Around The League: Week 17

News and notes from around the league from Week 17. Stars, records, milestones...


Saturday, Jan. 4

Kansas City at Indianapolis, 4:35 p.m. EST. The AFC rivals meet in the wild-card round two weeks after Colts beat the Chiefs 23-7 on the road to assure the Chiefs would be the No. 5 seed in the conference. AFC South champion Indianapolis then routed Jacksonville in the season finale.



Drew Brees, Saints, was 24 for 31 for 381 yards and four touchdowns in New Orleans' 42-17 win over Tampa Bay to earn a wild-card berth. Brees eclipsed 5,000 yards passing in a season for an unprecedented fourth time, finishing with 5,162 yards to go with 39 touchdowns.

Peyton Manning, Broncos, was 25 for 28 for 266 yards and four touchdowns before sitting out the seoond half of Denver's 34-14 win over Oakland. He finished the season with NFL records of 5,477 yards and 55 touchdown passes. A week after breaking the TD mark, Manning eclipsed Brees' record of 5,476 yards passing set in 2011.

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers, was 21 for 34 for 310 yards and two touchdowns in San Francisco's 23-20 win over Arizona to earn the No. 5 seed in the NFC. The 49ers will visit Green Bay in the wild-card round next weekend.

Aaron Rodgers, Packers, returned from a seven-game absence due to a broken left collarbone and was 25 for 39 for 318 yards and two touchdowns — including a 48-yard scoring pass to Randall Cobb in the final minute — to lift Green Bay to the NFC North title with a 33-28 win over Chicago.

Carson Palmer, Cardinals, was 28 for 49 for 407 yards and two touchdowns in Arizona's 23-20 loss to San Francisco.

Philip Rivers, Chargers, was 22 for 33 for 229 yards and three touchdowns in San Diego's 27-24 overtime win over Kansas City to earn the AFC's No. 5 seed.

Kyle Orton, Cowboys, was 30 for 46 for 358 yards and two touchdowns in Dallas' 24-22 loss to Philadelphia.

Chad Henne, Jaguars, was 30 for 51 for 331 yards and a touchdown in Jacksonville's 30-10 loss to Indianapolis.


LeGarrette Blount, Patriots, had 24 carries for a career-high 189 yards and two touchdowns, and also had two long kickoff returns in New England's 34-20 win over Buffalo.

Ryan Mathews, Chargers, had 24 carries for 144 yards in the Chargers' 27-24 overtime win against Kansas City.

LeSean McCoy, Eagles, had 27 carries for 131 yards and caught a 3-yard scoring pass in Philadelphia's 24-22 win over Dallas to earn the NFC East title.

Chris Johnson, Titans, had 27 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown in Tennessee's 16-10 win over Houston.

Matt Asiata, Vikings, had 14 carries for 115 yards in Minnesota's 14-13 win over Detroit in the final game at the Metrodome.

Matt Forte, Bears, had 22 carries for 110 yards and two touchdowns, and also had 47 yards receiving and a scoring catch in Chicago's 33-28 loss to Green Bay.

C.J. Spiller, Bills, had 19 carries for 105 yards in Buffalo's 34-20 loss to New England.

Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks, had 23 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown in Seattle's 27-9 win over St. Louis.


Demaryius Thomas, Broncos, had six receptions for 113 yards and two touchdowns in Denver's 34-14 win over Oakland.

T.Y. Hilton, Colts, had 11 receptions for 155 yards in Indianapolis' 30-10 win over Jacksonville.

Golden Tate, Seahawks, had eight receptions for 129 yards and a touchdown in Seattle's 27-9 win over St. Louis.

Jerrel Jernigan, Giants, had six receptions for 90 yards and a touchdown, and also ran twice for 57 yards and a TD in New York's 20-6 win over Washington.

Special Teams

Phil Dawson, 49ers, had three field goals, including the game-winner from 40 yards as time expired, to give San Franciso the No. 5 seed in the NFC with a 23-20 victory over Arizona. He also matched a career best with a 56-yarder to put the 49ers up 20-17 with 1:45 to go.

—LeGarrette Blount and Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots. Blount returned two kickoffs for 145 yards and Gostkowski kicked four field goals in New England's 34-20 win over Buffalo.

Rob Bironas, Titans, had three field goals, including a season-best 55-yarder in Tennessee's 16-10 win over Houston.


—Dre Kirkpatrick, Bengals, had two of Cincinnati's four interceptions, returning the second 21 yards for a touchdown in a 34-17 win over Baltimore.

Malcolm Smith, Seahawks, returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter to get Seattle started in a 27-9 win over St. Louis.

Greg Hardy and Melvin White, Panthers. Hardy had four of Carolina's nine sacks — both team records — in Carolina's 21-20 win over Atlanta. White had a 7-yard interception return in the second quarter for the Panthers' first touchdown.

Brandon Boykin, Eagles, intercepted Kyle Orton's pass with 1:49 left, preserving Philadelphia's 24-22 win over Dallas to win the NFC East title.


The San Diego Chargers are back in the playoffs after a three-year absence, securing the AFC's final berth with a 27-24 overtime win over Kansas City on Sunday. Nick Novak kicked a 36-yard field goal with 5:30 left in overtime to give the Chargers their only lead of the game, and they held the Chiefs on downs to win after Kansas City got into San Diego territory. The Chargers will visit AFC North champion Cincinnati next Sunday.

The Chiefs still earned the No. 5 seed and will visit AFC South champion Indianapolis on Saturday.

Phil Dawson kicked two field goals in the final 1:45, including the game-winning 40-yarder as time expired to lift San Francisco to a 23-20 victory over Arizona, giving the 49ers NFC's No. 5 playoff seed and a wild-card matchup against Green Bay next Sunday.

Aaron Rodgers fired a 48-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb in the final minute to give the Packers a 33-28 win over Chicago to capture the NFC North.

The other conference matchup will feature New Orleans visiting NFC East champion Philadelphia on Saturday night.


Peyton Manning had 266 yards passing in Denver's 34-14 win over Oakland to eclipse Drew Brees' NFL record with 5,477 yards. Manning also had four TD passes to give him 55, extending the single-season mark he set a week ago. He topped Brees' record of 5,476 yards, set in 2011. with a 5-yard scoring toss to Demaryius Thomas with 13 seconds left in the half to make it 31-0. ... Drew Brees had 381 yards passing in New Orleans' 42-17 win over Tampa Bay to eclipsed 5,000 in a season for an unprecedented fourth time. Brees finished the regular season with 5,162 yards to go with 39 touchdowns. ... Philadelphia's LeSean McCoy finished with 1,607 yards to become the first Eagles running back to win the rushing title since Hall of Famer Steve Van Buren in 1949.


Houston's 16-10 loss to Tennessee was the Texan's 14th straight after opening the season with two wins. The defeat gave Houston the No. 1 pick in next year's NFL draft. ... Washington's 20-6 loss to the New York Giants on Sunday was its eighth straight. The Redskins finished 3-13 a year after winning the NFC East. ... The Giants (7-9) won seven of their last 10 after starting 0-6.


Giants quarterback Eli Manning was knocked out of Sunday's 20-6 win over Washington after spraining his left ankle late in the first half. Manning started his 150th consecutive game, but was injured throwing an incomplete pass under pressure from defensive end Chris Baker. He was intercepted by Josh Wilson on the next play and limped off the field, heading directly to the locker room, ending his day at 10 of 24 for 152 yards and a touchdown, and his career-high and NFL-leading 27th interception. The Giants also lost receivers Rueben Randle (knee), Hakeem Nicks (ankle) and offensive tackle Will Beatty (broken leg) in the regular-season finale. The Redskins saw cornerback Josh Wilson (calf) and defensive end Jarvis Jenkins (head) leave the game. ... Seattle lost defensive tackle Brandon Mebane and tight end Luke Willson to injuries in a 27-9 win over St. Louis. Willson was taken off the field on a cart with 13 minutes remaining after suffering an injury to his lower left leg. He was placed in an air cast on the field and helped on to the cart after being tackled on a 4-yard reception. Mebane was announced as being out with a hip injury suffered in the second half. ... Cincinnati had to reconfigure its offensive line again after center Kyle Cook suffered a foot injury and tackles Anthony Collins and Whitworth hurt ankles. ... Indianapolis lost starting cornerback Vontae Davis with a groin injury, defensive lineman Aubrayo Franklin with a knee injury and linebacker Bjoern Werner with an ankle injury during the first half.


"We've been talking about this for a few weeks now and we'll get a chance to talk tomorrow (with team owner Dan Snyder) and I'll share that conversation with you." — Washington coach Mike Shanahan, on his future with the team after the Redskins (3-13) finished the season with their eighth straight loss, 20-6 to the New York Giants, just one year after winning the NFC East.

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