MIAMI — Tom Brady had his least efficient game of the year and even threw an interception, but New England took advantage of Miami’s mistakes and clinched its fourth consecutive AFC East title, 23-16.
A botched punt, roughing-the-punter penalty and fumble by Miami led to 17 New England points, and another penalty negated a Dolphins touchdown.
Brady finished 24 for 40 for 238 yards and was sacked four times. But with the Patriots nursing a 20-13 lead midway through the fourth quarter, he led a 16-play drive that took more than seven minutes and led to a field goal.
The Patriots (9-3) have won six games in a row and are assured of their 12th consecutive winning season. Miami (5-7) lost to New England for the fifth consecutive time.
TEXANS 24, TITANS 10
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Houston Texans clinched their second straight playoff berth and set a franchise record for wins in a season.
Rookie linebacker Whitney Mercilus recovered a fumble and had two sacks, and the Texans (11-1) remain tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NFL with their sixth straight win. After needing overtime the past two games, the Texans forced six turnovers and had six sacks of Jake Locker when they weren’t batting down a handful of other passes.
The Texans swept Tennessee (4-8), the team they replaced in Houston, for only the second time. Matt Schaub threw for 207 yards and two touchdowns, and Arian Foster ran for a TD.
BRONCOS 31, BUCCANEERS 23
DENVER — Peyton Manning threw three touchdowns, including one to defensive tackle Mitch Unrein, to help Denver wrap up the AFC West.
The Broncos (9-3) won their seventh straight and the Tampa Bay (6-6) loss clinched the NFC South for Atlanta, which won on Thursday.
RAMS 16, 49ERS 13, OT
ST. LOUIS — Rookie Greg Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in overtime after booting a 53-yarder as time expired in regulation.
The winning kick allowed the Rams to avoid a second tie in three weeks against the NFC West leaders.
The Rams (5-6-1) scored twice in the final 3:04 of regulation, getting their lone touchdown when rookie Janoris Jenkins returned an errant pitchout by Colin Kaepernick 2 yards for a score. They’ve won two straight after an 0-4-1 skid.
The 49ers (8-3-1) failed to take advantage of a 14-yard punt by rookie punter Johnny Hekker to midfield when David Akers was barely wide right on a 51-yard attempt with 4:11 to go in overtime.
SEAHAWKS 23, BEARS 17, OT
CHICAGO — Russell Wilson connected with Sidney Rice on a 13-yard touchdown with 7:33 left in overtime to lift Seattle.
Unbeaten in five home games, the Seahawks finally figured a way to win on the road after dropping five of their first six, and knocked off the NFC North leaders in the process.
Seattle took a short-lived lead late in regulation on Wilson’s 14-yard pass to Golden Tate, only to watch the Bears’ Robbie Gould boot a 46-yard field goal as time expired to send it into OT.
The Seahawks (7-5) got their only other road win at Carolina.
COLTS 35, LIONS 33
DETROIT — Andrew Luck threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Donnie Avery with no time left to lift Indianapolis.
With the final seconds ticking away, the rookie quarterback moved up in the pocket, flipped a short pass to Avery, and the receiver ran untouched into the end zone to complete a rally that started with Lions up 12 points midway through the fourth quarter.
The Colts (8-4) stayed in control of the AFC wild-card race with the win. Detroit (4-8) lost for the fourth straight time, including three in a row at home.
PACKERS 23, VIKINGS 14
GREEN BAY, Wis. — James Starks had Green Bay’s first rushing touchdown in almost two months, Morgan Burnett picked off Christian Ponder twice and the Packers overcame a monster day by Adrian Peterson.
Peterson finished with 210 yards, the most he’s had since blowing out his ACL and MCL last December. But the Vikings (6-6) clearly felt the absence of Percy Harvin, who missed his third straight game with a sprained ankle.
Ponder didn’t help matters with his interceptions, one in the end zone and the other around the Green Bay 10. The Packers turned both miscues into field goals, giving them their 10th straight victory against an NFC North opponent.
The win also keeps the Packers’ hopes for the (8-4) division title alive.
STEELERS 23, RAVENS 20
BALTIMORE — Shaun Suisham kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired.
Playing without injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a third straight week, the Steelers turned to the 37-year-old Batch for the second game in a row. He went 25 for 36 for 276 yards, threw a touchdown and moved the Steelers 61 yards before Suisham’s game-winning kick.
Pittsburgh trailed 13-3 in the first half and 20-13 in the fourth quarter before coming back.
Pittsburgh (7-5) snapped a two-game losing streak and kept alive its slim hopes of overtaking Baltimore (9-3) in the AFC North. The teams have split their games this season.
BENGALS 20, CHARGERS 13 BROWNS 20, RAIDERS 17 JETS 7, CARDINALS 6 BILLS 34, JAGUARS 18
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