Rams clinch NFC West title
UNDATED (AP) – The Los Angeles Rams put together a fourth-quarter push to clinch the NFC West and moving ahead of New Orleans for the best record in the conference.
Todd Gurley ran for 132 yards and two touchdowns as the Rams knocked off the Lions, 30-16 in Detroit. Los Angeles led just 16-13 until Gurley scored on fourth-quarter runs of 13 and two yards.
Jared Goff had a quiet afternoon for the high-powered Rams, completing 17 of 33 for 207 yards, one TD and one interception.
Aaron Donald helped seal the win by forcing Matthew Stafford to fumble midway through the fourth quarter, leading to Gurley’s first touchdown.
The Rams are 11-1 and one game ahead of the Saints in the battle for home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
In other NFL action:
– The Chiefs are an AFC-best 10-2 after Patrick Mahomes threw for 295 yards and four more touchdowns in a 40-33 shootout win over the Raiders in Oakland. He connected on two short touchdown passes to Travis Kelce in the first half and joined Peyton Manning and Tom Brady to throw for 40 TDs through 12 games. Spencer Ware ran for 47 yards and a score in his first start since Kansas City released running back Kareem Hunt over his assault of a woman in February.
– Bill Belichick earned his 250th coaching victory and Tom Brady threw for 311 yards and a score as the Patriots dumped the Vikings, 24-10. Brady is now tied with Peyton Manning for the most scoring passes in the regular season and playoffs with 579, and he’s tied for third with 508 regular-season TD passes. James Develin added a career-high two touchdown runs as the 9-3 Patriots won for the eighth time in nine games and dropped the Vikings to 6-5-1.
– Michael Badgley kicked a 29-yard field goal as time expired to send the Chargers to a 33-30 victory at Pittsburgh. Badgely had three attempts to win it, but the Steelers were called for offsides on the first two tries before he sent the 9-3 Chargers to victory. Philip Rivers completed 26 of 36 passes for 299 yards and two touchdowns, and Keenan Allen caught 14 passes for 148 yards and a score. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 281 yards and two scores for the Steelers, whose lead in the AFC North is down to a half-game over Baltimore.
– Rookie Lamar Jackson ran for a touchdown and the Ravens’ defense turned in a dominating performance, leading to a 26-16 victory over the feeble Falcons. Justin Tucker kicked four field goals and Tavon Young scored after scooping up a fumble by Matt Ryan. Baltimore held the Falcons to just 131 total yards and improved to 3-0 since Jackson replaced the injured Joe Flacco.
– The Bears scored 10 points over the final 73 seconds of regulation, only to suffer a 30-27 overtime loss to the Giants. Aldrick Rosas drilled a go-ahead, 44-yard field goal in OT before New York stopped Chicago on downs to end the Bears’ five-game winning streak. Odell Beckham Jr. grabbed a short TD pass on fourth down and tossed his second scoring strike of the season by hitting Russell Shepard on a 49-yard option throw.
– Deshaun Watson threw a touchdown pass and the Texans intercepted rookie Baker Mayfield three times, returning one for a score in their ninth straight win, 29-13 over the Browns. Lamar Miller had 103 yards rushing and DeAndre Hopkins had seven receptions for 91 yards. Houston extended its team-record winning streak and became the first team to win nine in a row immediately following an 0-3 start.
– The Seahawks blew past the 49ers, 43-16 as Russell Wilson threw three first-half touchdowns on just four completions. Wilson also had a fourth TD toss and was 11 of 17 for 185 yards. The 7-5 Seahawks stayed in the middle of the NFC playoff race by jumping to a 20-0 lead and cruising to their ninth straight victory over their NFC West foe.
– The Jaguars delivered one of the most dominant defensive performances in franchise history, carrying the team to a 6-0 victory against Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts. The Jaguars needed that kind of effort to make up for a lackluster offense and end a seven-game skid while also snapping Indy’s five-game winning streak. Luck completed 33 of 52 passes for 248 yards and an interception. He was sacked three times.
-Zane Gonzalez kicked a 44-yard field goal with 1:41 left before Green Bay’s Mason Crosby missed a 49-yard attempt as time expired to send the Cardinals to a 20-17 victory. Crosby pushed his kick wide right, with the flags atop Lambeau Field blowing in toward the field at the time of the kick.
– The Titans erased a 16-point deficit and downed the Jets, 26-22 on Marcus Mariota’s 11-yard scoring pass to Corey Davis with 36 seconds left. Mariota heard boos midway through the game before finishing 20 of 35 for 282 yards, two TDs and an interception that was returned for a touchdown. Mariota also led the 6-6 Titans with 42 yards rushing and helped Tennessee send the 3-9 Jets to their sixth consecutive loss.
– Rookie Phillip Lindsay ran for a career-high 157 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Broncos got their third straight victory, 24-10 over the Bengals. Denver has improved to 6-6 by knocking off the Chargers, the Steelers and the Bengals since its bye week to stay in contention in December.
– Jameis Winston threw for 249 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Buccaneers to a 24-17 victory over the reeling Panthers. The Bucs won for the second straight time since Winston regained his starting job with team mired in a four-game losing streak. The Panthers have lost four straight after a 6-2 start.
– Jordan Phillips drew a costly penalty for taunting his former team, setting up a touchdown with nine minutes left that helped the Dolphins rally past the Bills 21-17. Miami turned away two Bills drives down the stretch.