#NFL News and Notes - December 20, 2010

Baltimore Ravens 30, New Orleans Saints 24

A bruising running game, solid defense, and a fiery quarterback contributed to one of the Ravens' biggest home wins under John Harbaugh...The Ravens special teams unit contributed to Sunday's win.

The Saints came up a few plays short on the road, a role they'll likely need to get used to in January...Saints cornerback Jabari Greer left yesterday's game with a left knee injury.

Carolina Panthers 19, Arizona Cardinals 12

Panthers second-round quarterback Jimmy Clausen was efficient while earning his first win as a starting quarterback in the NFL...After what will likely be his final home game as head coach, an emotional John Fox was proud that his players didn't give up.

Familiar bugaboos haunted the Cardinals, dropping them to their eighth loss in nine games...The Cardinals continue to discover new low points this season.

Cincinnati Bengals 19, Cleveland Browns 17

A healthy dose of running back Cedric Benson helped the Bengals snap a 10-game losing streak...Bengals wide receiver Terrell Owens suffered torn meniscus in his left knee and will miss the rest of the season.

For the second straight week, the Browns lost to a two-win team...Browns quarterback Colt McCoy and running back Peyton Hillis noticed a lack of energy and intensity on their team.

Dallas Cowboys 33, Washington Redskins 30

Dallas fought back to earn a building-block victory over the Redskins...The Cowboys next full-time coach needs to fix the defense.

Quarterback Rex Grossman's second half rally came up short, sending the Redskins to a fourth straight loss...Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo's 2010 season may be over.

Indianapolis Colts 34, Jacksonville Jaguars 24

The Colts moved into a tie in the AFC South, and can win the division by winning their remaining two games...Colts wide receiver Austin Collie's third concussion of the season silenced the Lucas Oil Stadium crowd.

The Jaguars are no longer in control of their playoff fate...Jaguars quarterback David Garrard's sore hamstring wasn't an issue, but he banged a few digits on Sunday.

Buffalo Bills 17, Miami Dolphins 14

A no-name Bills' roster is learning how to win...The Bills' young receivers took a big step forward on Sunday.

Miami's playoff hopes came to an end with yesterday's loss...Dolphins offensive coordinator Dan Henning has got to go, writes Greg Cote of The Miami Herald.

Philadelphia Eagles 38, New York Giants 31

The Giants punted away control of the NFC East in a humiliating eight-minute stretch in the fourth quarter...New York's offense couldn't keep Michael Vick on the sidelines.

Quarterback Michael Vick and wide receiver DeSean Jackson helped the Eagles pull off a miracle in the Meadowlands...Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel delivered a much-needed halftime speech.

Kansas City Chiefs 27, St. Louis Rams 13

Quarterback Matt Cassel returned from his appendectomy to lead the must-win Chiefs on the road...Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles re-seized momentum with an 80-yard run in the fourth quarter.

The Rams fizzled after a strong first quarter, dropping their second straight and failing to seize control of the NFC West...Rams first-round quarterback Sam Bradford can't do it alone just yet, writes Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Detroit Lions 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20 (OT)

The Lions used overtime to snap their 26-game road losing streak...Running back Maurice Morris powered the Lions' rushing attack.

By losing to lowly Detroit at home, the Buccaneers' playoff hopes took a major hit...Instead of going for the throat, the Buccaneers played it conservatively.

Tennessee Titans 31, Houston Texans 17

The Titans removed an elephant from their backs and snapped a six-game losing streak...Titans wide receiver Kenny Britt provided a lift to the offense.

Houston's playoff hopes came to an end in Nashville...For the first time, a Texans football team appeared to quit, writes Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle.

Atlanta Falcons 34, Seattle Seahawks 18

Having already clinched a playoff spot before kickoff, the Falcons notched a business-like win on the road...Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez set an NFL record with his 12th straight 60-catch season.

Third quarter turnovers doomed the Seahawks, and perhaps Matt Hasselbeck's future with the team...Often put in bad situations, the Seahawks defense played well against the Falcons.

Oakland Raiders 39, Denver Broncos 23

Oakland used a second half surge to trample the Broncos...Raiders running back Darren McFadden topped 1,000 yards and represents the team's offensive future.

Broncos first-round quarterback Tim Tebow showed promise in his first NFL start...Defense may be a priority for the Broncos in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

New York Jets 22, Pittsburgh Steelers 17

With yesterday's win, the Jets' season is now back on track...Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez had a gutsy, turnover-free game in Heinz Field.

A surprising lack of discipline hurt the Steelers on Sunday...Despite the loss, and the Ravens win, the Steelers have clinched a playoff spot.

New England Patriots 31, Green Bay Packers 27

New England's defense hung on at the end as the Patriots won their sixth straight game...Patriots first-round cornerback Devin McCourty played through a painful rib injury.

Despite the loss, Packers quarterback Matt Flynn played like a winner...Thanks to the happenings in other NFL stadiums, the Packers' playoff hopes remain alive.

NFL News and Notes

San Diego Chargers running back Mike Tolbert has a rooting interest in the Poinsettia Bowl.

Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe says the field at TCF Bank Stadium is unplayable.

The Chicago Bears can't focus on the field conditions tonight, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.

If the San Francisco 49ers win out, they'll need one Seahawks loss to win the NFC West.

Today's NFL birthdays: Falcons guard Justin Blalock (27), Cowboys wide receiver Roy Williams (29), Broncos running back LenDale White (26), Saints safety Malcolm Jenkins (23), Seahawks offensive tackle Will Robinson (26), free agent defensive tackle Jason Jefferson (29), fullback Ryan Powdrell (27), cornerback Tony Tiller (29). Retired quarterback Rich Gannon (45) and Gale Gilbert (49), offensive linemen Dave Lutz (51), Tom Newberry (48), Nate Newton (49), and Barry Stokes (37).

Late Hall of Fame wide receiver Bob Hayes would have turned 68 today.

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