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For the first time in 25 years, the Buffalo Bills are the AFC East champions. They clinched the division, and their second straight playoff berth, with a 48-19 win in Denver on Saturday. The loss eliminates the 5-9 Broncos from playoff consideration.
The last time the Bills won the division is also the last year the franchise won a playoff game as they beat Miami in the Wild Card before losing to Pittsburgh in the divisional round. Last year, they fell to the Houston Texans in overtime in the playoffs.
On Saturday, quarterback Josh Allen was dominant with 359 passing yards and four total touchdowns. Wideout Stefon Diggs caught 11 passes for 147 yards and set a new franchise record for receptions in a season before leaving injured late in the game.
With the Bills clinching the division, it snaps a streak of 11 straight AFC East titles for the New England Patriots. The Patriots can be eliminated from the playoff race on Sunday with a loss if the Baltimore Ravens also win.
Packers Win Again
It wasn’t a vintage Green Bay performance on offense, but the Packers improved to 11-3 with a 24-16 win over the Carolina Panthers Saturday night. The Packers led 21-3 at halftime before letting Carolina back into the game as the offense stalled in the second half.
But at the end of the night, the Packers won their fourth in a row and still control their own destiny for the No. 1 seed and a bye in the NFC playoffs.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers threw for a season-low 143 yards, but he did pick up his league-leading 40th touchdown pass of the season. The opening-drive pass to tight end Robert Tonyan made Rodgers the first in NFL history to have three seasons of at least 40 touchdown passes.
Rodgers threw for 40 touchdowns in 2016 and had a career-high 45 in his 2011 MVP season. He ran for a touchdown as well, while running back Aaron Jones tallied 145 yards on the ground with a touchdown.
Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford is now expected to play Sunday against Tennessee as he recovers from rib and thumb injuries.
Meanwhile, Philadelphia cornerback Darius Slay did not travel with the team to Arizona due to a concussion. The Cardinals (-6.5) sit in the final NFC playoff spot at 7-5, while the Eagles trail Washington by 1.5 games at 4-8-1.
The Patriots (+1) will play without running back Damien Harris (ankle) on Sunday in Miami. Wide receiver Donte Moncrief (thigh) will also miss the game for New England.
The Houston Texans (+7) will face the red-hot Indianapolis Colts without running back David Johnson (neck), cornerback John Reid (neck) and cornerback Phillip Gaines (knee). The Colts are tied for first in the AFC South at 9-4 with the Titans.
The Baltimore Ravens (-13) activated wide receivers Marquise Brown and Miles Boykin from the reserve/COVID-19 list as they prepare to host the 1-12 Jacksonville Jaguars. At 8-5, the Ravens are tied with Miami for the final spot in the AFC playoff picture.
For Monday’s game, the Cincinnati Bengals (+12.5) will start quarterback Ryan Finley in Pittsburgh after Brandon Allen was ruled out with a knee injury. The Steelers have running back James Conner listed as questionable with a quad injury.