Giants 26, Eagles 23 (OT)
After barely beating an injury-ravaged team, the Giants shouldn't book a trip to the Super Bowl just yet. In fact, given the karmic price Philadelphia seems to be paying for its appearance in the Big Game, perhaps New York's goal should be a graceful exit in the NFC championship game.
Steelers 21, Bears 9
Ben Roethlisberger shook off a thumb injury and made a number of good passes in tough, snowy conditions. Meanwhile, Kyle Orton will want to make sure both his thumbs are in working order, as a few more ineffectual performances will have him hitching a ride out of Chicago.
Colts 26, Jaguars 18
Until the Jags scored some cheap late points, this game was all Indianapolis. In fact, the most dramatic moment came when the Colts unsuccessfully attempted a fake field goal. Other than that, the story was Jacksonville's successful attempt at being a fake AFC contender.
Patriots 35, Bills 7
The Cubs can have Wrigley Field. The Patriots will take the friendly confines of the AFC East, thank you very much, albeit in a driving snowstorm at Ralph Wilson Stadium. This one got so out of hand there was even a Doug Flutie sighting, which made for a nice bonus: Flutie Flakes amid the snowflakes.
Jets 26, Raiders 10
On a day when running back Curtis Martin officially was lost for the season, the Jets paid their fallen leader the ultimate tribute: They foolishly won a game, thus leaving themselves almost no chance to replace Martin with Reggie Bush.
Titans 13, Texans 10
Now here's a team smart enough to keep its eye on the prize. What, a lengthy kick return plus a penalty with no time left puts you in position for a short, game-tying field goal? Nothing a badly missed kick can't care of. Folks, that's a shank with a plan.
Packers 16, Lions 13
I'd love to write something about this enthralling matchup, but to be honest, I switched over to ESPN2 for the World Series of Poker. Hey, what can I say? The tourney features a member of the Harrington family (Dan) who actually wins every now and then, and even though the action took place in July, it seems like the Lions and Packers also folded around that time.
Redskins 17, Cardinals 13
Both teams really seemed to be in the Christmas spirit, giving each other gifts in the form of the football seven times in the first half alone. But ultimately, to be a Cardinals fan is to have a lump of coal permanently lodged in one's stocking.
Buccaneers 20, Panthers 10
Carolina could have put a hammerlock on the NFC South, but Tampa Bay threw a wrench into those plans. And when Jake Delhomme drilled a fourth-quarter pass into the hands of Ronde Barber, sawed-off Panthers fans were left thinking, "What a tool."
Vikings 27, Rams 13
And don't look now, but Minnesota is making things interesting in the NFC North. Which, if you've followed that division, is a pretty impressive accomplishment.
Bengals 23, Browns 20
Cincinnati featured a Rudi, but the similarities to the movie "Rudy" end there. For one thing, Rudi's opponent was the feisty underdog; also, Rudi was enjoyable to watch.
Seahawks 41, 49ers 3
Rookie Alex Smith turned in a dreadful performance for San Francisco. But if anyone can wait around for something to pan out, it figures to be a bunch of 49ers, right? Speaking of whom, which occurred longer ago: the Gold Rush or the Niners' dynasty?
Broncos 12, Ravens 10
Baltimore used to be known for its ability to create turnovers, but that's been lacking this season. Yesterday, in a stirring display of leadership, Kyle "Pro" Boller stepped up to the challenge, accounting for three all on his own.
Cowboys 31, Chiefs 28
The Tyne is a river in England that flows east into the North Sea. Lawrence Tynes is a kicker for Kansas City whose field goal attempt at the end of the game flowed in a direction I can't be sure of, except it was away from the uprights, and it took the Chiefs' playoff hopes southward.
Dolphins 23, Chargers 21
How about those Dolphins? Coach Nick Saban really has them playing with a porpoise. Hey, that's no worse a line than the one that had San Diego as 14-point favorites. Okay, they could have been 114-point favorites, and that still wouldn't be true.
-- Desmond Bieler