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Sanchez's focus is on role, not status

Playoff glance

NFC

Team/Div. Rec. Div. Cnf.

y Falcons-S12-2 3-2 8-2

z 49ers-W 10-3-1 2-1-1 6-3-1

y Packers-N 10-4 5-0 8-3

Redskins-E 8-6 3-1 6-4

Wild card

Seahawks 9-5 1-3 6-4

Vikings 8-6 3-2 6-5

In the hunt

Bears 8-6 2-3 5-5

Cowboys 8-6 3-2 5-5

Giants 8-6 2-3 7-4

Remaining schedules

Falcons: at Lions, vs. Bucs

49ers: at Seahawks, vs. Cardinals

Packers: vs. Titans, at Vikings

Redskins: at Eagles, vs. Cowboys

Seahawks: vs. 49ers, vs. Rams

Vikings: at Texans, vs. Packers

Bears: at Cardinals, at Lions

Cowboys: vs. Saints, at Redskins

Giants: at Ravens, vs. Eagles

AFC

Team/Div. Rec. Div. Cnf.

y Texans-S 12-2 5-0 10-1

y Broncos-W 11-3 5-0 8-2

y Patriots-E 10-4 5-0 9-1

z Ravens-N 9-5 4-1 8-3

Wild card

Colts 9-5 3-2 6-4

Bengals 8-6 1-3 5-5

In the hunt

Steelers 7-7 2-2 4-6

Remaining schedules

Texans: vs. Vikings, at Colts

Broncos: vs. Browns, vs. Chiefs

Patriots: at Jaguars, vs. Dolphins

Ravens: vs. Giants, at Bengals

Colts: at Chiefs, vs. Texans

Bengals: at Steelers, vs. Ravens

Steelers: vs. Bengals, vs. Browns

y—clinched division z—clinched playoff

Clinching scenarios

Falcons

• First-round bye: win OR Packers loss OR 49ers loss

• Top seed: win OR losses by the Packers and 49ers

49ers

• NFC West: win

• First-round bye: win AND Packers loss

Redskins

Playoff berth: win AND losses by the Giants, Bears and Vikings

Seahawks

Playoff berth: win OR losses by the Bears, Vikings and Redskins

Giants

Playoff berth: win AND losses by the Bears, Vikings, Cowboys and Redskins

Texans

• First-round bye: win OR Patriots loss or Broncos loss

• Top seed: win OR losses by the Patriots AND Broncos

Broncos

First-round bye: win AND Patriots loss

Ravens

AFC North: win

Colts

Playoff berth: win OR clinch strength of victory tiebreaker over Bengals OR Steelers loss

Bengals

Playoff berth: win

FLORHAM PARK, N.J. — In the span of five days, Mark Sanchez has gone from starter to benchwarmer to, possibly, offseason trade material. But the beleaguered Jets quarterback said he isn't focused on the trade rumors.

"I haven't really thought about it," he said Friday about the team's reported interest in exploring "all options" regarding his 2013 status. "I'm focused on this game and the game next week and then we'll assess all that stuff at a later date."

For the time being, he said his sole responsibility is helping third-stringer Greg McElroy prepare for his first NFL start.

After Sanchez's five-turnover performance in a loss to the Titans, coach Rex Ryan tabbed McElroy as the starter ahead of Sanchez and former Gator Tim Tebow. "I'm just getting ready and helping Greg as much as I can," Sanchez said.

Meanwhile offensive coordinator Tony Sparano praised Tebow's efforts and defended their use of the wildcat, saying he "wouldn't use the words 'didn't work' at all."

"We had a plan going into this thing," he said. "Just predicated on what we saw out there. Tim has worked really hard out here, he's done a good job."

Bills to renovate stadium: The Bills reached an agreement with Erie County and the state on a lease deal for the Ralph Wilson Stadium that will keep the franchise in western New York until at least 2020, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and team officials said. The agreement includes $130 million in renovations, with the Bills providing $35 million and the state and county covering $95 million.

RG3 probable: Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III (sprained right knee) was listed as probable against the Eagles, or, as coach Mike Shanahan put it: "There is a very, very good chance he is going to play."

Fines: Falcons safety Chris Hope was fined $30,000 for his helmet-to-helmet hit on Giants receiver Victor Cruz. Hope was penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play. Other fines levied by the NFL included 49ers safety Dashon Goldson ($21,000, illegal hit), Titans defensive end Antonio Smith and Jets defensive end Quinton Coples ($15,750 each, helmet-to-helmet hits), and Ravens receiver Anquan Boldin and Ravens cornerback Cary Williams ($15,750 each, unnecessary roughness).

Steeler changes aim: Linebacker James Harrison said he has changed his approach to tackling because of the NFL's new standards on player safety. "I've really lowered my target area to where it's down around the knees," he said on ESPN Radio.

Bears: Linebacker Brian Urlacher (hamstring) will miss his third straight game.

Colts: Interim coach Bruce Arians is cautiously optimistic that coach Chuck Pagano, cleared to return by doctors after chemotherapy to battle leukemia, will be running the team Monday.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Sanchez's focus is on role, not status 12/21/12 [Last modified: Friday, December 21, 2012 9:47pm]
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