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COLTS DUMP INFANTE; BUCS' HOME GAME A DUNN DEAL

INDIANAPOLIS -- Lindy Infante was fired as coach of the Indianapolis Colts today, a day after the team finished 3-13 for the worst record in the NFL.

Director of football operations Bill Tobin also was dismissed following a season in which the Colts lost their first 10 games.

"This is a bottom-line business," Infante said. "There is such a fine line between winning and losing. The chair the head coach sits in is usually the place people look. I'm just happy with the opportunity. It didn't work out."

The Colts were on their way to a winless season before beating Super Bowl champion Green Bay. They also defeated the New York Jets and pounded Miami, 41-0, the Dolphins' first shutout loss in 10 years. But it wasn't enough to save Infante's job.

The final loss came Sunday to the Minnesota Vikings, who broke a five-game losing streak with a season-high point total, 38-29, and grabbed a playoff berth.

The victory at Minneapolis was built on Randall Cunningham's four TD passes, three of them to Cris Carter.

Cunningham threw three interceptions, but his teammates forced five turnovers from backup quarterback Kelly Holcomb, who played parts of the second and fourth quarters when Jim Harbaugh was hurt. Two of his three interceptions and one of his two fumbles came in the second quarter as the Vikings turned a 10-10 tie into a 29-10 lead.

Bucs 31, Bears 15

TAMPA, Fla. -- Karl Williams zigzagged through the Chicago Bears, every change of direction seemingly a reflection of the way this season has gone for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Every time it looked like someone might have a shot at bringing him down, he found a way to keep on running.

"We've played our best under adverse situations," quarterback Trent Dilfer said Sunday after a victory over Chicago. "We needed this, not only to win, but to win the way we won."

A week after their worst loss of the season, 31-0, to the New York Jets, the Bucs tuned up for their first postseason appearance in 15 years with a dominating performance against the punchless Bears.

Williams scored one of his two touchdowns on a 61-yard punt return and Warrick Dunn topped 100 yards rushing for the fifth time as Tampa Bay (10-6) ended a two-game losing streak and equaled the winningest season in franchise history.

Dunn ripped off the longest run in Tampa Bay history -- 76 yards -- and finished with 119 yards on 16 carries.

Redskins 35, Eagles 32

LANDOVER, Md. -- A handful of Washington Redskins gathered around a television in a stadium luxury box and watched helplessly as their season came to an end. The Redskins beat Philadelphia but didn't get the help they needed to make their first postseason appearance in five years.

Minnesota beat Indianapolis in an early game, and the players and coach Norv Turner watched the Detroit Lions defeat the New York Jets, 13-10, to clinch the NFC's final berth.

"We got ourselves in this situation, and hopefully we'll find a way to be in Week 16 next year and not have to rely on anybody," Turner said.

Cornerbacks Darryl Pounds and Darrell Green scored early touchdowns to give the Redskins (8-7-1) a 14-0 lead against the Eagles (6-9-1), and Cris Dishman forced a first-half fumble with his first career sack.

Oilers 16, Steelers 6

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- With many of the season-high total of 50,677 home fans cheering for Pittsburgh, the vagabond Oilers (8-8) concluded their first season in Tennessee with a victory over the Steelers (11-5).

"We didn't know we were going to play Pittsburgh on the road twice this year," said Tennessee running back Eddie George.

With quarterback Steve McNair running for 90 yards, Tennessee became only the third team to top 100 yards rushing against Pittsburgh this season, with 156 yards.

Several Steelers were injured. Pro Bowl center Dermontti Dawson left with a strained left calf in the second quarter, while guard Jim Sweeney strained his knee and tight end Mark Bruener hurt his foot. Receiver Charles Johnson twisted his knee in the fourth quarter.

Jaguars 20, Raiders 9

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Jacksonville (11-5) got what it wanted out of its final regular-season game -- a victory over Oakland (4-12) and some momentum heading into the playoffs for the second time in the Jaguars' three-year existence.

The Raiders concluded their worst season since going 1-13 in 1962, the year before Al Davis took charge of the operation. Tim Brown had a record-breaking day for Oakland with 14 catches for 164 yards. He became the Raiders' career leader in receptions with 599 and made a franchise season record 104 catches for 1,390 yards.

Broncos 38, Chargers 3

DENVER -- One week after his worst performance in 11 seasons, John Elway threw four touchdown passes as Denver (12-4) thrashed San Diego (4-12).

Denver extended its regular-season winning streak at home to 16 games as Elway completed 17 of 26 passes for 273 yards.

Elway had three TD passes in the second quarter, two to Rod Smith.

Bengals 16, Ravens 14

CINCINNATI -- Boomer Esiason carried his late-season resurgence through to the finish, going 21 of 34 for 254 yards and two scores, as Cincinnati (7-9) defeated Baltimore (6-9-1).

Esiason threw an 8-yard touchdown pass on the game's opening possession and found Darnay Scott uncovered for a 77-yarder in the closing minutes.

The Ravens finished last in the AFC Central for the second time in two seasons in Baltimore.

Chiefs 25, Saints 13

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Quarterback Elvis Grbac struggled in his first appearance since breaking his left collarbone six games ago, going 5 for 14 for 51 yards, as Kansas City (13-3) beat turnover-prone New Orleans (6-10).

Tamarick Vanover had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown for the Chiefs, who have home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.

Saints QB Billy Joe Hobert went 11 of 25 for 141 yards with a touchdown and three interceptions.

Cardinals 29, Falcons 26

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Jake Plummer's mystique didn't just survive his rookie year in the NFL. It grew by several layers.

Plummer won fame and third place in last year's Heisman Trophy vote by bringing Arizona State from behind several times to preserve an unbeaten regular season. The Arizona Cardinals drafted the local hero in the second round.

It happened again Sunday, when Plummer and the Cardinals made up a 12-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat the Atlanta Falcons 29-26. Plummer threw a 21-yard pass to Rob Moore for one touchdown and hit Larry Centers with the winner, a 1-yard throw with five seconds to play.

The 23-year-old Plummer, who had a 1-yard sneak for a TD in the second quarter, punctuated the end to a three-game losing streak by running for a 2-point conversion.

Arizona (4-12) avoided its worst season since 1959 with a victory over Atlanta (7-9), but forfeited the No. 1 draft pick in 1998 in the process.

Seahawks 38, 49ers 9

SEATTLE -- For now, the question will remain just that -- a question.

Warren Moon, who signed a two-year deal as a free agent this year, will wait at least a few more weeks to decide his future with the Seattle Seahawks.

"The last part of the year is not the best time of the year to talk about the future," Moon said after leading the Seahawks to a victory over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday. "I need to take a few weeks to evaluate."

Moon, in his 20th season of pro football and 14th in the league, completed 16 of 25 passes for 232 yards and four touchdowns against the 49ers, giving him 3,678 yards passing for the season to break Dave Krieg's record of 3,671 set in 1984.

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