Derek Carr hopes the Las Vegas Raiders will name Rich Bisaccia as permanent head coach following their elimination from the NFL playoffs.

Bisaccia, previously the special teams coordinator, has served as interim head coach since October when Jon Gruden resigned.

After steading the ship he led the Raiders into the postseason with four straight wins down the stretch but the team's hopes were ended in the Wild Card round on Saturday.

The home Cincinnati Bengals held on to triumph 26-19 and celebrate a first postseason win for 31 years, leaving the Raiders still waiting to end their own drought which has run since 2002.

Carr, who only has one year left on his contract, threw an interception on fourth-and-goal with 12 seconds remaining after earlier finding Zay Jones in the end zone as his team attempted to recover from 14 points behind.

The quarterback completed 29 of 54 passes and hopes it is Bisaccia who returns in 2022 as the Raiders begin to turn their attention to next season.

"I think we can all think that he's the right guy," said Carr, per ESPN. 

"He has proven that people listen to him. Our team listens to him and I love him so much, I'm thankful for him. 

"All those things will be decisions that I don't make, I don't get to make. I just play quarterback, but with everything that went on, if you really look at what happened, all the pieces missing, everything that changed.

"Yeah, he held it together."

As well as Gruden's exit, Carr discussed the release of leading receiver Henry Ruggs III and a host of injuries suffered by Raiders receivers and offensive linemen in a tumultuous year.

"You go on and on and on and on, and that's just offense," he said.

"The fact that that staff kept everything together and kept us competitive and kept us finding ways to win football games, I think that's what our organization is about, right? 

"So, we'll see what happens. We know what we want to have happen. But, again, we're Raiders. We're going to play football, but we just hope it, obviously, we hope it's for somebody special."

Asked about his own future, Carr cited his agent's strong relationship with the team and added: "Lord knows there's been a lot of things to communicate about, right?

"When the time comes, I never want a face-to-face. I'm going to play quarterback, but my message will be talked about.

"I'm not going to go to dinner and say, 'We have to do something.' I'm not that guy. I'll let my voice be heard, but in a different way."

Star pass-rusher Maxx Crosby also spoke up for Bisaccia after the game.

"If it was up to me, I think everyone in the world knows what my decision would be," he said. "One of the best people I know.

"I love Rich. You know, I'm biased, obviously, but he's a great coach, he came in and got us to 10 wins. We came on the road, on a short week, and gave Cincinnati everything they could handle."

Bisaccia would not be drawn on his job chances, nor did he discuss the controversial Bengals touchdown which saw Tyler Boyd catch a Joe Burrow pass seemingly after a whistle had been blown by game officials.

"I'm just thinking about those guys in that locker room that played the game with their heart and soul out there like that and had a chance to win at the end," Bisaccia said.

"We just ran out of time. We did some uncharacteristic things with some penalties and gave up some drives and didn't capitalise when we had it in the red zone at times. So it just didn't go our way."

On the TD controversy, he added of the officials: "I think that's a good crew. 

"There's a lot of things that went on in the game both ways. I got enough problems with my job, I can't do the officiating, too."

The Raiders' Darren Waller had seven catches for 76 yards, while Josh Jacobs had 83 on the ground at Paul Brown Stadium.

Zac Taylor thanked the Cincinnati Bengals for their trust and patience in him after his team ended a 31-year wait for a victory in the NFL playoffs.

The Bengals held on to defeat the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 on Sunday as the Wild Card round began.

Cincinnati led by 14 points towards the end of the first half but had to wait until Germaine Pratt intercepted Derek Carr on fourth down with 12 seconds left in the fourth quarter until they could be sure of a massive win.

The Bengals had their lost eight straight postseason games coming into the game, their last win coming back in the 1990 season against the Houston Oilers.

Ending that drought may not have looked likely after Taylor went 6-25-1 across his first two seasons, but the head coach received a vote of confidence from president Mike Brown after the 2020 season and oversaw an impressive turnaround.

The Bengals went from fourth to first in the AFC North in 2021 to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2015.

Joe Burrow produced a fine season at quarterback and threw for 244 yards, two touchdowns and zero interceptions in his first playoff game.

"Personally, if I coached at any other organization in football, I probably wouldn't be here right now in the third year," Taylor said after the famous win over the Raiders. 

"That's the truth.

"Some of them [the players] might not understand the significance of what happened.

"The city can finally enjoy this team and take the pressure off of the last 31 years. This was significant for a lot of people.

"We've got all the faith in the world in Joe, so there's never any panic on our end.

"Had they been down seven at the end of the game and scored there to tie it, and then we'd have had to kick a field goal to win it, I promise you my heart rate would have been as easy as could be.

"We trust our players - someone is going to step up and win that game for us. I wasn't surprised when it happened."

Taylor dedicated a game ball to owner Brown and another to the city of Cincinnati, with balls being sent out to some prominent local venues after the win.

"The next one [game ball] is a new tradition we start with our first playoff win," added Taylor.

"It goes to the city of Cincinnati and we pass this thing out at bars across Cincinnati and we let the fans celebrate with us. 

"Every playoff game from here on out, the city shares in this with us."

Burrow, who connected with C.J. Uzomah and Tyler Boyd in the endzone, insisted the Bengals were not done yet.

"It's exciting, but this was expected," the QB said. "This isn't the icing on top of the cake or anything, this was the cake. So, we're moving on.

"It's exciting for the city and the state, but we're not going to dwell on that. We're moving forward, whoever we got to play next, we'll be ready to go out and execute the game plan."

Star rookie Ja'Marr Chase had game-leading totals of nine catches and 116 yards for the Bengals, adding a further 23 on the ground.

The Cincinnati Bengals claimed their first playoffs win in 31 years led by Joe Burrow's two touchdown passes as they got past the Las Vegas Raiders 26-19 in Saturday's wild card game.

Burrow completed 24 of 34 passes for 244 yards with two touchdowns, although the second for Tyler Boyd was controversial after an official's whistle was heard, presumably for out of bounds, during the play yet it stood.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr made 29 of 54 passes for 310 yards and one touchdown but he threw an interception on the final play as he drove his side to the nine-yard line, with Germaine Pratt picking it off.

All three TDs came in the first half, with Burrow finding CJ Uzomah with a lazer for a first-quarter touchdown before opening up a 20-6 lead with his pass for Boyd.

Carr's 80-yard drive ended with a 14-yard touchdown pass for Zay Jones on the stroke of half-time to close the gap.

Rookie Evan McPherson went four of four to help the Bengals clinch victory, staving off the Raiders' late push to make it five straight wins.

Ja'Marr Chase was important for the Bengals too, with nine receptions for 116 yards and three rushing carries for 23 yards.

The Raiders, who have endured a difficult season, will have to wait to end their 41-year playoffs road win drought.

Sequels, necessary or otherwise, tend to be widely popular. Whether it's in the world of boxing or on the big screen, audiences are consistently drawn in by the prospect of a second act.

But they are not quite as keenly anticipated in the NFL playoffs.

When it gets to January, there is a desire to see matchups that have not been witnessed in the regular season. That is a small part of the allure of the postseason.

Yet the opening day of 'Super Wild Card Weekend' will serve up one sequel and the third and final act of an AFC East trilogy.

Even though the first playoff games of the 2021 campaign are repeats, there is reason to believe they will be compelling. Here Stats Perform previews Saturday's action.

Las Vegas Raiders @ Cincinnati Bengals

The Raiders' visit to Cincinnati sees a matchup of two quarterbacks playing in their first postseason game, albeit at markedly different stages of their careers.

Raiders quarterback Derek Carr helped a team then based in Oakland to reach the playoffs in 2016, only for him to then miss out on their Wild Card defeat to the Houston Texans due to injury. Carr has made 127 career regular-season starts. Only two quarterbacks have ever had more prior to their first playoff start: Fran Tarkenton (174) and John Brodie (134).

Meanwhile, Joe Burrow led the Bengals to the playoffs in just his second season in the NFL and goes into his postseason debut in red-hot form. He has 971 passing yards, eight touchdowns and no interceptions over his last two games. This is the 49th instance of a player having at least eight TD passes and no INTs over a two-game span. Burrow has the most passing yards of those 49 instances, over 100 yards more than the next closest (Ben Roethlisberger, 862 in 2014).

Burrow was the most accurate quarterback in the NFL by well-thrown percentage (min. 200 attempts) in the regular season. He delivered an accurate well-thrown ball on 86.5 per cent of attempts, though in Carr he must outduel the man third on that same list (82.1 per cent).

Should he do so, Burrow will give the Bengals their first playoff win since the 1990 campaign. They have lost eight straight playoff games, while their span without a playoff win is the longest active streak in the NFL, and the fifth-longest streak in NFL history. Only one team ever lost nine straight playoff games: the Detroit Lions, who have lost their last nine postseason games.

New England Patriots @ Buffalo Bills

The Patriots and the Bills playing for the third time in a little over a month may feel repetitive, but this game actually marks a playoff first.

It is the first playoff game since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970 in which the Pats and Bills have met.

Their lone playoff clash was an AFL tiebreaker in 1963, after the teams finished the season tied for first place in the Eastern Division (both 7-6-1). The Boston Patriots won that playoff game, 26-8, at Buffalo's War Memorial Stadium.

With lows of minus 16 degrees Celsius expected in Buffalo on Saturday, a low-scoring close game would not be a surprise. The Bills (289) and Patriots (303) are ranked one-two in the NFL this season in fewest points allowed. Buffalo allowed the fewest passing touchdowns (12), and New England tied Denver for the fewest rushing touchdowns allowed (nine).

Yet if the Bills come out on the right side of the ledger, recent history suggests they will do so by a double-digit margin.

The Bills won 11 games this season and all their wins were by at least 12 points. Buffalo's average victory margin (22.1 points) was the highest in the NFL (New England: 2nd at 21.4).

The Cleveland Browns "fully expect" Baker Mayfield to be their starting quarterback in 2022 despite a difficult 2021 season as the side missed the playoffs.

The Browns finished their 8-9 season with a 21-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals after a three-game losing skid which saw them fall out of postseason contention.

Mayfield started 14 games, completing 253 of 418 passes for 3,010 yards and 17 touchdowns with 13 interceptions and 43 sackings.

The 2018 NFL Draft first pick, however, played through a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder, with Case Keenum finishing the season as the Browns starting QB.

"It's easy to forget at this point of the year what we've seen with Baker over the past several years," Browns general manager Andrew Berry said.

"We've been with Baker for a long period - we know his work ethic, we know his drive, we've seen him [be] a talented passer in this league, and we're looking forward to him getting healthy and continue to make improvements."

Berry added: "We fully expect Baker to be our starter and bounce back."

Mayfield's completion rate of 60.5 percent was well down on the NFL's quarterbacks list, with teammate Keenum throwing at 65.3 percent in his two starts and seven games overall.

"We're looking forward to Baker getting healthy in the offseason," Berry said, "Then putting in good work through the spring and with his coaches for having the type of season that we know he can have."

Mayfield will undergo surgery on the torn labrum next week with a view to fully participating in preseason team activities in late May.

"Baker, he's team-oriented, he's a competitor, he's super tough," Berry said. "He truly wants what's best for the team and really to take the steps he needs to improve to become the quarterback that we know that he can become."

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield is set to have surgery on his injured shoulder as soon as possible, ruling him out of action against the Cincinnati Bengals.

Mayfield revealed after Monday's defeat to the Pittsburgh Steelers that he would undergo an operation on the torn labrum in his non-throwing left shoulder – an issue he has carried since Week 2 -  in the offseason.

"I've continued to lay it out on the line when I haven't been healthy and tried to fight for our guys," said Mayfield post-game. "Now it's time for me to start looking at what's in the best interest of me and my health."

Initially, Mayfield's status for the Week 18 home game with the Bengals was uncertain.

But Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski announced on Tuesday that his starting quarterback will miss the game on Sunday in a bid to complete his surgery as soon as possible.

Stefanski added that both parties came to a mutual decision to end Mayfield's season a week early, with Cleveland (7-9) already out of postseason contention as they sit fourth in AFC North.

Case Keenum is in line to replace Mayfield for the game against the Bengals (10-6), who have already clinched the division title and still have an outside chance of claiming the number one seed in the conference.

The Browns were already out of the running for the playoffs before the loss to the Steelers (8-7-1), in which Mayfield was sacked nine times in a performance that summed up his difficult campaign.

Mayfield has been sacked on 43 occasions across 14 games, up from 26 sacks in 16 outings last season, while he has also been intercepted five more times (13 to eight).

Only two quarterbacks, Joe Burrow (51) and Ryan Tannehill (46), have been sacked more than the Browns QB this year. 

His 3,010 passing yards is the lowest haul of his career, with his tally of touchdown passes also a low mark (17), while only four players in the league have a worse interception percentage than his 3.1.

Next season could be Mayfield's last given his current Cleveland deal expires at the end of the 2022 campaign, with the Browns having already exercised the fifth-year option on his rookie deal.

In-form quarterback Joe Burrow says everyone laughed off the Cincinnati Bengals' divisional hopes in preseason in the wake of clinching the AFC North with Sunday's 34-31 win over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Burrow starred with four touchdown passes but ended the game on the bench with a knee issue as the Bengals won the division for the first time since 2015.

The Bengals had finished last in the AFC North last year with a 4-11-1 record, which makes this season's accomplishments more impressive.

"In the preseason we were talking about the playoffs and I said the goal was the playoffs and the easiest way to do that is to win the division," Burrow said at the post-game news conference.

"Everyone laughed at us a little bit, but we knew the kind of team we had and the kind of guys in the locker room we had, and we knew we could go out and do it."

The Bengals QB insisted the knee complaint that had him benched was "good enough" in the wake of throwing 971 yards in the past two games, which is the most in consecutive wins in NFL history.

Burrow completed 30 of 39 attempts for 446 yards with four touchdown passes and no interceptions against the Chiefs.

Wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase also made history with the rookie record for most single game receiving yards (266). It was also a Bengals franchise record and the most ever against the Chiefs.

Chase added: "We can go as far as we want to. We just won the AFC North."

Matthew Stafford inspired the Los Angeles Rams to move one step closer to securing their second straight NFC West title with a 20-19 win over the slumping Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The defeat for the Ravens, who were without quarterback Lamar Jackson for the third straight game, leaves them perilously close to slipping out of the Wild Card hunt after their fifth consecutive loss.

Justin Tucker's field goal had put the Ravens up 19-14 with 4:33 left but Stafford launched a game-winning 75-yard drive to overhaul the deficit.

Stafford completed a 15-yard pass to Tyler Higbee and a 24-yarder to Cooper Kupp, before finding Odell Beckham Jr twice in a row, with the latter being the decisive TD.

The Rams QB finished with 26 of 35 passes for two touchdowns but also two interceptions, including a Chuck Clark first-quarter pick six, as well as a sack.

Clark's TD was the Ravens' only for the game, as QB Tyler Huntley completed 20 of 32 passes for 197 yards.

Rams running back Sony Michel had 19 carries for 74 yards including a TD along with wide receiver Kupp with six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown.

Over a month ago the Ravens had been 8-3 and looking good for the AFC top seed but now they are scrapping for a playoffs spot after a series of narrow defeats and desperate for Jackson's return.

Carlson field goal gives Raiders edge in Wild Card race

The Las Vegas Raiders claimed a crucial last-gasp win from Daniel Carlson's 33-yard field goal in the AFC Wild Card race with a 23-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz cleared protocols for the game but completed 16 of 27 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown, while running back Jonathan Taylor had one TD from 20 carries for 108 yards, with the defeat marking the first this season when he has rushed more than 100 yards.

The Raiders pipped the Colts in the final quarter, trailing 17-13 at the final break with QB Derek Carr hitting Hunter Renfrow on a fourth-down play for a TD, before Michael Badgley squared the game with a 41-yard field goal, only for Carlson to win it with one from 33 yards as time expired. The Raiders improve to 9-7, pulling ahead of the 9-7 Colts in the AFC Wild Card race.

 

Bengals clinch maiden AFC North title

The Cincinnati Bengals clinched their first-ever AFC North title as Evan McPherson kicked a late 20-yard field goal to secure a 34-31 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase set an NFL rookie record and franchise record with 266 yards and three touchdowns on 11 catches, while QB Joe Burrow threw 30 of 39 passes for 446 yards and four touchdowns.

Burrow got the better of opposing QB Patrick Mahomes who completed 26 of 35 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs, who have already won the AFC West title, moved to 11-5.

 

Brady cool after Brown meltdown

Tom Brady was cool in a crisis after Antonio Brown stormed off the field as the NFC South-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to win 28-24 over the New York Jets.

Brady completed 34 of 50 attempts for 410 yards and three touchdowns, including leading them on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes to clinch the victory.

The game was marred after Brown's meltdown, storming off the field in the third quarter with the Bucs 24-10 down, with head coach Bruce Arians confirming "he is no longer a Buc" after the game.

Matthew Stafford inspired the Los Angeles Rams to move one step closer to securing their second straight NFC West title with a 20-19 win over the slumping Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The defeat for the Ravens, who were without quarterback Lamar Jackson for the third straight game, leaves them perilously close to slipping out of the Wild Card hunt after their fifth consecutive loss.

Justin Tucker's field goal had put the Ravens up 19-14 with 4:33 left but Stafford launched a game-winning 75-yard drive to overhaul the deficit.

Stafford completed a 15-yard pass to Tyler Higbee and a 24-yarder to Cooper Kupp, before finding Odell Beckham Jr twice in a row, with the latter being the decisive TD.

The Rams QB finished with 26 of 35 passes for two touchdowns but also two interceptions, including a Chuck Clark first-quarter pick six, as well as a sack.

Clark's TD was the Ravens' only for the game, as QB Tyler Huntley completed 20 of 32 passes for 197 yards.

Rams running back Sony Michel had 19 carries for 74 yards including a TD along with wide receiver Kupp with six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown.

Over a month ago the Ravens had been 8-3 and looking good for the AFC top seed but now they are scrapping for a playoffs spot after a series of narrow defeats and desperate for Jackson's return.

Carlson field goal gives Raiders edge in Wild Card race

The Las Vegas Raiders claimed a crucial last-gasp win from Daniel Carlson's 33-yard field goal in the AFC Wild Card race with a 23-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz cleared protocols for the game but completed 16 of 27 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown, while running back Jonathan Taylor had one TD from 20 carries for 108 yards, with the defeat marking the first this season when he has rushed more than 100 yards.

The Raiders pipped the Colts in the final quarter, trailing 17-13 at the final break with QB Derek Carr hitting Hunter Renfrow on a fourth-down play for a TD, before Michael Badgley squared the game with a 41-yard field goal, only for Carlson to win it with one from 33 yards as time expired. The Raiders improve to 9-7, pulling ahead of the 9-7 Colts in the AFC Wild Card race.

 

Bengals clinch maiden AFC North title

The Cincinnati Bengals clinched their first-ever AFC North title as Evan McPherson kicked a late 20-yard field goal to secure a 34-31 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase set an NFL rookie record and franchise record with 266 yards and three touchdowns on 11 catches, while QB Joe Burrow threw 30 of 39 passes for 446 yards and four touchdowns.

Burrow got the better of opposing QB Patrick Mahomes who completed 26 of 35 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs, who have already won the AFC West title, moved to 11-5.

 

Brady cool after Brown meltdown

Tom Brady was cool in a crisis after Antonio Brown stormed off the field as the NFC South-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to win 28-24 over the New York Jets.

Brady completed 34 of 50 attempts for 410 yards and three touchdowns, including leading them on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes to clinch the victory.

The game was marred after Brown's meltdown, storming off the field in the third quarter with the Bucs 24-10 down, with head coach Bruce Arians confirming "he is no longer a Buc" after the game.

The Kansas City Chiefs have ruled out running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire for their clash with the Cincinnati Bengals.

Kansas City can clinch the top seed in the AFC this week if they beat the Bengals on the road and the Tennessee Titans lose to the Miami Dolphins.

But they will attempt to do so without Edwards-Helaire, who did not practice this week because of a shoulder injury.

He was originally listed as questionable on the injury report but on Saturday was downgraded to out.

Edwards-Helaire, a first-round pick in 2020, has struggled to justify his draft status to this point in his brief career.

This season, Edwards-Helaire has averaged 4.3 yards per carry, amassing 517 yards in 10 games. He has scored four touchdowns on the ground and a further two as a receiver.

A regular season dominated by questions and doubts surrounding the Kansas City Chiefs is likely to end with them in a familiar position as the number one seed in the AFC.

It is a spot they have occupied in each of the past three seasons, though only once has it resulted in Super Bowl glory.

The Chiefs can clinch the top spot in the conference in Week 17, though to do so they must come through a huge test on the road as they face the Cincinnati Bengals.

There could also be a piece of history for superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who is looking to become only the third quarterback to throw for 150 or more touchdowns in a four-season span.

Should he throw three passing touchdowns over the next two games, Mahomes will join Peyton Manning and Drew Brees in that exclusive club.

The Chiefs are on an eight-game winning streak and, while Mahomes may not have produced his brilliant best on a consistent basis this season, he has been one of the top quarterbacks in the NFL since Kansas City's Week 12 bye.

Over the last four weeks, Mahomes is third in yards per attempt (8.54) and passer rating (108.8) and tied fourth in passing plays of 25 yards or more (10).

The only player above him in each of those categories is the player he will look to outduel on Sunday, Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow.

Burrow is arguably the hottest quarterback in football and heads into the game having thrown for 525 yards and four touchdowns in the Bengals' rout of the Baltimore Ravens.

Cincinnati's signal-caller has delivered the highest percentage of accurate, well-thrown balls in the NFL among quarterbacks with a minimum of 100 attempts. His percentage of 86.5 over three full points better than his nearest challenger Ryan Tannehill (83.1).

He will put the ball in harm's way, though with his pickable pass rate of 3.65 per cent the 14th best among the 32 quarterbacks to have attempted at least 200 throws, Burrow is still on the right side of the ledger when it comes to turnover-worthy throws.

Burrow will need to be careful to avoid giveaways against an opportunistic Chiefs defense that has improved throughout the year. The Chiefs are fourth in the NFL in takeaways (28) and sixth in points off takeaways (90). They are 9-1 in games where they force two or more turnovers.

Even with their dominance last week, the 9-6 Bengals still only hold a one-game lead in a tight AFC North, though they have the tiebreaker over the Ravens, and can ill-afford a slip-up.

The blowout of Baltimore saw the Bengals score 31 points in the first half for the second time in five games. The Dallas Cowboys and the Chiefs are the only teams to score 31 points in a half even once in the same span.

It is a game that is high stakes and should also be high scoring. With two quarterbacks that are both the present and the future of the league in superb form, this critical matchup promises to be a must-watch.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow made franchise history after completing 37 of 46 passes for 525 yards in the 41-21 victory against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

It was a new Bengals record for passing yards in a single game and included four touchdowns with no interceptions as the Bengals claimed a big AFC North win to improve to 9-6 ahead of the 8-7 Ravens on a four-game skid.

The second year QB's effort was the fourth most passing yards in a game in NFL history, and he also became the fourth player in NFL history to have 500 pass yards, four pass touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game, joining Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger and Y.A. Tittle.

Burrow broke the record previously held by Boomer Esiason, who threw for 490 yards in an overtime game against the Los Angeles Rams in October 1990.

After the game, the 25-year-old claimed that he was not thinking about the finer details of his own statistics and was just focused on doing what it took to win the game.

"You know, I really don't think about the yards too much," said Burrow after his history-making performance. "Whatever it takes to win the game. Today, it took throwing for 525 yards."

He also admitted that the record-breaking throw to Joe Mixom for 52-yards went against the wishes of coach Zac Taylor, who had told Burrow not to scramble. He fled the pocket and threw deep to running back Mixon, who caught it for a significant gain inside the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.

"I knew I wasn't supposed to do it, but we went out there and did it anyway," Burrow added.

Wide receiver Tee Higgins also excelled against the Ravens (12 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns), and credited Burrow for his own showing, saying post-game: "When he's on fire like that, all your job is to do is get open and he's going to find you."

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow made franchise history after completing 37 of 46 passes for 525 yards in the 41-21 victory against the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

It was a new Bengals record for passing yards in a single game and included four touchdowns with no interceptions as the Bengals claimed a big AFC North win to improve to 9-6 ahead of the 8-7 Ravens on a four-game skid.

The second year QB's effort was the fourth most passing yards in a game in NFL history, and he also became the fourth player in NFL history to have 500 pass yards, four pass touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game, joining Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger and Y.A. Tittle.

Burrow broke the record previously held by Boomer Esiason, who threw for 490 yards in an overtime game against the Los Angeles Rams in October 1990.

After the game, the 25-year-old claimed that he was not thinking about the finer details of his own statistics and was just focused on doing what it took to win the game.

"You know, I really don't think about the yards too much," said Burrow after his history-making performance. "Whatever it takes to win the game. Today, it took throwing for 525 yards."

He also admitted that the record-breaking throw to Joe Mixom for 52-yards went against the wishes of coach Zac Taylor, who had told Burrow not to scramble. He fled the pocket and threw deep to running back Mixon, who caught it for a significant gain inside the final two minutes of the fourth quarter.

"I knew I wasn't supposed to do it, but we went out there and did it anyway," Burrow added.

Wide receiver Tee Higgins also excelled against the Ravens (12 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns), and credited Burrow for his own showing, saying post-game: "When he's on fire like that, all your job is to do is get open and he's going to find you."

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys blew away the Washington Football Team with six first-half touchdowns as they recorded a comprehensive 56-14 win on Sunday.

Prescott completed 28 of 39 passes for 330 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, as the Cowboys reached 50 points for the first time since Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.

The Dallas QB recorded his fourth career game with 300 yards, four passing touchdowns and no interceptions, which is the most by any player in franchise history, going past Tony Romo (three). Prescott remarkably passed for 320 yards by half-time.

The Cowboys also became the first team this season to score in all three facets of the game as they dismantled Washington.

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns in the first half as the Cowboys opened up a 42-7 half-time lead. Elliott had nine carries for 37 yards and one rushing TD, along with one receiving touchdown.

Dallas had good contributions from receivers Amari Cooper (seven receptions for 85 yards and one TD), Dalton Schultz (eight receptions for 82 yards and one TD) and Malik Turner (three receptions for 82 yards and one TD).

Demarcus Lawrence also scored a TD after intercepting Washington QB's Taylor Heinicke's first-quarter pass with Chauncey Golston cleaning up in the end zone for a touchdown after Corey Clement blocked a punt.

The Cowboys, who have clinched the NFC East division earlier in the day after the Las Vegas Raiders beat the Denver Broncos 17-13, improve to 11-4 while Washington are 6-9.

 

Burrow blows against Lamar-less Ravens

Joe Burrow was in record-breaking form with the fourth most passing yards in a game in NFL history to lead the Cincinnati Bengals won 41-21 over the Baltimore Ravens, who were without Lamar Jackson.

Burrow completed 37 of 46 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, which was a new franchise record for passing yards as the Bengals claimed a major AFC North win to improve to 9-6 ahead of the 8-7 Ravens on a four-game skid.

The Bengals quarterback also becomes the fourth player in NFL history to have 500 pass yards, four pass touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game, joining Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger and Y.A. Tittle.

Wide receivers Tee Higgins (12 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns) and Ja'Marr Chase (seven receptions for 125 yards) were excellent against the Ravens whose stand-in QB Josh Johnson had two TD passes.

 

Chiefs clinch AFC West yet again

The Kansas City Chiefs became the first team to ever clinch the AFC West title for six straight seasons after a 36-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw 23 of 30 passes for 258 yards with three TD passes, while Steelers veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger struggled with 23 of 35 passes for 159 yards with one TD and one interception.

Wide receiver Byron Pringle had six receptions for 75 yards with two touchdowns as the Chiefs improved to an unassailable 11-4 record in the AFC West, ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers (8-4) who lost 41-29 to the Houston Texans earlier on Sunday.

Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson saw his chances of playing in Sunday's key divisional game against the Cincinnati Bengals decrease when he missed practice again on Thursday.

Former NFL MVP Jackson missed the Ravens' 31-30 loss to the Green Bay Packers in Week 15 due to an ankle injury that he sustained in the December 12 loss to the Cleveland Browns.

Jackson did not practice at all last week before missing the Packers' game, having been carted off against the Browns.

And it is backup Tyler Huntley who is taking first-team reps again this week, with offensive coordinator Greg Roman acknowledging the missed practice time for Jackson was becoming a concern.

Baltimore, who have lost three games in a row, are second in the AFC North behind the Bengals as both teams hold 8-6 records with three regular-season games remaining.

"We're taking it day-to-day," Roman told reporters about Jackson.

"I'm not sure of the availability at this moment but I think it does become a concern for any player when they miss time. 

"You really want them out there working on their craft, but these things happen. It is a fact of life in the NFL and you have to work through them. 

"Before the Denver game, he missed Wednesday and Thursday, and I thought he played a great game. So, he has the capability to do that. We have all the confidence in him and Tyler."

Roman added he was preparing a flexible gameplan in case Jackson is able to play in a more limited capacity than usual.

"If he can't move very well, then we'll certainly lean on other things than trying to have him move too much," the OC said.

Jackson has thrown for 2,882 yards and 16 touchdowns this season along with a career-high 13 interceptions. The 24-year-old has also rushed for two scores – the lowest of his career – on 133 carries in 2021.

The Ravens have won five of their seven meetings with the Bengals since 2018, although they were crushed 41-17 by their rivals in Week 7 this year.

Each of the Ravens' three consecutive losses to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Browns and Packers have come by either one or two points. 

Per Stats Perform data, only two other teams in NFL history have lost three consecutive games by two points or less - the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2002 and the Chicago Cardinals in 1932.

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