CLEVELAND The Cleveland Browns finished an unforgettable regular season, then braced for overtime about seven hours worth.
Joshua Cribbs returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown, Jamal Lewis rushed for 128 yards and rookie quarterback Brady Quinn made his long-awaited NFL debut as the Browns beat the San Francisco 49ers 20-7 Sunday. Then they settled in front of their TVs to cheer for the Indianapolis Colts.
The Browns (10-6), just 4-12 a year ago, hoped to make the AFC playoffs for the first time since 2002, but the Tennessee Titans (9-6) defeated Indianapolis 16-10 Sunday night to earn the last playoff spot in the AFC.
Derek Anderson threw a TD pass to Braylon Edwards and Phil Dawson kicked two field goals as the Browns finished 7-1 at home for the first time in club history. Cleveland's 10 wins are the most since its expansion rebirth. The Browns last posted double-digit wins in 1994 (11).
Dawson kicked field goals of 24 and 49 yards and set a club record for points by a kicker with 120 6 shy of tying Hall of Famer Jim Brown's overall team mark.
Anderson hurt his right pinky and was replaced by Quinn, who received a rousing ovation when he jogged into Cleveland's huddle with 3:11 left in the first half.
Anderson returned after halftime and finished 10-of-19 for 127 yards, but threw an interception and was again shaky coming off a four-pick performance last week in a loss at Cincinnati that cost Cleveland a chance to clinch a wild-card spot.
CHARGERS 30, RAIDERS 17: At Oakland, LaDainian Tomlinson ran for 56 yards to win his second straight rushing title, Philip Rivers threw two touchdown passes, and the Chargers spoiled JaMarcus Russell's first career start. By ending the season with six straight wins, the Chargers (11-5) beat out Pittsburgh for the No. 3 seed. San Diego will host Tennessee on Sunday.
RAVENS 27, STEELERS 21: At Baltimore, the Steelers were not interested in gaining the No. 3 seed in the AFC playoffs. Their primary objective against the Ravens was merely to keep several key starters healthy. So Musa Smith ran for 83 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL start, helping the Ravens (5-11) earn their first victory since Oct. 14 and end a nine-game losing streak. The Steelers (10-6) had already clinched the AFC North and were locked into a wild-card game at home next weekend.
PACKERS 34, LIONS 13: At Green Bay, Wis., the Packers finished their turnaround regular season with a victory while resting several key players for the playoffs. Brett Favre extended his quarterback-record consecutive starts streak to 253 games, but didn't keep his helmet strapped on for very long. Favre led the Packers (13-3) to touchdowns on their first three possessions before handing the ball to backup Craig Nall in the second quarter.
Many of Favre's most prominent teammates didn't dress and weren't really needed to tie a franchise record for most victories in a season. Having already clinched the NFC's No. 2 playoff seed, the Packers rested top wide receivers Donald Driver and Greg Jennings, cornerback Charles Woodson, defensive end Aaron Kampman, tight end Donald Lee and defensive tackle Ryan Pickett.
Green Bay wasn't able to completely avoid injuries Sunday, as running back Ryan Grant left the game with a stinger in the first quarter, and cornerback/punt returner Will Blackmon was carted to the locker room with a foot injury just before halftime.
The Lions delivered an uninspired performance in going from 6-2 to 7-9.
FALCONS 44, SEAHAWKS 41: At Atlanta, Chris Redman gave the Falcons a feel-good finish to an ugly season. Redman set a career high with four touchdown passes, including two to Alge Crumpler, and the Falcons rode three fourth-quarter touchdowns to victory. The Falcons (4-12) ended a six-game losing streak, giving interim coach Emmitt Thomas his first win in three tries. Seattle (10-6), the NFC West champion, allowed the woeful Falcons to best their previous scoring high by 17 points.
TEXANS 42, JAGUARS 28: At Houston, meaningless game? Not to Andre' Davis, who returned two kickoffs for touchdowns against the Jaguars (11-5), who rested many starters with their playoff spot secure. The victory gives the Texans (8-8) a .500 finish for the first time in their six-year history, and their 42 points are a team record. Ron Dayne added two touchdowns and 88 yards rushing after missing two starts with a sore ankle.
PANTHERS 31, BUCS 23: At Tampa, Fla., Tampa Bay, resting most of its starters for the playoffs, didn't stop Carolina from treating its season finale as a meaningful game and giving Vinny Testaverde a nice send-off. DeAngelo Williams rushed for 121 yards and two second-half touchdowns, lifting the Panthers with the retiring 44-year-old Testaverde taking the last snap in the same city where he began his NFL career in 1987. The veteran of 21 seasons hugged his wife as he left the field, saying: "That's it. It's all over." Matt Moore threw for 174 yards and two TDs for Carolina (7-9) in his third pro start.
BENGALS 38, DOLPHINS 25: Miami allowed 316 yards passing by Carson Palmer, gave up a touchdown on a fumble return and staggered to the end of the worst season in franchise history. (See story on D4.)
EAGLES 17, BILLS 9: At Philadelphia, with the Eagles eliminated from a playoff spot, Brian Westbrook still gave their fans a reason to celebrate with a pair of team records. The finale was meaningless for both teams, though the Eagles (8-8) did finish at .500 on the strength of a three-game winning streak. Donovan McNabb was 29-for-41 for 345 yards, one TD and one interception. Westbrook set Eagles records for catches in a season and total yards from scrimmage.
JETS 13, CHIEFS 10 (OT): At East Rutherford, N.J., Mike Nugent kicked a 43-yard field goal, after having a 33-yarder negated by a penalty, 5:13 into the extra period. With both offenses struggling and a freezing rain falling throughout, not even the return of Chiefs coach Herman Edwards to Giants Stadium could spice up this one. Edwards coached the Jets from 2001-05 and led them to the playoffs three times.
CARDINALS 48, RAMS 19: At Glendale, Ariz., Larry Fitzgerald caught 11 passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns, and Arizona finished an 8-8 season with the Cardinals' highest-scoring game in 30 years. The .500 record under first-year coach Ken Whisenhunt is Arizona's best since going 9-7 and making the playoffs in 1998. The Rams (3-13), plagued by injuries most of the year, finished with a four-game losing streak after opening 0-8.