And from Sam Farmer, at the Los Angeles Times, "By and bye, Adrian Peterson, others in NFL come tantalizingly close":
Two thousand steps forward.Also, "Philadelphia Eagles fire Coach Andy Reid after 14 seasons." And, "Chicago Bears fire Coach Lovie Smith; Buffalo fires Chan Gailey."
Two big steps back.
On a Sunday when Minnesota's Adrian Peterson became the seventh NFL player to run for 2,000 yards — coming within nine of breaking Eric Dickerson's season rushing record — two teams backpedaled in a big way.
The Houston Texans and Green Bay Packers lost on the road, both blowing opportunities for first-round playoff byes.
Indianapolis beat Houston, 28-16, and the Vikings edged the Packers, 37-34, to earn the final playoff spot in the NFC.
Swooping in to secure those No. 2 seedings — which come with a week off — were San Francisco in the NFC and New England in the AFC.
The top seedings are Atlanta in the NFC and Denver in the AFC.
The Vikings' victory secured a first-round rematch Saturday night with Green Bay, this time at Lambeau Field.
The playoffs open Saturday with Cincinnati at Houston. On Sunday, Indianapolis plays at Baltimore, followed by Seattle at Washington.
The Redskins clinched the NFC East on Sunday night with a 28-18 victory over Dallas in a winner-take-all game. The Redskins won the division title for the first time since 1999, and are the first team since the 1996 Jacksonville Jaguars to make the playoffs after losing six of its first nine games.
That means the first round will feature a record three rookie quarterbacks: the Colts' Andrew Luck, and — in the same game — the Redskins' Robert Griffin III and the Seahawks' Russell Wilson.