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PRINT EDITION
Bears clinch first playoff berth since 2010, beat Packers
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THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
  
  

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Monday, December 17, 2018 – Page B15

BEARS 24, PACKERS 17 CHICAGO Mitchell Trubisky threw for two touchdowns, Eddie Jackson ended Aaron Rodgers's NFLrecord streak without an interception and the Chicago Bears clinched the NFC North with a 2417 victory over the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Chicago (10-4) secured its first playoff appearance since the 2010 team won the division, and clinching with a rare victory over their heated rivals made it all the more sweet. The loss, coupled with Minnesota's 41-17 victory over Miami, keeps the Packers out of the postseason for the second year in a row. Chicago had dropped nine of 10 against Green Bay (5-8-1). But the Bears secured their first trip to the playoffs in eight years with their seventh win in eight games. For a team that came into the season with four straight last-place finishes, it's quite a turnaround. But with the hiring of coach Matt Nagy and trade for Khalil Mack in a busy off-season, the Bears made a huge jump.

COLTS 23, COWBOYS 0 INDIANAPOLIS Marlon Mack rushed for a career-high 139 yards and two scores and the Colts shut out one of the league's hottest offences. The Colts (8-6) stayed in the AFC playoff hunt with their seventh win in eight games and their first shutout since a 27-0 victory over Cincinnati on Oct. 19, 2014. Dallas (8-6) failed to clinch the NFC East as its five-game winning streak ended. Mack starred in Sunday's big show. He set the tone by running through a tackle for a 19-yard gain on his first carry, wound up carrying 22 times and matching a career high with the two scoring runs - all against the league's No. 3 rushing defence. It marked the first time since Week 9 that Dallas allowed a team to top the 100-yard mark, and the Cowboys were shut out for the first time in more than 15 years.

New England was the previous team to achieve the feat with a 12-0 victory on Nov. 16, 2003.

Mack even outperformed Ezekiel Elliott, who came into the weekend as the NFL's leading rusher.

Elliott had 18 carries for 87 yards and caught seven passes for 41 yards.

VIKINGS 41, DOLPHINS 18 MINNEAPOLIS Dalvin Cook had a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns on a season-high 19 carries as the Vikings recommitted themselves to running the ball. Latavius Murray added 68 rushing yards and a score on 15 of the team's season-high 40 attempts. The Vikings (7-6-1) converted each of their first three drives under interim offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski into touchdowns before turning the game over to the defence. Anthony Barr and Danielle Hunter each had two of the nine sacks of Ryan Tannehill, totalling 71 lost yards for the Dolphins (7-7). Miami came crashing down from the euphoria of defeating New England with that double-lateral 69-yard score on the final play last week.

The Vikings moved a critical step closer to returning to the postseason. With enough help, they could clinch the second wild-card spot next week.

RAVENS 20, BUCCANEERS 12 BALTIMORE Rookie quarterback Lamar Jackson picked apart the Tampa Bay defence on a soggy field, running for 95 yards and throwing for 131. Anointed the starter over veteran Joe Flacco earlier in the week, Jackson justified the decision with a riveting performance. Slipping between and sliding around potential tacklers, the 2016 Heisman Trophy winner operated the runpass option in much the same fashion as during his glory days at Louisville. Jackson directed two drives that lasted more than seven minutes, carried 18 times and completed 14 of 23 passes, one of them for a touchdown. Baltimore (8-6) is 4-1 since Jackson took over for the injured Flacco, the only loss in overtime at Kansas City. Jackson has rushed for 427 yards in those five games. Tampa Bay (5-9) simply couldn't find a way to stop Jackson and the running game, which amassed 242 yards on 49 attempts.

TITANS 17, GIANTS 0 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Bruising halfback Derrick Henry had his second straight big game with a career-high 33 carries for 170 yards rushing and two touchdowns. Henry, who had a franchise-record 238 yards and four touchdowns in a win over Jacksonville on Dec. 6, scored on one-yard runs in the first and third quarters. That was all the Titans' defence needed on a wet and rainy day at MetLife Stadium as it shut down Saquon Barkley (31 yards on 14 carries) in helping Tennessee win its third straight game, matching its season high.

The shutout was the Titans' first since a 31-0 win over the Cowboys on Christmas Day in 2000. It needed a late stand to make it happen. It was the first time New York was blanked since Arizona posted a 23-0 win last Dec. 24.

WASHINGTON 16, JAGUARS 13 JACKSONVILLE Josh Johnson's first NFL start in more than seven years ended with a victory, snapping Washington's four-game losing streak and keeping it on the fringe of the NFC playoff picture.

Johnson and Adrian Peterson drove Washington (7-7) into field-goal range in the closing minutes, and Dustin Hopkins made a 36-yarder on the final play to win it. Washington had lost every game since quarterback Alex Smith sustained a season-ending leg injury. The Jaguars (4-11) have dropped nine of 10.

FALCONS 40, CARDINALS 14 ATLANTA Julio Jones made an acrobatic touchdown catch and Deion Jones returned an interception for an early score as the Falcons snapped a five-game losing streak. The Falcons (5-9) forced three turnovers and sacked Arizona's Josh Rosen seven times, a single-game season high for both teams. Arizona (311) has dropped two straight and five of six under first-year coach Steve Wilks. Atlanta won for the first time since Week 9 at Washington. Grady Jarrett had two of the Falcons' season-high seven sacks, and Arizona's run defences allowed 215 yards to the NFL's worst rushing attack.

BENGALS 30, RAIDERS 16 CINCINNATI Joe Mixon had another big game, rushing for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and the Bengals ended one of their longest losing streaks under coach Marvin Lewis. The Bengals (6-8) had dropped five straight - their third-worst slump during Lewis's 16 seasons - before finding a team struggling as much as them. Mixon's 15-yard touchdown with 4:04 left clinched the Bengals' first win since October and capped his second straight 100-yard game. Cincinnati wrapped up its home season before another sparse crowd, with 44,568 tickets distributed. The Bengals had the second-smallest season attendance in Paul Brown Stadium's 19 seasons as fans showed frustration with another disappointing season under Lewis. The Raiders (3-11) are already in next-year mode.

BILLS 14, LIONS 13 ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. Josh Allen threw a 42-yard touchdown pass to Robert Foster early in the fourth quarter to rally Buffalo and eliminate the Lions from playoff contention. Allen also scored on a three-yard run and finished 13 of 26 for 204 yards and no turnovers.

Foster had four catches for 108 yards to top 100 for the third time in five games since being promoted from the practice squad.

49ERS 26, SEAHAWKS 23 (OT) SANTA CLARA, CALIF. Robbie Gould kicked a 36-yard field goal with 3:06 left in overtime and San Francisco snapped a 10-game losing streak against Seattle. Nick Mullens threw for 275 yards and a touchdown to help the 49ers (410) win consecutive games for the first time this season. Richie James Jr. returned a kick 97 yards for a touchdown and Gould kicked four field goals to give San Francisco its first win in the rivalry since 2013 when Jim Harbaugh was still coach. The Seahawks (8-6) had their four-game winning streak snapped and missed a chance to clinch a playoff berth with the loss to the Niners. Russell Wilson threw for 237 yards with two TD passes to Doug Baldwin and Chris Carson ran for 119 yards and a score for Seattle. But Wilson was unable to generate any points on his final three drives, leading to the loss.

BROWNS 17, BRONCOS 16 DENVER Baker Mayfield capitalized on Denver's depleted cornerback corps and dubious decisions in leading the Cleveland Browns past the Broncos on Saturday night, keeping alive their slim hopes of ending the NFL's longest playoff drought. Mayfield's twoyard TD toss to Antonio Calloway with just under 12 minutes left provided the winning margin for the Browns (6-7-1). They snapped an 11-game losing streak to the Broncos (6-8). Improving to 3-28 on the road over the past four seasons, the Browns still have a shot at their first winning season since 2007 and even their first playoff berth since 2002 thanks to their first win over Denver since 1990.

TEXANS 29, JETS 22 EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Deshaun Watson threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to DeAndre Hopkins with 2:15 left, lifting the Houston Texans to a comeback victory over Sam Darnold and the New York Jets on Saturday night. The Texans improved to 10-4; the Jets fell to 4-10.

294 Passing yards for Houston QB Deshaun Watson on 22 completions in 28 attempts and two touchdowns in the Texans' win over the New York Jets on Saturday

170 Rushing yards for Tennessee RB Derrick Henry on 33 carries and two touchdowns in the Titans' win over the New York Giants

170 Receiving yards for Houston WR DeAndre Hopkins on 10 receptions and two touchdowns in the Texans' win over the Jets

Associated Graphic

Xavier Rhodes of the Minnesota Vikings breaks up a pass to DeVante Parker of the Miami Dolphins in the second quarter of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on Sunday. HANNAH FOSLIEN/GETTY IMAGES


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