PHILADELPHIA — The Arizona Cardinals are NFC West champions. Now, they have more to accomplish.
David Johnson ran for 187 yards and three touchdowns, Carson Palmer threw a TD pass and the Cardinals beat the Philadelphia Eagles 40-17 on Sunday night to clinch their first division title since 2009.
The Cardinals (12-2) will earn a first-round bye with a victory over Green Bay next week. They still have a chance to secure the No. 1 seed if they win out and Carolina (14-0) loses its last two games.
Afterward, coach Bruce Arians wore a hat that said: “NFC West Champions”
“I have a closet full of them, but this is a good one,” he said. “Still, I want one with a lot more written on it.”
The Eagles (6-8) would win the NFC East title if they beat Washington (7-7) at home on Saturday and the Giants (6-8) on the road on Jan. 3.
But they’re not even close to Arizona’s level.
The Cardinals outclassed Philadelphia in every way on their way to their eighth straight victory.
“If we don’t take care of business on Saturday, there’s no need to talk about the second game,” Eagles coach Chip Kelly said.
Johnson, a rookie filling in for injured backs Chris Johnson and Andre Ellington, had a pair of 1-yard TD runs and a 47-yarder.
“I’m just trying to learn, get better and help the team win,” Johnson said.
STEELERS 34, BRONCOS 27
PITTSBURGH — Ben Roethlisberger passed for 380 yards and three touchdowns as the Steelers rallied.
Antonio Brown caught 16 passes for 189 yards and two scores as Pittsburgh (9-5) moved into the AFC’s second wild-card spot by dominating the NFL’s best defense after spotting the Broncos 17-point lead.
The Steelers controlled the second half, finally taking the lead when Ryan Shazier intercepted Brock Osweiler to set up a 23-yard dart from Roethlisberger to Brown with 3:34 to go.
Osweiler threw for 296 yards with three touchdowns passing and another on the ground but struggled in the second half as the Broncos (10-4) lost their second straight and failed to lock up the AFC West title.
SEAHAWKS 30, BROWNS 13
SEATTLE — Russell Wilson continued his record pace by throwing three touchdown passes, two to Doug Baldwin, and the Seahawks clinched a playoff spot for the fourth straight season.
Seattle (9-5) won its fifth straight and, thanks to losses this week by Tampa Bay and the New York Giants, wrapped up a postseason berth.
Wilson was 21 of 30 for 249 yards. He found Baldwin on TDs of 6 and 3 yards in the first half, then hit Tyler Lockett on a 27-yard TD strike on the first play of the fourth quarter. Wilson became the first quarterback with three or more TD passes and no interceptions in five straight games.
Johnny Manziel threw a 7-yard TD to Gary Barnidge on the first drive for the Browns (3-11).
VIKINGS 38, BEARS 17
MINNEAPOLIS — Teddy Bridgewater threw a career-high four touchdowns and ran for another, and the Vikings took a big step toward clinching playoff spot.
Bridgewater completed 17 of 20 passes for 231 yards without a turnover, connecting twice with Stefon Diggs for scores. Jerick McKinnon and Zach Line had the other touchdown catches on a remarkably productive afternoon for all of Minnesota’s running backs.
Adrian Peterson missed some time because of an injury to his left ankle, but finished with 63 yards to maintain his NFL rushing lead. The Vikings are 9-5. The Bears are 5-9.
CHARGERS 30, DOLPHINS 14
SAN DIEGO — Danny Woodhead had his first career four-touchdown game and Philip Rivers recovered a fumble on a play that began with him throwing an interception in what might have been the final NFL game in San Diego.
Woodhead caught TD passes of 20, 9 and 9 yards, and scored on a 2-yard run for the Chargers (4-10), who failed to score a touchdown in each of their previous two home games. Miami (5-9) lost for the fourth time in five games.
The Chargers Cannon went off. The disco ditty “San Diego Super Chargers” blared for what might be the final time.
It could all be over after 55 seasons if NFL owners allow Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos to move to an industrial suburb of Los Angeles and build a stadium with the rival Oakland Raiders.
REDSKINS 35, BILLS 25
LANDOVER, Md. — Kirk Cousins equaled his career high with four touchdown passes and ran 13 yards for another score, helping Washington win consecutive games for the first time in more than a year and stay atop the NFC East.
While the Redskins (7-7) moved closer to a playoff berth, the Bills (6-8) are now assured of missing the postseason for the 16th year in a row, the NFL’s longest active drought.
Making first-year Bills head coach Rex Ryan’s defense look inept, and helped by a key fourth-down encroachment penalty on Buffalo, the Redskins scored TDs on each of their first three possessions for the first time since September 1999, grabbing a 21-0 lead in the second quarter.
CHIEFS 34, RAVENS 14
BALTIMORE — Kansas City capitalized on a variety of miscues by Baltimore, extended its winning streak to eight games and remain in the thick of the playoff picture.
Tyvon Branch returned a fumble 73 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter and Marcus Peters clinched the victory with a 90-yard interception return for a score with 4:36 left.
Kansas City (9-5) also scored touchdowns following a drive-extending penalty by Baltimore and a failed fake punt.
With the win, the Chiefs became the first NFL team to follow a five-game slide with eight successive wins in the same season.
Baltimore (4-10) is 2-5 at home — the first time in its 20-year history the team has lost five home games.
TEXANS 16, COLTS 10
INDIANAPOLIS — Brandon Weeden replaced injured quarterback T.J. Yates late in the first half and threw a go-ahead 8-yard TD pass to Jaelen Strong with 10:36 to play as Houston won at Indianapolis for the first time in 14 tries.
The Texans (7-7) took sole possession of the AFC South lead by snapping a two-game losing streak.
The Colts (6-8) have lost three straight and need help to make the playoffs.
The battle of backup quarterbacks didn’t earn style points. Yates was 6 of 10 for 68 yards with one interception before hurting his left knee. Weeden went 11 of 18 with 105 yards, leading the Texans to three field goals and the decisive TD.
Hasselbeck was 17 of 30 with 147 yards and one interception and briefly gave way to Charlie Whitehurst in the fourth.
PATRIOTS 33, TITANS 16
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Tom Brady threw for two touchdowns to help New England hold onto the top spot in the AFC in a game that saw Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota knocked out of the game with a knee injury in the first half.
The 2014 Heisman Trophy winner and the No. 2 overall pick in this year’s draft, Mariota left and did not return after being sacked to end consecutive second-quarter drives.
Brady completed 23 of 35 passes for 267 yards.
Delanie Walker caught two passes, both for touchdowns, for 64 yards for Tennessee. Zach Mettenberger completed 20 of 28 passes for 242 yards, two TD and two interceptions after replacing Mariota.
FALCONS 23, JAGUARS 17
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Julio Jones scored for the first time in seven weeks, and Atlanta ended a six-game losing streak.
Jones finished with nine receptions for 118 yards and set the franchise record for catches in a season. He has 118, breaking teammate Roddy White’s mark of 115 set in 2010.
The Falcons (7-7) had lost six straight and even had some wondering whether they had given up after losing 38-0 last week at Carolina.
The Jaguars (5-9) lost ground in the muddled AFC South and were all but eliminated in the division race.