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NFL 2012 Season – Week 17 Recap

RG III Redskins Win
Rob Carr, Getty Images

The NFL playoffs are set after a number of thrilling contests in Week 17 of the 2012 NFL regular season. Here’s a recap of all of this week’s games:

Washington 28 — Dallas 18

Alfred Morris ran for 200 yards and three touchdowns, and the Washington Redskins beat the Dallas Cowboys, 28-18, in Landover, Md. on Sunday night. With the victory, Washington (10-6) won the NFC East and claimed the NFL’s 12th and final playoff spot. Robert Griffin III ran for 63 yards and a touchdown for the Redskins, who won their seventh straight game. They will host the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday in the first round of the NFC playoffs. Tony Romo threw for 218 yards, two scores and three interceptions for Dallas (8-8), which missed the playoffs by losing the final game of the season for the third time in five years.

Minnesota 37 — Green Bay 34

Adrian Peterson ran for 199 yards, including a 26-yard scamper that set up Blair Walsh’s 29-yard field goal as time expired, and the Minnesota Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers, 37-34, in Minneapolis on Sunday, and clinched an NFC playoff spot. Wild Card team Minnesota (10-6) will travel to NFC North champ Green Bay (11-5) for a rematch in the NFC playoffs next Saturday night.

Peterson fell just 9 yards short of Eric Dickerson’s single-season NFL rushing record, finishing with 2,097 on the season. Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder passed for 234 yards and three scores. Aaron Rodgers completed 28 of 40 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns for the Packers. Greg Jennings caught eight passes for 120 yards and two scores for Green Bay.

San Francisco 27 — Arizona 13

Colin Kaepernick threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns, and the San Francisco 49ers beat the Arizona Cardinals, 27-13, in San Francisco on Sunday and won a second straight NFC West title. Michael Crabtree caught eight passes for 172 yards and two scores for San Francisco (11-4-1), which clinched the NFC’s No. 2 seed and a bye in next weekend’s NFC playoffs as a result of the victory and the Vikings’ win over the Packers. Brian Hoyer threw for 225 yards and a late touchdown for Arizona (5-11). Michael Floyd had eight catches for 166 yards and a score for the Cardinals.

Seattle 20 — St. Louis 13

Russell Wilson scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 1-yard run with 1:39 to play, and the Seattle Seahawks beat the St. Louis’ Rams, 20-13, in Seattle on Sunday. Despite the victory, Seattle (11-5) finished second in the NFC West as a result of the 49ers beating the Cardinals on Sunday. The Seahawks will play at the NFC East champion Redskins in the first round of the NFC playoffs next Sunday.

Wilson completed 15 of 19 passes for 250 yards and a touchdown which tied him with Peyton Manning’s NFL record for most touchdown passes by a rookie with 26. Marshawn Lynch carried 18 times for 100 yards for the Seahawks, while teammate Golden Tate had three receptions for 105 yards. Sam Bradford threw for 252 yards, a touchdown and an interception for St. Louis (7-8-1).

Chicago 26 — Detroit 24

Jay Cutler passed for 257 yards and a touchdown, and the Chicago Bears beat the Detroit Lions, 26-24, in Detroit on Sunday. The Bears’ victory eliminated the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants from the playoffs. Despite the win, Chicago (10-6) was edged out of a playoff spot when the Vikings beat the Packers. Matt Forte carried 24 times for the Bears, gaining 103 yards and scoring a touchdown. Earl Bennett had five receptions for 109 yards and a score for Chicago. Detroit (4-12) had four turnovers and finished the season on an eight-game skid. Quarterback Matthew Stafford threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns with an interception for the Lions. He also fumbled twice.

Denver 38 — Kansas City 3

Peyton Manning passed for 304 yards and three touchdowns, and the Denver Broncos beat the Kansas City Chiefs, 38-3, in Denver on Sunday, and clinched home-field advantage in the AFC playoffs. Denver (13-3) won its 11th straight game, capturing the top seed after the Texans lost to the Colts. Demaryius Thomas caught seven passes for 122 yards and a score, while teammate Eric Decker had seven receptions for 76 yards and two touchdowns. Kansas City (2-14) managed just 119 total yards on offense. The Chiefs will get the first-overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft in April.

New England 28 — Miami 0

Tom Brady passed for 284 yards and two touchdowns, and the New England Patriots beat the Miami Dolphins, 28-0, in Foxborough, Mass. on Sunday. The victory — and the loss by the Texans on Sunday — gave New England (12-4) a bye in next weekend’s AFC playoffs. Stevan Ridley ran for 74 yards and two scores for the Patriots. Ryan Tannehill threw for 235 yards for Miami (7-9), but he was sacked seven times and intercepted once.

Indianapolis 28 — Houston 16

Andrew Luck threw for 191 yards and two touchdowns, and the Indianapolis Colts beat the Houston Texans, 28-16, in Indianapolis on Sunday. It was the first game back on the sidelines for Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano, who has been receiving treatment for leukemia since Sept. 26. Indianapolis (11-5) will head to Baltimore to face the Ravens next Sunday. AFC South champ Houston (12-4) fell to the third seed with the Patriots’ win over the Dolphins. They will host the Bengals next Saturday.

After falling behind, 16-14, with 5:22 left in the third quarter, the Colts took the lead for good on Deji Karim’s 101-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. T.Y. Hilton had four catches for 111 yards and a score for Indianapolis. Matt Schaub threw for 275 yards and two interceptions for the Texans. Houston’s Andre Johnson caught 12 passes for 141 yards, while teammate Arian Foster carried 16 times for 96 yards and a score.

N.Y. Giants 42 — Philadelphia 7

Eli Manning threw for 208 yards and five touchdowns, and the New York Giants beat Philadelphia, 42-7, in East Rutherford, N.J. on Sunday in what was Andy Reid’s final game as head coach of the Eagles. Philadelphia (4-12) will reportedly make Reid’s ouster official on Monday morning. The defending Super Bowl champion Giants (9-7) were eliminated from the postseason when the Bears beat the Lions. Ahmad Bradshaw carried 16 times for 107 yards and a touchdown for New York, while teammate Rueben Randle had two touchdown catches. Michael Vick threw for 197 yards, a touchdown and an interception for the Eagles.

Cincinnati 23 — Baltimore 17

Carlos Dunlap returned an interception 14 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter, and the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens, 23-17, in Cincinnati on Sunday. Both Baltimore (10-6) and Cincinnati (10-6) had already clinched AFC playoff spots. Each team rested starters and substituted liberally in the game. The AFC North-champion Ravens will host the Colts in Baltimore next Sunday. The Wild Card-winning Bengals will travel to Houston on Saturday to face the Texans, the team that eliminated them in the first round of last year’s postseason.

Tampa Bay 22 — Atlanta 17

Doug Martin ran for 142 yards, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Atlanta Falcons, 22-17, in Atlanta on Sunday. Josh Freeman threw for 222 yards, a touchdown and an interception for Tampa Bay (7-9). Matt Ryan led the Falcons with 238 passing yards and a touchdown. NFC South champ Atlanta (13-3) had already clinched home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. They’ll have a bye next week, which will allow defensive end John Abraham (ankle) and cornerback Dunta Robinson (head) to rest the injuries they suffered on Sunday.

Pittsburgh 24 — Cleveland 10

Ben Roethlisberger threw three touchdown passes, and the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Cleveland Browns, 24-10, in Pittsburgh on Sunday. The victory allowed Pittsburgh (8-8) to avoid a losing season. Third-string quarterback Thaddeus Lewis threw for 204 yards with a touchdown and an interception for Cleveland (5-11).

Tennessee 38 — Jacksonville 20

Darius Reynaud had two punt returns for touchdowns and linebacker Zach Brown returned two interceptions for scores, as the Tennessee Titans beat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 38-20, in Nashville on Sunday. Tennessee (6-10) became the first team in NFL history to have two players each score two return touchdowns in a single game. Chad Henne threw for 298 yards and two scores for Jacksonville (2-14), but he also tossed three interceptions and was sacked seven times. Marcedes Lewis caught seven passes for 103 yards for the Jaguars.

Carolina 44 — New Orleans 38

DeAngelo Williams rushed for 210 yards and two touchdowns, and the Carolina Panthers beat the New Orleans Saints, 44-38, in New Orleans on Sunday. Mike Tolbert added three, 1-yard scoring runs for Carolina (7-9). Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton threw for 248 yards. Drew Brees passed for 396 yards and four touchdowns for New Orleans (7-9). He finished with 5,177 yards on the season and became the first player to surpass that mark three times in a career. The Saints gave up 7,042 yards on the season, breaking the record of 6,793 allowed by the 1981 Baltimore Colts.

Buffalo 28 — N.Y. Jets 9

C.J. Spiller scored on a 66-yard touchdown reception, and the Buffalo Bills beat the New York Jets, 28-9, in Orchard Park, N.Y. on Sunday. Spiller also ran for 59 yards for Buffalo (6-10). Teammate Stevie Johnson caught six passes for 111 yards. Bills’ quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 225 yards and a score. Quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for 205 yards and turned the ball over twice for New York (6-10).

San Diego 24 — Oakland 21

Micheal Spurlock returned the opening kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown, and San Diego beat the Oakland Raiders, 24-21, in San Diego on Sunday in what could have been Norv Turner’s final game as head coach of the Chargers. Philip Rivers completed 13 of 17 passes for 151 yards and two scores for San Diego (7-9). Terrelle Pryor passed for 150 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for another score for Oakland (4-12) in his first career start.

[Scores and Stats via NFL.com]

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