The last two division titles in the NFL went to the Tennessee Titans and the Washington Football Team, and they didn’t come easy on Sunday. Tennessee got a last-second field goal that bounced in off the upright to beat Houston, while Washington had to come from behind to beat a Philadelphia team that controversially benched Jalen Hurts in the fourth quarter.
Henry Runs Titans into Playoffs, History Books
In the Titans win, running back Derrick Henry became the eighth player in NFL history to rush for at least 2,000 yards in a season. He ran for 250 yards and two scores to lead the Titans to a 41-38 win and the AFC South title.
The Titans earned the No. 4 seed in the AFC Playoffs and will host the No. 5 Baltimore Ravens (-4) in the Wild Card game on Sunday. Last year the Titans upset the Ravens in Baltimore 28-12 in the AFC Divisional Round.
An Ugly Win Is Still A Win
Washington won the NFC East despite their 7-9 record after a 20-14 victory at Philadelphia Sunday night. This is the first time since 2015 the Washington Football Team has made the playoffs.
The story of the game was Philadelphia replacing Jalen Hurts with third-string quarterback Nate Sudfeld in the fourth quarter. Sudfeld hadn’t thrown a pass in the NFL since 2018, and his first attempt on Sunday was intercepted.
On the next possession, Sudfeld fumbled a snap, leading to a Washington field goal. From there, Washington ran down the clock and held on for a division-clinching win.
Washington is the No. 4 seed in the NFC and will host Tom Brady and the No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (-7) on Saturday.
Bears Clinch Despite Losing
The Chicago Bears again fell to their nemesis Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers on Sunday, but still clinched the NFC’s final playoff spot. Rodgers threw for four touchdowns and likely clinched the NFL MVP award in the 35-16 Packers win.
As the No. 7 seed, the Bears travel to No. 2 New Orleans (-8) on Sunday while the Packers have a bye as the NFC’s No. 1 seed. The Bears clinched because the Los Angeles Rams beat the Arizona Cardinals 18-7 without scoring an offensive touchdown. That win gave the Rams the No. 6 seed and a third matchup this season with NFC West rival Seattle (-5) on Saturday.
AFC Playoff Picture Finalized
With wins on Sunday, the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns, and Indianapolis Colts all finished 11-5 and clinched playoff spots. Meanwhile, the Miami Dolphins lost at Buffalo and missed out with a 10-6 record. With that win, the Bills clinched the No. 2 seed and opened at (-7) for Saturday’s home game against the Colts.
The No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers (-4) won’t keep quarterback Ben Roethlisberger on the bench Sunday night for the rematch against the Browns after holding him out of the Week 17 contest. The Kansas City Chiefs kept most of their starters on the bench Sunday and will have a bye at 14-2 as the No.1 seed in the AFC.
Adam Gase Fired
Not long after the New York Jets lost to the New England Patriots on Sunday, head coach Adam Gase was relieved of his duties. In two seasons with the Jets, Gase posted a 9-23 record, and this year, New York had 13 straight losses to begin the season.
Wins in Week 15 and 16 cost the Jets the number one overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. That pick now belongs to the 1-15 Jacksonville Jaguars, who relieved head coach Doug Marrone of his duties Monday morning.