HOUSTON — Peyton Manning passed for 400 yards and his fourth touchdown of the contest established the new NFL single-season record of 51 passing scores as visiting Denver knocked off Houston 37-13 Sunday to clinch the AFC West and earn a first-round playoff bye.
Manning threw three fourth-quarter touchdown passes, with the record-breaker being a 25-yard strike to tight end Julius Thomas with 4:28 remaining. Eric Decker caught 10 passes for 131 yards and two touchdowns to become the fifth member of the Broncos (12-3) to score 10 or more touchdowns this season and Demaryius Thomas had eight catches for 123 yards and one touchdown.
Houston (2-13) extended its franchise-worst losing streak to 13 and clinched the worst record in the NFL.
Giants 23, Lions 20: Josh Brown kicked a 45-yard field goal in overtime, and the New York Giants handed the reeling Detroit Lions their third consecutive loss, 23-20 at Ford Field.
New York forced overtime when safety Will Hill intercepted a deflected pass from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and returned it 38 yards for a touchdown with less than five minutes left in regulation.
Giants quarterback Eli Manning completed 23 of 42 passes for 256 yards and a touchdown. He didn’t have his favorite target, wide receiver Victor Cruz, who underwent knee surgery earlier in the week.
Detroit running back Joique Bell gained 91 yards on 20 carries and scored a touchdown. He also caught 10 passes for 63 yards. Stafford completed 25 of 42 passes for 222 yards but was intercepted twice and did not throw for a touchdown.
Bills 19, Dolphins 0: Fred Jackson rushed for 111 yards and a touchdown and host Buffalo recorded a season-high seven sacks to deal a significant blow to Miami’s postseason aspirations.
Thad Lewis (15-for-25, 193 yards) was economical en route to defeating his hometown team for the second time this season. C.J. Spiller added 77 yards and Dan Carpenter kicked four field goals against his former club as the Bills (6-9) completed a season sweep of the Dolphins (8-7) and posted consecutive victories for the first time since Sept. 16-23, 2012.
Cowboys 24, Redskins 23: DeMarco Murray recorded his second touchdown by catching a 10-yard pass from Tony Romo with 1:08 remaining in the fourth quarter as visiting Dallas overcame a late nine-point deficit to set up a date at Philadelphia next week for the NFC East title.
Murray made his first career touchdown reception to cap the nine-play, 87-yard drive. Dallas (8-7) forced a turnover on downs to snap a two-game skid and hand the reeling Redskins (3-12) their seventh straight loss.
Tony Romo (226 yards, two TDs) ignited the Cowboys on their final scoring drive with a 51-yard pass to Terrance Williams and a 17-yard toss to Dez Bryant.
Steelers 38, Packers 31: Rookie Le’Veon Bell rushed for 124 yards and a touchdown and Ben Roethlisberger passed for two touchdowns and rushed for another as visiting Pittsburgh held on to keep its slim playoff hopes alive.
Roethlisberger finished 16-of-28 for 167 yards with an interception and Antonio Brown caught six passes for 105 yards for the Steelers, who are a game behind Baltimore and Miami for the final AFC wild card.
Eddie Lacy rushed for 84 yards and two touchdowns before leaving with an ankle injury for the Packers (7-7-1), who will be eliminated from the playoffs if Chicago wins at Philadelphia on Sunday night. Matt Flynn was 21-of-39 for 232 yards with a touchdown and an interception.
Cardinals 17, Seahawks 10: Carson Palmer threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd with 2:13 remaining as Arizona ended Seattle’s 14-game home winning streak.
Jay Feely kicked three field goals and the Cardinals (10-5) allowed just 192 yards while winning for the seventh time in eight games. Palmer matched a career worst with four interceptions but came up with a solid throw to Floyd down the left sideline and Rashard Mendenhall ran in the two-point conversion as Arizona kept its playoff hopes alive.
Russell Wilson was just 11-of-27 passing for 108 yards as the Seahawks (12-3) were limited to nine first downs while posting a season-low point total.
Panthers 17, Saints 13: Cam Newton hit Domenik Hixon for the winning score with 23 seconds left as Carolina stunned visiting New Orleans and clinched a playoff spot with its 10th win in 11 games.
Newton finished 13-of-22 for 181 yards with a touchdown and an interception and DeAngelo Williams rushed for 67 yards and a score for the Panthers (11-4), who can win the NFC South and claim the No. 2 seed with a win at Atlanta next week. The Panthers sacked Drew Brees a career-high six times with Luke Kuechly (24 tackles, INT), Thomas Davis (14 tackles, INT) and Greg Hardy (three sacks) leading the strong defensive effort.
Bengals 42, Vikings 14: Andy Dalton threw four touchdown passes, including a pair to A.J. Green, as host Cincinnati clinched its third consecutive playoff berth and won the AFC North.
Jermaine Gresham and Mohamed Sanu also hauled in scoring tosses while BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for a TD for the Bengals (10-5). Dalton completed 27-of-38 passes for 366 yards, joining Carson Palmer as the only quarterbacks in team history to reach the 4,000-yard plateau in a season.
Matt Cassel was 13-of-27 for only 114 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Vikings (4-10-1), who at 0-7-1 went winless on the road for the third time in club history.
Colts 23, Chiefs 7: Donald Brown compiled 110 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns as visiting Indianapolis forced four turnovers in an impressive win over Kansas City.
Andrew Luck was 26-of-37 for 241 yards with a 33-yard touchdown pass to Brown as the Colts (10-5) won for the fifth time in their last six trips to Kansas City. Brown also added a 51-yard touchdown run and Adam Vinatieri booted three field goals for Indianapolis.