Houston, TX – The Baltimore Ravens never beat the Indianapolis Colts in the postseason with Peyton Manning at quarterback. They had an easier time in their first encounter with his heir apparent, however. And now they'll get another chance to obtain that elusive victory over Manning after ending the Indianapolis Colts' storybook season with a 24-9 triumph in Sunday's AFC Wild Card Playoffs. Inspired by the return of emotional team leader Ray Lewis, the Ravens defense held the upstart Colts to three Adam Vinatieri field goals and spoiled the playoff debut of rookie quarterback Andrew Luck and the return of Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano to Baltimore, where he spent four years as an assistant under John Harbaugh before taking over the Colts last January. Playing for the first time since mid-October due to a torn triceps and just days after announcing his retirement at season's end, Lewis was credited with 13 tackles in spearheading Baltimore's effort. Joe Flacco added a pair of touchdown passes to the win while throwing for 282 yards and making good on 12-of-23 attempts, while Anquan Boldin amassed 145 yards and a score on five catches -- all of which came in the second half. The Ravens now advance to a meeting with Manning's top-seeded Denver Broncos in next Saturday's Divisional Round. The Colts bested Baltimore twice with the four-time MVP under center in previous Divisional matchups, earning a 15-6 road win in 2006 and a 20-3 home decision in 2009. Luck put up 288 yards in his first-ever playoff appearance, but completed just 28-of-54 throws and was intercepted once. Reggie Wayne finished with 114 yards on nine catches for the Colts, who reached the postseason just one year removed from a dreadful 2-14 campaign.
Final Score: Seattle 24, Washington 14
Landover, MD (Sports Network) - Marshawn Lynch rushed for 132 yards and the go-ahead touchdown midway through the fourth quarter as the Seattle Seahawks overcame a fast start by the Washington Redskins with a 24-14 victory in Sunday's NFC Wild Card playoff. Washington was hosting its first playoff game since 1999 and jumped out to an early 14-0 lead, but the Seahawks scored the final 24 points of the contest to advance to next Sunday's divisional playoff game against the Atlanta Falcons. Russell Wilson outplayed fellow Rookie of the Year candidate Robert Griffin III by completing 15-of-26 passes for 187 yards and a touchdown while adding 67 yards on eight carries for the Seahawks, who entered the game riding a five-game win streak. Griffin was held to just 84 yards with a pair of touchdowns and an interception on 10-for-19 efficiency by the NFL's second-ranked defense before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury he suffered in the first quarter. The hobbled quarterback also managed just 21 yards on five carries. Alfred Morris followed his 200-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Dallas Cowboys, which clinched the Redskins' first NFC East crown in 13 years, with 80 yards on 16 carries. Washington has now been knocked out of the playoffs by the Seahawks in their last three postseason appearances, having lost to the team in the 2005 divisional round and the 2007 Wild Card round.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 5TH
Final Score: Houston 19, Cincinnati 13
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - For the second time in less than a calendar year, the Houston Texans have ended the Cincinnati Bengals' season. In a rematch of an AFC Wild Card game from last season, Arian Foster rushed for 140 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries, as the Houston Texans defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 19-13, to earn their second straight AFC Wild Card game victory at Reliant Stadium. Foster added eight catches for 34 yards and became the first player in NFL history to rush for 100-or-more yards in his first three career playoff games. Quarterback Matt Schaub, who missed last season's 31-10 victory over the Bengals due to a foot injury, finished 29-of-38 for 262 yards with one interception in his first career playoff start. Owen Daniels added nine catches for 91 yards for the Texans, who improved to 2-1 all-time in the postseason and will visit the second-seeded New England Patriots on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. (et). The Cincinnati offense was held in check all game, with quarterback Andy Dalton managing just 127 yards with an interception on 14-of-30 efficiency. BenJarvus Green-Ellis carried the ball 11 times for 63 yards for Cincinnati, which hasn't won a playoff game since Jan. 6, 1991.
Final Score: Green Bay 24, Minnesota 10
Green Bay, WI (Sports Network) - Aaron Rodgers threw for a touchdown and the Green Bay Packers took advantage of a short-handed Vikings team to oust Minnesota from the playoffs, 24-10, in an NFC Wild Card game at Lambeau Field. John Kuhn had a rushing and receiving score for the Packers, who will play at San Francisco next Saturday at 8 p.m. ET in the divisional round. Rodgers completed 23-of-33 passes for 274 yards and the Packers tied a postseason NFL record by having 10 players make a reception. The Vikings played without starting quarterback Christian Ponder, who was inactive due to a right elbow injury. Ponder was hurt last Sunday in a regular season-ending 37-34 win over the Packers when he was hit by safety Morgan Burnett on a blitz. Joe Webb, who had taken just three snaps all season, started in Ponder's place and was erratic through the air. A sixth-round draft pick in 2010, Webb completed 11- of-30 passes for 180 yards with a TD and an interception. He also had seven carries for 68 yards. Adrian Peterson, who rushed this season for 2,097 yards, the second-most in a season in NFL history, had 99 yards on 22 carries. Peterson ran for 199 yards and a TD in the regular season finale.