The NFL playoff picture is now much clearer as four more teams punched their tickets to the playoffs in the AFC. In the NFC, only one more playoff position remains with the Saints and Niners the only two teams left in the running for the last post-season berth.
Miami’s Streak Ends in Loss to Titans
The Miami Dolphins were hoping to keep their winning streak, and playoff hopes alive against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday afternoon. However, the Titans had other ideas and dominated Miami 34-3, giving them back-to-back AFC South titles.
Miami’s loss ended their seven-game win streak and sent them home with their playoff hopes dashed. However, going 7-1 in their last eight games should give the young Dolphins team some momentum going into next season. They hope to end the season with a win against the New England Patriots in their final game.
The Titans were desperate for a win in the extremely tight AFC playoff race. A loss would have dropped the team into a tie with three other teams at 10-6. With the victory, they now become the #1 seed in the AFC, with the tiebreaker advantage over the Kansas City Chiefs. A win next week against the lowly Houston Texans will give Tennessee a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.
Bengals Clinch Division with Home Victory over Chiefs
QB Joe Burrow had another big game for the Cincinnati Bengals as he led them to a 34-31 come-from-behind win against the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs. Burrow had his second straight 400+ yard passing game, throwing for 446 yards on 30-39 passing and four touchdowns.
Cincinnati has won its second division title since 2015 and still has a very slim chance to move into the top seed in the conference with a win next week. The reason it wouldn’t be that likely is that several top AFC teams would also have to lose their games next Sunday.
Also, in this game, rookie Ja’Maar Chase broke the all-time rookie record for receiving yards in a season by ending the day with 11 receptions for 266 yards and three touchdowns. He now has 1,429 receiving yards for the season and will extend that record next week in their final regular-season game against the Cleveland Browns.
The win for Cincinnati snapped KC’s eight-game winning streak and dropped them out of the top seed in the AFC. They must win next week at Denver if they want to keep their current #2 seeding.
Eagles Beat Washington to Secure a Playoff Berth
The Philadelphia Eagles controlled their own destiny and needed a win on Sunday to get into the playoffs. However, they were able to come away victorious by a score of 27-17.
Jalen Hurts needed to play better in this game, and he did just that. He completed 17-26 passes for 214 yards and had two rushing touchdowns to help carry his team. Boston Scott also came up big when they needed him. He carried the ball 14 times for 47 yards and had two big touchdowns in Philadelphia’s very balanced offensive effort. WR Dallas Goedert led the team in receiving with six catches for 71 yards.
The team doesn’t have anything to play for in their next matchup at home against the Dallas Cowboys and could rest some of their starters to make sure everyone is healthy for their first playoff game. But, just like most teams, they’ve been playing short-handed and can concentrate on getting as many starters as possible ready for the first round of the playoffs.