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There were three NFL games on Saturday, and one playoff spot was clinched while one team was eliminated. Another got closer to locking up a spot, while a fourth lost control of its postseason destiny.
Brady Leads Buccaneers to Playoffs
In the first game of the day, Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers demolished the Detroit Lions 47-7 on the road. Brady threw for four touchdowns as the Bucs easily covered the 9.5-point spread.
Even backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert got in on the fun with two touchdown passes in the second half. With the win, the 10-5 Buccaneers are in the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2007, and they will be either the No. 5 or No. 6 seed, depending on how the NFC West finishes.
Tampa Bay does not have the tiebreaker against the Los Angeles Rams (9-5 before Sunday).
Brady's second touchdown pass of the day set a new Buccaneers single-season record, surpassing Jameis Winston's record of 33 set last season. Brady threw for 348 yards and four touchdowns and didn't play a snap in the second half.
Tampa Bay finishes the regular season next Sunday at home against the Atlanta Falcons.
Raiders Eliminated; Dolphins Closing In
In a back-and-forth, wild final four minutes, the Miami Dolphins defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 26-25 Saturday night. At 10-5, the Dolphins still control their own destiny for the postseason and will clinch with a Week 17 win at Buffalo.
The 7-8 Raiders, meanwhile, have been eliminated with Saturday's loss.
The Raiders led three different times in the fourth quarter but couldn't put the Dolphins away. A Jason Sanders field goal tied the game for Miami with 4:05 to play.
Derek Carr then hit Nelson Agholor for a long touchdown to put the Raiders up 22-16, but the extra point was missed. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who took over for Tua Tagovailoa, found running back Myles Gaskin for an answering score, and the Dolphins went up 23-22.
The Raiders used a pass interference penalty to get inside the red zone and an offsides call to convert a third and 1. But they had running back Josh Jacobs go down on the one instead of scoring and took a 25-23 lead on a field goal in the final 30 seconds.
Fitzpatrick completed a long sideline pass, and 15 yards were tacked on for a facemask allowing the Dolphins to kick the game-winning field goal with one second left.
The Raiders covered the two-point spread but were eliminated from the playoffs as a result.
Cardinals Fall, Lose Control of Final Spot
Playing at home, the Arizona Cardinals were in a great position to creep closer to the final playoff spot in the NFC on Saturday, especially against the banged up San Francisco 49ers. But San Francisco's third-string quarterback, C.J. Beathard, threw for two touchdowns, and the Niners won 20-12.
Backup running back Jeff Wilson Jr. tallied 183 yards for the Niners and added a receiving touchdown.
The loss drops the Cardinals to 8-7, and if the Chicago Bears win at Jacksonville on Sunday, they will leapfrog Arizona into the No. 7 seed. In that scenario, Arizona will have to beat the Los Angeles Rams next week on the road and root for the Bears to lose at home to the Green Bay Packers.