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NFL roundup: Fitzmagic makes playoff bye disappear for Patriots in Dolphins’ win

Miami dropped defending Super Bowl champion New England into the wild-card playoff round when Ryan Fitzpatrick tossed a 5-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mike Gesicki with 24 seconds remaining for a stunning 27-24 victory Sunday.

New England (12-4) will have to play in the opening weekend of the postseason for the first time since 2009. The Patriots never have made the Super Bowl while playing in the wild-card round.

The Patriots won their first eight games, the split the next eight, including the rarity of two losses at home.

It is the second straight season the Dolphins have denied the Patriots an unbeaten division record. They scored on a wild series of laterals on the final play in their second meeting last season, in Miami.

After trailing throughout the game, Tom Brady threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to James White to put New England in front 24-20 with 3:53 left. But Fitzpatrick, who finished 28 of 41 for 320 yards and a touchdown, was unflappable, leading Miami on a 13-play, 75-yard drive that included him recovering a fumbled snap, and completing a 24-yard pass to DeVante Parker.

Miami (5-11) made New England play catchup for most of the game and led 10-0 early and 20-17 in the fourth quarter.

Brady finished 16 of 29 for 221 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He went over 4,000 yards for the 11th time in his career, tying him with Philip Rivers for fourth on the all-time list.

The Dolphins drove inside the Patriots 20 early in the fourth quarter, but settled for a 32-yard field goal by Jason Sanders to take a 20-17 lead with 8:29 remaining.

Brandon Bolden gave the Patriots good field position, taking the ensuing kickoff and returning it 38 yards to the New England 40. Rex Burkhead rushed 14 yards on the first play to get the Patriots across the 50.

Brady completed a short pass to Ben Watson, followed by a 20-yard strike to Mohamed Sanu. Three plays later, Brady connected with White for the go-head score.

But it wasn’t enough.

Eddy Pineiro’s fourth field goal of the game for Chicago came from 22 yards with 10 seconds left, giving the Bears a victory over host Minnesota with the Vikings resting their regulars for the playoffs.

Pineiro, the latest attempt by the Bears (8-8) to solve their persistent kicking trouble, finished the season with 11 straight made field goals. Mitch Trubisky highlighted another unremarkable performance by hitting Riley Ridley for 34 yards on fourth-and-9 with 2:36 left from midfield to set up the winning kick.

David Montgomery had 23 carries for 113 yards and a touchdown to cap a strong rookie season and help the Bears beat the Vikings (10-6) for the fourth consecutive time. Chicago dodged what would have been a fifth losing record in six years, after winning the NFC North in 2018 in coach Matt Nagy’s debut.

Minnesota missed a third 11-win season in six years under coach Mike Zimmer, but he was far more concerned about taking a healthy team to the playoffs. The only drama in the building was the way the Green Bay-Detroit game was unfolding, with a significant impact on where the Vikings will play their first-round game.

Ifeadi Odenigbo strip-sacked Trubisky in the fourth quarter to pick up the ball and set up Dan Bailey’s fourth field goal for a brief lead for the Vikings, but a replay review negated what would have been Odenigbo’s second fumble return for a touchdown in three games after it was ruled that his knee was down after the recovery.

Mason Crosby kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired, lifting Green Bay to a win over host Detroit for a first-round bye in the playoffs.

The Packers (13-3) fell behind by two touchdowns in the second quarter. They didn’t lead until Crosby made his second game-winning kick against Detroit this season.

The Lions (3-12-1) closed with nine straight losses for their longest losing streak in a season since going 0-16 in 2008.

Green Bay won despite Aaron Rodgers struggling to make accurate throws for much of the afternoon. Rodgers was 27 of 55 for 323 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He made a short pass under pressure to Aaron Jones, who turned the clutch throw into a 31-yard reception to set up Crosby’s kick.

Jones ran for 100 yards on 25 carries and had 43 yards receiving. Davante Adams had seven receptions for 93 yards and a score.

David Blough was 12 of 29 for 122 yards — and a 19-yard touchdown reception — filling in again for Matthew Stafford, who had a season-ending back injury.

Sam Darnold hit Jamison Crowder for a 1-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, and the Jets avoided finishing their fourth consecutive season with double-digit losses in a win over the Buffalo’s backups at Orchard Park, N.Y..

The Jets missed the playoffs for a ninth consecutive season, but finished at 7-9 under first-year coach Adam Gase for their best record since going 10-6 in 2015.

The playoff-bound Bills had very little to play for while resting most of their starters, including quarterback Josh Allen after the first quarter. Buffalo dropped to 10-6 — still its best finish since going 11-5 in 1999 — and entered the game already locked in as the AFC’s fifth seed.

The Bills will travel to play AFC South champion Houston Texans in the wild-card playoff round next weekend. The Texans were assured of the No. 4 seed after Kansas City defeated the Los Angeles Chargers.

Otherwise, the game between the Jets and Bills was a defensive struggle that befitted the sloppy conditions, with a persistent drizzle falling for most of the afternoon.

With the score tied at 3, and following Jets kicker Sam Ficken missing two of his first three field-goal attempts, Darnold oversaw a nine-play, 75-yard touchdown drive, which he capped by hitting Crowder cutting across the middle on second-and-goal with 13:31 left.

Andy Dalton threw for a touchdown and ran for another in his farewell as a franchise quarterback — a Joe Burrow banner in the upper deck reminded him what comes next — and host Cincinnati ended one of its most miserable seasons with a victory over Cleveland.

Ohio’s two professional football teams wrapped up another fruitless year together and set course for an offseason of potentially big changes.

The Bengals (2-14) matched the worst record in their 52-year history. They’ll pick first in the draft for the first time since 2003, when they also were coming off a 2-14 finish and chose franchise quarterback Carson Palmer.

Cleveland (6-10) was a chic Super Bowl pick with Baker Mayfield coming off a sensational rookie season and Odell Beckham Jr. adding star quality to the offense. Instead, the Browns significantly regressed under first-year coach Freddie Kitchens, raising questions about whether he’ll get a second chance.

On a gray, rainy afternoon, the intrastate rivals moved on with an uneven game that epitomized their seasons.

Dalton knew it was likely his final start for the Bengals after nine seasons without a playoff victory. A day earlier, Burrow threw seven touchdown passes in LSU’s rout of Oklahoma, and the Bengals can take the Heisman Trophy winner if they wish.

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