Ravens, Packers advance from wild-card round

Lovers of bone-crunching defensive football, the AFC has just the game for you: Ravens-Steelers III.

The NFC has a juicy one upcoming, too: surging Green Bay at Atlanta.

The Packers discovered a running game Sunday in beating the Eagles 21-16, the third road victory during wild-card weekend. Shockingly, the only home winner was Seattle, which beat defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans on Saturday.

All four games next weekend are rematches: the Jets are at New England in the AFC, the Seahawks at Chicago in the NFC.

Aaron Rodgers threw for three scores and sixth-round draftee James Starks, who had 101 yards rushing during the regular season, powered through NFC East champ Philadelphia for 123 yards.

"It was huge the way James ran the ball, maybe the most important factor in our win," said Rodgers, who got his first playoff victory in his third season as a starter — after sitting behind Brett Favre for three years.

Earlier, Baltimore set up what figures to be a crunching third meeting with AFC North rival Pittsburgh when it beat the Kansas City Chiefs 30-7. Baltimore and Pittsburgh finished tied atop the division at 12-4, with the Steelers holding the tiebreaker and getting a bye.

They split two smashmouth games during the season, with the Ravens winning 17-14 at Pittsburgh in Week 4, the last game of Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger's suspension. The Steelers took the rematch in one of 2010's showcase games, a 13-10 outcome that turned on safety Troy Polamalu's sensational forced fumble.

A veteran playoff team that has won four of its last five postseason road games, the Ravens completely shut down AFC West champion Kansas City's passing game and forced five turnovers. They won't be intimidated in the least by a trip to Heinz Field next Saturday.

"It's going to be a lot of fun," said Joe Flacco, who threw for two touchdowns. "This is going to be the second time in my career that we've played them three times in a season. And those games are always a lot of fun. We're going to go up there and give it our best."

The Chiefs have lost seven straight postseason games, a league record that dates back to the 1993 season.

"We turned the ball over and that's not characteristic of us," Pro Bowl left guard Brian Waters said. "When we had to make plays, we weren't able to. When they had to make plays, they did. You can't turn the ball over."

On Saturday, Seattle became the first team with a losing record to win a playoff game when it stunned New Orleans 41-36 behind four TD passes by Matt Hasselbeck. The Seahawks (8-9) visit Chicago (11-5) next Sunday; Seattle won at Soldier Field 23-20 on Oct. 17.

Green Bay, the sixth seed in the NFC, heads to top-seeded Atlanta (13-3), where it lost 20-17 in November.

In the AFC, the New York Jets improved to 3-1 in road playoff games under bombastic coach Rex Ryan by edging Indianapolis 17-16 on Nick Folk's 32-yard field goal as time expired.

Those results sent both of last February's Super Bowl teams out on the first day of the postseason.

The Jets (12-5) are at New England (14-2) next Sunday. The last time they met, the Patriots won 45-3 in a prime-time romp. In Week 2, though, the Jets won 28-14.

That December rout remains firmly in the Jets' memories.

"We've been wanting the Patriots for a while now," tight end Dustin Keller said. "Ever since that game."