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NFL Week 17: Packers gut out playoff spot

Aaron Rodgers

Aaron Rodgers Credit: Getty Images

Packers 10, Bears 3
QB Aaron Rodgers, 19-28, 229 yds., TD, INT
In an intense defensive battle, Green Bay (10-6) fought back from a scoreless first half to defeat the rival Bears and clinch a wild-card playoff berth. The Packers rushed for a gruesome 40 yards on 23 rushing attempts, led by Rodgers' seven scrambles for 21 yards. Chicago (11-5) defied expectations by refusing to lay down after clinching a first-round bye and at least one home playoff game. Jay Cutler tossed two interceptions in the Bears' inefficient offensive outing.

Colts 23, Titans 20
QB Peyton Manning, 27-41, 264 yds., 2 TD
Indianapolis (10-6) and the Titans went score for score during the first three quarters until Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri drilled the 43-yard tiebreaker as time expired, his third field goal of the day. Tennessee (6-10) was in field-goal range with 1:30 remaining, but Kerry Collins' (28-39, 300 yds., 2 TD) fumble on the Colts' 34-yard line allowed Manning to drive Indy 37 yards for Vinatieri's game winner.

Texans 34, Jaguars 17
RB Arian Foster, 31 rush, 180 yds., 2 TD
Foster led the Texans' 244-yard rushing day and captured the NFL's rushing title as Houston (6-10) crushed any of the banged-up Jaguars' lingering playoff hopes. Jacksonville (8-8) played without starters David Garrard (finger) and Maurice Jones-Drew (knee), but still managed a 100-yard rushing performance from second-year back Rashad Jennings.

Buccaneers 23, Saints 13
QB Josh Freeman, 21-26, 255 yds., 2 TD
Tampa Bay (10-6) held the Saints to two second-half field goals and secured a two-score lead when rookie receiver Mike Williams hauled in an 18-yard touchdown in the third quarter. New Orleans (11-4) rested its starters in the fourth quarter after Atlanta’s blowout win locked the Saints into the fifth playoff seed.

Falcons 31, Panthers 10
QB Matt Ryan, 22-32, 236 yds., 2 TD
Atlanta (13-3) secured homefield advantage in the NFC after exploding to a 21-0 halftime lead against the rival Panthers. Carolina (2-14) was once again inept on offense, scoring a meaningless touchdown with 27 seconds remaining, for ninth-year head coach John Fox’s final game with the team.

Steelers 41, Browns 9
QB Ben Roethlisberger, 15-22, 280 yds., 2 TD
On Pittsburgh’s first play, receiver Mike Wallace (3 rec., 105 yds., TD) split the Browns defense for a 56-yard touchdown grab, and the Steelers (12-4) stormed away with the game. Browns quarterback Colt McCoy threw three interceptions while Cleveland (5-11) staggered to only 43 rushing yards.

Ravens 13, Bengals 7
S Ed Reed, 1 tackle, 2 INT
Baltimore (12-4) forced five Bengals turnovers, but managed only 13 points behind a sluggish offense that netted a meager 199 yards. Cincinnati receiver Jerome Simpson (12 rec., 123 yds., TD, 2 FUM) gave the Bengals (4-12) hope after his 11-yard touchdown grab, but the offense stalled against the Ravens defense.

Raiders 31, Chiefs 10
RB Michael Bush, 25 rush, 137 yds., TD
Bush’s 26-yard touchdown scamper snapped a third-quarter 10-10 tie, and sparked Oakland’s (8-8) 21-point second half to sweep the AFC West. Chiefs quarterback Matt Cassel threw two picks and finished a dismal 11-of-33 for 115 yards to give Kansas City (10-6) its first home loss of the season.

Other Week 17 Scores

Patriots 38, Dolphins 7
Lions 20, Vikings 13
Chargers 33, Broncos 28
Cowboys 14, Eagles 13
49ers 38, Cardinals  7
St. Louis at Seattle, late

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