Cincinnati wins its first Division title since 2015. On the penultimate day of the regular season, 11 of the 14 places have already been assigned. That’s how it was…
Eleven of the 14 playoff spots are awarded. On the 17th and penultimate day of the NFL regular season, the Cincinnati Bengals, who conquered the AFC North, and Las Vegas, who are still in the race for the postseason by passing Indianapolis, rejoice. Monday night is Pittsburgh-Cleveland: It’s played on rivalry, the Steelers still compete only on math.
CINCINNATI-KANSAS CITY 34-31
First Division title for the Bengals since 2015. He surprises by twice recovering two tries from behind thanks to the atomic attack: Burrow throws for 446 yards and 4 attempts, Chase even receives for 266 yards, a record for a freshman, and 3 touchdowns. The Chiefs’ secondary is swept, McPherson’s kick at the end of the 20-yarder after crucial penalties gives Cincy sleep, Kansas City slips momentarily to second in the AFC.
BALTIMORE-LA RAMS 19-20
The Rams were right to bet on Beckham. The receiver in contention first closes out a 4th down on the sprint, then grabs the game-winner on the comeback with 57” remaining. The Ravens, who had intercepted Stafford twice with Clark, author of a pick 6, did not know how to reply with Huntley, substitute for the injured Jackson. Baltimore is hanging by a thread in playoff prospects after losing 5 straight times. The Rams enjoy Von Miller’s decisive sack in the final seconds, the franchise record for receiving yards by Kupp, who knocks down Bruce, but the fight between his teammates Ramsey and Rapp is to be forgotten.
NY JETS-TAMPA BAY 24-28
The defending champions achieve a comeback with a pearl from Brady in the final drive: he grinds 93 yards without a timeout in less than 2′ and shoots the decisive try with 15” to play. The Bucs advance to third place in the NFC, but the news is the madness of Antonio Brown who takes off his shirt in the third quarter, leaves the team in the lurch and goes to the locker room. He cut at the end of the race. His illustrious and controversial career will probably end here. Brady, now without Godwin, will have to invent alternatives as receivers: Grayson, author of the decisive touchdown, seems to be the rising alternative. Meanwhile, Gronk tops 100 yards of prey. The Jets close to the feat with goals from Berríos on the run and reception. Wilson doesn’t care this time, but he doesn’t close a fourth down to the photo finish. And against Brady then you pay the duty, if you don’t close games.
INDIANAPOLIS-LAS VEGAS 20-23
The Raiders are not giving up. They win in Indy thanks to the prowess of Renfrow, an unlikely receiver with a normal physique, and Carson’s kick at the end of the 33-yard dash. The playoffs will be played next Sunday at home with the Chargers: whoever wins is classified, whoever loses is out. The Colts can win them over by beating Jacksonville, but they blew a game point, despite Hilton’s daring goal and Taylor’s customary walk into the end zone.
The Boys’ offense continues to go around in circles: Prescott commits a decisive fumble, Elliott is unaffected, Gallup hurts his left knee. The Texans lose at home and climb to fourth place in the NFC. Arizona scores twice in the Murray-Wesley axis 22-7, takes advantage of Prater’s 4 kicks, keeps the sprint for the conquest of the NFC West in the balance until the last day: it follows the Rams.
Tennessee overwhelms Miami 34-3, which had just returned from 7 wins, and conquers the AFC South, currently the first seeded Titans in the AFC. On Sunday Night Green Bay liquidates Minnesota 37-10 and wins the NFC bye. Rodgers throws for 2 downs, Dillon runs for 2 downs. Buffalo gets into the playoffs by dominating the second half against Atlanta: 29-15 on snow. New England demolishes Jacksonville 50-10 and will likely play next next Sunday. Philadelphia bows 20-16 Washington: the difference is made by McLeod’s interception with 24” on the clock. The Eagles are in the playoffs, San Francisco is still in the race, which even without Garoppolo beats Houston 23-7, and New Orleans, which thanks to the defense tames Carolina 18-10. The Los Angeles Chargers eliminate Denver 34-13: the highlight is Roberts’ 101-yard kickoff return. Seattle dismantles Detroit 51-29, may have been Seahawk coach Carroll’s last home. Chicago dominates the New York Giants 29-3.
One day from the end, the current qualifiers for the playoffs. AFC: 1) Tennessee * (11-5) 2) Kansas City * (11-5) 3) Cincinnati * (10-6) 4) Buffalo * (10-6) 5) New England * (10-6) 6 ) Indianapolis (9-7) 7) Los Angeles Chargers (9-7). NFC: 1) Green Bay * (13-3) 2) Los Angeles Rams * (12-4) 3) Tampa Bay * (12-4) 4) Dallas * (11-5) 5) Arizona * (11-5 ) ) 6) San Francisco (9-7) 7) Philadelphia * (9-7).
January 3, 2022 (change January 3, 2022 | 08:45)
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