Saturday’s roundup: Raiders win game, lose Carr
Oakland, Calif. — When the final whistle blew, both the Indianapolis Colts and Oakland Raiders felt like they lost.
The scoreboard told the story for the Colts, who were eliminated from playoff contention with the 33-25 loss to Oakland on Saturday.
The pain for the Raiders might have been even worse. Quarterback Derek Carr broke his right leg in the fourth quarter, sending Oakland into its first postseason in 14 years with backup quarterback Matt McGloin at the helm.
“It’s tough right now,” center Rodney Hudson said. “Everybody is going to be down right now, but the important thing is for everyone to be there for Derek.”
Carr had been the major reason for the turnaround in Oakland after 13 straight seasons without a playoff berth. He threw three TD passes on Saturday to give him 28 on the season, and his seven fourth-quarter comebacks are the biggest driver behind Oakland’s success.
He appeared to be on his way to another big win for the Raiders (12-3) when everything changed on one play in the fourth quarter, with Oakland leading 33-14.
Carr was twisted to the ground on a sack by Trent Cole and stayed there for several minutes in pain as trainers came out to treat him. With the crowd chanting “M-V-P! M-V-P!” Carr limped off the field without putting any pressure on his right leg. He was then taken away on a cart for X-rays, which showed the break in his right fibula. Carr will have surgery on Sunday.
“I wish I had that play back,” left tackle Donald Penn said. “I’ve been great all year, I slip up on one play. I’m mad at myself. I’ll be good tomorrow but I’m mad at myself. I wish there was something else I could do. I’ve never had a quarterback get hurt in my career. I’m upset right now.”
Andrew Luck then tried to lead a comeback as the Colts rallied from 26 points down to within eight with 2:33 left. But McGloin completed a 19-yard pass to Amari Cooper on third-and-8 on the next drive, and the Raiders ran out the clock.
Indianapolis (7-8) will miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997-98, right before Peyton Manning arrived.
“It’s pretty much unacceptable,” linebacker Erik Walden said. “An organization like this, it’s like a requirement to get to the postseason, and we haven’t been able to do that, this year and last year.”
(At) Houston 12, Cincinnati 10: Tom Savage threw for 176 yards in his first career start and the Bengals missed a field goal as time expired, giving the Texans their second straight AFC South title Saturday night. The Bengals converted a fourth down play to keep a drive alive, but four plays later, former Texan Randy Bullock’s 43-yard attempt sailed wide right to secure Houston’s victory.
Savage helped the Texans (9-6) rally for a win over the Jaguars last week after taking over when Brock Osweiler was benched after throwing interceptions on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter.
The Texans knew they were in the postseason with a win after the Titans fell to the Jaguars earlier Saturday. But it didn’t look good for them early with Savage completing just two passes for 13 yards and them trailing 3-0 at halftime.
Savage was able to move the offense much better in the second half, but Houston still struggled in the red zone.
The Texans had a first down at the 6 early in the fourth quarter before the offense stalled and they settled for a 22-yard field goal that put them up 6-3. Quintin Demps got his career-high fifth interception when he picked off Andy Dalton’s pass two plays later, but Houston couldn’t move the ball and had to punt it away.
Cincinnati (6-8-1) regained the lead when Dalton found Brandon LaFell on a short pass and he took it 86-yards for a touchdown that made it 10-6 with about 11 minutes left.
(At) Jacksonville 38, Tennessee 17: Blake Bortles’ best game of the season helped the Jaguars end a nine-game losing streak.
Bortles threw for 325 yards and a touchdown, and was on the receiving end of a 20-yard trick play that sealed the win with 5:25 remaining. Rookie Jalen Ramsey returned an interception 30 yards on the ensuing play to set off a raucous — and long-awaited — celebration in Jacksonville.
Bortles and the Jaguars (3-12) played inspired football and won for the first time this season at EverBank Field. Maybe they rallied around interim coach Doug Marrone. Maybe they played for ultra-popular ex-coach Gus Bradley, who was fired six days earlier . Maybe they just wanted to avenge an embarrassing loss to the Titans (8-7) on national television in late October.
It was a debacle for the Titans, who had won three in a row and needed a victory to set up an AFC South title game next week against Houston. Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota appears to be done for the season, leaving late in the third quarter with an air cast on his right ankle.
Atlanta 33, (at) Carolina 16: The Falcons are back on top of the NFC South, capturing their first division title since 2012.
Matt Ryan threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns, Tevin Coleman had 135 yards from scrimmage, including a pivotal 55-yard fourth-quarter TD run.
The Falcons then had to wait about 3 ½ hours to celebrate when the Saints defeated the Buccaneers to seal Atlanta’s first playoff appearance in four years.
The Panthers (6-9) were officially eliminated from playoff contention after making the Super Bowl last season.
Ryan torched the Panthers for the second time this season. He threw for 503 yards and four TDs in Atlanta’s Week 4 win over Carolina at the Georgia Dome, a victory that set the stage for the Falcons’ playoff push.
(At) New England 41, N.Y. Jets 3: Tom Brady passed for 214 yards and three touchdowns , and the Patriots moved a step closer to securing home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.
Malcolm Butler added two interceptions and a fumble recovery , and LeGarrette Blount had a pair of 1-yard touchdown runs.
New England (13-2) took advantage of New York miscues all day, scoring on three of its first four possessions.
The Jets (4-11), who have lost six of seven, had four turnovers.
The only really good piece of news for the Jets came before the game, when Todd Bowles rejoined the team and coached from the sideline a day after a medical scare sent him to the hospital.
Miami 34, (at) Buffalo 31, OT: Jay Ajayi ran for 206 yards and broke loose for a 57-yarder in overtime to set up Andrew Franks’ 27-yard field goal.
In winning for the ninth time in 10 games, the Dolphins (10-5) inched closer to their first playoff berth since 2008. Miami can secure the AFC’s final wild-card berth as early as Sunday if Denver loses to Kansas City.
Denver needs to win its final two games to make the postseason, and Baltimore is eliminated from the wild-card race and can only make the playoffs as the AFC North champion.
The Bills (7-8) were eliminated from contention and extended the NFL’s longest active playoff drought to 17 seasons. Buffalo’s drought is tied for the fifth longest in NFL history, and is the longest since the New Orleans Saints went 20 years before qualifying for the playoffs for the first time in franchise history in 1987.
Ajayi is the fourth player in NFL history to have at least three games with 200 rushing yards in a season. Earl Campbell, OJ Simpson and Tiki Barber are the others.
Franks forced overtime by hitting a career-best 55-yard field goal with 6 seconds remaining.
Arizona 34, (at) Seattle 31: The Arizona Cardinals continue to give the Seattle Seahawks headaches at home. This time, it will likely end up costing Seattle a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Chandler Catanzaro hit a 43-yard field goal on the final play.
Seattle rallied from a 31-18 deficit, scoring two touchdowns inside the final three minutes to pull even 31-31. Jimmy Graham had a 37-yard touchdown catch and Paul Richardson’s 5-yard TD with 1:06 left tied it. Steven Hauschka missed the extra point that could have given Seattle the lead, but it didn’t matter in the end.
Arizona went 50 yards in the final minute and Catanzaro’s kick was good, delivering a huge blow to Seattle’s chances at the No. 2 seed in the NFC.
It was the Seahawks’ first home loss this season; all NFL teams have now been beaten in a home game.
Washington 41, (at) Chicago 21: Kirk Cousins threw for a touchdown and ran for two more, and Washington gave its fading playoff hopes a boost.
DeSean Jackson added 114 yards receiving, and Washington (8-6-1) intercepted Matt Barkley five times.
Eighth in the NFC behind Green Bay and Tampa Bay coming in, Washington scored 14 points in the first quarter after struggling early in recent games, and never really was threatened by the Bears (3-12).
Cousins, shaky against Carolina, was 18 of 29 for 270 yards. He threw a 17-yard touchdown to Chris Thompson in the first quarter and scored on a 9-yard run in the second. He also pushed in from the 1 late in the third to make it 31-14.
San Francisco 22, (at) Los Angeles 21: Colin Kaepernick threw a 10-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds remaining and scrambled for a go-ahead 2-point conversion as the 49ers overcame a 14-point deficit to end a 13-game losing streak.
Kaepernick rolled to his right while looking for a receiver before tucking the ball and barreling into the end zone. That gave the 49ers a sweep in the renewal of the instate rivalry with the Rams’ return to Los Angeles this season.
Kaepernick threw for 257 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and rushed for a touchdown for the 49ers (2-13).
Kaepernick found Rod Streater on a slant pattern to cap a 10-play, 73-yard drive to make it 21-20.
Jared Goff was intercepted by Rashard Robinson with 16 seconds left as the Rams again squandered a late two-score lead for the second time in their past three home games.
Goff, the No. 1 overall draft pick, has lost all six of his starts for Los Angeles (4-11).