NFL wrap: Steelers top Pats while Bears make playoffs for first time in eight years

  • Jaylen Samuels hurts New England on the ground
  • Chicago Bears last made playoffs in 2010 season
  • Cowboys miss chance to seal NFC East title
Tom Brady and Ben Roethlisberger meet at midfield after playing at Heinz Field. Photograph: Charles LeClaire/USA Today Sports

Rookie running back Jaylen Samuels, making his second start in place of injured James Conner, ran for a career-high 142 yards and made a critical third-down reception in the fourth quarter as Pittsburgh snapped a three-game losing streak by holding off the New England 17-10 on Sunday.

Ben Roethlisberger threw for 235 yards with two first-half touchdowns and two interceptions as the Steelers (8-5-1) remained in front of Baltimore in the AFC North with two weeks to go in the season. Chris Boswell, who has struggled so badly this season the team held open tryouts during the week, atoned for a 32-yard miss in the third quarter by drilling a 48-yarder with 2:30 remaining. Pittsburgh’s defense, which let fourth-quarter leads slip away each of the last two games, made it stand. The Patriots (9-5) missed a chance to clinch their 10th straight AFC East title when Brady’s pass into the end zone for Julian Edelman was knocked down by Pittsburgh’s Morgan Burnett.

Green Bay Packers 17-24 Chicago Bears

Mitchell Trubisky completed 20 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chicago Bears clinched their first NFC North division title since 2010 with a 24-17 win over the visiting Green Bay Packers.

Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton each hauled in touchdowns for the Bears, and Jordan Howard scored on the ground. Chicago (10-4) snapped a five-game skid against Green Bay and clinched their first division crown at home since 2006. Aaron Rodgers completed 25 of 42 passes for 274 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. When the Bears picked off Rodgers it ended his record streak of 402 pass attempts without an interception.

Dallas Cowboys 0-23 Indianapolis Colts

Marlon Mack rushed for a career-high 139 yards and two scores and the Indianapolis Colts defense shut out one of the league’s hottest offenses, rolling to a 23-0 victory. The Colts (8-6) stayed in the AFC playoff hunt with their seventh win in eight games. Dallas (8-6) failed to clinch the NFC East as their five-game winning streak ended.

The Cowboys were shutout for the first time in more than 15 years. New England were the previous team to achieve the feat with a 12-0 victory in November 2003.

Seattle Seahawks 23-26 San Francisco 49ers

Robbie Gould kicked a 36-yard field goal with 3:06 left in overtime and the San Francisco 49ers snapped a 10-game losing streak against the Seattle Seahawks with a 26-23 victory. Nick Mullens threw for 275 yards and a touchdown to help the 49ers (4-10) win consecutive games for the first time this season. Richie James Jr. returned a kick 97 yards for a touchdown and Gould kicked four field goals to give San Francisco its first win in the rivalry since 2013 when Jim Harbaugh was still coach. The Seahawks (8-6) had their four-game winning streak snapped and missed a chance to clinch a playoff berth with the loss to the Niners.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 12-20 Baltimore Ravens

Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson picked apart the Tampa Bay defense on a soggy field, running for 95 yards and throwing for 131 to carry the Baltimore Ravens to a 20-12 victory.

Anointed the starter over veteran Joe Flacco earlier in the week, Jackson justified the decision with a riveting performance. Jackson directed two drives that lasted more than seven minutes, carried 18 times and completed 14 of 23 passes, one of them for a touchdown. Baltimore (8-6) are 4-1 since Jackson took over for the injured Flacco, the only loss in overtime at Kansas City. Jackson has rushed for 427 yards in those five games.

Tennessee Titans 17-0 New York Giants

Bruising halfback Derrick Henry had his second straight big game with a career-high 33 carries for 170 yards rushing and two touchdowns. The Tennessee Titans kept their late-season playoff push alive and ended the New York Giants’ postseason hopes with a 17-0 victory.

Henry, who had a franchise-record 238 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Jacksonville on 6 December, scored on one-yard runs in the first and third quarters.

That was all the Titans’ defense needed on a wet and rainy day at MetLife Stadium as they shut down Saquon Barkley (31 yards on 14 carries) in helping Tennessee win their third straight game.

Washington 16-13 Jacksonville Jaguars

Josh Johnson’s first NFL start in more than seven years ended with a 16-13 victory against the Jacksonville Jaguars, snapping Washington’s four-game losing streak and keeping them on the fringe of the NFC playoff picture.

Johnson and Adrian Peterson drove Washington into field-goal range in the closing minutes, and Dustin Hopkins made a 36-yard field goal on the final play to win it. The Jaguars (4-11) have dropped nine of 10, raising more questions about the future of coach Doug Marrone, decision-maker Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell.

Miami Dolphins 17-41 Minnesota Vikings

Dalvin Cook had a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns on a season-high 19 carries for Minnesota as the Vikings recommitted themselves to running the ball. They stayed in control of a spot in the playoffs with a 41-17 victory over the Miami Dolphins.

Latavius Murray added 68 rushing yards and a score on 15 of the team’s season-high 40 attempts. The Vikings (7-6-1) converted each of their first three drives under interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski into touchdowns before turning the game over to the defense.

Detroit Lions 13-14 Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Robert Foster early in the fourth quarter Sunday to rally the Buffalo Bills to a 14-13 win over Detroit that eliminated the Lions from playoff contention. Allen also scored on a three-yard run and finished 13 of 26 for 204 yards passing and no turnovers. Foster had four catches for 108 yards to top 100 for the third time in five games since being promoted from the practice squad.

Oakland Raiders 16-30 Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Mixon had another big game, rushing for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the Cincinnati Bengals held on for a 30-16 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Mixon’s 15-yard touchdown with 4:04 left clinched the Bengals’ first win since October and capped his second straight 100-yard game. Cincinnati wrapped up its home season before another sparse crowd, with 44,568 tickets distributed. The Bengals had the second-smallest season attendance in Paul Brown Stadium’s 19 seasons.

Arizona Cardinals 14-40 Atlanta Falcons

Linebacker Deion Jones began a 26-point first-half outburst with a 41-yard interception return for touchdown and the Atlanta Falcons ended their five-game losing streak with a 40-14 win over the visiting Arizona Cardinals.

With the Falcons trailing 7-0, Jones snagged an errant Josh Rosen pass and returned it for a score and sparked Atlanta to a 26-7 halftime lead. Atlanta, who began the day with only 11 takeaways, got two others on Brian Poole’s interception and Grady Jarrett’s strip sack, one of six sacks on the day. Atlanta (5-9) were led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who was 22-for-36 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran three times for 18 yards and one touchdown.

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