Like what Lamar Jackson achieved on Sunday.
After two postseason flops, Jackson was his usual dynamic and decisive to lead the Ravens to a 20-13 wild card victory over Tennessee. He’s by no means the only reason Baltimore is advancing – the defense shut down 2,000-yard runner Derrick Henry like no other team has come close. But he’s been a positive contributor, unlike losses to the Chargers and Titans in his other playoff appearances.
Jackson ran for 136 yards and a 48-yard touchdown while throwing for 179 more, rallying the Ravens from a 10-0 hole. The Ravens (12-5) suffered 21 straight losses in the regular season or playoffs as they trailed by 10 points or more.
Despite being sacked five times and throwing an interception, Jackson had the sixth game for 100 rushing yards by a postseason quarterback and joined Colin Kaepernick with two.
“We stayed focused. We were not moved. Our coaches were not shaken. We had to put dots on the board, ”Jackson said. I throw an interception, a stupid interception. We just kept fighting. ”
Especially defense: Henry had his worst performance this season with 18 carries for 40 yards and the Titans (11-6) were limited to their lowest points of the season.
“Our defense was tired of hearing the noise,” Jackson said. “And they did what they were supposed to do. ”
Later Sunday, New Orleans (12-4) hosted Chicago (8-8), followed by Cleveland (11-5) to Pittsburgh (12-4).
Buccaneers 31, Washington 23
In his first postseason game wearing a non-New England uniform, Tom Brady showed why he was so responsible for the two-decade Patriots dynasty. While leading his new team, the Buccaneers (12-5), to their first playoff victory since Tampa Bay won the 2002 championship, Brady extended his record for playoff wins to 31. He pitched for 381 yards and two touchdowns in his 42nd post-season start.
“You could win 100-0 and it will be the same result in the end,” Brady said. “You would like to play every game; I think it’s good to win and move on. If we don’t play well. next week we will not be happy. Happy to have won, happy to have another week of work. ”
Bills 27, Colts 24
In Buffalo, there was actually a playoff game played, for the first time in 15 years. And won by the Bills, the AFC East champions for the first time since 1995. Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes and scored another on the ground, and the Bills (14-3) reversed a desperate pass from Philip Rivers to end the match.
The Bills have won seven in a row.
“We understand that whatever happens in the game, we feel like we have a chance,” Allen said. “It’s just based on how we play, how we trust each other, how we care about each other, how we train. Just the foundation. … It’s a family atmosphere here and we want to do everything in our power to not let ourselves down.
Rams 30, Seahawks 20
In Seattle, a strong defensive performance from the league’s top-ranked unit propelled Los Angeles (11-6) into the divisional round. The Rams, even with unanimous All-Pro DT Aaron Donald sitting for much of the second half with a rib injury, rocked Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, sacking him five times and getting a 6 pick from Darious Williams. LA also ended the hasty attack on Seattle.
“We expected to do it,” said Rams coach Sean McVay. “No one acted as a surprise. ”
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