Saturday, Jan. 16
Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay, 4:35 p.m. ET, Fox. The Rams (11-6) stunned the Seahawks in Seattle in the wild-card round, with Jared Goff stepping in for injured starter John Wolford less than two weeks after having three pins surgically inserted into his broken right thumb. Goff's health will be closely monitored throughout the week, leading into the showdown with Aaron Rodgers and the NFC's top-seeded Packers (13-3). Green Bay coach Matt LaFleur, whose team had a first-round bye, was Rams coach Sean McVay's offensive coordinator during the 2017 season.
Baltimore at Buffalo, 8:15 p.m. ET, NBC. Lamar Jackson and the Ravens (12-5) rallied from 10 points down and beat Tennessee in their AFC wild-card game Sunday. It was Jackson's first playoff victory and he did it with his legs — 136 yards rushing, including a 48-yard touchdown — and his arm — 179 more yards. Josh Allen and the Bills (14-3) delivered Buffalo its first playoff victory since December 1995 by defeating Indianapolis. They'll go into the divisional round on a seven-game winning streak. The Bills will take on Baltimore.
— Josh Allen, Bills, was 26 of 35 for 324 yards and two touchdowns and also ran for a score while leading Buffalo to its first playoff victory in 25 years, 27-24 over Indianapolis on Saturday.
— Baker Mayfield, Browns, threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns to lead Cleveland past Pittsburgh 48-37 on Sunday night for its first postseason triumph of any kind since beating New England on New Year’s Day 1995.
— Tom Brady, Buccaneers, threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns to lead Tampa Bay past Washington 31-23 in their NFC wild-card game Saturday night for the franchise's first playoff victory since 2002.
— Drew Brees, Saints, completed 28 of 39 passes for 265 yards and two touchdowns to lead New Orleans past Chicago 21-9 on Sunday.
— Jared Goff, Rams, stepped in for injured starter John Wolford less than two weeks since he had three pins surgically inserted into his broken right thumb and went 9 of 19 for 155 yards and a touchdown in Los Angeles' 30-20 victory at Seattle on Saturday.
— Lamar Jackson, Ravens, ran for 136 yards and a 48-yard touchdown while throwing for 179 more as Baltimore rallied from 10 points down and beat Tennessee 20-13 on Sunday.
— Cam Akers, Rams, ran for 131 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries in Los Angeles' 30-20 win at Seattle on Saturday.
— Alvin Kamara, Saints, rushed for 99 yards and a TD in New Orleans' 21-9 win over Chicago on Sunday after not practicing all week because of COVID-19 protocols.
— Kareem Hunt and Nick Chubb, Browns. Hunt had two touchdown runs and Chubb ran for 76 yards on 18 carries, adding a TD catch, in Cleveland's 48-37 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday night.
— Leonard Fournette, Buccaneers, had 93 yards and a score on 19 carries to help Tampa Bay top Washington 31-23 on Saturday night.
— Stefon Diggs, Bills, caught six passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in Buffalo's 27-24 win over Indianapolis on Saturday.
— DK Metcalf, Seahawks, had two touchdown catches in a losing cause as Seattle fell to the Los Angeles Rams 30-20 on Saturday.
— Jarvis Landry, Browns, had 92 yards receiving and a touchdown on five receptions in Cleveland's 48-37 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday night.
— Tyler Bass, Bills, accounted for the decisive points as the rookie kicker hit a 54-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 27-16 with 8:08 remaining en route to a 27-24 win Saturday.
— Ryan Succop, Buccaneers, kicked four field goals in Tampa Bay's 31-23 victory over Washington on Saturday night.
— Darious Williams, Rams, returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown in Los Angeles' 30-20 win at Seattle on Saturday.
— Micah Hyde, Bills, batted down Philip Rivers’ desperation pass to seal Buffalo's 27-24 win over Indianapolis on Saturday.
— Marcus Peters, Ravens, intercepted Ryan Tannehill’s pass intended for Kalif Raymond with 1:50 left to help seal Baltimore's 20-13 victory at Tennessee.
— Karl Joseph, Browns, recovered a botched snap in the end zone for a touchdown on Pittsburgh's first offensive play and Cleveland went on to a 48-37 win Sunday night.
At 43 years and 159 days, Tampa Bay's Tom Brady passed George Blanda as the oldest player to throw a TD pass in a playoff game. Brady had three touchdown tosses in the Buccaneers' 31-23 win over Washington on Saturday night. ... With his 5-yard TD run and two TD passes in Buffalo's 27-24 win over Indianapolis on Saturday, Josh Allen became the fifth player since at least 1940 to score a touchdown rushing, passing and receiving in his playoff career. Allen scored on a 16-yard catch from John Brown in a 22-19 OT loss at Houston a year ago. Allen joined Nick Foles, Kordell Stewart, Freeman McNeil and Julian Edelman to accomplish the feat. ... Baltimore coach John Harbaugh has eight road playoff victories, surpassing the career mark of Hall of Famer Tom Landry and Tom Coughlin. ... New Orleans' Drew Brees became the sixth player in NFL history with 35 or more TD passes in the playoffs, joining Brady (75), Joe Montana (45), Brett Favre (44), Peyton Manning (40) and Aaron Rodgers (40). ... Cleveland raced to a 28-0 lead against Pittsburgh, the biggest first half by a road team in NFL playoff history, before hanging on Sunday night for a 48-37 victory.
STREAKS & STATS
Cleveland's 48-37 win at Pittsburgh on Sunday night was its first postseason triumph of any kind since beating New England on New Year’s Day 1995 — three months before quarterback Baker Mayfield was born — and the Browns' first playoff win on the road since Dec. 28, 1969. ... Cleveland also ended a 17-game skid at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field. ... The Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger ended his comeback season by throwing for 501 yards on an NFL-record 47 completions with four touchdowns, but also had four interceptions. ... Buffalo snapped an 0-6 postseason skid by winning its first playoff game since 1995 by defeating Indianapolis 27-24 on Saturday. The Bills' last playoff victory came against Miami on Dec. 30, 1995. This one came in the Bills’ first home playoff game in 24 years. ... Buffalo has won seven straight games. ... The Los Angeles Rams ended Seattle’s 10-game home winning streak in the playoffs with a 30-20 victory Saturday. The Seahawks' last home playoff loss came in January 2005 to the St. Louis Rams. ... Los Angeles' Cam Akers ran for 131 yards against Seattle, the best rushing day by a Rams running back since Marshall Faulk went for 159 against Philadelphia in January 2002. Akers' 176 yards from scrimmage were the second most by a rookie in a playoff game in the Super Bowl era, surpassed only by Timmy Smith's 213 for Washington in the 1988 Super Bowl. ... Baltimore's Justin Tucker missed a 52-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of the Ravens' 20-13 win at Tennessee on Sunday, only the second playoff miss of his career in 14 tries. He had converted his previous 48 consecutive field goal attempts in the fourth quarter or overtime in the regular season and playoffs. ... The Ravens snapped a string of 21 straight games lost by the franchise in either the regular season or playoffs when trailing by 10 or more. ... With Baltimore's win over Tennessee, the road team has won each of the five playoff meetings between the franchises.
STILL SLINGIN' IT
Tampa Bay's Tom Brady and New Orleans' Drew Brees will square off next Sunday in the NFC divisional round, a matchup of the NFL's top two career leaders in both touchdown passes and yards passing — the first such playoff game since at least 1950, according to NFL Research. It's the second postseason game in that span to feature the top two leaders in yards passing, joining the 1998 AFC divisional round when Denver and John Elway (No. 2) beat Miami and Dan Marino (No. 1) 38-3. This is the third meeting this season between the NFC South rivals and their over-40 star QBs, with the Saints having won each regular-season matchup by double digits.
Cleveland earned its first playoff victory since New Year's Day by beating Pittsburgh 48-37 on Sunday night. The Browns did it despite practicing just once over the last two weeks and having lost 17 straight at Heinz Field. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer filled in for coach Kevin Stefanski, who was away from the team after testing positive for COVID-19, and with offensive coordinator Alex Van Pelt taking over the play-calling duties. Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and top cornerback Denzel Ward were also back in Cleveland after they had positive tests.
The Los Angeles Rams' top-ranked defense carried its dominance into the playoffs with a 30-20 victory at Seattle on Saturday. Russell Wilson and the Seahawks were held to just 278 yards and 11 first downs against a unit missing injured unanimous All-Pro tackle Aaron Donald for much of the second half. Donald and Leonard Floyd each had two of the Rams' five sacks of Wilson.
OLDIES BUT GOODIES
Tampa Bay's Tom Brady and Indianapolis' Philip Rivers joined Pro Football Hall of Famer George Blanda as the only players 39 or older to throw at least two TD passes in a road playoff game since 1950. At 43 years, 159 days, Brady also passed Blanda as the oldest player to throw a TD pass in a playoff game. Brady had two touchdown tosses in the Buccaneers’ 31-23 win over Washington on Saturday night. The 39-year-old Rivers tossed two scoring passes in the Colts' 27-24 loss at Buffalo earlier Saturday. Blanda also had two TD throws with the Raiders against the Baltimore Colts in the 1970 AFC championship at 43 years old.
With Alex Smith out because of a strained right calf, Taylor Heinicke started for Washington and threw for 306 yards and a score, and added 46 yards rushing and a TD in a 31-23 loss to Tampa Bay on Saturday night. Heinicke had only appeared in eight games and started one in the NFL before Saturday and was taking online math classes at Old Dominion when coach Ron Rivera called him to be Washington’s “quarantine quarterback.” He set Washington's single-game franchise rushing record for quarterbacks and raised the question of whether he should be considered the team's QB of the future.
After Tennessee's Derrick Henry ran all over Baltimore with 328 yards rushing combined in the teams' past two meetings, the Ravens were able to shut down the All-Pro running back with an impressive performance in a 20-13 win Sunday. With both Calais Campbell and Brandon Williams back on the Baltimore D-line, Henry had his worst performance this season with 18 carries for 40 yards.
Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald left in the third quarter of Los Angeles' 30-20 win at Seattle on Saturday with a rib injury. ... Los Angeles wide receiver Cooper Kupp limped off grabbing at his right knee in the closing minutes. ... Rams starting QB John Wolford was 3 of 6 passing for 29 yards and had one run for 2 yards before injuring his neck. ... Tampa Bay right guard Alex Cappa left late in the second quarter of the Buccaneers' 31-23 win over Washington on Saturday night with an ankle injury and did not return. ... Titans wide receiver Corey Davis was seen on the sideline during Tennessee's 20-13 loss to Baltimore without a helmet, but there was no report on his condition. Coach Mike Vrabel said only Davis wasn’t able to go.
— “We finished finally. We finally finished.” — Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson, who got his first postseason victory by leading Baltimore past Tennessee 20-13 on Sunday.
— “We come up here, and all week we were told how good they are and how we snuck into the playoffs. Two weeks ago you saw them smoking cigars and getting all excited about beating us, and winning the division, and we were able to come up here and beat them.” — Rams quarterback Jared Goff after Los Angeles defeated the Seahawks in Seattle 30-20 on Saturday.
— “I haven’t had time to celebrate and take it in, but this is awesome for the Bills organization, the city, to be able to play a home game and get a victory. Since 2017, we’ve been working at this, but a day like today, to come out on top, we worked so hard.” — Bills safety Jordan Poyer after Buffalo beat Indianapolis 27-24 on Saturday for the franchise's first playoff win in 25 years.
— “We believed. People on the outside don’t matter to us. It’s on the inside and we believed the whole time, and that’s all that matters.” — Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield after Cleveland beat Pittsburgh 48-37 on Sunday night for its first postseason victory since New Year's Day 1995.
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