Miami Gardens, Fla. — The Buffalo Bills ended the longest current non-playoff drought in North American pro sports with a 22-16 victory Sunday at Miami and Cincinnati’s victory at Baltimore. The Bills hadn’t made the postseason since 1999.
Buffalo (9-7) will travel to Jacksonville next weekend in a wild-card game.
The Bills’ anxiety was compounded by the loss of 1,000-yard rusher LeSean McCoy with a right ankle injury. He was carted off the field in the third quarter.
The frustration of a disappointing season got the best of the Dolphins (6-10) with 6:21 left, when receiver Jarvis Landry, running back Kenyan Drake and offensive lineman Jake Brendel were ejected following a fight. Landry was cited for disrespecting an official, and Drake for throwing his helmet 20 yards in anger. Unsportsmanlike conduct penalties were called against both teams.
(At) New England 26, N.Y. Jets 6: Dion Lewis ran for a touchdown and caught a scoring pass, helping the Patriots clinch home-field advantage throughout the playoffs as the top seed in the AFC. The win clinched the seventh 13-win season for the Patriots (13-3), which is second in NFL history to San Francisco’s nine seasons. It was also Bill Belichick’s 250th career regular-season win, moving him into a tie with Tom Landry for third all-time among head coaches.
New England has defeated New York in four straight meetings, and the Patriots (13-3) haven’t lost to the Jets (5-11) at home during the regular season with Tom Brady starting since 2006. Brady’s 13th win as a starter this season tied him with Brett Favre for the most by a starting quarterback at age 40 or older.
(At) Tennessee 15, Jacksonville 10: Marcus Mariota threw a touchdown and used his legs to help the Titans end an eight-season playoff drought by clinching an AFC wild-card spot. The Titans (9-7) ended a three-game skid in a game they needed to win or get some help with losses elsewhere to advance. They also posted their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2007 and 2008.
Mariota ran a season-high 10 times for 60 yards, the biggest a 13-yard scramble on third-and-5 at the 2:00 mark. Mariota also threw for 134 yards.
(At) Tampa Bay 31, New Orleans 24: Jameis Winston threw for 363 yards, including a 39-yard scoring pass to Chris Godwin with nine seconds remaining, to help the Buccaneers stop a five-game losing streak. The playoff-bound Saints (11-5) entered the day hoping to clinch their first NFC South championship in six years. They wound up winning the title anyway, with Carolina (11-5) losing its regular season finale at Atlanta.
Trailing 24-23 with 1:58 remaining, Winston moved the Bucs (5-11) 95 yards in 11 plays for the winning TD.
San Francisco 34, (at) L.A. Rams 13: Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns to lead the San Francisco 49ers to their fifth straight victory, against a Rams team resting its big stars for the playoffs.
Kansas City 27, (at) Denver 24: Patrick Mahomes II made both his first NFL start and his first NFL relief appearance a success Sunday, and the Chiefs beat the Broncos on Harrison Butker’s 30-yard field goal as time expired. Starting in place of Alex Smith, Mahomes handed off a 24-10 lead to No. 3 QB Tyler Bray midway through the fourth quarter but came back with the score tied at 24 and less than three minutes left.
(At) L.A. Chargers 30, Oakland 10: Philip Rivers passed for 387 yards and three touchdowns, but the Chargers missed out on a playoff spot. Keenan Allen scored on a 27-yard fumble recovery and a 6-yard TD catch for the Chargers (9-7), who won six of their final seven games in their relocation season.
Arizona 26, (at) Seattle 24: Phil Dawson kicked four field goals, the last from 42 yards with 2:21 left, and Blair Walsh missed a 48-yard attempt with 32 seconds left. Seattle’s playoff hopes were dashed when Atlanta beat Carolina.
(At) N.Y. Giants 18, Washington 10: Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass in what might be his final game with the Giants and New York got a rare taste of winning. Manning threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Sharp and Orleans Darkwa rushed for a career-high 154 yards, including a 75-yarder on the second play from scrimmage.
(At) Minnesota 23, Chicago 10: Minnesota’s defense turned in another dominant performance and Latavius Murray rushed for 111 yards and two touchdowns, helping the Vikings secure a first-round bye for the playoffs. Stefon Diggs caught six passes for 65 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings (13-3), who reached 13 wins for only the second time in the history of the 57-year-old franchise after a second straight opponent without an offensive touchdown.
Mitchell Trubisky finished his rookie season with a turnover-free game, completing 20 of 36 passes for 178 yards. He failed, however, to guide the Bears (5-11) across the goal line despite 11 plays from the 10-yard line or closer in the fourth quarter.
Dallas 6, (at) Philadelphia 0: Dak Prescott tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler early in the fourth quarter and the Cowboys prevented the Eagles from getting a franchise-record 14th win. The Eagles (13-3) rested several starters.
(At) Indianapolis 22, Houston 13: Jacoby Brissett threw for one touchdown and Marlon Mack ran for another. The win ended the longest losing streak of Chuck Pagano’s six seasons, but it didn’t keep him from being fired.
Cincinnati 31, (at) Baltimore 27: The Ravens were ousted from the playoff hunt in stunning fashion when Andy Dalton threw a 49-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Boyd with 44 seconds left, giving the Bengals the win.