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SIPA USA/PA Images Beckham found Russell Shepard wide open for the touchdown
# nfl results
Rams seal NFC west crown as Beckham throws second TD pass of season in Giants win
The Giants receiver did not appreciate questions about his effort post-game.

THE LOS ANGELES RAMS Rams led the way into the NFL playoffs on Sunday, clinching their second straight NFC West division title with a 30-16 victory over the Detroit Lions.

The Rams, coming off a bye week, got off to a slow start. Quarterback Jared Goff made just 17 of 33 passes for 207 yards and an eight-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods late in the first half that broke a 3-3 tie.

It was running back Todd Gurley who put the Rams over the top, running for 132 yards and two touchdowns and also catching three passes for 33 yards.

Rams defender Aaron Donald helped clinch the win when he forced a fumble from Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford in the fourth quarter. Linebacker Samson Ebukan recovered the ball at the Detroit 24-yard-line and Gurley raced 13 yards for a touchdown three plays later to put the Rams up 23-13.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Detroit Lions SIPA USA / PA Images Todd Gurley runs for a TD SIPA USA / PA Images / PA Images

The victory pushed the Rams to 11-1, moving them a step closer to home-field advantage in the NFC playoffs. They are one game ahead of New Orleans for the top seed in the conference after the Saints’ upset loss to Dallas on Thursday.

Los Angeles needs the advantage. Their only defeat this season came against the Saints, who will claim the top seed if the teams finished tied in the standings.

There wasn’t much at stake for the New York Giants (now 4-8) in their 30-27 victory over the playoff-chasing Bears (8-4), but where there’s Odell Beckham, there’s generally news.

The star wideout threw his second touchdown pass of the season in an overtime victory for the out-of-contention G-Men, Russell Shepard the wide open beneficiary on this occasion as he collected a 49-yard floater to waltz into the end zone.

Beckham caught his own TD during the game, too, but the fact that it went to overtime at all was at least partially due to the mess he made of this recovery attempt when the Bears attempted an onside kick while trailing by seven at the death.

Chicago pounced on the ball and with the last play of regulation, Anthony Miller collected a TD pass from point-blank range to reduce the deficit to a mere PAT, which was duly converted.

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The Giants went on to win the game with an overtime field goal, and Beckham wasn’t pleased with questions about his attempt to regather the ball from the Bears’ onside kick.

“Nobody should ever question my effort,” he told reporters. “You can question me as a man, as a person, do whatever you want to do. Be my heart, my effort, can never be questioned. Ever.

“It was a great kick,” Beckham added. “Honestly when it took the hop, the guys on the front line — we kind of were in a position where we didn’t know.”

NFL — Sunday’s early results

  • Giants 30-27 Bears (OT)
  • Cardinals 20-17 Packers
  • Jaguars 6-0 Colts
  • Texans 29-13 Browns
  • Buccaneers 24-17 Panthers
  • Dolphins 21-17 Bills
  • Broncos 24-10 Bengals
  • Ravens 26-16 Falcons
  • Rams 30-16 Lions

- With reporting from AFP

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