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Seahawks blast Cards, grab NFC West edge

(AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Seattle's defense was stifling as usual and its offense had a record-breaking eruption against a defense that's supposed to be one of the NFL's best.

That team from the Pacific Northwest sure looked a lot like the Super Bowl champs of last season in its 35-6 victory over the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday night.

"I think it feels better than last year," Seattle defensive end Michael Bennett said.

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Cowboys rip Colts to wrap up NFC East

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Tony Romo helped dump a bucket on Jason Garrett and playfully shoved him the same way the Dallas coach often does to his players.

The Cowboys had long since known their four-year playoff drought was over Sunday when they finally got to celebrate in the final seconds of a dominating 42-7 win over Indianapolis that clinched the NFC East title.

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Patriots beat Jets 17-16 to clinch bye

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) Tom Brady and the Patriots will be resting at home for the start of the playoffs.

The only question left is whether the AFC's road to the Super Bowl will run through New England.

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Packers beat Bucs to clinch playoff spot

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) Nothing Aaron Rodgers does as a quarterback surprises the Packers.

The NFL's top-rated passer shrugged off the flu and played most of Sunday with a strained left calf, leading Green Bay to a 20-3 victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers - clinching at least a wild-card playoff berth.

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Steelers win, lock up postseason berth

PITTSBURGH (AP) The Pittsburgh Steelers spent two years rebuilding themselves on the fly, a necessary process that frequently looked more erratic than inspiring.

Consider the project nearly complete. The surging Steelers are heading back to January.

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Falcons eliminate Saints, stay in race

NEW ORLEANS (AP) A tenacious play by two backup defenders on Jimmy Graham's catch at the goal line - and a little help from a disputed ruling - helped save Atlanta's postseason hopes and ultimately sank the Saints.

New Orleans may have been done in anyway by Julio Jones' remarkable return from a hip injury. But the 30-14 Falcons triumph that eliminated the Saints from playoff contention Sunday may be most remembered for officials' decision to rule Graham's fourth-quarter catch a fumble instead of a touchdown.

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Newton returns, leads Panthers into 1st

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Cam Newton's teammates have never doubted his toughness.

But their respect for the fourth-year quarterback has now reached an entirely different level.

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Texans beat Ravens, playoff hopes alive

HOUSTON (AP) A week ago, Case Keenum was perched in a tree with a bow in his hands looking for a white-tailed deer to shoot.

On Sunday he was starting in the NFL again, leading the Houston Texans to a 25-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens to keep their slim playoff hopes alive.

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Dolphins win, Philbin to return as coach

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross stood on the sideline at the end of Sunday's wild victory sharing a laugh with those around him, his mind made up regarding the direction of the franchise.

He's keeping his coach.

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Lions rally past Clausen, Bears 20-14

CHICAGO (AP) After benching Jay Cutler, the Chicago Bears nearly hung an embarrassing loss on the playoff-bound Detroit Lions.

Thanks to a late touchdown run by Joique Bell, the Lions managed to get past Jimmy Clausen and the chaotic Chicago Bears 20-14 Sunday. That set up a showdown with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers for the NFC North championship.

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