The latest on Week 17, the last regular-season weekend in the NFL (all times Eastern):
Whew! The NFL’s playoff seeds and first-round matchups were set in dramatic fashion.
Buffalo got the final postseason berth when Cincinnati stunned Baltimore. The Bengals scored on a fourth-and-12 play when Andy Dalton hooked up with Tyler Boyd for a 49-yard score with 53 seconds remaining. The unlikely outcome scrambled the postseason picture for five AFC teams: Baltimore, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Kansas City and Tennessee.
The Bills will be in the playoffs for the first time since 1999. They had the longest postseason drought of any pro team in North America.
The Titans earned the other AFC wild-card spot by beating the Jaguars.
New Orleans won the NFC South despite losing at Tampa Bay in the final minute. It was the only division race unsettled going into Sunday. Fellow NFL South teams Carolina and Atlanta earned NFC wild cards.
Baltimore (9-7) and the Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) were eliminated in the AFC. Seattle (9-7) missed out in the NFC.
So the seeds look like this:
1. New England (13-3)
2. Pittsburgh (13-3)
3. Jacksonville (10-6)
4. Kansas City (10-6)
5. Tennessee (9-7)
6. Buffalo (9-7)
1. Philadelphia (13-3)
2. Minnesota (13-3)
3. Los Angeles Rams (11-5)
4. New Orleans (11-5)
5. Carolina (11-5)
6. Atlanta (10-6)
The top two seeds in each conference get byes, leaving other eight teams to play next weekend.
Kansas City will host Tennessee on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. Jacksonville will host Buffalo on Sunday at 1 p.m.
Los Angeles will host Atlanta on Saturday at 8:15 p.m. New Orleans will host Carolina — their third meeting this the season — on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.
Miami Dolphins receiver Jarvis Landry and two teammates have been ejected following a fourth-quarter fight with the Buffalo Bills.
Also disqualified were running back Kenyan Drake and offensive lineman Jake Brendel. Landry was cited for disrespecting an official, and Drake for throwing his helmet 20 yards in anger. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were called against both teams.
The fight occurred after Landry caught a 1-yard touchdown pass from David Fales to cut Miami’s deficit to 22-9. Landry then butted helmets with safety Jordan Poyer to start the scuffle.
Drake was crying as he left the field. The disqualifications could lead to suspensions to begin next season.
The episode came at the end of a record-setting season for Landry. He had nine catches for 92 yards to finish with 112 catches, breaking the team record of 110 he set in 2015.
The Tennessee Titans are closing in on their first playoff berth since the 2008 season, which isn’t helping the Los Angeles Chargers in their attempt to make the postseason after an 0-4 start.
The Titans are in control against Jacksonville, but can’t pull away because they keep settling for field goals. Tennessee was up 15-3 in the third quarter.
Philip Rivers had a pair of first-half touchdown passes, and the Chargers were up 23-10 in the third quarter against Oakland. However, a Tennessee win would prevent the Chargers from becoming the second team in NFL history to make the playoffs after starting 0-4.
The Chargers need one of these two combinations along with their own win: a Tennessee loss and Buffalo loss or a Tennessee loss and Baltimore win. The Bills had a 19-0 third-quarter lead with the Dolphins already having turned to backup quarterback David Fales.
Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has been carted off the field with a right ankle injury in the third quarter at Miami.
McCoy was hurt when he carried up the middle. After being tackled, he pounded the turf with his fist as trainers attended to him.
He came into the game with 1,128 yards rushing for the Bills, who were trying to secure a playoff spot on the final day of the regular season.
— Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida
The Buffalo Bills are looking good so far in trying to end the longest playoff drought in the four major professional American sports.
Buffalo can make the playoffs for the first time since 1999 with a win and a Baltimore loss. The Bills led Miami 10-0 at halftime, and the Ravens were losing 17-10 at home to Cincinnati.
Miami is playing backup quarterback David Fales after deciding to sit Jay Cutler after the first series. Cutler came out of retirement when Ryan Tannehill sustained a season-ending knee injury.
The Bills can also get in with a Tennessee loss, but the Titans led Jacksonville 12-3 at halftime.
The Los Angeles Chargers can get in with a win over Oakland but need losses by Tennessee and Buffalo or a Tennessee loss and Baltimore win. The Chargers were up on the Raiders 20-10 at the half.
The Ravens get in with a win or a tie.
San Francisco’s Marquise Goodwin has been ruled out with a concussion after a scary hit late in the second quarter against the Los Angeles Rams.
After an incomplete pass, Goodwin was laid out by a hard hit by Blake Countess, who was flagged for unnecessary roughness for hitting a defenseless player.
Goodwin failed on the ground for a moment before medical personnel rushed to his side.
After several minutes, he was helped to his feet and gingerly placed in a seat in the back of a cart. He made several motions to fans with both hands as he was driven off the field, and took off his helmet.
Goodwin caught an 8-yard scoring pass from Jimmy Garoppolo to help the 49ers take a 20-6 lead.
— Bernie Wilson reporting from Los Angeles.
Derrick Henry has shown a little flash after a slow start that included a few boos with the Tennessee Titans seeking their first playoff berth since 2008.
The 2015 Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama took a screen pass from Marcus Mariota and went 66 yards for a touchdown and a 6-0 lead in the first quarter. The PAT was blocked.
It was the first TD catch of Henry’s career, but his third touchdown of at least 60 yards this season. That’s second to Kansas City dynamo Tyreek Hill, who has five.
The Titans finished the first quarter with only 11 yards total offense, and Henry had minus-2 yards rushing after his first seven carries in his first start replacing the injured DeMarco Murray.
The Titans can clinch a playoff berth by beating Jacksonville or if both Buffalo and the Chargers lose.
An enthusiastic crowd has welcomed the Raiders home to LA.
The Raiders got raucous cheers during pregame introductions from the StubHub Center crowd before they faced the Los Angeles Chargers, who got permission over the Raiders to relocate last January.
The Raiders hadn’t played in Los Angeles County since Christmas Eve 1994, but they’ve remained wildly popular in the LA area during their absence, as evidenced by the booster clubs, families and costumed super fans throughout the Carson parking lots.
Raiders fans took over San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium last year while the threat of relocation hung over the Chargers. While this year’s turnout in smaller StubHub Center wasn’t quite as emphatic, the Chargers still seemed like the road team.
— Greg Beacham reporting from Carson, California
Jimmy Garoppolo has helped the San Francisco 49ers to a 10-3 first-quarter lead against the NFC West champion Los Angeles Rams, who are resting many of their stars for the playoffs.
Garoppolo, trying to lead the last-place Niners to their fifth straight victory, threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Marquise Goodwin with 5:14 left in the first quarter.
Robbie Gould capped the 49ers’ first drive with a 33-yard field goal. The big play on that drive was Garoppolo’s 44-yard pass to tight end George Kittle on third down. Kittle caught a short pass over the middle and broke it for a big gain.
Garoppolo was intercepted on the third possession by Kevin Peterson, who returned it 38 yards to the LA 22. The Rams had to settle for Sam Ficken’s 33-yard field goal.
Sean Mannion started at quarterback for the Rams in place of Jared Goff. Todd Gurley, who had been the NFL’s leading rushing coming into Sunday, was inactive.
Garoppolo was Tom Brady’s backup with the Patriots until being traded to the 49ers on Oct. 31.
— Bernie Wilson reporting from Los Angeles.
Jay Cutler played only one series for the Miami Dolphins against Buffalo before he was replaced by David Fales, who is getting an audition as the 2018 backup quarterback.
Fales, a sixth-round draft pick by the Bears in 2014, came into the game with only two career completions.
The 34-year-old Cutler ended a brief retirement to join the Dolphins this year after Ryan Tannehill sustained a season-ending left knee injury. Cutler has said he has not decided whether he wants to play in 2018.
Tannehill is expected to be the starter again next season.
Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes II has made a good first impression at Denver in his first NFL start.
The rookie from Texas Tech completed a 51-yard pass to tight end Demtrius Harris, then handed off to Kareem Hunt for a 35-yard touchdown run.
That gave the Chiefs a 7-0 lead just 57 seconds into the game.
Mahomes is getting the start because the Chiefs are locked into the fourth AFC playoff spot as champions of the AFC West.
— Arnie Stapleton reporting from Denver.
As they have for most of the season, nine Seattle Seahawks players sat or knelt during the national anthem before the season finale at home against Arizona.
At the LA Coliseum, San Francisco’s Marquise Goodwin, Louis Murphy, Eric Reid and Reuben Foster knelt during the anthem before the game against the Rams.
The Seattle group consisted mostly of defensive linemen all season. Michael Bennett, Marcus Smith, Sheldon Richardson, Jarran Reed, Frank Clark, Dion Jordan, Branden Jackson and linebacker Paul Dawson all sat. Offensive lineman Duane Brown knelt.
No one on the Arizona sideline appeared to be kneeling or sitting during the anthem.
In Tennessee, Titans wide receiver Rishard Matthews stayed off the field during the anthem. Linebacker Brian Orakpo and Pro Bowl defensive lineman Jurrell Casey raised their right fists after the anthem ended. Nobody was seen protesting on Jaguars’ sideline.
Miami’s Kenny Stills took a knee again during the anthem before the Dolphins’ home game against Buffalo.
The Patriots will be at home as long as they’re alive in the AFC playoffs.
New England wrapped up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage with a 26-6 win over the New York Jets. The Patriots’ left Pittsburgh with the second seed despite the Steelers beat Cleveland 28-24 to wrap up the Browns’ 0-16 season.
Cleveland joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only NFL teams to finish 0-16.
The Cleveland Browns have completed the second 0-16 season in NFL history.
Corey Coleman dropped a potential first-down completion on fourth-and-2 in the final 2 minutes against Pittsburgh inside the Steelers’ 20-yard line.
Pittsburgh ran out the clock to complete a 28-24 victory.
The Browns joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to go 0-16. Three other teams had winless seasons.
Pittsburgh Steelers rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster is filling in nicely for Antonio Brown.
Smith-Schuster caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Landry Jones in the first quarter and returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown as the Steelers took a 28-21 lead over the winless Browns.
The kickoff return for a score was the first by a Steeler since Brown did it against Tennessee in 2010. Smith-Schuster is the first Pittsburgh player to catch a touchdown and return a kickoff for one since Gary Ballman in 1963.
The Steelers were up 28-24 with the ball with about 5 minutes left in the game.
With the wind chill making it feel like minus-3 degrees at the Washington-New York Giants game in New Jersey, officials had to close a concession stand because a drain line was leaking.
MetLife Stadium spokeswoman Helen Strus said it won’t be known if a pipe broke until after insulation is removed and inspected.
If this is Jim Caldwell’s last game as Detroit’s coach, the Lions are sending him out in style so far.
Detroit took a 27-3 lead over Green Bay late in the third quarter on a 71-yard touchdown pass from Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate.
The Lions were caught off guard on the opening kickoff when Green Bay recovered an onside kick, but it’s been all Detroit since then. The Packers have turned the ball over three times.
Both teams are out of playoff contention, and the big question is whether Caldwell will return for the Lions.
— Noah Trister reporting from Detroit
The New England Patriots are closing in on home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
The Patriots, needing a win to take the top seed over the Pittsburgh Steelers, led the New York Jets 21-3 at halftime behind two late first-half touchdown passes from Tom Brady.
Earlier in the half, Brady misfired on some passes and was sacked twice. He was 13 of 24 for 107 yards before halftime.
Bryce Petty was 7 of 12 for 103 for the Jets in the first half.
The Minnesota defense is dominating again.
The Bears have netted minus-1 yard rushing through two quarters, with their only score coming on a punt return for a touchdown. Chicago has only one first down with five punts.
The Vikings, who entered the final week of the regular season leading the NFL in fewest yards and fewest points allowed, have allowed only one offensive touchdown over the last three weeks. That came by Cincinnati late in a blowout game with mostly backups on the field.
Minnesota, needing a win or tie to clinch a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs, leads 16-7 at halftime.
— Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis
The offenses for the Eagles and Dallas Cowboys are playing like it’s a meaningless game on a frigid day in Philadelphia.
The Eagles and Cowboys are scoreless at halftime. It’s the first time both teams were scoreless in the first half in a Philadelphia game since Sept. 20, 1998, at Arizona. That was a 17-3 loss for the Eagles.
It’s the first such game for the Cowboys since Nov. 3, 2002, at Detroit. The Lions were 9-7 winners in that one.
The last time an NFL game was scoreless at halftime was Dec. 11, 2011, when Chicago visited Denver. The Broncos won 13-10 in overtime.
The Eagles have already wrapped up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. The Cowboys were eliminated from playoff contention last week.
Nick Foles played the first four series and threw an interception before coming out for Philadelphia. The Eagles had 109 yards at halftime, the Cowboys 107.
The frigid weather isn’t bothering the New York Giants against the Washington Redskins.
Eli Manning and company had three scoring drives in the first quarter, including Orleans Darkwa’s 75-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game.
Manning threw a 16-yard scoring pass to Hunter Sharp after an interception by Kirk Cousins. The two-point conversion pass failed after the PAT was blocked following Darkwa’s touchdown. Aldrick Rosas kicked a 23-yard field goal for a 15-7 lead.
The Giants had 193 total yards midway through the second quarter.
The Cleveland Browns are 45 game minutes away from joining the Detroit Lions as the only 0-16 teams in NFL history.
The Browns trail the Pittsburgh Steelers 7-0 after the first quarter. The Steelers outgained Cleveland 145 to minus-16 in the first 15 minutes despite sitting stars Ben Roethlisberger and Le’Veon Bell.
— Will Graves reporting from Pittsburgh
It was 13 degrees at kickoff for New England’s game against the New York Jets, and the Patriots wanted to make sure their visitors knew it.
A thermometer was hung in the Jets’ tunnel on Sunday. New York players filed past on their way to and from the field before the game.
It was the coldest regular-season home game in Patriots history. They had a playoff game that was colder. It was 4 degrees with a wind chill that made it feel like minus-10 for a divisional game against the Tennessee Titans on Jan. 10, 2004.
There were other frigid Week 17 starts as well.
It was 11 degrees in Pittsburgh, where the winless Cleveland Browns were visiting.
The kickoff temperature was 16 degrees in New Jersey for the New York Giants’ home game against Washington. It was the coldest game for the Redskins since it was 4 degrees in a divisional playoff win over Chicago on Jan. 10, 1988.
It was 19 degrees with a wind chill of 3 in Philadelphia, with Dallas visiting.
And all this happened on the 50th anniversary of the Ice Bowl in Green Bay. That game-time temperature was 15 below, with wind chill in today’s calculations at minus-48. The Packers beat the Cowboys 21-17 to earn a spot in the second Super Bowl.
— Jimmy Golen reporting from Foxborough, Massachusetts.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are giving Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell and other starters the day off against the winless Cleveland Browns despite having a shot at home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Roethlisberger and Bell were joined on the sidelines by offensive linemen David DeCastro and Maurkice Pouncey and defensive end Cam Heyward. All are healthy but inactive for Pittsburgh.
The Steelers have already clinched a first-round bye. To earn home-field advantage, they need to beat Cleveland and have New England lose to the New York Jets.
Landry Jones will start in place of Roethlisberger with Stevan Ridley taking Bell’s spot in the backfield.
Quarterback Nick Foles is active for Philadelphia even though the Eagles have clinched the home field in the NFC.
But running back Jay Ajayi is inactive after coach Doug Pederson said during the week he planned to play the starters for at least part of the game against the Dallas Cowboys, the defending NFC East champs who were eliminated from playoff contention last week.
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