DETROIT (AP) — Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes in the only half he needed to play and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers went on to rout the Detroit Lions 47-7 Saturday, sealing a spot in the playoffs for the first time since 2007.
The Bucs (10-5) set a franchise record with 588 yards and snapped the NFL’s second-longest post-season drought behind Cleveland’s 18-year run that can end Sunday.
Tampa Bay rested Brady ahead 34-0, its largest halftime lead in franchise history. Blaine Gabbert threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Rob Gronkowski on his first snap, one play after Detroit running back D’Andre Swift fumbled, and a 22-yard pass to Mike Evans later in the third quarter.
Brady was 22 of 27 for 348 yards with a mix of passes deep down the field and darts in traffic. The six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback threw touchdown passes to Gronkowski, Evans, Chris Godwin, who made a one-handed catch, and Antonio Brown from 33, 27, 7 and 12 yards.
The 43-year-old Brady, who split time with Drew Henson in college at Michigan, started his 298th game to tie Brett Favre’s record for an NFL quarterback and played in his 300th game.
The Lions (5-10) started the game without interim coach Darrell Bevell along with assistants on the defensive staff because of COVID-19 contact tracing.
DOLPHINS 26, RAIDERS 25
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Ryan Fitzpatrick completed a 34-yard pass to Mack Hollins while being dragged down by the facemask and Miami moved one step closer to a playoff berth when Jason Sanders’ 44-yard field goal with 1 second remaining gave it a victory over Las Vegas.
The Raiders chose to run down the clock for a go-ahead field goal instead of trying for a touchdown with Josh Jacobs going down on purpose at the 1-yard line and Derek Carr taking a knee to set up Daniel Carlson’s 22-yard field goal with 19 seconds left.
But the Dolphins had some late-game magic with Fitzpatrick launching the deep pass to Hollins while being dragged down by Arden Key. The penalty moved the ball down to the Las Vegas 26, setting up Sanders’ winning kick.
The Dolphins (10-5) moved a half-game ahead of Baltimore in the AFC playoff race and can clinch a wild-card berth with a win next week at Buffalo.
The Raiders (7-8) were eliminated with their fifth loss in six games and will be out of the post-season for the 17th time in 18 seasons.
49ERS 20, CARDINALS 12
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Third-string quarterback C.J. Beathard threw three touchdown passes, Jeff Wilson ran for 183 yards, and San Francisco dealt a brutal blow to Arizona's playoff hopes.
Beathard was making his first start since 2018 and was 1-9 as a starting quarterback before he was pressed into action against the Cardinals because of injuries to Jimmy Garoppolo and Nick Mullens.
The 27-year-old wasn’t amazing but avoided big mistakes. He completed 13 of 22 passes for 182 yards, Wilson earned hard yards on the ground and the 49ers came up with two big defensive stops late in the fourth quarter, including Ahkello Witherspoon’s interception of Kyler Murray’s pass in the end zone.
The Cardinals (8-7) no longer control their own destiny in the playoff race. If the Chicago Bears win their final two games, they will reach the playoffs because of a tiebreaker over the Cardinals.
Arizona started the day positioned as the No. 7 and final team in the NFC playoff field, but the game was a struggle from the outset. The 49ers (6-9) pulled ahead 14-6 in the third quarter on Beathard’s 9-yard touchdown pass to fullback Kyle Juszczyk.
Arizona scored its first and only touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Kenyan Drake jumped on top of a pile and stretched his arm just far enough for a 1-yard touchdown. Murray couldn’t connect with DeAndre Hopkins on the 2-point conversion and the 49ers still led 14-12.
The Cardinals’ next offensive drive stalled at their 35 when they went for it on fourth-and-2. Another Murray-to-Hopkins attempt couldn’t connect and the 49ers took over on downs.
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The Associated Press