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NFL Game Capsules - Week 17

Pittsburgh, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Antonio Brown scored two touchdowns and the Pittsburgh Steelers captured their first AFC North title since 2010 with a 27-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday night. Brown opened the scoring with a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown, then put the game away late in the fourth quarter with a 63-yard TD catch. He ended with seven catches for 128 yards. The Steelers (11-5), who ended the regular season with four straight wins, secured the No. 3 seed and will host No. 6 seed Baltimore next Saturday at 8:15 p.m. ET. The Bengals (10-5-1) will play at the fourth-seeded and AFC South-champion Colts next Sunday at 1:05.

Final Score: Carolina 34, Atlanta 3

Atlanta, GA (SportsNetwork.com) - Cam Newton smiled. As time wound down in a winner-take-all game that turned into a no-care-in-the-world laugher, the Carolina Panthers quarterback waved his arms up and down and nodded. On the Atlanta Falcons sideline, Matt Ryan grimaced. Newton's seven-win Panthers are headed to the NFL playoffs. Ryan's six-win Falcons are not. Carolina returned two Ryan interceptions for touchdowns and scored 21 points off three turnovers in a 34-3 rout of the Falcons on Sunday at the Georgia Dome. Leading since the game's first possession, the Panthers (7-8-1) clinched the NFC South for the second year in a row with the lopsided victory. They harassed Ryan all day, piling up six sacks. But the Falcons quarterback hurt himself, too. His overthrown pass was returned 31 yards for a touchdown by Roman Harper in the second quarter to help the Panthers build a 24-3 lead at halftime. And in the third quarter, Tre Boston picked off an underthrown pass and took it back 84 yards to put the game out of reach. The Panthers became the first team to win consecutive NFC South titles and made the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time ever. They will host 11-5 Arizona in a wild-card game next week after winning four straight games to end the regular season. The Falcons (6-10) eliminated the Saints from the division race with a 30-14 win in New Orleans last week to keep their playoff hopes alive, but will miss the postseason in back-to-back years for the first time since 2006-07.

Final Score: Baltimore 20, Cleveland 10

Baltimore, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Joe Flacco tossed both of his touchdown passes in the fourth quarter and the Baltimore Ravens rallied past the Cleveland Browns 20-10 on Sunday afternoon to clinch a playoff berth. As time expired in Baltimore, the clock was also ticking down the final seconds in Kansas City, where a 19-7 Chiefs victory wrapped up a Ravens trip to the postseason for the sixth time in the last seven years. Baltimore failed to make the playoffs in 2013. The Browns led 10-3 heading into the fourth quarter before the Ravens ripped off 17 unanswered points to seize control. Flacco, who threw for 215 of his 312 yards in the second half, completed 22- of-36 passes for Baltimore (10-6), which won three of its last four games to close the regular season. Undrafted rookie Connor Shaw was 14-of-28 for 177 yards with an interception in his first NFL start for the Browns (7-9), who finished their campaign with five consecutive losses. Shaw got the nod after Johnny Manziel suffered a hamstring injury against Carolina last Sunday, while Brian Hoyer is dealing with shoulder and biceps injuries.

Final Score: Kansas City 19, San Diego 7

Kansas City, MO (SportsNetwork.com) - The Kansas City Chiefs sacked Philip Rivers seven times in a 19-7 win over San Diego on Sunday that eliminated the Chargers from playoff contention on the final day of the regular season. It came almost a year to the day that San Diego clinched a berth with an overtime win against Kansas City at home and some help from the rest of the league. It was simple this year: The Chargers (9-7) controlled their own fate after a comeback win over San Francisco last week. Needing only a win, they never even had a lead, their only points coming on Branden Oliver's 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter to get them within 10-7. Linebacker Justin Houston dropped Rivers four times by himself, breaking Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas' single-season franchise record with 22 sacks, just a half-sack from Michael Strahan's NFL mark. Rivers finished 20-of-34 for 291 yards with two interceptions and a fumble. The Chiefs (9-7) were in position to steal a playoff berth with a win before Baltimore and Houston both came back to win their games. The Ravens ended up with the AFC's final wild-card berth by beating Cleveland. Chase Daniel made his second NFL start, completing 16-of-27 passes for 157 yards with Alex Smith sideline because of a lacerated spleen he suffered last week against Pittsburgh.

Final Score: Denver 47, Oakland 14

Denver, CO (SportsNetwork.com) - Denver scored on three of its first four drives, and C.J. Anderson finished with three touchdowns as the Broncos beat the Oakland Raiders 47-14 to clinch a first-round bye in the postseason. Anderson ran for 87 yards on 13 carries to help Denver (12-4) out-gain Oakland 451-199. Peyton Manning completed 21-of-37 passes for 273 yards but did not throw any touchdowns for just the second time in his Broncos career. Demaryius Thomas caught eight passes for 115 yards. The Raiders (4-12) only received one touchdown from their offense, a 1-yard pass from Derek Carr to Jamize Olawale. Their other score came on a fumble return by Keith McGill. Oakland secured its third consecutive losing season. Carr threw for 158 yards and an interception on 18-of-36 passing. He also lost a fumble in the setback. Latavius Murray led Oakland in rushing and receiving with 37 yards on the ground and 60 through the air on four catches.

Final Score: Green Bay 30, Detroit 20

Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Rodgers began to wince on a scramble and went down in pain following a touchdown pass, but everything was ok when his quarterback sneak put the Green Bay Packers comfortably in front. Rodgers tossed both of his touchdown passes to Randall Cobb and the Green Bay Packers won the NFC North for a fourth straight year following a 30-20 triumph over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Green Bay (12-4) earned a first-round bye with the win and will be the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

Final Score: San Francisco 20, Arizona 17

Santa Clara, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Colin Kaepernick threw two touchdown passes to lift San Francisco to a 20-17 victory over the Arizona Cardinals in what was Jim Harbaugh's final game as the 49ers' head coach. The 49ers announced they had parted ways with Harbaugh, who will reportedly replace Brady Hoke as the head coach of his alma mater, Michigan. Kaepernick completed 15-of-26 passes for 204 yards and rushed for 63 yards on seven carries. Anquan Boldin and Bruce Miller had a receiving touchdown and Frank Gore carried the ball 35 times for 144 yards for the 49ers (8-8), who ended a four-game skid. Ryan Lindley threw both of his first two career touchdown passes to Michael Floyd and completed 23-of-39 passes for 316 yards with three interceptions for the Cardinals (11-5). Floyd made eight catches for 153 yards Arizona will face the NFC South champion Carolina Panthers on the road in the first round of the playoffs.

Final Score: Seattle 20, St. Louis 6

Seattle, WA (SportsNetwork.com) - The NFC playoffs will run through the Pacific Northwest for a second consecutive season. The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks used their patented defense, behind their rowdy crowd, to stifle the St. Louis Rams in a 20-6 win and wrap up the NFC West division in the process. The Seahawks (12-4), who ended the regular season on a six-game winning streak, clinched a first-round bye and homefield advantage throughout the playoffs by winning their seventh NFC West title in team history. Seattle has taken nine of its last 10 games overall since a loss at St. Louis (6-10) in Week 7, a game that the Rams returned a punt for a touchdown and also converted a gutsy fourth-down play in the closing minutes with punter Johnny Hekker. Russell Wilson threw for 239 yards with an interception and Marshawn Lynch rushed for a touchdown in the win. Rams quarterback Shaun Hill committed a costly interception on the first play of the fourth quarter in Seattle territory.

Final Score: Green Bay 30, Detroit 20

Green Bay, WI (SportsNetwork.com) - Aaron Rodgers began to wince on a scramble and went down in pain following a touchdown pass, but everything was ok when his quarterback sneak put the Green Bay Packers comfortably in front. Rodgers tossed both of his touchdown passes to Randall Cobb and the Green Bay Packers won the NFC North for a fourth straight year following a 30-20 triumph over the Detroit Lions on Sunday. Green Bay (12-4) earned a first-round bye with the win and will be the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

Final Score: Buffalo 17, New England 9

Foxboro, MA (SportsNetwork.com) - Kyle Orton threw a touchdown pass, Boobie Dixon ran for another score and the Buffalo Bills concluded their season with a 17-9 win over the New England Patriots. Orton was 16-of-23 for 176 yards as the Bills (9-7) finished a campaign with a winning record for the first time since 2004. Buffalo, which ended a 13-game losing streak at New England, will miss the playoffs for the 15th straight season, the longest active drought in the league. With home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs already locked up, New England quarterback Tom Brady played just the first half in a game in which wide receiver Julian Edelman and tight end Rob Gronkowski were inactive. Brady completed 8-of-16 passes for 80 yards over five series. Rookie Jimmy Garoppolo totaled 90 yards on 10-of-17 passing for New England (12-4), which had its regular-season home winning streak against AFC opponents snapped at 35 games.

Final Score: Indianapolis 27, Tennessee 10

Nashville, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Andrew Luck threw a pair of touchdown passes in only one half of action, leading the AFC South champion Indianapolis Colts to a 27-10 win over the Tennessee Titans on Sunday at LP Field. Luck finished 10-of-16 for 160 yards and set the Colts' single-season passing yardage record with 4,761 yards, surpassing Peyton Manning's previous mark of 4,700 in 2010. Matt Hasselbeck also threw a touchdown pass in the second half for the Colts (11-5), who will open the playoffs at home next weekend. Indianapolis bounced back from a dreadful performance at Dallas last week and completed a sweep of the AFC South for a second straight year. The Colts, who managed only 229 yards in last Sunday's 42-7 loss, totaled 378 on Sunday en route to their 13th straight divisional win. Charlie Whitehurst threw a scoring pass in defeat for Tennessee (2-14), which closed the year with 10 straight losses in Ken Whisenhunt's first season as head coach. The Titans managed just 192 total yards and nine first downs on Sunday, finishing their worst season since moving from Houston in 1997. The two wins were the franchise's fewest since a 2-14 record in 1994.

Final Score: Dallas 44, Washington 17

Landover, MD (SportsNetwork.com) - Tony Romo had a pair of touchdown passes to Dez Bryant as the Dallas Cowboys pounded the Washington Redskins, 44-17, in the final game of the regular season. Dallas came into the game having already secured its first NFC East crown since 2009 and had the potential to sit as high as first overall, but will have the third seed and host the Detroit Lions next week.Romo finished the game 22-for-34 for 299 yards with an interception, and DeMarco Murray set a franchise record for rushing yards in a season for the Cowboys (12-4), who won their final four games of the season to post their best mark since a 13-3 finish in 2007. Murray, who totaled 100 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries, finished the regular season with an NFL-best 1,845 yards to surpass Emmitt Smith's single-season mark of 1,773 yards in 1995. Robert Griffin III finished off a lackluster season with 336 yards and a touchdown along with two interceptions on 27-of-41 attempts for the Redskins (4-12), who finished last in the division for a second straight year.

Final Score: New Orleans 23, Tampa Bay 20

Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Entering the fourth quarter with a 20-7 lead, Tampa Bay allowed 16 unanswered New Orleans points in a 23-20 loss to the Saints, and also clinched the top pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Drew Brees threw three interceptions for the Saints (7-9) but his 36-yard touchdown pass to Marques Colston just before the two-minute warning put New Orleans ahead for the first time in the game. Brees threw for 281 yards on 24-of-38 passing. Mark Ingram led the Saints with 57 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown, while Khiry Robinson also ran for score in the win. Kenny Stills was their leading receiver with 82 yards on five catches. The Buccaneers (2-14) totaled 183 yards on the ground, including 108 from Doug Martin. Charles Sims carried the ball 18 times for 69 yards and a touchdown.

Final Score: Houston 23, Jacksonville 17

Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Andre Johnson had 10 catches for 134 yards and a touchdown and J.J. Watt made NFL history as the Houston Texans defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-17 on Sunday. Watt finished with three sacks to become the first player to ever record 20- plus sacks in multiple seasons (2012, 2014) for the Texans (9-7), who despite doing their part in the win were unable to secure the playoff spot due to Baltimore's win over Cleveland. Case Keenum completed 25-of-35 passes for 250 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception and Arian Foster made a 10-yard touchdown catch before exiting late in the first quarter with a hamstring injury. Blake Bortles completed 14-of-33 passes for 117 yards and also rushed for 61 yards on three carries for the Jaguars (3-13), who finished the season with an 0-8 road record.

Final Score: Philadelphia 34, NY Giants 26

East Rutherford, NJ (SportsNetwork.com) - Mark Sanchez's two touchdown passes and a key play from the Eagles' special teams enabled Philadelphia to end a disappointing December on a high note with a 34-26 win over the New York Giants. Trey Burton's 27-yard runback of a punt blocked by James Casey early in the third quarter helped the Eagles (10-6) halt a costly three-game skid that eliminated the club from playoff contention, while Sanchez put up 292 yards with an interception on a solid 23-of-36 completion rate in the former Jet's return to MetLife Stadium. Jordan Matthews aided Philadelphia's cause as well by coming up with 105 yards and a touchdown on eight catches, with LeSean McCoy contributing 99 rushing yards on 17 carries. New York (6-10) had a three-game win streak stopped despite 429 passing yards from Eli Manning and career days from Odell Beckham Jr. and Rueben Randle. The Giants ended their first 10-loss season since Manning's rookie year of 2004. Beckham finished out a sensational rookie campaign by amassing 185 yards and a touchdown on 12 receptions, while Randle finished with a personal-best 158 yards on six grabs. Manning hit on 28-of-53 throws with one touchdown and an interception.

Final Score: Minnesota 13, Chicago 9

Minneapolis, MN (SportsNetwork.com) - Teddy Bridgewater had a touchdown pass and Blair Walsh kicked a pair of field goals as the Minnesota Vikings closed out the season with a 13-9 victory over the Chicago Bears. Bridgewater was 17- of-25 for 209 yards with an interception for the Vikings (7-9), who snapped a two-game losing streak. Matt Asiata carried the ball 19 times for 91 yards. Jay Cutler, back under center after being benched for last week's game, was 23-of-36 for 172 yards for the Bears (5-11), who dropped their final five games of the season to finish last in the NFC North. After missing the playoffs for a seventh time in the past eight years, Chicago might be looking to clean house as head coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery are on the hot seat.

Final Score: NY Jets 37, Miami 24

Miami, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - If the Jets had played this well all season, Rex Ryan's job security would never have been an issue. Geno Smith threw for a career-high 358 yards with three touchdowns, including a 74-yard scoring strike to Eric Decker that ignited a run of 23 unanswered points, as New York concluded a dismal year with a 37-24 victory over the Miami Dolphins on Sunday at Sun Life Stadium. Decker caught 10 passes for 221 yards for the Jets (4-12), who hadn't scored more than 25 points in a game all year and gave Ryan a victory in what could be his final game as New York's head coach after six seasons. Ryan compiled a record of 46-50 and is expected to soon learn his fate, although indications are that he, and possibly general manager John Idzik, will be fired. Ryan took the Jets to the AFC Championship Game after each of his first two seasons, but New York hasn't had a winning record since and this year's finish was the worst for the franchise since a 4-12 mark in 2007. Miami coach Joe Philbin is set to return next year after owner Stephen Ross made the announcement following last Sunday's victory over Minnesota. The Dolphins (8-8) finished Philbin's third year with a second straight .500 campaign. Miami was 7-9 in Philbin's first season and 8-8 last year, when a loss to the Jets on the final day of the season cost the Dolphins a playoff spot.