The Washington Commanders open their three-day minicamp on Tuesday but Terry McLaurin is not planning on attending, according to reports.

The fourth-year wide receiver is seeking a contract extension as he moves into the final year of his rookie deal and will not report to camp as the two sides remain far apart on negotiations, according to ESPN.

If he were to miss all three days, McLaurin - who is slated to make $2.79million in 2022 - would be fined more than $95,000. He would also miss out on practice time with new Commanders quarterback Carson Wentz.

Despite playing with several mediocre starting quarterbacks over the last three seasons in Taylor Heinicke, Alex Smith, Dwayne Haskins Junior and Case Keenum, McLaurin has put up stellar numbers.

A third-round pick in 2019, McLaurin has led the team in receptions and receiving yards each of the last three years, and is coming off back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons. Since 2019, his 3,090 receiving yards rank 14th in the NFL, while his average of 13.9 yards per catch ranks 11th among the 61 players with at least 150 receptions.

Washington's NFL franchise finally has its new nickname, the Commanders.

Having played the last two seasons under the guise of the Washington Football Team, the name change was confirmed on Wednesday.

Washington abandoned their old moniker, widely viewed as racially insensitive to Native Americans, in July 2020.

That followed significant pressure in the wake of the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent widespread protests, the name change coming about after a group of 87 investment firms and shareholders signed three separate letters to Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo threatening to end relationships with the team unless the old name was dropped.

FedEx, which sponsors the team's stadium, requested that action be taken by the franchise, and a review began the following day that ended with the decision to drop the name and seek a new one.

That name was announced on social media with a video featuring stars Chase Young and Terry McLaurin along with franchise legend Joe Theismann, who led Washington to a first Super Bowl title in the 1982 season.

"As an organisation, we are excited to rally and rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation's capital," said co-owner and co-CEO Dan Snyder.

"As we kick-off our 90th season, it is important for our organisation and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy and the greats that came before us.

"We continue to honor and represent the burgundy and gold while forging a pathway to a new era in Washington.

"Today may mark the first day for the Washington Commanders, but we are and always will be Washington."

Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts says Sunday's railing collapse at FedEx Field "could have been so much worse" and wants changes made.

Hurts was exiting the field after Sunday's 20-16 win at the Washington Football Team when railing on the side of the tunnel collapsed with fans falling and spilling on to the ground.

The Eagles QB narrowly avoided being crushed by the fall and assisted fans to their feet and posed for pictures with them but insisted it cannot happen again.

"I tried to handle the situation with a lot of poise and show compassion for the people that fell down, really, but I know it could have been so much worse," Hurts said during a news conference.

"It kind of didn't hit me until after the fact, having some time to reflect on it and think about it. I just wanted to see what could be done to make sure it doesn't happen again. That's all I really care about."

Hurts has penned a letter to the Washington Football Team seeking clarification on what safeguards can be put in place to ensure it never happens again.

"What follow-up action is being considered in response to the near-tragic incident that took place at FedEx Field on January 2, 2022," Hurts wrote.

"Through the initial shock, my first reaction was to assist those involved. However, while I displayed a calm composure, I understand the severity of what happened and am extremely concerned for the well-being of the fans and media.

"As a result, I would like to know what safeguards the NFL and the Washington Football Team are implementing to prevent this from ever occurring in the future.

"The resources of the NFL and team organizations ensure our safety through playing this physical sport, but what happened Sunday put both fans and players unnecessarily at risk long after the final whistle. I look forward to hearing from you on this matter."

There have been reports of minor injuries from those involved in the fall but Washington released a statement following the incident on Sunday which said: "To our knowledge, everyone involved was offered onsite medical evaluation and left the stadium of their own accord."

The Washington Football Team has announced that it will unveil a new name and logo on February 2.

Team President Jason Wright released a statement on Tuesday saying, despite the preference appearing to be to use the name Wolves, trademarks by other teams meant that this, and the variation RedWolves, were not feasible.

"Early on we understood Wolves - or some variation of it - was one of our fan favourites," he said. "As I've said all along, we take feedback from our fans seriously, and because of your interest in this name, we put Wolves on a list of options to explore fully.

"Once we began looking into Wolves, however, we became aware of a notable challenge: trademarks held by other teams would limit our ability to make the name our own. And without Wolves, variations like RedWolves wouldn't have been viable either for these and other reasons.

"We can't wait to hit the ground running with our team name and identity on a clear path - one without distracting obstacles, legal or otherwise.

"And while we've always understood it would be a nearly impossible task to select a name that all of our fans would identify with as their first pick, we are very excited about our final selection, which aligns with our values, carries forth our rich history, represents the region and, most importantly, is inspired and informed by you, our fans."

Washington have been known simply as the Washington Football Team since July 2020 after dropping the previous name of the "Redskins".

The organization had been called the Redskins since 1933, but in July 2020, a group of 87 investment firms and shareholders signed three separate letters to Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo threatening to end relationships with the team unless it dropped the racially insensitive moniker.

FedEx, which sponsors the team's stadium, requested that action be taken by the franchise, and a review began the following day that ended with the decision to drop the name and seek a new one, which is finally set to be announced next month.

Washington sit third in the NFC East and out of playoff contention on a record of 6-10 after losing 20-16 to the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday.

Their final game of the season is a trip to the New York Giants on Sunday.

Matthew Stafford inspired the Los Angeles Rams to move one step closer to securing their second straight NFC West title with a 20-19 win over the slumping Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The defeat for the Ravens, who were without quarterback Lamar Jackson for the third straight game, leaves them perilously close to slipping out of the Wild Card hunt after their fifth consecutive loss.

Justin Tucker's field goal had put the Ravens up 19-14 with 4:33 left but Stafford launched a game-winning 75-yard drive to overhaul the deficit.

Stafford completed a 15-yard pass to Tyler Higbee and a 24-yarder to Cooper Kupp, before finding Odell Beckham Jr twice in a row, with the latter being the decisive TD.

The Rams QB finished with 26 of 35 passes for two touchdowns but also two interceptions, including a Chuck Clark first-quarter pick six, as well as a sack.

Clark's TD was the Ravens' only for the game, as QB Tyler Huntley completed 20 of 32 passes for 197 yards.

Rams running back Sony Michel had 19 carries for 74 yards including a TD along with wide receiver Kupp with six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown.

Over a month ago the Ravens had been 8-3 and looking good for the AFC top seed but now they are scrapping for a playoffs spot after a series of narrow defeats and desperate for Jackson's return.

Carlson field goal gives Raiders edge in Wild Card race

The Las Vegas Raiders claimed a crucial last-gasp win from Daniel Carlson's 33-yard field goal in the AFC Wild Card race with a 23-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz cleared protocols for the game but completed 16 of 27 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown, while running back Jonathan Taylor had one TD from 20 carries for 108 yards, with the defeat marking the first this season when he has rushed more than 100 yards.

The Raiders pipped the Colts in the final quarter, trailing 17-13 at the final break with QB Derek Carr hitting Hunter Renfrow on a fourth-down play for a TD, before Michael Badgley squared the game with a 41-yard field goal, only for Carlson to win it with one from 33 yards as time expired. The Raiders improve to 9-7, pulling ahead of the 9-7 Colts in the AFC Wild Card race.

 

Bengals clinch maiden AFC North title

The Cincinnati Bengals clinched their first-ever AFC North title as Evan McPherson kicked a late 20-yard field goal to secure a 34-31 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase set an NFL rookie record and franchise record with 266 yards and three touchdowns on 11 catches, while QB Joe Burrow threw 30 of 39 passes for 446 yards and four touchdowns.

Burrow got the better of opposing QB Patrick Mahomes who completed 26 of 35 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs, who have already won the AFC West title, moved to 11-5.

 

Brady cool after Brown meltdown

Tom Brady was cool in a crisis after Antonio Brown stormed off the field as the NFC South-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to win 28-24 over the New York Jets.

Brady completed 34 of 50 attempts for 410 yards and three touchdowns, including leading them on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes to clinch the victory.

The game was marred after Brown's meltdown, storming off the field in the third quarter with the Bucs 24-10 down, with head coach Bruce Arians confirming "he is no longer a Buc" after the game.

Matthew Stafford inspired the Los Angeles Rams to move one step closer to securing their second straight NFC West title with a 20-19 win over the slumping Baltimore Ravens on Sunday.

The defeat for the Ravens, who were without quarterback Lamar Jackson for the third straight game, leaves them perilously close to slipping out of the Wild Card hunt after their fifth consecutive loss.

Justin Tucker's field goal had put the Ravens up 19-14 with 4:33 left but Stafford launched a game-winning 75-yard drive to overhaul the deficit.

Stafford completed a 15-yard pass to Tyler Higbee and a 24-yarder to Cooper Kupp, before finding Odell Beckham Jr twice in a row, with the latter being the decisive TD.

The Rams QB finished with 26 of 35 passes for two touchdowns but also two interceptions, including a Chuck Clark first-quarter pick six, as well as a sack.

Clark's TD was the Ravens' only for the game, as QB Tyler Huntley completed 20 of 32 passes for 197 yards.

Rams running back Sony Michel had 19 carries for 74 yards including a TD along with wide receiver Kupp with six receptions for 95 yards and one touchdown.

Over a month ago the Ravens had been 8-3 and looking good for the AFC top seed but now they are scrapping for a playoffs spot after a series of narrow defeats and desperate for Jackson's return.

Carlson field goal gives Raiders edge in Wild Card race

The Las Vegas Raiders claimed a crucial last-gasp win from Daniel Carlson's 33-yard field goal in the AFC Wild Card race with a 23-20 victory over the Indianapolis Colts.

Colts quarterback Carson Wentz cleared protocols for the game but completed 16 of 27 passes for 148 yards and one touchdown, while running back Jonathan Taylor had one TD from 20 carries for 108 yards, with the defeat marking the first this season when he has rushed more than 100 yards.

The Raiders pipped the Colts in the final quarter, trailing 17-13 at the final break with QB Derek Carr hitting Hunter Renfrow on a fourth-down play for a TD, before Michael Badgley squared the game with a 41-yard field goal, only for Carlson to win it with one from 33 yards as time expired. The Raiders improve to 9-7, pulling ahead of the 9-7 Colts in the AFC Wild Card race.

 

Bengals clinch maiden AFC North title

The Cincinnati Bengals clinched their first-ever AFC North title as Evan McPherson kicked a late 20-yard field goal to secure a 34-31 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.

Bengals wide receiver Ja'Marr Chase set an NFL rookie record and franchise record with 266 yards and three touchdowns on 11 catches, while QB Joe Burrow threw 30 of 39 passes for 446 yards and four touchdowns.

Burrow got the better of opposing QB Patrick Mahomes who completed 26 of 35 passes for 259 yards and two touchdowns as the Chiefs, who have already won the AFC West title, moved to 11-5.

 

Brady cool after Brown meltdown

Tom Brady was cool in a crisis after Antonio Brown stormed off the field as the NFC South-winning Tampa Bay Buccaneers rallied to win 28-24 over the New York Jets.

Brady completed 34 of 50 attempts for 410 yards and three touchdowns, including leading them on a 93-yard drive in the final minutes to clinch the victory.

The game was marred after Brown's meltdown, storming off the field in the third quarter with the Bucs 24-10 down, with head coach Bruce Arians confirming "he is no longer a Buc" after the game.

Daron Payne described his sideline bust-up with team-mate Jonathan Allen during the Washington Football Team's 56-14 thrashing at the hands of the Dallas Cowboys as a "little brotherly disagreement".

The two defensive tackles were sat together on the bench as a 75-yard drive resulted in the Cowboys' third touchdown in a row in the second quarter, sparking a heated conversation between the pair.

Television cameras showed Payne jabbing his finger towards the side of Allen's head before the latter responded by swatting his team-mate's hand away and aiming a punch at his face.

"Emotions are high, things happen," Allen said after the loss when asked about the confrontation. "I don't think it takes a rocket scientist if you look at how that game went."

The players were separated by fellow Washington players and coaches before the duo ended the game on the field together. 

"Just a little brotherly disagreement; maybe the wrong place, wrong time, but it happened," Payne added on the altercation.

"You got brothers? You guys fight, right? It's all good."

Washington are on a three-game losing run to fall to a 6-9 record for the season, with their frailties in defense on Sunday seemingly the catalyst for the fracas between Allen and Payne, who have played together for six years across spells in Alabama and with their current franchise.

Washington coach Ron Rivera said he was informed of the incident after the conclusion of the game but refused to divulge the conversations he held with his players, while revealing the pair would not be disciplined.

"I talked with them, and as far as I'm concerned, that's where it's going to stay," Rivera told reporters. "What my players say to me is nobody's business."

Rivera believes the fight owed to frustrations running high amid a poor run of form, with Washington also missing numerous players due to injuries and COVID-19 issues.

Allen insisted they are already prepared to put the commotion behind them.

"When something happens on the field, you never let it carry into the locker room," Allen concluded. "Things get heated, we fix them, we sit down as grown men and we move on.

"I'll take full responsibility for my actions and so will Payne."

Rivera's team will look to end on a high against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday before closing their regular season at the New York Giants on January 9.

Dak Prescott revealed the Dallas Cowboys were unaware they had already clinched the NFC title before a 56-14 rout of the Washington Football Team on Sunday.

Prescott starred by completing 28 of 39 attempted passes for 330 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions as Dallas registered 50 points for the first time since Super Bowl XXVII in the 1992 season.

The Dallas QB recorded his fourth career game with 300 yards, four passing touchdowns and no interceptions, which is the most by any player in franchise history, going past Tony Romo (three). 

Dallas' 56-point haul was the third most in a game by franchise records and the most in a regular-season fixture since 1980 as Mike McCarthy's side scored more than 40 points for the fourth time this season.

The Las Vegas Raiders' victory over the Denver Broncos had already secured Prescott's third divisional title in six seasons as the Cowboys' starting quarterback, but the 28-year-old claimed he was unaware of the triumph before the game.

"I don't know if many people knew that we clinched before the game," Prescott said. "I didn't. That's kind of what my message was talking to the guys in the circle up right there [before the game], going out winning this division. 

"I don't know if we're in the world or business of trying to send messages more than we're just trying to get better, day in and day out, game after game and make sure that we're playing our best ball and peaking at the right time heading into this tournament."

Asked whether Dallas had arrested a slump after concerns over their offensive abilities on Prescott's return from a calf strain, he responded: "You tell me. I never said we were in a slump. Those were your words. 

"So I think it would be hard for you to say that now, but, yeah, tonight was a great performance."

Dallas scored on offense, defense and special teams for the first time since 2012 as they became the first NFL outfit to do so this season, much to the delight of defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence who hailed an almost perfect showing.

"I feel like we showed ourselves that we can play a complete game but we still have a lot that we can build on," Lawrence said.

"Being able to go out there and dominate on all three phases of the game, shoot, we just got to keep building on that and get better from it."

The Cowboys extended to a four-game winning streak, though McCarthy's team need to win their final two games and require the Green Bay Packers to lose at least once to confirm home advantage for the playoffs.

The NFC East champions next face the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday before closing the regular season at the Philadelphia Eagles on January 9.

Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys blew away the Washington Football Team with six first-half touchdowns as they recorded a comprehensive 56-14 win on Sunday.

Prescott completed 28 of 39 passes for 330 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions, as the Cowboys reached 50 points for the first time since Super Bowl XXVII in 1993.

The Dallas QB recorded his fourth career game with 300 yards, four passing touchdowns and no interceptions, which is the most by any player in franchise history, going past Tony Romo (three). Prescott remarkably passed for 320 yards by half-time.

The Cowboys also became the first team this season to score in all three facets of the game as they dismantled Washington.

Ezekiel Elliott scored two touchdowns in the first half as the Cowboys opened up a 42-7 half-time lead. Elliott had nine carries for 37 yards and one rushing TD, along with one receiving touchdown.

Dallas had good contributions from receivers Amari Cooper (seven receptions for 85 yards and one TD), Dalton Schultz (eight receptions for 82 yards and one TD) and Malik Turner (three receptions for 82 yards and one TD).

Demarcus Lawrence also scored a TD after intercepting Washington QB's Taylor Heinicke's first-quarter pass with Chauncey Golston cleaning up in the end zone for a touchdown after Corey Clement blocked a punt.

The Cowboys, who have clinched the NFC East division earlier in the day after the Las Vegas Raiders beat the Denver Broncos 17-13, improve to 11-4 while Washington are 6-9.

 

Burrow blows against Lamar-less Ravens

Joe Burrow was in record-breaking form with the fourth most passing yards in a game in NFL history to lead the Cincinnati Bengals won 41-21 over the Baltimore Ravens, who were without Lamar Jackson.

Burrow completed 37 of 46 passes for 525 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions, which was a new franchise record for passing yards as the Bengals claimed a major AFC North win to improve to 9-6 ahead of the 8-7 Ravens on a four-game skid.

The Bengals quarterback also becomes the fourth player in NFL history to have 500 pass yards, four pass touchdowns and zero interceptions in a game, joining Derek Carr, Ben Roethlisberger and Y.A. Tittle.

Wide receivers Tee Higgins (12 receptions for 194 yards and two touchdowns) and Ja'Marr Chase (seven receptions for 125 yards) were excellent against the Ravens whose stand-in QB Josh Johnson had two TD passes.

 

Chiefs clinch AFC West yet again

The Kansas City Chiefs became the first team to ever clinch the AFC West title for six straight seasons after a 36-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw 23 of 30 passes for 258 yards with three TD passes, while Steelers veteran QB Ben Roethlisberger struggled with 23 of 35 passes for 159 yards with one TD and one interception.

Wide receiver Byron Pringle had six receptions for 75 yards with two touchdowns as the Chiefs improved to an unassailable 11-4 record in the AFC West, ahead of the Los Angeles Chargers (8-4) who lost 41-29 to the Houston Texans earlier on Sunday.

Washington Football Team safety Deshazor Everett was the driver in a car accident on Thursday in which a female passenger died.

Everett, 29, was hospitalised with "serious but non-life-threatening" injuries after the crash in Loudoun County, Virginia.

His passenger, named by the local sheriff's office as 29-year-old Olivia S Peters of Las Vegas, died in hospital of injuries sustained in the accident.

Everett's Nissan car hit several trees and rolled over. The sheriff's office confirmed to Stats Perform that Everett was the driver.

Washington Football Team said in a statement: "We've been made aware of an automobile accident last night involving Deshazor Everett. A passenger in his vehicle lost their life and we extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends who lost a loved one.

"Deshazor is currently in the hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone who has been affected by this tragedy.

"Our team has alerted the league office and is working with local authorities as we continue to gather more information."

The Loudoun County Sheriff's Office said it was investigating.

It said in a statement: "The driver of a 2010 Nissan GT-R was travelling north on Gum Spring Road near Ticonderoga Road when around 9:15pm the vehicle left the right side of the roadway, struck several trees, and rolled over.

"The passenger, Olivia S Peters, 29, of Las Vegas, Nevada was taken to StoneSprings Hospital where she succumbed to her injuries.

"The driver was taken to Reston Hospital Center where he is being treated for serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The cause of the crash remains under investigation."

Everett has spent his entire seven-year NFL career with Washington, featuring in 89 games and starting 17 of those.

A two-day postponement of the Philadelphia Eagles' game against the Washington Football Team bought Jalen Hurts some valuable recovery time. 

Philadelphia's quarterback is expected to start Tuesday after an ankle injury suffered November 28 against the New York Giants kept him out of the Eagles' most recent game on December 5. 

Hurts did work through all of Friday's practice as usual but would still have been listed as questionable if the game had been played Sunday as originally scheduled, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni told reporters. 

With a bye last week and an extra two days of treatment thanks to a COVID-19 outbreak affecting Washington that prompted the delay, Hurts should be at full speed Tuesday. 

"I feel pretty confident and feel really good about where he is at right now," Sirianni said.

Backup Gardner Minshew had a brilliant outing in place of Hurts before the bye, completing 20 of 25 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns in a 33-18 road defeat of the New York Jets. 

Hurts had insisted all week heading into that game that he hoped to play, but the Eagles (6-7) opted to err on the side of caution. 

Now there appears no doubt about Hurts' readiness, as he did not appear on the team's injury report Monday. 

"I’ve been coming in every day doing everything I can in my power to be available," Hurts told reporters last week. "At this point of the season, everybody is playing for a lot. Regardless of who’s out there ... we are going to try to go out and play good football all around.

"They have something to fight for and so do we. We want this win in December."

The 23-year-old Hurts has completed 60.1 per cent of his passes for 2,435 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions, in addition to rushing for 695 yards and eight more scores. 

He could end up facing Washington's third-choice QB, as starter Taylor Heinicke and his backup Kyle Allen both are on the COVID list, though they could test out shortly before the game. 

 

The NFL has been forced to move three games for Week 15 due to the COVID-19 outbreak across the league and the United States.

The Cleveland Browns, who could have been without as many as 20 players, were set to face the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday, but that clash has been rescheduled for Monday.

The Washington Football Team were preparing to face the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, the same day in which the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams were due to do battle, but both games will now take place on Tuesday.

The NFL announced the changes in a statement, which said: "We have made these schedule changes based on medical advice and after discussion with the NFLPA as we are seeing a new, highly transmissible form of the virus this week resulting in a substantial increase in cases across the league.

"We continue to make decisions in consultation with medical experts to ensure the health and safety of the NFL community."

Due to the changes, all six sides involved will have shorter breaks between Week 15 and 16. The Browns head to the Green Bay Packers on Christmas, while the Raiders, Eagles, Washington, Seahawks and Rams all have two days fewer to prepare for their next games.

The fixture alterations come after the NFL announced updated coronavirus protocols on Thursday, which include fully vaccinated players being allowed to return from quarantine a day after testing positive if they produce two negative tests within 24 hours and are asymptomatic.

Indeed, 32 players were placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Friday alone, after reports on Wednesday suggested around 100 NFL players recently tested positive for the virus across a three-day span.

Last season amid the ongoing global pandemic the NFL completed its season on time but had to reschedule 18 games.

In July, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell warned the 32 teams that no games would be rescheduled under such circumstances again and, instead, forfeits could happen.

Veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick requires hip surgery and is set to miss the rest of the 2021 season, it emerged on Tuesday.

The news, reported by the NFL's official website and elsewhere, means Fitzpatrick's active involvement with Washington may already be effectively over.

Fitzpatrick had three completed passes from six attempts for 13 yards against the Los Angeles Chargers before injury struck him down in the Week 1 clash.

The 39-year-old has not been involved since that 20-16 defeat, which saw him replaced by Taylor Heinicke.

Heinicke has been the stand-in that Washington have deployed in the starting role since, with the 28-year-old throwing 18 touchdown passes and achieving a pass completion rate of 67.9 per cent, the ninth highest in the NFL.

He had not started a game since 2018 until being summoned to step in for Fitzpatrick.

Tuesday's reports said Fitzpatrick would undergo arthroscopic surgery.

His contract with Washington was for only one year, and it remains to be seen whether an extension will be considered.

Fitzpatrick has previously played for an array of NFL teams, including the Buffalo Bills, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Miami Dolphins.

There was no official word from Washington regarding Fitzpatrick, who has been labelled 'Fitzmagic' by admirers during his NFL career, which began in 2005 with the St. Louis Rams.

Washington did issue a squad update on Tuesday, with linebacker Khaleke Hudson added to the reserve/injured list and Milo Eifler joining from Miami's practice squad as a replacement.

They are 6-6 for the season, having won their last four games to shake off a slow start.

The Seattle Seahawks and their 2021 NFL season is fast becoming a nightmare after going down 17-15 to the Washington Football Team.

Taylor Heinicke lifted Washington past Russell Wilson and the slumping Seahawks, who suffered a third consecutive defeat to fall to 3-8 for the season, in an historic performance.

Wilson had not accounted for a single touchdown in two games since returning from a finger injury – only the second time in the star quarterback's career he had zero total TDs in at least back-to-back games after going three straight in October 2016.

While Wilson threw a pair of touchdowns on 20-of-31 passing for 247 yards and no interceptions, it was not enough against Heinicke and Washington on the road.

Heinicke was 27-of-35 passing for 223 yards, a touchdown and interception for streaking Washington (5-6), who celebrated a third successive win.

The 28-year-old found J.D. McKissic with a 10-yard TD pass in the second period before the latter – who was carted off late in the fourth quarter due to a head injury – scored on a 10-yard run to put the hosts ahead 17-9.

In his last three starts, Heinicke has beaten Tampa Bay Buccaneers superstar Tom Brady, Carolina Panthers QB Cam Newton and Wilson. According to Stats Perform, he is the first undrafted quarterback in NFL history to beat three different opposing starting QBs who had previously started a Super Bowl in three consecutive starts.

Jonathan Taylor grabbed a staggering five touchdowns as the Indianapolis Colts jolted the Buffalo Bills with a remarkable 41-15 win on Sunday.

The star running back became just the 13th player since 1960 to bag five or more scrimmage TDs in a game, and the first from the Colts to achieve the feat.

Taylor came into the game having scored a rushing touchdown in seven straight games, looking to become the first to reach eight since DeAngelo Williams in 2008.

What transpired was a momentous day for the 22-year-old, who was a second-round pick in the 2020 draft, and he pushed the Colts to 6-5 for the season, after their 1-4 start.

He scored from the Colts' opening drive and was unrelenting from that point on.

The Bills, top of the NFL team defense ranking heading into the game and boasting an average winning margin of 26.3 points this year, had little answer to Taylor's breath-taking display and slipped to 6-4. 

This was a rematch of a wildcard round in last year's playoffs, when the Colts were edged out, and Taylor ensured the outcome was markedly different.

He told CBS: "The offensive line and I, we prepared tremendously throughout this week. We knew it was going to be a tough challenge.

"We had to accept that challenge, that's what we had to do coming into this game and that was half of the battle."

Asked what the secret had been to his recent success, Taylor said: "I think it's been the communication between the offensive line and myself.

"It doesn't matter what defensive front they bring, what pressure, as long as we're all in communication and on the same page we can accomplish anything."

He saluted the Colts' defense, who snagged three interceptions, saying: "A lot of those guys were coming up to me, talking about the game I had today. They create and generate takeovers, and we have to capitalise on them."

The Colts' five previous wins this year had come against teams with a combined 13-34 record, with this victory suggesting they can mix it with higher pedigree sides.

Newton loses out to Heinicke

Cam Newton's first start of his second stint with the Carolina Panthers ended in defeat at home, a 27-21 loss to Taylor Heinicke and Ron Rivera's Washington Football Team.

He finished 21-of-27 for 189 yards, with touchdown passes for DJ Moore and Christian McCaffrey. Newton also rushed for a touchdown, but against his old Panthers coach Rivera it was not Newton's night, and his contribution waned late on.

Heinicke finished 16-of-22 for 206 yds with three touchdown passes to help Washington improve to 4-6, earning another prized scalp after topping Tom Brady's Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Week 10.

Vikings pick off Packers as Joseph wins it

Greg Joseph's last-gasp field goal gave the Minnesota Vikings a stunning 34-31 win over the Green Bay Packers at U.S. Bank Stadium.

His walk-off 29-yard glory kick settled a tumultuous game that had seen the Vikings lead 23-10, only to be overhauled and trail at one point in the fourth quarter.

It became a ding-dong battle from there and overtime looked to be on the cards after Aaron Rodgers sent a 75-yard touchdown pass to Marquez Valdes-Scantling to tie it at 31-31 in the fading moments.

Yet Minnesota made ground and gave Joseph the chance to win it, meaning they improved to 5-5 and the NFC North leading Packers slipped slightly to 8-3.

Rodgers went 23-of-33 for 385 yards with four touchdown passes.

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