With their grasp on the NFC East lead slipping, the Dallas Cowboys made a statement Sunday, ending a three-game losing streak with an impressive 44-21 victory over the visiting Los Angeles Rams.
Notching their first victory of the season against a team with a winning record, the Cowboys (7-7) remained in a first-place tie with the Philadelphia Eagles, who beat Washington earlier Sunday. That sets up a showdown game between the division rivals next weekend in Philadelphia. The Cowboys would clinch the NFC East with a victory.
Dak Prescott threw for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while Ezekiel Elliott rushed for 117 yards and two scores of his own. Tony Pollard added 131 yards on the ground and a late 44-yard score to seal the victory. The Cowboys rushed for a season-high 263 yards.
Jared Goff threw for 284 yards and two touchdowns and an interception, while running back Todd Gurley rushed for 20 yards on 11 carries with a rushing and receiving TD as the Rams’ playoff chances took a severe blow. Los Angeles (8-6) must win out and have Minnesota lose out to reach the postseason.
Eagles 37, Redskins 27
Carson Wentz tossed a 4-yard touchdown pass to Greg Ward with 26 seconds remaining to lift visiting Philadelphia past Washington.
Wentz, who threw three touchdown passes, helped move the Eagles to 7-7 and in position to win the NFC East if they win their final two games. Wentz finished 30 of 43 for 266 yards, while running back Miles Sanders rushed for 122 yards and a score and caught another.
Redskins rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins was 19 of 28 for 261 yards and two touchdown passes, losing a fumble on a final-play lateral that resulted in a touchdown. The Redskins fell to 3-11.
Falcons 27, 49ers 21
Matt Ryan found Julio Jones for a game-winning 5-yard touchdown pass with two seconds left to lift visiting Atlanta to an upset victory against San Francisco at Santa Clara, Calif., in a wild finish.
The 49ers (11-3) clinched a spot in the NFC postseason with the Los Angeles Rams’ road loss to the Dallas Cowboys, but fell out of the top spot in the conference with their last-second defeat. The 49ers still would secure the top NFC seed if they win their final two games.
Ryan finished 25-of-39 passing for 210 yards and two touchdowns to Jones. Jones initially was ruled to be short of the goal line on the duo’s final connection, but a replay review showed that he had crossed the plane of the goal line, and the call was overturned as Atlanta (5-9) prevailed.
Seahawks 30, Panthers 24
Russell Wilson threw for two touchdowns as Seattle defeated Carolina at Charlotte, N.C and ultimately secured a playoff berth.
Seattle (11-3) clinched a spot in the NFC postseason with the Rams’ loss at Dallas in the late afternoon window. The Seahawks also vaulted into the top spot in the NFC standings after San Francisco was stunned by Atlanta at home. The 49ers (11-3) host the Seahawks in Week 17.
Wilson was 20-for-26 passing for 286 yards, and Chris Carson rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns, picking up key yards on the final possession as the Seahawks ran out the clock.
Texans 24, Titans 21
Carlos Hyde had 26 carries for 104 yards and scored the go-ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter, and Houston held on for a win over host Tennessee.
Deshaun Watson completed 19 of 27 passes for 243 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Texans (9-5), who took sole possession of first place in the AFC South. Kenny Stills had both of the Texans’ touchdown catches.
Ryan Tannehill passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another for the Titans (8-6), whose four-game winning streak came to an end. Tannehill completed 22 of 36 passes for 279 yards with one interception.
Chiefs 23, Broncos 3
Patrick Mahomes passed for 340 yards and two touchdowns in the snow as host Kansas City won its fourth straight overall and defeated Denver for the ninth straight time.
Mahomes went 27 of 34 passing with an interception for the Chiefs (10-4), who have already clinching the AFC West title. Travis Kelce became the first tight end in NFL history to record 1,000 yards receiving in four consecutive seasons. He snagged 11 catches for 142 yards. The Chiefs totaled 419 yards.
Denver (5-9) generated just 251 yards as it came off back-to-back wins in the first two starts by rookie quarterback Drew Lock, who completed 18 of 40 passes for 208 yards and an interception. He grew up just 15 miles from Arrowhead Stadium in Lee’s Summit, Mo.
Patriots 34, Bengals 13
Tom Brady threw two touchdown passes, and New England forced five turnovers en route to securing a playoff berth for the 11th straight season with a victory over host Cincinnati.
Stephon Gilmore returned one of his two interceptions for a touchdown, and fellow cornerback J.C. Jackson also had two picks as the Patriots (11-3) averted their first three-game losing skid since 2002.
Former Bengals running back Rex Burkhead had a career-long 33-yard rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter to highlight New England’s season-high 175 yards on the ground.
Packers 21, Bears 13
Green Bay rode the trio of Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones and Davante Adams to a victory over visiting Chicago in the 200th edition of the rivalry at frigid Lambeau Field.
Rodgers threw for 203 yards and one touchdown, Adams caught seven passes for 103 yards and the score, and Jones ran for 51 yards and two touchdowns.
The Packers (11-3) have won three in a row and can clinch the NFC North title with a win at powerful Minnesota next Monday night. The Bears (7-7), the defending division champion, had won three in a row but were officially eliminated from postseason contention.
Vikings 39, Chargers 10
Defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo returned a fumble 56 yards for a touchdown, and Minnesota withstood the loss of running back Dalvin Cook to injury in defeating host Los Angeles.
Cook, who entered the game as the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher, exited after being tackled for a loss by linebacker Denzel Perryman little more than a minute into the third quarter. Michael Boone, benefiting from Cook’s absence, ran for the first two touchdowns of his two-year career.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 19 of 25 for 207 yards, a TD and one interception, and Dan Bailey kicked four field goals for the Vikings (10-4). Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers was 28 of 39 for 307 yards with one TD and three interceptions for the Chargers (5-9), who had seven turnovers.
Jaguars 20, Raiders 16
Gardner Minshew’s 4-yard touchdown pass to Chris Conley with 31 seconds left gave Jacksonville a win over Oakland, ruining the Raiders’ last game in the Bay Area before their move to Las Vegas next year.
Oakland (6-8) led 16-3 at halftime but coughed up the lead. Minshew led a seven-play, 65-yard drive — after Raiders kicker Daniel Carlson missed wide left from 45 yards out — to give the Raiders a six-point edge. Minshew shrugged off a rough first half to finish 17 of 29 for 201 yards and two scores.
When Derek Carr’s last-ditch pass into the end zone from the Jacksonville 40 was broken up as time expired, the fans booed and tossed objects on the field. Earlier in the fourth quarter, game officials cautioned fans not to use laser pointers. Carr was 22 of 36 for 267 yards and a score in Oakland’s fourth straight loss.
Giants 36, Dolphins 20
Eli Manning threw two touchdown passes, and Saquon Barkley ran for a pair of scores as the host New York snapped a nine-game losing streak with a win over Miami in East Rutherford, N.J.
Manning, 38, playing perhaps his final season with the Giants and maybe his last home game as he filled in for injured starter Daniel Jones (ankle), completed 20 of 28 passes for 283 yards with three interceptions.
Barkley, the Offensive Rookie of the Year last season, ran 24 times for 112 yards. It was his first 100-yard game since the second week of the season and his first time scoring since Week 7. New York’s leading receiver was Sterling Shepard, who caught nine passes for 111 yards.
Buccaneers 38, Lions 17
Jameis Winston completed 28 of 42 passes for a career-high 458 yards and four touchdowns to power Tampa Bay past host Detroit.
Winston also added to his league-leading total of interceptions when he threw his 24th, but he became the first quarterback in NFL history to throw for at least 450 yards in consecutive games. Three of Winston’s touchdown passes went to wideout Breshad Perriman.
A key play came when Bucs cornerback Sean Murphy-Bunting picked off a pass from David Blough and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown to make it 31-17 with 5:12 left. Tampa Bay (7-7) won its fourth straight game, while Detroit (3-10-1) lost its seventh straight.
Cardinals 38, Browns 24
Kenyan Drake had 22 carries for career highs of 137 yards and four touchdowns, and Kyler Murray passed for 219 yards and one touchdown as Arizona ran through Cleveland in Glendale, Ariz.
Drake scored on runs of 5, 1, 1 and 17 yards, the last for a 35-17 lead with 7:25 remaining, while surpassing his previous career rushing high of 120 yards. Murray, the first pick in the 2019 draft, rushed for 56 yards and set the franchise season record for quarterback rushing yards at 504, passing Charley Trippi.
Mayfield, the first pick of the 2018 draft and Murray’s teammate at Oklahoma, completed 30 of 43 passes for 247 yards and two touchdowns. Nick Chubb had 127 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Browns (6-8), who will miss the playoffs for the 17th straight season.
—Field Level Media