Even though most of the division titles have been sewn up, the fight for the final three playoff spots in the league is just heating up. 11 teams, including the crafty Cardinals and underdog Dolphins, need wins and help from the competition next week in order to get into the post-season, while the Cowboys and Eagles will face off in the season finale for the NFC East crown.
Here's What Else We Learned:
Manning Sets Single-Season TD Record, Broncos Clinch AFC West: With another four-TD performance, Peyton Manning set a new NFL record for TDs thrown in a single season with 51. With another dominant performance, Manning connected with seven different receivers, while the Denver defense added three sacks and two interceptions in a 37-13 win to clinch the NFC West title.
Romo Makes it Interesting Against Skins: It looks like Tony Romo is safe from his biggest fans/critics in Dallas for another week. Connecting with DeMarco Murray on fourth down with just 1:08 left in the game for a ten-yard score, the Cowboys slipped past Washington 24-23 and will play the Eagles, who are fresh off one of their biggest wins of the season, for the NFC East title.
Jets, Smith Saves Face Against Browns: This was the type of game the Jets needed to play more this season. Rookie QB Geno Smith threw for two TDs and ran for another, while Chris Ivory added 109 yards on the ground in an impressive 24-13 win over the 4-11 Browns. While Jets head coach Rex Ryan scrambled around questions about his future after the game, the fact that the Jets may end the season at 8-8 with a patchwork secondary and no weapons at the receiver position- not to mention a rookie quarterback- is no small feat.
Dolphins, Chargers, Steelers and Ravens Fight for Final AFC Playoff Spot: San Diego capped off impressive wins to stay in the AFC Wild Card picture, while the Ravens and Dolphins were trounced to barely stick around. In order to make the playoffs, all four teams need a win and help from other teams. Next week should certainty be interesting.
Chiefs Fall to Colts, Still Clinch Wild-Card Spot: Even in the face of a 23-7 defeat this week at the hands of Andrew Luck and the Colts, the Kansas City Chiefs secured a playoff spot. Despite their recent struggles, the season, aided by a 9-0 start, took the team to the post-season after a dreadful 2-14 record in 2012.
Giants Edge Lions in OT to Kill Detroit's Playoff Aspirations: It wasn't a pretty game offensively for either team, but behind a Josh Brown field goal, the Giants edged out Detroit 23-20 in OT to effectively end the Lions' season.
Patriots Clinch AFC East: Call Huey Lewis and Gwyneth Paltrow because England's offense was "Cruisin'." Domination isn't the word. Even with star TE Rob Gronkowski on the shelf, New England's offense is nothing to mess with. After the Dolphins helped them out with a loss earlier in the day, the Pats handed the Ravens worst loss with John Harbaugh as head coach and clinched the AFC East. Shutting down the Ravens offense, New England found a way to score on the ground and in the air in a stellar, 41-7 win.