Morning Sun

Bengals stop Chiefs, win AFC North


CINCINNATI » Evan Mcpherson kicked a 20-yard field goal as time ran out, and the Cincinnati Bengals earned their first AFC North title and postseason appearance in six years with a wild 3431 win over the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday.

Rookie Ja’marr Chase had a franchise-record 266 yards receiving and three touchdowns on 11 catches, Joe Burrow threw for 466 yards and four scores while outdueling Patrick Mahomes, and the Bengals rallied from three 14-point deficits against the AFC West champs.

Chase broke Jerry Butler’s NFL rookie record set for Buffalo against the Jets with 255 on Sept. 23, 1979.

Kansas City (11-5) had its eight-game winning streak ended and lost the top seed in the AFC to the Titans.

The Bengals’ winning drive was filled with drama.

On fourth-and-inches with under a minute left, the Bengals (10-6) went for a touchdown instead of calling on Mcpherson for a field goal and giving the Chiefs the ball back with a chance to win.

Burrow threw incomplete in the end zone, but Chiefs cornerback L’jarius Sneed was flagged for illegal use of hands. Backup quarterbac­k Brandon Allen was called on to kneel twice before Mcpherson came on for the winning kick.

Burrow was outstandin­g again, completing 30 of 39 attempts. He was sacked four times and hit at least six more times but was as accurate as ever, and Chase caught everything that was thrown near him.

Mahomes threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to give the Chiefs the early lead, but he didn’t get another one.

The Chiefs (11-5) led 140, 21-7 and 28-14 in the first half. They were ahead 28-17 at halftime before the Bengals began the latest of several second-half surges this season.


Antonio Brown was kicked off the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after a bizarre, shirtless exit from the field before Tom Brady coolly led the Bucs (12-4) on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes.

Coach Bruce Arians said after the game that Brown was off the team.

Brady connected with Cameron Brate on a 4-yard touchdown shortly after Brown’s exit, and the star quarterbac­k finished the Bucs’ rally with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Cyril Grayson with 15 seconds left.


Ryan Tannehill threw two touchdown passes as the Titans clinched their second straight AFC South title, snapping the Dolphins’ seven-game winning streak.

The Titans (11-5) won their second straight overall and third in four games to clinch their first back-toback division titles since the start of the AFL when this franchise was the Houston Oilers and won three straight Eastern Division championsh­ips. They also won 11 games for a second consecutiv­e season for the first time since 2002-03 — and currently are the AFC’S top seed after Kansas City lost at Cincinnati.


Kyler Murray threw two touchdown passes to Antoine Wesley. The outcome didn’t do much to change the races for the NFC’S No. 1 seed or the NFC West, but the Cardinals ended a three-game skid a week after backing into the postseason, and stopped the NFC East champion’s fourgame winning streak.

The Cardinals (11-5) are still a game behind the Los Angeles Rams in their division with LA rallying to beat Baltimore 20-19.


Justin Herbert threw for two touchdowns and set the franchise single-season record, while Andre Roberts returned a kick 101 yards for a score.

Los Angeles (9-7) is in the final wild-card spot but needs a win at Las Vegas next week to wrap up its first postseason berth since 2018.

49ERS 23, TEXANS 7

Rookie Trey Lance threw two touchdown passes in the second half of his second career start, and the 49ers closed in on a playoff berth.

Lance got the nod for the 49ers (9-7) for the first time since Week 5 with Jimmy Garoppolo sidelined by a thumb injury and overcame an intercepti­on in the first half to lead San Francisco to the win. The Niners can clinch their second playoff berth in five seasons under coach Kyle Shanahan with a loss by New Orleans or a win next week against the Rams.


Buffalo clinched a playoff berth when Devin Singletary scored two touchdowns rushing in the second half to make up for Josh Allen’s sloppiness.

The AFC East-leading Bills rallied to clinch their third consecutiv­e playoff spot. Buffalo (10-6) did so by beating the Falcons, coupled with the Baltimore Ravens’ 20-19 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.


Derek Carr directed Las Vegas to Daniel Carlson’s winning 33-yard field goal as time expired as the Raiders beat Jonathan Taylor and the Colts 23-20 to move one step closer to an AFC wild card.


New England returned to the playoffs when rookie quarterbac­k Mac Jones threw three touchdown passes and Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson rushed for two scores apiece.

The victory by the Patriots (10-6) snapped a twogame losing streak and gave Bill Belichick his 20th 10-win season as a head coach, tying Don Shula for the most in NFL history.


Jalen Hurts scrambled out of trouble while showing no ill effects from a recent ankle injury, Boston Scott rushed for two touchdowns, and the Eagles moved one step closer to the playoffs.


Matthew Stafford shook off three turnovers to guide a fourth-quarter rally that carried the Rams to their fifth straight victory.

Stafford threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Odell Beckham Jr. with 57 seconds left.


Alvin Kamara turned a short pass into New Orleans’ first touchdown in more than 11 quarters, Brett Maher kicked four field goals, and the Saints’ defense was dominant.


Robert Quinn broke Hall of Famer Richard Dent’s franchise single-season record with his 18th sack. Trevis Gipson added a career-high two sacks, and the Bears joined Green Bay as the only franchises with 800 victories counting the postseason.

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