Sunday, Jan. 10
Baltimore at Tennessee, 1:05 p.m., ESPN and ABC. The road team has won each of the previous four playoff meetings between the franchises. The Ravens (11-5) are making their third straight playoff trip and ninth in 13 years under coach John Harbaugh. Lamar Jackson threw 11 touchdown passes and ran for four scores during Baltimore’s five-game winning streak to end the regular season. The Titans (11-5) are making their third playoff appearance in four seasons and second straight under third-year coach Mike Vrabel. Derrick Henry had 2,027 yards rushing to become the eighth player in NFL history to reach 2,000. He also led the NFL with 17 TD runs.
Chicago at New Orleans, 4:40 p.m. CBS and Nickelodeon. The Bears (8-8) recovered from a six-game losing streak earlier in the season to reach the playoffs for the second time in three years. Chicago went 1-6 against teams that had winning records in the regular season, the lone victory coming against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers at Soldier Field on Oct. 8. Drew Brees and the Saints (12-4) enter the playoffs with two of their top offensive stars back as running back Alvin Kamara was activated from the reserve/COVID-19 list and wide receiver Michael Thomas from injured reserve. Brees missed half of one game and all of four others with rib and lung injuries, but has played three games since returning to the active roster.
Cleveland at Pittsburgh, 8:15 p.m. NBC. The teams split their two regular-season meetings this season, each winning at home. The Browns (11-5) are making their first playoff appearance since the 2002 season. But they’ll be without first-year coach Kevin Stefanski, who’ll miss the game after testing positive for COVID-19. Special teams coordinator Mike Priefer will handle sideline duties. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is 13-8 in the playoffs, but just 5-6 since Pittsburgh’s last Super Bowl title in 2008. He’s the only player on the roster with a Super Bowl ring and is one of just nine Steelers who have a playoff win in Pittsburgh on their resume.
— 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.
— 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.
— Cam Akers, Rams, ran for 131 yards and a touchdown on 28 carries in Los Angeles’ 30-20 win at Seattle.
— Stefon Diggs, Bills, caught six passes for 128 yards and a touchdown in Buffalo’s 27-24 win over Indianapolis.
— DK Metcalf, Seahawks, had two touchdown catches in a losing cause as Seattle fell to the Los Angeles Rams 30-20.
— 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.
— Darious Williams, Rams, returned an interception 42 yards for a touchdown in Los Angeles’ 30-20 win at Seattle.
— Micah Hyde, Bills, batted down Philip Rivers’ desperation pass to seal Buffalo’s 27-24 win over Indianapolis.
With his 5-yard TD run and two TD passes in Buffalo’s 27-24 win over Indianapolis, 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.
STREAKS & STATS
Buffalo snapped an 0-6 postseason skid by winning its first playoff game since 1995 by defeating Indianapolis 27-24. 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. 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.
The Los Angeles Rams’ top-ranked defense carried its dominance into the playoffs with a 30-20 victory at Seattle. 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.
OLD MAN RIVERS
Indianapolis quarterback 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. The 39-year-old Rivers tossed two scoring passes in the Colts’ 27-24 loss at Buffalo. Blanda also had two TD throws with the Raiders against the Baltimore Colts in the 1970 AFC championship at 43 years old.
Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald left in the third quarter of Los Angeles’ 30-20 win at Seattle 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.
“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 for the franchise’s first playoff win in 25 years.
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