Texans lose to 49ers; get No. 1 pick
SAN FRANCISCO — When Joe Nedney booted an overtime field goal through a drizzle as miserable as these teams' records, everybody won something in the San Francisco 49ers' season finale against the Houston Texans.
The 49ers (4-12) salvaged some pride with consecutive victories — and the Texans definitely won by losing soon-to-be-fired coach Dom Capers' final game, wrapping up the No. 1 draft pick and the chance to dream about Reggie Bush.
Mike Adams lateraled his second interception to Ben Emanuel for a 35-yard return in OT, and Nedney set off an unlikely celebration with a 33-yard field goal with 3:52 left to end the 49ers' 20-17 victory yesterday.
"You heard the talk all week: 'Play well, but don't win,' " said Texans quarterback David Carr, sidelined in the first half with a right elbow injury. "All that stuff was a little distracting at times."
San Francisco rookie Alex Smith finished 16 of 29 for 159 yards and a touchdown.
Houston finished at 2-14.
COLTS 17, CARDINALS 13
INDIANAPOLIS — Tony Dungy grabbed the game ball in his right hand, raised it and pumped it toward the crowd in relief. It was a rare emotional outburst for the usually stoic Colts coach.
The Colts' defense had a late goal-line stand after Jim Sorgi threw two touchdown passes to give Dungy a victory three days after he returned to the team following his oldest son's funeral in Tampa, Fla. James Dungy was found dead of an apparent suicide Dec. 22.
"I know those guys wanted to win the game for me and wanted to do it for a lot of reasons," Dungy said.
Indianapolis improved to 14-2 and Arizona fell to 5-11.
STEELERS 35, LIONS 21
PITTSBURGH — Jerome Bettis, playing what is likely his final game in Pittsburgh, matched his career high with three touchdown runs, none longer than 5 yards, as the Steelers secured their 10th playoff appearance in 14 seasons under coach Bill Cowher.
Bettis, the fifth-leading rusher in NFL history, ran for just 41 yards as Willie Parker got most of the carries and gained 135. But Bettis scored on runs of 1, 5 and 4 yards to help Pittsburgh (11-5) beat Detroit (5-11).
Bettis, 33, hasn't played in a Super Bowl.
"I told the guys, 'We've got to get there — I'm running out of time,' " Bettis said.