victory at Ford Field. Brown hit three field goals in all for a Giants team that prevailed despite mustering just two first downs and 57 total yards in the second half. New York (6-9) overcame its offensive woes by scoring 17 points off three Detroit turnovers, none bigger than Will Hill's 38-yard touchdown return off a Matt Stafford interception that tied the game at 20-20 with 4:57 left in regulation. Stafford threw a pair of picks while putting up 222 yards on 25- of-42 passing in the loss, the fifth in six games for Detroit (7-8). The Lions blew a fourth-quarter lead in each of those setbacks. Eli Manning completed 23-of-42 throws for 256 yards with an interception and a touchdown to Jerrel Jernigan, who posted a career-high 80 yards on six catches filling in for an injured Victor Cruz.

Final Score: Arizona 17, Seattle 10

Seattle, WA (.com) - The Seattle Seahawks' 14-game home winning streak was snapped by the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday. Michael Floyd's 31-yard touchdown catch with 2:13 remaining gave the Cardinals a 17-10 victory over the Seahawks, who lost at home for the first time since Dec. 24, 2011. Seattle came into Sunday's game needing a win or tie to clinch the NFC West and home- field advantage throughout the playoffs. Despite the loss, the Seahawks (12-3) can still accomplish the aforementioned if the 49ers lose or tie against the Atlanta Falcons on Monday night. Jay Feely kicked three field goals for the Cardinals (10-5), who kept their playoff hopes alive. Arizona and New Orleans have the same record, but the Saints hold the final wild-card spot based on head-to-head win percentage. Carson Palmer completed 13-of-25 passes for 178 yards, one touchdown and four interceptions for Arizona, which has won three in a row.

Final Score: New England 41, Baltimore 7

Baltimore, MD (.com) - LeGarrette Blount scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and Tom Brady threw for another, as the New England Patriots used a sterling defensive effort to capture a 41-7 decision over the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC clash on Sunday. Blount ended up with 76 yards on 16 carries, while Brady completed 14-of-26 passes for 172 yards for the Patriots (11-4), who took the field already AFC East champions by virtue of Buffalo's 19-0 win over Miami and remained one game behind Denver for the top spot in the conference. Logan Ryan added a pair of interceptions and the visitors denied Baltimore on multiple fourth-down situations. Chandler Jones recovered a fumble in the end zone for another score, and Tavon Wilson returned a Tyrod Taylor pass 74 yards for a TD. Joe Flacco threw for 260 yards on 22-of-38 attempts and ran for a touchdown, but was picked off twice and sacked four times for the Ravens (8-7), whose defeat handed the AFC North crown to Cincinnati, which demolished Minnesota, 42-14, earlier on Sunday. Baltimore received no additional outside help in its quest for a playoff berth despite the Dolphins' loss, as San Diego topped Oakland. Ray Rice was limited to 40 yards on 11 carries, while Marlon Brown caught four balls for 51 yards.

Final Score: Pittsburgh 38, Green Bay 31

Green Bay, WI (.com) - Le'Veon Bell scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:25 remaining and the Pittsburgh Steelers survived a last-second throw into the end zone to beat the Green Bay Packers 38-31 in wild game Sunday at snowy Lambeau Field. Bell's 1-yard run came after safety Troy Polamalu forced a fumble from Packers quarterback Matt Flynn, and before Micah Hyde's 70-yard kickoff return gave Green Bay, which was out timeouts, a chance to tie it at the end. Flynn completed passes of seven yards to Jordy Nelson and 19 yards to Andrew Quarless before James Starks' 4-yard run took the Packers to the 1-yard line. But lineman Don Barclay was called for a false start, pushing them back five yards and running 10 seconds off the clock. Flynn's pass on the final play went off Jarrett Boykin's fingertips. Ben Roethlisberger passed for 167 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and also ran for a score for the Steelers (7-8), who won for the fifth time in seven games to keep their slim playoff chances alive. Bell rushed for 124 yards but had a fumble that led to a Green Bay touchdown after a bizarre series of events that included a blocked Packers field goal attempt, an illegal batted ball and a forbidden challenge by the Steelers. Antonio Brown had six catches for 105 yards in the win and Cortez Allen scored on a 40-yard interception return. Flynn threw for 232 yards with a touchdown pass to Boykin and Eddie Lacy had 15 carries for 84 yards and two scores for the Packers (7-7-1).

Final Score: San Diego 26, Oakland 13

San Diego, CA (.com) - Ryan Mathews ran for 99 yards and a touchdown while surpassing his previous career-high for rushing yards in a season as the San Diego Chargers kept their playoff hopes alive with a 26-13 win over the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. The Chargers (8-7), who have won four of five, can clinch the sixth and final playoff spot in the AFC with a win over the Chiefs next Sunday and losses by Baltimore and Miami. San Diego defeated Kansas City 41-38 at Arrowhead Stadium earlier in the season. Philip Rivers completed 19-of-29 passes for 201 yards, a touchdown and an interception for San Diego. Danny Woodhead gained 52 yards on eight carries and rookie Keenan Allen hauled in his fifth touchdown catch in the last three games. Mathews' previous career-high for yards on the ground came in 2011, when he collected 1,091. The fourth-year pro out of Fresno State now has 1,111 on the year with a game to go. Matt McGloin threw for 206 yards and a pick in his sixth start of the season for Oakland (4-11), which lost its fifth straight game. Darren McFadden scored the lone Raiders touchdown, his first since Oct. 27, and Andre Holmes caught five passes for 71 yards.

Final Score: Philadelphia 54, Chicago 11

Philadelphia, PA (.com) - The Chicago Bears had a chance to clinch their division, but it all went downhill quickly in Philadelphia. The Eagles stormed out of the gate and never looked back in a 54-11 rout on Sunday night. Nick Foles threw two touchdown passes during Philadelphia's 21-point first quarter and LeSean McCoy rushed for a pair of one-yard scores for the Eagles (9-6), who knew before the game that the Dallas Cowboys won to set up a winner-take-all showdown next week for the NFC East title. Philadelphia will once again be showcased on primetime, as the contest has been flexed to Sunday Night Football. Foles completed 21-of-25 passes for 230 yards, while the Eagles gashed the league's worst run defense. Not only did McCoy rack up 133 yards on 18 carries, but Bryce Brown also surpassed the century mark on the ground, with 65 of his 115 yards rushing coming on a fourth-quarter touchdown that put the finishing touches on the lopsided win. The Bears (8-7) could have secured the NFC North crown with a win after both Green Bay and Detroit lost. They will now host the Packers next week for the division title. Jay Cutler connected on 20-of-35 passes for 222 yards with a touchdown and one interception that Brandon Boykin returned for a 54- yard touchdown with eight minutes to go in the fourth quarter, extending the lead to 47-11.

December 23, 2013, at 01:21 AM ET
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