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February, 24, 2017

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Raiders prove too strong for Colts

OAKLAND, California -- As Derek Carr fell to the turf with a broken leg, a celebratory day in Oakland immediately turned somber. The Raiders had suffered their most significant loss of the season.

Carr broke a bone in his right leg in the fourth quarter of the Raiders' 33-25 victory over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday, immediately throwing a dark cloud over a resurgent season in Oakland.

Carr got hurt with Oakland leading 33-14 early in the fourth quarter when he was sacked by Trent Cole. Carr stayed on the ground for several minutes in pain as trainers came out to treat him. With the crowd chanting "M-V-P! M-V-P!" Carr limped off the field without putting any pressure on his right leg. He will have surgery on Sunday.

Carr has led a revival in Oakland since arriving as a second-round pick in 2014. After losing his first 10 games as a rookie, Carr has been a big part of the turnaround that has the Raiders in the playoffs for the first time since 2002. He threw three TD passes Sunday to give him 28 on the season and his seven fourth-quarter comebacks are the biggest reason behind Oakland's success.

Now the team must prepare for a playoff run with Matt McGloin at quarterback. McGloin has not started a game since the end of the 2013 season with Carr starting all 47 games since he arrived.

Andrew Luck rallied the Colts (7-8) from 26 points down to just eight with 2:33 left.

Falcons 33, Panthers 16

The Falcons are back on top of the NFC South, capturing their first division title since 2012.

Matt Ryan threw for 277 yards and two touchdowns, Tevin Coleman had 135 yards from scrimmage, including a pivotal 55-yard fourth-quarter TD run.

The Falcons then had to wait about 3 1/2 hours to celebrate when the Saints defeated the Buccaneers to seal Atlanta's first playoff appearance in four years.

The Panthers (6-9) were officially eliminated from playoff contention after making the Super Bowl last season.

Ryan torched the Panthers for the second time this season. He threw for 503 yards and four TDs in Atlanta's Week 4 win over Carolina at the Georgia Dome, a victory that set the stage for the Falcons' playoff push.

Jaguars 38, Titans 17

Blake Bortles' best game of the season helped the Jaguars end a nine-game losing streak, and Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota broke his right leg in the third quarter.

Bortles threw for 325 yards and a touchdown, and was on the receiving end of a 20-yard trick play that sealed the win with 5:25 remaining. Rookie Jalen Ramsey returned an interception 30 yards on the ensuing play to set off a raucous — and long-awaited — celebration in Jacksonville.

Bortles and the Jaguars (3-12) played inspired football and won for the first time this season at EverBank Field. Maybe they rallied around interim coach Doug Marrone. Maybe they played for ultra-popular ex-coach Gus Bradley, who was fired six days earlier. Maybe they just wanted to avenge an embarrassing loss to the Titans (8-7) on national television in late October.

The Titans had won three in a row and seven of 10 entering the game. All they needed to do was beat reeling Jacksonville to set up an AFC South title game next week against Houston. Instead, they lost, and the Texans beat Cincinnati to clinch the division for the second straight year and eliminate Tennessee.

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