|Sunday's NFL Capsules|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 16 December 2007 19:26|
After Baltimore's Matt Stover missed a 44-yard field goal in the extra period, Miami's Greg Camarillo turned a short completion into a 64-yard touchdown, and the Dolphins beat the Baltimore Ravens 22-16 Sunday.
With the 1972 perfect-season Dolphins cheering them on, the woebegone 2007 team rallied from a 10-point third-quarter deficit and snapped a 16-game losing streak.
Camarillo broke over the middle on third down and had two steps on the secondary when he caught a pass from Cleo Lemon near midfield. Camarillo sprinted to the end zone for his first NFL touchdown, and his jubilant teammates ran after him to create a mob scene in the corner of the stadium.
With their first victory since Dec. 10, 2006, the Dolphins (1-13) avoided matching the worst start in NFL history.
Owner Wayne Huizenga has been so fed up by years of decline in the Dolphins that he's discussing the sale of the team to two real estate developers. Huizenga declined to comment on negotiations.
But his Dolphins finally found a team they could beat in the Ravens (4-10), who lost their eighth game in a row, extending a franchise record.
Miami took its first lead with 1:56 left in regulation on a 29-yard field goal by Jay Feely. But his ensuing kickoff went out of bounds, allowing the Ravens to start at their 40, and rookie Troy Smith drove them 59 yards.
Stover's 18-yard field goal with 8 seconds left forced overtime.
Then Smith drove them 54 yards, but Stover pulled a kick wide left. Three plays later, the Dolphins had their first win.
Patriots 20, Jets 10
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Facing rain, wind and chilly gusts above 20 mph, New England and Tom Brady found a new way to win - running and eating up the clock in the Spygate rematch.
Coach Bill Belichick brushed off the elements as a necessary nuisance, much like his usually cold postgame handshakes with Eric Mangini. The Jets coach, his former friend and protege, had turned him in for using a sideline videocamera in violation of NFL rules after the season opener.
But this time, their exchange was pleasant. Belichick smiled all the way from the sideline until he reached Mangini and appeared to say, ``Great game, awesome,'' as they shook hands. Then Belichick walked away, pumping his first twice over his head.
The Patriots (14-0) stopped the sideline taping when they were nabbed in the first quarter of the first game, a 38-14 win over the Jets (3-11). The coaches exchanged a quick, cold handshake at the end of that game, just as they had done after their two regular-season meetings last season.
The NFL fined Belichick $500,000 and the team $250,000 and took away their first-round draft choice next year for the illegal taping.
New England clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs even though Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season. Laurence Maroney ran for 104 yards, just the fourth time this season a New England rusher surpassed 100.
On New York's second offensive play, Richard Seymour slammed Kellen Clemens to the ground in the Jets end zone, forcing a bad throw and an interception that Eugene Wilson returned 5 yards for a touchdown. Clemens didn't return.
Chargers 51, Lions 14
SAN DIEGO (AP) - The Chargers (9-5) repeated as AFC West champions by beating the punchless Lions for their fourth straight win and eighth in 10 games.
LaDainian Tomlinson had 116 yards and two scores on 15 carries; the rout was so complete that L.T. got the second half off, which allowed Darren Sproles to run for 122 yards and two TDs. It was the first time in Chargers history two backs rushed for more than 100 yards in the same game.
Detroit's Jon Kitna tied his career-high with five interceptions. Three of them came in the span of six plays in the first half, leading to 17 points, as the Lions (6-8) lost their sixth in a row. Detroit had six turnovers, setting up 27 points.
Cornerback Antonio Cromartie broke a 46-year-old Chargers record with his 10th interception of the season, tops in the NFL. Cromartie's 10 picks have come in the last nine games, and he's been a starter for the last six. Cromartie also recovered a fumble on a kickoff.
Tomlinson passed Eddie George and Tiki Barber and took over 19th place on the career rushing list with 10,487 yards. His two touchdowns give him 127, moving him past Jim Brown (126) for seventh place all-time. He also joined Eric Dickerson as the only players in NFL history to rush for more than 1,200 yards in their first seven seasons.
Colts 21, Raiders 14
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Peyton Manning threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to rookie Anthony Gonzalez with 4:49 remaining for the Colts' first offensive touchdown of the game.
The Colts (12-2), who clinched a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs, trailed 14-13 after Justin Fargas' 2-yard run early in the fourth quarter. But Manning completed all seven passes on the ensuing drive of 91 yards for the go-ahead score. Joseph Addai ran in the 2-point conversion.
The win clinched Indianapolis' fifth straight AFC South title, made the Colts the first team ever to post five straight 12-win seasons and gave them the No. 2 seed in the playoffs because Pittsburgh lost 29-22 to Jacksonville earlier in the day.
The Raiders (4-10) are assured of their fifth straight double-digit loss season, but held the high-powered Colts in check until midway through the fourth quarter. Indianapolis' first 13 points came on T.J. Rushing's 90-yard punt return in the first quarter and two field goals by Adam Vinatieri.
Eagles 10, Cowboys 6
IRVING, Texas (AP) - Donovan McNabb wasn't his old self, but he was better than the out-of-whack and possibly injured Tony Romo.
Philadelphia had lost three straight and was still smarting from a nationally televised blowout loss to Dallas six weeks ago. The Eagles ended the Cowboys' seven-game winning streak and prevented them from tying the franchise record for wins in a season. They also kept alive their hopes of snagging a wild-card berth into the postseason.
Romo started 0-for-6 and wasn't doing much better when he injured his throwing hand in the third quarter. Romo was 13-of-36 for 214 yards. All three of his pickoffs came on balls forced to Terrell Owens. He also was sacked four times, all on the final two drives, when his banged-up hand bothered him so much he dropped a ball while cocking to throw.
Philadelphia (6-8) could've won by more, but Brian Westbrook broke free for a 24-yard run with a little more than two minutes left. Instead of sprinting into the end zone, he stopped at the 1. Dallas (12-2) was out of timeouts, so the Eagles were able to take a knee on three straight plays rather take any chances.
Buccaneers 37, Falcons 3
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - Micheal Spurlock ran back a kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown, the first in the franchise's 32 seasons, and Tampa Bay won the NFC South for the second time in three seasons.
Ronde Barber returned an interception 29 yards for a TD and Earnest Graham scored a touchdown rushing in a team-record sixth consecutive game to help Tampa Bay (9-5) improve to 5-0 in the division after going 0-6 against NFC South rivals a year ago.
It's the fifth straight season the team winning the NFC South finished last the previous season.
The loss was the fifth in a row for Atlanta (3-11). It capped a tumultuous week that began with suspended star quarterback Michael Vick being sentenced to 23 months in prison for his role in a dogfighting ring, a lopsided loss to New Orleans and the abrupt resignation of first-year coach Bobby Petrino.
Spurlock settled under Michael Koenen's kick at his 10, burst through a huge hole in the middle of the field and cut up the right sideline to the end zone untouched. The TD came on the 1,865th attempt made by 141 players since Tampa Bay's inaugural season in 1976.
Redskins 22, Giants 10
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Clinton Portis ran for 126 yards and a touchdown and Todd Collins led the Redskins on five scoring drives in his first start in 10 years. The win was the second straight for the Redskins (7-7) and it moved them within a half-game of Minnesota for a wild-card berth. The Vikings (7-6) play the Chicago Bears on Monday night, before meeting the Redskins in Minnesota next week.
New Orleans also is 7-7 with two games to play.
The loss was the third straight at home for the Giants (9-5), and this one was costly as Pro Bowl tight end Jeremy Shockey was lost for the season with a broken left leg early in the second half.
New York still can clinch a playoff berth with a win at Buffalo next weekend. It had better win, because their final regular-season game is at home against New England, which will probably be looking to put the finishing touches on a perfect regular season.
Portis scored on a 5-yard run, Ladell Betts got in from 14 yards out on a draw play and Shaun Suisham kicked three field goals on a blustery evening.
Jaguars 29, Steelers 22
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Fred Taylor scored a decisive touchdown on a 12-yard run in the final two minutes while gaining 147 yards and the Jaguars (10-4) withstood the bad weather and Pittsburgh's fourth-quarter comeback.
The Steelers (9-5), losing at home for the first time in eight games, fell into a tie with the Browns for the AFC North lead. The Steelers own the tiebreaker.
Pittsburgh's last chance of tying it ended when Heath Miller was stopped a half-yard short of a first down on fourth-and-7 pass from the Jacksonville 45 in the final minute.
The Steelers were down 22-7 after David Garrard threw three touchdown passes, only to tie it by scoring twice in 7 1/2 minutes with the help of two missed extra points by Jacksonville.
Garrard was intercepted for only the second time in 303 attempts. Anthony Smith's 50-yard return set up Ben Roethlisberger's 11-yard TD pass to Hines Ward. Roethlisberger, who threw three TD passes despite a sore shoulder, hit Nate Washington for 30 yards and the QB's team record-setting 29th scoring pass of the season.
Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson, lined up in the backfield, then found Santonio Holmes in the end zone for the tying 2-point conversion, but Jacksonville needed only eight plays to drive 73 yards for the deciding touchdown.
Browns 8, Bills 0
CLEVELAND (AP) - Jamal Lewis plowed for 163 yards and Phil Dawson somehow kicked two field goals through harsh, wintry winds as the surprising Browns improved their postseason chances.
In blizzard-like conditions, the Browns (9-5), who never figured to be playing meaningful games in December when the season started, picked up one of their biggest wins since returning as an expansion franchise in 1999.
The Browns will clinch their first playoff appearance since 2002 with a win at Cincinnati next week.
It was Cleveland's first shutout since 2005 and just the Browns' third since 1999.
The Bills (7-7) were eliminated from making the postseason.
Unable to throw the ball with swirling winds off Lake Erie gusting over 40 mph, Browns quarterback Derek Anderson handed it 33 times to Lewis, and the Atlanta native slopped his way down the field like a kid who grew up in the Midwest. Lewis moved over 1,000 yards with his fourth 100-yard game this season.
The Bills drove the ball to Cleveland's 10-yard line with 15 seconds left. But rookie quarterback Trent Edwards threw underneath to running back Fred Jackson on fourth down.
Packers 33, Rams 14
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Brett Favre threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns, eclipsing Dan Marino to become the NFL career leader in yards passing. Greg Jennings and Donald Lee caught scoring passes and kicker Mason Crosby was 4-for-4 from 44, 50, 25 and 46 yards for Green Bay, which secured a first-round playoff bye for the first time since 1997.
The Packers (12-2) are 6-1 on the road, and prevailed in a sold-out Edward Jones Dome that appeared to be half-filled with Cheeseheads. When Favre set the record on a 7-yard toss to Donald Driver on the Packers' first drive of the fourth quarter, he had thousands of fans rooting for him in every corner of the stadium.
Favre was 19-for-30, throwing his 25th and 26th touchdown passes, with two interceptions.
Steven Jackson had 143 yards on 23 carries for the Rams (3-11), who are 1-6 at home.
Atari Bigby had two interceptions and Nick Barnett had two of the Packers' four sacks of Marc Bulger, back after missing two games with a concussion.
Panthers 13, Seahawks 10
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Rookie Matt Moore, the fourth starting QB for the Panthers this season, engineered three scoring drives in the fourth quarter.
Coming in with six losses in seven games and with coach John Fox sitting on the hot seat, the Panthers (6-8) turned in their best defensive performance of the season. Moore surprisingly outplayed Matt Hasselbeck as the NFC West champion Seahawks (9-5) had their five-game winning streak snapped.
In a game scoreless until the fourth quarter, Moore led the Panthers on two scoring drives, the last ending with John Kasay's 37-yard field goal with 2:59 left that gave Carolina a 6-3 lead.
On the next possession, Hasselbeck fumbled on a sack by Thomas Davis and Carolina's Richard Marshall recovered. That led to DeAngelo Williams' 35-yard touchdown run with 1:20 left that put it away.
Titans 26, Chiefs 17
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - Vince Young passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns and Rob Bironas kicked four field goals for a much-needed victory that kept the Titans (8-6) alive in the AFC wild-card chase.
With the stadium about half empty on the sunny, chilly afternoon, the Chiefs (4-10) lost their seventh in a row and closed out their most miserable home season in 30 years, going 2-6 at Arrowhead Stadium.
Roydell Williams caught four passes for 94 yards, including touchdowns of 16 and 41 yards. Bironas, who came in leading the NFL in field goals, connected from 37, 37, 30 and 25 yards for the Titans, who had lost three of four on the road and dropped behind Cleveland and Buffalo in the wild-card race.
Saints 31, Cardinals 24
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Drew Brees connected on 87 percent of his throws for 315 yards and two touchdowns, capping his day with a clutch, 22-yard third-down completion to Billy Miller that allowed the Saints to run out the clock. When New Orleans (7-7) last played in the Louisiana Superdome two games ago, a fumble on a botched reverse set up Tampa Bay's winning touchdown inside the final half-minute.
Brees made few mistakes, completing 26 of 30 throws while never turning over the ball. His prettiest pass was a 32-yard rainbow David Patten caught in stride along the sideline for a touchdown in the second quarter.
Brees also found Marques Colston over the middle for a 19-yard score in the first quarter that tied the game at 7. Colston finished with eight receptions for 114 yards.
The Saints rushed for 114 yards as a team, with third-stringer Aaron Stecker rushing for 95 yards and two TDs.
Arizona fell to 6-8.