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Texans, Broncos, Vikings claim division crowns...Steelers take wild-card berth...Browns clean house

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jan. 4, 2016 at 12:10 a.m.



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HOUSTON (AP) — The Houston Texans have earned their first AFC South crown since 2012 by clobbering Jacksonville 30-6. J.J. Watt was productive in his first game since discarding the cast on his broken left hand, recording three sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery to help the Texans end up 9-7. Jonathan Grimes had a 12-yard touchdown reception and added a 3-yard rushing score to help Houston take a 20-3 halftime lead.

DENVER (AP) — The Denver Broncos have clinched the AFC West and the top seed in the conference playoffs with a 27-20 win over San Diego. Peyton Manning replaced Brock Osweiler in the third quarter and was 5 of 9 for 69 yards while engineering a pair of scoring drives. The game was tied at 20 until Ronnie Hillman scored on a 23-yard run with 4:44 remaining, allowing Denver to finish 12-4 and edge New England for the No. 1 seed in the AFC playoffs.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings are NFC North champions after Adrian Peterson ran for 67 yards and a touchdown in a 20-13 win over the Packers in Green Bay. Captain Munnerlyn scored on a 55-yard fumble return later in the third quarter to give the Vikings a 20-2 lead. Aaron Rodgers was 28 of 44 for 291 yards but couldn't get the Packers into the end zone until his 16-yard pass to Richard Rodgers with 13:27 remaining.

UNDATED (AP) — The Pittsburgh Steelers grabbed the final AFC wild-card berth with their 28-12 win at Cleveland and the New York Jets' 22-17 loss at Buffalo. Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH'-lihs-bur-gur) threw for three touchdowns and was 24 of 36 for 349 yards and two interceptions. The Steelers' defense limited the 3-13 Browns to just four field goals and sacked Cleveland quarterback Austin Davis seven times.

UNDATED (AP) — The Browns are making changes after a 3-13 season that earned them the second pick in the upcoming NFL draft. Owner Jimmy Haslam has fired coach Mike Pettine (PEH'-tihn) and general manager Ray Farmer following their second straight losing season in charge. And the San Francisco 49ers have dismissed head coach Jim Tomsula, who was 5-11 in his only season at the helm.

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The Associated Press

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