NFL Playoff picture cleared up in Sunday Action

National Football League Playoffs 2012-2013

National Football League Playoffs 2012-2013THUNDER BAY – Sports – Sunday’s games settled the NFL Playoff picture. The Minnesota Vikings, a favourite for many Thunder Bay fans has qualified for the post season for the first time since 2009. The Vikings defeated the Green Bay Packers on Sunday to move forward toward the Super Bowl.

The Washington Redskins topped the Dallas Cowboys, as Tony Romo came up short in the critical showdown. The Cowboy’s quarterback has developed a love-hate relationship with the fans as he doesn’t seem to be able to deliver in the key games.

A look at seven statistical highlights from games played at 1:00 p.m. ET and 4:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, December 30, the final week of the 2012 regular season.

Sunday’s NFL Summary

  • The DENVER BRONCOS, who defeated Kansas City 38-3, clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs and a first-round bye. The NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, who defeated Miami 28-0, secured a first-round bye.

The remaining AFC playoff clubs are the HOUSTON TEXANS (No. 3), BALTIMORE RAVENS (No. 4), INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (No. 5) and CINCINNATI BENGALS (No. 6).

Houston will host Cincinnati and Indianapolis will travel to Baltimore next weekend in the Wild Card Playoffs.

The ATLANTA FALCONS are the No. 1 seed in the NFC and clinched home-field advantage and a first-round bye last week. The SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS, who defeated Arizona 27-13, won the NFC West and secured a first-round bye.

The WASHINGTON REDSKINS won the NFC East and are the No. 4 seed.

The remaining NFC playoff clubs are the GREEN BAY PACKERS (No. 3), SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (No. 5) and MINNESOTA VIKINGS (No. 6), who advanced to the postseason with today’s 37-34 win over Green Bay.

The NFC East winner will host Seattle and Minnesota will travel to Green Bay next weekend in the Wild Card Playoffs.

  • Minnesota running back ADRIAN PETERSON rushed for 199 yards in the Vikings’ 37-34 win over Green Bay. Peterson finished with 2,097 yards, the second-most in a season in NFL history and nine yards shy of breaking Pro Football Hall of Famer ERIC DICKERSON’s record (2,105 in 1984).

Peterson recorded his seventh 150-yard rushing game of the season, tied with Pro Football Hall of Famer EARL CAMPBELL (seven in 1980) for the most in a season in NFL history.

  • The DENVER BRONCOS, who clinched the No. 1 seed in the AFC, defeated Kansas City 38-3, Denver’s 11th consecutive win. All 11 wins have been by at least seven points and the Broncos joined the 2005 Indianapolis Colts (13) and 1942 Chicago Bears (11) as the only teams to win at least 11 games in a row by a margin of seven points or more in a single season.

Broncos quarterback PEYTON MANNING threw three touchdown passes, his 73rd career game with at least three passing TDs. Manning passed BRETT FAVRE (72) for the most such games in NFL history.

  • Rookie quarterbacks ANDREW LUCK of Indianapolis and RUSSELL WILSON of Seattle each led his team to victory on Sunday. Luck and Wilson each have 11 wins, joining BEN ROETHLISBERGER (13 in 2004), JOE FLACCO (11 in 2008) and MATT RYAN (11 in 2008) as the only rookie starting quarterbacks in the Super Bowl era to win at least 11 games.

Luck, who passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns in the Colts’ 28-16 win over Houston, is the only rookie quarterback in NFL history with at least 4,000 passing yards (4,374) and 10 wins (11).

Wilson had one passing touchdown and one rushing TD in the Seahawks’ 20-13 win over St. Louis. Wilson threw 26 touchdown passes and tied PEYTON MANNING (1998) for the most passing TDs by a rookie in NFL history.

  • Detroit wide receiver CALVIN JOHNSON had five catches for 72 yards in the Lions’ 26-24 loss to Chicago. Johnson finished the season with an NFL-record 1,964 receiving yards and is the only player in NFL history to record at least 1,600 receiving yards in consecutive seasons. Over the past two years, Johnson has 3,645 receiving yards, the most in any two-year stretch in NFL history.
  • New Orleans quarterback DREW BREES passed for 396 yards and four touchdowns in the Saints’ 44-38 loss to Carolina. Brees finished the season with 5,177 passing yards and 43 touchdowns.

He is the first quarterback in NFL history with consecutive 5,000-yard seasons and three career 5,000-yard seasons. Brees is the first quarterback in NFL history to pass for 15,000 yards in a three-year span (15,273).

Brees is the first player in NFL history with at least 40 touchdown passes in consecutive seasons. He will also finish the season as the NFL TD pass leader, tying BRETT FAVRE and Pro Football Hall of Famers LEN DAWSON,JOHNNY UNITAS and STEVE YOUNG for the most seasons leading the league in touchdown passes (four).

  • The TENNESSEE TITANS became the first team in NFL history with two interception-return touchdowns and two punt-return touchdowns in the same game in the Titans’ 38-20 win over Jacksonville.

Rookie linebacker ZACH BROWN scored both interception-return touchdowns (79 and 30 yards) and DARIUS REYNAUD scored both punt-return touchdowns (69 and 81 yards).

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