Brady Helps Patriots Clinch Top Seed With Seventh Win in Row

Now they will probably be even tougher to stop when the playoffs begin after securing the A.F.C.’s top seed — and home-field advantage through the first three rounds — with a 34-3 victory Sunday over a familiar pushover, the .

Brady threw three touchdown passes, including two to tight end Rob Gronkowski, and extended his streak of attempts without an interception to 319. That topped the mark of 308 set by Bernie Kosar with Cleveland in the 1990 and 1991 seasons.

“I guess I’m glad I’m not throwing interceptions,” Brady said, shrugging off the record.

He was more pleased with helping the Patriots (13-2) finish first in the A.F.C. for the third time since 2003 and clinch their eighth division title in 10 years.

“It never gets old,” Brady said. “We never get tired of winning.”

Brady finished 15 of 27 for 140 yards and had his eighth straight game with two or more scores. Alge Crumpler had a 4-yard touchdown catch, Danny Woodhead scored on a 29-yard run and Shayne Graham kicked two field goals.

The Patriots are marching to the playoffs riding a seven-game winning streak — their longest since going 16-0 in 2007. Brady is leading an offense that has scored 31 or more points in seven straight games. He has also thrown only four interceptions, since throwing two in a 23-20 victory against Baltimore on Oct. 17.

The Bills (4-11) have had a hard enough time beating their division rival to begin with, having now lost 15 in a row and 20 of their past 21 against them. And they made it even more difficult on themselves by committing seven turnovers.

“I killed the team today,” said Ryan Fitzpatrick, who lost two fumbles and threw three interceptions.

¶ threw four touchdown passes during a near-perfect performance in the swirling snow, and the host (4-11) beat the , 34-20, ending San Diego’s run of four straight A.F.C. West titles.

The Chargers (8-7) froze up in their coldest game in nearly three years, repeatedly self-destructing on a raw, windy evening. It was only San Diego’s second loss in its last 22 games in December.

The loss gave the , who beat the , 34-14, earlier, their first division title since ’s 2003 team went 13-3. The Chiefs’ 10 wins in Todd Haley’s second season as coach are six better than last year’s 4-12 mark and match the total of the past three miserable seasons combined.

In Kansas City, Matt Cassel threw three touchdown passes and Eric Berry returned an interception 54 yards for another score. Cassel completed 12 of his first 13 passes against the Titans (6-9), including touchdown tosses to Jamaal Charles on their first two possessions.

¶Joe Flacco threw two touchdown passes, Baltimore’s defense bottled up Cleveland’s Peyton Hillis, and the visiting clinched their third straight playoff appearance, beating the Browns, 20-10. The Ravens (11-4) remain tied with Pittsburgh for the A.F.C. North lead with one game left.

Ravens linebacker promised Hillis would not repeat his 144-yard performance against Baltimore in Week 3, and Hillis was held to 35 yards on 12 carries Sunday.

threw three interceptions, and the Browns (5-10) did little to help the embattled coach (10-21 in two seasons).

Playoff Hopes Intact

Sam Bradford broke ’s N.F.L. rookie record for completions, and his first touchdown pass in four games gave the host breathing room in a 25-17 victory over the 49ers. Bradford has 335 completions, topping Manning’s record of 326 in 1998.

The Rams (7-8) need to win at Seattle next week to clinch their first playoff bid since 2004.

Troy Smith, who was sacked three times, was benched in the fourth quarter of a loss that eliminated the 49ers (5-10) from playoff contention in the N.F.C. West.

¶Josh Freeman threw for 237 yards and a career-best five scores to help the host Buccaneers keep their playoff hopes alive with a 38-15 rout of the struggling .

Kellen Winslow and the rookie Mike Williams each had a pair of touchdown catches for the Buccaneers (9-6), who guaranteed themselves a winning record after going 3-13 a year ago in their first season under Coach Raheem Morris.

The Seahawks (6-9) played most of the game without quarterback Matt Hasselbeck, who injured his hip. They can still win the N.F.C. West — with a losing record — by beating the Rams on Sunday.

¶Peyton Manning made sure the came out ahead in a game it turned out they did not need to win to stay in control of the A.F.C. South race. Manning threw three touchdown passes and iced the game with a 27-yard keeper to help the Colts beat the host , 31-26.

The Raiders (7-8) were eliminated from playoff contention when Kansas City earlier beat Tennessee.

The Colts (9-6) allowed Jacoby Ford to return the opening kick for a touchdown, overcame a pair of interceptions by Manning in the second half and survived four field goals from Sebastian Janikowski, including two from more than 50 yards, to move within a victory of clinching the A.F.C. South title for their ninth straight playoff berth.

But when the Jaguars lost, 20-17, in overtime to the in an earlier game, the Colts knew that no matter what happened in this game they could clinch the division with a win at home next week against the Titans or a loss by the Jaguars (6-9) at Houston.

In Jacksonville on Sunday, Kevin Barnes intercepted David Garrard’s second pass in overtime, setting up Graham Gano’s 31-yard field goal that boosted the Redskins (6-9).

Looking Good Tad Too Late

scored on a 6-yard scramble with three minutes left to cap a rally from a 17-point halftime deficit as the host defeated the , 24-23. It was Tebow’s first N.F.L. victory. The Broncos (4-11) won for the first time since Nov. 14 and avoided a franchise record 12th loss in handing the Texans (5-10) their eighth loss in nine games.

¶The took advantage of two interceptions to score 17 points in the final 4:37 and rally past the host , 34-27. With the comeback, Detroit (5-10) has won three consecutive games for the first time since 2007. Miami (7-8) finished 1-7 at home to match a franchise low.

Bookmark and Share

Patriots Top Bills 34-3, Gain AFC Top Playoff Seed

Set another passing record and the clinched the top seed in the AFC playoffs thanks to a familiar pushover, the .

Brady threw for three touchdowns in a 34-3 rout of the Bills on Sunday and extended his streak of attempts without an interception to 319 — topping the NFL mark of 308 set by Bernie Kosar with Cleveland in the 1990-91 seasons.

Rookie tight end Rob Gronkowski caught two touchdowns in leading the Patriots (13-2) to their seventh consecutive win and clinch the AFC East title and homefield advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Alge Crumpler had a 4-yard touchdown catch, Danny Woodhead scored on a 29-yard run and Shayne Graham hit two field goals as the Patriots continued their domination over Bills (4-11). New England has now won 15 straight against Buffalo — a streak dating to 2003 — and 20 of the past 21 meetings.

Brady finished 15 of 27 for 140 yards, and has gone nine games without an interception since throwing two in a 23-20 win over Baltimore on Oct. 17. Gronkowski, who is from Buffalo, finished with four catches for 54 yards, and now has nine TDs.

The Bills had a two-game win streak snapped and closed their home schedule with seven turnovers. Quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick was intercepted three times.

The Patriots have now score 31 more points in their last seven games, and have topped the number 10 times this season. Brady, who has 34 TD passes this season, also extended his streak of games with two or more touchdowns to eight.

After the Bills took a 3-0 lead, the Patriots poured it on with three touchdowns and a field goal on its first four possessions for a 24-3 lead.

The Bills were sloppy all day. The offense had seven of eight drives spanning half time end with three lost fumbles, two interceptions and two failed four-down attempts. The game ended with the Patriots running out the clock after C.J. Spiller muffed a punt in the final two minutes.

Brady broke Kosar’s record with his 17th attempt early in the third quarter, when Gronkowski dropped a pass over the middle at the goal line. The two hooked up on the next play for an 8-yard touchdown.

Brady has thrown for a touchdown in all 15 games this season, keeping alive his opportunity to become only the seventh NFL player to have thrown a TD pass in all 16 games.

Fitzpatrick had his worst outing since taking over the starting job in Week 3, finishing 18 of 37 for 251 yards. He also had his TD streak end at 15 games, three short of the franchise record set by Jim Kelly.

Brady’s efficiency matched the Patriots, who have now gone seven straight without a turnover. New England has only turned the ball over nine times this season. The NFL record for fewest turnovers in a 16-game season is 13, set in 2008 by both Miami and the .

Bookmark and Share