The final NFL Sunday of the regular season sees the Patriots travel to the Bills, needing a win to book a playoff spot; the Eagles can clinch the NFC No 1 seed with a home win over the Giants and the Packers host the Lions as part of a ‘wild card’ battle – live on Sky Sports NFL from 6pm
Last Updated: 08/01/23 1:53am
The Kansas City Chiefs secured the No 1 seed in the AFC and a first-round bye in the playoffs with a 31-13 road win over the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday night.
Story of the Game
Given the NFL’s decision to cancel the Monday night game between Buffalo Bills (12-3) and Cincinnati Bengals (11-4), after Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field, the Chiefs knew coming into Saturday’s contest that a win would clinch the top seed in the conference.
But due to an agreed change in the playoff structure by the league on Friday, given the extraordinary circumstances of the past week in the NFL, the Chiefs are not guaranteed home-field advantage for the AFC Championship game should they go that far in the playoffs.
There was a moment’s applause held for Hamlin ahead of the game between the Las Vegas Raiders and Kansas City Chiefs on Saturday, with players from both sides seen in ‘Love For Damar’ t-shirts, showing their support.
The Chiefs then wasted no time in getting out in front in the game, as Patrick Mahomes hooked up with receiver Justin Watson for a 67-yard reception on just the second play from scrimmage before the QB then threw a short touchdown pass to Jerick McKinnon three plays later.
Ronald Jones, Kadarius Toney and Isiah Pacheco each tacked on TD runs for the Chiefs, while Harrison Butker kicked a 44-yard field goal, as the visiting side put up 31 on Las Vegas.
“Getting that bye, it’s like winning a playoff game,” Mahomes said after the game. “Now we just have to focus on watching tomorrow and then this next week to see who we play and come out with out best football.”
The Chiefs defense repeatedly harassed Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham, particularly in the first half, as they sacked him four times – one of which led to a fumble – and picked him off once.
Stidham, making just his second NFL start after the Raiders benched Derek Carr, threw for 219 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 50 yards.
The Raiders (6-11) trailed 14-3 early in the second quarter when they drove 74 yards to the Chiefs two-yard line. However, consecutive incompletions on third and fourth down by Stidham saw them turn the ball over on downs.
Kansas City then drove 98 yards on 12 plays, capping the series with an 11-yard score from Kadarius Toney. Stidham fumbled on the Raiders’ next possession and, two plays later, Butker kicked a 44-yard field goal in the final seconds of the first half to see the Chiefs up 24-3.
Las Vegas opened the third quarter with a 13-play drive but had to settle for a Daniel Carlson 38-yard field goal.
Pacheco scored early in the fourth quarter for KC, while the Raiders finally found the end zone for nothing more than a consolation score midway later in the fourth as Stidham found Hunter Renfrow for an 11-yard TD.
- Passing: Patrick Mahomes, 18/26, 202 yards, 1 TD
- Rushing: Isiah Pacheco, eight carries, 64 yards, 1 TD
- Receiving: Justin Watson, one catch, 67 yards
- Travis Kelce, six catches, 38 yards
- Passing: Jarrett Stidham, 22/36, 219 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
- Rushing: Josh Jacobs, 17 carries, 45 yards
- Receiving: Davante Adams, five catches, 73 yards
- Hunter Renfrow, seven catches, 63 yards, 1 TD
January 8, 2023, 5:00pm
The New England Patriots (8-8) need to win to ensure a playoff place in the AFC as they travel to the Buffalo Bills (12-3) on the final NFL Sunday of the 2022 regular season – live on Sky Sports NFL from 6pm.
The game will be the Bills’ first following the cardiac arrest suffered by Damar Hamlin on the field during their game against the Bengals on Monday night. Hamlin tweeted on Saturday for the first time since, saying he was “thankful for everyone who has reached out and prayed”.
Following the action in Buffalo, we head to Philadelphia for the Eagles‘ (13-3) season-ender against the New York Giants (9-6-1) – kick-off, 9.25pm. The home side need to win to wrap up the No 1 seed, a first-round bye and home-advantage through the playoffs. The Giants, meanwhile, are already assured of the No 6 seed in the NFC.
January 8, 2023, 9:15pm
January 9, 2023, 1:10am
Rounding off the Sunday evening triple-header, we join our friends at NBC for Football Night in America and a massive game at Lambeau Field as the Green Bay Packers (8-8) host the Detroit Lions (8-8) – kick-off, 1.20am, Monday. The Packers clinch a playoff spot with a win, while a Lions victory would see them claim the last remaining wild card place in the NFC, provided the Seattle Seahawks lose their earlier game to the Los Angeles Rams.
As well as the live action over on Sky Sports NFL and Main Event, you can keep up-to-date with the events in all of the other games via NFL RedZone on Sky Sports Mix (from 6pm) as playoff places are won and lost on the final day of the regular season.
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