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Colts, Falcons, Steelers also win divisions

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Indianapolis, Atlanta and Pittsburgh also clinched division titles yesterday, while Green Bay grabbed the final wild-card berth.

The Packers beat arch rival Chicago 10-3 to secure the NFC’s sixth seed; defending league champion New Orleans has the conference’s other wild card.

A last-second 43-yard field goal by the always clutch Adam Vinatieri lifted the AFC South champion Colts past Tennessee 23-20.

Indy was already assured of its seventh division crown in eight years when the Jacksonville Jaguars lost to the Houston Texans minutes earlier. It’s the ninth straight year the Colts have reached the postseason, tying the NFL record Dallas set from 1975 to 1983.

"I think it shows the resolve of this team and our fight," Colts defensive end Dwight Freeney said. "It doesn’t matter if we’re 6-6 and we have to win our last four, we have to do it. If we have to win the last seven, we’ll try to do it. That’s just kind of what we are and we’ve been that for a while."

Atlanta (13-3) won the NFC South with a 31-10 rout of Carolina. The Falcons get home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and a bye next week. They open their postseason the weekend of Jan. 15-16 in the Georgia Dome.

"We rarely lose in this building. We find a way to win here," top receiver Roddy White said.

The Steelers (12-4) took the AFC North with a 41-9 romp at Cleveland (5-11). They edged Baltimore in the division, making the Ravens a wild card. Pittsburgh is the No. 2 seed behind New England in the AFC and will have a bye next weekend.

"We love to win the division," Ben Roethlisberger said. "This is a hard division. We hope this is just the beginning."

 

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