Ravens oust Titans; Saints handle Bears, next face Bucs

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)Lamar Jackson ran for 136 yards and a 48-yard touchdown while throwing for 179 more and the Baltimore Ravens rallied from 10 points down and beat the Tennessee Titans 20-13 Sunday in their AFC wild-card game.

Baltimore also shut down 2,000-yard rusher Derrick Henry and held Tennessee to its fewest points all season.

The Titans (11-6) had the ball and a chance to tie when Marcus Peters intercepted Ryan Tannehill’s pass intended for Kalif Raymond with 1:50 left.

The Ravens (12-5) snapped a string of 21 straight games lost by the franchise in either the regular season or playoffs when trailing by 10 or more.

Henry had his worst performance this season with 18 carries for 40 yards. The Titans lost their first home playoff game in 12 years and now have had three of their past eight postseasons ended on their own field by Baltimore.

Jackson turned in the sixth 100-yard rushing game by a quarterback in the postseason, and joined Colin Kaepernick with two.

BROWNS 48, STEELERS 37

PITTSBURGH (AP) – Playing with first-year head coach Kevin Stefanski, Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio and top cornerback Denzel Ward back in Cleveland after all tested positive for COVID-19, Cleveland (12-5) raced to the biggest first half by a road team in NFL playoff history, then held on.

Baker Mayfield threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns, including a screen pass that Nick Chubb turned into a 40-yard score that halted Pittsburgh’s momentum after the Steelers pulled within 12. Kareem Hunt added 48 yards and two touchdowns on the ground while Cleveland’s defense forced five turnovers to hand the Steelers (12-5) a staggering loss.

The victory was the Browns’ first postseason triumph of any kind since beating New England on New Year’s Day 1995 – three months before Mayfield was born – and their first playoff win on the road since Dec. 28, 1969.

They did it despite practicing just once over the last two weeks and having lost 17 straight at Heinz Field.

The Steelers (12-5) certainly helped, ending a season in which they started 11-0 with a thud that could reverberate for years. Ben Roethlisberger ended his comeback season by throwing for 501 yards on an NFL-record 47 completions with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

The 48 points were the most the Steelers have given up in the playoffs, surpassing the 45 they gave up to Jacksonville in the 2017 playoffs.

SAINTS 21, BEARS 9

NEW ORLEANS (AP) – Drew Brees completed 28 of 39 passes for 265 yards, connecting with Michael Thomas and Latavius Murray for touchdowns, and New Orleans defeated Chicago in an NFC wild-card game.

Alvin Kamara rushed for 99 yards and added a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter after sitting out the regular-season finale and not practicing this past week because of COVID-19 protocols.

The victory for the Saints (13-4) and Brees, who turns 42 on Friday, sets up a divisional-round meeting next weekend in the Superdome with Tampa Bay and 43-year-old QB Tom Brady.

The Bears (8-9) put forth a scrappy performance defensively that prevented the Saints from building more than a one-touchdown lead until Murray’s 6-yard catch-and-run score made it 14-3 late in the third quarter.

But the Chicago offense struggled most of the game against a defense that ranked fourth in the NFL. Quarterback Mitch Trubisky completed 19 of 29 passes for 199 yards and one inconsequential TD pass to tight end Jimmy Graham as time expired. The Bears were held to 48 yards rushing.

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

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