Tue, Dec 09, 2008 - Page 19 News List

NFL: Titans beat Browns, clinch AFC South

PLAYOFF DROUGHTKurt Warner threw for 279 yards and Arizona clinched its first division title by beating the Cardinals, while New Orleans kept alive its playoff hopes


Chansi Stuckey, right, of the New York Jets catches a pass against Donald Strickland of the San Francisco 49ers during their NFL game on Sunday at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California.


Kerry Collins threw two touchdowns and Chris Johnson ran for 136 yards and a score as the Tennessee Titans routed the Cleveland Browns 28-9 Sunday to clinch the American Football Conference South and a second consecutive playoff berth with the franchise’s best record through 13 games, 12-1.

The Titans have won 15 of their last 16 games, and are the first team to secure a postseason berth this year. They maintained at least a two-game lead with three to play for home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs, clinched a first-round bye, and celebrated by dumping a cooler of Gatorade on coach Jeff Fisher with a minute left in the game.


At Baltimore, Ed Reed set up a touchdown with an interception and scored on a 22-yard fumble return to help Baltimore beat Washington for its seventh win in eight games.

Baltimore (9-4) also enhanced its stature in the wild-card race and remained one game behind Pittsburgh in the AFC North. Baltimore hosts the Steelers next Sunday.


At Glendale, Arizona, Kurt Warner threw for 279 yards, the defense scored twice and Arizona clinched its first division title in 33 years by beating the woeful St. Louis to claim the National Football Conference West.

The Cardinals, long the league’s doormat franchise with just one winning season in the last 24 years, earned their first playoff berth since 1998 and first divisional title since they won the NFC East in 1975. As NFC West champions, they will host a playoff game for the first time since, as the Chicago Cardinals, they defeated Philadelphia to win the NFL title in 1947.


At East Rutherford, New Jersey, Brian Westbrook ran 30 yards for a touchdown and caught another 40-yarder from Donovan McNabb, while Philadelphia’s defense limited the New York Giants to 211 yards and ended the Super Bowl champions’ seven-game winning streak.

The Giants still clinched the NFC East when Dallas lost to Pittsburgh.


At Detroit, the Lions had chances to win, as they did in a two-point loss at Minnesota, but couldn’t make enough plays, just as they have failed to throughout a miserable season.

At this point, Detroit is expected to finish the season as the first 0-16 team in league history, with games remaining at Indianapolis, against New Orleans and at Green Bay. The Lions are the fourth team to start 0-13 or worse since 1976, when Tampa Bay infamously finished 0-14 as an expansion team.


At Toronto, Miami took advantage of an indifferent Bills “home” crowd, an inept Buffalo offense and the cozy indoors of the Rogers Centre to stay firmly in playoff contention. Chad Pennington completed 23 passes, including his final 11 attempts, and hit Anthony Fasano for a 20-yard touchdown as the Dolphins (8-5) won for the sixth time in seven games.

49ERS 24, JETS 14

At San Francisco, Shaun Hill passed for 285 yards and two touchdowns against the New York Jets’ porous secondary as San Francisco sent the AFC East-leading Jets to their second straight embarrassing loss.


At Seattle, Matt Cassel calmly stared down blitzes for completions with his team’s playoff chances in the balance. Then Sammy Morris leaped into the end zone from 1 yard on fourth down with 2:44 remaining.

One week after flopping with four turnovers in a home loss to Pittsburgh that put New England on the outside rail of the AFC playoff race, Cassel was 26-of-44 for 268 yards and a touchdown, with no turnovers.

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