LOS ANGELES 30, SEATTLE 20
Cam Akers provided the offensive punch and the Rams defense was able to keep Seattle’s Russell Wilson guessing all day long, as Los Angeles pulled out the playoff victory.
Akers rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown, and Darious Williams scored on a 42-yard interception return for a touchdown to help the Rams advance and eliminate the Seahawks in the process.
Aaron Donald left the game in the second half after suffering a rib injury, though he and Rams corner Jalen Ramsey played stellar football in the contest.
As a team, Los Angeles registered five sacks including two by Donald and two by Leonard Floyd. Seattle was held to just 278 total yards and 11 first downs.
Wilson had one of his worst playoff performances. He was 11 of 27 for 174 yards. Wilson connected with Metcalf on a pair of TDs: 51 yards in the first half off a broken play, and a 12-yard TD with 2:28 left to make the score more respectable.
Seattle never played with the lead and was two of 14 on third downs. It’s first home playoff game in four years was a dud without its raucous home crowd, and the Seahawks saw their 10-game home playoff win streak snapped.
Their last home playoff loss came in January 2005 to the St. Louis Rams.
John Wolford got the start for the second straight game for L.A., though left the game in the first quarter after suffering a head injury. He was taken to the hospital as a precaution.
Jared Goff, who suffered a broken thumb and had surgery two weeks ago, completed nine of his 19 attempts for 155 yards off the bench. His 15-yard touchdown pass to Robert Woods with 4:46 left helped cap the win.
Akers had the best rushing day by a Rams running back since Marshall Faulk went for 159 against Philadelphia in January 2002.
The Rams finished with 164 yards rushing.
Los Angeles will learn its opponent for next week following today’s contest between the Chicago Bears and the New Orleans Saints.
BUFFALO 27, INDIANAPOLIS 24
Kicking off the playoff action on Saturday, Buffalo quarterback Josh Allen showed his brilliance.
Allen was able to lead Buffalo to its first playoff win since 1995, completing 26 of his 35 pass attempts for 324 yards and two touchdowns.
He completed five of his six attempts beyond 20 yards, including a touchdown, while also leading the Bills on the ground with 54 yards and a TD on 11 carries.
“Obviously we started off a little slow and we were able to get into a rhythm late. Made enough plays to win,” Allen said. “It’s new territory for myself, but it just gives us a chance to play next week.”
The league’s top receiver, Stefon Diggs, had six catches for 128 yards and a TD.
The win helped the Bills snap their streak of six playoff losses.
The Colts battled back, though a late-game fumble helped the Bills secure the win.
Quarterback Phillip Rivers finished 27 for 46 for 309 yards and what may have been the final NFL game for the 39-year-old play caller.
“Shoot, it’s hard to go back 12 years ago to think how I felt in the locker room after that championship game,” Rivers said, referring to the Chargers’ 21-12 loss to New England. “It’s always emotional. But is it more emotional when you’re about to be 40 and you’re not sure if you’ve been in your last huddle? Heck yeah.”
The Bills advance to the divisional round and await their opponent based on today’s results.
TAMPA BAY 31, WASHINGTON 23
New team, same result for Tom Brady.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Washington Football Team on Saturday night to advance to the divisional round.
After scoring a field goal on its opening drive, Tampa converted a Washington turnover into points in the first quarter. Brady found Antonio Brown for a 36-yard score. The extra point was blocked to make it 9-0.
Washington answered back with a 10-play, 75 yard drive that saw J.D. McKissic score from two yards out to make it 9-7.
Brady connected with Chris Godwin for a 27-yard TD pass to make it 15-7, followed by a field goal later to take a 18-7 lead into the break.
The Bucs added a field goal in the third, followed by a three-yard touchdown rush by Leonard Fournette to make it 28-16.
Washington, which was without starting quarterback Alex Smith due to injury, was able to keep the contest close with former XFL QB Tyler Heinicke.
Heinicke, after leaving the game due to injury, returned to lead a late scoring drive as he connected with Steven Sims for a score with 4:51 left to make it 28-23.
Heinicke completed 26 of his 44 pass attempts for 306 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also rushed six times for a team-high 46 yards, including an impressive scramble and dive towards the pylon to bring the Football Team to within two, 18-16, late in the third quarter.
Tampa’s Ryan Succop connected on a 37-yard field goal with 2:49 left in the fourth to make it 31-23.
Brady finished 22-for-40 passing for 381 yards and two scores. Fournette added 93 yards on the ground on 19 carries.
No. 5 Baltimore Ravens @ No. 4 Tennessee Titans, 10:05 a.m.
No. 7 Chicago Bears @ No. 2 New Orleans Saints, 1:40 p.m.
No. 6 Cleveland Browns @ No. 3 Pittsburgh Steelers, 5:15 p.m.