Niners batter Big Ben, beat Steelers
Ben Roethlisberger (7) of the Pittsburgh Steelers fumbles the ball after being sacked by Aldon Smith (99) and Justin Smith (94) of the San Francisco 49ers at Candlestick Park on Dec. 19, 2011 in San Francisco. The 49ers defense sacking Big Ben three times and forced Roethlisberger to throw three interceptions in San Francisco's 20-3 win.
Credit: Getty Images/Ezra Shaw
Ravens' road woes continue vs. Chargers
Running back Ryan Mathews (24) of the San Diego Chargers runs through tackles for a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens on Dec. 18, 2011 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. Mathews ran for two scores and hit 1,000 yards rushing, and the Chargers won their third straight game, beating the playoff-bound Ravens 34-14.
Credit: Getty Images/Donald Miralle
Eagles rout Jets, stay in NFC East race
LeSean McCoy (25) of the Philadelphia Eagles celebrates a second half rushing touchdown against the New York Jets at Lincoln Financial Field on Dec. 18, 2011 in Philadelphia. McCoy ran for three touchdowns to set two team records, and the Eagles routed the New York Jets 45-19 to stay in the playoff chase.
Credit: Getty Images/Rob Carr
Pats cool off Broncos, clinch AFC East
Quarterback Tom Brady (12) of the New England Patriots throws a pass against the Denver Broncos during the second quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on Dec. 18, 2011 in Denver. Brady threw for two touchdowns, ran for another and the Patriots shut down Tim Tebow's late-game heroics and clinched a playoff berth with a 41-23 victory over the Broncos.
Credit: Getty Images/Justin Edmonds
Cardinals rally, boot Browns in OT
Dave Zastudil (9) and Jay Feely (3) of the Arizona Cardinals celebrate after Feely kicked a 22 yard field goal to defeat the Cleveland Browns in overtime at the University of Phoenix Stadium on Dec. 18, 2011 in Glendale, Az. Patrick Peterson returned a punt 32 yards and John Skelton threw 32 yards to Larry Fitzgerald to set up the field goal that gave the Cardinals a 20-17 victory.
Credit: Getty Images/Christian Petersen
Lions rally from 13 down to stun Raiders
Kicker Sebastian Janikowski (11) of the Oakland Raiders has his long field goal blacked at the end of the game against the Detroit Lions at O.co Coliseum on Dec. 18, 2011 in Oakland. Ndamukong Suh reached his right arm out to block a game-winning field goal attempt as the Lions won 28-27.
Credit: Getty ImagesThearon W. Henderson
Bengals, Green send Rams to 2-12
Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green, center, runs with the ball between St. Louis Rams cornerback Roderick Hood, left, and linebacker James Laurinaitis, right, after catching a pass for a 30-yard gain during the first quarter on Dec. 18, 2011, in St. Louis. Green had six catches and topped 1,000 yards for the season, and the Bengals held the Rams to 2 for 13 on third downs to help keep pace in the AFC playoff race with a 20-13 victory.
Credit: AP Photo/Jeff Roberson
Giants stumble vs. 'Skins, fall out of first
Rex Grossman (8) of the Washington Redskins looks for an open man during a game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 18, 2011 in East Rutherford, N.J. Grossman threw a touchdown pass and the Redskins put a major hurt on the Giants and their playoff hopes with a dominating 23-10 victory in a game in which New York showed little desire with much on the line.
Credit: Getty Images/Jeff Zelevansky
Brees throws 5 TDs as Saints blitz Vikes
Drew Brees (9) celebrates a touchdown with Darren Sproles (43) of the New Orleans Saints against the Minnesota Vikings at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome on Dec. 18, 2011 in Minneapolis. Brees threw for 412 yards and five touchdowns to lead the surging Saints to their sixth win in a row, 42-20.
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Chiefs deal Packers stunning first loss
Quarterback Kyle Orton (8) of the Kansas City Chiefs passes during the game against the Green Bay Packers on Dec. 18, 2011 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. Orton threw for 299 yards to outduel Aaron Rodgers, and the Chiefs rallied behind interim coach Romeo Crennel for a shocking 19-14 victory that ended the Packers' 19-game winning streak. It was their first loss since Dec. 19, 2010, at New England.
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Colts handle Titans for first victory
Indianapolis Colts cornerback Jacob Lacey (27) scores a touchdown on an interception against the Tennessee Titans during the third quarter of in Indianapolis, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011. Colts' Ernie Sims (55) trails the play. The Colts beat the Titans 27-13 to avoid becoming the second 0-16 team in league history.
Credit: AP Photo/AJ Mast
Panthers end Texans' 7-game win streak
Quarterback Cam Newton (1) of the Carolina Panthers avoids a tackle from Connor Barwin (98) of the Houston Texans at Reliant Stadium on Dec. 18, 2011 in Houston. Newton completed 13 of 23 passes for 149 yards, threw two touchdown passes and the Carolina ended Houston's seven-game winning streak with a 28-13 win.
Credit: Getty Images/Bob Levey
Seahawks in hunt after rout of Bears
Seattle Seahawks defensive end Red Bryant (79) celebrates with teammates after scoring on an interception return in the second half against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011. Bryant returned an interception 20 yards for the go-ahead TD in the third quarter -- one of four picks by the Seattle -- and the Seahawks kept their faint playoff hopes alive with a convincing 38-14 win.
Credit: AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Johnny Knox (13) of the Chicago Bears lays on the field injured as Caleb Hanie (12) looks on during the game against the Seattle Seahawks at Soldier Field on Dec. 18, 2011 in Chicago. Knox remained on the ground for several minutes while he was being attended to before he was put on a stretcher and wheeled off the field with what was announced as a mid-back injury. He put his hands to his face and moved his arms while on the stretcher and got an ovation as he was taken off the field.
Credit: Getty Images/Scott Boehm
Bush runs wild, Dolphins best Bills
Reggie Bush (22) of the Miami Dolphins runs 76 yards for a touchdown against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on Dec. 18, 2011 in Orchard Park, New York. Bush rushed for a career-high 203 yards and his 76-yard TD run helped seal a 30-23 win over the Bills.
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Cowboys get big win against Bucs
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) is hit by Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Adrian Clayborn (94) as he throws an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Miles Austin during the first half on Dec. 17, 2011, in Tampa, Fla. Defending for the Cowboys are offensive tackle Doug Free (68) and guard Montrae Holland (64). Romo threw for three touchdowns and ran for a fourth first-half score to lead the first-place Cowboys to a 31-15 rout of the struggling Buccaneers.
Credit: AP Photo/Brian Blanco
Falcons steamroll past hapless Jags
Atlanta Falcons defensive end John Abraham (55) sacks Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert (11) during the first half of an NFL football game Thursday, Dec. 15, 2011, in Atlanta. The Falcons clinched a fourth straight winning record with a 41-14 rout of the Jaguars. Matt Ryan had another big game, throwing three touchdown passes in less than three quarters of work, and John Abraham terrorized rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert with 3
Credit: AP Photo/John Bazemore