clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

NFL scores and more, Week 16: What happened on Sunday

Another wild Sunday is in the books. Danny Kelly walks you through all the action and arms you with some water cooler talking points.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Well, that was a weird day of football.

Things got kicked off with a big upset in Atlanta, where the Falcons ended Carolina's hopes for an undefeated season by knocking off Cam Newton and the Panthers, 20-13. Julio Jones got the play of the day when he leapt over Luke Kuechly to reel in a pass and ran it in for the go-ahead touchdown late in the third quarter. While a completely botched attempt at running the clock out could've sunk the Falcons late, they held on to win. Dropping to 14-1 isn't the end of the world for the Panthers, but they still have to lock up the No. 1 seed next week with a win over the Buccaneers. As for the Falcons, the playoffs are no longer a possibility, but by winning their last two games after a six-game slide, they're at least finishing the season by moving in the right direction.

Meanwhile New England, the AFC's current top seed, also lost a close division game on the road, dropping one to the Jets in overtime, 26-20. The Patriots still have the inside track at the top seed, but couldn't stop the incredibly potent combo of Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker in the red zone, particularly when it mattered in overtime. It was a huge win for the Jets as they improved to 10-5, leapfrogging the Steelers into the No. 6 spot with the help of Pittsburgh's loss to Baltimore.

The Patriots' coin toss gaffe to start overtime against the Jets

Speaking of that, whenever the Ravens and Steelers play, you can just throw out team records and know it's going to be a battle. Baltimore had a rough year but it swept the season series with Pittsburgh with the surprising 20-17 upset win and across the country, the Rams got some consolation for another down year by sweeping their season series with Seattle. The Rams knocked off the heavily favored Seahawks 23-17, stopping a red-hot Seattle team in its tracks. Something about division rivalry games -- you just never know what to expect.

The Cardinals locked up a first-round bye with a dominating 38-8 win over the Packers, and still have a shot at the No. 1 seed if the Panthers can't take care of business next week. Meantime, the Chiefs secured a playoff spot of their own with a 17-13 win over Johnny Manziel and the Browns. It was their ninth straight win and, amazingly, even after a 1-5 start to the season, Kansas City has a shot winning the AFC West if Denver continues to falter.

The Texans improved their position as the favorites in the AFC South with a 34-6 drubbing of the Titans, while the Vikings destroyed the Giants to clinch a playoff spot and set up a winner-takes-the-division matchup with the Packers next week.

Elsewhere, the Bills beat the Cowboys 16-6, the Lions blew out the 49ers 32-17, the Colts knocked off the Dolphins 18-12, the Bears beat the Bucs 26-21 and the Saints ran away from the Jags, 38-27.

Win the water cooler:

Arm yourself with the most essential tidbits from Sunday's action ... impress your coworkers around the water cooler.

Brandon Marshall the steal of the offseason?

The Jets traded a fifth-round pick to the Bears during the offseason to acquire Brandon Marshall, and he's rewarded their faith in him -- and then some. Marshall went over the century mark in receptions with his eight-catch, 115-yard performance on Sunday against the Patriots, putting him at 101 catches for 1,376 yards and 13 touchdowns on the year. That sets a new Jets franchise record for single-season catches, and gives him six seasons of 100-plus catches in his career. He's the first player in NFL history to do that. Just let that sink in.

Julio Jones is damn good, too

Julio Jones caught nine passes for 178 yards and a touchdown on Sunday in a winning effort over the Panthers and, in doing so, regained the NFL lead in receptions and receiving yards (127 for 1,722). He also joined Marvin Harrison (2002) as the only two players in league history with 125-plus catches and 1,700-plus receiving yards. If Jones can do the unlikely next week and notch 17 catches, he'll pass Harrison for most catches in a single season.

Antonio Brown, also very good

Antonio Brown didn't have a ridiculous outing by his measure, but caught seven passes for 61 yards in a loss to the Ravens on Sunday. With those seven catches, he moved to 123 on the year for 1,647 yards, and became just the second player in NFL history with back-to-back seasons of 120-plus receptions. Only Hall of Famer Cris Carter had achieved that feat prior to this year. We're seeing some truly amazing performances from receivers right now.

Anquan Boldin sets important milestone

Let's just keep talking about receivers, shall we? 49ers receiver Anquan Boldin became one of just 13 players in the history of the game with 1,000 career receptions on Sunday. Per Elias Sports, Boldin reached that mark in his 185th game, the fifth-fastest in league history.

Colts run game still struggling

The Colts gutted out a nice win over the Dolphins Sunday but kept a less-than-impressive streak alive in doing so. Frank Gore had a nice outing, rushing for 85 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns, but failed to eclipse the 100-yard mark on the day. That, according to Elias Sports, was the 49th straight games in which Indianapolis has failed to produce a 100-yard rusher. That's the longest active streak in the NFL.

SIGN UP FOR OUR NFL NEWSLETTER

Get all kinds of NFL stories, rumors, game coverage, and inane comments from the NFL media in your inbox every day.

The safety dance

Here's something random and weird: There have been 14 safeties scored this year, league wide. Four of them have come against Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins.

Marcus Peters, interception machine

Chiefs rookie Marcus Peters -- who was named to the Pro Bowl this past week -- picked off another pass on Sunday to improve his total to eight on the season, sharing the top spot in the NFL with the Bengals' Reggie Nelson. Peters, the 18th overall pick in last May's draft, is making a late charge for the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, and his eight picks is the most for a rookie since Jairus Byrd had nine picks in 2009 (per ESPN Stats & Info). Not bad.

Cam Newton

Well, Cam Newton probably isn't too worried about personal accolades this week after his and the Panthers' quest for perfection was foiled, but he did set a pretty damn impressive record on Sunday in a losing effort. After scoring a touchdown on an 8-yard run in the first quarter, Newton became the first player in NFL history with 30 or more passing touchdowns and eight or more rushing touchdowns in a single season.

With his eighth rushing touchdown on the year, he also became the first quarterback in league history with 600 or more rushing yards and eight or more rushing touchdowns in three different seasons, passing Michael Vick, who accomplished that twice. Newton is such a unique player.

Johnny Football

Speaking of running quarterbacks, Johnny Manziel joined a pretty exclusive club on Sunday by rushing for 108 yards on 11 carries. He was just four yards shy of the high for a quarterback this year -- second only to Marcus Mariota, who rushed for 112 yards in Week 12. For a little perspective on that, that's the most rushing yards by a Browns quarterback since 1962 (Frank Ryan, 80).

Drew Brees just keeps plugging along

Drew Brees' status for this week's game against the Jaguars was up in the air until game time, but despite a torn plantar fascia in his foot, he completed 25 of 36 passes for 412 yards and three touchdowns in a winning effort at home. With that game, Brees now has 13 career games with 400 or more passing yards, per ESPN Stats and Info, one short of Peyton Manning's NFL record (14). His 400-plus-yard, three-touchdown day was the seventh of his career -- an NFL record -- and his 71-yard touchdown bomb to Brandin Cooks marked his 16th 70-plus-yard passing score of his career, which ties the lead for most in NFL history. We're truly witnessing greatness with Brees.

Giants match ignominious record

The Giants have been eliminated from the playoffs for the fourth straight season (*as of Saturday night), and in doing so became just the second team in NFL history to win the Super Bowl (which they did in 2011) and then miss the postseason in each of the next four years. The last team to do that was the Packers from 1968-71.

It's hard to win in the NFL.

Final Scores for Week 16

Oakland Raiders 23, San Diego Chargers 20 (OT) [Thursday]
Washington 38, Philadelphia Eagles 24 [Saturday]
Atlanta Falcons 20, Carolina Panthers 13
Buffalo Bills 16, Dallas Cowboys 6
Detroit Lions 32, San Francisco 49ers 17
Kansas City Chiefs 17, Cleveland Browns 13
Indianapolis Colts 18, Miami Dolphins 12
New York Jets 26, New England Patriots 20 (OT)
Chicago Bears 26, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21
Houston Texans 34, Tennessee Titans 6
Baltimore Ravens 20, Pittsburgh Steelers 17
New Orleans Saints 38, Jacksonville Jaguars 27
Arizona Cardinals 38, Green Bay Packers 8
St. Louis Rams 23, Seattle Seahawks 17
Minnesota Vikings 49, New York Giants 17

Biggest Moments

Cam Newton briefly panicked when he couldn't find his post-touchdown football to give to a kid, but Mike Tolbert saved the day.

Matt Ryan (?!) juked the hell out of Panthers LB Thomas Davis.

Carson Palmer got ready to play the Packers by ... running around in a hula skirt before the game.

DeAngelo Williams got violently hair-tackled by Ravens LB Za'Darius Smith.

Julio Jones totally posterized Luke Kuechly.

The Falcons had 15 defenders on the field, but Cam Newton still got a first down.

Falcons owner Arthur Blank dabbed after his team's upset win. Newton, your response?

Uh no, Johnny Manziel. Your right tackle is not an eligible receiver.

Lions center Travis Swanson might be frozen in carbonite.

Jarvis Landry made a spectacular one-handed grab for the Dolphins in their unspectacular loss to the Colts.

Rob Gronkowski's huge fourth-down catch broke Jets fans' hearts -- temporarily, that is, until Bill Belichick decided to kick first after the Patriots won the coin toss in overtime.

So what exactly happened with the Patriots-Jets coin toss?

Eric Decker's game-winning touchdown gave him and Brandon Marshall a record for teammate TDs once owned by Cris Carter and Randy Moss.

Cardinals RB David Johnson took on practically the entire Packers defense -- and won.

After their playoff-clinching win, the Chiefs were greeted by Santa Paul Rudd, the only Santa who never looks old.

Andy Reid may have officially killed the dab.

The Seahawks offense has been on a tear, but it went off the rails early against the Rams.

Rams punter Johnny Hekker can dish, but when Cliff Avril is coming at him, he ... cowers in fear.

Todd Gurley is ridiculous ... but sometimes he isn't.

BIG GUY TD!

BIG GUY INT!

Clay Matthews will help you up ... just kidding.