Wild-card weekend is over in the NFL playoffs, and Seattle’s Russell Wilson is the lone rookie quarterback remaining.
And, Wilson’s Seahawks made a pretty good case that they might be here a while.
Wilson teamed with Marshawn Lynch to lead Seattle to a 24-14 comeback victory over the Washington Redskins, who finished the game Sunday without Robert Griffin III — their star rookie quarterback who reinjured his right knee.
“It was a tremendous game,” Wilson said. “We were fortunate enough to come out with a win. It was a battle, we kept playing. One play at a time, that’s what I kept telling the guys.”
The Seahawks (12-5) overcame a 14-0 first-quarter hole — their biggest deficit this season — and will visit the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons (13-3) next Sunday. Seattle has a six-game winning streak, and ended the stigma that it couldn’t win on the road in the playoffs — ending an eight-game skid away from home in the postseason.
“It was a huge win,” Wilson said, “and we’re excited about the opportunities.”
In Baltimore, Ray Lewis and the Ravens eliminated Andrew Luck, the No. 1 overall pick, and the Indianapolis Colts with a 24-9 win. The victory delayed Lewis’ retirement for at least another week as Baltimore (11-6) heads to top-seeded Denver (13-3) next Saturday.
“I knew how it started, but I never knew how it would end here in Baltimore,” said Lewis, who played his final home game. “To go the way it did today, I wouldn’t change nothing.”
The other playoff games next weekend are Green Bay at San Francisco on Saturday, and Houston at New England on Sunday.
The Packers (12-5) set up the showdown with the 49ers (11-4-1) after beating the Minnesota Vikings in the wild-card round Saturday. The teams met in the season opener, a 30-22 victory by San Francisco.
Houston gets another chance against New England after beating Cincinnati 19-13 on Saturday in quarterback Matt Schaub’s first postseason start. The AFC East champion Patriots trounced the Texans 42-14 at Foxborough on Dec. 10, the first of three losses in four games for Houston to end the regular season.
At Landover, Md., Griffin’s knee buckled as he tried to field a bad shotgun snap, leaving the Redskins an offseason to worry about their franchise player’s health.
Griffin was playing in his third game since spraining his right knee about a month ago against Baltimore, and he had been looking gimpy since tumbling backward following an ill-advised sidearm throw in the first quarter.
Nevertheless, he stayed in the game. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said he didn’t pull Griffin because the quarterback wanted to continue.
“I think I did put myself at more risk,” Griffin said. “But every time you get on the field, you’re putting yourself on the line.”
Griffin was scheduled for an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.
Lynch ran for 132 yards, and Wilson completed 15 of 26 passes for 187 yards and ran eight times for 67 yards for the Seahawks.
• RAVENS 24, COLTS 9 — Anquan Boldin set a franchise record with 145 yards receiving, including the clinching touchdown in the Ravens’ victory. It set up a rematch with Denver and Peyton Manning, who cruised past Baltimore 34-17 three weeks ago.
“I wanted Denver,” Boldin said, “because they beat us. We’ll make it different.”
Lewis, who made 13 tackles, ended his last home game in Baltimore at fullback for the final kneel-down. He then went into a short version of his trademark dance before being mobbed by teammates. He followed with a victory lap, his right arm, covered by a brace, held high in salute to the fans after playing for the first time since tearing his right triceps on Oct. 14 against Dallas.
The loss ended the Colts’ turnaround season in which they went from 2-14 to the playoffs in coach Chuck Pagano’s first year in Indianapolis (11-6). Pagano missed 12 weeks while undergoing treatment for leukemia and returned last week.
Indy’s only points came on three field goals by Adam Vinatieri. Luck completed 28 of 54 passes, the most attempts by a rookie in a playoff game, for 288 yards.
• SATURDAY: TEXANS 19, BENGALS 13 — Arian Foster, the catalyst in the victory against the Bengals, isn’t fazed by facing the AFC East champion Patriots, who routed Houston 42-14 last month.
Houston (13-4) lost three of its last four games to blow home-field advantage in the conference, slipping to third overall.
New England (12-4) is a 9 1/2-point favorite.
“I’m not a big believer in momentum,” Foster said. “Every Sunday you have to come out and bring your best or you can get beat on any day.”
Foster gained 140 yards, becoming the first player with at least 100 yards rushing in his first three postseason games. He scored on a 1-yard run and also had eight receptions.
“It only takes one week to turn things around in the NFL and we did that,” said Foster, whose team lost to Minnesota and Indianapolis to slip to the AFC’s third seed.
Cincinnati (10-7) gained only 198 yards and had 12 first downs. Its touchdown came on Leon Hall’s interception return.
“It’s hard to put it into words,” Hall said. “It’s disappointing. I mean, we had a good year, but it didn’t end how we wanted it to and how we planned it to. At the end of the day, they made the plays that won the game for them.”
With a second straight wild-card loss in Houston, the Bengals extended one of the NFL’s longest playoff droughts. They haven’t won a postseason game since the 1990 season.
They got two field goals from Josh Brown, and Andy Dalton overthrew an open A.J. Green in the end zone late in the fourth quarter.
Along with Foster’s touchdown, the Texans got four field goals from Shayne Graham.