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49ers Rams Football

San Francisco quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo passes against the Los Angeles Rams on Sunday.

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — Jimmy Garoppolo threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns to lead the San Francisco 49ers to their fifth straight victory, 34-13 on Sunday against a Los Angeles Rams team resting its big stars for the playoffs.

The Rams (11-5), who clinched the NFC West title last weekend, rested Todd Gurley, Jared Goff, Aaron Donald and other top players for their home playoff game next weekend, the franchise's first postseason game since the 2004 season.

The 49ers (6-10) finished last in the division, but have hope with Garoppolo, who was Tom Brady's backup with New England before being acquired on Oct. 31. He threw touchdown passes of 8 yards to Marquise Goodwin — who later left with a concussion after a brutal hit by Blake Countess — and 12 yards to Aldrick Robinson. Both receivers were wide open.

Garoppolo, who played in college at Eastern Illinois, completed 20 of 33 passes.


PITTSBURGH — Cleveland joined the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams in NFL history to go 0-16 when they failed to find a way to beat the backup-laden Pittsburgh Steelers.

Cleveland had a chance late in the fourth quarter, but DeShone Kizer's fourth-down pass to Corey Coleman bounced off Coleman's hands and fell incomplete.

Kizer finished with 314 yards passing and two touchdowns to Rashard Higgins, but also threw a fourth-quarter pick, his NFL-leading 22nd of the season.

The AFC North champion Steelers (13-3) sat stars Ben Roethlisberger and Le'Veon Bell among others, but it hardly mattered. Landry Jones completed 23 of 27 passes for 239 yards with a touchdown and an interception, and rookie wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster caught nine passes for 143 yards and a score. He also returned a kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown.


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Buffalo Bills snapped the longest current non-playoff drought in North American pro sports with the win and Cincinnati's victory at Baltimore. The Bills hadn't made the postseason since 1999.

The Bills' anxiety was compounded by the loss of 1,000-yard rusher LeSean McCoy with a right ankle injury. He was carted off the field in the third quarter.


NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Marcus Mariota threw a touchdown and used his legs to help the Tennessee Titans end an eight-season playoff drought by beating the Jacksonville Jaguars to clinch an AFC wild-card berth.

The Titans (9-7) snapped a three-game skid in a game they needed to win or get some help with losses elsewhere to advance. They also posted their first back-to-back winning seasons since 2007 and 2008.

The Jaguars (10-6) clinched their first AFC South title a week ago when Tennessee lost to San Francisco.


CARSON, Calif. — Philip Rivers passed for 387 yards and three touchdowns, but the Los Angeles Chargers missed out on a playoff berth despite their win.

Keenan Allen scored on a 27-yard fumble recovery and a 6-yard TD catch for the Chargers (9-7), who won six of their final seven games in their relocation season.

The Bolts needed help from losses by two other AFC teams to become the second team in NFL history to make the playoffs after an 0-4 start, and they were eliminated when Tennessee beat Jacksonville moments after the final gun in Carson.

After the game, the Raiders fired coach Jack Del Rio.


SEATTLE — Phil Dawson kicked four field goals, the last from 42 yards with 2:21 left, Blair Walsh missed a 48-yard attempt with 32 seconds left and the Arizona Cardinals beat the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle's playoff hopes were dashed when Atlanta beat Carolina to earn the final wild-card spot in the NFC.


FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — Dion Lewis ran for a touchdown and caught a scoring pass, helping the Patriots clinch home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

The win clinched the seventh 13-win season for the Patriots (13-3), second in NFL history to San Francisco's nine seasons. It was also Bill Belichick's 250th career regular-season win, moving him into a tie with Tom Landry for third all-time among head coaches.

James Harrison, signed by New England last Tuesday after being cut by Pittsburgh, had two sacks — on consecutive plays to end the game — and finished with five total tackles and a forced fumble.


PHILADELPHIA — Dak Prescott tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Brice Butler early in the fourth quarter and the Cowboys beat playoff-bound Philadelphia, preventing the Eagles from earning a franchise-record 14th win.

The Eagles (13-3) rested several starters on a frigid day and played others briefly after securing the NFC's No. 1 seed last week. They'll host a playoff game on Jan. 13 or 14.

The Cowboys (9-7) earned their second straight winning season for the first time since five in a row from 2005-09. That's little consolation for Dallas, which was eliminated from playoff contention in Week 16.


DETROIT — Matthew Stafford threw three touchdown passes and the Lions beat the turnover-prone and short-handed Packers in a matchup of teams out of the playoff race.

The Lions (9-7) finished with a winning record in consecutive seasons for the first time since doing it three years in a row from 1993-95. That relative feat, along with a 36-28 record and two postseason appearances over four seasons in Detroit, may not be enough for coach Jim Caldwell to keep his job.

The Packers (7-9) have a losing record for the first time since 2008, which is also the last time they didn't earn a spot in the playoffs. Their chances this season were crushed by Aaron Rodgers missing nine games with a collarbone injury.


INDIANAPOLIS — Jacoby Brissett threw for one touchdown and Marlon Mack ran for another as the Colts beat Houston in the season finale for both teams.

The win ended the longest losing streak of Colts coach Chuck Pagano's six seasons. Still, he was fired after the game following the Colts' (4-12) third straight season missing the playoffs.

The Texans (4-12) lost their last six, nine of their last 10, finished last in the AFC South, and can't even take solace in draft picks because they don't own one in either the first or second round in 2018.


EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Two-time Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning threw a touchdown pass in what might be his final game with the Giants and New York got a rare taste of winning.

Manning threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Sharp and Orleans Darkwa rushed for a career-high 154 yards, including a 75-yarder on the second play from scrimmage. The Giants (3-13) snapped a five-game losing streak and gave interim head coach Steve Spagnuolo his first win since taking over from the fired Ben McAdoo on Dec. 4.


DENVER — Patrick Mahomes II made both his first NFL start and his first NFL relief appearance a success Sunday, leading the Kansas City Chiefs past the Denver Broncos on Harrison Butker's 30-yard field goal as time expired.

Starting in place of Alex Smith, Mahomes handed off a 24-10 lead to No. 3 QB Tyler Bray midway through the fourth quarter but came back with the score tied at 24 and less than three minutes left.

He drove the Chiefs 67 yards in 11 plays for the game-winning field goal that sent the Chiefs (10-6) to their fifth straight win over the Broncos (5-11).


TAMPA, Fla. — Jameis Winston threw for 363 yards, including a 39-yard scoring pass to Chris Godwin with nine seconds remaining, to help the Tampa Bay Buccaneers snap a five-game losing streak.

The playoff-bound Saints (11-5) entered the day hoping to clinch their first NFC South championship in six years. They wound up winning the title anyway, with Carolina (11-5) losing its regular season finale at Atlanta.

Trailing 24-23 with 1:58 remaining, Winston moved the Bucs (5-11) 95 yards in 11 plays for the winning TD.


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