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    Sunday, April 21, 2024

    NFL roundup

    Dallas Cowboys' Dak Prescott thorws during the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
    Philadelphia Eagles' DeVonta Smith catches a touchdown pass with Dallas Cowboys' DaRon Bland defending during the second half of an NFL football game Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth)
    Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) and tackle Spencer Brown (79) exhale before a successful two-point attempt in the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
    Houston Texans quarterback Davis Mills (10) attempts a pass against Tennessee Titans linebacker Bud Dupree (48) during the second half of an NFL football game, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/John Amis)
    Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith (56) celebrates after a sack during the second half of an NFL football game against the Las Vegas Raiders in Pittsburgh, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Fred Vuich)

    Cowboys 40, Eagles 34

    Dak Prescott threw for 347 yards and three touchdowns, Brett Maher kicked the go-ahead field goal late and Dallas beat Philadelphia on Saturday.

    Gardner Minshew threw two scoring passes and had a TD run filling in for the injured Jalen Hurts, but his second interception set up Maher's go-ahead kick.

    Four days after speaking at the memorial service of his college coach, Mike Leach, Minshew had Philadelphia 19 yards from a potential winning touchdown in the final seconds, but his desperation pass into the end zone on fourth-and-10 wasn't anywhere near a receiver.

    The NFL-leading Eagles (13-2) had two turnovers in the final five minutes and missed a chance to clinch the NFC's top seed in a matchup of playoff-bound division rivals.

    Dallas, the defending NFC East champ, kept alive faint hopes of catching them.

    One Philadelphia victory or loss by Dallas (11-4) in the final two games would wrap up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs for the Eagles.

    The Eagles had plenty of chances to wrap everything up in this game, but instead had their five-game winning streak stopped. And they got off to a strong start when defensive end Josh Sweat snared an ill-advised throw by Prescott and ran 42 yards for a touchdown and an early 10-0 lead.

    T.Y. Hilton's first catch in his Dallas debut was a 52-yarder on third-and-30, setting up CeeDee Lamb's second touchdown on a 7-yard pass for a 34-34 tie with 5:49 remaining.

    Rookie cornerback DaRon Bland took the ball away from Philadelphia receiver Quez Watkins for Minshew's second interception, leading to Maher's 48-yard kick for a 37-34 lead.

    The Cowboys had to settle for Maher's fourth field goal after Miles Sanders fumbled on the first play of the Eagles' next possession.

    Needing a touchdown to win, Minshew got the Eagles to the Dallas 19-yard line with a 22-yard completion to DeVonta Smith, who had two touchdown catches.

    After spiking the ball to stop the clock, Minshew threw incomplete twice. He was never sacked against the league's No. 2 defense in sacks, but faced heavy pressure on the decisive play and had to chuck the ball deep.

    Dallas won by the same score as an overtime loss at Jacksonville a week earlier. Despite that loss, the Cowboys clinched a playoff spot a few hours later when the New York Giants beat Washington.

    Prescott had his first 300-yard game of the season, bouncing back from Sweat's interception on his third pass to go 27 of 35.

    Minshew threw for 355 yards, completing 24 of 40 passes in his first start of the season after Hurts sprained his right shoulder in last week's win over Chicago.

    Even though the Eagles had to play without their MVP candidate, they gave Minshew the day off Tuesday to speak at the service for Leach. The 61-year-old Mississippi State coach, who died of complications from a heart condition, was Minshew's coach at Washington State.

    Lamb had 100 yards receiving in a half for the first time in his three-year career, finishing with 103 before the break on the way to 10 catches for 120 yards.

    Smith had eight catches for 113 yards, and A.J. Brown added 103 yards on six grabs for Philly.

    Steelers 13, Raiders 10

    Kenny Pickett threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to George Pickens with 46 seconds remaining, and Pittsburgh capped three days of tributes to the late Franco Harris with a victory over Las Vegas.

    On the same night the Steelers retired Harris' No. 32 — the Hall of Fame running back died Wednesday at age 72 — Pittsburgh (7-8) kept its faint playoff hopes alive by delivering another last-second victory over the Raiders. Las Vegas (6-9) was pushed to the brink of elimination from the postseason.

    A day after the 50th anniversary of Harris' "Immaculate Reception" win over the Raiders in the 1972 playoffs, Pickett deftly drove the Steelers 76 yards in 10 plays, the last a dart over the middle to a wide-open Pickens in the end zone.

    Pickett completed 26 of 39 for 244 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Tight end Pat Freiermuth caught seven passes for 66 yards and Najee Harris had 95 total yards as the Steelers won for the fifth time in seven games.

    Derek Carr threw for 174 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions, the last one a floater down the middle of the field that was picked off by Cam Sutton with 29 seconds to go. Pittsburgh rookie Connor Heyward ran for a first down to help the Steelers run out of the clock.

    The Raiders, coming off a dramatic last-play victory over New England last week, reverted to their form from earlier this season by losing their eighth one-score game of the year. They could be eliminated from the playoffs by the end of the week.

    The Steelers paid tribute to Harris in various ways during a bitterly cold night. Players wore replicas of his jersey while entering the stadium. Defensive captain Cam Heyward ran onto the field waving a massive flag with Harris' number, and Pickett even shouted "Franco! Franco!" during his cadence before converting a quarterback sneak in the first half.

    Still, it looked like it wouldn't be enough. While Pittsburgh moved the ball with ease at times, it continued to struggle once it got near the end zone. Pickett threw an interception in the third quarter — his first in 145 attempts — and Chris Boswell missed a pair of field goals.

    Carr started crisply in the 8-degree weather — the coldest home game for the Steelers since 1989 — and finished off a 14-play, 71-yard opening drive with a 14-yard touchdown strike to Hunter Renfrow.

    Yet Las Vegas let the Steelers hang around, and Pickett — whose name was announced by Harris when Pittsburgh took him with the 20th overall pick in last spring's draft — provided the first signature moment of what the Steelers hope will be a decorated career.

    Ravens 17, Falcons 9

    Tyler Huntley threw a first-half touchdown pass, and Baltimore kept Atlanta out of the end zone as it ended up securing a playoff spot.

    About a half-hour after Baltimore (10-5) took care of the Falcons, New England lost to Cincinnati to put the Ravens in the playoffs. The Ravens won for the second time in three games without quarterback Lamar Jackson, who has been out with a knee injury.

    Gus Edwards ran for 99 yards and J.K. Dobbins rushed for 59 for Baltimore. Huntley's 6-yard touchdown pass to Demarcus Robinson in the second quarter was the first TD catch by a Ravens wide receiver since Week 3.

    Huntley ran for a 2-point conversion that put the Ravens up 14-0 — and Baltimore's defense has allowed more than 14 points in a game just once since the start of November.

    Atlanta (5-10), which entered just a game behind first-place Tampa Bay in the NFC South, has lost four straight — including rookie QB Desmond Ridder's first two starts — and six of seven.

    Bills 35, Bears 13

    Devin Singletary and James Cook ran for long touchdowns in the third quarter, Buffalo beat Chicago to win the AFC East.

    The Bills (12-3) won their sixth straight game, secured their third straight division title and remained on track for the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

    Josh Allen ran for a TD and threw for another in the game's closing minutes, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the most touchdowns in a player's first five NFL seasons.

    Chicago (3-12) matched a franchise record with its eighth straight loss. Justin Fields threw for 119 yards and a touchdown, but ran for a season-low 11 yards a week after after joining Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson as the only QBs with 1,000 yards rushing in a season.

    The temperature at kickoff was 9 with a minus-12 wind chill — only three degrees warmer than the record low for a Bears home game.

    Singletary scored on a 33-yard run on the opening drive of the second half and finished with 106 yards in the game. Cook added 99, including a 27-yarder in the third following a fumble by the Bears' David Montgomery, giving the Bills a 21-10 lead.

    Chiefs 24, Seahawks 10

    Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, and Kansas City shut down Geno Smith and Seattle's slumping offense.

    Travis Kelce had six catches for 113 yards, and Kadarius Toney and Jerick McKinnon had touchdown catches as the AFC West champion Chiefs (12-3) remained tied with Buffalo for the conference's best record with two games to go.

    The Chiefs stopped the Seahawks (7-8) twice on fourth down, picked off their Pro Bowl quarterback in the end zone and dealt coach Pete Carroll's team its fifth loss in six games along with a near-knockout blow to its playoff hopes. Kansas City has won 16 consecutive regular-season games against NFC opponents.

    Kenneth Walker III was the bright spot for Seattle, running for 107 yards.

    The wind chill was minus-2 at kickoff, and the tarp was frozen to the field when workers tried to remove it three hours before the game. Seattle's offense was downright frigid as the Chiefs jumped out to a 17-0 lead.

    49ers 37, Commanders 20

    Brock Purdy threw two more long touchdown passes to George Kittle and San Francisco beat Washington for its eighth straight win.

    Purdy kept up his impressive play since taking over for the injured Jimmy Garoppolo early in Week 13, looking far better than expected for the player picked last in this year's NFL draft.

    He has thrown two TD passes in four straight games for the 49ers (11-4) and has won all three of his starts as San Francisco keeps the pressure on Minnesota in the race for the No. 2 seed in the NFC.

    Taylor Heinicke threw two TD passes for Washington (7-7-1) but also lost a fumble and threw an interception in the fourth quarter. He was replaced after his second giveaway by Carson Wentz.

    The Commanders are winless in their last three games, but still hold a half-game lead over Seattle and Detroit in the race for the final playoff spot in the NFC.

    The Niners broke the game open in the third quarter thanks to some more big plays from Purdy. They took the opening kickoff of the second half and drove to the go-ahead score when Kittle got open deep for a 34-yard score.

    Kittle scored again later in the quarter on a 33-yard catch and run to make it 21-7. Kittle also had two TD catches last week, giving him a career-high eight on the season.

    San Francisco capitalized on big plays all game, also scoring their first touchdown on a 71-yard end around by Ray Ray McCloud.

    Nick Bosa and the Niners defense did the rest of the work with Bosa setting up one field goal by Robbie Gould with a strip-sack of Heinicke and San Francisco adding another after Jimmie Ward got an interception deep in Washington territory.

    Wentz, playing for the first time since Week 6, threw a 20-yard TD pass to Curtis Samuel but it was too little too late for Washington.

    Panthers 37, Lions 23

    D'Onta Foreman ran for a career-high 165 yards and a touchdown, Chuba Hubbard added 125 yards rushing and Carolina racked up a franchise-record 320 yards on the ground to beat Detroit and keep its NFC South title hopes alive.

    Sam Darnold completed 15 of 22 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown and ran for a score to improve to 3-1 as Carolina's starting QB. Raheem Blackshear and D.J. Moore also scored for the Panthers, who amassed a team-record 570 yards of offense in the coldest game ever played at Bank of America Stadium.

    The Panthers had seven runs of longer than 20 yards against a Lions defense that had allowed just 84 yards rushing per game over the last five weeks. Foreman and Hubbard both exceeded 100 yards rushing in the first half as the Panthers built a 24-7 lead.

    Carolina (6-9) can clinch its first division title since 2015 with wins at Tampa Bay and New Orleans.

    Jared Goff threw three touchdown passes to third-string tight end Shane Zylstra for the Lions. Detroit (7-8) had won six of its previous seven games to move into playoff contention.

    Texans 19, Titans 14

    Davis Mills threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks with 2:52 left, and the Houston snapped a nine-game skid by beating sliding Tennessee in a game delayed because of power issues.

    Kickoff was delayed by an hour in a joint agreement by the Titans, the NFL and local emergency management officials after rolling power blackouts. Even with the delay, it was the coldest home game in Titans history with a temperature of 20 at kickoff and the wind chill at 6.

    Ogbonnia Okoronkwo had two of the Texans' four sacks by halftime, and Houston (2-12-1) also forced three turnovers.

    Linebacker Christian Harris intercepted rookie Malik Willis at the Houston 41 with 1:33 left, and Texans safety Jalen Pitre picked off Willis' final pass in the end zone to seal the victory.

    Houston fell behind 14-10 in the third quarter but held Tennessee scoreless from there.

    The Titans (7-8) have blown their four-game lead atop the AFC South, falling into a tie with Jacksonville. Henry ran for 126 yards, including a 48-yard touchdown.

    Saints 17, Browns 10

    Alvin Kamara and Taysom Hill each had touchdown runs and New Orleans eliminated Cleveland from the playoffs.

    The Saints (6-9) were 0-6 in outdoor games this season before rallying to beat the Browns (6-9) in the coldest game in New Orleans history. The temperature was 6 degrees at kickoff.

    Deshaun Watson drove Cleveland to the Saints 15 in the final minute, but he was sacked on fourth down with 19 seconds left by Carl Granderson.

    Kamara scored on a 4-yard run late in the third quarter — set up by Daniel Sorensen's interception of Watson and 36-yard return — as the Saints overcame a 10-0 deficit. New Orleans came in trailing Tampa Bay by one game in the weak NFC South.

    Watson had a 12-yard rushing TD but struggled to pass in the blustery conditions (15 of 31 for 135 yards) and fell to 2-2 as a starter since returning from his 11-game suspension for sexual misconduct allegations.

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