'Desperado' Dolphins stun Pats, Chiefs and Saints win
Los Angeles (AFP) –
The Dolphins scored a touchdown on a wild final play Sunday to edge New England 34-33 in Miami and put the Patriots' NFL playoff plans temporarily on hold.
The Patriots led 33-28 with seven seconds remaining, but couldn't stop what coach Bill Belichick dubbed a "desperado" play.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill took the snap and connected with Kenny Stills, who made a 14-yard gain before shovelling a lateral pass to DeVante Parker.
Parker made it another five yards then flicked another lateral pass to Kenyan Drake who raced in to complete the 69-yard gain for the winning TD.
"They could throw it deep or run one of their 'desperado type' plays," Belichick said of what he thought the Dolphins' choices were coming down to the wire. "Twenty-yard pass, and then it turned 'desperado.'"
It was the fifth defeat in the Patriots' last six trips to Miami, and prevented them, for now, from clinching a 10th straight AFC East division title.
"The way it ended sucked," said New England tight end Rob Gronkowski, who was on the field in a defensive role and was the last Patriot player with a chance to stop Drake.
The Dolphins, who erased five deficits on the way to victory, improved to 7-6 to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
- Saints, Chiefs playoff bound -
The New Orleans Saints and Kansas City Chiefs, meanwhile, punched their playoff tickets -- the Saints locking up the NFC South division crown with a 28-14 victory over the Buccaneers in Tampa and the Chiefs securing a playoff spot with a 27-24 overtime triumph over the Baltimore Ravens.
Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected on a stunning cross-body fourth-down pass to Tyreek Hill to keep a game-tying fourth-quarter touchdown drive alive.
Kansas City's Harrison Butker missed a 43-yard field goal as time expired in regulation, but made a 36-yarder in overtime that proved the difference after the Chiefs stopped the Ravens on fourth down in the extra period.
While the Chiefs clinched a playoff spot, the AFC West title will be in the balance when they face division rivals the Los Angeles Chargers on Thursday.
The Saints, coming off a shock loss to the Dallas Cowboys, had to rally to beat the Buccaneers.
New Orleans trailed 14-3 at halftime, but their potent offense led by quarterback Drew Brees came alive in the second.
Brees completed 24 of 31 passes for 201 yards with a touchdown and an interception. Brees also plunged over for the one-yard touchdown that put the Saints up 18-14 in the fourth quarter -- a lead they wouldn't relinquish.
Elsewhere, the Indianapolis Colts halted the Houston Texans' nine-game winning streak with a 24-21 triumph in Houston.
The Texans lead the AFC South division at 9-4 with the Colts and Tennessee Titans tied at 7-6.
Andrew Luck completed 27 of 41 passes for 399 yards and two touchdowns as the Colts bounced back from their ugly 6-0 loss to Jacksonville.
The Green Bay Packers, who sacked coach Mike McCarthy after last week's embarrassing loss to the Arizona Cardinals, also rebounded, beating the Falcons 34-20.
Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers completed 21 of 32 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns.
Rodgers passed New England quarterback Tom Brady for the NFL record for most consecutive passing attempts without an interception, his record-breaking 359th straight pass without an interception a 24-yard touchdown to Randall Cobb that put Green Bay up 27-7 in the third quarter.
© 2018 AFP