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Seahawks' Wilson last rookie QB left in playoffs

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Seahawks' Wilson last rookie QB left in playoffs

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.

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LB Za'Darius Smith among those not playing Saturday

LB Za'Darius Smith among those not playing Saturday

OWINGS MILLS – Add outside linebacker Za’Darius Smith to the list of Ravens not expected to play Saturday night. Head coach John Harbaugh said Smith had an ankle issue that would keep him out against the Lions. Smith was not at practice Thursday.

Others not expected to play against the Lions include outside linebacker Terrell Suggs, wide receivers Steve Smith Sr. and Breshad Perriman, left guard John Urschel, tight ends Dennis Pitta and Maxx Williams, safety Kendrick Lewis, cornerbacks Kyle Arrington and Jerraud Powers, and defensive tackle Brandon Williams. All of them are at various stages of dealing with injuries.

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Perriman returned to practice this week, but head coach John Harbaugh did not commit to playing Perriman after Thursday’s walkthrough practice.

“We’ll see, it’s up to the doctors,” Harbaugh said of Perriman. “He hasn’t gone full speed in practice yet. Today was not a full speed practice for anybody.”

Outside linebacker Elvis Dumervil is not expected to play either, because he just returned to practice this week after offseason foot surgery. With Suggs, Dumervil, and Smith out of the lineup, Saturday should present an opportunity for pass rushers like Matt Judon, Chris Carter, and Victor Ochi to get extra reps.

MORE RAVENS: PERRIMAN HOPES TO IMPRESS WITH SPEED AND HANDS

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Flacco looks forward to playing. Getting hit? Not so much

Flacco looks forward to playing. Getting hit? Not so much

OWINGS MILLS – Joe Flacco is looking forward to playing Saturday night, but not looking forward to getting hit.

That’s always the case, but Flacco will be watched closely than usual when he plays for the first time since his knee injury last November. Will he stand calmly in the pocket against the Lions’ pass rush? Will he step into his throws with confidence? Will he look rusty, or in sync? If Flacco’s left knee is hit, how will it react?

Flacco has felt good about the answers to all of those questions for months, and he has looked terrific in practice. But returning to game action was the last hurdle Flacco wanted to clear before the regular-season opener Sept. 11 against the Bills.

“I really don’t feel like I need to play in games to be ready to play Game 1, but I want to put myself through that whole process,” Flacco said following Thursday’s practice. “I don’t need to, but I want to. I think I’ll be better for it.”

RELATED: PERRIMAN HOPES TO IMPRESS WITH SPEED AND HANDS

Flacco said it was hard for him to sit out the first two preseason games, but he understood the logic.

“I could’ve played the first two games,” Flacco said. “Was it really worth it? Probably not. You’re (only) going to get a couple of series anyway.”

Flacco said he expected to play about a half Saturday night, which might give him a chance to build chemistry with new targets like tight end Ben Watson, and wide receivers Mike Wallace and Chris Moore, who are all expected to play.

Asked if he wanted to get hit, Flacco smiled and said, “It’d be great not to get hit. I don’t need to get hit, no.”

But at some point, Flacco wanted to test his knee in live action before the regular season began. Flacco is not expected to play the preseason finale, Sept. 1 against the Saints.

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WR Perriman hopes to impress not only with speed, but with hands

WR Perriman hopes to impress not only with speed, but with hands

OWINGS MILLS - People often call Breshad Perriman fast. They don’t always call Perriman sure-handed.

However, criticism of Perriman’s hands may be a thing of the past, according to Ravens offensive coordinator Marc Trestman. One of the few knocks on Perriman entering the 2015 draft was that he sometimes dropped catchable balls due to a lack of concentration. However, the Ravens’ second-year wide receiver has worked hard on catching the ball consistently, even when he wasn’t able to run during his recovery from two knee injuries.

Now Perriman finally seems close to making his Ravens debut. When that happens, Trestman said he expected to see a receiver not only with impressive speed, but reliable hands.

“I think his hands and concentration have even got better since he first got here,” Trestman said. “He is much more sure-handed – not that he wasn’t – but he has become even more sure-handed. I think that goes with confidence. He just needs to get out and play and run routes and do it consistently and get some reps. He just needs reps. He has go-to speed, and he has size to go with it. It is a unique package.”

A package the Ravens are eager to unwrap.

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