Bills rout Bears to clinch AFC East | CBC Sports

Devin Singletary and James Cook ran for long touchdowns in the third quarter, and the Buffalo Bills clinched the AFC East title by beating the Bears 35-13 on Saturday in one of the coldest games played in Chicago.

Josh Allen ran for a TD and threw for another in the game’s closing minutes, breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Dan Marino for the most touchdowns in a player’s first five NFL seasons. It highlighted an otherwise subpar outing that helped the Bills (12-3) secure their third straight division title with their sixth win in a row.

Buffalo remained on track for the No. 1 seed in the AFC. The Bills remain tied with West leader Kansas City, which beat Seattle, but Buffalo owns the head-to-head tiebreaker after defeating the Chiefs in October.

Chicago’s Justin Fields threw for 119 yards and a touchdown, but ran for a season-low 11 yards after joining Michael Vick and Lamar Jackson as the only QBs with 1,000 yards rushing last week.

The temperature at kickoff was 9 with a minus-12 wind chill — only three degrees warmer than the record low for a Bears home game. It was Buffalo’s coldest road game by temperature since at least 1967.

A small gathering of bundled-up fans watched as the Bears grabbed a halftime lead. But Chicago (3-12) matched a franchise record with its eighth straight loss.

Singletary scored on a 33-yard run on the opening drive of the second half and finished with 106 yards in the game. Cook added 99, including a 27-yarder in the third following a fumble by the Bears’ David Montgomery, giving the Bills a 21-10 lead.

Chicago’s Cairo Santos kicked a field goal early in the fourth quarter that Nicholas Morrow set up by picking off an ill-advised pass. Allen scored from the 4 with just under four minutes remaining and threw a 13-yard TD to Dawson Knox with about a minute to play.

Allen finished with 172 yards, two TD passes and two interceptions while facing a short-handed secondary. He broke the tie with Marino when he hit Gabe Davis with a 19-yarder in the first quarter for his 172nd scoring pass.

Vikings prevent Giants from clinching playoff spot

Greg Joseph kicked a career-long 61-yard field goal as time expired, giving the Minnesota Vikings a 27-24 victory that prevented the New York Giants from clinching a playoff spot on Saturday.

T.J. Hockenson had a career-high 13 catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns from Kirk Cousins, who threw for a third score to Justin Jefferson with 3 minutes to go that was set up by a blocked punt and gave the Vikings (12-3) an eight-point lead.

Saquon Barkley’s 27-yard rush right up the middle on fourth-and-2 for the Giants (8-6-1) with 2:01 left and the ensuing 2-point conversion pass from Daniel Jones to Daniel Bellinger tied it up.

But despite a 7-yard sack by safety Landon Collins at the Minnesota 41 that forced the Vikings to burn their final timeout with 19 seconds on the clock, Cousins found Jefferson for yet another clutch third-down completion on a bubble screen. And the NFL’s leading receiver had room to take it all the way before being tripped after a 17-yard gain.

Cousins spiked the ball, and on came Joseph for the on-target kick that had plenty of distance to spare to send the Vikings into a familiar sideline frenzy after yet another tense victory.

The Giants got the help they needed with losses by NFC pursuers Detroit and Seattle, but they didn’t seal the deal with the win to complete the equation of securing a wild-card spot.

Bengals hold off Patriots rally

Joe Burrow threw three touchdown passes and the Cincinnati Bengals forced a late turnover in the red zone to preserve a 22-18 win over the New England Patriots on Saturday.

The Bengals (11-4) won their seventh straight game and remained in the driver’s seat for a second consecutive AFC North title despite nearly blowing a 22-0 halftime lead. They clinched a playoff berth by virtue of the New York Jets’ loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday night, and they still have a chance at the conference’s top seed and a first-round playoff bye.

The Patriots had the ball on the Cincinnati 5 with just over a minute to play when Rhamondre Stevenson was hit by Vonn Bell and fumbled, leading to Josh Tupou’s recovery. The Bengals punted it back four plays later, but the Patriots turned the ball over on downs.

Burrow finished 40 of 52 for 375 yards and two interceptions. Trenton Irwin had two touchdown catches. Tee Higgins had eight catches for 128 yards and a TD.

The Patriots (7-8) entered the week one game outside of the final AFC playoff spot. They have lost four of five.

Mac Jones finished 21 of 33 for 240 yards and two touchdowns. New England had 10 penalties for 82 yards and managed just 285 total yards. Nick Folk also missed two extra points on a day when the game-time temperature was 17 degrees and a wind chill of 4.

Cincinnati led 22-18 and was facing third down with less than four minutes to play when Ja’Marr Chase caught a short pass from Burrow and was stripped by Matt Judon. The ball was recovered by Marcus Jones on the New England 43.

A defensive holding penalty on the Bengals and 15-yard completion from Mac Jones to Marcus Jones put the ball on the Cincinnati 31.

The frigid temperature did little to slow down the Bengals offense, which scored on each of its first three possessions.

Mahomes leads Kansas City past Seattle

Patrick Mahomes threw two touchdown passes and ran for a score, Kansas City shut down Geno Smith and Seattle’s slumping offence and Kansas City rolled to a 24-10 victory over the Seahawks on Saturday.

Travis Kelce had six catches for 113 yards, and Kadarius Toney and Jerick McKinnon had touchdown catches as Kansas City (12-3) remained tied with Buffalo for the conference’s best record with two games to go.

Kansas City stopped the Seahawks (7-8) twice on fourth down, picked off their Pro Bowl quarterback in the end zone and dealt coach Pete Carroll’s team their fifth loss in six games along with a near-knockout blow to their playoff hopes.

Kenneth Walker III was the biggest bright spot for Seattle, running for 107 yards but failing to reach the end zone.

Kansas City has won 16 consecutive regular-season games against NFC opponents.

Much like the rest of the country, the cold weather that flooded the Midwest produced some frigid temperatures — the wind chill was minus-2 at kickoff, and that was an improvement over the previous two days. In fact, it had been so cold the tarp was frozen to the field when workers tried to remove it three hours before kickoff.

That didn’t bother a half-dozen Seahawks, including DK Metcalf and his fellow wide receivers, who walked out of the tunnel bare-chested shortly afterward for their pregame warmups on the ice-covered field.

Maybe they weren’t cold, but Seattle’s offence was downright frigid.

Playing without wide receiver Tyler Lockett, who had surgery on his broken hand this week, Smith and Co. gained just 18 yards on their first 15 plays, and they were forced to punt on their first five possessions.

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