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NFL final week game summaries

4 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Monday, December 29 2014 Dec 29, 2014 December 29, 2014 6:14 AM December 29, 2014 in Sports
Source: Associated Press

BALTIMORE - The Baltimore Ravens earned a wild-card berth in the AFC playoffs, rallying to defeat the Cleveland Browns 20-10 while getting the help they needed halfway across the country.

Joe Flacco threw a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes to revive a sluggish offense just in time for the 10-6 Ravens, who reach the playoffs for the sixth time in seven years.

Flacco's 2-yard TD throw to Kamar Aiken with 3:44 remaining clinched it.

Flacco went 8 for 9 for 161 yards and two touchdowns during a 17-point fourth quarter. He finished 22 for 36 for 312 yards, and the two TD passes gave him a career-high 27 for the season.

Baltimore got the help they needed when Kansas City beat San Diego 19-7.

The Ravens struggled despite playing against a Browns team that had lost four straight and was starting rookie quarterback Connor Shaw. Cleveland wrapped up the season with a 7-9 record.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Kansas City beat San Diego 19-7 to eliminate the Chargers from playoff contention, moments before the Chiefs were eliminated themselves by games happening elsewhere.

The Chiefs needed Cleveland to beat Baltimore and Jacksonville to beat Houston, and neither of those outcomes transpired.

San Diego needed merely to beat Kansas City to reach the postseason, but it didn't happen.

Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston piled up four sacks to finish with 22 on the season, breaking Derrick Thomas's franchise record. Cairo Santos had four field goals.

The Chargers' Philip Rivers threw for 291 yards, but was picked off twice.

Both teams finished 9-7.

HOUSTON (AP) - J.J. Watt had three sacks and a safety and Andre Johnson had 134 yards receiving and a touchdown to lead Houston to a 23-17 win over Jacksonville.

Watt bolstered his MVP credentials with 20 1-2 sacks this season, making him the first player in NFL history with two seasons of 20 or more sacks.

Johnson gave Houston a 21-17 lead with an 8-yard reception early in the fourth. Watt sacked Blake Bortles in the end zone for a safety a few minutes later.

The 9-7 Texans had a shot at making the playoffs, but Baltimore beat Cleveland 20-10 to claim the final AFC wild-card spot.

The Jaguars finished 3-13.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Andrew Luck threw for 160 yards and two touchdowns before sitting out the second half in a season-ending 27-10 win over Tennessee.

The 11-5 Colts tuned up for the post-season by bouncing back from their worst performance of the season -- a 42-7 loss to Dallas.

Indianapolis wound up outgaining the Titans 378-192 as the AFC South champs swept their division a second straight season for the first time in franchise history.

Indianapolis will host the loser of Cincinnati-Pittsburgh in a wild-card game barring a tie in that game Sunday night.

The 2-14 Titans suffered a tenth straight loss to finish their worst season since 1994.

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) - DeMarco Murray and Dez Bryant broke franchise records as the Dallas Cowboys prepped for the playoffs with a 44-17 win over Washington.

Murray rushed for 100 yards on 20 carries, passing Emmitt Smith for the team single-season mark. Murray's 1,845 yards bettered Smith's 1,773 from 1995.

Bryant caught scoring passes of 65 and 23 yards for the NFC East champs to give him 16 touchdown receptions on the season. That breaks breaking Terrell Owens' team record of 15 set in 2007.

Dallas finishes the season with a 12-4 record, while Washington winds up 4-12.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Kyle Orton threw for one touchdown, Anthony Dixon ran for another and Buffalo finished its first winning season in 10 years with a 17-9 win over going-through-the motions New England.

The AFC top-seeded Patriots used quarterback Tom Brady for only the first half and held out tight end Rob Gronkowski and five other starters.

The victory snapped a pair of streaks: Buffalo's 0-12 record at Gillette Stadium and New England's 35 straight home wins against AFC teams.

It was a price the 12-4 Patriots were willing to pay to protect key players.

The 9-7 Bills were eliminated from the playoffs last week.

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Drew Brees threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston with 1:57 remaining to lead New Orleans to a 23-20 win over Tampa Bay. The Saints overcame a 13-point, second half deficit to finish a disappointing 7-9.

Brees shrugged off three interceptions to throw for 281 yards. His only TD pass gave the Saints their first lead.

Doug Martin rushed for a season-best 108 yards and rookie Mike Evans set a Tampa Bay record with his 12th touchdown reception for the 2-14 Buccanners who are on course to land to top pick in the NFL draft.

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Mark Sanchez threw two touchdowns and the Philadelphia Eagles' special teams scored their seventh touchdown of the season in a 34-26 victory over the Giants.

Backup tight end Trey Burton returned a blocked punt 27 yards for a score in the third quarter, and Nate Allen iced the game with a late interception. The 10-6 Eagles snapped a three-game losing streak that knocked them out of playoff contention last week. The 10 wins matched their total last season when they won the NFC East.

Rookie Odell Beckham Jr. had 12 catches for a career-best 185 yards, including a 63-yard fourth-quarter touchdown that got the Giants within 31-26. The loss snapped a three-game winning streak for the 6-10 Giants, who have missed the playoffs for the third straight season. That might have assured that this was the final game for Giants coach Tom Coughlin (KAWF'-lihn).

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Teddy Bridgewater threw the go-ahead 44-yard touchdown pass to Adam Thielen in the third quarter, guiding the Minnesota Vikings past Chicago 13-9.

The loss put one more blemish on a forgettable 5-11 season for the Bears.

Blair Walsh kicked two field goals, Audie Cole had 11 tackles in his first start of the season and the 7-9 Vikings ended coach Mike Zimmer's first year on a winning note.

Jay Cutler returned from a one-game benching with 172 yards on 23-for-36 passing without a fumble or an interception. But he rarely threw long and the offense was off all afternoon.

The Bears finished with their worst record in 10 years, in perhaps the last game for coach Marc Trestman.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) - The New York Jets won their season finale, which might not be enough to save coach Rex Ryan's job.

Embattled Geno Smith had his best game in a rocky season, throwing for a career-high 358 yards and three touchdowns to help Ryan and the Jets beat Miami 37-24.

Smith's performance negated a 97-yard run by Lamar Miller, the longest play from scrimmage in Dolphins history. The Jets rallied from a 10-point third-quarter deficit, and Ryan ordered a fake punt with four minutes left that sealed the victory and drop the Dolphins to 8-8.

With the 4-12 Jets sitting out the postseason for the fourth consecutive year, owner Woody Johnson is widely expected to fire Ryan, and perhaps general manager John Idzik.

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