January 27, 2023

NFL roundup: Playoff spot as Dolphins pip Pats and Steelers honor Bills Hamlin | NFL

Jason Sanders kicked a 50-yard field goal with 18 seconds left. Miami Dolphins clinched their first playoff berth since 2016 after an 11-6 rout of the New York Jets on Sunday.

The Dolphins (9-8) snapped a five-game losing streak and then had to wait a few minutes to beat Buffalo New England.

Miami will play at Buffalo in the first round of the playoffs next weekend. The AFC East rivals split the season series with each win at home.

Sanders’ kick came after the Dolphins were helped by a 15-yard horse-collar tackle penalty on Quincy Williams.

The Jets (7-10) finished the season with six losses, ending a disappointing slump for Robert Saleh’s team. New York has not scored a touchdown in their last three games.

New England Patriots 23-35 Buffalo Bills

Nyheim Hines capped an emotional celebration of injured Bills safety Tamar Hamlin by returning two kickoffs for touchdowns, and Buffalo clinched the AFC’s second playoff berth, with a win over Miami that eliminated the Patriots from the playoffs for the second time in three years. The fourth time in 23 seasons under Bill Belichick’s coaching tenure. With the game in hand, Bills players held up three fingers in honor of Hamlin’s number and chanted “Hamlin! Hamlin!” in tribute to the defenseman, who is recovering in a Cincinnati hospital Monday after a heart attack.

Cleveland Browns 14-28 Pittsburgh Steelers

Najee Harris had 84 yards and a touchdown and the Pittsburgh Steelers Cleveland beat the Browns, but were eliminated from the playoffs when Miami beat the Jets. The Steelers will have to settle for a 16th straight undefeated season under coach Mike Tomlin with a 7-2 finish. Pittsburgh’s ugly 2-6 start left star linebacker TJ Watt injured and freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett stepped into the starting job. The Browns finished 7-10, including 3-3 with Deshaun Watson at quarterback. It was the 17th time since Cleveland rejoined the NFL in 1999 that the Browns lost at least 10 games.

Baltimore Ravens 16–27 Cincinnati Bengals

Joe Burrow threw for a touchdown and Joe Mixon ran for another as the Cincinnati Bengals used four Baltimore turnovers to beat the Ravens and set up a rematch in the first round of the playoffs next week. The AFC North champion Bengals beat a Ravens team that rested some key players. Cincinnati avoided a coin flip to determine the site of their playoff game against Baltimore. But Buffalo’s upset of New England ended the Bengals’ chances at No. 2 in the AFC. Third-string quarterback Anthony Brown started for the Ravens. He threw two interceptions and lost a fumble.

Minnesota Vikings 29-13 Chicago Bears

Kirk Cousins ​​threw for 225 yards and a touchdown in the first half and looked the rest of the way as the NFC North champion Minnesota Vikings cruised into the playoffs. The Bears, who featured star Justin Fields, tied a franchise record with their 14th loss and extended one by dropping their 10th game in a row. With Houston winning at Indianapolis, Chicago gets the top pick in the draft For the first time since 1947.

Houston Texans 32–31 Indianapolis Colts

Davis Mills threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Jordan Akins with 50 seconds left on fourth down, then connected with Akins on a two-point conversion to give Houston a 32-31 victory in Indianapolis — the Texans’ first pick in April’s draft.

Houston (3-13-1) won twice in the final three weeks to finish second in the draft standings to the Chicago Bears. Indy (4-12-1) lost for the seventh straight time under interim coach Jeff Saturday, securing a top-five draft pick.

Houston’s move to No. 2 in the draft won’t make a huge difference because the Bears aren’t in the market for a quarterback, something the Texans are likely to pursue.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17-30 Atlanta Falcons

Rookie Desmond Ridder’s first two career touchdown passes lifted the Atlanta Falcons to a win over the playoff-bound Tampa Bay Buccaneers after Tom Brady added to his lineup. Brady broke his own NFL Record for the most shutouts in a season before leaving the game late in the first half. Brady and the rest of Tampa Bay’s healthy regulars locked the NFC’s No. 4 seed in the playoffs even though the Buccaneers captured the NFC South title last week.

Carolina Panthers 10-7 New Orleans Saints

Eddie Pinero hit a 42-yard field goal as time expired, and the Carolina Panthers ended their season with an opportunistic victory. The Saints outgained Carolina 304 yards to 203, but the game remained tight until the end as they couldn’t score on several drives at New Orleans’ Panthers 40-yard line.