|Sunday's NFL Capsules|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 23 December 2007 12:55|
Taylor finished with 111 yards as the Jaguars (11-4) won for the sixth time in seven games and clinched the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs.
So much for a letdown after last week's big win at Pittsburgh. So much for a Pro Bowl hangover. And so much for having to worry about winning at nemesis Houston in the season finale.
In fact, Jacksonville could use next week to rest several starters and prepare for the first round of the playoffs at either San Diego or Pittsburgh. Coach Jack Del Rio even got a jump on that Sunday, pulling Taylor, quarterback David Garrard and several others in the blowout.
The Raiders (4-11), who took their worst loss of the season, finally turned things over to No. 1 draft pick JaMarcus Russell. Russell was 7-of-23 for 83 yards with a touchdown - a 2-yard pass to Zach Miller with 6 seconds remaining - three interceptions and a fumble.
Giants 38, Bills 21
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) - The Giants clinched a playoff berth by overcoming a Bills team inspired by Kevin Everett's return to the field where he was injured.
Brandon Jacobs scored twice and Ahmad Bradshaw had an 88-yard TD run in sloppy conditions as the usually pass-happy Giants leaned heavily on their running attack. Kawika Mitchell's 20-yard interception return produced the go-ahead points and sparked a three-touchdown fourth-quarter rally.
The Giants (10-5), who reached the playoffs for a third straight season, fell behind 14-0 in the first quarter, as the Bills came out fired up after Everett addressed the team before the game. It was the tight end's first appearance in Buffalo since he sustained a serious spinal cord injury in the Bills' season opener Sept. 9.
Everett, who is now walking on his own, watched the ugly and sloppy game from a suite near midfield.
Buffalo (7-8) forced Eli Manning to fumble five times - he lost two of them, and threw two interceptions in winds gusting over 30 mph, and the players were pelted by a persistent rain that turned into snow in the fourth quarter.
Bengals 19, Browns 14
CINCINNATI (AP) - Derek Anderson's consecutive interceptions set up a pair of rapid-fire touchdowns late in the first half, and he threw four in all in a loss that left the Browns scrambling for a playoff spot.
Cleveland (9-6) could have clinched with a victory over the down-and-out Bengals (6-9), who had nothing more than pride on the line and several starters out with injuries. The Browns acted more like the team playing it out: dropped passes, a botched field-goal attempt, coming up short on fourth-and-short. Ultimately, they couldn't overcome a bad game by Anderson, who had his best moments when the intrastate rivals met in a 51-45 win in September.
He tied his career high with the four interceptions, leaving the Browns scuffling with Tennessee for a wild-card berth. With Cleveland's loss, the Pittsburgh Steelers clinched the AFC North title.
One of the NFL's worst defenses allowed Kenny Watson to run for 130 yards and a touchdown for Cincinnati (6-9).
Eagles 38, Saints 23
NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Donovan McNabb passed for 263 yards and three touchdowns, jeopardizing the Saints' chances for making the playoffs.
McNabb no longer showed any effects of his rehabilitation from knee surgery over the summer or an ankle sprain in midseason. His 40-yard scramble on the third play led to a bizarre touchdown after his fumble was recovered in the end zone by Kevin Curtis.
Drew Brees threw for 289 yards and a touchdown, but lost his best receiver when Marques Colston left the game in the first half with a chest contusion. Still, the Saints (7-8) were in position to tie the game at 21 on the opening drive of the second half when David Patten nearly scored on a short first-down pass.
Saints coach Sean Payton thought Patten had crossed the goal line and challenged the ruling, but the call was upheld. The Eagles then stuffed New Orleans on three straight running plays to preserve their one-touchdown lead, taking over possession at their 2.
Philadelphia (7-8) followed with a 15-play, 98-yard, seven-minute scoring drive that McNabb capped with a 9-yard touchdown pass to Greg Lewis. McNabb also had touchdown passes of 31 yards to Reggie Brown and 7 yards to Curtis.
Bears 35, Packers 7
CHICAGO (AP) - Green Bay (12-3) can forget about the No. 1 seed in the NFC, which Dallas now owns.
Brian Urlacher returned an interception for a touchdown for the first time in his career, going 85 yards, and Adrian Peterson ran for 102 yards on a frigid afternoon.
Brett Favre was at his worst on a bone-chilling, windy and at times snowy afternoon, and the Packers took their second loss at the hands of their archrivals. He passed for just 9 yards in the first half and 153 overall, giving him 4,058 this season and putting him over the 4,000-yard mark for the fifth time.
He was 17-for-32 and threw two interceptions. Alex Brown picked him off on the first possession of the third quarter, setting up a touchdown that made it 21-7, and Urlacher ran his back early in the fourth period.
The Bears (6-9) blocked two punts by Jon Ryan, who also dropped a snap and booted a 9-yarder.
The Packers had gone 12 years and 929 punts without a block before Darrell McClover knocked one down in the second quarter. More damaging was Charles Tillman's block midway through the third quarter. Corey Graham recovered at the 7 and ran it in for a 28-7 lead.
Colts 38, Texans 15
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Peyton Manning threw three touchdown passes, Joseph Addai and Clifton Dawson ran for TDs, and the Colts scored on six of their first eight possessions.
Co. finished with 458 yards, scored 38 unanswered points and won their sixth in a row.
The Super Bowl MVP was 28-of-35 for 311 yards with a rating of 132.3 before leaving late in the third quarter. Three Indy running backs - Addai, Dawson and Kenton Keith - combined to give the Colts (13-2) their first 100-yard rushing day since Thanksgiving night, and Dallas Clark broke the single-season franchise records for receptions and touchdown catches by a tight end.
Clark caught six passes for 60 yards and two TDs, giving him 57 receptions for 661 yards and 11 TDs this season. Hall of Famer John Mackey held the previous records of 55 receptions and nine TDs.
Bob Sanders, Matt Giordano and Melvin Bullitt all had interceptions. Houston (7-8) was trying to win a franchise record eighth game.
Lions 25, Chiefs 20
DETROIT (AP) - The Lions took advantage of playing a team slumping more than them and avoided making NFL history.
The Lions (7-8) snapped a six-game losing streak and surpassed the most victories they've had in any of seven seasons under team president Matt Millen. Detroit also guaranteed it won't be the first team in the league to finish 6-10 after winning six of its first eight games.
Kansas City (4-11) has dropped eight straight, the franchise's worst skid since losing nine in a row in 1987.
T.J. Duckett ran for a season-high 102 yards and a touchdown, and Detroit had a 19-point lead in the first half, but the victory wasn't sealed until Chiefs receiver Samie Parker foolishly dived to the ground at the Lions 30 after getting a lateral with no time left.