Brady and Bucs, plus Bills and Rams win NFL wild-card games
The first tripleheader of NFL wild-card games saw Tom Brady extend his postseason record for victories to 31 with a 31-23 win for Tampa Bay at Washington on Saturday. After a quarter-century, the Bills got one of those triumphs that Brady collects — and they even figured out how to stop a Hail Mary. The previous playoff win was over Miami on Dec. 30, 1995. And it came in the Bills’ first home playoff game in 24 years, with a limited number of fans in attendance (6,700) for the first time this season. The Ravens averaged an NFL-best 191.9 yards rushing per game and their 3,071 yards rushing were third highest in NFL history.
Mahomes leads champion Chiefs to 14-2 mark in stacked AFC
While the Chiefs get another week’s rest, the six other AFC playoff teams get going this weekend. For just the second time since the 1970 league merger, every team in the AFC playoffs has at least 11 wins. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 54, 31-20 over the San Francisco 49ers on Feb. 2, 2020, at Miami. Last Lombardi: Super Bowl 43, 27-23 win over the Arizona Cardinals on Feb. 1, 2009, at Tampa, Florida. Their pass rush is nearly nonexistent with 19 sacks, the fewest by a playoff team since Denver had 19 in 1979.
Torrid Ravens get jump on Giants, roll to easy 27-13 victory
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson looks to throw a pass against the New York Giants during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)BALTIMORE – Lamar Jackson directed four scoring drives during the decisive first half, and the surging Baltimore Ravens beat the New York Giants 27-13 Sunday to gain control of their own fate in the AFC playoff chase. Baltimore's fourth straight victory, combined with Pittsburgh's win over Indianapolis, lifted the Ravens past the Colts in the AFC wild-card hunt. With a victory in Cincinnati next week, the Ravens (10-5) will earn a playoff berth for the third year in a row. The Giants (5-10) lost their third straight and were left with only a miniscule chance of making the postseason.
Jackson, Ravens run past Cowboys 34-17 to end 3-game slide
(AP Photo/Nick Wass)BALTIMORE – Back in action after a 15-day layoff, Lamar Jackson directed a relentless rushing attack that the Baltimore Ravens hope will be the first big step in a run to the playoffs. The Ravens averaged 7.9 yards per carry and prevailed despite getting only 107 yards passing from Jackson. That led to a Dallas field goal, but Jackson answered with a 37-yard touchdown run on a fourth-and-2 play. Tony Pollard took the subsequent kickoff 66 yards to set up a 13-yard touchdown pass from Dalton to Michael Gallup. An interception by Queen set up a 38-yard touchdown pass from Jackson to Miles Boykin for a 14-10 lead.
Steelers overcome rust, short-handed Ravens to move to 11-0
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Benny Snell (24) runs away from Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker L.J. So while the Steelers stayed perfect with a disjointed 19-14 win over the undermanned Ravens in the first NFL game on a Wednesday in eight years, their play was anything but. “To be bluntly honest, I’m really disappointed in our performance tonight,” he said after Pittsburgh improved to 11-0. But the Steelers were able to drain the clock behind a third-down grab by James Washington, eliminating the Ravens from repeating as AFC North champions. “The way the game went, obviously we wanted to win,” Griffin said.
Mahomes piles up big numbers at Arrowhead - on Election Day
Patrick Mahomes piled up some very big numbers at Arrowhead Stadium last week. Five days before throwing for four touchdowns and nearly 400 yards in the Kansas City Chiefs’ 33-31 victory over the Carolina Panthers, Mahomes helped turn his home stadium into a giant polling place on Election Day. Chiefs president Mark Donovan and head coach Andy Reid were among the first to vote at Arrowhead on Tuesday. “Don’t be mad at paying customers when the product stinks and they are upset about what they’re watching. Not just one half.”___Follow Arnie Melendrez Stapleton on Twitter: http://twitter.com/arniestapleton___More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL
Ravens set NFL record for 20-point games with win in Indy
(AP Photo/AJ Mast)INDIANAPOLIS – Lamar Jackson fast-tracked the Baltimore Ravens' latest record-breaking achievement. He opened the second half with an up-tempo game plan that got Indianapolis' defense out of sync. After punting on their first five possessions and watching the defense score the Ravens' only points of the first half, Jackson switched it up. “I’m glad we did," Harbaugh said when asked about going fast in the second half. Linebackers Darius Leonard and Anthony Walker also were injured in the second half.
Ravens hold on for 30-28 win over depleted Eagles
Baltimore Ravens' Gus Edwards (35) scores a touchdown as Philadelphia Eagles' Shaun Bradley (54) during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)PHILADELPHIA – The Baltimore Ravens got the stop they needed against a depleted Eagles offense that staged an impressive comeback. Fort and Matthew Judon tackled Carson Wentz on a 2-point conversion attempt with 1:55 remaining and the Ravens held on for a 30-28 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday. “It’s a win that we’re very, very happy to have,” Ravens coach John Harbaugh said. I'm proud of these guys.”Jackson, the reigning NFL MVP, was efficient, passing for 186 yards and ran for a 37-yard TD.