AROUND THE LEAGUE

* PATRIOTS 35, JAGUARS 7: At Foxborough, Mass., Tom Brady (23-for-26,

267 yards) threw four touchdown passes, three to Randy Moss, and the young defense put together its third straight solid game as New England (10-5) beat Jacksonville (7-8), clinching the AFC East. The Patriots took the division after missing the playoffs last season for the first time since 2002 despite an 11-5 record. Brady bounced back after throwing for just 307 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions in his previous two games. Jacksonville dropped its third straight game and fourth in its last five.

* BENGALS 17, CHIEFS 10: At Cincinnati, Carson Palmer's touchdown pass

to Chad Ochocinco completed a 98-yard drive in the closing minutes, giving the Bengals (10-5) the AFC North championship with a win over Kansas City (3-12). The Bengals moved into the playoffs for only the second time in 19 years, after dealing with the death of receiver Chris Henry. Palmer (17-for-25, 139 yards) threw a pair of touchdowns, and Cedric Benson ran for 133 yards.

* PACKERS 48, SEAHAWKS 10: At Green Bay, the Packers forced four

interceptions by Matt Hasselbeck and are headed back to the playoffs with the win over Seattle. The victory, combined with the Giants' loss to Carolina, put the Packers (10-5) back in the postseason after going 6-10 last season. It was Hasselbeck's second straight four-interception game for the Seahawks (5-10), who have scored a total of 24 points in three straight losses.

* STEELERS 23, RAVENS 20: At Pittsburgh, Jeff Reed kicked a 38-yard field

goal with 5:25 remaining and the Steelers finally managed to hold a fourth-quarter lead to remain in playoff contention with a win over Baltimore. The Steelers (8-7), their season seemingly ended by a late-season five-game losing streak, won their second in a row. They go into the final weekend with a chance to sneak into the playoffs if they win at Miami and get some help. Audubon High's Joe Flacco (13-for-25, 166 yards) threw two touchdown passes to Todd Heap for the Ravens (8-7).

* BUCCANEERS 20, SAINTS 17 (OT): At New Orleans, Carnell Williams had

129 yards rushing and Connor Barth kicked a 47-yard field goal in overtime, lifting Tampa Bay (3-12) to a stunning victory that prevented the Saints (13-2) from securing homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. New Orleans was heavily favored, but instead dropped a second straight game at home after opening the season 13-0. The Saints had a chance to win in the final seconds of regulation, but Garrett Hartley missed a 37-yard field goal.

* TEXANS 27, DOLPHINS 20: At Miami, the defending AFC East

champion Dolphins (7-8) were all but eliminated from playoff contention, unable to rally as Houston (8-7) scored on its first five possessions. The Texans won despite being outscored in the final 31 minutes, 20-0, and kept alive their slim hopes of making the playoffs for the first time. Houston remained the only NFL team the Dolphins have never defeated.

* FALCONS 31, BILLS 3: At Atlanta, Penn Charter High's Matt Ryan

(18-for-35, 250 yards) threw three touchdown passes, including a 42-yarder to Roddy White on the first play from scrimmage, and the Falcons trounced Buffalo (5-10). The victory left the Falcons (8-7) in position to post back-to-back winning records for the first time in franchise history, but were eliminated from the playoff chase last week. Buffalo's Terrell Owens became the sixth player in NFL history with 1,000 career receptions. He reached the milestone with an 8-yard pass from Brian Brohm in the second quarter.

* BROWNS 23, RAIDERS 9: At Cleveland, Jerome Harrison had 148 yards

rushing and the Browns (4-11) won their third straight with a win over Oakland (5-10), extending a surprising streak that Eric Mangini can use to strengthen his case to new president Mike Holmgren that he deserves to remain Cleveland's coach. With consecutive wins over Pittsburgh, Kansas City and Oakland, the Browns have their first three-game winning streak since 2007 and only their third since 1999. The Raiders committed 13 penalties for 126 yards and had two players ejected.

* CARDINALS 31, RAMS 10: At Glendale, Ariz., Kurt Warner (24-for-38, 313

yards) threw for 196 yards in the second quarter and the Cardinals (10-5) went on to beat St. Louis (1-14) for the seventh time in a row. The Cardinals reached 10 regular-season wins for the first time since 1976, 12 years before the franchise moved from St. Louis to Arizona. The victory kept alive the Cardinals' slim chance of being the NFC's No. 2 seed. The Rams, ravaged by injuries all season, were without the league's second-leading rusher Steven Jackson because of a sore lower back.

* 49ERS 20, LIONS 6: At San Francisco, Frank Gore (71 yards, 28 carries)

scored on a 1-yard run and topped the 1,000-yard mark for the fourth straight year, and the 49ers (7-8) moved within one win of avoiding a seventh straight losing season by beating Detroit (2-13). Alex Smith (20-for-31, 230 yards) threw a touchdown pass to Vernon Davis and the Niners forced six turnovers. Drew Stanton (11-for-21, 130 yards) struggled in his first career start for the Lions, throwing three interceptions.