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NFL playoff picture comes together [updated]

January 1, 2012 |  9:30 pm


The New York Giants claimed the final NFL playoff spot on Sunday night with a 31-14 victory over the Dallas Cowboys to clinch the NFC East title.

Earlier in the day, the Denver Broncos won the AFC West  by default. Although they lost to Kansas City, 7-3, the Broncos won the division when San Diego beat Oakland, 38-26. Denver will play host to Pittsburgh in a first-round game at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

In the other AFC first-round game, wild-card Cincinnati, which lost to Baltimore, 24-16, will play at AFC South champion Houston at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in a rematch of a Dec. 11 game that the visiting Texans won, 20-19.

In the NFC, wild-card Detroit will play at North champion New Orleans at 5 p.m. Saturday, and the Giants game will play host at 10 a.m. Sunday to wild-card Atlanta, the East Division winner.

New England and Baltimore won the top two seedings in the AFC and will get a week off before hosting games.

Green Bay and San Francisco are the NFC’s top two seeded teams.


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-- Sam Farmer

Photo: The prayers of Tim Tebow and the Broncos were answered Sunday when they lost their third consecutive game but still qualifies for the playoffs as the AFC West champion. Credit: Jack Dempsey / Associated Press