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NFL Rewind: Eagles' big win may be costly

The Philadelphia Eagles clinched the NFC and solidified their hold on the best record in the conference by winning a 43-35 shootout over the Rams in Los Angeles but it was a costly victory.

Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz suffered an apparent torn ACL in the victory and unless further examination on Monday proves different he may be lost for the postseason. The team with the best record in NFL (11-2) saw its Super Bowl chances get shot down perhaps.

The Eagles showdown with the Los Angeles Rams at the L.A. Coliseum was as good as promised. Wentz's fourth TD pass of the day gave the Eagles a 31-28  lead in the third quarter after they once owned a 21-7 advantage.  The injury apparently occurred two plays before Wentz passed 2 yards to Alshon Jeffery for the score with 2:20 left in the period.

Still, the Eagles needed two Jake Elliott field goals to take back the lead in the fourth quarter.

Minnesota had a chance to clinch the NFC North title but failed, losing at Carolina, 31-24, as the Panthers moved into a tie for first with New Orleans in the NFC South.

The Jacksonville Jaguars took sole possession of first place in the AFC South with their 30-24 win over Seattle combined with Tennessee's loss at Arizona. The Jags, however, did not clinch their first playoff berth since 2007 because the Bills win over the Colts among other factors.

Kansas City ended its four-game losing streak by defeating the Oakland Raiders, 26-15, at Arrowhead and knocking the Raiders out of the three-way tie with the Chiefs and Los Angeles Chargers atop the AFC West.

A capsule look at Sunday's Week 14 games:

Game of the day

Eagles 43, Rams 35

The scoop: In a wild game that saw six lead-changes, four in the second half, Philadelphia moved a step closer to clinching the No. 1 seed in the NFC playoffs. Elliott kicked field goals from 41 and 33 yards in the fourth quarter to put the Eagles in front, 37-35. Brandon Graham returned a fumble 16 yards for a score on the last play of the game when the Rams lost the ball trying a desperation lateral play.
Why the Eagles won: Wentz passed for four Philadelphia touchdowns, two to tight end Trey Burton.

The contenders

Panthers 31, Vikings 24

The scoop: Jonathan Stewart scored on a 1-yard run with 1:47 play to complete a 75-yard drive after the Vikings had rallied to tie the game at 24. The Vikes had closed to 24-21 on a 52-yard pass from Case Keenum to Adam Thielen with 5:36 left then knotted it on a 27-yard Kai Forbath field goal with 3:07 to go.
Why the Panthers won: An interception and a fumble that led to 10 Carolina points was enough to spell the difference in anotherwise even game.

Chiefs 26, Raiders 15

The scoop: Harrison Butker kicked four field goals and rookie Kareem Hunt returned to his early-season form with 116 rushing yards and 22 receiving yards in the Chiefs' victory. Kansas City led all the way after Butker kicked a 53-yard field on the Chiefs' first possession. Hunt scored on a 1-yard run, his first touchdown in nine games to make it 10-0 early in the second quarter. It was 26-0 before the Raiders sdcored two late touchdowns on a 22-yard Marshawn Lynch run and a 29-yard pass from Derek Carr to Jared Cook.
Why the Chiefs won: They dominated the game, limiting Oakland to 268 yards total offense while totaling 408 with 36:40 of possession time.

Jaguars 30, Seahawks 24

The scoop: Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles outshined Russell Wilson, leading his team on a 17-0 second half run for a 27-10 lead. Bortles, who completed 18 of 27 for 268 yards had a 123.7 passer rating to 76.9 for Wilson who threw three interceptions in addition his three touchdown passes. Seattle closed to within six points on Wilson's 74-yard bomb to Tyler Luckett in the fourth quarter. He also threw 61 yards to Paul Richardson for score earlier in the fourth quarter.
Why the Jaguars won: They had two one-play touchdown drives in the third quarter. One score came on a 75-yard pass from Bortles to Keelan Cole, the other on a 1-yard run by Leonard Fournette after a 72-yard punt return by Jaydon Mickens.

The pretenders

Bears 33, Bengals 7

The scoop: Ex Bengal Mike Nugent kicked two second quarter field goals for a 12-7 Chicago lead and the Bears outscored Cincy 24-0 in the second half. Jordan Howard ran for 147 yards and two Chicago touchdowns and Mitch Trubisky passed 1-yard to rookie tight end Adam Shaheen for another. Kendall Wright caught 10 passes from Trubisky for 107 yards.
Why the Bears won: They rolled up 482 yards in total offense

Packers 27, Browns 21

The scoop: Brett Hundley passed 25 yards to Davante Adams for the winning score with 5:05 left in overtime after Josh Jones intercepted a DeShone Kizer pass. In search of its first win of the season, Cleveland led, 21-7, with 2:49 left in the third quarter. Green Bay tied it on a 1-yard Jamaal Williams run, and a 1-yard pass from Hundley to Adams with 5:05 left.
Why the Packers won: Again, the Browns could not finish the job. They managed just two first downs in the fourth quarter and overtime.

49ers 26, Texans 16

The scoop: Rob Gould tied the game at 16 with the third of his four field goals and Jimmy Garoppolo passed 6 yards to Garrett Celek for the go-ahead touchdown with 1:53 left. DeAndre Hopkins caught 10 passes for 149 yards and had both Texans touchdowns on passes from backup quarterback T.J. Yates.
Why the 49ers won: Garoppolo passed for 334 yards to lead San Francisco's 416-yards of total offense.

Lions 24, Buccaneers 21

The scoop: Matt Prater kicked a 46-yard field goal with 20 seconds left to win it for the Lions after the Bucs had rallied to tie on two Jameis Winston TD passes.
Why the Lions won: Playing with an injured hand QB Matt Stafford passed for only one touchdown and threw two interceptions but his aerials were good for 381 yards including 10 completions to Eric Ebron for 94 yards and eight to Golden Tate for 85 and a touchdown.

 

Cowboys 30, Giants 10

The scoop: It was a 10-10 game midway through the fourth quarter when the roof fell in on New York. Dallas drove 82 and 88 yards for touchdowns and scored again after Eli Manning threw a late interception. Dak Prescott passed for three Dallas touchdowns including a 50-yard to Dez Bryant and an 81-yarder to Rod Smith.

Why the Cowboys won: They shut the Giants out in the second half. New York punted on six straight possessions and Manning threw two picks on the last two Giants series.

Broncos 23, Jets 0

The scoop: While the Bills and Colts slogged through snow at New Era Field for 319 and 227 yards respectively, the Jets could manage only 100 (59 rushing, a net 41 passing) in sunny, 60-degree weather in Denver. The Broncos ended their losing streak at eight games. The first of the two Denver touchdown drives was only 20 yards after a Jets fumble.

Why the Broncos won: Their defense dominated the Jets who were coming off a 38-point game in a win over Kansas City last week. They led 20-0 even before Jets QB Josh McCown was forced out of the game with a hand injury late in the third quarter.

Dog of the day

Cardinals 12, Titans 7

The scoop: Phil Dawson kicked four second-half field goals to wipe out a 7-0 Tennessee lead. Larry Fitzgerald caught five passes for 44 yards for the Cardinals. His 23-yard reception early in the third quarter enabled him to  surpass randy Moss (15,292) for third place on the NFL's all-time receiving yardage list. Fitzgerald now has 15,267 ,trailing only Terrell Owens (15,934) and Jerry Rice (22,895).

Why the Cardinals won: Tennessee's longest drive was only 50 yards, its longest running gain was 9 yards, and the Titans had two interceptions, a missed field goal and allowed three sacks.

News wire services contributed to this report.

 

 

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