Jan 3, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; A general view of the field during the second half of the game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
January 4, 2021
(Reuters) – The Baltimore Ravens clinched a third consecutive post-season berth on Sunday with a 38-3 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, as 23-year-old Lamar Jackson logged his second season with more than 1,000 rushing yards, a league record for quarterbacks.
The 2019 league MVP made 10 of 18 attempts for 113 passing yards and 97 rushing yards in Cincinnati, setting up a Wild Card showdown with the Tennessee Titans, who a year ago ended Baltimore’s Super Bowl dreams in the divisional playoffs.
“We faced a lot of adversity (this year). People doubted us a lot throughout the season, because we weren’t having the year that we had last year,” Jackson said after the game, the Ravens’ fifth consecutive win after a mid-season slump that once cast their playoff ambitions into question.
“Our team fought through that, and we showed the world we’re here to play, and we’ve just got to keep it going.”
The 11-5 Ravens will face a formidable challenge in Tennessee, who survived the Houston Texans 41-38 to win the AFC South on Sunday courtesy of a late-game field goal and two-time Pro Bowl running back Derrick Henry, who finished with 250 yards on 34 carries, but lost a fumble in the second half.
The performance saw Henry join the league’s “2,000-yard club,” as he became the eighth-ever player to log more than 2,000 yards in a single season.
“Incredibly durable, incredibly productive,” said head coach Mike Vrabel after the game. “I’m proud to coach him and this entire football team.”
Elsewhere in Sunday’s action, six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady added the cherry on top of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ season with four touchdowns on 399 passing yards in their 44-27 win over the Atlanta Falcons, a week after clinching a spot in the playoffs.
The performance brought his total number of touchdowns on the season to 40, making him the oldest player at 43 years old to have 40 or more touchdowns in a single season.
“The real season starts now,” Brady said in a victory video message to fans.
(Reporting by Amy Tennery; Editing by Chris Reese)