Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are headed again to the playoffs, assured they’re nonetheless able to making this a particular season.
Brady threw for 432 yards and three lengthy touchdowns to Mike Evans, and Bucs (8-8) erased a double-digit, fourth-quarter deficit for the second week in a row to clinch their second straight NFC South championship with a 30-24 victory over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
“Yearly you attempt to win the division and we gained the division. It doesn’t matter the way you win the division. My coronary heart ain’t acquired a lot left in it, however it feels nice,” coach Todd Bowles stated. “We’re in a single spot we should be. We will’t get the place we need to be except we win the division. We gained the division.”
Evans completed with 10 catches for 207 yards, scoring on receptions of 63, 57, and 30 yards and changing into the primary participant in NFL historical past to start a profession with 9 consecutive seasons with 1,000-plus yards receiving.
The TDs had been first for Evans since 2 October – a stretch of 12 video games – and hiked his season complete to 6 after scoring 14 occasions in 2021 and 13 two years in the past, when Tampa Bay gained the Tremendous Bowl.
“We’ve battled by means of numerous powerful issues this yr,” Brady stated. “Completely happy to win the division. It’s all the time powerful to do it. NFL video games are powerful to win and we all the time determine a solution to hold them by some means thrilling. I want they wouldn’t be as thrilling as we made them.”
The Panthers (6-10) led 14-0 early and 21-10 after Sam Darnold’s third TD go of the day, 10 seconds into the fourth quarter.
It was all Bucs from there, with Evans beating cornerback CJ Henderson for touchdowns twice and Darnold dropping a fumble on a sack inside his personal 10. That turnover arrange Brady’s one-yard TD sneak, which put the sport out of attain with 1:58 left.
The Bucs can end the common season with a successful file by beating Atlanta on the street subsequent weekend. As division champs, they’re assured of starting the playoffs with a house recreation in two weeks.
“The playoffs begin a clear slate for everyone,” Bowles stated. “You’ve acquired a three-game elimination event. Doesn’t matter the place you’re. … At the least we all know we’ll be within the video games. We simply have to chop down on the errors in an effort to win them.”
Minnesota Vikings 17-41 Inexperienced Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers all of the sudden are only a win away from an unbelievable playoff berth.
He has his protection to thank for persevering with Inexperienced Bay’s reversal of fortune.
Rodgers threw a landing go and ran for a rating, and the Packers shut down Kirk Cousins and star receiver Justin Jefferson in a 41-17 blowout of the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
Keisean Nixon scored on a 105-yard kickoff return and Darnell Savage had a 75-yard pick-six of Cousins — one in every of 4 turnovers by the Minnesota QB. The Packers (8-8) will attain the playoffs in the event that they beat the Detroit Lions at residence of their regular-season finale.
A fourth straight postseason berth appeared out of the query after a 1-7 stretch dropped the Packers to 4-8, however they haven’t misplaced since and have benefited from favorable outcomes across the league. Inexperienced Bay’s newest bit of excellent fortune got here earlier Sunday when Washington fell 24-10 at residence to the Cleveland, placing the Packers in command of their postseason destiny.
“I nonetheless consider in myself and felt prefer it simply takes one typically,” stated Rodgers, who went 15 of 24 for 159 yards. “It’s unusual, however after we had been sitting at 3-6 and regarded on the subsequent three, on the time Tennessee was taking part in rather well, clearly the Cowboys had been taking part in properly and Philly was No 1 within the league.
Indianapolis Colts 10-38 New York Giants
The Gatorade tub for the top coach returned. Followers counted down the ultimate seconds and there have been fireworks above MetLife Stadium on the closing tick. Tears had been shed within the locker room.
Sure, the New York Giants are lastly again within the playoffs.
Daniel Jones threw two landing passes and ran for 2 extra and the Giants routed the Indianapolis Colts 38-10 Sunday to return to the postseason for the primary time since 2016.
“It’s a stupendous factor and I’ll be trustworthy,” stated working again Saquon Barkley who carried the workforce to a 6-2 begin. “Nobody outdoors the women and men in that facility gave us an opportunity.”
Coming into the season the Giants had been among the many least probably groups to make the postseason.
They’d 5 straight dropping seasons, together with a four-win season in 2021 that led to the firing of coach Joe Decide and basic supervisor Dave Gettleman.
Buffalo assistant Joe Schoen was employed as basic supervisor and he selected Payments offensive coordinator Brian Daboll to be the coach, his first head teaching job.
Taking a younger workforce, Daboll acquired them to focus one week at a time and to consider in themselves. It paid off because the Giants (9-6-1) overcame accidents and a 2-4-1 slide in November and early December to develop into the third NFC East workforce to qualify for the postseason, becoming a member of Philadelphia and Dallas.
San Francisco 49ers 37-34 Las Vegas Raiders (OT)
San Francisco coach Kyle Shanahan stated his workforce has been in playoff mode for a number of weeks because it fights for a prime seed within the NFC, and Sunday had a postseason ambiance.
Enjoying in entrance of a raucous pro-49ers crowd as guests in Las Vegas, San Francisco was pushed prefer it seldom has been throughout what’s now a nine-game successful streak.
Tashaun Gipson intercepted Jarrett Stidham in time beyond regulation and returned it 56 yards, establishing Robbie Gould’s 23-yard discipline aim that gave the Niners a 37-34 win over the Las Vegas Raiders.
“It’s powerful to win 9 in a row,” Shanahan stated. “We pulled it out. We acquired some guys who caught with it. Nobody acquired pissed off they usually simply stored battling regardless, and the Raiders answered so many occasions.”
The victory was particularly necessary for the 49ers (12-4), who can clinch the No 2 seed within the NFC with a win towards Arizona subsequent week or a loss by Minnesota. San Francisco additionally has a shot on the No 1 seed and a bye if Philadelphia loses to the Giants in Week 18.
San Francisco overcame a uncommon off day from what was the league’s top-ranked protection coming into the sport. The 34 factors had been probably the most the 49ers have allowed since their most up-to-date loss, 44-23 to Kansas Metropolis on 23 October.
Pittsburgh Steelers 16-13 Baltimore Ravens
Kenny Pickett threw a 10-yard landing go to Najee Harris with 56 seconds remaining, giving the Pittsburgh Steelers a 16-13 victory over the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday night time and improbably maintaining their playoff hopes alive for an additional week.
It was the primary landing allowed by Baltimore at residence in 4 video games, and the Steelers (8-8) wanted it to keep away from elimination. Similar to they wanted Miami to lose to New England earlier within the day, which additionally occurred.
Pittsburgh can now make the playoffs by beating Cleveland subsequent weekend – if Miami and New England each lose. Quite a bit nonetheless has to go proper, however rather a lot went proper Sunday.
Down 13-9, Pickett drove the Steelers 80 yards in 3:20 towards their rivals with the season on the road. On third-and-8 from the ten, the rookie scrambled away from stress and threw a perfect pass to Harris, who had slipped behind linebacker Roquan Smith alongside the left sideline.
The playoff-bound Ravens (10-6) now want Buffalo to beat Cincinnati on Monday to maintain their hopes of successful the AFC North alive.
Tyler Huntley threw a landing go to Isaiah Doubtless late within the first half for the sport’s solely different landing.
The Steelers need assistance to make the playoffs, however they’ve full management of one other streak. They haven’t had a dropping file since 2003 – they usually by no means have underneath coach Mike Tomlin, now in his sixteenth season.