Washington Eagles Football

Washington Football Team tight end Logan Thomas (82) catches a touchdown against Philadelphia Eagles defenderT.J. Edwards (57) during the first half Sunday night in Philadelphia. Washington won 20-14.

PHILADELPHIA — Just call the Washington Football Team division champs.

Alex Smith threw two touchdown passes and Washington beat the Philadelphia Eagles 20-14 on Sunday night to capture the lowly NFC East.

The Washington franchise, which changed its nickname in July after years of protests about it, became the first team in the Super Bowl era to reach the playoffs following a 2-7 start.

Led by Smith and first-year coach Ron Rivera, who overcame a form of skin cancer during the season, Washington (7-9) is the third team to win a division title with a losing record during a full 16-game season. Seattle (2010) and Carolina (2014) previously did it and each won a playoff game.

Washington earned the NFC’s No. 4 seed and will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) in a wild-card game next Saturday night. A loss would’ve given the New York Giants (6-10) the division title.

Smith threw a 13-yard TD pass to Logan Thomas in the second quarter to give Washington a 17-14 lead it never relinquished after Jalen Hurts scored on a pair of 6-yard TD runs for Philadelphia (4-11-1).

Smith finished 22-of-32 passing for 162 yards and two picks with the two TDs.


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Rookie Xavier McKinney intercepted Dallas’ Andy Dalton in the end zone with 1:15 remaining for New York, but the Giants missed out on the NFC East title when the Eagles lost to Washington.

The Giants (6-10) would have been the first team to qualify for the playoffs with six victories in a 16-game regular season and the first to do so after starting 1-7.

Dalton rallied the Cowboys (6-10) with a bloody left hand after being stepped on by defensive tackle Leonard Williams in the third quarter, and he had the Cowboys on the doorstep when Williams got close again.

Dalton scrambled around on a broken play, avoided being sacked by Williams for a fourth time, but ended up floating one into the middle of the end zone. McKinney caught it easily, his first career interception.


CHICAGO — Aaron Rodgers threw for four touchdowns, breaking his franchise record for scoring passes in a season, and Green Bay clinched the No. 1 seed in the NFC by beating playoff-bound Chicago.

The Packers (13-3) earned a bye with their sixth win in a row.

Despite the loss, the Bears (8-8) are headed to the playoffs for the second time in coach Matt Nagy’s three years because Arizona fell to the Los Angeles Rams. Chicago will be at New Orleans (12-4).

Rodgers joined Peyton Manning (2004 and 2013) as the only players to throw for at least 45 touchdowns in multiple seasons. He now has 48, surpassing his previous high of 45 in his first MVP season of 2011.

Davante Adams broke Sterling Sharpe’s record for receptions in a season and tied his mark for touchdown catches in a year. Adams had six receptions to bump his total to 115 and surpass Sharpe’s mark of 112 in 1993. His 6-yard score late in the game gave him 18 TDs, matching Sharpe’s team record in 1994.


CINCINNATI — Baltimore used a club-record 404 yards rushing against the Bengals (4-11-1) to clinch a playoff spot behind Lamar Jackson’s three touchdown passes. Jackson also became the first NFL quarterback to rush for more than 1,000 yards in two consecutive seasons.

He has run or passed for at least one touchdown in 36 straight starts, the longest active streak in the NFL.

The Ravens (11-5) rolled up 525 total yards, and the 404 rushing yards were the most surrendered by a Bengals defense. Rookie J.K. Dobbins rushed for 160 yards and two touchdowns, including a 72-yard scoring romp in the third quarter.

Baltimore won its fifth straight game and advanced to the postseason for a third consecutive season.


CLEVELAND — The Browns qualified for the playoffs for the first time since 2002 by surviving a late Pittsburgh rally.

Cleveland (11-5) nearly blew a 15-point lead in the fourth quarter, but stopped Pittsburgh’s 2-point conversion attempt and then recovered an onside kick with 1:22 left to hold on.

A week of COVID-19 disruptions concluded in celebration as the Browns ended what had been the NFL’s longest postseason drought. Their reward: Another game against the AFC North champion Steelers, in Pittsburgh next weekend.

Nick Chubb had a touchdown run, Baker Mayfield threw a TD pass and the Browns hung on as Mason Rudolph brought back the Steelers (12-4), who rested quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and several other starters after clinching the division last week.


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Josh Allen and Buffalo placed an emphatic stamp on a breakout season with a rout of Miami in a game that helped knock the Dolphins (10-6) out of the playoffs.

Miami’s postseason hopes ended when the Indianapolis Colts beat Jacksonville later in the day. The Bills will host the Colts next week.

Allen threw three touchdown passes and Isaiah McKenzie scored three times, including returning a punt return 84 yards. The Bills (13-3) clinched the AFC’s No. 2 playoff seed in completing a season in which they matched a single-season record for wins and won their first division title in 25 years.


TAMPA, Fla. — Tom Brady threw for 399 yards and four touchdowns to finish with a Tampa Bay single-season record 40 scoring passes in his first season with the Bucs, who clinched the fifth seed in the NFC.

Brady joined Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, Peyton Manning and Dan Marino as the only players with multiple seasons of at least 40 TD passes. Rodgers has done it three times, the others twice.

The victory, which means the Bucs (11-5) will face NFC East champion Washington on the road in the club’s first postseason game in 13 years, may have come with a steep cost. Star receiver Mike Evans was carted to the locker room with a left knee injury.

Matt Ryan completed 29 of 44 passes for 265 yards and two TDs for Atlanta (4-12).


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Drew Brees threw for 201 yards and three touchdowns, New Orleans intercepted five passes and the Saints wrapped up the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs.

The Saints will host seventh- seeded Chicago in the wild-card round next weekend.

Ty Montgomery ran for 105 yards on 18 carries for the Saints (12-4), who became the first team to sweep the NFC South by going 6-0 since the division was formed in 2002.

Carolina’s Teddy Bridgewater was benched midway through the third quarter after throwing his second interception in the end zone into double coverage. He went 13-for-23 for 176 yards before being replaced by P.J. Walker, who was intercepted three times.

The Panthers (5-11) were also without their top two running backs Christian McCaffrey and Mike Davis because of injury and rushed for just 74 yards.


INDIANAPOLIS — Jonathan Taylor rushed for a franchise-record 253 yards and two scores, capping the Colts’ playoff- clinching victory with a 45-yard touchdown run with 3:35 to go.

Philip Rivers threw for another score and Indianapolis’ defense shut out Jacksonville over the final quarter to help preserve the victory.

Indianapolis (11-5) is in the postseason for the first time since 2018. The seventh-seeded Colts face Buffalo on the road.

Jacksonville (1-15) lost its final 15 games and will have the No. 1 overall draft pick in April.


DENVER — Darren Waller caught Derek Carr’s 2-point conversion pass with 24 seconds left, and Las Vegas rallied despite committing four turnovers.

The Broncos (5-11) reached the Las Vegas 45-yard line with nine seconds left and Brandon McManus’ 63-yard field-goal try was blocked by Maxx Crosby, who also blocked McManus’ record 70-yard attempt on the last play of the first half.

Josh Jacobs’ 1-yard TD run capped a seven play, 77-yard drive for the Raiders (8-8), who snapped a nine-game losing streak in season finales.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Justin Herbert threw for 302 yards and accounted for four touchdowns against a team of mostly Chiefs backups, and Los Angeles cruised.

Kansas City (14-2) had already wrapped up the No. 1 seed and the AFC’s lone first-round bye, so coach Andy Reid chose rest over reps by sitting quarterback Patrick Mahomes, safety Tyrann Mathieu and several of his best players.

The Chargers (7-9) won four straight to close the year, but coach Anthony Lynn’s future is still in doubt after they missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year.


GLENDALE, Ariz. — Russell Wilson connected on two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to Tyler Lockett and Seattle rallied to beat San Francisco and end the season on a four-game winning streak.

Seattle (12-4) had a chance to earn the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs but stayed at No. 3 after New Orleans and Green Bay both won.

The Seahawks will host the division rival Los Angeles Rams in the wild-card round next weekend.

The 49ers (6-10) were eliminated from playoff contention a few weeks ago.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Cam Newton threw for three touchdowns and caught one himself for New England (7-9), which snapped a three-game losing streak.

Newton finished 21-of-30 passing for 242 and rushed 11 times for 79 yards.

Sam Darnold was 23-for-34 for 266 yards, a touchdown and two second-half interceptions for the Jets, who fired coach Adam Gase after the game. Gase went 9-23 with New York, including an 0-13 start that was the worst in franchise history.


DETROIT — Kirk Cousins threw for 405 yards and three touchdowns, lifting Minnesota.

The Vikings (7-9) failed for the fourth time in a decade to make two straight trips to the playoffs.

The Lions (5-11) lost their last four games and eight of 10 after going into November with a .500 record under former coach Matt Patricia.

Detroit’s defense broke franchise records by allowing 519 points and 6,716 yards, breaking marks set by its winless team in 2008 and ranking among the worst in NFL history.


INGLEWOOD, Calif. — John Wolford passed for 231 yards and rushed for 56 more in his NFL debut, and Los Angeles qualified for the playoffs with the win over Arizona (8-8).

Troy Hill returned an interception 84 yards for a touchdown to lead yet another dominant defensive performance by the Rams (10-6), who earned their third postseason berth in four years under coach Sean McVay.

The Rams would have gotten into the playoffs even with a loss because Green Bay beat Chicago.

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