NFL roundup: Ravens thrash Dolphins, grab top seed in AFC | Inquirer Sports

NFL roundup: Ravens thrash Dolphins, grab top seed in AFC

/ 06:17 PM January 01, 2024

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to pass as he scrambles against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) looks to pass as he scrambles against the Miami Dolphins during the first half of an NFL football game in Baltimore, Sunday, Dec. 31, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Lamar Jackson passed for 321 yards and matched his career high of five touchdown passes and the Baltimore Ravens clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC with a 56-19 dismantling of the visiting Miami Dolphins in the NFL on Sunday.

Isaiah Likely had two touchdown receptions and Zay Flowers (106 receiving yards), Justice Hill, Patrick Ricard and Charlie Kolar each had one for the Ravens (13-3). Gus Edwards and Melvin Gordon III each rushed for a score for Baltimore, which has won six straight games and 10 of its past 11.

Roquan Smith and Geno Stone had interceptions for the Ravens, who have won eight games by 14 or more points this season. Miami star linebacker Bradley Chubb was carted off with a potentially serious knee injury with 3:05 remaining.

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Tua Tagovailoa completed 22 of 38 passes for 237 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions for Miami (11-5) but sustained an injury to his left (throwing) shoulder. He was injured while sliding during a scramble with 7:55 left and missed the rest of the contest. De’Von Achane rushed 107 yards and caught a touchdown pass for the Dolphins.

49ers 27, Commanders 10

Brock Purdy threw for 230 yards and two touchdowns as San Francisco clinched the top seed in the NFC by beating Washington in Landover, Md.

Elijah Mitchell carried 17 times for 80 yards and a touchdown as the 49ers (12-4) locked down the top record in the conference after losses by Detroit on Saturday and Philadelphia on Sunday. Mitchell took over for Christian McCaffrey, who was sidelined with an ankle injury early in the third quarter after rushing 14 times for 64 yards.

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Sam Howell completed 17 of 28 passes for 169 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for Washington (4-12), which dropped its seventh straight, its longest single-season losing streak since 1998.

Chiefs 25, Bengals 17

Harrison Butker booted six field goals while Isiah Pacheco and Rashee Rice each gained over 100 yards from scrimmage as Kansas City clinched the AFC West with a victory over visiting Cincinnati.

Patrick Mahomes finished 21-of-29 passing for 245 yards and a touchdown for the Chiefs (10-6), who clinched their eighth straight division title. Pacheco totaled 130 yards on 18 carries and had seven receptions for 35 yards and a touchdown, and Rice finished with five catches for 127 yards.

Jake Browning completed 19 of 33 passes for 197 yards. He threw for a TD and rushed for another for the Bengals (8-8), who were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss. Cincinnati led 17-7 in the second quarter before Kansas City scored the final 18 points.

Bills 27, Patriots 21

Quarterback Josh Allen rushed for a pair of 1-yard touchdowns and Buffalo held off a late rally by New England to earn a victory in Orchard Park, N.Y.

The Bills (10-6) will go into the final week of the regular season holding the AFC’s second wild-card berth but not yet assured of a postseason spot. Allen put Buffalo up 27-14 with 10:42 remaining in the third quarter when he snuck into the end zone with the help of a push from running back Latavius Murray.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed for a 6-yard score early in the fourth to pull New England (4-12) within six, and the Patriots ended up getting the ball back with 6:41 left in the game. However, New England failed to get past its 11-yard line, and the Bills then ran out the clock.

Bears 37, Falcons 17

Justin Fields passed for 268 yards and a touchdown and rushed for 45 yards and a score to lift host Chicago over Atlanta.

The Bears (7-9) relied on a balanced attack that outgained Atlanta 432-307 to win for the fourth time in the past five games. Khalil Herbert led the ground game, rushing 18 times for 124 yards and a touchdown.

The Falcons (7-9) lost for the third time in four games as their dim NFC playoff hopes took a hit. Taylor Heinicke finished 10-for-29 passing for 163 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions before Desmond Ridder entered in relief late in the fourth quarter.

Texans 26, Titans 3

C.J. Stroud passed for 213 yards and a touchdown in his return from a two-game concussion absence and host Houston kept its postseason hopes alive by thumping Tennessee.

Stroud completed 24 of 32 pass attempts and tossed a 12-yard touchdown to Brevin Jordan in the second quarter to extend the Houston lead to 10-0. Eight seconds later, the Texans (9-7) produced their first defensive touchdown of the season when Sheldon Rankins returned a fumble by Titans quarterback Will Levis 13 yards for a score.

Levis suffered a right foot injury while being sacked by Jerry Hughes on the play. Levis labored walking to the sideline and was carted to the locker room. Ryan Tannehill replaced Levis and passed for 168 yards. The Texans recorded five sacks of Tannehill while limiting the Titans (5-11) to 187 yards of total offense.

Colts 23, Raiders 20

Gardner Minshew threw for 224 yards and a touchdown while Jonathan Taylor ran for 96 yards and another score as host Indianapolis kept its hopes for an AFC South title alive by beating Las Vegas.

Matt Gay added second-half field goals of 38, 33 and 45 yards as the Colts (9-7) remained in a three-way tie with Jacksonville and Houston in the division. They will have to beat the visiting Texans next week in their regular-season finale and hope the Jaguars lose at Tennessee to claim a division crown.

Aidan O’Connell hit on 30 of 47 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns for Las Vegas (7-9), which was eliminated from playoff consideration. Davante Adams caught 13 passes for 126 yards and two scores.

Jaguars 26, Panthers 0

Brandon McManus kicked four field goals and Jacksonville’s defense dominated as the hosts shut out Carolina.

The Jaguars (9-7) snapped a four-game losing streak and moved closer to repeating as AFC South champions. Sunday’s win came with backup quarterback C.J. Beathard at the controls for the Jaguars. Trevor Lawrence, who sustained a shoulder injury a week earlier, missed a game for the first time since he arrived in the NFL in 2021, ending a string of 49 straight games played.

Bryce Young had 112 yards and an interception on 19-of-32 passing for the Panthers (2-14).

Rams 26, Giants 25

Matthew Stafford passed for 317 yards and a touchdown and Kyren Williams rushed for three scores to help Los Angeles defeat New York in East Rutherford, N.J.

Stafford completed 24 of 34 passes with two interceptions, Williams rushed for 87 yards on 20 carries and Puka Nacua caught five passes for 118 yards for the Rams (9-7), who have won six of their past seven.

Tyrod Taylor passed for 319 yards and a touchdown and Darius Slayton caught four passes for 106 yards and a long touchdown for the Giants (5-11), who have lost three in a row. New York failed to convert a two-point conversion try to take the lead with 3:27 left, and Mason Crosby missed a 54-yard field goal with 30 seconds remaining.

Cardinals 35, Eagles 31

James Conner rushed for a 2-yard touchdown with 32 seconds to play and Arizona stunned host Philadelphia to leave the NFC playoff picture in disarray.

Needing a stop to halt their December slide, the Eagles saw their defense fall flat, allowing touchdowns on all four second-half possessions to permit 29 points as Philadelphia (11-5) dropped out of first place in the NFC East.

Kyler Murray was rarely pressured after a first-half interception and completed 25 of 31 passes for 232 yards and three TDs for Arizona (4-12). Conner had 26 carries for 128 yards. Jalen Hurts and the Eagles had only 275 total yards to Arizona’s 449.

Saints 23, Buccaneers 13

Derek Carr threw two touchdown passes, New Orleans forced four turnovers and the visiting Saints stayed in contention for a postseason berth with a win over Tampa Bay.

Baker Mayfield was 22-of-33 passing for 309 yards and two touchdowns but had two interceptions. Tampa Bay (8-8), which had won four in a row, missed an opportunity to clinch its third consecutive NFC South title, but can still do so with a victory at Carolina next weekend.

The Saints (8-8), who avenged a 26-9 home loss to the Buccaneers in Week 4, can win the South with a win over Atlanta and a Bucs loss to the Panthers in Week 18.

Steelers 30, Seahawks 23

Najee Harris rushed 27 times for 122 yards and two touchdowns as Pittsburgh continued its playoff push with a victory against host Seattle.

Mason Rudolph, starting for the injured Kenny Pickett, completed 18 of 24 passes for 274 yards for the Steelers (9-7). Geno Smith was 23-of-33 passing for 290 yards and one touchdown for the Seahawks (8-8), who had a two-game winning streak snapped and saw their postseason chances diminish.

The Seahawks reached the red zone before stalling, settling for Jason Myers’ 24-yard field goal with 2:01 remaining to make it a one-possession game. The Steelers recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.

Broncos 16, Chargers 9

Jarrett Stidham threw for 224 yards and a touchdown in his first start in nearly a year, but Denver was eliminated from the playoff hunt despite beating visiting Los Angeles.

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Stidham took over starting duties from Russell Wilson this week after the Broncos (8-8) lost three of their previous four games, and he completed 20 of 32 passes without a turnover. Denver was eliminated when the Kansas City Chiefs defeated the Cincinnati Bengals.

Easton Stick completed 24 of 38 passes for 220 yards in his third straight start for the Chargers (5-11) since Justin Herbert went down with a broken right index finger against the Broncos on Dec. 10. Alex Erickson caught seven passes for 98 yards for Los Angeles, which has lost four in a row and seven of eight.

Packers 33, Vikings 10

Jordan Love passed for three touchdowns and rushed for one more and Green Bay cruised to a win over Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Love completed 24 of 33 passes for 256 yards for Green Bay (8-8), which boosted its playoff hopes while reducing the Vikings’ chances to near zero. The Packers can clinch a playoff berth with a win against the Chicago Bears in Week 18. Jayden Reed had six catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns for Green Bay.

Nick Mullens completed 13 of 22 passes for 113 yards and a touchdown for Minnesota (7-9), which lost its third game in a row. Mullens entered the game in the second half as a replacement for starter Jaren Hall, who completed 5 of 10 passes for 67 yards and an interception. –Field Level Media

TAGS: Baltimore Ravens, NFL

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