The San Francisco 49ers suffered a shock loss in the NFL on Sunday, while the Buffalo Bills clinched a playoff spot.

The 49ers (11-3) were beaten for the second time in three games after going down to the Atlanta Falcons.

Meanwhile, the Bills are heading to the playoffs for just the second time since 2000 after overcoming the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Dallas Cowboys claimed a key win and the Oakland Raiders were beaten by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

 

49ERS STUNNED BY FALCONS

Julio Jones' touchdown with just seconds remaining helped the Falcons get past the 49ers 29-22.

Matt Ryan's five-yard pass to Jones – who had 134 receiving yards – with two seconds remaining, and Olamide Zaccheaus' fumble return as time expired, saw Atlanta (5-9) to their shock win.

Ryan went 25 of 39 for 210 yards and two TDs, while 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo finished with 200 yards after completing 22 of 34 passes.

George Kittle had 134 receiving yards for the 49ers, but his team fell short.

The 49ers are assured of a playoff place, but sit behind the Seattle Seahawks (11-3) in the NFC West. The teams will meet on December 29.

 

BILLS BOOK PLAYOFF SPOT

The Bills rallied past the Steelers 17-10 to clinch a playoff place.

After Stephen Hauschka's 36-yard field goal brought Buffalo level in the fourth quarter, Josh Allen's 14-yard pass to Tyler Kroft secured the win.

Devin Singletary rushed for 87 yards on 21 carries for the Bills, while John Brown had 99 receiving yards.

The Bills (10-4) are second to the New England Patriots (11-3) in the AFC East, while the Steelers (8-6) are in a wildcard place.

 

COWBOYS SNAP LOSING STREAK

The Cowboys ended a three-game losing streak with a 44-21 victory over the Rams.

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns, rushing for 117 yards on 24 carries in the impressive win.

The Rams managed just 22 rushing yards as QB Jared Goff went 33 of 51 for 284 yards, two TDs and an interception.

Dallas top a tight NFC East with a 7-7 record ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) and they meet next week.

 

RAIDERS' COLISEUM FAREWELL ENDS IN LOSS

In their final scheduled game at the Oakland Coliseum, the Raiders went down to the Jaguars 20-16.

Oakland (6-8) are set to miss the playoffs after the defeat as they conceded 14 fourth-quarter points to Jacksonville (5-9).

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Vikings improved to 10-4 by crushing the Los Angeles Chargers 39-10 and the Cleveland Browns' playoff hopes were hit after a 38-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals, who had Kenyan Drake score four TDs.

WEEK 15 SCORES

Seattle Seahawks 30-24 Carolina Panthers
New England Patriots 34-13 Cincinnati Bengals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-17 Detroit Lions
Green Bay Packers 21-13 Chicago Bears
Kansas City Chiefs 23-3 Denver Broncos
New York Giants 36-20 Miami Dolphins
Houston Texans 24-21 Tennessee Titans
Philadelphia Eagles 37-27 Washington Redskins
Arizona Cardinals 38-24 Cleveland Browns
Minnesota Vikings 39-10 Los Angeles Chargers
Jacksonville Jaguars 20-16 Oakland Raiders
Dallas Cowboys 44-21 Los Angeles Rams
Atlanta Falcons 29-22 San Francisco 49ers
Buffalo Bills 17-10 Pittsburgh Steelers

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick revelled in the team clinching a playoff berth for the 11th straight NFL season.

Super Bowl champions the Patriots (11-3) accounted for the lowly Cincinnati Bengals 34-13 on Sunday.

New England's postseason run – already a league record – is the longest current streak in the NFL as the Patriots look to clinch their 11th consecutive AFC East championship.

It is the 21st time in Robert Kraft's 26 years of ownership that the Patriots have punched their ticket to the postseason.

Patriots star Brady, who completed 15 of 29 passes for 128 yards and two touchdowns, told reporters: "Yeah, it was good. This team has been working hard, and trying to put ourselves into good positions.

"Good to win – we're 6-2 on the road this year. Last year we were 3-5. It was good. The defense played great – got five turnovers."

During the Patriots' playoff streak, the franchise have won three Super Bowls after five trips to the league's showpiece event.

Belichick – a six-time Super Bowl-winning coach with the Patriots – also set an NFL mark for a coach with an 11th straight trip to the playoffs.

"You play to keep playing. You win four, five, six games ... you don't really get anything for doing that. When you can win enough to play in the postseason, that is one of our goals. It's a good thing," he said.

"I mean, we can continue our season. You take things one game at time and continue to get better. We'll continue to improve. We try to play good football in all three phases of the game."

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning does not know what the future holds following a "special" win over the Miami Dolphins.

Veteran Manning, 38, threw a pair of touchdown passes as the Giants beat the Dolphins 36-20 in NFL action at MetLife Stadium on Sunday.

In potentially his final home start for the Giants, Manning received a standing ovation after exiting the game with less than two minutes remaining – New York going on to snap a nine-match losing streak.

"Obviously, I don't know what the future is. I don't know what lies next week, let alone down the road," said Manning, who was replaced as starter by rookie Daniel Jones from Week 3.

"Obviously, the support and the fans, their ovation, chanting my name from the first snap to the end, I appreciate that. I appreciate them always and all my team-mates coming up to me. It's a special day, a special win and one I'll remember."

A two-time Super Bowl winner and MVP, Manning had his family in attendance and he added: "It's special. I think it's special that my kids get to come and watch some games.

"I don't remember my dad playing at all. He retired when I was four years old. My brothers have memories. They always kind of talked about it, in the locker room, around games and I don't remember.

"So, I try to bring my kids around as much as possible, bring them to some games. I know my youngest son won't remember any of it, but we'll at least have a picture to show him one day."

"I tried not to get too emotional just because we still have a couple football games left," Manning continued. "I know I'll still be back in the stadium. I don't know if I'll play that day, but I know I'll get to run out one more time at least.

"But still excited. Excited for the win and an honour if it is the last one playing here where I'm starting and getting a win. Try to enjoy it and take it in for a moment."

It is advantage the Houston Texans in the AFC South after they held on for a 24-21 win over the Tennessee Titans, while the New England Patriots sealed a playoff spot with victory over the Cincinnati Bengals. 

The Texans and the Titans were locked at 8-5 before doing battle in Week 15 on Sunday, but Houston now have the edge with two rounds of the regular season remaining.

New England responded to back-to-back defeats with a 34-13 success over the Bengals, while the Seattle Seahawks stood on the brink of joining the reigning Super Bowl champions in the postseason following a 30-24 win over the Carolina Panthers.

NFC North leaders the Green Bay Packers were also poised to seal a playoff spot after Aaron Jones scored two touchdowns in a 21-13 defeat of the Chicago Bears at Lambeau Field.

Travis Kelce became the first tight end in NFL history to record 1,000 receiving yards in four consecutive seasons as the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos 23-3 in the snow.

Eli Manning guided the New York Giants past the Miami Dolphins, throwing 20-of-28 for 283 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.

Meanwhile, it was a mixed day for Adrian Peterson, another veteran, who tied Walter Payton for the fourth-most rushing touchdowns (110) in NFL history as the Washington Redskins' loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Eagles.


TEXANS HALT TITANS RUN IN BLOCKBUSTER SHOWDOWN

Tennessee had won four in a row to join the Texans at the summit of the AFC South, but they were beaten in their own backyard in a titanic battle.

Deshaun Watson threw two touchdown passes for Kenny Stills in the second quarter to give Houston a 14-0 halftime advantage.

But Ryan Tannehill went in for a touchdown on a fourth-and-goal play in the third quarter and then picked out AJ Brown for another to level it up.

Ka'imi Fairbairn's 29-yard field goal with just over three minutes to go ultimately proved the difference after a TD from Carlos Hyde, with the response from Dion Lewis not enough.
 

NORMAL SERVICE RESUMED AS BELICHICK BREAKS ANOTHER RECORD

The Patriots were reeling from defeats to the Texans and the Chiefs, but normal service was resumed as they marched into the playoffs yet again.

Head coach Bill Belichick can add another unprecedented achievement to his list, with his record of masterminding 11 consecutive postseason spots taking him beyond a tally he shared with Tony Dungy.

Tom Brady threw for a season-low 128 yards but laid on two scores in an emphatic victory against the 1-13 Bengals, with the Patriots now 11-3.
 

PACKERS SWEEP BEARS

The Packers beat the Bears again in the 200th meeting between the old rivals. 

Green Bay started the season by defeating Chicago, and they pulled off a repeat to go 11-3 at the top of the NFC North.

Two rushing TDs from Jones in the third quarter left the Bears with a mountain to climb and, although they fought all the way, with Anthony Miller scoring in the final quarter, Chicago fell short and are now 7-7.
 

Week 15 scores:

New England Patriots 34-13 Cincinnati Bengals
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 38-17 Detroit Lions
Houston Texans 24-21 Tennessee Titans
Denver Broncos 3-23 Kansas City Chiefs
Miami Dolphins 20-36 New York Giants
Philadelphia Eagles 37-27 Washington Redskins
Seattle Seahawks 30-24 Carolina Panthers
Chicago Bears 13-21 Green Bay Packers

Travis Kelce made NFL history in Week 15 as he reached 1,000 receiving yards for the fourth straight season.

The Kansas City Chiefs tight end made it to the milestone thanks to an 11-yard pass from quarterback Patrick Mahomes during the first half of Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos.

A third-round pick by the Chiefs in 2013, Kelce is the first player at his position to achieve four successive 1,000-yard campaigns.

However, moving the ball was not easy for either Kansas City or Denver at Arrowhead Stadium, with the divisional battle played out in the snow.

Yet rather than worry about the cold, the home players embraced the freezing conditions during warm-ups, with a video released on Twitter showing them engaging in a pre-game snowball fight.

Kansas City have certainly been hot this season; they went into the game having already clinched the AFC West.

 

Joe Burrow said he would not trade his journey from transfer quarterback to Heisman Trophy winner for "anything in the world" after collecting college football's most prestigious honour on Saturday.

The LSU signal-caller, likely to be the number one overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, won the Heisman, awarded to college football's most outstanding player, on Saturday at a ceremony in New York.

He did so by a record margin, receiving 841 first-place votes and 2,608 points. Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts was second with 762 points ahead of Ohio State pair Chase Young and Justin Fields.

Burrow transferred to LSU from Ohio State in 2018 and was seen as a mid-round draft pick coming into the 2019 season.

However, an incredible campaign has seen Burrow throw for 4,715 yards and 48 touchdowns with just six interceptions for an unbeaten LSU team that is two wins away from a first National Championship since 2007.

Three of the players in the Heisman final were transfers. Hurts switched from Alabama to Oklahoma this year while Fields traded Georgia for Ohio State after a 2018 season spent mainly on the bench.

Speaking at the ceremony, Burrow said: "I'm just so thankful for LSU and Ohio State, playing at two of the best programs in the country, great coaches both places. My journey, I wouldn't have traded it for anything in the world.

"The story of this Heisman Trophy, with me, Justin, Jalen and Chase, we have three transfers who've all had different stories.

"Three great players, both of those guys [Fields and Hurts] have pushed through adversity, it's awesome hearing their stories and sharing this weekend with them."

Burrow paid an emotional tribute to LSU head coach Ed Orgeron, who named him as starting quarterback after acquiring him as a graduate transfer.

"You have no idea what you mean to my family," Burrow said to Orgeron. "I didn't play for three years, you took a chance on me, not knowing if I could play or not.

"I'm forever grateful for you. He just means so much to me and my family and to LSU and I sure hope they give him a lifetime contract, he deserves it."

The Heisman Trophy has been won by a quarterback for a fourth year in a row after LSU's Joe Burrow was given the accolade on Saturday.

Senior Burrow, who transferred from Ohio State in 2018, beat fellow quarterbacks Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts as well as Buckeyes defensive end Chase Young to claim the prize given to college football's best player.

Burrow is LSU's second winner of the prize, after running back Billy Cannon in 1959, thanks to a remarkable season in which he has led LSU to the top seed for the 2019 College Football Playoff.

With Burrow now considered the leading contender to be the first overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft too, we take a look at how he compares to the last five quarterbacks to win the Heisman - Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson, Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston.

 

JOE BURROW (LSU) - 2019

- Threw for 4,715 yards, 48 touchdowns and six interceptions.

- Completed an NCAA-best 77.9 per cent of his passes.

- Had an NCAA-best passer rating of 201.5.

- Ran for 289 yards and three touchdowns.

- Led LSU to a 13-0 record and the top seed in the College Football Playoff.

KYLER MURRAY (OKLAHOMA) - 2018

- Threw for 4,053 yards, 40 touchdowns and seven interceptions.

- Had a passer rating of 205.72 - the best in Heisman history.

- Ran for 892 yards and 11 touchdowns.

- Led Oklahoma to a 12-1 record and the fourth seed in the College Football Playoff.

- Went on to be the first overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

BAKER MAYFIELD (OKLAHOMA) - 2017

- Threw for 4,340 yards, 41 touchdowns and five interceptions.

- Had a passer rating of 203.76 - at the time the best in Heisman history.

- Ran for 310 yards and five touchdowns.

- Led Oklahoma to a 12-1 record and the second seed in the College Football Playoff.

- Went on to be the first overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

LAMAR JACKSON (LOUISVILLE) - 2016

- Threw for 3,390 yards, 30 touchdowns and nine interceptions.

- Had a passer rating of 153.34.

- Ran for 1,538 yards (the most ever by a Heisman-winning quarterback) and 21 touchdowns.

- Led Louisville to a 9-3 record.

- Went on to be the 32nd overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

MARCUS MARIOTA (OREGON) - 2014

- Threw for 3,803 yards, 38 touchdowns and two interceptions.

- Had a passer rating of 186.79.

- Ran for 669 yards and 14 touchdowns.

- Led Oregon to a 12-1 record and the second seed in the College Football Playoff.

- Went on to be the second overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

JAMEIS WINSTON (FLORIDA STATE) - 2013

- Threw for 3,820 yards, 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

- Had a passer rating of 190.05.

- Ran for 193 yards and four touchdowns.

- Led Florida State to a 13-0 record and the number one seed for the National Championship Game.

- Went on to be the first overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft.

Joe Burrow has won the 2019 Heisman Trophy, becoming the fourth successive quarterback to receive the award given to college football's best player.

Senior Burrow transferred from Ohio State in 2018 and this year he has led the Tigers to a 13-0 record and the top seed in the 2019 College Football Playoff.

The quarterback, LSU's second Heisman winner after Billy Cannon in 1959, has thrown for 4,715 yards, 48 touchdowns and just six interceptions.

He was on target with 342 of his 439 passing attempts, with 77.9 per cent of his throws reaching their intended targets for the NCAA's best completion percentage.

Burrow garnered a record 90.7 per cent of the votes, beating fellow finalists Chase Young, Justin Fields and Jalen Hurts.

He follows in the footsteps of recent winners Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson. The last non-quarterback to claim the individual honour was running back Derrick Henry in 2015.

Chase Young says his "plan" is to return to Ohio State next season, rather than enter the 2020 NFL Draft.

The defensive end is one of four finalists for the 2019 Heisman Trophy - awarded to college football's best player - after a remarkable season with the Buckeyes.

Young set an Ohio State record with 16.5 sacks in 11 games, leading the nation in that category, and many think he will be the top prospect in next year’s draft, should he decide to forgo his senior year at college.

However, such a decision appears far from a formality as Young revealed he intends to be back with the Buckeyes in 2020.

Asked by TMZ Sports whether he was planning to return to Ohio State, Young replied: "That's the plan."

Terrell Suggs has been cut by the Arizona Cardinals just three weeks before the end of the NFL season.

The outside linebacker, who played college football at Arizona State, signed a one-year deal worth $7million with the Cardinals last offseason after 16 seasons with the Baltimore Ravens.

Suggs, the 2011 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, was a seven-time Pro Bowler and a Super Bowl winner with the Ravens, for whom he had 132.5 sacks.

He only managed 5.5 in 13 games for the Cardinals in 2019, though, and has now been let go by Arizona, who have the NFL's worst defensive unit in terms of yards given up.

"It was mutual conversations as this thing went on," Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury explained to reporters on Friday.

"The respect was both ways. We know what he's been to this league, the Hall of Fame player he's been. We just wanted to have those conversations."

The Cardinals were the NFL's worst team last season and are 3-9-1 at the bottom of an ultra-competitive NFC West this time around.

"There's disappointment that we didn't win more games," Kingsbury added.

"As the season's gone on, out of playoff contention, we wanted to see what we had in some younger players and we felt like it was the best move for both parties."

Suggs, 37, will be available on waivers and could now join a playoff-bound team, such as the Ravens.

Jameis Winston will start at quarterback for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Detroit Lions, head coach Bruce Arians has confirmed.

Winston suffered a hand injury in the win over the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and though he finished the game, he was limited at practice this week.

The fifth-year starter was reportedly only able to throw tennis balls on Thursday, yet he had progressed to a football at Friday's practice, after which Arians revealed he would face the Lions.

"Jameis threw the ball well today and he's ready to go," Arians told reporters.

Asked what he wanted to see from Winston, Arians added: "Just to be able to use strength with the ball and holding onto it - more so getting it knocked out of his hand than throwing it - and he's fine."

Winston has had a typically up-and-down season with the Bucs, as has been the case for most of his NFL career.

He leads the league with 23 interceptions - seven more than any other quarterback - but has also thrown 26 touchdowns, a figure only MVP candidate Lamar Jackson, who has played one more game, can better.

Winston is one of only two quarterbacks to have thrown for over 4,000 passing yards in 2019 and is seven yards behind Dak Prescott, the NFL's leader in that category.

The 6-7 Buccaneers cannot make the postseason in a stacked NFC, but Winston is playing for a new contract in 2020, either in Tampa Bay or elsewhere.

Veteran quarterback Eli Manning will make potentially his final home start for the New York Giants on Sunday against the Miami Dolphins.

Rookie Daniel Jones, who took over from Manning as the starter from Week 3, will miss a second successive game with an ankle injury.

That means 38-year-old Manning will be under center at MetLife Stadium for the 2-11 Giants' Week 15 clash with the 3-10 Dolphins.

Two-time Super Bowl champion Manning, the first overall pick in the 2004 NFL Draft, is in his 16th and likely final season with the Giants, who finish the campaign at home against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Manning has played in 235 regular-season games for New York, throwing for 56,740 yards and 364 touchdowns, while also leading the franchise to victories over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII and XLVI.

The Giants drafted Jones in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft to take over from Manning, who will be an unrestricted free agent in 2020 if he decides to carry on playing.

In three starts this season, Manning has gone 71-of-119 passing for 759 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

Two of those scores came on Monday in a 23-17 overtime loss to the Eagles.

Manning will be without Evan Engram on Sunday, though, with the tight end ruled out for a fifth successive game due to a foot injury.

Janoris Jenkins was cut by the New York Giants on Friday following his "refusal to acknowledge the inappropriate and offensive language" he used in a tweet earlier this week.

The eighth-year cornerback was heavily criticised for calling a fan a "retard" on Twitter on Wednesday, and he later tweeted saying: "My apology for the word I used earlier, really didn't mean no 'HARM'."

However, the initial tweet remained on his account and he told reporters on Thursday that such a term "was slang that I use back at home".

Jenkins had said: "It's my slang, so if you take it how you're going to take it, then that's on you. I don't mean to offend nobody."

The 31-year-old suffered an ankle injury in the loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday and the Giants explained on Friday that he had been "waived/injured".

However, head coach Pat Shurmur later explained that Jenkins' comment and his unwillingness to see the offensive nature of it was "the determining factor" in his release.

"This was an organisational decision," Shurmur told the team's website.

"From ownership to management to our football operations, we felt it was in the best interests of the franchise and the player.

"Obviously, what happened this week, and the refusal to acknowledge the inappropriate and offensive language, was the determining factor."

Jenkins, drafted in the second round by the then-St Louis Rams in 2012, signed a reported five-year, $62.5million contract with the Giants in 2016 and went to the Pro Bowl in his first season with New York.

He had four interceptions in 13 games this season and led the Giants in passes defensed with 14.

Shortly after news of his release was confirmed, Jenkins tweeted: "Best news ever.. Thank you"

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