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NFL Roundup: Chiefs in Control of AFC

  • Kansas City Chiefs linebackers Justin Houston (50) and Reggie Ragland (59) sack Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga)

  • Baltimore Ravens wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) tries to get past Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Kendall Fuller (23) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, left, throws under pressure from Kansas City Chiefs safety Ron Parker (38) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Baltimore Ravens tight end Maxx Williams (87) scores a touchdown past Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Anthony Hitchens (53) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

  • Baltimore Ravens tight end Maxx Williams (87) scores a touchdown during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)



Sunday, December 09, 2018

Kansas City, Mo. — The fourth-down play was designed to go left, yet there was Patrick Mahomes scrambling to his right with a phalanx of Ravens in pursuit, his eyes trained on Tyreek Hill deep downfield.

Mahomes heaved an audacious throw. Hill made an incredible catch.

The Chiefs proceeded to score a tying touchdown on a pass to Damien Williams on another fourth-down play to force overtime. Then they watched as Harrison Butker booted a 36-yard field goal — atoning for a miss as time expired — and their maligned defense stuffed Baltimore to escape with a 27-24 victory on Sunday.

“You always want to be in a position to go win a game,” said Mahomes, who threw for 377 yards and two scores as the Chiefs clinched a playoff berth. “These are the best wins when you have to battle, when you trade plays. These are the ones that you remember the most.”

The Ravens looked as if they might match Butker’s field goal, marching across midfield in overtime, but Ronnie Stanley’s holding penalty put them in a bind. Jackson was then sacked by Justin Houston and Dee Ford — and left with an ankle injury — before Robert Griffin III threw two incompletions to end it.

Tyreek Hill caught eight passes for 139 yards for Kansas City (11-2), including three in overtime to set up the eventual winning field goal. Travis Kelce had seven catches for 77 yards and another score.

Saints 28, Buccaneers 14

Tampa, Fla. — Drew Brees threw for one touchdown and ran another to help the Saints rally from an 11-point halftime deficit to clinch their second straight NFC South title.

Brees shrugged off a pair of turnovers to throw a 1-yard TD pass to Zach Line, then scored on a 1-yard sneak as the Saints (11-2) avenged a season-opening loss to the Bucs (5-8) and also rebounded from a defeat last week at Dallas.

New Orleans’ defense did its part after allowing two first-half TDs, too, sacking Jameis Winston four times and limiting the NFL’s No. 1-ranked offense to 81 yards in the second half — most of that on the final drive.

Cowboys 29, Eagles 23 (ot)

Arlington, Texas — Dak Prescott threw his third touchdown pass to Amari Cooper on the first possession of overtime, and the Cowboys took a big step toward the NFC East title.

On third down, Rasul Douglas tipped the pass into the air, and Cooper grabbed it and had a clear path to the end zone from the Philadelphia 7. The Cowboys used almost all of the 10-minute overtime, scoring with 1:55 remaining.

By winning the third overtime game in the past four seasons at A&T Stadium between these division rivals, the Cowboys (8-5) won their fifth straight game and took a two-game lead over the defending Super Bowl champion Eagles (6-7) and Washington.

Raiders 24, Steelers 21

Oakland, Calif. — Derek Carr threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Derek Carrier with 21 seconds left before Chris Boswell slipped on a potential game-tying 40-yard field goal attempt on the final play.

Ben Roethlisberger returned from a rib injury to lead a go-ahead touchdown drive that Carr answered for the Raiders (3-10). Big Ben then connected on a 48-yard hook-and-lateral pass play that put Boswell in position for the tying kick. But he lost his footing and sent the kick into the line, sending the Steelers (7-5-1) to their third straight loss.

Chargers 26, Bengals 21

Carson, Calif. — Philip Rivers threw for 220 yards and Michael Badgley kicked four field goals, including a team-record 59-yarder. Rivers completed 19 of 29 and threw a touchdown in what was not one of the team’s best games. The Chargers (10-3) had 160 yards of offense on their first two drives but had 121 the remainder of the game.

Austin Ekeler rushed for 66 yards on 15 carries with Melvin Gordon missing his second straight game due to a knee injury. Keenan Allen had five receptions for 78 yards.

Niners 20, Broncos 14

Santa Clara, Calif. — George Kittle caught an 85-yard touchdown pass on the way to 210 yards receiving and became the 49ers’ first tight end to reach the 1,000-yard milestone.

Kittle finished just shy of Shannon Sharpe’s NFL record by a tight end of 214 yards receiving, not having a catch nor as many chances in the second half. Kittle had seven receptions in all on nine targets.

Lions 17, Cardinals 3

Glendale, Ariz. — Darius Slay returned an interception 67 yards for a touchdown and Detroit got its first win in Arizona since 1993.

Slay stepped in front of intended receiver Trent Sherfield, picked off Josh Rosen’s pass and raced down the left sideline for the third-quarter score as the Lions (5-8) ended an eight-game losing streak in the desert.

Colts 24, Texans 21

Houston — Andrew Luck threw for 399 yards and two touchdowns and T.Y. Hilton had 199 receiving yards. The Colts (7-6) snapped a nine-game winning streak by the Texans (9-4), trimming Houston’s lead over the AFC South to two games with three remaining.

Hilton entered the game as the all-time leader in receiving yards per game at NRG Stadium with 122.3 yards and finished just shy of 200 yards on nine catches on 12 targets.

Browns 26, Panthers 20

Cleveland — Baker Mayfield outplayed Cam Newton, Jarvis Landry caught a touchdown pass and ran for another score and the Browns damaged Carolina’s playoff hopes. The Panthers dropped their fifth straight.

Mayfield bravely threw a 51-yard TD pass into traffic to Landry, who had a 3-yard scoring run and added a long run — on a similar call — early in the fourth quarter to set up a go-ahead touchdown.

Packers 34, Falcons 20

Green Bay, Wis. — Aaron Rodgers threw two touchdown passes and set an NFL record for interception-free football, and the Packers won their first game under interim head coach Joe Philbin.

Aaron Jones ran for a 29-yard score in the third quarter. The defense limited quarterback Matt Ryan after a game-opening touchdown drive to hand Atlanta its fifth straight loss and guarantee the Falcons a losing record for the first time since 2014.

Giants 40, Redskins 16

Landover, Md. — Saquon Barkley rushed for 170 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown to surpass 1,000 for the season, and Eli Manning threw for three scores to effectively end Washington’s already-slim playoff hopes.

Barkley gashed the Redskins’ defense for 12.1 yards a carry to become the first Giants rookie to break 1,000, and set a single-season franchise rookie record with his 13th touchdown. The second overall pick also had four catches for 27 yards against a Washington defense that’s a shell of the unit that led the league early in the season.

Jets 27, Bills 23

Orchard Park, n.y. — Sam Darnold one-upped fellow rookie Josh Allen, rallying the Jets.

Elijah McGuire scored on a fourth-and-goal run from the 1 with 1:17 remaining to cap a drive during which Darnold completed three of five passes for 52 yards. The rookie quarterback particularly showed off his deft touch on a 37-yard pass to Robby Anderson, who made an over-the-shoulder catch up the right sideline.