From AP REPORTS
The backup quarterbacking firm of Collins & Collins lifted teams into the playoffs on the final day of the NFL season.
First, Todd Collins carried the Redskins past the Dallas Cowboys 27-6 Sunday, securing an NFC wild-card berth. Washington (9-7) has won four in a row.
“To get in the playoffs was a dream of ours, and four weeks ago, obviously everybody would have said, ‘You know, it looks next to impossible,’” said coach Joe Gibbs, who has quieted doubters with perhaps the best performance of his Hall of Fame career.
It wasn’t. Nor was it for the Tennessee Titans, even when starter Vince Young went down at Indianapolis with a quadriceps problem. In stepped Kerry Collins, another veteran QB, who led his team to three field goals by Rob Bironas and an AFC wild-card spot with a 16-10 victory.
“That's life as a backup. You never know when you’ll go in,” Collins said.
Elsewhere, it was San Diego 30, Oakland 17; Baltimore 27, Pittsburgh 21; Chicago 33, New Orleans 25; Green Bay 34, Detroit 13; Atlanta 44, Seattle 41; Houston 42, Jacksonville 28; Carolina 31, Tampa Bay 23; Cincinnati 38, Miami 25; Philadelphia 17, Buffalo 9; the New York Jets 13, Kansas City 10 in overtime; and Arizona 48, St. Louis 19.
On Saturday night, New England finished its perfect regular season with a 38-35 win over the New York Giants. The Patriots’ Tom Brady set a record with 50 touchdown passes, and Randy Moss established the mark of 23 touchdown receptions.
The Patriots (16-0) are the first team since the 1972 Dolphins to win every game on the schedule; Miami went 14-0 in the regular season. New England also has won 19 straight overall, a league record.
“It’s a relief that we played the regular season and it's finished,” Brady said. “Now we get ready for what we’ve been preparing for all season. The week off is extremely important for us to rest and a little bit of pressure is relieved for this week. Coach will turn up the pressure Thursday when we go back.”
The Patriots, Colts, Cowboys and Packers have byes next weekend. Washington is at Seattle and Jacksonville at Pittsburgh on Saturday, then the Giants (10-6) are at Tampa Bay and Tennessee is at San Diego on Sunday.
Titans 16, Colts 10
At Indianapolis, A 54-yarder by Bironas retook the lead and left Tennessee celebrating and Cleveland grimacing. The Titans had to win to make the playoffs for the first time since 2003. A loss would have given Cleveland its first playoff berth since 2002.
When Peyton Manning left after two series, things looked good for the Titans.
Instead, the offense bogged down after a touchdown drive on the game’s opening series. When Young left in the third quarter, Tennessee appeared to be in trouble. Collins replaced Young in the middle of a 13-play, 56-yard drive that ended with Bironas’ tying 40-yard field goal late in the third quarter.
Collins moved the Titans 58 yards in 12 play and Bironas curled the 54-yarder inside the right goal post for a 13-10 lead. Bironas sealed the win with a 33-yarder with 2:56 to go.
“This is why we got him here,” coach Jeff Fisher said of Collins. “He’s done a great job for us since he got here.”
Manning and Reggie Wayne played just long enough to reach milestones for the Colts (13-3). Manning extended his NFL record of most 4,000-yard seasons to eight, and Wayne became the second Colt with 100 receptions in a season and passed Randy Moss for the league title in yards receiving.
Browns 20, 49ers 7
At Cleveland, Joshua Cribbs returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown, Jamal Lewis rushed for 128 yards and rookie quarterback Brady Quinn made his long-awaited NFL debut. But the Browns (10-6), just 4-12 a year ago, fell short of the postseason despite handling the 49ers (5-11).
Derek Anderson threw a TD pass to Braylon Edwards and Phil Dawson kicked two field goals as the Browns finished 7-1 at home for the first time in club history. Cleveland's 10 wins are the most since it had 11 in 1994 .