Redskins Stay Alive, Crush Bears
(Chicago, IL) — Kirk Cousins threw for a score and rushed for two as the Redskins pummeled the Bears 41-21 at Soldier Field. Cousins finished the day 18-of-29 for 270 yards and with 30-yards rushing. Chris Thompson found the end zone twice as Washington improved to 8-6-and-1 to stay alive in the NFC Wild Card race. The Skins intercepted five passes, including two apiece from Josh Norman and Bashaud Breeland in the winning effort. Matt Barkley threw two touchdowns but was also responsible for all five picks in defeat. Chicago has lost three-straight for the fourth time this year, falling to 3-and-12 overall.
Merry Christmas Cleveland, Browns Clip Chargers
(Cleveland, OH) — Isaiah Crowell rushed for two scores as the Browns earned their first win of the season 20-17 over the Chargers in Cleveland. The Browns ended a 17-game losing streak dating back to last season. Robert Griffin the-third left in the fourth-quarter with a concussion after being sacked seven times in the winning effort. Cody Parkey was two-for-two on his field goal attempts, the Browns are 1-and-14 overall. San Diego kicker Josh Lambo missed two of his three attempts, including a game-tying attempt as time expired. Philip Rivers tossed two scores and a pick in the losing effort, the 5-and-10 Bolts have lost four-straight.
Jaguars Trounce Titans To Snap Nine-Game Skid
(Jacksonville, FL) — Blake Bortles threw for a score and caught one as the Jaguars trounced the Titans 38-17 at EverBank Field. Marqise Lee caught a TD and also threw one to Bortles on a trick play for the Jags, who snapped a nine-game losing streak and improved to 3-and-12 on the year. Jalen Ramsey had a 30-yard pick-six to help the Jags give Doug Marrone the win in his first game as interim head coach. Marcus Mariota was 8-of-20 for 99 yards and a touchdown before leaving in the third quarter with a fractured right fibula. The team confirmed he’s done for the year. Matt Cassel finished 13-of-24 for 124 yards, a TD and an interception the rest of the way for Tennessee. The Titans now sit at 8-and-7.
Falcons Pound Panthers; Win NFC South Title
(Charlotte, NC) — The Atlanta Falcons are NFC South Division champions. Matt Ryan threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns as the Falcons pounded the Panthers 33-16 at Bank of America Stadium. With the victory and Tampa Bay’s loss in New Orleans, Atlanta wins the division crown for the first time since 2012. Tevin Coleman ran for 90 yards and a score while catching three balls for 45 yards. Devonta Freeman added 88 total yards of offense for the Falcons, who have won three in-a-row to improve to 10-and-5. Cam Newton was 18-of-43 for 198 yards, a TD and two interceptions for the Panthers, who fell to 6-and-9.
Dolphins Edge Bills In OT
(Orchard Park, NY) — Andrew Franks nailed a 27-yard field goal with 47-seconds left in overtime to lift the Dolphins past the Bills, 34-31, at New Era Field. Matt Moore threw for 233 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for Miami, which has gone 9-and-1 since a 1-and-4 start to the season. The 10-and-5 Dolphins remain in the second AFC Wild Card spot. Jay Ajayi had 32 carries for 206 yards and a TD in the victory. Tyrod Taylor finished 26-of-39 for 329 yards and three scores for the Bills, who fell to 7-and-8. LeSean McCoy ran for 128 yards and a TD in the setback.
Patriots Soar Past Jets
(Foxborough, MA) — Tom Brady threw for 214-yards and three scores in three-quarters of work as the Patriots crushed the Jets 41-3 in Foxborough. Brady sat out the entire fourth-quarter with New England up 34-0 after the third. Malcolm Butler had two-interceptions and a fumble recovery as the Pats improved their AFC best record to 13-and-2. LaGarrette Blount had two rushing touchdowns in the winning effort. For the second-straight week New York’s Bryce Petty left with an injury, and backup Ryan Fitzpatrick threw two picks with no touchdowns. The Jets have lost 6-of-7 falling to 4-and-11 overall.
Raiders Dump Colts, Lose QB Carr
(Oakland, CA) — The Raiders cruised to a bittersweet victory on Saturday over the Colts, 33-25, in Oakland. Derek Carr threw for 228 yards and three scores before getting carted off the field with a broken fibula in the fourth quarter. He’s out indefinitely. DeAndre Washington rushed for a pair of 22-yard touchdown runs as the Raiders improved to 12-and-3. Matt McGloin was 2-for-3 for 29 yards in relief of Carr. Andrew Luck threw for 288 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Colts, whose playoff hopes were extinguished. Indy sits at 7-and-8.
49ers Stun Rams, End Skid
(Los Angeles, CA) — The 49ers scored 15 points in the final 5:06 as they stunned the Rams, 22-21, in Los Angeles. Colin Kaepernick rushed for a 13-yard score to put the Niners down by a touchdown late before hitting Rod Streater for a 10-yard TD to bring them within one. Kaepernick ran for the two-point conversion to snap a 13-game skid for San Francisco. The 49ers’ only other win this year was in Week One against the Rams. Jared Goff threw for just 90 yards with a score and two picks for Los Angeles. Todd Gurley had 23 carries for 67 yards and a TD as the Rams fell to 4-and-11 overall and 1-and-6 at home.
Cardinals Clip Seahawks In A Thriller
(Seattle, WA) — Chandler Catanzaro drilled a 43-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Cardinals over the Seahawks 34-31 in Seattle. David Johnson had 136 total yards and three scores as Arizona snapped a two-game slide. J.J. Nelson caught an 80-yard touchdown late in the first-half. The Cardinals defense had six-sacks in the winning effort. The Seahawks trailed by 13 with less than five minutes to go. They stormed back to tie it up with one-minute left, but Steven Hauschka missed an extra point that would’ve given them the lead. Russell Wilson tossed four-scores in defeat. Seattle falls to 9-5-and-1, dropping them out of the number-two seed in the NFC.
Saints Stop Buccaneers
(New Orleans, LA) — Drew Brees guided a balanced attack as the Saints stopped the Buccaneers, 31-24, in New Orleans. Brees threw for 299 yards and a score for the 7-and-8 Saints. Mark Ingram rushed for 90 yards and two touchdowns as New Orleans never trailed. Despite the win, the Saints are out of playoff contention. Jameis [[ JA-miss ]] Winston threw for 277 yards, two scores and two interceptions for the Bucs. Jacquizz Rodgers rushed for a score as Tampa Bay fell to 8-and-7. The loss by the Bucs clinched the NFC South for Atlanta.
Packers Pound Vikings For Fifth Straight Win
(Green Bay, WI) — Aaron Rodgers threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns as the Packers pounded the Vikings 38-25 in their home finale at Lambeau Field. Rodgers also had a rushing score for the Packers, who have won five in-a-row to improve to 9-and-6 on the year. Green Bay will play the Lions next Sunday in Detroit for the NFC North Division title. Jordy Nelson had nine catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns in the victory. Sam Bradford finished 34-of-50 for 382 yards and three TD’s for Minnesota, which fell to 7-and-8. Adam Thielen had 12 grabs for 202 yards and two scores in defeat.
Texans Survive Bengals, Win AFC South
(Houston, TX) — Bengals kicker Randy Bullock missed the go-ahead field goal as time expired to give the Texans a 12-10 win in Houston. The Texans locked up the AFC South title with the win. Tom Savage was 18-of-29 for 176 yards in his first NFL start and Alfred Blue rushed for 73 yards and a score for Houston. Whitney Mercilus and Jadeveon Clowney combined for three sacks as the Texans finished their home slate at 7-and-1. Andy Dalton threw for 268 yards, a touchdown and a pick for the Bengals. Brandon LaFell caught six balls for 130 yards and a score in defeat. Cincinnati is 5-9-and-1.
Hawaii Outlasts Middle Tennessee State In Hawaii Bowl
(Honolulu, HI) — Hawaii quarterback Dru Brown accounted for five touchdowns as the Rainbow Warriors dropped Middle Tennessee State, 52-35, to win the Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu. Brown threw for 275 yards and four scores while adding one on the ground in the win. Hawaii overcame an early two-touchdown deficit to take a 35-21 lead at halftime. The Rainbow Warriors end the season at 7-and-7. Brent Stockstill threw for 432 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions as the Blue Raiders dropped to 8-and-5. Ty Lee caught 10 passes for 100 yards and two scores in defeat.