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Chiefs reach NFL playoffs with win, Cowboys advance despite defeat

Patrick Mahomes threw for two touchdowns and ran for another on Sunday as the Kansas City Chiefs clinched an eighth straight NFL playoff berth.

Jerick McKinnon’s 26-yard touchdown run in overtime gave the Chiefs a hard-fought 30-24 victory at league-doormat Houston, clinching Kansas City’s seventh straight AFC West division title.

Mahomes completed 36-of-41 passes, including 20 in a row to finish the game, for 336 yards without an interception and ran for 33 yards to spark a second-half comeback.

“We’ll enjoy it, then we will get right back to it,” Mahomes said. “We’ll go back and watch some film. We’ve got to get better and better as we try to work our way into the playoffs.”

Mahomes was concerned about two lost fumbles and 10 penalties for 102 yards against a Texans team that fell to 1-12 with one draw.

“Guys had to continue to battle,” Mahomes said. “We hurt ourselves a lot. We’ve got to cut out the penalties, cut out the turnovers and be cleaner or there are going to be a lot more battles for us.”

The Chiefs followed the Philadelphia Eagles, San Francisco 49ers, Buffalo Bills and Minnesota Vikings into the post-season, and the Dallas Cowboys also advanced with a little help from the New York Giants.

Dallas missed a chance to clinch a playoff spot by losing 40-34 at Jacksonville on a 52-yard overtime interception return touchdown by the Jaguars’ Rayshawn Jenkins.

The Cowboys lost another chance to reach the playoffs when Detroit edged the host New York Jets 20-17 on Jared Goff’s 51-yard touchdown pass to Brock Wright with 1:49 to play.

But the Cowboys claimed a spot when the New York Giants beat the Washington Commanders 20-12 in an NFC East division battle that capped the day’s action.

The Eagles improved the NFL’s best record to 13-1 with a 25-20 triumph at Chicago.

Jalen Hurts ran 17 times for 61 yards and three touchdowns while also throwing for 315 yards as Philadelphia won despite three turnovers.

“There was so much that we overcame. We persevered,” Hurts said. “It was ugly at times but we found a way. Great teams find a way.

“We stuck together. There was adversity. We turned it over. We gave them some things. When it mattered most, we found a way.”

Bengals beat Bucs

In a showdown of division leaders, Joe Burrow threw for four touchdowns and the Cincinnati Bengals won 34-23 at Tampa Bay.

A sixth consecutive victory put the Bengals at 10-4, one game ahead of Baltimore atop the AFC North, while Tom Brady’s Buccaneers fell to 6-8, one game atop the rest of the NFC South.

Seven-time Super Bowl champion Brady fell to 89-1 in home games when his team led by 17 or more points.

Two Brady touchdown passes helped lift the Bucs ahead 17-0, but then Brady made four consecutive turnovers — twice on lost fumbles plus two interceptions — and Cincinnati scored the next 34 points.

Burrow answered with touchdown passes of three yards to Tyler Boyd, five yards to Tee Higgins, eight yards to Ja’Mar Chase and 12 yards to Mitchell Wilcox.

The wildest ending came in Las Vegas, where New England tried a rugby-style lateral on the last play of regulation in a deadlocked game.

An errant backward toss went to Raiders’ defender Chandler Jones and he ran 48 yards with the fumble recovery to give Vegas a 30-24 victory.

Cameron Dicker kicked a 43-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to give the Los Angeles Chargers a 17-14 victory over visiting Tennessee, trimming the Titans’ AFC South lead over Jacksonville to one game.

New Orleans edged visiting Atlanta 21-18 while Pittsburgh won 24-16 at Carolina and host Denver defeated Arizona 24-15 in matchups of clubs with losing records.


Standings provided by Sofascore

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