Titans clinch playoff spot with 12th win
Monday, December 8, 2008
The AFC South title belongs to the Tennessee Titans for the first time since 2002 in what they hope is the first of many goals reached this season.
Kerry Collins threw two touchdowns, and Chris Johnson ran for 136 yards and a score as the Titans routed the Cleveland Browns 28-9 on Sunday, clinching a second consecutive playoff berth with the franchise's best record through 13 games, 12-1.
The Titans have won 15 of their last 16 games, and were the first team to secure a postseason berth this year.
Cleveland (4-9) lost its third straight and fifth in six games.
Eagles 20, Giants 14
The Super Bowl champions' seven-game winning streak ended, but the Giants still clinched the NFC East when Dallas lost to Pittsburgh.
The Eagles (7-5-1) remained in the playoff hunt after winning their second straight.
Vikings 20, Lions 16
The Lions took another big step toward making NFL history, falling to 0-13.
At this point, Detroit is expected to finish the season as the first 0-16 team in league history, with games remaining at Indianapolis, against New Orleans and at Green Bay. The Lions are the fourth team to start 0-13 or worse since 1976, when Tampa Bay infamously finished 0-14 as an expansion team.
The Vikings (8-5) lost starting quarterback Gus Frerotte to a back injury.
Steelers 20, Cowboys 13
Deshea Townsend scored on a 25-yard interception return with 1:40 remaining as the Steelers (10-3) scored their only two touchdowns 24 seconds apart to rally from a 10-point deficit.
The Cowboys dropped to 8-5.
Broncos 24, Chiefs 17
Jay Cutler guided the Broncos (8-5) on a tiebreaking 95-yard touchdown drive early in the fourth quarter and Denver's defense stuffed quarterback Tyler Thigpen on fourth-and-goal.
Cutler's only bad pass all day was returned by rookie Maurice Leggett for a 27-yard touchdown in the first quarter that gave Kansas City (2-11) a 10-0 lead.
Dolphins 16, Bills 3
Chad Pennington completed 23 passes, including his final 11 attempts, and hit Anthony Fasano for a 20-yard touchdown as the Dolphins (8-5) won for the sixth time in seven games.
The Dolphins' defense did the rest, allowing only 163 yards to a Bills (6-7) team playing its first of five annual regular-season games in its adopted home-away-from-home of Toronto.
49ers 24, Jets 14
Shaun Hill passed for 285 yards and two touchdowns against New York's porous secondary, and the 49ers sent the AFC East-leading Jets to their second straight loss.
Joe Nedney kicked a 32-yard tiebreaking field goal early in the fourth quarter and Bryant Johnson made a diving 3-yard TD catch with 6:05 left for the 49ers (5-8), who have won three of four.
The Jets (8-5) slipped into a tie atop the AFC East with the Dolphins and Patriots.
Patriots 24, Seahawks 21
Sammy Morris leaped into the end zone from the 1 yard on fourth down with 2:44 remaining as the Patriots forged a three-way tie for first place in the AFC East.
New England (8-5) secured the win when Brandon Meriweather sacked Seneca Wallace with 1:54 left and Richard Seymour recovered the fumble.
Seattle (2-11) lost its sixth consecutive game.
Saints 29, Falcons 25
Pierre Thomas rushed for 102 yards and scored two touchdowns, and New Orleans (7-6) kept alive its slim playoff hopes.
Bears 23, Jaguars 10
Danieal Manning set the tone for a strong defensive effort with an early interception, and Desmond Clark and Greg Olsen caught touchdown passes.
Robbie Gould kicked three field goals and the Bears (7-6) remained a game behind the Vikings in the NFC North. The Jaguars (4-9) have dropped four in a row.
Colts 35, Bengals 3
Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns, Dominic Rhodes ran for one and cornerback Kelvin Hayden's interception return produced another.
Indy's most lopsided win of the season also kept it in position for one of the AFC's two wild-card spots. The Colts (9-4) host winless Detroit next week.
Texans 24, Packers 21
Playing his first game in a month because of a knee injury, quarterback Matt Schaub marched the Texans to set up Kris Brown's 40-yard field goal on the final play of the game. It was the second straight late defensive meltdown at home by the Packers (5-8), whose playoff hopes pretty much disappeared.
The Texans (6-7) managed their second victory in six days after beating Jacksonville on Monday night.
Ravens 24, Redskins 10
Ed Reed set up a touchdown with an interception and scored on a 22-yard fumble return to help the Ravens win for the seventh time in eight games.
Baltimore (9-4) also enhanced its stature in the wild-card race and remained one game behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North.
Washington (7-6) has lost four of five. The Redskins trailed 17-0 before scoring twice in the fourth quarter after Baltimore turnovers, but couldn't complete the comeback.