NFL

Detroit Lions clinch division title after victory over Minnesota Vikings

By Sports Desk December 24, 2023

The Detroit Lions clinched a first division title in 30 years as they beat NFC North rivals the Minnesota Vikings 30-24 at the US Bank Stadium.

A field goal from Michael Badgley helped the Lions take a narrow 17-14 lead into half-time after both sides had scored two touchdowns.

Detroit went on to secured a home play-off game for the first time in 22 seasons after touchdowns from Amon-Ra St Brown and Jahmyr Gibbs as Jared Goff passed for 257 yards.

The Green Bay Packers needed a late game-winning drive to edge out the Carolina Panthers 33-30 in Charlotte.

Jordan Love ran for a touchdown and threw a touchdown as the play-off chasing Packers were in front 23-10 at half-time.

The Panthers, though, produced a fightback and eventually tied the game at 30-all with just over four minutes left – only for Green Bay placekicker Anders Carlson to cap a long offensive drive with a decisive 32-yard field goal.

Wide receiver Amari Cooper set a single-game receiving record of 265 yards for the Cleveland Browns in their 36-22 win over the Houston Texans at the NRG Stadium.

The Browns took a 22-7 lead into half-time after Joe Flacco threw for two touchdowns, while Dameon Pierce made a 98-yard return from kick-off to get the Texans on the scoresheet.

Cooper caught a 13-yard pass from Flacco with three minutes and 49 seconds left to set a new receiving mark before the Texans produced a late offensive rally with two touchdowns, but the Browns closed out a third-straight victory.

The Atlanta Falcons kept alive their play-off hopes with a 29-10 win over the Indianapolis Colts.

Younghoe Koo kicked two field goals as well as a conversion to help the Falcons – beaten by the Panthers in Week 15 – come from behind to lead 13-7 at half-time.

After a touchdown from Tyler Allgeier in the third quarter extended the advantage, South Korean Koo sent over three more field goals to seal victory which moves the Falcons onto 7-8 for the season.

The Seattle Seahawks produced a late rally to beat the Tennessee Titans 20-17 in Nashville which keeps them in the NFC Wild Card mix.

After a scoreless opening quarter, the Titans, with Ryan Tannehill at quarter-back in place of injured rookie Will Levis, took a 10-3 lead into half-time following a touchdown from tight-end Chig Okonkwo.

A two-yard score from running back Derrick Henry put Titans up 17-13 with just over three minutes on the clock – but the Seahawks recovered as quarterback Geno Smith found Colby Patterson in the endzone with just 57 seconds left.

A late 54-yard field goal from Greg Zuerlein helped the New York Jets finally see off the Washington Commanders 30-28 in East Rutherford.

The Jets had got off to a fast start, leading 27-7 at half-time as running back Breece Hall scored two touchdowns.

However, replacement Commanders quarterback Jacoby Brissett drove a recovery with a pair of touchdown drives in the fourth quarter before Zuerlein’s late kick gave the Jets a sixth win.

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