Tom Brady and Peyton Manning clinched division titles, Cam Newton reached the postseason for the first time and a pair of all-or-nothing games loom on the final weekend in a scrambled NFL playoff race.
The Chicago Bears missed a chance to seal a spot with a 54-11 loss at Philadelphia on Sunday night. They’ll host Green Bay on Sunday; the winner takes the NFC North, the loser is done.
Several hours later, in the last game of the regular season, the Dallas Cowboys will host the Philadelphia Eagles. The Sunday night showdown decides who wins the NFC East and who goes home.
Meanwhile, all the AFC division titles got settled. Denver, New England and Cincinnati won to join Indianapolis with crowns.
Kansas City is assured of one AFC wild-card spot. Defending Super Bowl champion Baltimore, Miami and San Diego are tied at 8-7 for the other slot with even Pittsburgh at 7-8 still in it.
“You know, we’re used to going out there and playing well when we need to when the playoffs are on the line,” said Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco, who threw two interceptions in a 41-7 loss to Brady and the Patriots.
San Francisco (10-4) can clinch a playoff spot Monday night with a win against visiting Atlanta.
Newton and his Carolina Panthers, along with Seattle, are the only NFC teams with guaranteed playoff berths.
Carolina (11-4) can wrap up the NFC South and a first-round bye in the playoffs with a win next Sunday at Atlanta.
The 49ers, New Orleans and Arizona are competing for the last two NFC playoff slots.
Manning set an NFL record with 51 touchdown passes in a season. He threw four as the Broncos (12-3) handed Houston its 13th straight loss. Manning broke the mark of 50 set by Brady in 2007.
The Patriots (11-4) won their fifth straight AFC East title. Brady has guided New England to 11 division crowns, two more than any other starting quarterback in NFL history.