NFL: Dolphins stun Patriots as Chiefs win for bye, Eagles advance

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Dec 30 2019 03:02 PM

Miami Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins (94) reacts after a touch down by quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) at Gillette Stadium. Bob DeChiara, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Miami Dolphins stunned the New England Patriots, 27-24, on Sunday, allowing the Kansas City Chiefs to seize an NFL first-round playoff bye with a 31-21 triumph over the Los Angeles Chargers.

The heavily favored Patriots' loss on their home field at Gillette Stadium, coupled with the Chiefs' win, means Tom Brady and the reigning Super Bowl champions will play in the wild card round for the first time since 2009 -- when they were thumped at home by the Baltimore Ravens.

“We didn't play the way we're capable of playing and it ended up costing us," New England's superstar quarterback Brady said. "Just too many bad mistakes.

The Pats will host the Tennessee Titans in the wild card round.

With plenty at stake on the final day of the regular season, Raheem Mostert ran for two touchdowns and Dre Greenlaw made a game-saving defensive tackle as the San Francisco 49ers clinched the NFC West title and the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs with a 26-21 win over Seattle.

The 49ers (13-3) will get a bye in next weekend's wild-card round while the Seahawks (11-5) get the No. 5 seed and will play at No. 4 seed the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday in the final game of wild-card weekend.

The Titans secured the last American Football Conference berth with a 35-14 win over the Houston Texans.

That result extinguished the faint hopes of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders.

Green Bay locked up a National Football Conference first-round bye in dramatic fashion in Detroit, where Mason Crosby kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired to lift the Packers to a 23-20 victory over the lowly Lions.

With quarterback Aaron Rodgers struggling, the Packers trailed by two touchdowns in the second quarter, and didn't take the lead until Crosby came through.

The Eagles locked up the final NFC berth, clinching the NFC East division title with a 34-17 victory over the New York Giants.

That result rendered the Dallas Cowboys' 47-16 victory over the Washington Redskins meaningless.

'Hail to the Dolphins'

The Patriots' road to a title repeat was suddenly looking a lot tougher after their shock loss to the 5-11 Dolphins.

"It was a great chance for us to not play next week, and we didn't take advantage of it," Brady said after the Pats fell to No. 3 in the AFC behind the Baltimore Ravens and the Chiefs. "We just didn't play good enough."

New England have never won the Super Bowl without benefit of a first-round bye.

They looked set to escape with a victory when James White pulled down a screen pass and ran for a 13-yard touchdown that put New England up for the first time with 3:53 remaining.

But the Dolphins marched 75 yards in three minutes and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick found tight end Mike Gesicki for the winning TD with 24 seconds left.

Brady struggled much of the day, completing 16-of-29 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns.

Brady's first TD pass of the day moved him past Peyton Manning into second on the NFL's all-time touchdown pass list headed by Drew Brees.

But his pass intercepted by former teammate Eric Rowe in the second quarter was returned for a touchdown that gave the Dolphins a 10-3 lead.

"It was just a bad throw," the 42-year-old Brady said, insisting that he had no physical problems on the day.

New England's top-ranked defense allowed a season-high in yards to a Dolphins offense led by Fitzpatrick -- who threw for 320 yards and a touchdown and also ran for a TD.

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs didn't waste the opportunity provided by the Pats' defeat, locking in the AFC second seed and a bye with a gritty win over the Chargers.

Los Angeles led 14-10 after an early third-quarter touchdown, but Chiefs rookie wide receiver Mecole Hardman returned the ensuing kickoff 104 yards for a touchdown to ignite a Kansas City rally.

Running back Damien Williams added an 84-yard TD run for the Chiefs.

"All in all a great game," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said, drawing a laugh when he added: "Hail to the Dolphins."

In Seattle, Marshawn Lynch came out of retirement and scored a touchdown for the injury-riddled Seahawks but the former star running back was used mainly as a decoy in the backfield so quarterback Russell Wilson could run the ball. 

Lynch carried the ball 12 times for just 34 yards in his first NFL game in 14 months. Seattle would've won the NFC West title with a victory. Lynch averaged 2.8 yards a carry.

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