CHARGERS 27, CHIEFS 24, OT
SAN DIEGO — Nick Novak kicked a 36-yard field goal with 5:30 left in overtime, ending the San Diego Chargers’ three-year playoff drought with a victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
The Chargers (9-7) needed help for weeks, and everything fell into place on Sunday, with the last piece being their win over a Chiefs team that already had clinched the AFC’s No. 5 seed and rested 20 of 22 starters.
The Chargers, who trailed by 10 points in the fourth quarter, held the Chiefs on downs to win it after they reached the San Diego 41.
Earlier in the day, the Chargers got the help they needed when Miami and Baltimore both lost. San Diego has won four straight and five of six heading into a wild-card game next weekend at AFC North champion Cincinnati.
The Chiefs (11-5) go into the playoffs having lost five of seven. They play at AFC South champion Indianapolis.
SEAHAWKS 27, RAMS 9
SEATTLE — Malcolm Smith returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown, Marshawn Lynch added a 2-yard scoring run and the Seahawks clinched the NFC West title and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs with a win over the St. Louis Rams.
Seattle (13-3) matched the franchise record for wins in a season and finally wrapped up the No. 1 seed after losses to San Francisco and last week to Arizona, which snapped a 14-game home winning streak.
Russell Wilson finished 15 of 23 for 172 yards. Seattle capped the victory with a 47-yard touchdown pass from Wilson to Golden Tate early in the fourth quarter that lacked the unsportsmanlike wave that got Tate flagged on a similar TD reception in St. Louis earlier this season.
The Rams (7-9) were penalized a season-high 12 times for 87 yards. Kellen Clemens finished 21 of 30 for 157 yards and two interceptions. Zac Stacy, who needed 42 yards rushing to reach 1,000 on the season, was held to 15 yards on 15 carries.
JETS 20, DOLPHINS 7
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The Dolphins were eliminated from the scramble for the AFC’s final wild-card berth by the Jets, who thrived in the role of spoilers against their archrivals.
Then owner Woody Johnson said coach Rex Ryan would return despite the Jets (8-8) sitting out the postseason themselves for the third year in a row.
Geno Smith led three long scoring drives, ran for a touchdown and threw for 190 yards, while two interceptions by rookie Dee Milliner and one by 35-year-old Ed Reed prevented a Miami comeback.