Christmas Day NFL Recap: Chiefs & Steelers Clinch Playoff Spots
The results of the NFL’s two Christmas Day games filled out the AFC playoff field. Here’s a recap of the day’s action:
Kansas City 33, Denver 10
Travis Kelce had 11 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown, and the Kansas City Chiefs beat the Denver Broncos, 33-10, to stay in the hunt for the AFC West title and eliminate the defending Super Bowl champions from postseason contention.
Tyreek Hill added a 70-yard touchdown run for Kansas City (11-4), which jumped out to a 21-7 lead in the first quarter and never looked back.
As a result of Pittsburgh’s win over Baltimore earlier in the day, the Chiefs had already clinched a playoff spot before the game started. Kansas City needs to beat San Diego next Sunday and have Denver (8-7) knock off Oakland to win the AFC West championship.
The Broncos loss allowed Miami to clinch an AFC wild card spot. That sets the entire AFC playoff field: New England, Oakland, Pittsburgh, Houston, Kansas City and Miami.
Pittsburgh 31, Baltimore 27
Ben Roethlisberger threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown with nine seconds to play, and the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched the AFC North title with a thrilling 31-27 win over the Baltimore Ravens on Christmas Day.
Trailing 20-10 early in the fourth quarter, Pittsburgh (10-5) found the end zone three times in the final period to punch its playoff ticket and eliminate arch-rival Baltimore (8-7) from the postseason.
After the Steelers surged ahead 24-20, the Ravens took the lead back on Kyle Juszczyk’s 10-yard run with 1:18 left. Roethlisberger then drove Pittsburgh down the field, tossing the game-winner to Brown, who stretched the ball across the plane of the goal line with his left arm for the touchdown.
Kansas City clinched a playoff berth as a result of Baltimore’s loss.
Roethlisberger completed 24 of 33 passes for 279 yards and three touchdowns, with two interceptions for the Steelers. Brown caught 10 passes for 96 yards and a score. Le’Veon Bell added 137 total yards and two touchdowns.
Joe Flacco threw for 262 yards, with a touchdown and an interception for the Ravens.