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  Posted: Sunday December 30, 2001 9:22 PM


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CNNSI.com's Jon A. Dolezar reviews the Week 16 games.
Week 16
   Tampa Bay 22 at Tampa, Fla.
   Baltimore 10 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 13-1 -- Buccaneers' home record in December under Tony Dungy, with the lone loss coming to the Packers on Dec. 7, 1997.
Player of
the Game
Derrick Brooks, LB, Tampa Bay: Recorded 15 total tackles and picked off a pass that he returned 53 yards to the Ravens' 1-yard line to set up a Brad Johnson touchdown.
Breakdown Tampa Bay's suffocating defense overcame another lackluster effort by its offense. Mike Alstott carried 14 times for 80 yards and the game-clinching 32-yard touchdown with 1:35 to play. Alstott's effort overcame Johnson's poor game, as the Ravens held Johnson to a 44.8 percent completion rate and only 90 passing yards. Ray Lewis was almost Brooks' equal defensively, finishing with 14 total tackles. But the Brooks' supporting cast outplayed Lewis', as the Bucs sacked Elvis Grbac five times and picked him off twice. Ronde Barber intercepted his 10th pass this season to take the NFL lead and break Cedric Brown's franchise single-season record from 1981.

   St. Louis 42 at St. Louis
   Indianapolis 17 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 222 -- Yards by which the Rams (483) outgained the Colts (261).
Player of
the Game
Torry Holt, WR, St. Louis: Caught seven passes for 203 yards and two touchdowns, giving him 73 catches for 1,266 yards and seven touchdowns this season.
Breakdown The Rams' offensive juggernaut claimed another victim. Kurt Warner completed 76.7 percent of his passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns and Marshall Faulk continued his amazing season by gaining 165 total yards on 32 touches and scoring four touchdowns. St. Louis held Peyton Manning to just 195 passing yards and picked him off once.

   Green Bay 24 at Green Bay, Wis.
   Minnesota 13 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 30-0 -- Brett Favre's record at Lambeau Field when the temperature is under 34 degrees.
Player of
the Game
Bernardo Harris, LB, Green Bay: Led the Packers with 12 total tackles and one interception.
Breakdown Stick another feather in Favre's comeback cap. Favre rallied Green Bay to victory from a fourth-quarter deficit or tie for the 23rd time in his career. The Packers tormented Vikings quarterback Spergon Wynn, as he completed only 11 of 30 for 114 yards with three interceptions. Minnesota limited Green Bay to only 56 rushing yards, but Ahman Green found the end zone midway through the fourth quarter to give the Packers the go-ahead touchdown.

   Chicago 24 at Detroit
   Detroit 0 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 6 -- Sacks allowed by the Lions, extending their league-worst total to 66 for the season.
Player of
the Game
Jim Miller, QB, Chicago: Completed 17 of 30 for 252 and two touchdowns as the Bears turned him loose and allowed him to throw the ball downfield for a change.
Breakdown The Bears' quest for the NFC Central Division crown hit nary a speed bump in Motown. Chicago dominated hapless Detroit by forcing five turnovers while committing zero. Marty Booker caught nine passes for 115 yards and D'Wayne Bates grabbed a career-high four balls for 107 yards and one touchdown. The Bears only need to defeat the Jaguars at home next Sunday to win their first Central Division crown since 1990.

   Dallas 27 at Dallas
   San Francisco 21 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 37:49 -- Time of possession for the Cowboys, who outrushed the 49ers 186-56.
Player of
the Game
Quincy Carter, QB, Dallas: Played the finest game of his rookie season, completing 15 of 25 for 241 yards and two touchdowns.
Breakdown The Cowboys put a little crimp in the 49ers' plans to host a wild-card game with the surprising victory in Big D. Emmitt Smith rushed 26 times for 126 yards to become only the second player in history with 16,000 career rushing yards. Smith trails Walter Payton's career record by 616 yards. Joey Galloway was Carter's top target, catching six balls for 146 yards and one touchdown. J.J. Stokes caught four passes for 47 yards and two touchdowns but the most hated man in Dallas, Terrell Owens, grabbed five passes for 93 yards without a score, thus negating any chance for ugliness with another star desecrating dance. The Cowboys limited Garrison Hearst to just 35 rushing yards on 11 carries.

   Cincinnati 26 at Cincinnati
   Pittsburgh 23 (OT) Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 544 -- Total yards for the Bengals, who outgained the Steelers by 231 yards.
Player of
the Game
Jon Kitna, QB, Cincinnati: Bounced back from a rough start to finish with 411 yards and two touchdowns on 35-of-68 passing.
Breakdown The Bengals rallied from 13 points down with less than three minutes to go to shock the Steelers, though Pittsburgh clinched AFC home field when Oakland lost to Denver. Darnay Scott had seven catches for 113 yards and Peter Warrick caught 10 passes for 109 yards. Kordell Stewart completed 19 of 35 for 251 yards and three touchdowns, but was picked off four times. Neil Rackers missed two field goals and an extra point before redeeming himself with game-winning kick in overtime.

   Buffalo 14 at East Rutherford, N.J.
   New York 9 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 43.8 -- Third-down conversion percentage for the Bills (7-for-16), compared to only a 27.3 percent success rate for the Jets (3-for-11).
Player of
the Game
Shawn Bryson, RB, Buffalo: Carried 28 times for 107 yards for his second consecutive 100-yard game.
Breakdown New York blew its chance to clinch a playoff spot, though it can still do so with a win or tie next week at Oakland or a Seattle loss or tie against Kansas City. Alex Van Pelt completed 16 of 27 for 185 yards and a touchdown in winning for only the second time in his seven starts. In the losing effort, Curtis Martin took back the NFL rushing lead from Priest Holmes by rushing for 115 yards on 19 carries to achieve his third 1,400-yard season in his seven years in the league.

   Miami 21 at Miami
   Atlanta 14 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 36:52 -- Time of possession for the Falcons, who outgained the Dolphins 388-226 but shot themselves in the foot with four turnovers and five penalties.
Player of
the Game
Zach Thomas, LB, Miami: Tormented the Falcons with 13 total tackles and two sacks.
Breakdown The Dolphins clinched a playoff spot with a sloppy effort against the Falcons, but the result in the standings doesn't take style points into account. Jay Fiedler passed for 191 yards and two touchdowns, his fifth game in the past seven that he hasn't thrown for 200 yards. Michael Vick completed 55 percent of his passes for 214 yards, one touchdown and one interception after Chris Chandler was knocked out of the game. Patrick Surtain made four tackles and picked off two passes to lead a solid effort by Miami's secondary.

   Cleveland 41 at Nashville, Tenn.
   Tennessee 38 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 17 -- Unanswered points scored by the Browns in the fourth quarter.
Player of
the Game
Tim Couch, QB, Cleveland: Completed 20 of 27 for a career-high total of 336 yards and three touchdowns.
Breakdown The Browns-Titans game wasn't meaningful for postseason implications and the defenses played like it. The team combined for 861 total yards, 39 first downs and a 67.9 percent competion rate. The bright spot for the Titans was that Eddie George rushed for his first 100-yard game of the season, carrying 26 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Tennessee could've used that effort earlier in the season rather than in a late December game after it was out of playoff contention.

   Arizona 30 at Charlotte, N.C.
   Carolina 7 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 0 -- Number of teams to lose 15 games in a row, which the Panthers could do if they fall to the Patriots next Sunday.
Player of
the Game
David Boston, WR, Arizona: NFL's leading receiver took a big step toward clinching the season yardage title with seven catches for 127 and two touchdowns.
Breakdown The Panthers' fall to oblivious continued thanks to a 20-point second quarter for the Cardinals. After falling behind 27-7 at the half, Carolina was forced to abandon the running game and Chris Weinke ended up throwing a team-record 63 passes. Jake Plummer hit on 12-of-23 passes for 173 yards and two touchdowns and didn't throw an interception for the fourth time in his past five games

   Kansas City 30 at Jacksonville, Fla.
   Jacksonville 26 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 74.3 -- Completion percentage for Trent Green, who hit on 26 of 35 for 294 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Player of
the Game
Tony Gonzalez, TE, Kansas City: He of the NBA aspirations proved why he should stick to football, catching eight passes for 78 yards and two touchdowns.
Breakdown Add the Chiefs to the list of teams that got hot just a bit too late. Kansas City won its third game in a row, ending Jacksonville's three-game win streak. Stacey Mack rushed 16 times for 125 yards and one touchdown for his third consecutive 100-yard game. Eddie Kennison caught six passes for 121 yards in his best performance since his brief retirement from the Broncos and subsequent signing by the Chiefs two weeks later. Priest Holmes carried 27 times for 91 yards and one touchdown, plus added seven catches for 53 yards. Holmes lost his lead in the rushing yards race to Curtis Martin, as Martin now leads Holmes by 17 yards, 1,455 to 1,438.

   Philadelphia 24 at Philadelphia
   New York 21 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 21.5 -- Sacks this season by Michael Strahan after recording 3.5 on Sunday against the Eagles, bringing him to with .5 sack of Mark Gastineau's NFL record of 22 from 1982.
Player of
the Game
Chad Lewis, TE, Philadelphia: Chipped in with his best game of the season by catching seven passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns.
Breakdown The Eagles ended the second-longest drought without a division title thanks to some hustle by Damon Moore in tracking down Ron Dixon on the final play of a wild game. Moore's heroics saved the game after David Akers hit the go-ahead 35-yard field goal with seven seconds left. Donovan McNabb completed 21 of 39 for 270 yards and three touchdowns while showing great poise in leading Philadelphia to 17 fourth-quarter points. McNabb's favorite target in the game was James Thrash, who caught seven balls for 143 yards and one touchdown while Jeremiah Trotter led the Eagles defensively with 15 tackles and one sack.

   Denver 23 at Denver
   Oakland 17 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 12-2 -- Mike Shanahan's record against the Raiders, including wins in eight of the past nine.
Player of
the Game
Rod Smith, WR, Denver: Caught eight passes for 56 yards and the go-ahead 12-yard touchdown with 5:01 to play, while also breaking Ed McCaffrey's team record of 101 catches.
Breakdown The Raiders continued to play sloppy football and blew a chance at clinching a bye in the first round of the playoffs. Denver held Oakland to just 51 rushing yards and forced the Raiders into three turnovers. Brian Griese threw for only 142 yards but completed 73.1 percent of his passes and didn't turn the ball over. Terrell Davis rushed for 89 yards and one touchdown on 18 carries, giving him 365 yards in the four games since returning from his most recent injury.

   Seattle 25 at San Diego
   San Diego 22 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 19-1 -- Trent Dilfer's record in his past 20 starts.
Player of
the Game
Rian Lindell, K, Seattle: Kicked a career-long 54-yarder as time expired to give the Seahawks the win and keep their slim playoff hopes alive.
Breakdown The Seahawks remained alive for the final AFC wild-card spot and may have created a quarterback controversy once again in doing so. Replacing the injured Matt Hasslebeck, Dilfer completed 14 of 23 for 267 yards and three touchdowns. Darrell Jackson caught five passes for 114 yards and two scores while James Williams grabbed four for 101 yards and one touchdown. LaDainian Tomlinson rushed for only 38 yards on 14 carries to fall 114 yards shy of Natrone Means' team record of 1,350 set in 1994.

   Washington 40 at New Orleans
   New Orleans 10 Recap
Game Summary
Key Stat 62.5 -- Third-down conversion percentage for the Redskins (10-for-16), compared with only a 46.2 percent success rate for the Saints (6-for-13).
Player of
the Game
Stephen Davis, RB, Washington: Rushed 21 times for 111 yards and one touchdown, giving him 1,284 yards this season and putting him within striking distance of his third consecutive 1,300-yard year.
Breakdown The Saints jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead and then fell apart as the Redskins scored 40 unanswered points to run away for the easy victory. New Orleans turned the ball over four times, committed eight penalties and allowed four sacks in its third consecutive sloppy game. Aaron Brooks has been picked off 10 times in the past three games after throwing only nine interceptions in the first 12 games of the season. Ki-Jana Carter complemented Davis' rushing efforts by gaining 51 yards and scoring two touchdowns on 15 carries.


 

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