CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Carnell “Cadillac” Williams ran for 112 yards and a pair of a touchdowns to lead the Bucs to a 20-10 victory over Carolina on Sunday that pulled Tampa Bay into a tie with the Panthers for the division lead with three games left.

Both Tampa Bay (9-4) and Carolina (9-4) have NFC South rivals Atlanta and New Orleans remaining on their schedules, and the Falcons (7-5) are 1 games out of the lead heading into Monday night’s game against the Saints.

The Bucs have both Williams and a stingy defense that held Carolina to 276 yards to thank for putting them back into first place and snapping a five-game losing streak against the Panthers.

Giants 26, Eagles 23

PHILADELPHIA – Jay Feely’s redemption sent the Philadelphia Eagles out of the playoffs.

Feely’s 36-yard field goal with 3:55 left in overtime lifted the New York Giants to a 26-23 victory that put them closer to the NFC East title and knocked the reigning conference champions out of the playoff chase.

Feely, who cost the Giants a victory in Seattle two weeks ago by missing three late kicks, made four field goals. Tiki Barber had 124 yards rushing and one TD catch and the Giants overcame Eli Manning’s three interceptions in the fourth quarter and overtime. Osi Umenyiora sacked Mike McMahon and Kenderick Allen recovered McMahon’s fumble at the Eagles 27, setting up Feely’s winning kick four plays later.

Vikings 27, Rams 13

MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Vikings defenders have long held starring roles in highlight reels for the “Greatest Show on Turf.”

The revamped unit flipped the script, delivering yet another dominant performance that amazingly has the Vikings back in contention for the NFC North title.

The Vikings’ defense forced six turnovers and held Steven Jackson to 67 yards rushing in their sixth straight victory, 27-13 over St. Louis.

With the Bears (9-4) losing at Pittsburgh, the Vikings (8-5) pulled within one game of the division lead in a season that appeared lost after a 2-5 start.

For a team that has given up an average of 47 points and 456 yards in three straight losses to the Rams, the game also served as a statement that this Minnesota defense is no longer the turnstile it once was.

Seahawks 41, 49ers 3

SEATTLE – Matt Hasselbeck completed 21 of 25 passes for 226 yards and a season-high four touchdowns in just three quarters to breeze his NFC-leading Seahawks past San Francisco, 41-3.

Bobby Engram caught two of Hasselbeck’s scoring throws, as the NFC West champions (11-2) won their team-record ninth straight game. They also showed they might bring along a hot quarterback with NFL rushing leader Shaun Alexander into the playoffs.

Redskins 17, Cardinals 13

TEMPE, Ariz. – After Mark Brunell’s worst half of the season, the Washington Redskins went back to basics, handing off to Clinton Portis.

Portis ran for 105 yards on 26 carries, gaining 51 in the second half, when the Redskins rallied from a 10-3 deficit to beat the Arizona Cardinals 17-13 and keep their slim playoff hopes alive . Portis ran 15 yards to tie the game at 10 in the third quarter, and Antonio Brown gave the Redskins the lead for good 17-13 with a 91-yard kickoff return with 3:29 left in the third quarter.

Packers 16, Lions 13

GREEN BAY, Wis. – The Green Bay Packers got two things Sunday night they haven’t had for most of the season: steady, conservative play from Brett Favre – and a big break. Given a second chance after an apparent fourth-quarter safety was overturned, the Green Bay Packers drove 56 yards in overtime to set up Ryan Longwell’s 28-yard field goal to beat the Detroit Lions 16-13.

The Lions (4-9) wrapped up Packers running back Samkon Gado in the end zone with 6:59 remaining in regulation. Gado tried to toss the ball forward as he was being tackled and was flagged for intentional grounding, resulting in a safety that would have put the Lions ahead by 15-13. But officials huddled and overturned the call, saying it was a forward pass and Gado was outside the tackle box, giving the Packers another chance.

The Packers (3-10) were backed up in their territory after a goal-line stand by their defense. Linebacker Na’il Diggs stopped the Lions’ Jeff Garcia on a fourth-and-goal sneak.

Favre was 21-for-31 for 170 yards, throwing one interception at the end of regulation. Gado rushed for 171 yards and a touchdown.

AP-ES-12-12-05 0002EST


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.