Bears eliminate Redskins; Packers, Steelers dominate
Published 6:00 am Monday, December 24, 2001
LANDOVER, Md. (AP) – Linebacker Brian Urlacher caught a 27-yardtouchdown pass, his first career NFL reception, from holder BradMaynard with 9:55 left Sunday, giving the Chicago Bears a 20-15victory over the Washington Redskins.
The victory kept the Bears (11-3) in first place in the NFCCentral. Coupled with Tampa Bay’s 48-21 victory over New Orleans,the Redskins (6-8) were eliminated from playoff contention withtheir third straight loss at home.
Trailing 20-13, the Redskins had a chance to tie on their finaldrive. Starting at their 36 with 3:15 remaining, they moved toChicago’s 3.
But Stephen Davis was stuffed for no gain on the next play, andtwo incomplete passes ended the threat with 1:25 remaining.
Maynard ran out of the end zone for a safety with 20 secondsleft for the game’s final points.
Packers 30, Browns 7
GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) – Brett Favre threw three touchdown passesas Green Bay ended a two-year postseason drought by beatingCleveland (6-8) at cold, snowy Lambeau Field.
Favre, who completed 18 of 28 passes for 139 yards and nointerceptions, extended his NFL record with his sixth 30-touchdownseason.
Green Bay (10-4) remained a game behind Chicago in the NFCCentral. If the Packers gain a game on the Bears in the last twoweeks, they own the tiebreaker and would get a home playoff gamewith the division title.
The Packers have never lost a playoff game at home, and Favre is29-0 at home when the temperature is 34 or below. On Sunday, it was24 degrees at kickoff.
Ahman Green, who ran just 10 times for 11 yards at Tennesseelast week, gained 150 yards on 21 carries.
Steelers 47, Lions 14
PITTSBURGH (AP) – Kordell Stewart threw for three touchdowns andran for another as Pittsburgh improved to 12-2 for the first timesince 1978 with its seventh straight victory.
The Steelers can wrap up home-field advantage throughout the AFCplayoffs by winning next Sunday at Cincinnati. Detroit fell to1-13.
Mike McMahon, Detroit’s rookie quarterback, lost two fumbles andthrew an interception in the first 18 minutes. The mistakes led totwo touchdowns and a 27-7 Steelers lead.
Stewart, who had only two 200-yard passing games the previoustwo seasons, went over 200 for the eighth time this season with 226yards. He had touchdowns of 4 yards to Matt Cushing, 5 yards toHines Ward and 19 to Plaxico Burress and scrambled for a 2-yardtouchdown.
Chris Fuamatu-Ma’afala ran for 126 yards as Jerome Bettis satout a third consecutive game with a hip and groin injury.
Giants 27, Seahawks 24
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) – Kerry Collins threw a 7-yardtouchdown pass to Ike Hilliard with 20 seconds left as defendingNFC champion New York won for the second straight week with alast-minute touchdown.
Seattle’s loss clinched a playoff berth for the New EnglandPatriots and damaged the Seahawks’ playoff hopes.
Collins hit his first five passes and seven overall in the10-play, 96-yard drive that sends the Giants (7-7) intoPhiladelphia with a chance to make the race in the NFC East moreinteresting.
Seattle (7-7) took the lead early in the third quarter whenShaun Alexander scored on a 16-yard screen pass, breaking a 17-17halftime tie.
Rams 38, Panthers 32
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Kurt Warner became the first player inSt. Louis history to throw for 4,000 yards twice, Marshall Faulkpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark for the fifth straight seasonand Torry Holt went over 1,000 yards receiving.
The victory improved the Rams (12-2) to 8-0 on the road, a statthat bodes well in history. Four of the five teams since 1970 whohad perfect road records went on to win the Super Bowl.
The Panthers (1-13) are on their own collision course withhistory, on track to become the first NFL team to lose 15 straight.Carolina has not won since opening day.
Warner threw for 217 yards and two touchdowns, Faulk ran for 212yards and two scores and Holt had five catches for 86 yards for St.Louis. The Rams rolled up 412 yards.
Jaguars 33, Vikings 3
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Stacey Mack rushed for two touchdowns and 111yards in Jacksonville’s rout of Minnesota.
The Vikings lost another quarterback to injury, went without atouchdown for the second time in the last three home games anddropped to 5-9.
Mike Hollis kicked four field goals for Jacksonville (6-8).Jimmy Smith caught eight passes for 122 yards, and Mark Brunell was17-for-24 passing for 217 yards.
Spergon Wynn completed 24 of 39 passes for 217 yards and aninterception for Minnesota in place of Todd Bouman, who aggravateda thumb injury on the first possession and didn’t return. DaunteCulpepper is already out with a knee injury.
Ravens 16, Bengals 0
BALTIMORE (AP) – Ray Lewis had two of Baltimore’s threeinterceptions off Jon Kitna, and the Ravens overcame a 127-yardrushing performance by Corey Dillon to defeat Cincinnati.
Terry Allen scored the game’s lone touchdown, and Matt Stoverkicked three field goals as Baltimore (9-5) enhanced its wild-cardhopes with its first shutout of the season.
Dillon ended Baltimore’s string of 50 straight games withoutallowing a 100-yard rusher, but it didn’t stop the Bengals (4-10)from losing their seventh straight game or from being shut out forthe third time.
Falcons 33, Bills 30
ATLANTA (AP) – Jay Feely made all four of his field-goalattempts, including a 52-yarder on the final play, and ChrisChandler passed for a career-high 431 yards to keep Atlanta in theplayoff race.
Before Sunday, Feely was 11-for-18 at the Georgia Dome and12-for-12 on the road. The game-winner was his second-longest kickof the season; he had a 55-yarder at Arizona.
Chandler threw two touchdown passes and drove the Falcons (7-7)23 yards to set up Feely’s kick that snapped a three-game losingstreak. It was the first time an Atlanta quarterback threw for morethan 400 yards since Steve Bartkowski had 416 on Nov. 15, 1981,against Pittsburgh.
Chiefs 20, Chargers 17
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – Tony Richardson’s 1-yard touchdown runwith 48 seconds left for Kansas City handed San Diego its eighthstraight loss.
Chargers strong safety Rodney Harrison was called for roughingthe passer in the Chiefs’ last-minute drive, wiping out LeonardoCarson’s interception and giving Kansas City a first-and-goal fromthe 4.
Then Harrison was whistled for defensive holding against TonyGonzalez, then Richardson followed with his TD run for the Chiefs(5-9).
Four minutes earlier, Steve Christie’s 27-yard field goal gavethe Chargers a 17-13 lead.
LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 145 yards as the Chargers (5-10)nearly got their first win in Kansas City in five years.
Cardinals 17, Cowboys 10
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) – Dallas and Emmitt Smith dominated Arizonaeverywhere but the scoreboard as the Cowboys clinched at least atie for last in the NFC East.
Dallas had a 21-11 advantage in first downs and led 343-209 intotal yards, but Smith’s 80th career 100-yard rushing game couldn’tovercome Dallas’ mistakes against Arizona (6-8).
Smith, who said this week he wants more carries, got his wishwith 128 yards in 26 attempts for the Cowboys (4-10). Smith, theNo. 2 NFL career rusher behind Walter Payton, is 16 yards short of16,000, and he needs 182 in the last two games to reach 1,000 forthe 11th straight year.
Quincy Carter threw two interceptions and fumbled the ball outof the end zone for a touchback, and a bad snap ruined a field-goaltry.
Jets 29, Colts 28
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – For the second straight week, New York wonby a single point as Vinny Testaverde found Anthony Becht for thegame-winning score in the fourth quarter.
This time, it was a 6-yard pass with 58 seconds left, giving NewYork the victory at Indianapolis.
The Jets stopped the Colts on downs on the next series topreserve the victory – and eliminated Indianapolis, Denver,Tennessee and Cleveland from playoff contention.
Against Cincinnati last weekend, Testaverde hooked up with Bechton a 2-yard TD pass in a 15-14 victory.
Testaverde had to lead the Jets on a 76-yard drive in the finalthree minutes against the Colts.