Bucs, Chiefs clinch NFL division titles

Running back Ronald Jones crossed for one of three Tampa Bay touchdowns in the win at Carolina.
Camera IconRunning back Ronald Jones crossed for one of three Tampa Bay touchdowns in the win at Carolina. Credit: AP

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have won their first NFC South title since 2007 with Tom Brady throwing for 232 yards and a touchdown, and Antonio Brown making a grand return in a 32-6 rout of the Carolina Panthers.

In his first game since October 13, Brown caught 10 passes for 101 yards in Charlotte on Sunday while Ronald Jones carried 20 times for 65 yards and a touchdown.

"He's been itching to get back out there. He makes a lot of critical plays. It was a great performance by him," Brady said of Brown.

The Bucs (11-4) put up 391 yards on offence and their defence had seven sacks and limited the Panthers to two field goals.

"It feels great. We haven't had one of those division banners for a long time. I can't be more proud of the group than I am today." Bucs head coach Bruce Arians said.

Patrick Mahomes threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 36-10 to clinch their sixth consecutive AFC West title.

The Chiefs (11-4) remain a game ahead of the Tennessee Titans for first place in the AFC with their eighth straight win. That would give them the conference's lone first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

In Minneapolis, Brandon Powell returned a punt 61 yards for a touchdown to lift the Los Angeles Rams to a 30-23 win over the Minnesota Vikings and into the playoffs.

The victory also sent the Rams' NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals into the postseason.

Joe Burrow threw for a franchise-record 525 yards and four touchdowns, and the Cincinnati Bengals took sole possession of first place in the AFC North by beating the Baltimore Ravens 41-21.

Burrow, who broke Boomer Esiason's team record of 522 yards, was 37 of 46 as the Bengals (9-6) swept the Ravens (8-7) for the first time since 2015.

"You couldn't ask for a better situation right now. We control our destiny. Win these next two games, and we've got the division locked," Burrow said.

Josh Allen threw for 314 yards and three touchdowns and the Buffalo Bills beat the New England Patriots 33-21 to vault back into first place in the AFC East title race.

Buffalo (9-6) hold tiebreakers over the Pats (9-6) and Miami Dolphins (7-7), and are in the driver's seat to win their second straight division title.

The Philadelphia Eagles (8-7) scored 31 second-half points to continue their late playoff push with a 34-10 win over the New York Giants.

Elsewhere, the Chicago Bears overran the Seattle Seahawks 25-24 and the Las Vegas Raiders were 17-13 winners over the Denver Broncos.

The Houston Texans beat the Los Angeles Chargers 41-29, the New York Jets held off the Jacksonville Jaguars 26-21, and the Atlanta Falcons defeated the Detroit Lions 20-16.

The Dallas Cowboys celebrated their clinching of the NFC East title before kick-off with a 56-14 rout of Washington.

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