Vermeil's Cheifs eliminate St. Louis post-season possibilities

San Francisco clinches division title

Posted: Monday, December 09, 2002

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Cleveland Browns are alive in the AFC playoff race after sweating out an officials' review with no time left against Jacksonville.

Quincy Morgan caught a 50-yard desperation pass from Tim Couch, then waited as officials upheld the play on review to give the Browns a 21-20 victory over the Jaguars on Sunday.

Morgan fought off tight coverage from Fernando Bryant on the final play. As the two fell to the ground, Morgan cradled the ball to his body with his right hand. Side judge Bill Spyksma signaled touchdown.

The ball looked as if it might have touched the ground as Morgan hit the turf, but after a review of about 90 seconds, referee Ron Winter said there was no indisputable evidence to overturn the play.

Phil Dawson kicked the extra point for the one-point margin, and the Browns (7-6) pulled within a half-game of Pittsburgh in the AFC North. The Steelers lost to Houston 24-6.

49ers 31, Cowboys 27

IRVING, Texas -- Terrell Owens made a juggling catch of a 3-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, then caught an 8-yarder with 12 seconds left, as the 49ers clinched their first NFC West title since 1997.

Although Owens' first TD catch put the 49ers (9-4) ahead, they fell behind by 10 before Jeff Garcia brought them back.

Garcia started the rally with a four-play drive that he capped with a 23-yard strike to Tai Streets with 5:26 left. After Dallas (5-8) missed a 47-yard field goal, Garcia took over at the 37 with no timeouts and 2:16 to go.

A 3-yard keeper on third-and-2 helped keep the drive going, then he had an 11-yard pass to Owens on third-and-10 from the 19. The next play was the game-winner to Owens.

Garcia finished 36-of-55 for 276 yards with no interceptions. Owens had 12 catches for 123 yards.

Bucs 34, Falcons 10

TAMPA, Fla. -- Brad Johnson threw for 276 yards and four touchdowns, and the NFL's No. 1 defense shut down Michael Vick for the second time this season as the Bucs ended the Atlanta Falcons' eight-game unbeaten streak.

The Bucs (10-3) limited the Falcons to a field goal until Vick threw a 5-yard TD pass to Alge Crumpler early in the fourth quarter.

Raiders 27, Chargers 7

SAN DIEGO -- Rich Gannon and Jerry Rice overwhelmed the San Diego Chargers' young stars as the Raiders took take sole possession of first place in the AFC West.

Gannon, who turns 37 later this month, set an NFL record with his 10th 300-yard game of the season, throwing for 328 yards.

Chiefs 49, Rams 10

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Dante Hall returned a kickoff and a punt for a touchdown, one week after running back a punt 90 yards for a score, as the Chiefs eliminated the Rams from playoff contention.

St. Louis (5-8) lost its third straight after winning five in a row. The margin was the third-most in franchise history.

Texans 24, Steelers 6

PITTSBURGH -- Aaron Glenn scored twice on long interception returns, and the Texans gained just 47 yards -- the fewest ever by a winning team in NFL history.

The Texans (4-9) scored the first three defensive touchdowns in their history, all off Tommy Maddox turnovers.

Eagles 27, Seahawks 20

SEATTLE -- Duce Staley ran for 100 yards and third-string quarterback A.J. Feeley threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns as the Eagles held Matt Hasselbeck in check.

Feeley's 20-yard touchdown pass to Todd Pinkston early in the third quarter gave Philadelphia (10-3) a 27-6 lead, and the Eagles held on for their fourth straight victory and seventh in the last eight games. They are 3-0 without starting quarterback Donovan McNabb, who has a broken right ankle.

Patriots 27, Bills 17

FOXBORO, Mass. -- Tom Brady outplayed former teammate Drew Bledsoe for the second time this season as the Patriots took over first place in the AFC East.

New England (8-5) is a half-game ahead of Miami, which hosts Chicago on Monday night.

Buffalo (6-7) has lost four of five.

Jets 19, Broncos 13

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Laveranues Coles went over 1,000 yards receiving and made a spectacular diving touchdown catch, keeping the New York Jets' dim playoff hopes alive with a comeback victory.

The Broncos (7-6) lost their third straight. They were in position for a winning touchdown in the final minutes, but Brian Griese was picked off at the New York 2 by rookie John McGraw, his first career interception.

Titans 27, Colts 17

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Despite sore ribs that kept him from practicing for a second straight week, Steve McNair threw for 237 yards and a touchdown to lead the Titans.

The Titans (8-5) swept the season series from the Colts and won for the seventh time in their last eight games. Tennessee, which also got two rushing TDs from Eddie George, improved to 4-0 in the AFC South and are in control of the division.

Saints 37, Ravens 25

BALTIMORE -- Deuce McAllister ran for 127 yards and three touchdowns, and the Saints capitalized on a litany of Baltimore miscues in their win.

Quarterback Aaron Brooks left in the third quarter with New Orleans up 20-7. Saints officials described the quarterback's injury as a ''sore shoulder,'' and did not indicate whether it was same right shoulder he bruised last week against Tampa Bay.

Giants 27, Redskins 21

LANDOVER, Md. -- The Giants took advantage of five Washington turnovers to keep their minuscule playoff hopes alive.

Cornerback Ralph Brown set up two touchdowns with dazzling runbacks, Kerry Collins threw for 212 yards and two TDs, and Cornelius Griffin had three of New York's six sacks and forced a fumble as the Giants (7-6) broke a two-game losing streak.

Cardinals 23, Lions 20, OT

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Bill Gramatica kicked a 42-yard field goal with 10:48 left in overtime as the Arizona Cardinals snapped a six-game losing streak. It was the 21st game this season to go to overtime, tying the 1995 league record.

The Lions (3-10) lost their fifth consecutive game overall and 15th straight on the road. Detroit lost in OT for the second time in three weeks; the Lions were beaten by a Chicago field goal 20-17 on Nov. 24.

Panthers 52, Bengals 31

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Steve Smith scored three touchdowns -- two on punt returns -- and had a career-high 313 total yards to lead the Carolina Panthers to victory.

His scores earned him hugs and high-fives from his teammates, most of whom were slow to accept him when he returned last week from a suspension for beating up a teammate.

Packers 26, Vikings 22

GREEN BAY, Wis. -- Tony Fisher's 14-yard touchdown run with 1:06 left gave Green Bay its first lead of the game on a chilly Lambeau night.

Darren Sharper picked off Daunte Culpepper's desperation pass as time expired and returned the ball 66 yards before finally going down at the Minnesota 16.

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