Chiefs Clinch AFC’s Top Seed, Steelers Win AFC North

Chiefs Clinch AFC’s Top Seed, Steelers Win AFC North

KANSAS CITY, Mo.: Kansas City clinched the top seed in the AFC and the only playoff bye when Patrick Mahomes threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson with just under two minutes for a 17-14 win over Atlanta on Sunday.

The Chiefs had to watch as Pro Bowl kicker Younghoe Koo missed a tying field-goal attempt with 9 seconds left to escape.

The Chiefs (14-1) won their NFL-record seventh straight one-possession game and matched a franchise record with their 10th straight win. They took any seeding drama out of games involving Pittsburgh and Buffalo and will have that coveted first-round AFC bye when the postseason begins in two weeks.

The Falcons (4-11) took the lead when Matt Ryan hit Laquon Treadwell for a 5-yard touchdown with 4:33 to go. But Mahomes kept finding Travis Kelce who had a record-setting game of his own to set up the TD pass to Robinson. And when the Falcons marched the other way in the closing seconds, Kansas Citys defense forced Koos 39-yard kick.

Instead of heading to overtime, the Falcons headed home with their seventh loss by six points or less this season.

Mahomes finished with 278 yards passing and two touchdowns along with an interception. Kelce had seven catches for 98 yards and a score, giving him 1,426 yards for the season, breaking George Kittles record for an NFL tight end.

STEELERS 28, COLTS 24

PITTSBURGH: Ben Roethlisberger overcame a month-long malaise to throw for 342 yards and three second-half touchdowns as the Steelers locked up the division title.

Listless and lifeless for weeks thanks to a three-game losing streak that followed an 11-0 start, Pittsburgh (12-3) somehow got it together over the final 25 minutes against the Colts (10-5). Indianapolis missed a chance to inch closer to a playoff berth when it let a 17-point third-quarter lead slip away.

Roethlisberger, who looked uneven at best and ineffective at worst during Pittsburghs recent slide, snapped out of it. He ditched the dink-and-dunk approach that had worked during the early portion of the season but became far too predictable during a December swoon.

The 38-year-old quarterback kick-started the comeback with a 39-yard strike to Diontae Johnson and brought the Steelers within a touchdown on a 5-yard pass to Eric Ebron. He gave Pittsburgh its first second-half lead since Dec. 7 when he audibled into a play that ended with Roethlisberger threading the ball between two Colts to JuJu Smith-Schuster from 25 yards with 7:38 to play.

Indianapolis, so dominant during a first half in which it outgained the Steelers 206-28, had two chances to reclaim the lead in the fourth quarter. The first drive ended with Philip Rivers throwing an interception deep in Pittsburgh territory. The second ended with Rivers heave to Zach Pascal sailing high on fourth down.

RAVENS 27, GIANTS 13

BALTIMORE: Lamar Jackson directed four scoring drives during the decisive first half. Baltimores fourth straight victory, combined with Pittsburghs win over Indianapolis, lifted the Ravens past the Colts in the AFC wild-card hunt. With a victory in Cincinnati next week, the Ravens (10-5) will earn a playoff berth for the third year in a row.

The Giants (5-10) lost their third straight and were left with only a miniscule chance of making the postseason.

Jackson guided the Ravens to touchdowns on their first two possessions, then took them into field-goal position on his next two drives for a 20-3 halftime lead.

That was more than enough to defeat a struggling Giants team that totaled only 13 points in its previous two games and has scored just two touchdowns over the past three weeks.

Daniel Jones started at quarterback for New York after missing two of the past three games with hamstring and ankle injuries. His passing numbers 24 for 41 for 252 yards were reflective of the heavy pressure he received from Baltimores relentless rush.

The Ravens had six sacks, and Jones was flushed out of the pocket on several other occasions.

JETS 23, BROWNS 16

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J.: After this loss, the Browns will need to beat the archrival Steelers next Sunday if theyre going to end the NFLs longest playoff drought.

On fourth-and-1 with 1:18 remaining and the short-handed Browns (10-5) driving for the potential tying score, Mayfield tried to push forward for a first down. He lost the ball when Tarell Basham smacked into him. Kareem Hunt recovered, but by rule, Mayfield was the only one who could advance the ball and the quarterback was short of the first down.

The Jets (2-13) sealed their second straight victory after an 0-13 start, losing all chance for the top overall draft pick.

It was a rough week for the Browns, who havent been in the postseason since 2002 and entered without seven players including Jarvis Landry and three other wide receivers, and rookie left tackle Jedrick Wills. Cleveland had to call up several players from the practice squad and coach Kevin Stefanski ran a walk-through in a parking lot near the teams hotel to get some of the new players up to speed on the game plan.

Despite being short-handed, the Browns nearly erased a 20-3 deficit. But the Jets were able to hang on.

Jamison Crowder caught a touchdown pass and threw one to Braxton Berrios on a razzle-dazzle play, and Sam Darnold threw a touchdown pass to Chris Herndon.

BEARS 41, JAGUARS 17

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.: The Jaguars took care of business, losing their 14th consecutive game and then getting some help to secure the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL draft.

Hello, Trevor Lawrence!

Mitchell Trubisky accounted for three scores, including two touchdown passes to Jimmy Graham, and the Bears kept control of their postseason path. Chicago can make the NFC playoffs for the second time in three years by beating Green Bay next week at home despite having gone through a six-game losing streak in 2020.

The Jaguars (1-14), who set a franchise record for consecutive losses, locked up the top pick for the first time in franchise history when the New York Jets beat Cleveland 23-16 a few minutes later.

That means the same day Jacksonville reached its worst skid in franchise history could end up being a potential game changer for the small-market team thats spent the better part of the last two decades searching for a franchise quarterback.

The only thing standing between Jacksonville and Lawrence is the Clemson star formally turning pro, a decision thats expected after the Tigers end their season in the College Football Playoff.

Chicago scored 28 unanswered points to start the second half, getting so far in front that Nick Foles got to close out the game against his former team.

BENGALS 37, TEXANS 31

HOUSTON: Samaje Perine ran for two touchdowns, including a 3-yard score late, to give the Bengals their first road win in more than two years.

The Texans (4-11) were driving after Perines second score when Deshaun Watson was sacked by Sam Hubbard, who forced a fumble that Margus Hunt recovered. The Bengals added a field goal to seal the victory.

Its the first road win for second-year coach Zac Taylor and the first time the Bengals (4-10-1) won away from Cincinnati since a 37-36 victory at Atlanta on Sept. 30, 2018. The Bengals have won two games in a row for the first time this season after upsetting the Steelers 27-17 on Monday night.

The Texans led 31-27 after Darren Fells carried two defenders into the end zone at the end of a 22-yard reception with about six minutes to go. Perine, who had a season-high 95 yards rushing, gave Cincinnati the lead when he bulled into the end zone for the go-ahead score with less than two minutes to go.

Brandon Allen returned after missing last weeks game with a knee injury and threw for a career-high 371 yards with two touchdowns for the Bengals.

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