Brutal for playoff-bound Raiders, Seahawks
The Oakland Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks both saw star players go down with broken legs as did the Tennessee Titans, who lost quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Derek Carr broke the fibula during Oakland's 33-25 NFL win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, with the QB set to spend Christmas Day in the operating room.
Mariota suffered the same injury as the Titans lost 38-17 to the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Seattle's Tyler Lockett broke both the tibia and fibula in his right leg in what was a gruesome injury against the Arizona Cardinals, who won 34-31.
Tom Brady's New England Patriots crushed the New York Jets 41-3, the Houston Texans clinched the AFC South with a 12-10 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals and the Miami Dolphins outlasted the Buffalo Bills 34-31 in overtime.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 31-24 to the New Orleans Saints, the Cleveland Browns recorded a surprise 20-17 win over the San Diego Chargers, the Green Bay Packers trumped the Minnesota Vikings 38-25, the Atlanta Falcons accounted for the Carolina Panthers 33-16, the Los Angeles Rams fell to the San Francisco 49ers 22-21, while the Washington Redskins were 41-21 winners against the Chicago Bears.
NO STOPPING RODGERS
Rodgers spun away from one would-be tackler and then juked another on his six-yard touchdown run.
Despite the loss, Minnesota's Adam Thielen had a huge game with 12 catches for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
RODGERS LEADS THE WAY
Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes in the Christmas Eve win over the Vikings, with two of them going to Jordy Nelson. Rodgers and Nelson have now connected for 58 touchdowns in their nine seasons together to pass Brett Favre and Antonio Freeman for the most by a quarterback/receiver tandem in Packers history. Nelson also passed Don Hutson for fourth on Green Bay's all-time receptions list. Nelson (491 receptions) is now behind only James Lofton (530), Sterling Sharpe (595) and Donald Driver (743) in team annals.
Rodgers now has 293 passing touchdowns, passing Johnny Unitas and Warren Moon to move into 11th place on the NFL's all-time list. He also joined Fran Tarkenton, John Elway and Donovan McNabb as the only quarterbacks in league history with at least 35,000 passing yards and 2,500 rushing yards.
Atlanta's win over the Panthers in Charlotte was briefly interrupted in the first half to recognize Carolina tight end Greg Olsen, who went over 1,000 receiving yards this season to become the first tight end in NFL history with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Olsen caught six passes for 59 yards in a losing effort.
Larry Fitzgerald, 31 receiving yards to pass Reggie Wayne (14,345) for ninth all-time. Lions receiver Anquan Boldin (1,067) is also just four receptions shy of passing Wayne for ninth on the NFL's all-time receptions list. The Lions will play the Cowboys on Monday.
KOETTER EXPLAINS HIMSELF
Bucs coach Dirk Koetter on his decision to bench running back Doug Martin: "We got four backs. We can't give' em all touches."
Browns tight end Gary Barnidge after handing coach Hue Jackson the game following Cleveland's first win of the season: "For sticking with us through the whole year, it hasn't been the way we wanted, but this one's for you. Merry Christmas."