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Chiefs put tragedy behind them for rare win

Texans, Patriots clinch spots in the postseason

Dwayne Bowe and the Chiefs won for just the second time this season by topping Josh Thomas and Carolina just a day after former Kansas City linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend, then killed himself in front of general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel. Enlarge photo

Colin E. Braley/Associated Press

Dwayne Bowe and the Chiefs won for just the second time this season by topping Josh Thomas and Carolina just a day after former Kansas City linebacker Jovan Belcher killed his girlfriend, then killed himself in front of general manager Scott Pioli and head coach Romeo Crennel.

KANSAS CITY, Mo.

Against the backdrop of an unthinkable tragedy, the Kansas City Chiefs gave themselves a reason to be proud Sunday – and perhaps the impetus to let the healing begin.

Brady Quinn threw for 201 yards and two touchdowns, and Jamaal Charles ran for 127 yards in the Chiefs’ 27-21 victory over their Carolina Panthers. The win snapped an eight-game losing streak during one of the most difficult seasons the franchise has experienced.

Patriots 23, Dolphins 16

MIAMI – Tom Brady had his least efficient game of the year and even threw an interception, but New England took advantage of Miami’s mistakes and clinched its fourth consecutive AFC East title.

A botched punt, roughing-the-punter penalty and fumble by Miami led to 17 New England points, and another penalty negated a Dolphins touchdown.

Texans 24, Titans 10

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – The Houston Texans clinched their second consecutive playoff berth and set a franchise record for wins in a season.

Rookie linebacker Whitney Mercilus recovered a fumble and had two sacks, and the Texans (11-1) remain tied with Atlanta for the best record in the NFL with their sixth consecutive win.

Rams 16, 49ers 13, OT

ST. LOUIS – Rookie Greg Zuerlein kicked a 54-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in overtime after booting a 53-yarder as time expired in regulation.

The 49ers (8-3-1) failed to take advantage of a 14-yard punt by rookie punter Johnny Hekker to midfield when David Akers was wide right on a 51-yard attempt with 4:11 to go in overtime. Akers is just 7 of 15 from 40 yards and beyond.

Seahawks 23, Bears 17, OT

CHICAGO – Russell Wilson connected with Sidney Rice on a 13-yard touchdown with 7:33 left in overtime to lift Seattle.

Unbeaten in five home games, the Seahawks finally figured a way to win on the road after dropping five of their first six and knocked off the NFC North leaders in the process.

Colts 35, Lions 33

DETROIT – Andrew Luck threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Donnie Avery with no time left to lift Indianapolis.

With the final seconds ticking away, the rookie quarterback moved up in the pocket, flipped a short pass to Avery, and the receiver ran untouched into the end zone to complete a rally that started with Lions up 12 points midway through the fourth quarter.

Packers 23, Vikings 14

GREEN BAY, Wis. – James Starks had Green Bay’s first rushing touchdown in almost two months, Morgan Burnett picked off Christian Ponder twice, and the Packers overcame a monster day by Adrian Peterson.

Peterson finished with 210 yards.

Steelers 23, Ravens 20

BALTIMORE – Shaun Suisham kicked a 42-yard field goal as time expired.

Playing without injured quarterback Ben Roethlisberger for a third consecutive week, the Steelers turned to the 37-year-old Charlie Batch for the second game in a row. He went 25 of 36 for 276 yards.

Bengals 20, Chargers 13

SAN DIEGO – Andy Dalton scrambled up the middle for a 6-yard touchdown with 4:11 left for the go-ahead score, and Cincinnati won its fourth consecutive game.

Browns 20, Raiders 17

OAKLAND, Calif. – Brandon Weeden threw for a career-high 364 yards and a touchdown as Cleveland snapped a 12-game road losing streak.

Jets 7, Cardinals 6

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Third-stringer Greg McElroy stepped in for a struggling Mark Sanchez and led New York to its only score.

McElroy led the (5-7) Jets to their only points of the day with an impressive drive, connecting with Jeff Cumberland on a 1-yard touchdown. That ended up being the winning score.

Bills 34, Jaguars 18

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. – Ryan Fitzpatrick directed five consecutive scoring drives in helping Buffalo keep alive its slim playoff hopes.

Fitzpatrick threw two touchdown passes and scored on a 1-yard plunge in providing a spark to an injury-depleted offense that finished the game minus its top two receivers.

Cowboys 38, Eagles 31

ARLINGTON, Texas – Tony Romo threw three touchdown passes to break Troy Aikman’s career franchise record.

The Cowboys (6-6) trailed 27-24 when Romo led an 86-yard drive that was sparked by a 35-yard pass to Dez Bryant on third down. Bryant gave Dallas the lead when took a screen pass from the 6 and got inside the pylon with 5:40 remaining.

The Eagles (3-9) lost their eighth straight game despite 169 yards rushing and two touchdowns from rookie Bryce Brown a week after he set an Eagles rookie record with 178 yards.

Dallas went ahead by 11 when Morris Claiborne returned a fumble by Brown 50 yards for a touchdown.

Tim Dobbins and the Texans went up and over Jake Locker and Tennessee to clinch their second consecutive postseason berth with a victory Sunday. Enlarge photo

Joe Howell/Associated Press

Tim Dobbins and the Texans went up and over Jake Locker and Tennessee to clinch their second consecutive postseason berth with a victory Sunday.

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