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NFL: Bears First Team to Secure Playoff Spot


The Chicago Bears have become the first team to reach the National Football League playoffs this season with a 23-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings. Great plays by Chicago's special teams and defense made the difference Sunday as the Bears clinched the NFC North division title.

The Tennessee Titans interrupted the playoff march of the Indianapolis Colts, 20-17.

Seattle kicker Josh Brown tied an NFL single-season record with his fourth winning field goal in the final minute. Brown booted a 50-yard field goal late Sunday to give the NFC West division-leading Seahawks a 23-20 win over the Broncos in Denver.

The Cleveland Browns stunned the visiting Kansas City Chiefs by forcing overtime and then winning, 31-28.

The New England Patriots scored a late touchdown to avoid overtime against the lowly Detroit Lions, 28-21. The San Diego Chargers survived a scare and held off the Buffalo Bills, 24-21.

The Dallas Cowboys took firm control of their NFC East division with a 23-20 win over the New York Giants with a field goal in the final second. Also positioning for the postseason were the Jacksonville Jaguars, topping the Miami Dolphins, 24-10.

Elsewhere in the NFL Sunday:

New York Jets 38, Green Bay Packers 10;

Arizona Cardinals 24, St. Louis Rams 20;

Atlanta Falcons 24, Washington Redskins 14;

New Orleans Saints 34, San Francisco 49ers 10;

Houston Texans 23, Oakland Raiders 14;

Pittsburgh Steelers 20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3.

The Carolina Panthers travel to Philadelphia to play the Eagles in the weekly Monday Night game. On Thursday, the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Baltimore Ravens, 13-7.

Some information for this report provided by AP.

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