The Baltimore Ravens are back in the playoffs, while the Seattle Seahawks will be playing at home in them.
Baltimore made the postseason in the first five years with John Harbaugh as coach and Joe Flacco at quarterback, winning the 2012 championship. They failed to get in last season, but a 20-10 victory Sunday, combined with San Diego’s 19-7 loss at Kansas City, did the trick.
The Ravens (10-6, the same record they had in their Super Bowl season), earned a wild card and will be seeded sixth in the AFC.
“Anything can happen when you get into the playoffs,” Flacco said. “I won’t be surprised if in three weeks from now we’re still sitting here playing.”
Defending Super Bowl champion Seattle earned the top seed in the NFC by beating St. Louis 20-6. The Seahawks, winners of the NFC West, were 7-1 at home at the intimidating CenturyLink Field, and have a bye next week.
Green Bay won the NFC North by beating Detroit 30-20 and got the No. 2 seed in the conference and a bye. Both the Packers and Seahawks finished 12-4, with the tiebreaker Seattle’s opening victory against Green Bay.
Detroit (11-5) will play at NFC East champ Dallas (12-4) in the wild-card round.
Carolina (7-8-1) became the second division champion with a losing record in NFL history. Its 34-3 rout at Atlanta earned the NFC South title.
The Panthers will host injury-ravaged Arizona (11-5), which fell to San Francisco 20-17 but got the other NFC wild card.
AFC East champion New England (12-4) owns home-field advantage in the conference and will be off next weekend. Denver (12-4), the West winner, also will have a bye after defeating Oakland, 47-14.
The AFC North champion was determined in the Sunday night game, with Pittsburgh posting a 27-17 win against Cincinnati. Pittsburgh (11-5) hosts Baltimore, while Cincinnati (10-5-1) plays at South champion Indianapolis (11-5).
Wild-card round (Jan. 3-4)
Detroit at Dallas, 4:40 p.m., Sunday
Arizona at Carolina, 4:35 p.m., Saturday
(Seattle vs. lowest winning wild-card seed, Jan. 10 or 11)
(Green Bay vs. highest winning wild-card seed, Jan. 10 or 11)
Baltimore at Pittsburgh, 8:15 p.m., Saturday
Cincinnati at Indianapolis, 1:05 p.m., Sunday
(New England vs. lowest winning wild-card seed, Jan. 10 or 11)
(Denver vs. highest winning wild-card seed, Jan. 10 or 11)
SOURCE: The Associated Press