With the morning slate of games in the books, the NFL's playoff picture has become more clear. The Broncos clinched a first-round bye in the AFC as Peyton Manning broke Tom Brady's record for single-season touchdown passes with 51. The Dolphins loss to Buffalo means Brady and the Patriots wrapped up the AFC East, making the playoffs for the 10th time in 11 years. Meanwhile, in a laugher, the Bengals beat Minnesota to remain in the driver's seat for the AFC North title.
In the NFC, the Cowboys needed a touchdown pass from Tony Romo in the final minutes to finish off the Redskins. Dallas still needs to beat the Eagles next week to win the NFC East, their only chance to get into the playoffs. The Panthers stayed alive with a last-minute touchdown drive of their own, with Cam Newton outgunning Drew Brees in heavy rain as Carolina beat New Orleans.
The afternoon games saw some new developments. The Cardinals shocked the Seahawks on the road, staying alive in the wild card chase. Seattle can still clinch the division and homefield advantage if the 49ers lose on Monday night. The Lions dropped an overtime heartbreaker to the Giants and are eliminated from the playoffs, while the Packers are on the ropes with a home loss to Pittsburgh. The Chargers took care of the Raiders and are still in the wild card race. They got a lot of help with the Dolphins and Ravens both losing.