Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — HOUSTON — Peyton Manning owns the NFL record for touchdown passes in a season and the Denver Broncos own the AFC West title.
Manning regained his record with 51 when he threw for 400 yards and four touchdowns, including three in the fourth quarter. He surpassed the 50 TD passes Tom Brady threw in 2007 and led the Broncos (12-3) to a 37-13 win over the Texans (2-13) that extended Houston’s franchise-record skid to 13 games.
Manning did it on a 25-yard pass to Julius Thomas with 4:28 remaining. Just 2 ½ minutes earlier, he tied the mark with a 20-yard pass to Eric Decker.
He entered the game with 47 and his first touchdown came on a 36-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas in the second quarter. The second was a 10-yard throw to Decker earlier in the fourth period.
Manning had previously established the record by throwing 49 touchdown passes in 2004.
Panthers 17, Saints 13
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Domenik Hixon with 23 seconds left to lift the Panthers to the team’s first playoff berth since 2008. Carolina (11-4) can wrap up the NFC South and a first-round bye with a win next Sunday at Atlanta.
Bengals 42, Vikings 14
CINCINNATI — Vincent Rey returned an interception 25 yards for a touchdown as Cincinnati’s defense set up another fast start. Andy Dalton threw four touchdown passes.
Chiefs 23, Colts 7
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Alex Smith threw for 153 yards, but he fumbled once and was picked off twice after throwing just six interceptions in his first 14 games. Jamaal Charles ran for 106 yards and the game’s opening score.
Cowboys 24,Redskins 23
LANDOVER, Md. — Tony Romo recovered from a bad interception and rallied the Cowboys from a nine-point, fourth-quarter deficit. He found DeMarco Murray for a 10-yard touchdown pass on fourth down with 1:08 remaining.
Rams 23, Bucs 13
ST. LOUIS — Robert Quinn got three of St. Louis’ seven sacks and set a franchise season record. Quinn leads the NFL with 18 sacks. He broke Kevin Carter’s franchise record of 17 in that 1999 Super Bowl title season.
Jets 24, Browns 13
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Geno Smith threw two touchdown passes to David Nelson and ran for another score. Smith had his first game with at least two TD passes since October, with no turnovers or sacks. The rookie was 20 of 36 for 214 yards and also ran for 48 yards — including a 17-yard scoring scamper in the fourth quarter.
Titans 20, Jags 16
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Nate Washington scored on a 30-yard reception in the fourth quarter and Tennessee got a much-needed defensive stop late to end a three-game losing streak. Tennessee (6-9) overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half.
Steelers 38, Packers 31
GREEN BAY, Wis. — Le’Veon Bell scored a 1-yard touchdown with 1:28 left and the Pittsburgh Steelers withstood Green Bay’s last throw into the end zone, dealing the Packers’ playoff hopes a blow with a wild, 38-31 win Sunday.
Bengals 42, Vikings 14
CINCINNATI — Andy Dalton threw four touchdown passes and linebacker Vincent Rey returned an interception 25 yards for a score and the Bengals had another big day at home.
Patriots 41, Ravens 7
BALTIMORE — Logan Ryan had two interceptions, LeGarrette Blount scored twice and the playoff-bound New England Patriots breezed past Baltimore 41-7 Sunday, ending the Ravens’ four-game winning streak and diminishing the postseason hopes of the defending Super Bowl champions.
Chargers 26, Oakland 13
SAN DIEGO — The Chargers beat hapless Oakland, overcoming three turnovers while benefiting from two turnovers and 12 penalties for 73 yards by the Raiders.
Giants 23, Lions 20
DETROIT — Josh Brown’s 45-yard field goal on the third drive of overtime lifted the New York Giants to a 23-20 win over Detroit on Sunday and eliminated the Lions from postseason contention.