NFL Wrap: Colts clinch 1st round bye

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Indianapolis wrapped up two things Sunday, a first-round bye and their fifth consecutive AFC South title. Peyton Manning threw a go-ahead 20-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Gonzalez with 4:49 remaining as the Colts held off Oakland 21-14. The Colts also reached the end zone on T.J. Rushing's 90-yard punt return, which put Indianapolis on top 10-0.

The Raiders surged ahead 14-13 when Justin Fargas ran two yards for a fourth-quarter touchdown, but the Colts eventually became the first NFL team ever to post five straight 12-win seasons.
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The New England Patriots played just well enough to continue their perfect season Sunday, while the Miami Dolphins found away to win for the first time this year.

The Patriots have clinched home field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs, improving to 14-and-0 by grinding out a 20-10 win over the New York Jets. Tom Brady failed to throw a touchdown pass for the first time this season, but Laurence Maroney ran for 104 yards and a touchdown as the Pats continue their pursuit of the NFL's first perfect record since the 1972 Dolphins.

The Patriots host the Dolphins next week before finishing at the New York Giants.
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The Dolphins have avoided becoming the league's first winless team since the 1976 Buccaneers, beating Baltimore 22-16 on Cleo Lemon's 64-yard touchdown pass to Greg Camarillo (kam-ah-REE'-oh) with 8:14 left in overtime. Camarillo got a chance to be the hero only after Matt Stover missed a 44-yard field goal in the extra period.

The Dolphins turned a 13-3 deficit into a 16-13 lead after Jay Feely hit a 29-yard field goal with 1:56 remaining. But 2006 Heisman Trophy winner Troy Smith marched the Ravens to the Miami 1 before Stover drilled an 18-yard field goal that forced overtime.

The Dolphins are 1-and-13 after handing the 4-and-10 Ravens their team-record eighth straight loss.
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The Cowboys clinched a first-round bye Sunday, but the Philadelphia Eagles prevented Dallas from wrapping up home field throughout the NFC playoffs. Bryant Westbrook had 144 total yards and made an unselfish play that secured the Eagles' 10-6 victory at Dallas. Westbrook raced 24 yards untouched before stopping short of the end zone at the 2 minute warning, allowing the Eagles to run out the clock since the Cowboys didn't have a timeout.

Donovan McNabb passed for 208 yards and a touchdown while the Eagles picked off Tony Romo three times. Romo was just 13-of-36 for 214 yards as the Cowboys dropped to 12-and-2, tying them with Green Bay for the NFC's top record.

Dallas owns the tiebreaker based on their win over the Packers last month.
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Brett Favre broke Dan Marino's all-time record for career passing yards while Green Bay clinched a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs. Favre threw for 227 yards and two touchdowns as the Packers mowed down St. Louis 33-14. Greg Jennings and Donald Lee each grabbed touchdown passes from Favre, who now has 61,405 passing yards, 44 more than Marino.

Mason Crosby hit all four of his field goal attempts to help the Packers improve to 12-and-2.
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San Diego's 51-14 rout of Detroit gives the Chargers the AFC West crown. LaDainian Tomlinson and Darren Sproles each rushed for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. The 9-and-5 Chargers also picked off Jon Kitna five times, including Shaun Phillips' 18-yard return for a TD.

The Lions have dropped six straight since a 6-and-2 start, putting them in danger of being eliminated from playoff consideration by next weekend.
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Things have gotten very interesting in the AFC North, where Cleveland has pulled into a virtual tie with Pittsburgh for the division lead.

The Browns braved a wild snowstorm in Cleveland while pulling out an 8-0 win over the Buffalo Bills. The Browns did their scoring with two field goals and a safety, keeping the ball on the ground while winds gusted over 40 miles an hour. Jamal Lewis carried 33 times for 163 yards as the Browns improved to 9-and-5.
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The Steelers erased a 22-7 deficit in the fourth quarter, only to lose 29-22 on Fred Taylor's 12-yard run with 1:57 remaining. David Garrard threw touchdown passes to Ernest Wilford, Reggie Williams and Dennis Northcutt and finished with 197 passing yards despite snow in Pittsburgh. Taylor ran for 147 yards as the Jaguars improved to 10-and-4.

Ben Roethlisberger engineered the Steelers' fourth-quarter comeback, throwing scoring passes to Hines Ward and Nate Washington before wide receiver Cedrick Wilson hit Santonio Holmes for the game-tying 2-point conversion. But Taylor's late touchdown leaves the Steelers 9-and-5.

Pittsburgh owns the tiebreaker with Cleveland.

Jacksonville and Cleveland would have clinched a playoff berth if Tennessee lost today. But the Titans kept their postseason hopes alive by beating Kansas City 26-17. Vince Young passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns, and Rod Bironas hit four field goals for the 8-and-6 Titans. Roydell Williams was Young's most productive target, grabbing four passes for 94 yards and two TD's.


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