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NFL Roundup: Rams First to Clinch a Division

  • Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff (16) greets running back Todd Gurley (30) after Gurley's 13-yard rush for a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Los Angeles Rams running back Todd Gurley (30) runs into the end zone for a 13-yard rushing touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

  • Detroit Lions running back Theo Riddick loses control of the ball at the end zone during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)

  • San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman sits on the bench late in the second half of an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)



Monday, December 03, 2018

Detroit — Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns to help the Los Angeles Rams overcome a sputtering start to beat the Detroit Lions, 30-16, Sunday and clinch the NFC West title for a second straight season.

The Rams (11-1) also moved a step closer to earning home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, taking a one-game lead over New Orleans after it lost to Dallas on Thursday night. It is a cushion Los Angeles needs because its only loss was against the Saints last month.

The Lions (4-8) have lost five of six since a surge of success gave them a winning record in late October.

Detroit’s defense held Los Angeles’ high-powered offense in check for three quarters, giving the slumping team a shot to potentially pull off a stunning upset. The Lions, though, failed to make the most of the opportunity because their offense struggled to move the ball and score.

Aaron Donald helped seal the win by forcing Matthew Stafford to fumble midway through the fourth quarter. The star defensive tackle had two strip-sacks in his last game on Nov. 19, a 54-51 win over Kansas City.

The Rams were able to lean on Gurley, who has a single-season franchise record with 15 rushing touchdowns. The standout running back also caught three passes for 33 yards.

Cardinals 20, Packers 17

Green Bay, Wis. — The Packers fired coach Mike McCarthy after the loss to one of the NFL’s worst teams.

Zane Gonzalez kicked a 44-yard field goal with 1:41 left, then Green Bay’s Mason Crosby missed a 49-yard attempt as time expired.

Crosby pushed his kick wide right, with the flags atop Lambeau Field blowing in toward the field at the time of the kick.

The stunned Packers suffered a major blow to their fading playoff hopes. Sputtering Green Bay (4-7-1) has lost three straight and five of six.

Cardinals rookie Josh Rosen struggled for much of the afternoon, but hit Larry Fitzgerald for a sliding 32-yard completion on third-and-23 to help set up Gonzalez’s winning kick.

Giants 30, Bears 27 (ot)

East Rutherford, n.j. — Aldrick Rosas kicked a 44-yard field goal in overtime and the Giants beat NFC North-leading Chicago, snapping the Bears’ five-game winning streak.

The Giants (4-8) blew a 10-point lead in the final 1:13 of regulation. They didn’t nail down the win until Janoris Jenkins knocked away a deep fourth-down pass to Taylor Gabriel after quarterback Chase Daniel fumbled on consecutive plays on the rainy afternoon to set up a fourth-and-8.

Chicago (8-4) forced overtime by getting a 21-yard field goal by Cody Parkey and a 1-yard touchdown pass from halfback Tarik Cohen to Anthony Miller as time expired in the fourth quarter. The trick-play touchdown was set up by a recovered onside kick by Daniel Brown on a play Giants star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. did not dive for the loose ball. Then came a questionable pass interference call in the end zone against cornerback B.W. Webb with :03 to go.

Chiefs 40, Raiders 33

Oakland, Calif. — Patrick Mahomes threw four touchdown passes to join Peyton Manning and Tom Brady as the only QBs to reach the 40 TD mark through 12 games.

The Chiefs won their first game since releasing star running back Kareem Hunt. The Chiefs (10-2) cut ties with Hunt after a months-old video surfaced on TMZ on Friday, showing him shoving and kicking a woman. No charges have been filed in the case from February, but the Chiefs let Hunt go because he misled them about the incident.

Seahawks 43, Niners 16

Seattle — Russell Wilson threw three first-half touchdowns on just four completions and finished with four TD passes. Bobby Wagner capped a blowout with a 98-yard interception return touchdown, and the Seahawks won their third straight game.

Seattle (7-5) stayed in the middle of the NFC playoff race by jumping to a 20-0 lead and cruising to its ninth straight victory over its NFC West foe. But it won’t win the division because the Rams clinched it earlier in the day with a win at Detroit.

Titans 26, Jets 22

Nashville, Tenn. — Marcus Mariota threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Corey Davis with 36 seconds left, and the Titans rallied from a 16-point deficit.

The Titans (6-6) snapped a two-game skid to keep themselves on the fringes of the AFC playoff chase.

Jaguars 6, Colts 0

Jacksonville, Fla. — Jalen Ramsey and the Jaguars delivered one of the most dominant defensive performances in franchise history. The Jaguars (4-8) needed that kind of effort to make up for a lackluster offense and end a seven-game losing streak. They also snapped Indy’s five-game winning streak.

Ramsey was the best of the bunch, helping hold T.Y. Hilton to six catches for 56 yards. Ramsey also made a game-ending tackle on Erik Swoope with 8 seconds remaining.

Ravens 26, Falcons 16

Atlanta — Rookie Lamar Jackson ran for a touchdown and Baltimore’s defense turned in a dominating performance.

Justin Tucker kicked four field goals, Tavon Young scored after scooping up a fumble by Matt Ryan, and Baltimore held the Falcons to 131 total yards in its third straight win. The Ravens (7-5) have bolstered their AFC wild-card position since Jackson took over at quarterback for the injured Joe Flacco.

Texans 29, Browns 13

Houston — Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown pass and the Houston Texans intercepted rookie Baker Mayfield three times, returning one for a score, to extend their franchise-record winning streak to nine games.

The Texans (9-3), who opened the season 0-3, haven’t lost since Sept. 23 to take a commanding lead atop the AFC South.

Buccaneers 24, Panthers 17

Tampa, Fla. — Jameis Winston threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns as the Bucs (5-7) won for the second straight time since Winston regained his starting job with the team mired in a four-game losing streak.

The fourth-year pro completed 20 of 30 passes. And, for the second week in a row, the 24-year-old quarterback did not turn over the ball.

Broncos 24, Bengals 10

Cincinnati — Rookie Phillip Lindsay ran for a career-high 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Broncos adapted to a windy afternoon and got their third straight victory. The Broncos (6-6) have emerged from their bye week and knocked off the Chargers, Steelers and Bengals to stay in contention in December.

Denver handled an unseasonably warm day: 66 degrees at kickoff with wind gusts up to 40 mph that redirected kicks and throws. Case Keenum completed 12 of 21 passes for 151 yards, including a 30-yard touchdown pass to Courtland Sutton.

Dolphins 21, Bills 17

Miami Gardens, Fla. — Jordan Phillips drew a costly penalty for taunting his former team, setting up a touchdown with nine minutes left that helped the Dolphins rally.

Miami turned away two Bills drives down the stretch, and Charles Clay almost caught Josh Allen’s desperation fourth-down pass with a diving attempt at the goal line in the final minute.

Allen threw for 231 yards and ran for 135 to set a franchise record for rushing yards by a quarterback for the second week in a row. Buffalo lost despite outgaining Miami 415-175.