The surprising New Orleans Saints have reached the National Football League playoffs for the first time in six years.
New Orleans could have taken the NFC South division title with a win Sunday. But the visiting Washington Redskins pulled out a 16-10 victory. The Pittsburgh Steelers defeated the Carolina Panthers, 37-3. Carolina's loss meant the Saints became division champions.
The Chicago Bears already had their division locked up. But with a 34-31 overtime win against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago will be the top playoff seed in its conference. The Baltimore Ravens secured a spot in the playoffs with a 27-17 win over the Cleveland Browns.
With a 20-9 win over the Kansas City Chiefs, the San Diego Chargers ran their winning streak to eight games. Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for 195 yards and two touchdowns.
The Philadelphia Eagles are making their claim to be a part of the post-season despite fielding a team decimated with injuries. Philadelphia beat the New York Giants, 36-22, to pull one game behind the NFC East division-leading Dallas Cowboys. Philadelphia and Dallas face each other next week.
The Green Bay Packers are not going to the playoffs. But their veteran quarterback Brett Favre set the all-time NFL pass completion record. He passed Hall-of-Famer Dan Marino with his 4,968th career completion. Still, Green Bay had to overcome three Favre interceptions to get a 17-9 victory over the lowly Detroit Lions.
Elsewhere in the NFL Sunday:
New York Jets 26, Minnesota Vikings 13;
New England Patriots 40, Houston Texans 7;
Buffalo Bills 21, Miami Dolphins 0;
Tennessee Titans 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 17;
Denver Broncos 37, Arizona Cardinals 20;
St. Louis Rams 20, Oakland Raiders 0.
On Thursday, the San Francisco 49ers surprised the Seattle Seahawks, 24-14. The Dallas Cowboys clinched a playoff berth with a 38-28 win over the Atlanta Falcons on Saturday.
The Indianapolis Colts host the Cincinnati Bengals in the weekly Monday night game.
Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.