NFL Wild Card Weekend is over after three more games Sunday, and the divisional rounds are set. Sunday started with the Baltimore Ravens taking down the Tennessee Titans, the Saints handling business against Chicago, and Cleveland pulling the upset over Pittsburgh.
NFL Wild Card Weekend: Ravens-Titans
The fifth-seeded Ravens got their revenge from last year’s playoffs with a 20-13 win over the Titans. The defense shut down Derrick Henry, holding the star running back to just 40 yards on 18 carries. Without a running game established, Ryan Tannehill struggled to pass the ball, and the offense stalled.
For the Ravens, Lamar Jackson put the offense on his back, throwing for 179 yards and rushing for 136 and a touchdown. The Titans went up 10-0 in the first quarter and seemed on their way to a blowout win, but a 48-yard rushing touchdown from Jackson sparked the Ravens, who went into the half tied at 10 and scored on their first possession of the second half.
The Ravens will now head to Buffalo to take on the 2-seed Bills on Saturday night.
NFL Wild Card Weekend: Bears-Saints
The lowest-scoring game of the day was between Chicago and New Orleans, which saw the second-seeded Saints win 21-9. Drew Brees connected with Michael Thomas on the second drive of the day for a touchdown and a lead the Saints would not relinquish.
The next drive could have flipped the game on its head, but a drop from wide receiver Javon Wims in the end zone on a trick play from Chicago squashed any momentum for the Bears offense - which finished with just 239 total yards.
The Bears struggles continued after that brutal drop - going just 1-for-10 on third down.
Brees tossed a pair of touchdowns, and running back Alvin Kamara rushed for 99 yards and a score.
The Saints will now play host to the Buccaneers on Sunday night - a team they’ve beaten twice already. It should be a marquee matchup between two of the all-time greats in Brees and Tom Brady.
NFL Wild Card Weekend: Browns-Steelers
The final game of the weekend started in a hurry, with center Maurkice Pouncey snapping the ball over Ben Roethlisberger’s head on the first play, resulting in a Cleveland touchdown. Roethlisberger threw three interceptions in the first half, resulting in a 35-10 halftime deficit.
Despite missing their starting guard, multiple corners, and head coach Kevin Stefanski, the Browns pulled out their first playoff win since 1994, with a final score of 48-37.
The Steelers quarterback, who may have played his last game, finished with four touchdowns and four interceptions.
The turnovers gifted Cleveland with multiple short fields, and they took advantage of it repeatedly. Running back Nick Chubb led the offensive effort with 145 total yards and a touchdown, while Kareem Hunt scored twice and Jarvis Landry once. Baker Mayfield had a clean game, tossing three touchdowns and no interceptions.
The Browns will face off against the top-seeded Chiefs next Sunday in a game set up to be a high-scoring affair.