OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — It feels as if every weekend follows a familiar pattern for the Baltimore Ravens these days.
They play a hard-fought, low-scoring game in which touchdowns are scarce. Sometimes they win, sometimes they lose — and there's never any more clarity on when Lamar Jackson might be back.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Deshaun Watson signed with the Browns back in March amid fanfare blended with controversy and curiosity.
He didn't really arrive until the second half Sunday.
Finally looking like the elite quarterback Cleveland mortgaged its future for, Watson threw three touchdown passes — two to Amari Cooper — after halftime as the Browns pushed Washington to the edge of playoff elimination with a 24-10 win over the Commanders.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers spent the better part of three hours on Sunday night simply asking Kenny Pickett to not lose, essentially taking the ball out of their rookie quarterback's hands for long stretches with their season on the line in Baltimore.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Carolina fired its coach after a 1-4 start, then traded star running back Christian McCaffrey and wide receiver Robbie Anderson.
Somehow, the Panthers managed to play themselves back into the race for the NFC South championship.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) — Skylar Thompson didn’t have much time to react after another Miami Dolphins quarterback exited with an injury.
“I got like two throws," the rookie said. "It was quick, but it’s part of the job.”
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The coach making all the important decisions on the Denver sideline was different Sunday.
So was the one calling the offensive plays from a booth high above Arrowhead Stadium.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jalen Hurts missed his second straight game with a sprained right shoulder, forcing the Philadelphia Eagles to turn to backup quarterback Gardner Minshew on Sunday to try to clinch the No.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Russell Wilson's receivers stood up for their embattled quarterback this week after his offensive linemen failed to help him up after several sacks in the Broncos' blowout loss to the Rams on Sunday that triggered a coaching shakeup.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Mecole Hardman experienced a setback in practice this week and will not play in Sunday's game against the Denver Broncos, leaving his status for the remainder of the season in question.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Buccaneers backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert became an unexpected hero Thursday when a helicopter crashed into Hillsborough Bay in Tampa.
He and his two brothers were cruising nearby on jet skis, checking out from afar some of the sail boats at a yacht club, when they heard a “faint noise” south of Davis Island and rushed toward it.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Michael Penix, Jr. threw for 287 yards and two touchdowns and No. 12 Washington held off No. 21 Texas 27-20 on Thursday night in the Valero Alamo Bowl.
Texas scored 10 late points, pulling within seven on Bert Auburn’s 26-yard field goal with 1:40 remaining, then failed on an onside kick try.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Broncos defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero had a shot at a two-game tryout.
A chance to get a feel for the job of head coach, even if it was on an interim basis.
FLORHAM PARK, N.J. (AP) — The New York Jets' ground game has been grounded.
A once-flourishing rushing offense is sputtering — and it has the rest of the unit in a funk.
“Teams are stacking the box and daring us to throw it and beat them that way,” coach Robert Saleh said.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — J.K. Dobbins was injured last year in a preseason game — a fact that still gnaws at him — and only now is he starting to look healthy enough to be a standout running back again.
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Quentin Johnston had options when picking his college destination, eventually deciding on TCU because of the two decades of coaching stability provided by Gary Patterson.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Tyler Lockett was back catching passes and participating in the Seattle Seahawks walkthrough on Wednesday barely a week after having surgery to stabilize a broken bone in his left hand.
NEW YORK (AP) — Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gregory and Los Angeles Rams offensive lineman Oday Aboushi won’t serve a one-game suspension for fighting in Sunday’s game.
Both players appealed their suspensions and instead will pay a fine.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Kansas City Chiefs expect to have wide receiver Mecole Hardman on the field for the first time in nearly two months on Sunday when they play the Denver Broncos in the penultimate game of the regular season.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens signed linebacker Josh Bynes to the practice squad Tuesday.
The Ravens waived Bynes last week. He started the first seven games of the season for Baltimore but has not played since.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Nebraska edge rusher Garrett Nelson will declare for the NFL draft instead of returning for a fifth season with the Cornhuskers under new coach Matt Rhule.
Nelson, who made the announcement on Twitter on Tuesday, is the most productive defensive player on the 2022 team to leave since Rhule was named coach a month ago.
Les Snead famously wore a T-shirt at the Los Angeles Rams' championship parade 10 months ago mocking his team's lack of draft picks.
Snead built a Super Bowl winner the unconventional way, out of free agents and trades rather than through the draft.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Indianapolis Colts have tried just about everything to change directions this season.
A new coach didn't work. A new play-caller didn't work. And on Monday night, their third starting quarterback of the season, Nick Foles, didn't work, either.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers tried to keep their postgame playoff celebration private.
No such luck. After shaking hands and walking off the field in Indianapolis, players jogged through a tunnel to blaring music, high-fives and hugs and headed into a first-time locker room scene for many of these Chargers — a playoff party.
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Los Angeles Chargers safety Derwin James was ejected from Monday night’s game late in the first half after drawing two personal foul calls in three plays against the Indianapolis Colts.
HENDERSON, Nev. (AP) — If quarterback Derek Carr wants to return to the Las Vegas Raiders next season, as he has said, he hasn't done much the past month to help his case.
He hasn't completed more than 55% of his passes in any of his past four games, and he's thrown more interceptions (seven) than touchdown passes (six) over that span.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — When Brock Purdy stepped in as quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers, his early success was initially seen as a surprise.
Now that the last pick in this year's draft has kept up that level of play for three straight starts, it's becoming expected.
RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Three full games have passed since the most recent time the Seattle Seahawks found themselves in the lead.
That’s 180 minutes of game time spent playing opposite the formula that worked so well for Seattle just a couple of months ago when it looked like a sure playoff team.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — It took until Week 16 before the New Orleans Saints finally managed to win two consecutive games this season.
Doing so after falling behind 10-0 in freezing Cleveland weather offered evidence that the Saints haven't quit on first-year coach Dennis Allen.
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Little has come easy this season for Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Despite their struggles, though, they can repeat as NFC South champions and guarantee themselves a home playoff game by beating the Carolina Panthers on Sunday.
Two months after Cam Akers' NFL prospects looked pretty bleak, the running back has played his way back into a promising future with the Los Angeles Rams.
The Rams themselves are also rebounding solidly from a midseason slump that ruined their Super Bowl title defense, yet hasn't dimmed Sean McVay's optimism about their future.
The Green Bay Packers have moved back into playoff contention by regaining one of the traits that helped them win three straight NFC North titles from 2019-21.
Green Bay posted a combined plus-32 turnover margin in those seasons that led all teams during that stretch, but the Packers were at minus-5 during their 4-8 start this season.
ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — The Detroit Lions could have gained the advantage for an NFC wild-card playoff berth with a victory last weekend.
They instead got run over by the Carolina Panthers on Saturday, 37-23.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Give this to the Arizona Cardinals — they're still playing hard.
Even though they were out of the playoff race and down to third-string quarterback Trace McSorley, the Cardinals built a 10-point lead Sunday night before fading in the fourth quarter and losing to Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 19-16 in overtime.
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — A case can be made that no NFL team this season has been better than the Buffalo Bills at overcoming myriad on- and off-field challenges and distractions.
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has returned to the NFL’s concussion protocol, Miami coach Mike McDaniel said Monday.
Tagovailoa was experiencing symptoms when he met with team doctors Monday, though McDaniel said it is unclear if Tagovailoa was concussed in Sunday's 26-20 loss to Green Bay.
Matt Eberflus insisted the Chicago Bears won't shut down quarterback Justin Fields for the remaining two games.
Fields was hobbling at the end of Saturday's 35-13 loss to the Buffalo Bills after someone stepped on his foot.
That the New England Patriots are still alive in the AFC playoff race is not a credit to them as much as the good fortune of chasing some teams that have bumbled their way into Christmas even worse.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have absolutely nothing on the line Thursday night except pride and the chance to build some momentum by snapping a five-game skid.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have signed 35-year-old cornerback Josh Norman to the practice squad because starter Jaycee Horn’s status for Sunday’s crucial game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is up in the air.
HOUSTON (AP) — After coming oh-so close in their past two games, the Houston Texans finally got over the hump Saturday with a win over the Tennessee Titans to snap a nine-game skid.
Houston (2-12-1) beat Tennessee 19-14 for its first victory since beating the Jacksonville Jaguars on Oct.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Nathaniel Hackett lost his job a day after the Denver Broncos showed more fight on the sideline and in the postgame handshake line than they did in their 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams.
ATLANTA (AP) — From 4-4 to 5-10, the Atlanta Falcons have collapsed in the second half of a season that was seen as a rebuilding year from the start.
Even so, that doesn’t take away the sting of losing for coach Arthur Smith, who is 12-20 in nearly two years on the job.
NEW YORK (AP) — Broncos linebacker Randy Gregory and Rams offensive lineman Oday Aboushi were each suspended one game for exchanging punches following Los Angeles' 51-14 win over Denver on Sunday.
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) — Brian Daboll seemed like a boxer taking one body blow after another, refusing to surrender to the never-ending assault of questions about making the playoffs.
The New York Giants (8-6-1) are that close to the unexpected.
OWINGS MILLS, Md. (AP) — The Baltimore Ravens have clinched a postseason berth. Coach John Harbaugh indicated that would have no impact on Lamar Jackson's status.
“Players play when they’re healthy and ready to go.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The No. 1 seed in the NFC is still on the table for the Eagles.
So is starting banged-up quarterback Jalen Hurts.
Hurts missed Philadelphia’s loss to Dallas because of a sprained right shoulder — a defeat that denied the Eagles the NFC East championship and the No.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos fired first-year head coach Nathaniel Hackett on Monday with two games left in the season.
Team owner and CEO Greg Penner said he'll lead the search for a new coach with assistance from GM George Paton, in whom he expressed confidence while announcing Hackett's dismissal.
Mike White is back at quarterback for the New York Jets.
And just in time, with their playoff hopes hanging by a thread.
White was cleared by team doctors and will start Sunday in Seattle after he missed the Jets' past two games while dealing with broken ribs suffered in New York's 20-12 loss at Buffalo on Dec.
CINCINNATI (AP) — Joe Burrow succinctly summarized the wild inconsistency displayed by the Bengals offense on Saturday.
“First half was about as good as it gets,” the Cincinnati quarterback said.
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Another short week for the Dallas Cowboys, another chance to keep alive their chances of catching NFL-leading Philadelphia in the NFC East.
The Cowboys (11-4) visit Tennessee on Thursday night, which means the one victory needed by the Eagles to dethrone the defending division champs can't happen until three days later.