Week 16: Hail to the Chiefs
Here are the highlights and lowlights from games played Sunday.
Quarterback, Kansas City Chiefs
Cassel's sharp passing put Kansas City on the brink of a postseason berth, which the Chiefs captured when San Diego lost to Cincinnati. Cassel completed 24 of 34 passes, including 12 of his first 13, for 314 yards and three touchdowns to lead the Chiefs to a 34-14 victory over Tennessee. Cassel threw scoring strikes to Jamaal Charles on Kansas City's first two possessions, helping the Chiefs build a 31-7 halftime lead.
Wide receiver, Kansas City Chiefs
Bowe also had a big day for Kansas City. The wideout snapped out of his recent funk by catching six passes for 153 yards, including a career-long 75-yard TD in the second quarter.
Quarterback, Green Bay Packers
Rodgers, returning from a concussion, kept Green Bay in the thick of the playoff hunt with a superb performance. Rodgers threw for 404 yards and four TDs as the Packers beat the struggling Giants 45-17 at Lambeau Field.
Quarterback, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Freeman did his part to keep the Buccaneers in the playoff picture. The second-year QB completed 21 of 26 passes for 237 yards and a career-high five TDs in Tampa Bay's 38-15 rout of Seattle.
The Ravens clinched a playoff berth, thanks mostly to a stout and opportunistic D. Ed Reed picked off Browns QB Colt McCoy (see below) twice as Baltimore forced four turnovers in a 20-10 victory. The Ravens held Browns RB Peyton Hillis, who had a 144-yard output in the teams' Week 3 meeting, to 35 yards on 12 carries.
The Rams' D came through with several timely plays in a 25-17 victory over San Francisco. The unit recorded four sacks, an interception and a safety, constantly keeping both Alex Smith and Troy Smith on the run. It also forced and recovered an Alex Smith fumble with the Rams trying to protect their late lead.
Who says the Patriots lack a viable running game? New England piled up 163 rushing yards in the first half alone and finished with 217 yards in its 34-3 drubbing of Buffalo. BenJarvus Green-Ellis led the onslaught with 104 yards on 19 carries. Danny Woodhead had 93 yards and a TD on 13 carries.
Quarterback, Cincinnati Bengals
Palmer has had a tough season, but he was nearly perfect in Week 16. Palmer threw for 269 yards with four TDs and no interceptions in the Bengals' 34-20 victory over San Diego.
Quarterback, Chicago Bears
Cutler shook off an early pick-six and picked apart the Jets' defense. Cutler threw three TD passes as the Bears scored 21 points in the third quarter and held on for a 38-34 victory. It was Cutler's fifth game of the season with at least three scoring tosses.
Quarterback, Buffalo Bills
Fitzpatrick's chances of being the Bills' long-term starter took a hit on Sunday. Fitzpatrick committed five turnovers -- three interceptions and two fumbles -- in Buffalo's loss to New England. The Patriots converted the first three into 21 points. Fitzpatrick's streak of games with a touchdown pass ended at 15, three short of Jim Kelly's franchise record.
The mistakes started early for the Giants, and they kept on coming. Eli Manning threw four interceptions, increasing his league-leading total to 24, and New York lost two fumbles in the loss at Green Bay.
Quarterback, Miami Dolphins
Henne was having a solid game -- until crunch time. The Dolphins led Detroit by 10 with about five minutes left, but Henne's two late interceptions enabled the Lions to storm back and win 34-27. Both of Henne's picks came on third down and in Dolphins territory.
Quarterback, Cleveland Browns
Solid for most of the season, McCoy played like a rookie on Sunday. McCoy threw three interceptions and looked confused against the Ravens' D. McCoy, who was 15-of-29 for 149 yards, dropped to 2-5 as a starter.
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