It’s the 17th Sunday of the 2021 NFL season and we’re keeping you updated on all the action and biggest storylines throughout the day. The Week 17 slate has some fantastic matchups and we’re here to help you watch it unfold. Check back often to find out everything you need to know.
Bills 29, Falcons 15 (Recap)
Patriots 50, Jaguars 10 (Recap)
Bengals 34, Chiefs 31 (Takeaways)
Rams 20, Ravens 19 (Takeaways)
Raiders 23, Colts 20 (Takeaways)
Titans 34, Dolphins 3 (Recap)
Bears 29, Giants 3 (Recap)
Eagles 20, Washington 16 (Takeaways)
Buccaneers 28, Jets 24 (Recap)
Chargers 34, Broncos 13 (Takeaways)
49ers 23, Texans 7 (Recap)
Cardinals 25, Cowboys 22 (Recap)
Saints 18, Panthers 10 (Recap)
Seahawks 51, Lions 29 (Recap)
Vikings at Packers, 8:20 p.m. ET (Preview)
Saints hold on
The Saints needed a win to keep their playoff hopes alive, and they delivered an uninspiring yet victorious performance against the Panthers. Thanks to four field goals, a touchdown, and this game-sealing interception from C. J. Gardner-Johnson, New Orleans will enter Week 18 with a shot at the postseason.
Saints extend lead
The Saints disrupted the field goal fest with a 12-yard pitch and catch from Taysom Hill to Alvin Kamara midway through the fourth quarter to extend their lead to 18-10. But instead of tacking on the extra point to go ahead by two scores, Brett Maher, who has made all four of his field goals, doinked his attempt off the upright.
Herbert sets franchise record
No Chargers quarterback has ever thrown for 35 touchdowns in a single season — until Justin Herbert. The second-year phenom’s record-setting score was a beauty, as he hit Mike Williams in stride for the 45-yard diving score. The connection put the finishing touches on a blowout victory over the Broncos.
Kick return TD!
Andre Roberts essentially eliminated the Dolphins, Broncos and Browns from playoff contention when he hauled in the kickoff a yard deep in his own end zone and barely had anyone touch him as he streaked all the way to the end zone for the score.
The Texans had a chance to tie the game with a 45-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter. Instead, Ka’imi Fairbairn missed the attempt, and four plays later Trey Lance delivered a strike to Deebo Samuel for the 45-yard touchdown.
Trey Lance has rebounded well from his interception, helped the 49ers erase a seven-point deficit against the Texans with this touchdown pass to Elijah Mitchell midway through the third quarter.
The Broncos’ only points through two quarters were on a field goal that is tied for the 14th-longest in NFL history. With two seconds left in the first half, Brandon McManus lined up from beyond the Chargers’ 40-yard line and drilled the 61-yarder through the uprights for the longest conversion of his eight-year career.
Cardinals running back Jonathan Ward is only in his second season, but his third-career catch will definitely be the best of his career. I’m not even sure he could explain how he made this catch on a fake punt, pinning the ball against the defender’s helmet as they both went to the ground and then flipped over. In terms of pure difficulty, Ward’s snag appears more impressive than David Tyree’s famous “Helmet Catch” in Super Bowl XLII.
Another impressive rookie WR
Fourth-round rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown has been performing like a legitimate No. 1 receiver over the past four weeks, and he’s been productive once again Sunday — only this time making his presence felt from the backfield. A la the 49ers’ Deebo Samuel, St. Brown took the hand-off and weaved 26 yards up the middle for the score.
It’s been a forgettable season for the 4-11 Texans, but they’ve been playing a lot better during their two-game winning streak over the Jaguars and Chargers. Brandin Cooks has been a big reason why, and he came through once again Sunday against the 49ers with a twisting eight-yard touchdown.
Trey Lance has been thrust into action for the 49ers after Jimmy Garoppolo’s thumb injury, and so far he has not played up to the level San Francisco needs him to with its playoff life on the line. Lance has completed five of his six attempts, but he only has 43 yards passing. He also threw a bad interception that set up a Texans’ touchdown to open the scoring late in the second quarter.
That’s probably what Chris Berman will be saying about Rashaad Penny’s touchdown run during his “Fastest Three Minutes” segment on Monday night. The Seahawks running back made three decisive cuts on his way to a 15-yard touchdown, leaving multiple Lions defenders in the dust.
Bengals win AFC North!
In one of the most entertaining games of the season, the Ja’Marr Chase-led Bengals outlasted the Kansas City Chiefs thanks to a chip-shot field goal from another standout rookie, Evan McPherson, as time expired. With the win, Cincinnati secured its first division title since 2015.
It truly was the most Jets vs. Tom Brady game ever. New York had a chance to seal the massive upset on fourth-and-2 from the Buccaneers’ 7-yard line, but Zach Wilson was stuffed with just over two minutes to play. You can probably guess what happened next: without any timeouts, Brady led the Buccaneers 93 yards on nine plays, stunning the Jets by hitting Cyril Grayson for a 33-yard touchdown with just 15 seconds to play. Unbelievable (unless you’re a Jets fan).
While the referees overturned the go-ahead touchdown to Hunter Renfrow by saying Renfrow was down by contract, the Raiders still got close enough to set up Daniel Carlson for the game-winning field goal versus the Colts. He nailed it from 33 yards as time expired, keeping Las Vegas’ playoff hopes alive. It controls its own destiny entering Week 18.
The Eagles overcame deficits of 10-0 and 16-7 to take a 20-16 late in the fourth quarter, but in the closing seconds Washington was in striking distance to win the game. However, on first-and-10 from the 20-yard line, Rodney McLeod made the biggest play of the year for Philadelphia by securing the interception in the end zone to secure the victory.
When the Rams traded for Odell Beckham Jr. midseason, they did it for moments like Sunday against the Ravens. On fourth-and-5 with the game on the line, Matthew Stafford found Beckham for a first down. And on the very next play, Stafford found OBJ again for the go-ahead touchdown with 61 seconds to play.
With the Bears in complete control against the Giants, Robert Quinn fought his way all the way around right end to bring down Mike Glennon. It marked Quinn’s 18th sack of the season, which sets a new Bears franchise record.
No. 4 for Burrow
How would Joe Burrow follow up his historic 525-yard performance against the Ravens? Well, by casually throwing for four touchdowns against a stout Chiefs defense with the AFC North title on the line. Trailing, 28-24, early in the fourth quarter, Burrow found Tyler Boyd running free across the back-left portion of the end zone and delivered a dart for the five-yard score.
In dire need of a play, Derek Carr went to who he seemingly always goes to: Hunter Renfrow. And yet again, Renfrow delivered by gaining separation from his defender at the last moment to catch the go-ahead 11-yard score.
Ja’Marr Chase is officially unstoppable. Six catches, 180 yards and THREE TOUCHDOWNS — the most recent being his easiest yet.
Why are we mentioning a player who entered Sunday with exactly zero career catches? That’s because the Patriots’ 2020 undrafted free agent out of Southeast Missouri State has four catches so far against the Jaguars for TWO TOUCHDOWNS. His second score was on a stop-and-go route that left him extremely wide open for the 20-yard score.
Pitts over 1,000
Kyle Pitts joined Mike Ditka as the only NFL tight ends to go over 1,000 receiving yards in their rookie seasons, and the Falcons’ first-round pick accomplished the rare feat in style. After making a catch against the Bills at the end of the first half, Pitts gained separation from his defender, issued a nasty stiff arm to another defender and then rumbled down the sideline for a 61-yard gain, setting up a crucial Falcons touchdown.
Pats ALL OVER Jags
The Patriots may not be leading the AFC East, but they’re still one of the better teams in the conference, and they’re showing that against the Jaguars. Yes, it’s the Jaguars, but the Patriots have been dominant in all phases during the first half. New England scored its four touchdown of the opening two quarters when Mac Jones found Jakobi Meyers for a four-yard score.
Who cares that he’s a rookie? Ja’Marr Chase is one of the best wide receivers in football. Just check out this latest touchdown catch — his 12th of the season.
Chase off to the races
When Ja’Marr Chase made a routine catch near the Bengals’ 40-yard line, four Chiefs were in a few yards of him. But then the Pro Bowl rookie made a defender miss, and then he darted diagonally towards the midfield logo. From there, he outran everybody for an electrifying 72-yard touchdown.
Twice is nice
Three carries, 11 yards, two touchdowns from Josh Allen, whose scamper around right end gave the Bills a 14-2 advantage in the final seconds of the first quarter.
The Jets are making the Buccaneers defense look like…well, the Jets defense, driving down the field on their first two drives for touchdowns. Berrios was again the scorer, catching the quick out and tip-toeing down the right sideline and across the goal line from nine yards out.
Matthew Stafford thought he had Tyler Higbee open for an easy first down, while Chuck Clark thought he had an easy interception. Clark turned out to be right, jumping right in front of Higbee and returning the interception 17 yards for Stafford’s NFL leading fourth pick six of the season.
Bears in control
Two turnovers have turned into 14 Bears points in the opening seven minutes against the lowly Giants. Darnell Mooney scored the second touchdown with a soaring six-yard catch in the back of the end zone.
Josh Allen and the Bills were set to take the field after the defense forced an opening-possession punt, but Avery Williams had different ideas. He punched the ball out of returner Marquez Stevenson’s hands, and while the Bills recovered the fumble, it came in the end zone for a safety. Great start for the Falcons.
Trick play TD!
After Michael Carter’s 55-yard run set up the Jets inside the Buccaneers’ 15-yard line, offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur dug back into his bag of tricks on second-and-goal. Carter took the snap and pitched the ball to Braxton Berrios, who faked the pass before scampering untouched into the end zone for the score. New York up 7-0 on Tampa Bay early.
Cooper Kupp chasing 2,000 yards receiving
Through 15 games, Cooper Kupp has already had one of the most productive seasons ever by a wide receiver. He’s currently fifth all-time in single-season receptions (132) and seventh in receiving yards (1,734) to go along with 14 scores. He’s also well on his way to becoming just the fourth player since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger to win the receiving Triple Crown by leading the league in catches, yards and touchdowns.
But with two games left, Kupp is eyeing what’s been an untouchable mark: the 2,000-yard receiving club. Calvin Johnson holds the single-season receiving yards record with 1,964 in 2012, and while Kupp has the luxury of playing an additional game, going over 2,000 would still be viewed as a miraculous feat.
Kupp currently has 1,734 receiving yards (115.6 per game), meaning he would need to average 133 yards over the final two contests to reach the mark. Fortunately for Kupp, he’ll match up with the league’s worst passing defense Sunday in the Baltimore Ravens, who are giving up a whopping 280.5 yards per game. His Week 17 performance will go a long way towards determining if Kupp’s 2021 will reach an incredible mark or fall just short.