The New England Patriots secured a bye in the first round of the NFL play-offs as they wrapped up their regular season campaign with a 38-3 victory over the New York Jets.
Veteran Tom Brady threw for four touchdowns and 250 yards at Gillette Stadium as the AFC East winners for the past 10 seasons ensured they enter the post-season in good shape with an 11-5 record.
The Jets offered little resistance as Brady sent James White, Rex Burkhead, Phillip Dorsett and James Edelman into the endzone while Kyle Van Noy also scored on a turnover.
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) December 30, 2018
The Houston Texans (11-5) finally wrapped up the AFC South title with a 20-3 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium after losing two of their previous three games.
The Texans struck the decisive blows in the first half with rushing touchdowns for Deshaun Watson and Lemar Miller helping seal a third division title in four seasons.
With their play-off position already secure, the New Orleans Saints (13-3) were beaten 33-14 by the Carolina Panthers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
Kyle Allen threw for two touchdowns and 228 yards and rushed for another score as the Panthers (7-9) ended their season on a winning note. The Saints did not get on the scoreboard until the fourth quarter.
The Dallas Cowboys (10-6) made certain of the NFC East title by snatching a dramatic 36-35 victory over the New York Giants at the MetLife Stadium.
Cole Beasley claimed the crucial touchdown late in the game after an initial call of incomplete against his catch was overturned.
A two-point conversion secured the win, while Dak Prescott threw for four touchdowns and 387 yards.
There was nothing to play for in play-off terms in the other games played early on Sunday.
The Buffalo Bills (6-10) ran out emphatic 42-17 winners over the Miami Dolphins (7-9), while the Detroit Lions (6-10) overpowered the Green Bay Packers (6-9-1) and the Atlanta Falcons (7-9) edged a tight contest against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-11) 34-32 thanks to a late Matt Bryant field goal.