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Sunday September 19th, 2021 12:06AM

Lamar Jackson gets playoff win, Ravens beat Titans 20-13

By The Associated Press
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Some first steps are far longer than others.

Such as what Lamar Jackson achieved Sunday.

After two postseason flops, Jackson was his usual dynamic and decisive self in leading the Ravens to a 20-13 wild-card victory at Tennessee. He isn't in any way the only reason Baltimore is advancing — the defense shut down 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry like no other team has come close to doing. But he was a positive contributor, unlike in 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) went 21 straight losses in either the regular season or playoffs when trailing by 10 or more points.

Despite being sacked five times and throwing an interception, Jackson turned in the sixth 100-yard rushing game by a quarterback in 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 said. “I throw an interception, a dumb interception. We just kept fighting.”

Especially the defense: Henry had his worst performance this season with 18 carries for 40 yards and the Titans (11-6) were held to their fewest 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) at Pittsburgh (12-4).

SATURDAY

Buccaneers 31, Washington 23

In his first postseason game wearing a uniform other than New England's, Tom Brady showed why he was so responsible for the Patriots' two-decade dynasty. While leading his new team, the Buccaneers (12-5), to their first playoff win since Tampa Bay won the 2002 championship, Brady extended his record for playoff victories to 31. He threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns in his 42nd postseason start.

“You could win 100-0 and it’s going to be the same result in the end," Brady said. “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 actually was 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 rushing, and the Bills (14-3) knocked down a desperation pass by Philip Rivers to end the game.

The Bills have won seven in a row.

“We understand that whatever’s going on in the game, we feel like we’ve got a chance,” Allen said. “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 performance by the league's top-ranked unit lifted Los Angeles (11-6) into the divisional round. The Rams, even with unanimous All-Pro DT Aaron Donald sitting out much of the second half with a rib injury, rattled Seahawks QB Russell Wilson, sacking him five times and getting a pick-6 from Darious Williams. LA also shut down the Seattle rushing attack.

"We expected to do this," Rams coach Sean McVay said. "Nobody acted surprised.”

___

More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP_NFL

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