Highlights of Sunday's National Football League games

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[January 02, 2017]  Jan 1 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of National Football League games played on Sunday:

Patriots 35, Dolphins 14

Tom Brady passed for 276 yards and three touchdowns as New England clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, beating Miami at Hard Rock Stadium.

Brady completed 25 of 33 passes and was not intercepted or sacked. Wide receiver Julian Edelman caught eight passes for 151 yards, including a 77-yard touchdown.

The Patriots (14-2), who have won the AFC East in 14 of the past 16 years and taken four Super Bowls during that span, will get a first-round playoff bye.

The Dolphins (10-6), who had already clinched their first playoff berth since 2008, will play in the first round of the playoffs in Pittsburgh against the Steelers.

Eagles 27, Cowboys 13

With nothing at stake except pride, Philadelphia beat NFC-best Dallas at Lincoln Financial Field.

Dallas, already assured of home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs, finished 13-3, while the Eagles improved to 7-9.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz set an NFL rookie record when he completed a pass in the opening drive, which passed the record of 354 completions set by the Rams' Sam Bradford in 2010.

With the Cowboys resting some key players during the game, Tony Romo came on in relief of starting quarterback Dak Prescott early in the second quarter. Romo, who missed 12 games last year with a broken collarbone and hadn't played all this season after injuring his back, led Dallas to a touchdown in his only drive.

Buccaneers 17, Panthers 16

Jameis Winston threw the winning touchdown pass to Mike Evans with 3:13 to play, leading Tampa Bay to victory over Carolina at Raymond James Stadium.

Carolina drove for a touchdown in the closing seconds but opted to go for two points with 17 seconds left rather than a tying extra-point kick, and Greg Olsen slipped in the end zone as Cam Newton's pass fell incomplete.

Tampa Bay (9-7) completed a season sweep of Carolina (6-10) but fell short of a playoff berth.

Titans 24, Texans 17

Fill-in quarterback Matt Cassel threw for 150 yards and a touchdown as Tennessee finished their first winning season since 2011 with victory over AFC South champions Houston.

Playing in place of Marcus Mariota, who broke his leg last week, Cassel completed 16 of 26 passes as Tennessee ended the season 9-7. Houston (9-7) quarterback Tom Savage, making his second career start, left the game in the second quarter and was checked for a possible concussion.

Steelers 27, Browns 24 (OT)

Landry Jones threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Cobi Hamilton in overtime and playoff-bound Pittsburgh won their seventh in a row by rallying past mistake-prone Cleveland after the Browns blew a two-touchdown lead.

The Browns (1-15) were in a position to win it late in regulation but running back Isaiah Crowell fumbled at the 3-yard line and the Steelers (11-5) recovered.

Vikings 38, Bears 10

Sam Bradford was 25 of 33 passing for 250 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and Kyle Rudolph had 11 catches for 117 yards and a score as Minnesota beat Chicago.

Jerick McKinnon added 110 total yards and scored touchdowns by rushing and receiving for the Vikings, who ended up 8-8 after a 5-0 start. Jordan Howard had 135 yards rushing for the Bears, who at 3-13 had their fewest wins ever in a 16-game season.

Bengals 27, Ravens 10

Rex Burkhead rushed for a career-high 119 yards and two touchdowns, and Andy Dalton passed for 226 yards and a score, lifting Cincinnati over Baltimore at Paul Brown Stadium.

The Ravens finished the season 8-8, with Joe Flacco setting a single-season team record with 4,317 yards passing, while the Bengals completed a 6-9-1 campaign.

Jets 30, Bills 10

Ryan Fitzpatrick, likely making his final appearance for the team, threw a pair of short touchdown passes as New York routed Buffalo in their season finale at MetLife Stadium.

Fitzpatrick, who threw a franchise-record 31 touchdown passes last season but was benched twice this year, finished 20-of-30 for 210 yards. The Jets finished 5-11 and Buffalo at 7-9.

Colts 24, Jaguars 20

Andrew Luck's one-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jack Doyle with nine seconds remaining gave the Colts the victory and an 8-8 finish to the season at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The Jaguars (3-13) thought they had pulled it out on Jason Myers' 41-yard field goal with 1:33 remaining. But that gave Luck too much time.

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Seahawks 25, 49ers 23

Russell Wilson threw for 258 yards and one touchdown and Steven Hauschka kicked four field goals as the Seattle Seahawks tuned up for the playoffs with victory against the San Francisco 49ers.

Seattle (10-5-1), will open the playoffs as the third seed at home against the loser of the later game between the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions.

 The 49ers fell to 2-14 in what was expected to be coach Chip Kelly's final game with the team, according to multiple reports.

Broncos 24, Raiders 6

Trevor Siemian threw touchdown passes to running back Devontae Booker and tight end Virgil Green, while the Oakland Raiders lost their starting quarterback to injury for the second successive week in a loss to the Denver Broncos.

Booker caught a touchdown pass and also ran for a score in what could have been Gary Kubiak's final game as Denver coach.

Kubiak, who missed a game earlier this season because of a complex migraine condition and also suffered a condition akin to a mini stroke when he was coach of the Houston Texans, is reportedly considering retiring because of health concerns.

Giants 19, Redskins 10

Kirk Cousins was intercepted by Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie with under 1:30 remaining as the New York Giants defeated the Washington Redskins to eliminate them from playoff contention.

Trailing 13-10 with 2:12 remaining, Cousins drove the Redskins across midfield, but on first-and-10 from the 43-yard line with 1:27 left, Cousins threw down the middle for Pierre Garcon. The pass hung and Cromartie stepped in front of Garcon for his second interception.

New York scored a touchdown on the game's final play when Trevor Wade picked up a fumble and scored as time ran out.

Chiefs 37, Chargers 27

Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes and ran for another as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Diego Chargers to win the AFC West for their first divisional title since 2010.

Smith was 21 of 28 for 264 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. Charcandrick West had both of the scoring receptions.

Philip Rivers completed 22 of 38 for 269 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Cardinals 44, Rams 6

Quarterback Carson Palmer threw three touchdown passes as the Arizona Cardinals rolled to a 44-6 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

Palmer completed 20 of 38 passes for 255 yards and an interception for the Cardinals.

Wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald had five receptions for 43 yards, allowing him to top 1,000 yards in receiving for the eighth time in his career. He finished with 1,023 yards.

Falcons 38, Saints 32

The Falcons scored touchdowns on all five of their first-half possessions and defeated the New Orleans Saints 38-32 to lock up the NFC's second seed.

Matt Ryan threw four touchdown passes and Devonta Freeman scored on a 75-yard run while going over 1,000 yards rushing for the second successive season.

Ryan completed 27 of 36 passes for 331 yards. He also set a Falcons' franchise record for yards in a season with 4,944 and had 38 touchdowns passes compared to seven interceptions.

Packers 31, Lions 24

Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes, two to Davante Adams as the Green Bay Packers clinched the NFC North Division title with victory over the Detroit Lions.

Green Bay enters the NFC playoffs as the fourth seed and will host the fifth-seeded New York Giants in the opening round.

The Lions, who failed in their bid to win their first division title in 23 years, qualifed sixth and travel to play third seeds Seattle in the first round.

Rodgers completed 27 of 39 passes for 300 yards. Adams caught six passes for 31 yards, while rookie Geronimo Allison caught four passes for 91 yards and a touchdown.

Fullback Aaron Ripkowski had a combined 76 rushing and receiving yards, and a touchdown for Green Bay.

Matthew Stafford completed 26 of 41 passes for 347 yards with two touchdowns and one interception for the Lions.

[ 2017 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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