Four teams clinch NFL play-off berths

Tom Brady and reigning Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay clinched an NFL playoff berth on Sunday by defeating Carolina 32-6, securing the Buccaneers’ first division title since 2007.

The Los Angeles Rams, Kansas City Chiefs and Arizona Cardinals also sealed post-season spots thanks to Sunday’s results while New England missed a chance to clinch with a 33-21 home loss to Buffalo.

Brady, the 44-year-old quarterback who has won a record seven Super Bowl titles, completed 18 of 30 passes for 182 yards and a touchdown while Ke’shawn Vaughn and Ronald James each ran for touchdowns to spark the Bucs.

Tampa Bay captured the NFC South division crown and reached the playoffs in consecutive seasons for the first time since capturing the 2003 Super Bowl.

“I’m not taking anything for granted,” Brady said. “Winning the division is hard to do. We’ve earned it. We’re 11-4. It’s not the greatest record in the world but it’s certainly not the worst either.”

The Rams also reached 11-4 and boosted their NFC West-division lead to a game over Arizona with a 30-23 victory at Minnesota.

“Punched a ticket to the playoffs, but we know that’s not the end goal,” Rams coach Sean McVay said.

Minnesota’s defeat allowed Arizona (10-5) to clinch a playoff berth as well despite a Saturday loss to Indianapolis.

The Green Bay Packers, with an NFL-best 12-3 record, and Dallas Cowboys had already clinched NFC playoff berths, meaning five of seven NFC post-season spots are claimed with Philadelphia and San Francisco, both 8-7, the teams to beat for the others.

Patrick Mahomes threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns as Kansas City secured a sixth consecutive AFC West division crown by routing Pittsburgh 36-10, the host Chiefs winning their eighth game in a row to become the first AFC team to secure a playoff berth. (AFP)