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h0746 BC-FBC-GrandValleySt-NW 1stLd-Writethru 12-09 0516

Packers clinch NFC North

GREEN BAY, Wis. — The Green Bay Packers didn’t need Brett Favre to throw the ball all over the field to clinch the NFC North on Sunday, relying on the running of Ryan Grant and a pair of special teams touchdowns from Will Blackmon in a 38-7 victory over the Oakland Raiders.

The Packers (11-2) assured an end to their two-year absence from the postseason with three games left to play.

Blackmon, a backup cornerback who has missed most of the season because of a broken foot, returned a punt 57 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and recovered a muffed punt by Raiders returner Tim Dwight in the end zone late in the third quarter.

Grant rushed for a career-high 156 yards and a touchdown.

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Vick sentenced to 23 months

RICHMOND, Va. — Michael Vick was sentenced to 23 months in prison Monday for his role in a dogfighting conspiracy that involved gambling and killing pit bulls.

The suspended Atlanta Falcons quarterback could have been sentenced up to five years by District Judge Henry E. Hudson. Vick was dressed in a black-and-white striped prison suit and apologized to the court and his family.

Vick pleaded guilty in August, admitting he bankrolled the "Bad Newz Kennels" dogfighting operation and helped kill six to eight dogs.

In a plea agreement, he admitted bankrolling the dogfighting ring on his 15-acre property in rural southeastern Virginia and helping kill pit bulls that did not perform well.

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