Three teams make NFL playoffs with wild wins in final game

The Eagles and Packers went on the road Sunday and headed home with playoff berths. Philadelphia completed a terrific turnaround under new coach Chip Kelly by beating Dallas 24-22 to win the NFC East.

The Eagles and Packers went on the road Sunday and headed home with playoff berths.

Philadelphia completed a terrific turnaround under new coach Chip Kelly by beating Dallas 24-22 to win the NFC East.

Hours before, Aaron Rodgers played the role of returning hero, along with Randall Cobb, in Green Bay’s 33-28 victory at Chicago to capture the NFC North title.

The Eagles (10-6) will host New Orleans (11-5) on Saturday night. Green Bay (8-7-1) is home against San Francisco (12-4) on Sunday.

The wild-card round begins Saturday with Kansas City (11-5) at Indianapolis (11-5). The early game Sunday is San Diego (9-7) at Cincinnati (11-5).

Brandon Boykin’s interception in the final 2 minutes clinched Philadelphia’s win. One year after the Eagles finished 4-12, they won seven of their final eight games to win the division.

“A huge win for Philly, a huge win for us, just a great moment,” Boykin said.

Dallas (8-8) has lost three straight showdown finales for the NFC East title.

At Chicago, in his first game back from a broken left collarbone, Rodgers threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Cobb on fourth-and-8 with 38 seconds left for the go-ahead score.

Rodgers had been out since getting injured in a loss to Chicago on Nov. 4, and Cobb missed the previous 10 games with a knee problem. Still, the Packers edged the archrival Bears (8-8) for the division crown by winning three of their last four games.

“It’s big. Obviously, he is the best quarterback in the league,” said Packers receiver Jordy Nelson, who caught 10 passes for 161 yards. “To be gone for that many weeks and to play as well as he did — it was great to have him back.”

San Diego also finished off a rally to get into the post-season, beating short-handed Kansas City 27-24 in overtime for its fourth consecutive victory. After Miami and Baltimore lost earlier in the day, the Chargers rode Nick Novak’s 36-yard field goal with 5:30 left in OT to the sixth seed.

“We didn’t play our best game, but teams that are playoff teams find a way to win when you don’t play your best and that’s what we did today,” Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers said.

Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop was wide right on a 41-yard field goal to win it with 4 seconds left in regulation. Pittsburgh would have gotten the playoff spot over San Diego had Succop connected.

The Colts, winners of the AFC South, beat Jacksonville 30-10 on Sunday and will face a familiar opponent in the playoffs. They won 23-7 in Kansas City last weekend.

The defending NFL champion Ravens will stay home. The Bengals beat Baltimore 34-17, ensuring the Ravens (8-8) were eliminated once Pittsburgh (8-8) defeated Cleveland 20-7.

“Not going to the playoffs hurts,” running back Ray Rice said. “I’m not used to having this kind of time on my hands.”

Miami (8-8) lost to the New York Jets 20-7, putting the Steelers — who began the season 0-4 — in position to advance if San Diego slipped up at home against a team that rested 20 of 22 starters.

The Chargers nearly did, but survived.

AFC West champion Denver (13-3), the highest-scoring team in NFL history, earned the No. 1 seed in the conference by romping at Oakland 34-14. New England (12-4), the AFC East winner, will be the second seed and also have a bye next weekend. The Patriots beat Buffalo 34-20.

Carolina (12-4) won the NFC South and a first-round playoff bye with a 21-20 victory at Atlanta. The Saints got the final NFC wild card with a 42-17 rout of Tampa Bay.

“Now we can cross that goal off,” Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly said. “Now we can concentrate, get guys healthy and get ready to go.”

Already in the NFC playoffs were San Francisco, which won 23-20 at Arizona on Sunday, and Seattle (13-3), which secured the NFC West title and the conference’s top seed with a 27-9 win over St. Louis.

Baltimore made the playoffs in each of coach John Harbaugh and quarterback Joe Flacco’s first five seasons. The Ravens took the AFC North title last season on the way to beating the 49ers in the Super Bowl.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People board and leave at the Century Park light-rail transit station in Edmonton on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

‘Racism is a real problem:’ Growing number of attacks against Black Muslim women

Alberta Health Services declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Revera Aspen Ridge on Feb. 1. (Photo by Advocate staff)
Two COVID deaths linked to Revera seniors residence in Red Deer

35 active COVID cases at seniors residence

Red Deer musician Lorry Boschman has written a song about love in the time of COVID-19. Proceeds from his single, Romance during a Pandemic, will be donated to the local United Way. (Contributed photo).
Local musician records a song about love in the time of COVID-19 — for charity

Lorry Boschman will donate some proceeds to the United Way

Preliminary data shows Alberta’s suicide rate declined in 2020 — but some mental health critics say it’s too early to draw any conclusions since more dire pandemic impacts are only now being felt. (metrocreative stock)
Alberta’s suicide rate seems to have declined in 2020

But some experts say it’s too early to credit the pandemic

Red Deer Regional Hospital Centre can accommodate up to 20 patients requiring a ventilator, says Alberta Health Services.  File photo by Advocate staff
Opinion: UCP government reneging on Red Deer hospital funding

Another year, another Alberta budget and another blow to central Albertans. Budget… Continue reading

Seattle Storm guards Sue Bird, right, and Jordin Canada pose for photos Wednesday, March 3, 2021, on the roof of the Space Needle in Seattle after they raised a flag with the team's new logo on it. Bird re-signed with the Storm earlier in the week. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Sue Bird staying busy with 20th Seattle season on horizon

Lille players celebrate after Jonathan David scored his side's second goal during the French League One soccer match between Lille and Marseille at the Stade Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve-d'Ascq, France, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Michel Spingler)
David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

David scores 2 as Lille wins to stay two points clear of PSG

Canada defender Shelina Zadorsky, right, passes the ball in front of Argentina forward Sole Jaimes (9) during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women's soccer match, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. Alphonso Davies and Shelina Zadorsky have been named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Phelan M. Ebenhack
Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Davies, Zadorsky named Canada Soccer’s players of the month for February

Manchester United's Fred, left, and Crystal Palace's Jordan Ayew challenge for the ball during the English Premier League soccer match between Crystal Palace and Manchester United at Selhurst Park stadium in London, England, Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (Mike Hewitt/Pool via AP)
Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Grueling season starting to catch up with Man U, Leicester

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Gary Sanchez goes deep, Yankees hit three home runs to beat Blue Jays 4-1

Toronto Raptors guard Norman Powell (24) dunks as Detroit Pistons center Andre Drummond defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Detroit, Friday, Jan. 31, 2020. The undermanned Toronto Raptors, down five players and six members of their coaching staff due to health and safety protocols, are scheduled to host the Detroit Pistons in their first action since last Friday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Carlos Osorio
Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Powell, Lowry do their bit but undermanned Raptors beaten handily by the Pistons

Canada's Ghislaine Landry, left, runs past France players during the Women's Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco, Friday, July 20, 2018. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, grounded last year by the pandemic, will return for the women in May. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jeff Chiu
World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

World Rugby unveils condensed 2021 sevens schedule with Vancouver a question-mark

Most Read