SAN FRANCISCO – The New York Giants’ return to Candlestick Park featured few dramatics, no comebacks and certainly no collapses. Just another methodical win for a team that’s already thinking about a return to the playoffs.

Eli Manning passed for 251 yards and a touchdown, Brandon Jacobs rushed for two short fourth-quarter scores and the Giants’ defense yielded just 138 total yards in a 24-6 victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.

Plaxico Burress had five catches for 79 yards in the third straight victory for the Giants (6-2), who maintained their lead in the NFC East by suffocating the 49ers’ offense, which hasn’t scored a touchdown in its last 13 quarters at home.

Seahawks 33, Cards 19

TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona Cardinals always seem to bring out the best in Shaun Alexander.

The powerhouse back gained 173 yards in 23 carries, including touchdown runs of 88 and 14 yards, and the Seattle Seahawks won their fourth in a row by beating the Cardinals 33-19.

The 88-yard run, on the first play of the second half, tied the franchise record Alexander set against Oakland on Nov. 11, 2001. In the last three games against Arizona, Alexander gained 467 yards and scored nine touchdowns.

Panthers 34, Bucs 14

TAMPA, Fla.- The Carolina Panthers are beginning to play more and more like championship contenders.

Stephen Davis ran for two touchdowns, Steve Smith caught his ninth TD pass of the season and Chris Gamble scored on a 61-yard interception return to lead the surging Panthers to a 34-14 rout of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Vikings 27, Lions 14

MINNEAPOLIS – Brad Johnson took over at quarterback and helped jump-start the Minnesota offense. Joey Harrington returned as Detroit’s starter to far less favorable results.

Johnson passed for 136 yards and two touchdowns in relief of the injured Daunte Culpepper, Michael Bennett rushed 18 times for 106 yards and the Vikings beat the Lions 27-14 to create a tie for second place in the punchless NFC North.

Bears 20, New Orleans 17

BATON ROUGE, La. – Adrian Peterson and Cedric Benson combine for 137 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown in a 20-17 Bears victory.

Robbie Gould hit the winning field goal with 6 seconds to go from 28 yards.

Redskins 17, Eagles 10

LANDOVER, Md.- With or without Terrell Owens, the Philadelphia Eagles are losing and in danger of slipping out of the playoff race.

The Eagles fell to sole possession of last place in the NFC East and the Washington Redskins, rebounding from the worst loss of coach Joe Gibbs’ career, rode a more balanced attack and touchdown runs by Mike Sellers and Clinton Portis to a 17-10 victory.

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