NFL Sidelines

Dec 29, 2013 7:55 PM

UNDATED (AP) - In a do-or-die game for the NFC North title, the Green Bay Packers did.

The Packers won their third straight division crown by scoring the last two touchdowns in a 33-28 win over the Bears in Chicago. Aaron Rodgers put Green Bay ahead by heaving a 48-yard scoring strike to Randall Cobb with just 38 seconds remaining. It was the second TD pass of the day for Rodgers, who threw for 318 yards and a pair of early interceptions after missing the previous seven games with an injured collarbone.

The Bears led 28-20 after Jay Cutler's short TD pass to Brandon Marshall five seconds into the fourth quarter. Eddie Lacy's six-yard touchdown run got the Packers within 28-27.

The final AFC playoff berth belongs to the San Diego Chargers, who rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter and beat Kansas City 27-24 in overtime. Nick Novak drilled a 36-yard kick with 5:30 left in OT before the Chiefs were stopped on 4-and-15 at the San Diego 41.

Philip Rivers' third TD pass of the afternoon got the Chargers within 24-21 before Novak hit a 22-yard field goal with 3:21 left in regulation. The Chiefs almost won it in the fourth quarter, which would have put the Steelers into the playoffs. But Ryan Succop (SUK'-up) was wide right on a potential game-winning, 41-yard field goal try with 4 seconds left in regulation.

San Diego's comeback ended Pittsburgh's improbable charge toward a playoff berth. Le'Veon (LEH'-vee-ahn) Bell ran for 90 yards and a touchdown as the Steelers beat Cleveland 20-7 to keep their postseason hopes alive at 8-8. Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH'-lis-bur-gur) was intercepted twice while throwing for 179 yards and a TD.

The Steelers needed to beat the Browns and hope Baltimore, Miami and San Diego lost. That scenario was looking good until the Chargers rallied to win.

In other Week 17 results:

- Carolina clinched the NFC South title by nipping Atlanta 21-20. Cam Newton tossed a pair of TD passes and Greg Hardy had a team-record four sacks as the Panthers improved to 12-4 to earn a first-round bye in the playoffs. Carolina set a team record by sacking Matt Ryan nine times.

- New Orleans is back in the NFC playoffs after dismantling Tampa Bay 42-14. Drew Brees (breez) threw for 381 yards and four touchdowns, including a 76-yard scoring pass to Kenny Stills. Brees also ran nine yards for a TD after eclipsing the 5,000-yard mark in passing yards for an unprecedented fourth time. The 11-5 Saints also end up 8-0 at the Superdome while dropping the Buccaneers to 4-12.

- AFC North champion Cincinnati had the distinction of eliminating last season's Super Bowl champions, the Baltimore Ravens, 34-17. Andy Dalton threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. The Bengals head into the postseason with an 11-5 record while the Ravens finished 8-8, losing their last two.

- Geno Smith led three long scoring drives, ran for a touchdown and threw for 190 yards as the New York Jets beat Miami 20-7. Dee Miliner had two interceptions for the 8-8 Jets, who earned their third straight win before announcing head coach Rex Ryan would be back next season.

- Denver has the top seed and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs after Peyton Manning threw for four more touchdowns while setting a single-season record for passing yards in a 34-14 rout of Oakland. Manning had 5,477 passing yards for the season before sitting out the second half, breaking Drew Brees' record by one yard. He finished with 55 TD passes, also a new NFL record.

- Seattle claimed the NFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs by defeating St. Louis 27-9. Malcom Smith put the Seahawks ahead to stay with a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter. Marshawn Lynch ran for a touchdown and Russell Wilson threw for another to help Seattle finish 13-3.

- The 49ers beat Arizona 23-20 on Phil Dawson's 40-yard field goal as time expired, just 29 seconds after Jay Feely's 43-yard kick tied the game. The Cardinals fell behind 17-0 in the first quarter before Carson Palmer threw scoring passes to Jake Ballard and Andre Roberts. Palmer finished with 407 passing yards, while Colin Kaepernick had 310 yards through the air for San Francisco. Kaepernick hit Vernon Davis and Anquan Boldin for short TDs as the 49ers finished 12-4. Arizona missed the playoffs despite a 10-6 record, better than at least two postseason teams. Dallas would also make the playoffs with a worse record than Arizona's if the Cowboys beat the Eagles tonight.

- New England wrapped up a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs by downing Buffalo 34-30. The Patriots rolled up 267 rushing yards while Tom Brady threw for just 122 yards and one touchdown. LeGarrette Blount ran for 189 yards on 24 carries, including touchdowns of 36 and 35 yards. The Pats finished 12-4, while the Bills ended up 6-10 and last in the AFC East.

- Andrew Luck threw for 282 yards and one touchdown, Robert Mathis reclaimed the NFL sacks lead and Adam Vinatieri (vihn-uh-TEHR'-ee) joined the 2,000-point club as the Indianapolis Colts routed Jacksonville 30-10. The AFC South champs have now won three straight, matching their longest streak of the season. Luck was 26 of 37 and became the first player in league history to top 8,000 yards in his first two NFL seasons

- The Minnesota Vikings beat the Detroit Lions 14-13 in the final game at the Metrodome after 32 seasons. The building will be torn down next month to make room for a new domed stadium on the same site. Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson scored two touchdowns. The Vikes finished 5-10-1 and Lions wound up 5-9.

- Mike Munchak may have earned some more bargaining points to keep his job as Tennessee coach. The Titans handed the Houston Texans their 14th straight loss, 16-10. Chris Johnson ran for 127 yards and a touchdown in what might be his last game with the Titans, who finished 7-9. Houston wound up 2-14.

- In the last game at the Meadowlands before the Super Bowl, the New York Giants beat listless Washington 20-7 in the rain at MetLife Stadium. Jerrel Jernigan caught a 24-yard touchdown pass and ran 49 yards for another TD in what could be Mike Shanahan's final game as Redskins coach.


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