Week seventeen matchups
Carolina Panthers 21 @ Atlanta Falcons 20
- The Panthers were able to overcome an early ten point deficit as cornerback Melvin White returned an interception for a touchdown. Cam Newton, who completed 15 of 27 passes for 149-yards, passed for two touchdowns. Carolina’s defense sacked Matt Ryan nine times, including four alone by Greg Hardy, and they were able to hang on for the narrow win to clinch a first round bye as well as the NFC South Title.
Green Bay Packers 33 @ Chicago Bears 28
- This battle for the NFC North Title was a see-saw battle which saw the lead change hands six times. Jay Cutler completed 15 of 24 passes for 226-yards and two touchdown passes, including one to Matt Forte. Forte gained 110-yards on 22 carries with two rushing touchdowns while making four catches for 47 more yards. In his first game back from a broken collarbone, Aaron Rodgers overcame two interceptions by completing 25 of 39 passes for 318-yards and two touchdowns. Rodgers found Jordy Nelson ten times for 161-yards and on fourth and eight with 38 seconds remaining he hit Randall Cobb for the game winning 48-yard score.
Cincinnati Bengals 34 vs. Baltimore Ravens 17
- Despite throwing four interceptions, Andy Dalton completed 21 of 36 passes for 281-yards and a pair of scoring passes. Dalton even hit A.J. Green for a 53-yard score and the defense forced three turnovers, one of the takeaways resulted into a touchdown when cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick made an interception and returned it to the end zone. Cincinnati heads into the postseason with an 11-5 record, eliminating the defending champions from the playoff race in the process.
Tennessee Titans 16 vs. Houston Texans 10
- Ryan Fitzpatrick completed 15 of 24 passes for 166-yards while Chris Johnson ran for 127-yards on 27 carries while scoring Tennessee’s only touchdown. Rob Bironas booted three field goals, including a 55-yarder, and the defense forced four turnovers. Matt Schaub completed 22 of 34 passes for 229-yards, but with 1:06 remaining, he threw a pass that was picked off by safety Michael Griffin. The Titans won their seventh game of the season while the Texans won the first overall draft choice for 2014. Houston lost 14 straight games after starting the year 2-0.
Indianapolis Colts 30 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars 10
- Andrew Luck completed 26 of 37 passes for 282-yards and a touchdown pass to Griff Whalen while T.Y. Hilton made 11 catches for 155-yards. The Colts defense sacked Chad Henne three times and forced a pair of takeaways while holding Jacksonville without a touchdown until 16 seconds were left in the game.
New York Jets 20 @ Miami Dolphins 7
- Miami started off on the right foot as Ryan Tannehill engineered a 14 play, 90-yard drive which capped off with a five-yard touchdown pass to Mike Wallace. After that, the Jets scored 20 unanswered points as Geno Smith completed 17 of 27 passes for 190-yards while rushing for 44 more and scoring a touchdown on the ground. New York got another touchdown when defensive tackle transformed fullback Sheldon Richardson scored from a yard out. The Jets defense intercepted Tannehill three times and officially knocked the Dolphins out of playoff contention.
Minnesota Vikings 14 vs. Detroit Lions 13
- In the final game at the Minneapolis Metrodome, Matt Cassel completed 20 of 33 passes for 189-yards and a touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson. Patterson also scored on a 50-yard touchdown run while tallying 136 all-purpose yards. Matthew Stafford completed 22 of 33 passes for 217-yards, including a 19-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Bush. Minnesota’s defense recorded five sacks and limited Detroit to 245 total yards.
New England Patriots 34 vs. Buffalo Bills 20
- On a rain soaked field, Tom Brady completed 14 of 22 passes for 122-yards and a touchdown pass to Shane Vereen while LeGarrette Blount rushed for 189-yards on 24 carries and two scores. Thaddeus Lewis completed 16 of 29 passes for 247-yards and a touchdown pass while Buffalo running backs C.J. Spiller and Fred Jackson combined to run for 160-yards. Jackson also scored a touchdown, but the Bills offense could not overcome four sacks as New England clinched a first round bye for the playoffs.
New Orleans Saints 42 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
- Drew Brees completed 24 of 31 passes to 11 different receivers for 381-yards and four touchdown passes as the Saints gained nearly 500-yards of total offense. Brees also ran for a touchdown and New Orleans clinched the sixth and final seed for the NFC playoffs, knocking the Cardinals from the race.
New York Giants 20 vs. Washington Redskins 6
- In the rain, Eli Manning completed 10 of 24 passes for 152-yards and a touchdown pass to Jerrel Jernigan before leaving the game with a left ankle sprain. Jernigan also ran for a 49-yard touchdown while gaining 147-yards of total offense. Meanwhile, the Giants defense limited Robert Griffin III to 19 completions in 49 attempts and forced him to throw a pair of interceptions. Washington also committed four turnovers while only managing two field goals. The Redskins capped off a dismal 3-13 season one year after winning the NFC East while New York overcame an 0-6 start to win seven of their final ten games.
Steelers 20 vs. Cleveland Browns 7
- Ben Roethlisberger completed 19 of 31 passes for 179-yards and a touchdown pass while Le’Veon Bell gained 90-yards on 20 carries with a touchdown. Pittsburgh’s defense recorded three sacks, forced a pair of turnovers, and limited Cleveland to a single touchdown. Following the win, the Steelers capped off the regular season with an 8-8 mark, going from 2-6 in the first half of the season to 6-2 in the second half. The victory also helped their playoff chances until the Chargers defeated the Chiefs in overtime.
Denver Broncos 34 @ Oakland Raiders 14
- At the Black Hole, Peyton Manning completed 25 of 28 passes for 266-yards and four touchdowns, including two to Demaryius Thomas, who made six catches for 113-yards. Manning achieved yet another milestone one his final touchdown pass to Thomas by breaking Drew Brees’ single season mark for passing yards with 5,477. The Broncos matched their record from last season while clinching the top seed in the AFC playoffs along with a first round bye.
San Francisco 49ers 23 @ Arizona Cardinals 20
- Colin Kaepernick completed 21 of 34 passes for 310-yards and two touchdown passes as the 49ers jumped out to a 17-0 first quarter lead. Arizona would mount a comeback as Carson Palmer completed 28 passes for 407-yards and a pair of touchdowns. With half a minute remaining in the game and the score tied at 20, Kaepernick brought San Francisco from their own 36-yard line with two big completions to put Phil Dawson in field goal range with two seconds left. Dawson made the 40-yard attempt to provide the 49ers with a 12-4 record.
San Diego Chargers 27 vs. Kansas City Chiefs 24 (OT)
- Kansas City rested most of their starting players in order to get rested for the playoffs, but backup quarterback Chase Daniel completed 21 of 30 passes for 200-yards and a touchdown pass to Dexter McCluster. Knile Davis rushed for 81-yards and scored twice as the Chiefs built a 24-14 fourth quarter lead. San Diego would come back to tie the score as Philip Rivers completed 22 of 33 passes for 229-yards and three touchdown passes. A missed field goal by Ryan Succop sent the game into overtime, where Nick Novak made a 36-yard field goal and the Chargers defense came up big by stopping Kansas City on fourth and 15. The victory helped San Diego clinch the final playoff spot in the AFC with a 9-7 record.
Seattle Seahawks 27 vs. St. Louis Rams 9
- Russell Wilson completed 15 of 23 passes for 172-yards and a 47-yard touchdown pass to Golden Tate, who caught eight passes for 129-yards. Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 23 times for 97-yards while scoring once and Seattle’s defense came up big as usual. The Seahawks held the Rams to 158-yards of total offense and a single touchdown as they clinched the top seed in the NFC with a 13-3 mark.
Philadelphia Eagles 24 @ Dallas Cowboys 22 (SNF on NBC)
- With the NFC East Championship on the line, Nick Foles completed 17 of 26 passes for 263-yards and a pair of touchdown passes, including one to LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 131-yards on 27 carries. Kyle Orton stepped in to replace the injured Tony Romo, who was placed on injured reserve with a herniated disc in his back. Orton completed 30 of 46 passes for 358-yards and a pair of touchdown passes. He found Jason Witten 12 times for 135-yards and he threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Dez Bryant on fourth and nine with 3:50 remaining in the game to close the gap to within two. When Dallas got the ball back, Orton’s pass to Miles Austin was picked off by Brandon Boykin on the first play and the Eagles ran out the clock to win the division with a 10-6 record.
Wild Card matchups
Saturday, Jan. 4
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Indianapolis Colts (NBC)
New Orleans Saints vs. Philadelphia Eagles (NBC)
Sunday, Jan. 5
San Diego Chargers vs. Cincinnati Bengals
San Francisco 49ers vs. Green Bay Packers