Playoffs set after final outcomes
The Eagles and Packers went on the road Sunday and headed home with playoff berths.
Philadelphia completed a big turnaround under new coach Chip Kelly by beating Dallas 24-22 to win the NFC East.
Hours before, Aaron Rodgers played the role of returning hero, along with Randall Cobb, in Green Bay’s 33-28 victory at Chicago to capture the NFC North title.
The Eagles (10-6) will host New Orleans (11-5) on Saturday night. Green Bay (8-7-1) is home against San Francisco (12-4) on Sunday.
The wild-card round begins Saturday with Kansas City (11-5) at Indianapolis (11-5). The early game Sunday has San Diego (9-7) at Cincinnati (11-5).
Brandon Boykin’s interception in the final 2 minutes clinched Philadelphia’s win. One year after the Eagles finished 4-12, they won seven of their final eight games to win the division.
At Chicago, in his first game back from a broken collarbone, Rodgers threw a 48-yard touchdown pass to Cobb on fourth-and-8 with 38 seconds left for the go-ahead score.
Rodgers had been out since getting injured in a loss to Chicago on Nov. 4, and Cobb missed the previous 10 games with a knee problem. Still, the Packers edged the archrival Bears (8-8) for the division crown by winning three of their last four games.
San Diego also finished off a rally to get into the postseason, beating short-handed Kansas City 27-24 in overtime for its fourth consecutive victory. After Miami and Baltimore lost earlier in the day, the Chargers rode Nick Novak’s 36-yard field goal with 5:30 left in OT to the sixth seed.
Kansas City kicker Ryan Succop was wide right on a 41-yard field goal to win it with 4 seconds left in regulation. Pittsburgh would have gotten the playoff spot over San Diego had Succop connected.
The Colts, winners of the AFC South, beat Jacksonville 30-10 on Sunday and will face a familiar opponent in the playoffs. They won 23-7 in Kansas City last weekend.
The defending NFL champion Ravens will stay home. The Bengals beat Baltimore 34-17, ensuring the Ravens (8-8) were eliminated once Pittsburgh (8-8) beat Cleveland 20-7.
AFC West champion Denver (13-3) earned the No. 1 seed in the conference by romping at Oakland 34-14. New England (12-4), the AFC East winner, will be the second seed and have a bye next weekend. The Patriots beat Buffalo 34-20.
Carolina (12-4) won the NFC South and a first-round playoff bye with a 21-20 victory at Atlanta. The Saints got the final NFC wild card with a 42-17 rout of Tampa Bay.
Already in the NFC playoffs were San Francisco, which won 23-20 at Arizona on Sunday, and Seattle (13-3).
© Copyright 2013 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.