Asante Samuel also made a crucial interception as his Philadelphia Eagles improved to 11-4 and remain in the driver’s seat for the NFC East title. Samuel snared a Kyle Orton pass at the Eagles’ eight yard line late in the third quarter of a 30-27 win. It was Samuel’s ninth interception of the season, one shy of his career high of 10 set in 2006 during a Pro Bowl season with New England.
With nine interceptions, Samuel is tied for the NFL lead with Darren Sharper of New Orleans and Jarius Byrd of Buffalo. Samuel’s five tackles tied for second for the Eagles on Sunday.
Across the field from Samuel, Brandon Marshall made eight catches for the Broncos, pushing him past the 100-reception plateau for the season. He became just the fifth player in NFL history to have three consecutive 100-reception seasons, joining Jerry Rice, Marvin Harrison, Herman Moore and Wes Welker. UCF’s Matt Prater connected on all five of his kicks for Denver. He was 2-for-2 on field goals, connecting for 33 and 46 yards out, while splitting the uprights on all three of his extra point tries.
Another Knight who was able to help his team secure a playoff spot was Rashad Jeanty who made a tackle in Cincinnati’s AFC North Division clinching 17-10 win over Kansas City.
With a pair of receptions against New England, Jacksonville wide receiver Mike Sims-Walker went over the 60-catch plateau in what has been a break-out season for the third-year NFL veteran. Sims-Walker now has 61 receptions for 841 yards and seven touchdowns on the season.
Daunte Culpepper got some good playing time off of the bench for Detroit at San Francisco, completing 7-of-12 passes for 51 yards while also rushing twice for 16 yards. Culpepper led the Lions on an 11-play drive for one of the team’s two field goals on the day.
Michael Gaines, starting at tight end, had a season-long 24-yard reception as the Cleveland Browns rolled past the Oakland Raiders, which featured stalwart Cornell Green at right tackle. Joe Burnett shared a special teams tackle as the Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the jam-packed AFC wild card hunt at 8-7.
Photo credit: NFL