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Sunday, 07 December 2008 12:34
NFL Headline News

 NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -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 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 are the first team to secure a postseason berth this year. They maintained at least a two-game lead with three to play for home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, and they celebrated by dumping a cooler of Gatorade on coach Jeff Fisher with a minute left in the game.
Cleveland (4-9) lost its third straight and fifth in six games, with the Browns starting a third different quarterback in as many games. It was Ken Dorsey's first start since Nov. 27, 2005, when he was with the 49ers, and he didn't get much help from an injury-decimated team.
Titans outgained Cleveland 390-178 and LenDale just missed joining Johnson with a 100-yard rushing game for a second straight week when he finished with 99 yards on 24 carries.
Vikings 20, Lions 16
DETROIT (AP) - The Lions took another big step toward making NFL history. The Lions (0-13) had chances to win, as they did in a two-point loss at Minnesota, but couldn't make enough plays, just as they have failed to throughout a miserable season.
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.
However, the 2007 Dolphins (0-13), 1986 Colts (0-13) and 1980 Saints (0-14) avoided the dubious distinction of being the first team to finish winless since the league lengthened the regular season in 1978.
The Vikings (8-5) lost starting quarterback Gus Frerotte to a back injury, but Travaris Jackson filled in well and kept them atop the NFC North.
Vikings defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin Williams played after the NFL Players Association helped to at least delay their suspensions for testing positive in training camp for a banned diuretic that can be used to mask steroids.
Eagles 20, Giants 14
nts finally found some bigger distractions than Plaxico Burress: Donovan McNabb, Brian Westbrook and the desperate Eagles.
Westbrook ran 30 yards for a touchdown, caught another 40-yarder from McNabb, and the Eagles' defense limited the Giants to 211 yards. The Super Bowl champions' seven-game winning streak ended and the defeat prevented them from clinching the NFC East.
McNabb finished 19-of-30 for 191 yards on a windy day as the Eagles controlled the ball for almost 35 minutes. Westbrook was the workhorse, gaining 131 yards on 33 carries and catching six passes for 72 yards.
The Eagles (7-5-1) remained in the playoff hunt after winning their second straight.
However, this is going to remembered as the game the Giants came up empty after a week of scrutiny and media hype following the suspension of Burress for the rest of the season and an investigation into the role of middle linebacker Antonio Pierce in the aftermath of the incident in which Burress shot himself in a Manhattan nightclub.
Saints 29, Falcons 25
s a 25-22 lead.
Reggie Bush added 80 yards rushing, including a career-long 43-yard run that set up his 5-yard touchdown catch.
Drew Brees was 18-of-32 for 230 yards and two TDs in one of the most balanced performances by New Orleans' normally pass-heavy offense. New Orleans (7-6) finished with a season-high 184 yards rushing.
Ryan, meanwhile, was 24-for-33 for 315 yards, one touchdown and one interception for Atlanta (8-5).
The Saints' defense, bolstered by a court ruling that allowed Will Smith to start at defensive end, limited Turner to 61 yards on 18 carries and held Atlanta to 99 yards rushing as a team. The court ruling on Friday also allowed Saints running back Deuce McAllister to suit up. The players had been suspended for the final four regular-season games for violating the NFL's anti-doping policy. But the NFLPA sued and a judge temporarily blocked the suspensions while the case proceeds.
Bears 23, Jaguars 10
CHICAGO (AP) - 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) rebounded from a 34-14 loss at Minnesota last week to remain a game behind the Vikings in the NFC North and needing help to make the playoffs. They got some from the Jaguars (4-9), who have dropped four in a row and six of seven.
-time temperature at 18 degrees, Manning warmed up the crowd when he picked off David Garrard and returned it 42 yards to the 5 on the third play from scrimmage. That set up Clark's 2-yard touchdown catch.
Olsen added an acrobatic 22-yard TD reception near the end of the first half, when he reached across the goal line to make it 20-3.
Rookie Matt Forte, third in the league in yards from scrimmage entering the game, was not a standout; he ran for 69 yards on 21 carries and caught five passes for 37 yards.
Colts 35, Bengals 3
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns, Dominic Rhodes ran for one and cornerback Kelvin Hayden's interception return produced another.
It was a stark contrast from the past month, when Indy became just the third team in league history to win five consecutive games by six points or fewer. No. 6 had a completely different look.
Manning's uncanny mixture of methodical drives and quick-hitting plays were too much for Cincinnati's beleaguered defense, and after failing to score an offensive touchdown last week at Cleveland, Manning led the Colts on three TD drives of 69 yards or longer.
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.
ati (1-11-1) lost four turnovers and Ryan Fitzpatrick was sacked four times.
Texans 24, Packers 21
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) - 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 won despite committing four turnovers, perhaps the byproduct of a warm-weather team playing in temperatures that hovered around 3 degrees at kickoff. Still, the Texans (6-7) managed their second victory in six days after beating Jacksonville on Monday night.
Schaub was 28-of-42 for 414 yards with two touchdowns and an interception in his return. He showed plenty of mobility, completing pass after pass on rollouts and bootlegs.
Texans rookie running back Steve Slaton rushed for 120 yards and caught three passes for 40 yards, a continuation of his 130-yard, two-touchdown performance against Jacksonville.
 

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