- The Washington Times - Monday, December 28, 2009

BUCCANEERS 20, SAINTS 17 (OT): Carnell Williams had 129 rushing yards and Connor Barth kicked a 47-yard field goal in overtime, lifting Tampa Bay to a stunning road victory over New Orleans on Sunday.

The Saints were heavily favored and could have wrapped up home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs with a win but instead dropped a second straight game at home after opening the season 13-0.

Williams had a 23-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter, and Michael Spurlock’s 77-yard punt return tied it, completing a comeback from 17 points down in the first half.

The Saints had a chance to win in the final seconds of regulation, but Garrett Hartley missed a 37-yard field goal.

EAGLES 30, BRONCOS 27: David Akers kicked a 28-yard field goal with four seconds remaining, lifting Philadelphia to a home victory.

Kyle Orton rallied Denver from a 27-10 deficit in the third quarter, but Donovan McNabb led the Eagles on a winning drive in the final minutes.

Receiver Jeremy Maclin set up Akers’ kick with an 27-yard catch along the sideline to the Denver 13. The catch initially was ruled incomplete, but it was overturned after replays showed Maclin kept both feet inbounds while making a diving reception.

BENGALS 17, CHIEFS 10: Five days after burying a teammate, wrung-out Cincinnati barely had enough to win a title.

Carson Palmer’s touchdown pass to Chad Ochocinco completed a 98-yard drive in the closing minutes, allowing the Bengals to secure the AFC North championship with a home victory over Kansas City at the end of a rough week.

The Bengals moved into the playoffs for only the second time in the past 19 years after dealing with the death of receiver Chris Henry.

PATRIOTS 35, JAGUARS 7: Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes, three to Randy Moss, and the young defense put together its third straight solid game as New England beat Jacksonville in Foxborough, Mass., dimming the Jaguars’ slim postseason chances.

The Patriots clinched the AFC East title after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2002 despite an 11-5 record.

TEXANS 27, DOLPHINS 20: By the second quarter, Houston was running up the score. By the fourth quarter, it was struggling to run out the clock.

The Texans raced to an early 27-point lead, then held on for a win in Miami.

Houston scored on its first five possessions and won despite being outscored 20-0 in the final 31 minutes. Houston kept alive its slim playoff hopes, while defending AFC East champion Miami was all but eliminated.

PACKERS 48, SEAHAWKS 10: Green Bay is going back to the playoffs, forcing four interceptions by Matt Hasselbeck to beat Seattle.

Sunday’s home victory, combined with the New York Giants’ blowout loss to Carolina, put the Packers back in the postseason after going 6-10 last season.

CARDINALS 31, RAMS 10: Kurt Warner threw for 196 of his 313 yards in the second quarter, and Arizona went on to beat the Rams for the seventh time in a row in Glendale, Ariz.

The Cardinals reached 10 regular-season wins for the first time since 1976.

BROWNS 23, RAIDERS 9: Jerome Harrison had 148 yards rushing as Cleveland won its third straight with a home win over Oakland.

With consecutive wins over Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Oakland, the Browns have their first three-game winning streak since 2007 and only their third since 1999.

FALCONS 31, BILLS 3: Matt Ryan threw three touchdown passes, including a 42-yarder to Roddy White on Atlanta’s first play from scrimmage, and Atlanta was never challenged in their home win over Buffalo.

49ers 20, LIONS 6: Frank Gore scored on a 1-yard run and topped the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth straight year as San Francisco moved within a win of avoiding a seventh straight losing season by beating Detroit at home.

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