NFL Today, Divisional Round

·6 min read

SCOREBOARD

Sunday, Jan. 17

Cleveland at Kansas City, 3:05 p.m. ET, CBS. The Browns (12-5) are coming off their first playoff win since the 1994 season and take on the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs (14-2) for the first time in the post-season . Cleveland coach Kevin Stefanski will make his playoff head coaching debut after missing last week’s wild-card game due to COVID-19. Left guard Joel Bitonio and cornerback Denzel Ward also missed the game because of coronavirus protocols, but are expected to play Sunday. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are trying to become the first AFC team to host three consecutive conference championship games with a victory. Kansas City coach Andy Reid would tie the Steelers’ Chuck Noll for the fifth-most post-season wins with his 16th on Sunday.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans, 6:40 p.m. ET, Fox. It's a matchup of quarterbacks whose combined ages on game day (85) will be the highest in NFL history with the Buccaneers' Tom Brady (43) and Saints' Drew Brees (42). Last week's win for the Buccaneers (12-5) was their first since winning the Super Bowl at the end of the 2002 season. Brady, who has won a record 31 post-season games, is slated to make his NFL-record 43rd playoff start. The Saints (13-4) won both regular-season meetings between the NFC South rivals. Brees will make his 18th career playoff start and has won nine post-season games, all with New Orleans after going 0-1 in the playoffs with the Chargers.

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STARS

Passing

— All-Pro Aaron Rodgers, Packers, threw two touchdown passes and also ran for a score as top-seeded Green Bay defeated the Los Angeles Rams 32-18 in an NFC divisional playoff game Saturday.

— Josh Allen, Bills, went 23 of 37 for 206 yards and a touchdown in Buffalo's 17-3 victory over Baltimore in an AFC divisional playoff game Saturday night.

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Rushing

— Aaron Jones, Packers, ran for 99 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries in Green Bay's 32-18 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

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Receiving

— All-Pro WR Stefon Diggs, Bills, had eight receptions for 106 yards and a TD in Buffalo's 17-3 victory over Baltimore.

— All-Pro WR Davante Adams, and Allen Lazard, Packers. Adams caught nine passes for 66 yards and a touchdown, and Lazard had four receptions for 96 yards and a score to help Green Bay top the Los Angeles Rams 32-18.

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Special Teams

— Mason Crosby, Packers, kicked field goals of 39 and 24 yards in Green Bay's 32-18 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

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Defence

— Taron Johnson, Bills, returned an interception of Lamar Jackson 101 yards for a touchdown to help seal Buffalo's 17-3 win over Baltimore.

— Kenny Clark and Rashan Gary, Packers. Each had 1 1/2 sacks in Green Bay's 32-18 victory over the Los Angeles Rams.

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MILESTONES

Aaron Rodgers’ 1-yard touchdown run in Green Bay's 32-18 win over the Los Angeles Rams was the first by a Packers quarterback in a playoff game at Lambeau Field since Bart Starr’s winning sneak in the Ice Bowl against Dallas on Dec. 31, 1967. ... The Packers became the first playoff team in NFL history to have more than 475 yards of total offence , more than 175 yards rushing, no sacks allowed and no turnovers in a game. ... Buffalo's Taron Johnson tied the NFL playoff record for longest interception return for a touchdown when he took one 101 yards in the Bills' 17-3 win over Baltimore. Green Bay's George Teague also had a 101-yard INT return for a TD against Detroit in the 1993 NFC wild-card round.

STREAKS & STATS

The Packers reached the NFC championship game for the fourth time in the last seven seasons with a 32-18 win over the Los Angeles Rams as they chase their first Super Bowl berth in a decade. It will be their first at Lambeau Field since hosting for the 2007 season, when they fell to the New York Giants 23-20 in overtime. ... Buffalo's Josh Allen joined Kansas City's Patrick Mahomes (2019) and Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger (2005) as the only QBs under the age of 25 with multiple wins and a passer rating of over 100 in a single post-season . Both Mahomes and Roethlisberger went on to win the Super Bowl in those seasons. ... Buffalo has won eight straight, matching its best streak since 1990.

PACKERS PROTECTORS

Green Bay didn’t allow Aaron Rodgers to be sacked by the Los Angeles Rams' top-ranked defence in the Packers' 32-18 victory despite playing without injured All-Pro left tackle David Bakhtiari. The offensive line also cleared the way for Aaron Jones to run for 99 yards and a touchdown on just 14 carries, including a 60-yard burst to open the second half. Rodgers called the Packers’ O-linemen “the star of the game tonight.”

DOUBLE DOINKS

Baltimore's Justin Tucker was 11 for 11 on field goal attempts inside of 50 yards during his post-season career entering the Ravens' game at Buffalo on Saturday night. But he went 0 for 2 in the 17-3 loss, hitting the left upright on a 41-yard attempt and hitting the right upright on a 43-yarder — both in the first quarter. Tucker also missed a 52-yarder in Baltimore's 20-13 win at Tennessee last week.

SIDELINED

Baltimore quarterback Lamar Jackson did not return after being evaluated for a concussion following the final play of the third quarter of the Ravens' 17-3 loss at Buffalo. Facing second-and-10 at Baltimore’s 25, centre Patrick Mekari snapped the ball over Jackson’s head. The quarterback turned and chased the bouncing ball down inside the 5, turned and quickly threw it away as Tremaine Edmunds had him by the legs and Trent Murphy fell down on top of him. Jackson’s injury left Tyler Huntley to finish the game after being promoted off the practice squad. ... Green Bay running back A.J. Dillon injured his quadriceps when he fumbled in the fourth quarter of the Packers' 32-18 win over the Los Angeles Rams. ... Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald played one week after a injuring his ribs, but the unanimous All-Pro selection clearly wasn’t himself and had just one assist. Los Angeles played without leading receiver Cooper Kupp (knee) and usual starting left guard David Edwards (ankle).

SPEAKING

— “I’m definitely a little emotional, just thinking about what we’ve been through. It got me emotional with the crowd out there today.” — Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who will play a conference championship game at home for the first time in his Hall of Fame-caliber career after the Packers beat the Los Angeles Rams 32-18. The game at Lambeau Field was played in front of 8,456 fans, a crowd that included paying spectators for the first time all season.

— “You saw our defence . The game plan our coaching staff put for that offence was unbelievable. You don’t get style points for winning in the playoffs. You either go home or you advance to the next round. We’re on to the next one.” — Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen after the Bills advanced to the AFC championship game for the first time in 27 years with a 17-3 win over Baltimore.

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The Associated Press