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Bucs, Chiefs and other clear pieces to the NFL playoffs

The champion is still alive in the NFL and is shaping up to the final fight with the same claw as last year


The champion is still alive in the NFL and is shaping up to the final fight with the same claw as last year. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Carolina Panthers 32-6 during Week 16 and thereby secured their first divisional title since 2007, in addition to securing their second consecutive playoffs since that year as well.

The experienced Tom Brady delivered with a touchdown pass and 232 yards, well complemented by 10 receptions by Antonio Brown and 20 carries by Ronald Jones II. With this victory on the road, the Bucs reached a record of 11-4 and with it they are champions of the NFC South, leaving the Saints, Falcons and the Panthers themselves behind. At 44, Brady will compete in the playoffs for the 19th time in his career, 13 of them in a row.

The Buccaneers snapped the Saints’ streak of four straight titles in the National Conference South and won just their fourth medal since the divisions were adjusted in 2002. Along with the Packers, Rams, Cowboys and Cardinals are the only teams from the NFC with 10 or more wins this season. For Tom Brady they mean 18 division titles.

Only two teams had qualified for Sunday’s match: the Green Bay Packers and the Dallas Cowboys. Little by little others were added that started as favorites, because in addition to the Bucs, it was achieved by Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs, who defeated the Steelers 36-10 and thus sealed their pass and another record.

Kansas achieved its sixth title in the Western Division of the American Conference, to become the top winner by surpassing the five stars achieved by the Denver Broncos between 2011 and 2015, as well as the Oakland Raiders (before moving to Las Vegas) between 1972 and 1976.

Patrick Mahomes contributed three touchdown passes and 258 yards, well complemented by two touchdowns by Byron Pringle and one more for both Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Mecole Hardman. In addition, the title was given thanks to a combination with the loss of the Los Angeles Chargers, who fell 41-29 surprisingly to the eliminated Texans.

Another divisional champion after Sunday’s results were the Dallas Cowboys, who, although they already reached the playoffs with guaranteed qualification, became monarchs of the NFC East with a 10-4 record (prior to their game against Washington). retaking the scepter that they had achieved for the last time in 2018.

This same weekend the Rams and Cardinals achieved their qualification by reaching records of 11-4 and 10-5, respectively, and that they will fight each other for the title of the NFC West Division, since the 49ers and the Seahawks were eliminated mathematically, surprising the loss of Seattle’s team by a tight 24-25 at home to the eliminating Chicago Bears.

That is, in the absence of the last two weeks of the regular phase (17 and 18), six tickets to the 2021-22 NFL postseason have already been defined: Green Bay Packers, Dallas Cowboys, Los Angeles Rams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Arizona Cardinals (all from the National Conference) and Kansas City Chiefs (American Conference).

After their victory against the Broncos (17-13), the Raiders still have chances of qualification via the wildcard, as did the Philadelphia Eagles, who defeated and eliminated the New York Giants by a bulky 34-10 scoreline.

Those who also let go of the possibility of qualifying this week were the Patriots, who lost 33-21 to the Buffalo Bills and in the process let go of the leadership of the Eastern Division of the American Conference. Bill Belichick’s team now has two consecutive losses, while the Bills have two wins in a row, although the Miami Dolphins still compete in that division.

Those who are already eliminated mathematically are the New York Jets, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks, Chicago Bears and Detroit Lions.