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NFL ROUNDUP

Dayne breaks out as Texans beat Colts, 27-24

December 25, 2006|From the Associated Press

Ron Dayne had a career-high 153 yards rushing and two touchdowns, and Kris Brown kicked the winning 48-yard field goal as time ran out Sunday, giving Houston its first win over Indianapolis, 27-24, in Houston.

The loss denied the AFC South champions the chance to clinch a first-round playoff bye.

It was the first time Dayne had gained 100 yards since September 2001 with the New York Giants.

The Texans (5-10) used Dayne and rookie Chris Taylor to eat up the clock and exploit the Colts' suspect run defense, ranked last in the NFL, and broke a nine-game losing streak to Indianapolis (11-4).

Dayne had 429 yards rushing and five touchdowns in the last four games.

Houston led through most of the game, until Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison connected for their second touchdown, this one a seven-yard pass that tied it, 24-24, with 2 minutes 41 seconds remaining.

David Carr and the Texans then engineered a six-play, 31-yard drive that ended with Brown's winning kick. Carr was 16 for 23 for 163 yards and a touchdown.

The loss ruined another record day for Manning, who set an NFL mark by reaching 4,000 yards passing for the seventh time in his nine-year career. He was 21 for 27 for 205 yards and had three touchdown passes.

Arizona 26, San Francisco 20 -- Kurt Warner and the Cardinals extinguished the 49ers' flickering playoff hopes with one last commanding drive.

Matt Leinart passed for 162 yards before spraining his left shoulder before halftime, ending his rookie season early. Warner finished with 105 yards passing in the visiting Cardinals' fourth victory in six games.

Edgerrin James had 105 yards to become Arizona's first 1,000-yard rusher in eight years, and Marcel Shipp ran for a score as the Cardinals (5-10) jumped to an early 20-3 lead, then held on for their fourth straight win over the 49ers (6-9). Improbably, Arizona is a division-best 4-2 against NFC West opponents during its eighth consecutive losing season.

Leinart was injured when Roderick Green sacked him shortly before halftime, and the 2004 Heisman Trophy winner watched the second half in street clothes.

Chicago 26, Detroit 21 -- Backup quarterback Brian Griese directed a 72-yard drive that set up Robbie Gould's field goal midway through the fourth quarter, helping the Bears win in Detroit.

Gould's fourth field goal -- after Lions quarterback Jon Kitna committed his NFL-high 30th turnover -- gave Chicago (13-2) a six-point cushion with 2:50 to go, ending a drive that starting quarterback Rex Grossman watched from the sideline.

With a chance for a winning touchdown, the Lions (2-13) drove to the Chicago 22. Kitna threw a pass into the end zone on the final play that leaping wide receiver Mike Williams got his hands on but couldn't control.

Baltimore 31, Pittsburgh 7 -- Steve McNair threw three touchdown passes on the road and the Ravens moved ahead in the race for a first-round AFC playoffs bye. They shut down the Steelers for the second time in a month and eliminated the defending Super Bowl champions from playoff contention.

The Ravens (12-3) matched a franchise record for victories in a season set by their Super Bowl championship team in 2000 and swept the season series from the Steelers (7-8) for the first time since the former Cleveland Browns moved to Baltimore in 1996.

Tampa Bay 22, Cleveland 7 -- Derrick Brooks returned one of the Buccaneers' four interceptions 21 yards for a touchdown and Tampa Bay won its first road game in more than a year.

The Buccaneers (4-11) had lost eight straight outside Florida since winning at Carolina on Dec. 11 last season. But they had little trouble with the Browns (4-11), who lost their third straight and managed just 187 yards of offense.

Cleveland avoided being shut out for the second straight year on Dec. 24 when cornerback Daven Holly returned a fumble 40 yards for a touchdown with 11:33 left.

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