Carolina closed out its remarkable season by wrapping up home-field advantage in the NFC. Denver turned to Peyton Manning to take advantage of New England's slip-up in the AFC. And Rex Ryan made certain to continue the New York Jets' playoff drought.
Carolina and Denver wrapped up the No. 1 playoff seeds in each conference by winning at home on the final day of the regular season on Sunday. Carolina routed Tampa Bay 38-10, while Denver edged San Diego 27-20 to win the AFC West title.
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New England will be the No. 2 seed in the AFC after losing at Miami, while Arizona will have the other bye in the NFC despite getting routed 36-6 by Seattle.
The highlight of the day was Ryan and the Buffalo Bills stopping the Jets from making the playoffs and gave the Steelers the final playoff spot in the AFC. The Bills beat the Jets 22-17, while Pittsburgh knocked off Cleveland 28-12, the only results that would have gotten the Steelers into the postseason. The Jets have not made the playoffs since 2010.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) Jim Tomsula was fired by the San Francisco 49ers after one disappointing season, with an announcement just more than two hours after the season finale.
Elevated from his defensive line coaching duties in an unconventional, surprising promotion by CEO Jed York last January, Tomsula went 5-11 as the Niners missed the playoffs for the second straight season. They were 8-8 a year ago in then-coach Jim Harbaugh's fourth season before his ''mutual'' parting with the franchise, as the team described it.
York was scheduled to address the media Monday morning at Levi's Stadium, where San Francisco rallied for a 19-16 overtime victory against St. Louis in Sunday's finale, but was booed again by the home crowd.
CLEVELAND (AP) - The Browns changed uniforms to start the season and their coach and general manager to end it.
Hours after a 28-12 loss to the rival Pittsburgh Steelers in the season finale, owner Jimmy Haslam fired coach Mike Pettine and general manager Ray Farmer following their second straight losing season in charge.
It's almost a tradition.
Pettine went 3-13 this season and 10-22 in two years, dropping 18 of his final 21 games after a promising 7-4 start in 2014. Pettine's job security had been in doubt for months, and not even Haslam's vow at the start of training camp not to ''blow things up'' could stop another regime change in Cleveland.
Pettine was the team's seventh full-time coach since 1999, and the team has changed coaches and GMs five times since 2008.
CLEVELAND (AP) - The Browns are searching for a new coach, general manager - and Johnny Manziel.
His weekend itinerary remains a mystery.
The team doesn't seem to know whether their polarizing second-year quarterback, who sustained a concussion last week in Kansas City, went to Las Vegas on Saturday as his teammates got ready for their season finale.
Manziel was not going to play Sunday against the Pittsburgh Steelers because he's in the NFL's protocol on head injuries. And while Manziel wasn't required to be at the stadium, owner Jimmy Haslam wasn't sure of the 23-year-old's whereabouts.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Bram Kohlhausen's 8-yard touchdown run in the third overtime carried No. 11 TCU to a wild 47-41 victory over No. 15 Oregon in the Alamo Bowl on Saturday night as the Horned Frogs stormed back from a 31-0 halftime deficit behind a backup quarterback.
The 31-point comeback to win tied the record for a bowl game, matching Texas Tech in the 2006 Insight Bowl against Minnesota.
Oregon stormed to the big lead early behind quarterback Vernon Adams Jr., but he was knocked out of the game late in the second quarter after taking a hard hit to the head. Oregon gained only 18 yards in regulation in the second half.
Kohlhausen started in place of TCU's Trevone Boykin, who was suspended after a bar fight two days earlier. Kohlhausen passed for 351 yards and two touchdowns and ran for two more scores.
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) - New Georgia coach Kirby Smart has hired James Coley as wide receivers coach, Dell McGee as running backs coach and Marshall Malchow as recruiting director.
Coley was Miami's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach the last three years. McGee was Georgia Southern's running backs coach the last two years and was the Eagles' interim head coach for their GoDaddy Bowl win over Bowling Green.
Malchow comes to Georgia from the University of Washington, where he was the director of player personnel.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - The agent for Tampa Bay forward Jonathan Drouin says the third overall pick in the 2013 NHL draft has requested a trade from the Lightning.
Agent Allan Walsh said in a statement released Sunday - one day after Drouin was assigned to Syracuse of the American Hockey League - that he formally made the request on behalf of the 20-year-old left wing in November.
Drouin was a healthy scratch for most of Tampa Bay's run to last year's Stanley Cup Final. He has been slowed by injuries this season, scoring two goals in 19 games.
LAS VEGAS (AP) - Only the fifth-round bell could stop Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit from punishing each other. When it finally rang, the champion and challenger stood side-by-side with their arms leaned up on the cage, wearing exhaustion and respect on their bruised, bloodied faces.
Lawler defended his UFC welterweight belt with a split-decision victory over Condit at UFC 195 on Saturday night, getting the promotion's new year off to a thrilling start.
Lawler (27-10) was awarded the decision after a 25-minute brawl that had the MGM Grand Garden Arena crowd on its collective feet in the fantastic fifth round. Condit (30-9) landed 120 more strikes and wobbled the champion multiple times, but Lawler's power did enough damage to win three rounds on two judges' scorecards.