The Latest: Mathis gets hero's welcome before finale

The Latest on Week 17 of the NFL regular season (all times ET):

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7:25 p.m.

The Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions made the playoffs before they even kicked off Sunday night.

The Packers and Lions clinched spots when Washington lost at home to the New York Giants, 19-10. The Redskins were officially eliminated from postseason contention.

When the Giants-Redskins game ended, Lions fans roared at Ford Field while Detroit and Green Bay players were warming up. When the public-address announcer gave the final score, another round of cheers was heard.

Regardless of both teams securing playoff spots, Green Bay and Detroit still have a lot at stake Sunday night. The winner will take the NFC North, earning a home game next week, while the loser will settle for the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs.

- Larry Lage reporting from Detroit

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7:21 p.m.

The Atlanta Falcons suffered another injury to their defense when rookie safety Keanu Neal, the 17th overall pick in the NFL draft, left the game midway through the fourth quarter with concussion symptoms after colliding on the sideline with New Orleans receiver Willie Snead.

Snead also left the game with a concussion.

Atlanta already has lost its best defensive player, cornerback Desmond Trufant, to a season-ending shoulder surgery. Backups Sean Weatherspoon, Derrick Shelby and Kemal Ishmael were lost to season-ending injuries, too.

Starting rookie linebacker De'Vondre Campbell returned Sunday against the Saints after missing last week's game with a concussion.

- George Henry reporting from Atlanta

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7:20 p.m.

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees has set an NFL record by topping 5,000 yards passing for the fifth time in his career.

The 37-year-old Brees, in his 16th season, reached the milestone in the second quarter at Atlanta and ended the third with 154 yards passing. He had an NFL-leading 4,858 yards passing going into the game.

- George Henry reporting from Atlanta

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7:15 p.m.

Seattle defensive tackle Jarran Reed has been ejected after a scuffle following an extra point.

Reed was called for a personal foul after the Seahawks and San Francisco 49ers began scuffling following an extra point by Phil Dawson in the fourth quarter. Reed then got into a yelling match with teammate Frank Clark near the Seattle sideline as he walked off the field. Teammates had to separate the two.

- Josh Dubow reporting from Santa Clara, California

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6:50 p.m.

Michael Vick made a triumphant return to the Georgia Dome, riding onto the field in a convertible to a raucous ovation that made it clear Atlanta Falcons have forgiven their former franchise quarterback.

Despite an online campaign calling for the Falcons to revoke their invitation over a dogfighting case that sent Vick to prison for nearly two years, he received by far the loudest ovation from the sellout crowd of 70,835 during a halftime ceremony honoring the final regular-season game at the team's home of 25 years.

Vick, wearing a black No. 7 jersey and a silver Falcons cap, blew kisses and threw up his arms in appreciation.

Vick was one of the most dynamic players in team history, but his legacy was forever marred by his criminal activities off the field, which came to light in 2007. He never played again for the Falcons. A decade after his final game with the team, the animosity that Vick's name once stirred among Atlanta fans appeared to have turned to forgiveness. Not one boo or jeer was heard from the crowd.

- Paul Newberry reporting from Atlanta

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6:40 p.m.

Connor Cook is off to an impressive start in his NFL debut.

Oakland's third-string quarterback completed four straight passes during a 63-yard touchdown drive to get the Raiders on the board late in the third quarter. Oakland still trails Denver 24-6.

A rookie fourth-round draft pick out of Michigan State, Cook replaced Matt McGloin, who left in the second quarter with a shoulder injury.

Cook is 7 for 8 for 87 yards, with a 32-yard TD pass to Amari Cooper.

- Eddie Pells reporting from Denver

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6:32 p.m.

David Johnson's record-setting season for the Arizona Cardinals is over, but the running back might have avoided serious injury.

Johnson watched the second half of the Cardinals' game at Los Angeles from the sideline with a brace on his left knee, which was hurt on an awkward tackle in the first quarter. The team didn't immediately provide an update on Johnson's condition, but he was smiling and appeared to be able to put weight on his leg.

Johnson set a franchise record this season as the first Cardinals player to gain more than 2,000 total yards. He set an NFL record with at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each of Arizona's first 15 games.

- Greg Beacham reporting from Los Angeles

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6:30 p.m.

Denver special teams player Zaire Anderson was strapped to a backboard and carted off the field with a neck injury in the third quarter against Oakland. The Broncos say Anderson has been taken to a local hospital for evaluation and has movement in his arms and legs.

Anderson dove head-first into teammate Quentin Gause as Gause was making a tackle during a punt return.

Anderson made the 53-man roster this season after spending 2015 on Denver's practice squad.

- Eddie Pells reporting from Denver

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6:15 p.m.

The always-contentions and ever-eventful rivalry between Josh Norman and Odell Beckham Jr. is delivering more drama.

Washington Redskins cornerback Norman entered Sunday tied for the most penalties in the NFL this season with 12, and midway through the third quarter, he's tacked on two to his total - both while covering New York Giants receiver Beckham.

The latest was a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for a facemask-to-facemask clash in the third quarter. In the first half, Norman drew a flag for unnecessary roughness for shoving Beckham after the wideout already was out of bounds on a catch; two plays later, the Giants scored a TD.

Last season, when Norman was with Carolina, he and Beckham engaged in all sorts of nastiness during a Panthers-Giants game, leading to a one-game suspension for the player known as OBJ.

- Howard Fendrich reporting from Landover, Maryland

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6:10 p.m.

The worst season in Cleveland Browns history won't cost coach Hue Jackson his job.

If anything, owner Jimmy Haslam is doubling down on his bet that Jackson, general manager Sashi Brown and the rest of the front office are the right people to turn things around.

The revolving door that's been an offseason fixture since Haslam bought the team in 2012 is stopping, even after a 27-24 overtime loss to the backup-laden Pittsburgh Steelers on Sunday that left the Browns at 1-15.

''Clearly not an acceptable year,'' Haslam said. ''Really since we bought the team, it's totally unacceptable performance, which as ownership we'll take the entire blame for.''

And not, Haslam stressed, Jackson or Brown, both of whom were brought in last winter to revive a team that's 15-49 over the past four seasons.

''Could not be more pleased with the job Hue and the staff are doing,'' Haslam said. ''You wouldn't think this was a 1-14 team with the way this team was out there battling (today). Really pleased with Hue and really pleased with our personnel group. I think we have the right people in place.''

- Will Graves reporting from Pittsburgh

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6 p.m.

Steve Smith has played his final NFL game.

The 37-year-old Ravens receiver caught three passes for 34 yards during Baltimore's 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals on Sunday. He was emotional before the game and again after it, but he had no regrets about his decision to move on with his life.

''I enjoyed it, but it's over,'' said Smith, who finishes tied for fourth in NFL history with 51 games of 100 yards receiving. ''I know it's my time. Some people say can I play another year? I probably could. But what I would lose, I'm not willing to risk.''

- Joe Kay reporting from Cincinnati

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5:45 p.m.

For a team trying to sneak into the playoffs, coach Jay Gruden's Washington Redskins sure came out flat and trail 10-0 at halftime against the nothing-at-stake New York Giants.

While the Giants are locked into the NFC's fifth seed no matter what happens Sunday, the Redskins would be eliminated from the postseason with a loss. But Washington showed zero urgency from the get-go, earning some boos from the home crowd.

The Redskins' problems across the first two quarters were encapsulated by a sequence as they held the ball and the 2-minute warning approached. Instead of hurrying to get a play off, they let the clock run down before a shotgun snap from center Spencer Long sailed past QB Kirk Cousins and bounced along the grass - but Washington was spared worrying about a turnover, because it turned out the ball was hiked after the clock reached 2:00.

Then, after a later time-wasting drive, Washington went to the locker room with zero points because Dustin Hopkins pushed a 57-yard field-goal try way wide left on the half's final play.

- Howard Fendrich reporting from Landover, Maryland

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5:40 p.m.

Oakland is down to its third-string quarterback.

Rookie Connor Cook, a fourth-round draft pick who came into the game without an NFL pass attempt, replaced the injured Matt McGloin, who was pulled with a left shoulder injury.

McGloin made his first start since 2013. He was replacing Derek Carr, who broke his leg last week against Indianapolis and is done for the season.

McGloin was 6 for 11 for 21 yards, and the Raiders were trailing Denver 17-0 late in the first half.

Oakland needs the win, or a Kansas City loss, to win the AFC West and a bye in the first round of the playoffs.

- Eddie Pells reporting from Denver

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5:35 p.m.

Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan completed 12 of his first 13 passes for 170 yards and three touchdowns. Midway through the second quarter, with a 28-10 lead over New Orleans, Ryan has 4,765 yards passing this season to eclipse his franchise single-season record set in 2012. Ryan has six seasons with at least 4,515 yards passing.

- George Henry reporting from Atlanta

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5:15 p.m.

Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson is out with a potentially serious knee injury.

Johnson was hurt on an awkward tackle by the Los Angeles Rams' Eugene Sims and Alec Ogletree in the first quarter of both teams' season finale. Johnson's leg bent back alarmingly while he went down, and he stayed down for a long moment with players from both teams kneeling around him.

Johnson eventually walked gingerly off the field, and the Cardinals said his return was questionable.

Johnson is completing a spectacular season, becoming the first Cardinals player to gain 2,000 total yards. He set an NFL record with at least 100 yards from scrimmage in each of Arizona's first 15 games.

- Greg Beacham reporting from Los Angeles

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5:10 p.m.

San Diego Chargers tight end Antonio Gates has tied Tony Gonzalez for the most touchdown catches (111) in NFL history by a tight end.

Gates tied the mark on a 2-yard toss from Philip Rivers early in the second quarter to give the Chargers a 10-3 lead over the Kansas City Chiefs. Gates caught the ball and extended it in his right hand to break the plane.

Gonzalez spent his first 12 seasons of his career with the Chiefs before finishing with the Atlanta Falcons.

- Bernie Wilson reporting from San Diego

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5:05 p.m.

Atlanta Falcons Pro Bowl running back Devonta Freeman gained 123 yards and scored a touchdown on three plays in the first quarter.

Freeman caught a pair of long screen passes before breaking off a 75-yard run up the middle to give the Falcons a 14-3 lead against New Orleans. It was Atlanta's first run play of the game.

The Falcons have the NFL's highest-scoring offense and rank seventh in rushing. After outrunning Saints cornerback Sterling Moore for his TD, Freeman is averaging 4.9 yards per carry in 216 attempts this season. It was his 11th touchdown.

- George Henry reporting from Atlanta

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5 p.m.

Denver Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders is out of the game against Oakland with a foot injury he suffered on the team's first drive.

Sanders will finish the season second on the team in receiving behind Demaryius Thomas with 78 catches for 1,006 yards.

- Eddie Pells reporting from Denver

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4:50 p.m.

Atlanta Falcons outside linebacker Vic Beasley, the NFL's sacks leader, has returned to the game early in the second quarter after leaving with a shoulder injury.

Beasley was injured on New Orleans' second offensive possession. Beasley, the eighth overall pick in the 2015 NFL draft, has 14 + sacks, one more than Denver's Von Miller.

- George Henry reporting from Atlanta

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4:46 p.m.

Eric Dickerson is back on the sidelines with the Los Angeles Rams.

The Hall of Fame running back returned to the Coliseum on Sunday for the struggling Rams' final game in their homecoming season against the Arizona Cardinals.

Dickerson's spat with coach Jeff Fisher earlier this year compounded the Rams' woes during their homecoming season. Dickerson went public with his anger at Fisher after the coach privately asked him not to criticize the team while also asking for multiple sideline passes.

Dickerson vowed not to attend another Rams game while Fisher was the coach - but Fisher was fired last month. Dickerson posed for photos with fans and shook hands on the sideline before the Rams' finale.

- Greg Beacham reporting from Los Angeles

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4:45 p.m.

The Atlanta Falcons are quick starters.

For the sixth game in a row, Atlanta scored on its opening possession. This time, it was a four-play, 68-yard drive that culminated with Matt Ryan's 7-yard touchdown pass to Tevin Coleman against the New Orleans Saints.

The last time the league's most prolific offense didn't score on its first possession was Nov. 13 at Philadelphia.

- Paul Newberry reporting from Atlanta

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4:35 p.m.

San Francisco 49ers general manager Trent Baalke says he has been fired by the team.

Baalke confirmed the news Sunday during his pregame interview with the team's flagship radio station KNBR. The 49ers had no comment on Baalke's announcement before the team's season finale against Seattle.

ESPN reported Saturday night that both Baalke and coach Chip Kelly are expected to be fired after the season. San Francisco (2-13) can tie the franchise record for losses in a season by losing to the Seahawks.

- Josh Dubow reporting from Santa Clara, California

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4:30 p.m.

The Atlanta Falcons observed a moment of silence for Keion Carpenter before their regular-season finale against the New Orleans Saints.

Carpenter died this past week at age 39, reportedly after a freak fall while playing with his son on a family vacation.

Carpenter was a safety who intercepted 14 passes during his NFL career with the Falcons and the Buffalo Bills. He played with Atlanta from 2002-05.

- Paul Newberry reporting from Atlanta

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4:20 p.m.

The New England Patriots have clinched home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

They did it by beating the Miami Dolphins 35-14 on Sunday, behind Tom Brady's 276 yards passing and three scores.

New England took a 20-0 lead in the first half and turned away Miami's comeback bid with the help of a 77-yard touchdown catch-and-run by Julian Edelman and a 69-yard fumble return by linebacker Shea McClellin.

The Patriots (14-2), who were already assured of a first-round bye, became the ninth team since 1972 to go undefeated on the road during the regular season.

- Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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4:10 p.m.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have been eliminated from playoff contention.

Philadelphia's 27-13 victory against Dallas made it official.

Tampa Bay did its part by beating Carolina 17-16 on Sunday. But the Bucs also needed plenty of help to secure an NFC playoff berth. They needed a win combined with a Green Bay loss, a Washington tie and victories by Dallas, Indianapolis, Tennessee and San Francisco to get in.

- Fred Goodall reporting from Tampa, Florida

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3:45 p.m.

Sam Bradford's first season with the Minnesota Vikings is in the books, and he's on the verge of the all-time NFL record for completion percentage.

Bradford was removed for Shaun Hill midway through the fourth quarter with the Vikings leading the Chicago Bears 38-10, finishing 25 for 33 for 250 yards, three touchdowns and one interception in the game.

That gave Bradford a 71.56 completion percentage for the season, topping the mark set by New Orleans' Drew Brees (71.23) in 2011.

Brees and the Saints play later at Atlanta, with a long-shot chance to retake the record. Brees brings a 70.95 completion percentage into the game.

- Dave Campbell reporting from Minneapolis

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3:15 p.m.

The Cleveland Browns aren't quite ready to cede the top pick in the draft to San Francisco just yet.

Cleveland appeared headed for its second straight victory against Pittsburgh's backups Sunday before one more misstep in a season full of them kept the Steelers in the game.

Cleveland defensive back Briean Boddy-Calhoun picked off Pittsburgh's Landry Jones in the third quarter and zig-zagged 67 yards toward the Pittsburgh end zone. Instead of a touchdown that would have given the Browns a double-digit lead, the ball was poked loose by Steelers receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey just before Boddy-Calhoun crossed the goal line. Jones fell on the loose ball to give possession back to the Steelers.

Pittsburgh responded by going 80 yards on the ensuing possession, scoring a TD and knotting the game at 14 early in the fourth.

- Will Graves reporting from Pittsburgh

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3:13 p.m.

Carson Wentz tossed a 20-yard touchdown pass to Zach Ertz and then gave the ball to his new hunting buddy, American League MVP Mike Trout.

Trout, who grew up in nearby Millville, New Jersey, has season tickets for the Eagles and sits on the field behind one of the goal posts. The Los Angeles Angels star outfielder recently met Wentz through Ertz and the two went hunting before Christmas.

- Rob Maaddi reporting from Philadelphia

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2:54 p.m.

Houston quarterback Tom Savage is now done for the day because of a concussion after being re-evaluated at halftime.

Savage started Sunday's game against Tennessee, left after sneaking for a first down on the first play of the second quarter to be evaluated for a concussion. The AFC South champion Texans announced Savage had been cleared, and Savage returned to take the final snap of the second quarter to kneel down.

But Brock Osweiler was back on the field for the Texans' opening series of the third quarter and drove Houston 81 yards for a touchdown to pull within 14-7. The Texans announced Savage's status during that drive.

- Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee

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2:46 p.m.

Indianapolis Colts running back Frank Gore became the oldest NFL player in 31 years to rush for 1,000 yards. Gore started the game needing 36 yards to get there. After a tough first quarter, Gore got rolling in the second and reached the milestone on an 18-yard run with 11:35 left in the third quarter.

Gore also ended the NFL's second-longest active streak without a 1,000-yard runner. Indy's last was Joseph Addai in 2007.

- Mike Marot reporting from Indianapolis

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2:30 p.m.

New England, Minnesota, Cincinnati, Tennessee and Jacksonville have big halftime leads.

The Patriots lead the Dolphins 20-7 in Miami. The Vikings are out front 24-10 against Chicago. The Bengals are up 20-3 in their finale against Baltimore. The Titans lead Houston 14-0. And the Jaguars, trying to win their final two games of the regular season for the first time since 2005, have a 17-3 advantage at Indianapolis.

Other halftime scores: Carolina leads Tampa Bay 7-3. Dallas and Philadelphia are tied at 10. The New York Jets lead Buffalo 10-3. And Cleveland has a 14-7 advantage at Pittsburgh, where the playoff-bound Steelers are resting several key starters.

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1:45 p.m.

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has been ruled out for the rest of the game against the New York Jets with an ankle injury.

McCoy limped to the sideline after a 2-yard loss on the first play of the second quarter. It appeared trainers were working on McCoy's right ankle before calling for a cart to take the running back to the locker room.

The Bills announced that McCoy was done for the day a few minutes later.

McCoy finished with 10 yards on five carries and a 6-yard catch. For the season, he for ran 1,267 yards and 13 TDs, and added 50 catches for 356 yards and a TD.

- Dennis Waszak reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey

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1:41 p.m.

Tony Romo has his first touchdown pass in more than a year.

Romo replaced starter Dak Prescott for the playoff-bound Dallas Cowboys in the second quarter at Philadelphia. He completed 3 of 4 passes for 30 yards, including a 3-yard scoring pass to Terrence Williams. It was his first TD pass since Nov. 22, 2015. Mark Sanchez replaced Romo on the next drive.

Romo played in his first regular-season game since Thanksgiving 2015, when he broke his left collarbone for the second time in less than three months. Romo broke a bone in his back in the third preseason game against Seattle this season, paving the way for Prescott to have one of the best years by a rookie quarterback in NFL history.

The Cowboys have already locked up the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the NFC playoffs. Third-string quarterback Mark Sanchez is active and expected to replace Romo.

Prescott played two series, was 4 of 8 for 37 yards and left in a 3-3 game. Running back Ezekiel Elliott, who is 178 yards away from breaking Eric Dickerson's single-season rookie record, has remained on the sideline since the start of the game.

- Rob Maaddi reporting from Philadelphia

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1:40 p.m.

Tom Brady threw for 88 yards in the first quarter at Miami to surpass former Dolphins quarterback and Hall of Famer Dan Marino for fourth place on the NFL's career list.

Brady increased his career total to 61,394. Next on the list is Drew Brees, who went into Sunday's game with 65,761.

Peyton Manning is the leader at 71,940.

- Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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1:30 p.m.

Michael Floyd scored his first touchdown with the New England Patriots when he caught a short pass from Tom Brady and powered into the end zone for a 14-yard score at Miami.

Floyd was picked up by the Patriots last month after the Cardinals released him following a DUI arrest in Arizona.

He's the 65th player to catch a touchdown pass from Brady. The score put New England ahead 14-0.

- Steven Wine reporting from Miami Gardens, Florida

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1:22 p.m.

Carson Wentz has broken Sam Bradford's NFL record for most completions by a rookie.

Wentz, who replaced Bradford in Philadelphia, passed Bradford's mark on his third complete pass on the first drive of Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys. Bradford had 354 completions in 2010 for St. Louis after he was selected No. 1 overall.

The drive ended with Caleb Sturgis kicking a 22-yard field goal to set a franchise record for most field goals (34) in a season. David Akers had 33 in 2008.

- Rob Maaddi reporting from Philadelphia

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1:13 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans have their first defensive touchdown of the season.

And they showed just how much trouble the Houston Texans could be in during the playoffs.

Linebacker Sean Spence sacked Tom Savage on a third down in Houston's opening drive, knocking the ball out. Defensive end DaQuan Jones recovered the ball in the end zone for the TD with 9:57 left in the first quarter for a 7-0 lead.

The Texans are the AFC South champs for a second straight season and are trying to sweep the division for the first time in franchise history. They will be hosting an AFC wild-card game.

- Teresa M. Walker reporting from Nashville, Tennessee

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12:58 p.m.

Indianapolis Colts star Robert Mathis received a hero's welcome when he was introduced for the final time at Lucas Oil Stadium.

The team played a video of his highlights and thanking Mathis for his contributions over the years. Even one of the bagpipers carried a sign that read ''Thank You Robert Mathis (hash)98.''

Mathis seemed to enjoy it, walking slowly before breaking into a jog and pointing up in the air as he took the field. The 14-year veteran announced Friday that he was retiring after Sunday's game.

- Mike Marot reporting from Indianapolis

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Noon

As the final day of the NFL regular season begins, the playoff picture is almost set with just three (four officially) NFC teams fighting for two spots. The AFC teams are set, but are playing for seeding.

If the Redskins beat the Giants in a 4:25 p.m. game, the Packers-Lions loser tonight is eliminated. If New York prevails, both the Packers and Lions are in.

Oakland, with backup quarterback Matt McGloin, has a chance to pass New England for the No. 1 seed in the AFC, or could fall behind Kansas City in the AFC West with a loss to Denver and a Chiefs win at San Diego.

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

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