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Sooners in the NFL: Week 17
January 02, 2014

Johnson and Eagles Head to Playoffs

The NFC East title, and automatic berth into the playoffs, was on the line Sunday night and the postseason fate of three former Sooners was at stake as Philadelphia visited Dallas.

Lane Johnson started at right tackle for the Eagles, who downed the Cowboys, featuring running back DeMarco Murray and tight end James Hanna, 24-22. The win gave the Eagles the No. 3 seed in the playoffs.

Johnson helped pave the way for running back LeSean McCoy, who rushed for 131 yards, including 20 on this run in the first quarter that featured a pulling block from the first-round pick out of OU. Johnson then blew up his man on this 16-yard run in the second quarter.

On the losing side, Murray rushed for 51 yards on 17 carries and caught five passes for 39 yards but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Eagles.

Saints Capture Playoff spot

Like Johnson and the Eagles, the New Orleans Saints also needed a win on Sunday to reach the postseason. Fortunately for former Sooners Curtis Lofton and Kenny Stills, they were able to reach their goals after a 42-17 romp of Tampa Bay. The Saints claimed the No. 6 seed.

Stills caught just one pass in the game, but it was a big one. With New Orleans on top 21-14 in the second quarter, Stills got himself wide open on a 76-yard touchdown reception. It was his fifth touchdown of the season and started a 21-3 run which put the game out of reach. Stills finished the regular season with an NFL-best average of 20.0 yards per catch.

Lofton did his part by recording six tackles and breaking up three passes, including a breakup on a fourth-and-eight pass by Tampa Bay in the fourth quarter.

For the Buccaneers, Gerald McCoy had two tackles, including an assist on a sack, and broke up a pass, while Davin Joseph started at right guard.

Playoff Schedule

Saturday, Jan. 4

No. 5 Kansas City (Donald Stephenson) at No. 4 Indianapolis, 3:35 p.m. CT, NBC

No. 6 New Orleans (Curtis Lofton, Kenny Stills) at No. 3 Philadelphia (Lane Johnson), 7:10 p.m. CT, NBC

Sunday, Jan. 5

No. 6 San Diego at No. 3 Cincinnati (Jermaine Gresham), 12:05 p.m. CT, CBS

No. 5 San Francisco at No. 4 Green Bay, 3:40 p.m. FOX

Byes

NFC: No. 1 Seattle, No. 2 Carolina (Frank Alexander)

AFC: No. 1 Denver, No. 2 New England

Notables

Defensive end Frank Alexander matched a career high with three tackles, including his first sack of the season, as Carolina defeated Atlanta, 21-20, to clinch the NFC South title … as they had all season, Chris Chester started at right guard and Trent Williams at left tackle for Washington, and Williams showed off his blocking on this 19-yard run, but they fell at the New York Giants, 20-6 … rookie defensive tackle Stacy McGee tallied three tackles, including a tackle for loss, but Oakland was defeated by Denver, 34-14 … Phil Loadholt started at right tackle as Minnesota ended the season with a 14-13 win over Detroit … Donald Stephenson was the starting left tackle in Kansas City’s 27-24, overtime loss to San Diego

This and That

The following saw playing time but did not record any stats: defensive back Dominique Franks (Atlanta), defensive back Jamell Fleming (Jacksonville) and defensive back Tony Jefferson (Arizona) … tight end Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati), quarterback Landry Jones (Pittsburgh) and running back Adrian Peterson (Minnesota) were made inactive … linebacker Travis Lewis (Detroit) did not play

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