Eagles, behind Foles, stay alive in NFC playoff race


Associated Press



Philadelphia Eagles' Dallas Goedert (88) pulls in a pass against Houston Texans' Justin Reid (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Philadelphia Eagles' Dallas Goedert (88) pulls in a pass against Houston Texans' Justin Reid (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)


PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jake Elliott kicked a 35-yard field goal as time expired and the Philadelphia Eagles beat the Houston Texans 32-30 Sunday to keep their playoff hopes alive.

The defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (8-7) need a win at Washington (7-8) next week and for Minnesota (8-6-1) to lose or tie or Seattle (8-6) to lose twice or lose once and tie to get a wild-card berth.

The Texans (10-5) missed an opportunity to clinch the AFC South and also allowed New England (10-5) to take control of the No. 2 seed in the conference. The Texans would secure the division title with a victory against Jacksonville next week. They’d get a first-round bye with a win and if the Patriots lose or tie.

SAINTS 31, STEELERS 28

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Drew Brees capped a 326-yard passing performance with a 2-yard touchdown to Michael Thomas with 1:25 left, and the Saints clinched the top seed in the NFC playoffs.

Alvin Kamara gained 105 yards from scrimmage and ran for two touchdowns for New Orleans (13-2), which rallied for the lead after two defensive stops in the fourth quarter. New Orleans ended one Steelers drive when Kurt Coleman forced Stevan Ridley’s fumble, and ended another by narrowly thwarting a fake punt.

Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards and three touchdowns for the Steelers (8-6-1), connecting 14 times with Antonio Brown for 185 yards and two touchdowns. Pittsburgh fell into second in the AFC North behind Baltimore and out of playoff position.

PATRIOTS 24, BILLS 12

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — The Patriots earned their 10th straight AFC East title with Sony Michel running for 116 yards and a touchdown.

With the Eagles win over the Texans, the Patriots are back in the No. 2 spot in the AFC. A Patriots win over the Jets next week would give New England a first-round bye in the playoffs.

New England (10-5) improved to 7-0 at home this season and became the first franchise in NFL history to earn playoff berths in 10 straight seasons. It also marked the Patriots’ fifth straight win over the Bills and their 26th series sweep of Buffalo (5-10).

COWBOYS 27, BUCCANEERS 20

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — The Cowboys wrapped up the NFC East title when Dak Prescott accounted for two touchdowns and Jaylon Smith returned a fumble 69 yards for a score.

Smith’s long return came after a scrambling Jameis Winston lost the ball on a blind-side sack by Randy Gregory, who also recovered a fumble to set up a touchdown for a 14-point lead late in the third quarter.

The Cowboys (9-6) clinched the division title and their second trip to the playoffs in three years with Prescott and star running back Ezekiel Elliott a week after failing in their first chance with their first shutout loss in 15 years, 23-0 at Indianapolis.

RAMS 31, CARDINALS 9

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — C.J. Anderson, playing five days after he was signed by Los Angeles, rushed for 167 yards — one shy of his career high.

Anderson, playing in place of the injured Todd Gurley, had a 4-yard touchdown run and other runs of 46 and 27 yards as the Rams (12-3) rushed for 269 yards, most allowed by Arizona on the ground this season.

With the victory, Los Angeles held on to the second-best record in the NFC with one game to go.

Arizona’s Larry Fitzgerald, in perhaps his final home game, threw the first touchdown pass of his career, a 32-yard toss to David Johnson.

But it was the only trip to the end zone for the Cardinals (3-12), who at 1-7 had the worst record home since they moved to Arizona in 1988. A loss in their season finale at Seattle would leave them 3-13, matching the worst record since that move from St. Louis.

COLTS 28, GIANTS 27

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck hooked up with Chester Rogers for a 1-yard TD pass with 55 seconds left to give the Colts their only lead of the game.

Indy (9-6) has won eight of nine to keep itself in the playoff hunt heading into the regular-season finale at Tennessee. The Colts, who won their last six home games after starting 0-2, would win the AFC South with a victory over the Titans and a loss by the Houston Texans. Indianapolis would also earn a wild card if it beats Tennessee and Baltimore loses.

The Giants (5-10) lost their second straight — on a day they committed too many late miscues.

VIKINGS 27, LIONS 9

DETROIT (AP) — Kirk Cousins threw a 44-yard Hail Mary to Kyle Rudolph as time expired in the first half to put the Vikings ahead, moving a step closer to playing in the postseason.

The Vikings could have clinched a spot in the playoffs with a win and losses by Washington and Philadelphia this weekend. The Redskins lost to Tennessee on Saturday, and shortly after Minnesota walked into its locker room at Ford Field, the Eagles beat Houston on a game-ending field goal.

Minnesota (8-6-1) can still earn a spot in the postseason by closing the regular season with a win against NFC North winner Chicago at home, or by having wild-card hopefuls lose in Week 17.

The Vikings overcame an awful start offensively, scoring two touchdowns on Cousins’ passes over the last 1:32 of the second quarter, and relied on their defense all afternoon against Detroit (5-10).

BEARS 14, 49ERS 9

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — Mitchell Trubisky threw one touchdown pass, Jordan Howard ran for another score and the Bears survived a fight and a late fumble to earn their eighth win in nine games.

Danny Trevathan made a key interception in the fourth quarter and Chicago’s stout defense kept the 49ers out of the end zone to clinch at least the third seed in the NFC playoffs. The Bears (11-4) can earn a first-round bye with a win in the season finale and a loss by the Rams.

Robbie Gould kicked three field goals for the 49ers (4-11), who had their two-game winning streak snapped.

JAGUARS 17, DOLPHINS 7

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Blake Bortles came off the bench late in the third quarter with the score tied and provided a spark, helping the Jaguars eliminate the Dolphins from the AFC playoff race.

Bortles took the Jaguars 51 yards for a short field goal and 10-7 lead early in the fourth quarter. On the next series, Telvin Smith Sr. intercepted Ryan Tannehill’s pass and scored on a 33-yard return.

The Dolphins (7-8) will sit out the playoffs for the 15th time in the past 17 years, and they’ll finish at .500 or worse for the ninth time in the past 10 seasons. The Jaguars (5-10) won for only the second time in the past 11 games.

PACKERS 44, JETS 38, OT

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Aaron Rodgers threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Davante Adams with 6:23 left in overtime. The victory was the Packers’ first on the road this season — snapping a nine-game skid away from Lambeau Field dating to last season — and it prevented them from becoming the first Green Bay squad since 1958 to go an entire season without a win away from home.

And this one was all on Rodgers, who was masterful in the fourth quarter and the overtime period for the Packers (6-8-1). He threw for 442 yards and two touchdowns, and also ran for two scores.

The loss for the Jets (4-11) overshadowed a dazzling performance by rookie quarterback Sam Darnold, who threw for a career-high 341 yards with three touchdowns — but never got a chance with the ball in overtime. It was likely the final home game for coach Todd Bowles, who is expected to be fired after next week’s game at New England.

FALCONS 24, PANTHERS 10

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Matt Ryan threw for 239 yards and three touchdowns, and the Falcons handed the Panthers their seventh straight loss.

Ryan found Calvin Ridley for a 75-yard touchdown strike on the first play of the second half for the go-ahead score. He also connected with Mohamed Sanu on a crossing route for a 44-yard score and threw a 1-yard TD pass to Julio Jones in the back of the end zone.

Ridley had three catches for 90 yards and Sanu had five grabs for 81 yards for the Falcons (6-9). Brian Hill had 115 yards on eight carries.

Christian McCaffrey had 21 rushes for 101 yards and 12 receptions for 77 yards for Carolina (6-9) and set an NFL record for receptions in a season (106) by a running back.

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/tag/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

Philadelphia Eagles' Dallas Goedert (88) pulls in a pass against Houston Texans' Justin Reid (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
https://www.limaohio.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/54/2018/12/web1_Eagles.jpgPhiladelphia Eagles' Dallas Goedert (88) pulls in a pass against Houston Texans' Justin Reid (20) during the second half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 23, 2018, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Associated Press

Post navigation