The NFC divisional spherical will give followers a third-time deal with: one other assembly between old-timers Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
Possibly the ultimate one.
The AFC matchups, in the meantime, will embody the Cleveland Browns for the primary time since they re-entered the NFL in 1999, and Lamar Jackson and the Ravens.
Brees assured that the NFC South rival Saints and Buccaneers will meet as soon as extra, throwing for 2 touchdowns in a 21-9 victory over Chicago. The New Orleans quarterback, who turns 42 on Friday — one yr youthful than Tampa Bay’s star — is toying with retirement, however with the best way the Saints protection is enjoying, a second journey to the Super Bowl just isn’t an extended shot.
Tampa Bay (12-5) defeated Washington 31-23 on Saturday. The Bucs will journey to New Orleans (13-4) subsequent Sunday evening.
“The minute that he signed with the Bucs and came to the division, you felt like that was going to be a team to contend with, that was going to be a team that would have playoff aspirations and beyond, just like us,” Brees stated of assembly Brady within the playoffs for the primary time. “So, I guess it was inevitable.”
The different NFC sport subsequent weekend will probably be on Saturday as Green Bay (13-3 and coming off a bye) hosts the Los Angeles Rams (11-6), who downed Seattle this weekend.
In the AFC, Cleveland’s return to the postseason for the primary time in 18 years went very effectively. The Browns not solely snapped a 17-game skid at Heinz Field, they manhandled the mistake-prone archrival Steelers 48-37 Sunday evening. On to face reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City (14-2 and coming off a bye) subsequent Sunday.
After two postseason flops, Jackson was his standard dynamic and decisive self in main the Ravens to a 20-13 wild-card victory at Tennessee. That sends them to Buffalo on Saturday evening.
Browns 48, Steelers 37
In their first playoff street victory since 1969, the Browns (12-5) overcame all types of issues and historical past.
Baker Mayfield threw for 3 touchdowns and the Browns bought their first playoff win in 26 years. Kareem Hunt added two landing runs for Cleveland, enjoying with out a number of high-profile gamers and head coach Kevin Stefanski attributable to COVID-19.
It hardly mattered because the Browns raced to a fast 28-0 lead then turned apart Pittsburgh’s second-half rally. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger handed for 501 yards and 4 touchdowns but in addition threw 4 interceptions.
Saints 21, Bears 9
Michael Thomas and Latavius Murray caught Brees’ landing passes, and Alvin Kamara rushed for 99 yards and a 3-yard scoring run after sitting out the regular-season finale and never practising this previous week due to COVID-19 protocols.
New Orleans (13-4) held Chicago (8-9) to 239 yards, simply 48 speeding.
“Our defense played outstanding,” coach Sean Payton stated. “We tackled well in space. … Ultimately we forced them to become one-dimensional, and when you do that you’re going to win a lot of games.”
The Saints gained each conferences with the Bucs throughout the common season.
Ravens 20, Titans 13
Some first steps are far longer than others. Such as what Jackson achieved Sunday.
He is not in any method the one motive Baltimore is advancing — the protection shut down 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry like no different workforce has come near doing. But he was a optimistic contributor, in contrast to in losses to the Chargers and Titans in his different playoff appearances.
Jackson ran for 136 yards and a 48-yard landing whereas throwing for 179 extra, rallying the Ravens from a 10-0 gap. The Ravens (12-5) went 21 straight losses in both the common season or playoffs when trailing by 10 or extra factors.
Despite being sacked 5 occasions and throwing an interception, Jackson turned within the sixth 100-yard speeding sport by a quarterback within the postseason, and joined Colin Kaepernick with two.
“We stayed focused. We didn’t get rattled. Our coaches didn’t get rattled. We had to put points on the board,” Jackson stated. “I throw an interception, a dumb interception. We just kept fighting.”
Especially the protection: Henry had his worst efficiency this season with 18 carries for 40 yards and the Titans (11-6) had been held to their fewest factors of the season.
“Our defense was tired of hearing the noise,” Jackson stated. “And they did what they were supposed to do.”
Buccaneers 31, Washington 23
In his first postseason sport carrying a uniform aside from New England’s, Brady confirmed why he was so chargeable for the Patriots’ two-decade dynasty. While main his new workforce, the Buccaneers (12-5), to their first playoff win since Tampa Bay gained the 2002 championship, Brady prolonged his report for playoff victories to 31. He threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns in his forty second postseason begin.
“You could win 100-0 and it’s going to be the same result in the end,” Brady stated. “You’d love to play great every game; I think it’s good to win and advance. If we don’t play well next week, we’re not going to be happy. Glad we won, glad we have another week of work.”
Bills 27, Colts 24
At Buffalo, there really was a playoff sport performed, for the primary time in 15 years. And gained by the Bills, the AFC East champions for the primary time since 1995. Josh Allen threw two landing passes and scored one other speeding, and the Bills (14-3) knocked down a desperation go by Philip Rivers to finish the sport.
The Bills have gained seven in a row.
“We understand that whatever’s going on in the game, we feel like we’ve got a chance,” Allen stated. “That’s just based on how we play, how we trust one another, how we care for one another, how we practice. Just the foundation. … It is a family-like atmosphere here and we want to do everything in our power not to let each other down.”
Rams 30, Seahawks 20
At Seattle, a staunch defensive efficiency by the league’s top-ranked unit lifted Los Angeles (11-6) into the divisional spherical. The Rams, even with unanimous All-Pro DT Aaron Donald sitting out a lot of the second half with a rib harm, rattled Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, sacking him 5 occasions and getting a pick-6 from Darious Williams. LA additionally shut down the Seattle speeding assault.
“We expected to do this,” Rams coach Sean McVay stated. “Nobody acted surprised.”