Taylor Swift watched on at the Arrowhead Stadium as boyfriend Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs failed to clinch the AFC West title after a shock 20-14 Christmas Day defeat to the Las Vegas Raiders.

Chiefs were bidding to put the seal on an eighth successive AFC West crown but a pair of touchdowns in the second quarter from Bilal Nichols and Jack Jones gave the Raiders a lead that the hosts could not overturn.

Justin Watson’s fourth-quarter touchdown gave the Chiefs hope but Raiders’ defence triumphed as they sealed back-to-back wins to move up to second in the division.

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.

The New York Jets are wrapping up a disappointing season, but they won't be making any major changes at the top of the organisation.

Owner Woody Johnson told the New York Post before Sunday's game against the Washington Commanders that coach Robert Saleh and general manager Joe Douglas will continue to lead the team next season.

There had been some speculation that both Saleh and Douglas were in danger of being let go, but both will keep their jobs.

"My decision is to keep them," Johnson told the newspaper before the Week 16 game. "I think we've had some very positive moves. The culture of the team is a lot better. The defense is better. The offense needs a few pieces."

One piece would be the return of Aaron Rodgers, who was lost for the year after tearing his left Achilles tendon just four snaps into his Jets debut in the season opener.

Without Rodgers, the Jets will end up missing the play-offs for the 13th straight year - the longest active drought in major North American professional sports.

New York has gone 16-32 since Saleh was hired prior to the start of the 2021 season.

 

Johnson said the return of Rodgers next season was a factor in his decision to retain Saleh and Douglas, as well as offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.

"Just to keep the continuity going with Aaron and the team we've got," Johnson said. "Like I said a year ago, we need a quarterback. We had a quarterback for four plays. Since then, we haven’t been able to replace him. If we have a good quarterback, it makes everybody’s job easier. It makes the line better, the receivers better."

Since Rodgers' injury, New York has used Zach Wilson, Tim Boyle and Trevor Siemian at quarterback, but none of the three have enjoyed any success.

Entering Week 16, the 5-9 Jets ranked last in the NFL in total offence (255.1 yards per game). The defence, meanwhile, has been one of the better units in the league, ranking seventh in total yard allowed (298.4 yards per game).

The Tennessee Titans have ruled out quarterback Will Levis for Sunday's game against the visiting Seattle Seahawks.

Veteran Ryan Tannehill will be back under center with the rookie Levis sidelined due to a sprained ankle.

Levis was hoping to play after injuring the ankle late in the Titans' 19-16 overtime loss to the Houston Texans last Sunday, but is not yet fully recovered.

The ankle injury is similar to the one that cost Tannehill his starting job earlier this season.

The 35-year-old Tannehill, who led Tennessee to the 2019 AFC title game and AFC South crowns in 2020 and 2021, will be making his first start since Week 6. In seven games this season, the 11-year-veteran has thrown for 1,128 yards with two touchdowns and six interceptions with a 71.9 rating while going 2-4 as a starter.

Levis, the 33rd overall pick of this year's draft, has gone 3-5 as a starter, throwing for 1,792 yards with eight TD passes and four picks for an 85.3 rating.

The Titans (5-9) have already been eliminated from the play-offs this year, while the Seahawks (7-7) are just outside the play-off cut-off in the NFC.

 

The Buffalo Bills continued their late-season surge with a narrow 24-22 win over the Los Angeles Chargers.

Quarterback Josh Allen threw for 237 yards and a touchdown and added two more on the ground and kicker Tyler Bass made a 29-yard field goal with 28 seconds remaining to seal a third-straight win for Buffalo.

Los Angeles had a chance to win at the death but were ultimately unable to move the sticks as the Bills kept their play-off hopes alive.

Their post-season hopes received an earlier boost when the Cincinnati Bengals were demolished by the Pittsburgh Steelers 34-11.

Wide receiver George Pickens set the pace for the Steelers early, breaking open for an 86-yard touchdown to start the first quarter.

Pittsburgh piled the pressure on throughout the second, pushing their advantage out to 24 points by half-time.

Cincinnati showed some fight out of the break through an 80-yard receiving touchdown to Tee Higgins, but Pickens nabbed his second long-range score of the game soon after to put the result out of reach.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will have their starting quarterback under center Sunday when they visit the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Trevor Lawrence was cleared from the NFL’s concussion protocol, multiple media outlets reported Saturday, and will travel with his teammates as the Jaguars (8-6) look to snap a three-game slide.

Lawrence has yet to miss a start since being drafted first overall in 2021.

Lawrence reported symptoms after Jacksonville’s 23-7 loss to the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The Jaguars believe Lawrence suffered a concussion on the team’s final drive of the game. He completed just one of his final eight pass attempts.

Lawrence has completed 65.9 percent of his passes this season for 3,525 yards with 18 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Jacksonville’s current slump has dropped them from contention for a first-round play-off bye into a three-way tie atop the AFC South with the Indianapolis Colts and the Houston Texans.

The Jaguars will be without left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) and wide receivers Christian Kirk (groin) and Zay Jones (knee/hamstring) when they face the Buccaneers (7-7).

A stellar showing from wide receiver Puka Nacua propelled the Los Angeles Rams to a 30-22 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The 22-year-old had nine catches for a career-high 164 yards to go along with a touchdown.

Quarterback Matthew Stafford was almost as impressive, throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover in the eight-point win.

After taking a 17-7 lead into the break, the Rams looked to be coasting to the finish line when a field goal and a rushing touchdown to Kyren Williams stretched their advantage to 20 points.

That quickly became 23 thanks to a Lucas Havrisik field goal at the start of the fourth quarter.

But New Orleans mounted a late charge, touchdowns to Juwan Johnson and AT Perry closing the gap to eight with just under four minutes left.

Despite the momentum shift, Los Angeles’ defence was ultimately able to compose itself and hold on for the Rams’ eighth win of the season.

New Orleans’ quarterback Derek Carr finished with three touchdowns and one interception as the Saints’ record fell to 7-8.

A late touchdown from the arm of Seattle Seahawks quarterback Drew Lock sealed his side’s three-point victory over the Philadelphia Eagles with less than 30 seconds left in the contest.

Lock threw for 208 yards throughout the match, including the match-winning 29-yard touchdown to rookie wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba, while Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts scored two touchdowns in his team’s 20-17 loss.

The Eagles were first to score with Hurts running into the end zone from three yards in the first quarter to give the away side an early lead.

Both teams scored field goals in the second quarter, before running back Kenneth Walker III tied the game up at 10 early in the third with a 23-yard running touchdown.

Jalen Hurts ran over for his second s ore with four minutes to go in the third quarter to give the Eagles a seven-point lead.

A field goal early in the fourth quarter and Smith-Njigba’s last-gasp touchdown then gave the Seahawks their first lead of the game.

The Eagles had a late chance to steal the win but the hail Mary pass from Hurts was intercepted by Julian Love, giving Seattle their seventh win of the year and handing the Eagles just their fourth loss this season.

Pittsburgh Steelers safety Damontae Kazee's hit on Indianapolis Colts wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. was quite costly.

The NFL suspended Kazee without pay for the remainder of the season for violating rules designed to protect the health and safety of players.

The announcement came two days after Kazee was ejected in the second quarter of Saturday's 30-13 loss at Indianapolis for delivering a forceable hit to a diving Pittman. Kazee made contact with Pittman's head, and the receiver left the game and went into the concussion protocol.

NFL Vice President of Football Operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension on Monday, and wrote in a letter to Kazee that, "You had an unobstructed path to your opponent and the illegal contact could have been avoided."

Runyan also referenced multiple prior instances of hits that violated rules designed to protect player safety.

The suspension means Kazee will miss the Steelers' final three regular-season games and any potential play-off games, should Pittsburgh qualify. The Steelers are 7-7 and just outside the play-off cutoff.

By being banned for three games, Kazee will forfeit around $208,000 in game checks.

Kazee, a seven-year veteran, has appeared in all 14 games this season, ranking third on the Steelers in tackles with 61, and is tied for the team high with two interceptions.

 

The San Francisco 49ers stretched their winning streak to six games and clinched the NFC West with a 45-29 win over the Arizona Cardinals.

San Francisco quarterback Brock Purdy improved upon his MVP credentials with four touchdowns and 242 passing yards in another stellar addition to his breakout season.

Arizona put some pressure on early with a touchdown in the first two minutes, but the 49ers responded with back-to-back touchdowns of their own and never let up from there.

Fellow contenders the Dallas Cowboys were brought back to reality courtesy of a 31-10 demolition at the hands of the Buffalo Bills.

The 10-win Cowboys’ defence looked powerless against Buffalo’s running game, with James Cook, Josh Allen and Latavius Murray all finding the end zone on the ground.

Despite the loss, other results from earlier in the day ensured the Cowboys would be in the playoffs for the third-straight year.

The Cleveland Browns scored 13 fourth-quarter points to snatch a 20-17 victory over the Chicago Bears.

The two sides were level at 7-7 at the break after tight ends Cole Kmet and David Njoku scored touchdowns but the Bears took a 10-point lead into the fourth after Tremaine Edmunds returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.

But the Browns saved their best till last and two Dustin Hopkins field goals partnered an Amari Cooper touchdown to give them the win, with 38-year-old Joe Flacco throwing for 374 yards.

Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs returned to winning ways with a 27-17 victory over the New England Patriots.

Running back Jerick McKinnon caught one touchdown pass and threw another to Rashee Rice while Patrick Mahomes threw for 305 yards, two scores and two interceptions.

Baker Mayfield threw for four touchdowns as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned a 34-20 win over the in-form Green Bay Packers.

The 28-year-old quarterback racked up 381 passing yards over the game to four different scorers, David Moore, Mike Evans, Rachaad White and Ko Kieft, to help wrap up a convincing win.

Raheem Mostert rushed for two touchdowns as the Miami Dolphins crushed the New York Jets 30-0.

The 31-year-old opened the scoring in the first quarter but the damage was done in the second when he ran over for his double after Jaylen Waddle’s 60-yard score had already given the home side a healthy advantage and moved them up to second in the AFC.

The New Orleans Saints scored 17 second-half points to secure a 24-6 victory over the New York Giants.

Derek Carr threw for three touchdowns as the Saints took over in the second period without reply from the Giants.

Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked an overtime field goal to help the Houston Texans claim a 19-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

The Carolina Panthers scored two field goals in the final quarter to claim just their second win this campaign with a 9-7 win over the Atlanta Falcons.

Elsewhere, the Los Angeles Rams beat the Washington Commanders 28-20, the Detroit Lions cruised past the Denver Broncos 42-17 and the Baltimore Ravens eclipsed the Jacksonville Jaguars 23-7.

The Cleveland Browns scored 13 fourth-quarter points to snatch a 20-17 victory over the Chicago Bears.

The two sides were level at 7-7 at the break after tight ends Cole Kmet and David Njoku scored touchdowns but the Bears took a 10-point lead into the fourth after Tremaine Edmunds returned an interception 45 yards for a touchdown.

But the Browns saved their best till last and two Dustin Hopkins field goals partnered an Amari Cooper touchdown to give them the win, with 38-year-old Joe Flacco throwing for 374 yards.

Super Bowl champions the Kansas City Chiefs returned to winning ways with a 27-17 victory over the New England Patriots.

Running back Jerick McKinnon caught one touchdown pass and threw another to Rashee Rice while Patrick Mahomes threw for 305 yards, two scores and two interceptions.

Baker Mayfield threw for four touchdowns as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers earned a 34-20 win over the in-form Green Bay Packers.

The 28-year-old quarterback racked up 381 passing yards over the game to four different scorers, David Moore, Mike Evans, Rachaad White and Ko Kieft, to help wrap up a convincing win.

Raheem Mostert rushed for two touchdowns as the Miami Dolphins crushed the New York Jets 30-0.

The 31-year-old opened the scoring in the first quarter but the damage was done in the second when he ran over for his double after Jaylen Waddle’s 60-yard score had already given the home side a healthy advantage and moved them up to second in the AFC.

The New Orleans Saints scored 17 second-half points to secure a 24-6 victory over the New York Giants.

Derek Carr threw for three touchdowns as the Saints took over in the second period without reply from the Giants.

Ka’imi Fairbairn kicked an overtime field goal to help the Houston Texans claim a 19-16 victory over the Tennessee Titans.

The Carolina Panthers scored two field goals in the final quarter to claim just their second win this campaign with a 9-7 win over Atlanta Falcons.

Jalen Hurts has been downgraded to questionable for the Philadelphia Eagles' game against the Seattle Seahawks on Monday due to illness.

The 2022 Pro Bowler did not practice with the rest of the team on Saturday and his condition only worsened overnight.

In a statement on their official website on Sunday, the Eagles announced Hurts will still travel to Seattle but separately from the rest of the team.

He has passed for 3,192 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions this season, scoring 12 rushing touchdowns – the second-most in the NFL.

Should Hurts not recover from illness in time, Marcus Mariota – who has started 74 career regular-season games – would be in line to take his place.

The Eagles (10-3) have lost successive games, but they can win the NFC East title if they defeat the Seahawks (6-7) and win their final three games.

Seattle's Geno Smith is also doubtful due to a groin injury sustained in practice prior to last weekend's game with the San Francisco 49ers.

Jared Goff threw the Detroit Lions to the brink of a long-awaited play-off berth as they eased past the Denver Broncos 42-17.

Goff threw five touchdowns, three of them to rookie tight end Sam LaPorta, as the Lions moved to 10-4 and a three-game lead in the NFC North.

They could clinch a place in the play-offs for the first time in seven years if other results go their way over the weekend.

The Broncos, who have waited a year longer for a play-off berth, dropped to 7-7 after six wins in seven games had pushed them into the post-season race.

The Cincinnati Bengals bolstered their play-off hopes as they came from behind to beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-24 in overtime.

Jake Browning, deputising for quarterback Joe Burrow, who is out for the season, steered them through three fourth-quarter touchdown drives as they came from 17-3 behind.

The final 21-yard touchdown pass to Tee Higgins in heavy traffic moved the Bengals within one point with 39 seconds left on the clock.

Evan McPherson levelled the scores with the extra point and secured a third straight win from 29 yards in overtime as they moved to 8-6.

AFC North rivals Pittsburgh Steelers continued their slide to the foot of the division as they lost for a third straight game, going down 30-13 to the Indianapolis Colts.

A Dontae Johnson touchdown catch from Mitch Trubisky had put the Steelers up 13-0 early in the second half, but Gardner Misher threw for three touchdowns as the Colts amassed 30 unanswered points.

A fifth win in six games lifts the Colts to 8-6 and within half a game of the AFC South leaders Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Cincinnati Bengals bolstered their play-off hopes as they came from behind to beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-24 in overtime.

Jake Browning, deputising for quarterback Joe Burrow who is out for the season, steered them through three fourth-quarter touchdown drives as they came from 17-3 behind.

The final 21-yard touchdown pass to Tee Higgins in heavy traffic moved the Bengals within one point with 39 seconds left on the clock.

Evan McPherson levelled the scores with the extra point and secured a third straight win from 29 yards in overtime as they moved to 8-6.

AFC North rivals Pittsburgh Steelers continued their slide to the foot of the division as they lost for a third straight game, going down 30-13 to the Indianapolis Colts.

A Dontae Johnson touchdown catch from Mitch Trubisky had put the Steelers up 13-0 early in the second half, but Gardner Misher threw for three touchdowns as the Colts amassed 30 unanswered points.

A fifth win in six games lifts the Colts to 8-6 and within half a game of the AFC South leaders Jacksonville Jaguars.

The Los Angeles Chargers have fired head coach Brandon Staley and general manager Tom Telesco hours after the team was dealt one of the worst losses in franchise history.

Owner Dean Spanos announced the moves Friday, one day after the Chargers set a team record for most points allowed in a game in a 63-21 defeat to the AFC West rival Las Vegas Raiders.

The loss was Los Angeles' fifth in six games and dropped the Chargers to the bottom of the division standings at 5-9.

"I want to thank Tom and Brandon for their hard work, dedication and professionalism, and wish both them and their great families nothing but the best," Spanos said in a team statement. "These decisions are never easy, nor are they something I take lightly — especially when you consider the number of people they impact."

The Chargers said interim replacements for both positions will be announced "within short order."

Staley led the Chargers to a 10-7 record and a playoff appearance last season, but a combination of injuries, poor defense and an inability to close out games caused the team to fail to meet expectations in 2023.

The 2023 Chargers ranked 29th in the NFL in total yards allowed per game and 27th in points allowed per game under Staley, who was hired by Telesco as head coach in 2021 following a succesful one-year stint as the Los Angeles Rams' defensive coordinator. 

The Chargers also blew a fourth-quarter lead in three losses that were decided by three points or less. They were also on the wrong end of one of the largest comebacks in NFL playoff history last season, when the Jacksonville Jaguars rallied from a 27-0 deficit to end Los Angeles' 2022 campaign with a 31-30 loss.

"We are clearly not where we expect to be, however, and we need new vision," Spanos stated. "Doing nothing in the name of continuity was not a risk I was willing to take. Our fans have stood strong through so many ups and downs and close games. They deserve more. Frankly, they've earned more.

"Building and maintaining a championship-caliber program remains our ultimate goal. And reimagining how we achieve that goal begins today."

Staley went 24-24 over a three-year stint that ended with Thursday's 42-point loss, the third largest margin of defeat in franchise history. It was the Chargers' first game without star quarterback Justin Herbert, who fractured his right finger in last week's loss to the Denver Broncos and recently underwent season-ending surgery.

Telesco had served as the Chargers' GM since 2013. The team finished with a winning record in six of his 10 seasons and made three postseason appearances under his watch, though it never advanced past the divisional round of the playoffs.

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