25 Dec 2016 - 21:35
Carr injured as Texans, Falcons, Giants reach playoffs
Washington: Oakland's Derek Carr was among three NFL stars to suffer broken right legs yesterday while the Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans and New York Giants booked playoff berths.
On a wild day with 12 games, Green Bay set up a showdown with Detroit next weekend to decide a division crown while Cleveland avoided a winless season and San Francisco snapped a 13-game skid.
Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota and Seattle receiver Tyler Lockett suffered broken legs, dimming title hopes for their squads, but the biggest loss was Carr.
Oakland (12-3) stayed on the heels of New England (13-2) for a home playoff edge by downing Indianapolis 33-25, but the Raiders were undone when quarterback Carr was injured when sacked early in the fourth quarter by Colts linebacker Trent Cole.
Dallas, Seattle, New England and Oakland had already secured playoff berths and New Orleans beat Tampa Bay 31-24 to ensure the Giants a wildcard spot and Atlanta the NFC South division crown.
Houston clinched its place in the knockout fight to the Super Bowl with a 12-10 victory over Cincinnati that wasn't secured until Bengals kicker Randy Bullock was wide right on a 43-yard field goal attempt on the final play.
Atlanta's Matt Ryan threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns while Matt Bryant kicked four field goals as the Falcons (10-5) beat host Carolina 33-16.
Miami's Jay Ajayi ran for 206 yards and a touchdown in the Dolphins' 34-31 victory at Buffalo. Andrew Franks kicked the winning 27-yard field goal with 47 seconds remaining in overtime.
New England routed the New York Jets 41-3 and can clinch a home-field playoff edge by beating Miami next week. The Patriots - on a six-game winning streak - gave coach Bill Belichick his 200th career victory.
Tennessee's playoff hopes ended due to the 38-17 loss at Jacksonville in which Mariota was injured.
Washington sustained wildcard playoff hopes with a 41-21 victory at Chicago.