FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) – The San Francisco 49ers have clinched a playoff berth. They withstood New England’s stunning comeback from a 28-point deficit to beat the Patriots 41-34 in the rain in Foxborough. Michael Crabtree took a short pass from Colin Kaepernick (KA’-pur-nihk) and sped around cornerback Kyle Arrington for the go-ahead 38-yard touchdown with 6:25 to go, then David Akers made a 28-yard field goal to clinch it.
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) – Dallas has a share of the NFC East lead. Brandon Carr intercepted a pass from Ben Roethlisberger (RAWTH’-lihs-bur-gur) to set up Dan Bailey’s 21-yard field goal in overtime, and the Cowboys beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-24. Dallas, Washington and the Giants are tied with 8-6 records.
NEW YORK (AP) – The Toronto Blue Jays are trying to finalize a trade for New York Mets ace R.A. Dickey, with the deal hinging on whether the NL Cy Young winner could work out a new contract. Toronto would ship prized catching prospect Travis d’Arnaud (dar-NOH’) to the Mets. There’s speculation the Blue Jays would also get catcher Josh Thole (TOHL’-ee) while sending catcher John Buck and a minor league pitcher to New York.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – The Hornets’ losing streak is now at six. Rookie Damian Lillard hit a 3-pointer with 0.3 seconds left and the Portland Trail Blazers held on for a 95-94 victory over visiting New Orleans.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) – Brandon Paul scored 17 points, Tracy Adams added 13 and No. 10 Illinois pulled away late to remain unbeaten with a 66-53 victory over Eastern Kentucky. It was a special win for John Groce, who became only the second coach in Illinois history to win his first 12 games.