Amendola ready for hits or handshakes when he faces Pats

DAVIE, Fla. (AP) — For any New England Patriots wanting to say hello Sunday to former teammate Danny Amendola, they most likely can find him running over the middle.

But they already knew that. That’s where Amendola made his living for five seasons with the Patriots, and that’s where he has made an impact so far with his new team, the Miami Dolphins.

The veteran receiver faces his former team this week and said he’s excited to return to Foxborough, although he’s not sure what form the reunion will take.

“They have a lot of great people there,” Amendola said. “I can’t sit down and talk to all of them. I’m going to just focus on the game, and whoever I get to hit or handshake, that’s fine with me.”

He’ll likely be hit, too. Amendola’s hallmark is pass patterns over the middle, where he willingly exposes his 5-foot-11, 190-pound frame to jarring blows.

He has been effective that way for the surprising Dolphins, leading them with 11 receptions. While he has totaled only 100 yards, he has drawn attention and opened up the flanks to speedier receivers Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant.

As a result, Ryan Tannehill ranks third in the NFL in yards per attempt, and the Dolphins this week have a chance at their first 4-0 start since 1995.

Tannehill loves Amendola’s contribution to the offense, and his willingness to work between the hash marks.

“It’s huge,” Tannehill said. “To have the confidence and the bravery — I don’t know the politically correct word to use here — to stand in there and make those catches in tight windows, knowing that you’re going to take some punishment afterward, is huge. Some guys can’t do it, but if you look at Danny, he’s a guy who has done it for his whole career and continues to do it. So, yes, it’s awesome to have. It definitely keeps the chains moving for us.”

Miami coach Adam Gase wanted to improve the culture of his team after going 6-10 last year. So the Dolphins parted with high-maintenance receiver Jarvis Landry and signed Amendola to a $12 million, two-year deal.

With 13 postseason games and two Super Bowl rings on his resume, Amendola has brought to Miami the anticipated intangibles, Gase said.

“Just seeing him every day in meetings doing things the way that he does them, and the intensity that he brings, and everything he does has been great for our guys to witness,” Gase said. “He has been a positive influence.”

Stills agreed.

“It takes a lot of heart and courage to go across the middle and take some of the hits he has taken throughout his career,” Stills said. “That energizes a group. It makes our group stronger. That’s a high bar he sets for the rest of us.”

If it annoys Amendola that the Patriots didn’t re-sign him, he’s won’t say so. Instead, he said his years with Tom Brady and Bill Belichick provided a lasting education.

“Some of the things I learned there I’ll carry with me forever,” Amendola said. “What I’ve learned most is how to prepare for a game, what goes into the weekly routine leading into a game. I’m just using my preparation skills against them now.”

When asked if Dolphins coaches picked his brain this week about the Patriots’ system, Amendola said: “They’re smart.”

Amendola’s smart, too, and knows better than to gloat about the struggling Patriots (1-2) trailing his new team in the AFC East standings.

“It’s early in the season,” he said. “Everybody in the whole league is trying to figure some things out and trying to get moving, including us.”

The Dolphins have already figured out they can get moving by throwing over the middle to Amendola.

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Cousins shines in Vikings’ 41-17 win over Dolphins

Cousins shines in Vikings' 41-17 win over Dolphins

The

Cousins shines in Vikings’ 41-17 win over Dolphins

The Minnesota Vikings set the tone in the first quarter with a three-touchdown outburst on the way to a 41-17 win over the visiting Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes to Stefon Diggs and Aldrick Robinson, and Dalvin Cook rushed for two scores and Latavius Murray ran for another.

Dan Bailey added two field goals for the Vikings, who tallied 418 yards of offense and broke a two-game losing streak.

Cousins passed for 215 yards, while Cook carried 19 times for a game-high 136 yards.

Minnesota’s defense smothered the Dolphins, holding quarterback Ryan Tannehill to just 108 passing yards and the team to 193 yards of total offense.

Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kalen Ballage scored touchdowns, and Jason Sanders added a 25-yard field goal for Miami, who lost for the sixth time in seven road games.

Miami running back Frank Gore left the game in the first quarter with a foot injury. X-rays were negative, and he did not return.

The Vikings scored on their first three drives against the Dolphins to put the visitors in a quick 21-0 hole.

Cousins tossed a 13-yard pass to Diggs, Cook dashed in on a 13-yard run and Murray scampered in from 18 yards to put the NFC North’s second-place team in great position to keep their playoff hopes alive.

However, Fitzpatrick stepped in to pick off a pass from Cousins, returning the interception 50 yards, and Sanders booted a 25-yard field goal to end the first half with Minnesota up 21-10.

Following a touchback on the second-half kickoff, Ballage, a rookie running back from Arizona State, broke through the right side and outran the Minnesota defense for a 75-yard score to put the Dolphins right back in it at 21-17.

The two teams traded punts on six of the next eight series, with Bailey kicking field goals of 36 and 34 yards to give the Vikings a 27-17 lead early in the fourth quarter.

Cousins gave Minnesota plenty of breathing room when he went over the top of the Miami secondary, finding Robinson on a 40-yard strike for a 34-17 advantage.

Cook’s 21-yard TD run midway through the fourth quarter rounded out the scoring.

–Field Level Media

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Colts hand Cowboys shutout loss

Colts hand Cowboys shutout loss

Marlon Mack rushed 27

Colts hand Cowboys shutout loss

Marlon Mack rushed 27 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns Sunday as the Indianapolis Colts ended the Dallas Cowboys’ five-game winning streak in emphatic fashion with a 23-0 shutout at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Adam Vinatieri added three field goals for Indianapolis (8-6), which remains in contention for the AFC’s second wild-card spot. The Colts and Baltimore are tied at 8-6, a half-game ahead of Tennessee, pending the outcome of its game at the New York Giants.

Dallas (8-6) could have wrapped up the NFC East title with a win but will have to wait for a Week 16 home game with Tampa Bay. The Cowboys were shut out for the first time since Nov. 16, 2003, when they fell 12-0 at New England.

Ezekiel Elliott rushed 18 times for 87 yards for Dallas, but quarterback Dak Prescott and wide receiver Amari Cooper were kept in check by Indianapolis’ defense. Cooper caught only four passes on seven targets for 32 yards, while Prescott was 24 of 39 for 206 yards and a late interception.

Mack put the Colts ahead 7-0 with 6:09 left in the first quarter on a 1-yard scoring run, capping a 44-yard, eight-play drive. That came after the Cowboys’ Brett Maher had a 48-yard field goal blocked and recovered by Darius Leonard at the Dallas 44. Leonard’s return for a touchdown was overturned on replay review.

Vinatieri converted a 43-yard field goal with two seconds remaining in the half for a 10-0 halftime advantage. Indianapolis made it 17-0 on the first drive of the second half, Mack rushing 6 yards to cap a 75-yard march at the 11:23 mark of the third quarter.

Vinatieri added 44- and 23-yard field goals to cap the scoring. The Colts’ defense limited Dallas to 292 total yards and notched three sacks of Prescott. The Cowboys also hurt themselves with nine penalties for 74 yards.

Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck completed 16 of 27 passes for 192 yards. Wide receiver T.Y. Hilton caught five of those passes for 85 yards.

–Field Level Media

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Trubisky-led Bears beat Packers to clinch division

Trubisky-led Bears beat Packers to clinch division

Mitchell Trubisky completed

Trubisky-led Bears beat Packers to clinch division

Mitchell Trubisky completed 20 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chicago Bears clinched their first NFC North division title since 2010 with a 24-17 win over the visiting Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon.

Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton each hauled in touchdowns for the Bears, and Jordan Howard scored on the ground. Chicago (10-4) snapped a five-game skid against Green Bay and clinched its first division crown at home since 2006.

Aaron Rodgers completed 25 of 42 passes for 274 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Jamaal Williams scored the lone touchdown for Green Bay (5-8-1), which dropped to 1-1 under interim head coach Joe Philbin and was eliminated from postseason contention.

Chicago scored the go-ahead touchdown to make it 21-14 with 10:16 left in the fourth quarter. Trubisky fired a spiral toward the left side of the end zone for Burton, who hauled in the 13-yard pass for his career-high sixth touchdown.

A 24-yard field goal by Cody Parkey increased the Bears’ lead to 24-14 with 6:43 to play.

Packers kicker Mason Crosby trimmed the deficit to 24-17 with a 45-yard field goal with 11 seconds remaining. However, Chicago recovered the onside kick to seal the victory.

Green Bay erased an 11-point halftime deficit and evened the score at 14 with 4:10 to go in the third quarter. As starting running back Aaron Jones watched from the sideline with an ice pack on his right knee, Williams rushed for a 10-yard touchdown. Rodgers found Davante Adams for a two-point conversion moments later.

Chicago opened the scoring with 2:08 left in the first quarter. Howard sprinted 9 yards up the middle for his sixth rushing touchdown of the season and his first since Nov. 4.

Green Bay pulled within 7-3 on a 41-yard field goal by Crosby with 7:27 remaining in the second quarter.

The Bears made it 14-3 with 30 seconds left before halftime. Trubisky fired a short pass to Cohen, who sprinted toward the end zone and switched the ball from his right hand to his left hand as he was being shoved out of bounds. The ball crossed over the front pylon for Cohen’s fifth receiving touchdown this season and seventh score overall.

A 43-yarder by Crosby sliced Green Bay’s deficit to 14-6 with 9:26 remaining in the third quarter.

–Field Level Media

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Edwards helps Ravens dispatch Bucs, 20-12

Edwards helps Ravens dispatch Bucs, 20-12

Edwards helps Ravens dispatch Bucs, 20-12

Gus Edwards rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown, and the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20-12 on a cold and rainy Sunday in Baltimore.

The Ravens (8-6) remain in control of the second AFC wild-card spot and in contention for the AFC North crown.

Baltimore rushed for 242 yards to become the first team since the 1976 Steelers with five straight games with 190 or more rushing yards. Edwards carried 19 times in his third 100-yard game of the season.

Lamar Jackson ran for 95 yards and completed 14 of 23 passes for 131 yards and one touchdown.

Jameis Winston completed 13 of 25 passes for 157 yards and one interception for Tampa Bay (5-9). Peyton Barber rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown. Mike Evans had four catches for 121 yards.

The Ravens took the second-half kickoff and quickly increased their 10-9 lead to 17-9. Jackson completed a pass for 17 yards and had runs of 14 yards and 22 yards, the latter to the 16-yard line. Two plays later, Edwards scored from 10 yards out.

Trailing 20-12 in the fourth quarter, Tampa Bay drove to the Baltimore 33, but Winston’s pass was incomplete on fourth-and-4 with 7:12 remaining.

Baltimore took over and ran the ball 12 straight times for 57 yards to run out the clock.

The game began in a driving rain that slowed both offenses.

Late in the first quarter, Jackson fumbled an exchange with Edwards, and the ball was recovered at the Tampa Bay 49 by Lavonte David. Winston soon passed to Evans for 23 yards, and Peyton Barber scored from 3 yards out, but the point-after attempt failed.

The Ravens immediately answered with a 16-play, 73-yard drive that ended when Jackson and Chris Moore combined for a 5-yard touchdown on a shovel pass.

The teams traded field goals before halftime and the Ravens led 10-9.

–Field Level Media

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Redskins score as time expires, defeat Jaguars

Redskins score as time expires, defeat Jaguars

In a game

Redskins score as time expires, defeat Jaguars

In a game lacking offense, the visiting Washington Redskins put together two late scoring drives and got a Dustin Hopkins field goal as time expired to earn a 16-13 victory over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The win ended a four-game losing streak for Washington (7-7) and keeps the Redskins alive in the NFC playoff picture.

In his first NFL start since 2011, Redskins quarterback Josh Johnson was 16-of-25 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown. He led a 68-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter to tie the game at 13 when he hit Jeremy Sprinkle on a 6-yard TD pass.

Washington got the ball back six plays later when Fabian Moreau intercepted Jaguars quarterback Cody Kessler at the Redskins’ 29-yard line and returned it to the Washington 45 with 2:41 to play.

Johnson then drove the Redskins to the Jaguars’ 19-yard line, and Hopkins delivered his 36-yard field goal to win the game.

Kessler had just 57 yards passing, competing 9 of 17 attempts, as the Jaguars (4-10) lost for the ninth time in the past 10 games. Kessler had 68 rushing yards on six carries. The Jaguars had just 192 yards of total offense.

The Jaguars’ only touchdown came on special teams when Dede Westbrook scored on a 74-yard punt return just four seconds before halftime. It gave Jacksonville a lead that lasted until the Redskins tied it on Johnson’s only TD pass with 5:47 left in the game.

The Redskins finished with 245 yards of total offense against a strong Jaguars defense after collecting just 74 yards in the first half.

Hopkins also had a 33-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 46-yard field goal to give the Redskins a 3-0 lead in the first quarter. Jaguars kicker Kai Forbath had field goals of 41 and 33 yards.

After opening the season 6-3, the Redskins were able to halt their freefall and get back to .500. Washington’s struggles grew after quarterbacks Alex Smith and Colt McCoy saw their seasons end with leg injuries and Mark Sanchez was ineffective.

The Redskins four-game skid was their longest since 2012. The Jaguars finished the home portion of their schedule at 3-5.

–Field Level Media

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Falcons roll to easy win over Cardinals

Falcons roll to easy win over Cardinals

Falcons roll to easy win over Cardinals

Linebacker Deion Jones began a 26-point first-half outburst with a 41-yard interception return for touchdown and the Atlanta Falcons ended their five-game losing streak with a 40-14 win over the visiting Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.

With the Falcons trailing 7-0, Jones snagged an errant Josh Rosen pass and returned it for a score and sparked Atlanta to a 26-7 halftime lead. Atlanta, which began the day with only 11 takeaways, got two others on Brian Poole’s interception and Grady Jarrett’s strip sack, one of six sacks on the day.

Atlanta (5-9) was led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who was 22-for-36 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran three times for 18 yards and one touchdown.

The Falcons found their long-lost running game. Tailback Tevin Coleman rushed 11 times for a career-best 145 yards and one touchdown. He had a career-long 65-yard run.

Ryan connected with seven different receivers, with Julio Jones catching six passes for 82 yard and one touchdown and Calvin Ridley grabbing five passes for 42 yards.

Rosen suffered a long afternoon. The rookie was 13-for-22 for 132 yards and two interceptions. He was lifted midway in the fourth quarter for backup Mike Glennon.

Arizona (3-11) had trouble moving the ball all day. David Johnson led the team with 33 yards rushing on 11 carries. Larry Fitzgerald caught seven passes for 82 yards.

Arizona scored first, finishing an eight-play drive with Johnson’s 1-yard run and forced the Falcons to go three-and-out on the ensuing possession.

That’s when the momentum quickly switched to the Atlanta side. On the second play of the drive, Rosen fired a pass in the right flat that was intended for Johnson. But Jones came up with the interception and went 41 yards for a touchdown.

From that point it was all Atlanta. The Falcons added a 22-yard field goal from Matt Bryant, a 1-yard run by Ryan, a 33-yard field goal by Bryant and 21-yard pass from Ryan to Julio Jones for a 26-7 halftime lead.

The Falcons tacked on a touchdown on a 43-yard run from Coleman and a 5-yard touchdown pass from Ryan to Justin Hardy in the second half.

The Cardinals scored with 3:14 left when Glennon threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Trent Sherfield.

–Field Level Media

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Allen, Bills squeak by Lions, 14-13

Allen, Bills squeak by Lions, 14-13

Allen, Bills squeak by Lions, 14-13

Josh Allen threw for 204 yards with a touchdown pass and a scoring run to lead the Buffalo Bills in a 14-13 victory over the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Orchard Park, N.Y.

The Bills rookie quarterback completed 13 of 26 passes without a turnover and notched his second fourth-quarter comeback. He gained 16 yards on nine carries, giving him 351 rushing yards over his past four games.

Robert Foster caught four passes for 108 yards and the go-ahead touchdown as the Bills (5-9) snapped a two-game losing streak. The undrafted rookie has surpassed 100 receiving yards in three of five games since being called up from the practice squad.

Matt Stafford threw for 208 yards and a touchdown, Kenny Golladay caught seven passes for a career-high 146 yards, Theo Riddick rushed for 47 yards and Zach Zenner contributed for 45 yards and a rushing touchdown, as Detroit (5-9) lost for the third time in four games and was officially eliminated from playoff contention.

The Bills’ rushing attack — ineffective for most of the season outside of Allen’s scrambles — was further depleted by injury.

Marcus Murphy rushed for 35 yards in the first half before leaving with an arm injury, and practice-squad call-up Keith Ford (46 yards) missed time in the third quarter after hurting his leg. Buffalo was already without Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy (hamstring) and primary backup Chris Ivory (shoulder).

Wide receiver Isaiah McKenzie returned after being carted off the field with a non-contact leg injury sustained on a punt return in the third quarter and finished with career highs in receptions (six) and yards (53).

Allen’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Foster put the Bills ahead with 10:26 left in the fourth quarter.

Matt Prater missed a 48-yard field goal attempt for the Lions with 5:50 remaining. The Lions also squandered a point following their first touchdown drive when a bad snap forced holder Sam Martin to throw the ball away.

Detroit led 13-7 at halftime after scoring touchdowns on consecutive drives in the second quarter.

Golladay exceeded his previous career high with 115 receiving yards in the first half. He hauled in a 31-yard pass on the first play of a 75-yard drive that ended with Stafford’s 4-yard scoring pass to Andy Jones. On Detroit’s next series, Golladay wrestled a near interception away from Bills cornerback Levi Wallace for a 24-yard gain and caught a 40-yard pass to set up Zenner’s 1-yard touchdown plunge.

Buffalo took a brief 7-6 lead midway through the second quarter when Allen sprinted to the pylon for a 3-yard score to cap an 87-yard drive.

–Field Level Media

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Henry dominates as Titans shut out Giants

Henry dominates as Titans shut out Giants

Henry dominates as Titans shut out Giants

Derrick Henry followed up a record-setting performance Sunday afternoon by gaining 170 yards and scoring on a pair of short touchdown runs, as the Tennessee Titans recorded a 17-0 victory over the New York Giants in East Rutherford, N.J., who were eliminated from postseason contention.

A week after setting a franchise record with 238 yards in a Thursday night game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Henry recorded his second 100-yard game of the season and fourth of his career as the Titans emphasized the run while playing through a driving rainstorm.

Henry scored on a fourth-and-goal with 2:43 left in the first quarter, and then scored again with 2:20 remaining in the third. Henry’s 11th rushing touchdown of the season occurred shortly after the Titans forced a turnover.

On third-and-10 with 5:16 remaining in the third, Eli Manning was strip-sacked by Kamalei Correa, and Jurrell Casey recovered it to give Tennessee the ball at the Giants’ 14.

Henry’s second-most productive day of his three-year career helped the Titans (8-6) win their third straight game. Tennesee entered the game as one of four 7-6 teams vying for the sixth seed along with Baltimore, Miami, and Indianapolis. Baltimore and Indianapolis also won, while Miami lost.

Henry set a career-high with 33 carries and has 408 yards in his last two games. He also became the sixth player in franchise history to total at least 10 rushing touchdowns in a season.

Marcus Mariota spent most of the game handing it off the Henry, finishing 12-of-20 passing for 88 yards.

Ryan Succop added a 22-yard field goal with 5:06 remaining in the game after missing a 48-yard field-goal attempt in the opening quarter.

The Titans maintained a one-sided advantage in possession, holding the ball for 35:21. They converted 14 of 22 first downs on the ground, went 5 for 14 on third downs and posted their first shutout since Dec. 25, 2000, against Dallas.

Manning finished 21-of-44 passing for 244 yards and an interception. Rookie Saquon Barkley was held to 31 yards on 14 carries and recorded his second-lowest rushing total of the year after four consecutive 100-yard games.

The Giants (5-9) had won four of their last five games but could never develop a consistent rhythm while playing without Odell Beckham Jr., who missed his second straight game with a quadriceps injury. New York was shut out at home for the first time since Dec. 15, 2013 against Seattle.

–Field Level Media

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Packers RB Jones (knee) ruled out

Packers RB Jones (knee) ruled out

Green Bay Packers running

Packers RB Jones (knee) ruled out

Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones left Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears in the first half with a right knee injury and was ruled out.

Jones left midway through the Packers’ second possession of the game and was seen icing his knee on the sideline. The team ruled him out shortly after halftime.

The second-year back had four carries for 8 yards before departing. He entered Sunday as the Packers’ leading rusher with 720 yards and eight touchdowns on the season, and he had scored in five straight games.

Jones also entered ranking second in the NFL with 5.58 yards per carry this season.

Jamaal Williams, the only other active running back on the team’s roster Sunday, took over and scored on a 10-yard carry in the third quarter.

–Field Level Media

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Steelers RB Conner ruled out vs. Patriots

Steelers RB Conner ruled out vs. Patriots

Steelers RB Conner ruled out vs. Patriots

Pittsburgh Steelers running back James Conner has been ruled out with a sprained ankle and won’t play in a key AFC matchup Sunday afternoon against New England.

The second-year back was downgraded Saturday from questionable to doubtful. The team officially ruled Conner out about 90 minutes before game time. He was limited in practice Friday.

He did not play last week in a loss to Oakland.

Running backs Jaylen Samuels and Stevan Ridley will run the ball in his place.

Conner has 1,376 yards from scrimmage for the Steelers in 2018. He became the team’s No. 1 running back amid the holdout of All-Pro LeVeon Bell, who did not report to the team this season.

Also inactive for Pittsburgh are quarterback Mason Rudolph, cornerback Brian Allen, safety Marcus Allen, linebacker Olasunkanmi Adeniyi, defensive end L.T. Walton and tackle Zach Banner.

Inactive for the Patriots are defensive tackle Danny Shelton, defensive ends Keionta Davis and Derek Rivers, defensive backs Duke Dawson and Obi Melifonwu, offensive lineman James Ferentz and tight end Jacob Hollister.

–Field Level Media

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Bears S Jackson sprains ankle, status unclear

Bears S Jackson sprains ankle, status unclear

Chicago Bears

Bears S Jackson sprains ankle, status unclear

Chicago Bears safety Eddie Jackson sprained his right ankle late in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s win over the Green Bay Packers, head coach Matt Nagy told reporters.

Nagy added that the team will know more in the next 24-48 hours, but it’s unclear if Jackson will miss significant time. With the win, the Bears officially wrapped up the NFC North title, but they still appear unlikely to claim a first-round bye in the playoffs.

Jackson was hurt while sliding to the turf after intercepting Aaron Rodgers — ending Rodgers’ NFL-record streak of 402 consecutive pass attempts without an pick — with just over three minutes left and the Bears leading by 10. Jackson’s ankle bent awkwardly and he was seen in a walking boot in the locker room after the game.

Jackson, 26, had been questionable for Sunday’s game after missing Friday’s practice with a shin injury.

The second-year man has five interceptions, 13 passes defensed and three defensive touchdowns (two on interception returns, one on a fumble return) this season as a key part of the Bears’ defense.

Jackson has seven interceptions and five defensive touchdowns in 29 career games.

–Field Level Media

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Bengals end 5-game losing streak with win over Raiders

Bengals end 5-game losing streak with win over Raiders

Bengals end 5-game losing streak with win over Raiders

Joe Mixon ran for two touchdowns and Cincinnati converted two fourth-down conversions that led to two first-half touchdowns, and the Bengals defeated the Oakland Raiders 30-16 on Sunday in the Bengals’ final home game of the season, and perhaps Marvin Lewis’ final home game as head coach.

Rumors have circulated for weeks that Lewis’ 16th season as head coach of the Bengals will be his last. The Bengals have been hurt by injuries and have 14 players on injured reserve.

That mattered little on Sunday.

After trailing by 17 in the first half, the Raiders got within one score in the fourth quarter, but Cincinnati answered the challenge.

Daniel Carlson’s 40-yard field goal with 5:09 left made the score 23-16 and gave the Raiders momentum.

Cincinnati’s Alex Ericson returned the ensuing kickoff 77 yards. Two plays later, Mixon scampered off the right end to clinch for a 15-yard score to clinch the win for the Bengals.

The Bengals (6-8) played inspired ball as they snapped a five-game skid. In addition to the normally conservative Lewis gambling on fourth down, the Bengals harassed Oakland quarterback Derek Carr, sacking him five times and recovering two fumbles.

The Raiders (3-11) couldn’t get their offense untracked. In their first five possessions, they punted three times and fumbled twice. Not having his starting guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson didn’t help Carr.

Carr finally got the offense revved up on the Raiders’ sixth possession. He completed 4 of 4 passes for 73 yards and got the Raiders on the board with a 1-yard lob to tight end Lee Smith.

On the touchdown to Smith, Carr set a new Raiders’ record for consecutive pass attempts without throwing an interception at 278.

The Bengals started their next drive inside Oakland territory for the third time in the half after the kickoff and a penalty. The drive stalled and Randy Bullock, on his birthday, connected on a 38-yard field goal.

Cincinnati quarterback Jeff Driskel was making just his third NFL start in place of Andy Dalton, who tore a thumb ligament against Cleveland in Week 11. Driskel completed only 14 of 33 attempts for 130 yards and one touchdown.

Mixon rushed 27 times for 129 yards.

Carr completed 21 of 38 pass attempts for 263 yards.

–Field Level Media

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Bears LT Leno proposes to girlfriend after win

Bears LT Leno proposes to girlfriend after win

Chicago Bears left tackle

Bears LT Leno proposes to girlfriend after win

Chicago Bears left tackle Charles Leno popped the question to his girlfriend following Sunday’s win over the Green Bay Packers, which clinched the team’s first AFC North title since 2010.

Leno got on a knee and proposed to his girlfriend, Jennifer Roth, at midfield soon after the game ended, and she said yes. Leno told reporters afterward that he had intended to propose soon, but the importance of Sunday’s game accelerated his plans.

“It was coming soon, but once I found out we could clinch this week, and I was like, ‘I have to speed things up. I have to speed up the process,'” he said. “I kind of planned it earlier in the week.”

“… She was surprised. She was shaking, she was crying. Right now, I guarantee she is bawling. That’s all I wanted to do.”

So where did the 6-foot-3, 306-pounder keep the ring during the game?

“I had it my sock,” Leno joked, before adding, “I’m just kidding. I can’t say that. It was in really safe place.”

Bears head coach Matt Nagy told reporters he knew the proposal was coming, as Leno had asked him for permission beforehand.

Sunday marked Leno’s 58th consecutive start for the Bears, all at left tackle. The 27-year-old, who was a seventh-round pick in 2014, is in the first year of a four-year, $37 million extension signed in August of 2017.

–Field Level Media

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NFL roundup: Bears pick off Rodgers, take NFC North

NFL roundup: Bears pick off Rodgers, take NFC North

NFL roundup: Bears pick off Rodgers, take NFC North

Mitchell Trubisky completed 20 of 28 passes for 235 yards and two touchdowns, and the Chicago Bears clinched their first NFC North division title since 2010 with a 24-17 win over the visiting Green Bay Packers on Sunday afternoon.

Tarik Cohen and Trey Burton each hauled in touchdowns for the Bears, and Jordan Howard scored on the ground. Chicago (10-4) snapped a five-game skid against Green Bay and clinched its first division crown at home since 2006.

Aaron Rodgers completed 25 of 42 passes for 274 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Jamaal Williams scored the lone touchdown for Green Bay (5-8-1), which dropped to 1-1 under interim head coach Joe Philbin and was eliminated from postseason contention.

Bears safety Eddie Jackson ended Rodgers’ NFL-record streak of consecutive passes without an interception at 402 when he picked off a pass in the end zone intended for Packers tight end Jimmy Graham with three minutes to play.

Colts 23, Cowboys 0

Marlon Mack rushed 27 times for 139 yards and two touchdowns as host Indianapolis ended Dallas’ five-game winning streak in emphatic fashion with a shutout at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Adam Vinatieri added three field goals for Indianapolis (8-6), which remains in contention for the AFC’s second wild-card spot. The Colts, Baltimore Ravens and Tennessee Titans are tied at 8-6.

Dallas (8-6) could have wrapped up the NFC East title with a win but will have to wait for a Week 16 home game with Tampa Bay. The Cowboys were shut out for the first time since Nov. 16, 2003, when they fell 12-0 at New England.

Ravens 20, Buccaneers 12

Gus Edwards rushed for 104 yards and a touchdown as Baltimore topped Tampa Bay on a cold and rainy afternoon in Baltimore.

The Ravens (8-6) remain in control of the second AFC wild-card spot and in contention for the AFC North crown, rushing for 242 yards to become the first team since the 1976 Steelers with five straight games with 190 or more rushing yards.

Jameis Winston completed 13 of 25 passes for 157 yards and one interception for Tampa Bay (5-9). Peyton Barber rushed for 85 yards and a touchdown. Mike Evans had four catches for 121 yards.

Titans 17, Giants 0

Derrick Henry followed up a record-setting performance with 170 yards and a pair of short touchdown runs as Tennessee eliminated New York from postseason contention with a shutout in East Rutherford, N.J.

A week after setting a franchise record with 238 yards in a Thursday night game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Henry recorded his second 100-yard game of the season and fourth of his career as the Titans (8-6) entered the game as one of four 7-6 teams vying for the sixth seed along with Baltimore, Miami and Indianapolis. Baltimore and Indianapolis also won, while Miami lost.

The Giants (5-9) had won four of their last five games but could never develop a consistent rhythm while playing without Odell Beckham Jr., who missed his second straight game with a quadriceps injury. New York was shut out at home for the first time since Dec. 15, 2013, against Seattle.

Vikings 41, Dolphins 17

Minnesota set the tone in the first quarter with a three-touchdown outburst on the way to an easy win over visiting Miami.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins threw touchdown passes to Stefon Diggs and Aldrick Robinson, and Dalvin Cook rushed for two scores and Latavius Murray ran for another as the Vikings (7-6-1) set a season high in points scored.

Minkah Fitzpatrick and Kalen Ballage scored touchdowns, and Jason Sanders added a 25-yard field goal for Miami (7-7), which lost for the sixth time in seven road games.

Redskins 16, Jaguars 13

In a game lacking offense, visiting Washington put together two late scoring drives and got a Dustin Hopkins field goal as time expired to earn a win over disappointing Jacksonville.

The win ended a four-game losing streak for Washington (7-7) and keeps the Redskins alive in the NFC playoff picture.

In his first NFL start since 2011, Redskins quarterback Josh Johnson was 16-of-25 passing for 151 yards and a touchdown. Cody Kessler had just 57 yards passing as the Jaguars (4-10) lost for the ninth time in the past 10 games.

Falcons 40, Cardinals 14

Linebacker Deion Jones began a 26-point first-half outburst with a 41-yard interception return for a touchdown and Atlanta ended its five-game losing streak with a blowout over visiting Arizona.

Atlanta (5-9) was led by quarterback Matt Ryan, who was 22 for 36 for 231 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran three times for 18 yards and one touchdown. Tailback Tevin Coleman rushed 11 times for a career-best 145 yards and one touchdown. He had a career-long 65-yard run.

Rookie Josh Rosen suffered a long afternoon for the Cardinals (3-11). He was 13 for 22 for 132 yards and two interceptions, getting lifted midway in the fourth quarter for backup Mike Glennon.

Bills 14, Lions 13

Josh Allen threw for 204 yards and accounted for a touchdown with his arm and another with his legs to help Buffalo squeak by Detroit in Orchard Park, N.Y.

The Bills rookie quarterback completed 13 of 26 passes without a turnover and notched his second fourth-quarter comeback. He gained 16 yards on nine carries, giving him 351 rushing yards over his past four games as the Bills (5-9) snapped a two-game losing streak.

Matt Stafford threw for 208 yards and a touchdown, Kenny Golladay caught seven passes for a career-high 146 yards, Theo Riddick rushed for 47 yards and Zach Zenner contributed for 45 yards and a rushing touchdown, but Detroit (5-9) still lost for the third time in four games and was officially eliminated from playoff contention.

Bengals 30, Raiders 16

Joe Mixon ran for two touchdowns, Cincinnati converted two fourth-down conversions that led to two first-half touchdowns, and the Bengals defeated Oakland in the Bengals’ final home game of the season, and perhaps Marvin Lewis’ final home game as head coach.

Rumors have circulated for weeks that Lewis’ 16th season as head coach of the Bengals will be his last. Cincinnati (6-8) has been hurt by injuries, with 14 players — including Andy Dalton and A.J. Green — on injured reserve.

The Raiders (3-11) couldn’t get their offense on track. In their first five possessions, they punted three times and fumbled twice. Not having starting guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson didn’t help quarterback Derek Carr, as Bengals defensive tackle Geno Atkins had three sacks.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Flacco expected to change uniforms in 2019

Report: Flacco expected to change uniforms in 2019

The Baltimore Ravens

Report: Flacco expected to change uniforms in 2019

The Baltimore Ravens are expected to release or trade quarterback Joe Flacco this offseason, NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday morning.

Coach John Harbaugh announced earlier this week that rookie Lamar Jackson, who subbed for an injured Flacco the past four weeks, will start even though Flacco is recovered from the hip injury that sidelined him.

Flacco will be the backup quarterback for the first time in his 11-year career when the Ravens meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

The Ravens were 4-5 when Flacco was injured. Now, with a 3-1 record under Jackson, they are 7-6 and knocking on the door of a playoff berth.

Rapoport said Flacco, who turns 34 in January, is scheduled to make $18.5 million next season. He added they could release him and let him become a free agent, or they could try to trade him to a team of his choosing.

Several teams will be in the starting quarterback market and could have interest in Flacco. The Jacksonville Jaguars are expected to move on from Blake Bortles, the quarterback situation could be unsettled in places such as Tampa Bay, and if Alex Smith isn’t able to come back from a devastating leg injury, there could be a starting spot available just 45 minutes to the south in Washington.

On the season, Flacco has completed 61.2 percent of his passes for 2,465 yards with 12 touchdowns and six interceptions.

–Field Level Media

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Dolphins RB Gore carted off with ankle injury

Dolphins RB Gore carted off with ankle injury

Dolphins RB Gore carted off with ankle injury

Miami Dolphins running back Frank Gore suffered a left ankle injury Sunday against the Minnesota Vikings and will miss the rest of the game, the team announced.

Gore suffered the injury when he was tackled on a run in the first quarter. He was able to make it to the sidelines, but he later was carted to the locker room.

The veteran Gore has not missed a game since 2010, when he appeared in 11 games for San Francisco.

Rookie running back Kalen Bellage replaced Gore.

Coming into the game, Gore had gained 708 yards on the ground this season. Before his departure Sunday, he had run for 14 yards on five carries.

–Field Level Media

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Redskins QB Smith released from hospital

Redskins QB Smith released from hospital

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith is finally out of the

Redskins QB Smith released from hospital

Washington Redskins quarterback Alex Smith is finally out of the hospital after multiple surgeries to repair his broken right leg.

Smith underwent immediate surgery on Nov. 18 after incurring compound and spiral fractures to his tibia and fibula in the Redskins’ game against the Houston Texans and had been hospitalized since.

Sunday morning, his wife posted a photo to Instagram, showing Smith sitting by the family Christmas tree, his legs covered by a Redskins blanket.

“The last month has been a difficult ride. Our family is beyond happy to have this man with us and home,” Elizabeth Smith wrote. “This experience has given us great perspective and gratitude for all the people and blessings in our lives. We couldn’t have gotten through it without our amazing family, friends and community. A special thank you to the relentless doctors, nurses, techs, hospital administrators, the (owner Daniel) Snyder family and the Washington Redskins.”

Redskins head coach Jay Gruden has said that Smith did not suffer any ligament damage and would face a recovery of six to eight months. However, there were reports earlier this month that claimed an infection had led to Smith needing further surgeries and could jeopardize Smith’s chances of playing again.

The team requested privacy for Smith after those reports emerged.

Washington is on the hook for $41.8 million in dead cap space over the next two seasons for Smith if he can’t return from the injury.

Smith’s backup, Colt McCoy, broke his leg against the Philadelphia Eagles in Week 13, leaving the Redskins with journeymen Mark Sanchez and Josh Johnson as the team’s only options to end the season.

Smith, the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2005, will be 35 when the 2019 season begins. He was signed before the season to a four-year, $94 million extension.

–Field Level Media

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Bills RBs McCoy, Ivory out vs. Lions

Bills RBs McCoy, Ivory out vs. Lions

Bills RBs McCoy, Ivory out vs. Lions

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy and his backup, Chris Ivory, are both out for Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions, the team announced.

McCoy was held out of Wednesday’s practice and was a limited participant on Thursday and Friday. He was listed as questionable on the injury report entering the weekend.

McCoy hurt his hamstring in Sunday’s 27-23 loss to the New York Jets. The 30-year-old running back left the game after nine plays — he had one yard on two carries — on Buffalo’s opening drive and has struggled with leg muscle strains in recent seasons.

Ivory served as the Bills’ primary running back and finished the game with 42 yards on 12 carries.

Ivory also was listed as questionable this week with a shoulder injury, but he was a full participant in practice all week.

With the Bills’ top two backs out, Keith Ford and Marcus Murphy are the only active running backs for Sunday’s game. Ford was signed from the practice squad earlier this week.

McCoy has struggled in his 10th NFL season with just 145 carries for 479 yards and two scores.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Bills RB McCoy out vs. Lions

Report: Bills RB McCoy out vs. Lions

Report: Bills RB McCoy out vs. Lions

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy won’t play in Sunday’s game against the Detroit Lions, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

McCoy was held out of Wednesday’s practice and was a limited participant on Thursday and Friday. He was listed as questionable on the injury report entering the weekend.

McCoy hurt his hamstring in Sunday’s 27-23 loss to the New York Jets. The 30-year-old running back left the game after nine plays — he had one yard on two carries — on Buffalo’s opening drive and has struggled with leg muscle strains in recent seasons.

Chris Ivory served as the Bills’ primary ballcarrier and finished the game with 42 yards on 12 carries.

Ivory also was listed as questionable this week with a shoulder injury, but he was a full participant in practice all week.

McCoy has struggled in his 10th NFL season with just 145 carries for 479 yards and two scores.

–Field Level Media

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Report: Roethlisberger suffered cracked ribs, will play

Report: Roethlisberger suffered cracked ribs, will play

Report: Roethlisberger suffered cracked ribs, will play

The injury Pittsburgh quarterback Ben Roethlisberger suffered last week in a loss to the Oakland Raiders apparently was worse than originally thought, but it shouldn’t keep him from playing when the Steelers host the New England Patriots on Sunday.

Roethlisberger required a pain-killing injection to deal with a rib injury sustained in the second quarter last week. He returned to the game late in the fourth quarter.

Afterward, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger was dealing with bruised ribs.

But the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that Roethlisberger actually suffered cracked ribs vs. the Raiders, but an antiquated X-ray machine produced results that couldn’t be read, according to the team’s medical staff.

Roethlisberger said team doctors cleared him to play anyway, and his performance indicated he was fine. Roethlisberger wound up completing 25 of 29 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns.

Asked if there’s any reason to think he wouldn’t play against the Patriots, Roethlisberger said, “No, no, I don’t think so.”

Rapoport suggested Sunday that Roethlisberger might require another pain-killing injection, but he doubted the Steelers would hold him back.

“Wouldn’t be surprised if he has more, let’s say treatment like he did last week,” Rapoport wrote in a tweet. “He took a shot in the locker room and came back and then played. He should be fine going forward. But yes, unlike that X-ray machine, I can actually tell you, they were cracked.”

The Steelers have lost three consecutive games, and at 7-5-1, they hold a slim lead over the 7-6 Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North entering play Sunday.

–Field Level Media

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