Grief-stricken Chiefs end 9-game skid...Broncos, Falcons, Pats, Texans clinch playoff berthsUNDATED (AP) - The Kansas City Chiefs, stunned by the murder-suicide of teammate Jovan Belcher the day before, summoned the mental toughness to play an NFL game less than 24 hours later. And play they did. The Chiefs snapped their eight-game losing streak by beating visiting Carolina 27-21.
Brady Quinn threw for 201 yards and two TDs, and Jamal Charles ran for 127 yards to help Kansas City earn its second win in 12 games this season.
Coach Romeo Crennel says playing the game was absolutely the right thing to do, no matter the outcome.
In other Week 12 action:
-- The Denver Broncos wrapped up the AFC West with a 31-23 win over Tampa Bay that also clinched the NFC South title for Atlanta, which won on Thursday night. Peyton Manning threw three TD passes to give him 29 on the season, moving past Jake Plummer and John Elway for the most by a Denver quarterback in a single year.
--The Houston Texans clinched their second straight playoff berth and set a franchise record for wins in a season with a 24-10 road victory over the Tennessee Titans. The 11-1 Texans set a franchise record for victories, forcing six turnovers.
-- New England clinched their fourth straight AFC East title by beating Miami 23-16. Tom Brady threw his first interception in 203 pass attempts.
-- Baltimore could have clinched a playoff berth but fell at home to Pittsburgh 23-20. Third-string Steelers QB Charlie Batch helped Pittsburgh end a three-game losing streak in this rivalry.
-- Rookie QB Russell Wilson hit Sidney Rice on a 13-yard TD pass in overtime and Seattle stunned the Chicago Bears 23-17 at Soldier Field. The 8-4 Bears fell into a tie with Green Bay atop the NFC North.
-- Green Bay beat division-rival Minnesota 23-14 despite a monster afternoon by Adrian Peterson. The NFL's leading rusher ran for 210 yards, the most he's racked up since blowing out his knee last December.
-- Indianapolis improved to 8-4 in in command of an NFC wild-card playoff berth by outscoring Detroit 35-33 at Ford Field. Number-1 draft pick Andrew Luck threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Donnie Avery with no time left for the winning TD.
--Andy Dalton scrambled up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:11 left for the go-ahead score and the Cincinnati Bengals won their fourth straight game, 20-13 over San Diego. The 5-7 Bengals remained tied with Pittsburgh in the race for the AFC's second wild-card berth.
-- St. Louis now owns a win and a tie over NFC West-leading San Francisco. Greg Zuerlein booted a 53-yard field goal as time expired in regulation and then hit a 54-yarder with 26 seconds left in OT, lifting the Rams past the Niners 16-13. The rookie kicker is 7-of-11 from 50 yards and beyond.
--Third-string quarterback Greg McElroy led the Jets to their only points of the day and New York beat visiting Arizona 7-6. Backup QB Tim Tebow was inactive due to broken ribs.
-- Ryan Fitzpatrick directed five straight scoring drives in Buffalo's 34-18 victory over visiting Jacksonville that keeps the 5-7 Bills slim playoff hopes alive.
-- Brandon Weeden threw for a career-high 364 yards and a touchdown and the Cleveland Browns did just enough to snap a 12-game road losing streak by beating the Oakland Raiders 20-17.
-- In the Sunday night game, the Dallas Cowboys beat Philadelphia 38-33. The Cowboys kept their postseason hopes alive by reaching the .500 mark in handing Philadelphia its eighth straight defeat. Three touchdown passes for Tony Romo, who passed Troy Aikman to become the all-time Cowboys career leader with 168 TD passes. Romo completed 22 of 27 for 303 yards.
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Scoreboard Roundup - 12/18/14