American Football: Vikings and Lions celebrate

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The Minnesota Vikings survived a tough battle against the revitalised Indianapolis Colts on Sunday and Detroit beat the New York Jets to decide the four remaining places in the NFL play-offs.

Minnesota, Detroit, Miami and New England each made post-season reservations with an eye on the Super Bowl next month - but the Jets and Washington were each eliminated.

The Vikings, who endured an agonising last five weeks - all defeats after a brilliant start to the season - were without their injured first-choice quarterback Brad Johnson, but his understudy Randall Cunningham responded with four touchdown passes in a 39-28 victory.

At the Silverdome, a bad injury to the Detroit linebacker, Reggie Brown, cut short the celebrations as the Lions ended the Jets' season with a 13-10 win.

Brown was knocked unconscious with the score at 13-10 and was taken to hospital. When play resumed after 20 minutes, Detroit held on to the lead.

The Lions' win also knocked Washington out of play-off contention. The Redskins had beaten Philadelphia 35-32 earlier in the day, but they needed a loss by either the Lions or the Vikings to go through. Miami and New England, who were playing last night in Florida for the AFC East title, both advance to the play-offs following the Jets' defeat.

Lindy Infante was fired as the coach of the Indianapolis Colts yesterday.