Pats Sink Bills 49-21, Clinch Top AFC Seed

Patriots top Bills, Saints crush Panthers, 49ers thump Rams

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff

Posted Jan 1, 2012 4:01 PM CST

(Newser) – The New England Patriots overcame a 21-point deficit today with 49 unanswered points to rock the Buffalo Bills 49-21, the AP reports. The win earned the Pats home-field advantage and the AFC's top seed. Tom Brady threw for 338 yards and finished with the second-most passing yards in NFL history, 5,235—behind only Drew Brees, who threw for 5,486 this year with the New Orleans Saints.

More NFL action, from USA Today:

  • The Miami Dolphins knocked the New York Jets out of playoff contention with a 19-17 win, burying coach Rex Ryan's pledge to win the Super Bowl this year. The Jets reached the AFC championship game each of the past two years.
  • The Atlanta Falcons scored a team-record 42 first-half points against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and cruised to a 45-24 victory, securing the No. 5 seed in the NFC playoffs.
  • The San Diego Chargers ended the Oakland Raiders' playoff hopes with a 38-26 victory. The Raiders' 8-year playoff drought continues.
  • The Baltimore Ravens clinched the No. 2 seed in the AFC and a first-round bye by holding off the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-16.
  • Backup quarterback Matt Flynn set Green Bay Packer records with 480 yards passing and 6 touchdowns, out-dueling Detroit Lions QB Matthew Stafford in a 45-41 victory. Stafford threw for 520 yards and 5 touchdowns.
  • The Houston Texans botched a 2-point conversion and saw their rally fall short against the Tennessee Titans in a 23-22 loss.
  • The New Orleans Saints set several club and NFL records in a 45-17 rout of the Carolina Panthers. Drew Brees threw for 389 yards and 5 touchdowns.
  • The San Francisco 49ers locked up the NFC's No. 2 seed and a first-round bye with a 34-27 victory over the St. Louis Rams.
  • Michael Vick tossed three TDs as the Philadelphia Eagles thrashed the Washington Redskins, 34-10, in a fourth straight victory.
  • The Indianapolis Colts secured the top 2012 NFL draft pick by losing to the Jacksonville Jaguars, 19-13. Hello quarterback controversy? Maybe so, if the Colts draft Andrew Luck, USA Today reports.
Click here for more NFL updates.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees passes as Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Jason Shirley rushes during the second quarter of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.
New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees passes as Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Jason Shirley rushes during the second quarter of an NFL football game in New Orleans, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012.   (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez tries to break free of Buffalo Bills linebacker Chris Kelsay in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday Jan. 1, 2012. The Patriots won 49-21.
New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez tries to break free of Buffalo Bills linebacker Chris Kelsay in Foxborough, Mass., Sunday Jan. 1, 2012. The Patriots won 49-21.   (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown by teammate BenJarvus Green-Ellis on January 1, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.
Tom Brady of the New England Patriots celebrates a touchdown by teammate BenJarvus Green-Ellis on January 1, 2012 at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Mass.   (Getty Images)
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez stands on the sideline during the final minutes of an NFL game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Miami. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 19-17.
New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez stands on the sideline during the final minutes of an NFL game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Miami. The Dolphins defeated the Jets 19-17.   (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones breaks the attempted tackle of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback E.J. Biggers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Atlanta.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones breaks the attempted tackle of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback E.J. Biggers during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott is tackled by Baltimore Ravens' Haloti Ngata and Jarret Johnson on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Cincinnati.
Cincinnati Bengals running back Bernard Scott is tackled by Baltimore Ravens' Haloti Ngata and Jarret Johnson on Sunday, Jan. 1, 2012, in Cincinnati.   (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
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