Even as the San Francisco 49ers celebrated Sunday's 28-24 victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game, they had plenty of reason for concern heading into Super Bowl XVLII against the Baltimore Ravens in New Orleans on Feb. 3.
NEW YORK (AP) -- The Redskins' victory over the Cowboys with a playoff berth on the line was the highest-rated ''Sunday Night Football'' game since NBC picked up the package in 2006.
* Redskins top Cowboys to win NFC East * Vikings upend Packers to set up rematch * Super Bowl champs Giants eliminated (Adds Cowboys-Redskins) Dec 30 (Reuters) - The Washington Redskins completed the National Football League playoff puzzle by beating the Dallas Cowboys 28-18 on Sunday to bring down the curtain on the regular season and set up an intriguing wildcard playoff matchup. With the victory the Redskins claimed the NFC East crown for the first time since 1999. ...
(Reuters) - Blair Walsh booted a 29-yard field goal as time expired to earn the Minnesota Vikings a heart-stopping 37-34 home win over the Green Bay Packers and a playoff berth on a pulsating final Sunday of the National Football League regular season. The Vikings' victory denied the Packers the second seed in the NFC and a first round bye leaving the stage to East division rivals the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins, who will clash later on Sunday in the last game on the schedule that will decide the final piece of the playoff puzzle with the winner advancing. ...
Dec 30 (Reuters) - The New York Giants finished the season with an emphatic 42-7 victory over the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday but lost any chance at repeating as Super Bowl champions when they were eliminated from the playoffs. The Giants (9-7) were ruled out of the postseason when the Chicago Bears (10-6) defeated the Detroit Lions (4-12) 26-24. New York, which squandered a 6-2 start to the regular season, had the inside track to a playoff berth before absorbing one-sided losses to playoff-bound Atlanta and Baltimore by a combined 67-14 in the previous two weeks. ...
(Reuters) - Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed and Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton have been fined following incidents in games last weekend, the National Football League said on Friday. Reed was fined $55,000 for hitting New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz in the head and neck area during the Ravens' 33-14 win while Newton was fined $31,000 for two incidents in the Panthers' 17-6 victory over the Oakland Raiders. ...
EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (AP) -- One year ago, Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier approached the postgame news conference and was ready to bask in the glory of a pre-Christmas victory that snapped a six-game losing streak, even though star running back Adrian Peterson's career was in doubt following a major knee injury.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Robert Griffin III used his arm to lift the Washington Redskins within a victory of the playoffs.
Coach Mike McCarthy isn't about to disregard the importance of the first-round bye simply because his Green Bay Packers were bounced out of last season's NFC playoffs without a victory.
EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey (Reuters) - The New York Giants and Baltimore Ravens, both coming off one-sided losses, are looking forward to Sunday's playoff-caliber showdown with a sense of urgency running through both teams. The Super Bowl champion Giants need to win their last two games, including a regular season finale against Philadelphia, to ensure a place in the playoffs, while the Ravens, on a three-game losing skid, can win the AFC North title with a victory. ...

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