By Josh Whittemore, PSO Sports Operations Executive
Jan 11, 2021

The ‘Best of the Day’ is a daily PSO original series showcasing the most significant stories, highlights, and facts going on in the land of the NFL, NBA, & MLB every day. Get a recap on EVERYTHING that happened on 1/10 here

The second half of the NFL’s Super Wild Card weekend took place Sunday with three exciting games. The first matchup saw the Baltimore Ravens take down the Tennessee Titans behind Lamar Jackson’s electric running. The New Orleans Saints shut down the Chicago Bears offense to move on to the divisional round and set up their third meeting with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Finally, the Cleveland Browns took out decades of frustration on their bitter rivals in Pittsburgh, earning their first playoff win in over a quarter-century. 

 

Here is the best of the day from January 10, 2021:

Browns 1st playoff win since moving back to CLE & Lamar’s 1st postseason victory

The Cleveland Browns are moving on to the divisional round for the first time in 26 years after securing their first playoff win since 1994. Cleveland was given little chance to pull off the upset over their biggest rival and AFC North champion Pittsburgh Steelers given the history between the two sides. Coming into Sunday night’s clash, the Browns had lost 17 straight in Pittsburgh and were just 6-44 in the Steel City since the 1970 merger. It seemed even less likely when HC Kevin Stefanski, Pro Bowl G Joel Bitonio, and top CB Denzel Ward all tested positive for COVID-19 and missed the game.

Despite the odds stacked against them, it was Cleveland who came out and punched Pittsburgh in the mouth. The Browns took a 28-0 first quarter advantage to lead 35-10 at half. The Steelers made it interesting, cutting it to 35-23 in the third, but never got within one score, as the Browns held on to win 48-37. Turnovers were the difference as the Steelers had five and the Browns had none. Mayfield threw for 263 yards and three TDs while Ben Roethlisberger had 501 yards and four TDs, but also threw four INTs. CLE moves on to KC in the divisional round while PIT faces an offseason full of questions, most notably Big Ben’s future. 

The early window saw Baltimore and Tennessee square off in a rematch of last season’s divisional round matchup that witnessed the Titans upset the heavily-favored top-seeded Ravens. Just like last year, the road team came out on top, but this time it was BAL, who were able to exact revenge and come away with a 20-13 victory. Early on, it looked like this game would be a repeat of last year when Lamar Jackson threw an early INT and they fell behind 10-0 in the first quarter. However, the Ravens were able to right the ship in the second quarter with a FG and LJ’s incredible long RUSH TD to tie the game 10-10 at the break. 

Baltimore was the better team in the second half, shutting down RB Derrick Henry and the Tennessee offense, holding the Titans to just three points after the break. Henry was a non-factor, as the back-to-back rushing champ ran for just 40 yards on 18 carries. The Ravens sealed the game on CB Marcus Peters’ clutch interception just after the two-minute warning and subsequently ran out the clock to move on to the divisional round, where they will visit the Buffalo Bills. Jackson finished with 136 rush yards and one TD, making hime one of just two QBs to have 100 yards and a TD on the ground in a playoff game in NFL history. 

Related: Stories of the Day

Lamar Jackson has accomplished more by age 24 than almost any QB ever

At just 24 years old, Lamar Jackson has already won MVP, made first-team All-Pro, and a Pro Bowl while also becoming the youngest quarterback to ever start a playoff game at just 21 years old in 2019. One major thing was holding him back in critics’ eyes however: he flopped in the playoffs.

After taking control and leaving Nashville, TN with a victory on Sunday, Jackson and the Ravens took all the preconceived notions about how they’ve performed in the postseason over the last few years under Jackson’s leadership and squashed them. The narrative that the Titans “own them,” “Lamar can’t win a playoff game,” and that they “can’t come from behind” were all put to rest thanks to another commanding performance by their QB who showed how dynamic he is with the ball in his hands and can win games without passing that effectively.

Related: NFL Premium Reviews

Lamar’s legs are always a threat

Related: NFL Highlights | Baltimore Ravens Highlights

QB Lamar Jackson, BAL (@TEN): 17-24 CMP, 179 YDS, 0 TD, 1 INT; 16 RSH, 136 YDS, 1 TD

Related: Players of the Day

Baltimore Ravens (20) vs. Tennessee Titans (13)

 [Highlights@BAL (-188; $10.48) d. TEN (+158; $12.9420-13 [BAL -3.5 | u53.5] (NFL Wild Card)

Related: Games of the Day

The Cleveland-Pittsburgh playoff game was wild right from the jump

  • Browns are the 1st team to score a DEF TD on the 1st play from scrimmage of a playoff game in the Super Bowl Era
 

Related: Facts of the Day 

NBA Game Reviews: January 10, 2021 by Noah Camras

While NFL Wild Card Weekend overshadowed the NBA’s slate, a 2019 NBA Finals rematch, classic duel in LA, and surprising upset in NY were things NBA fans won’t want to miss catching up on

Related: Latest PSO Posts

FULL ARTICLE: Most Significant Sports History on January 10th

YEAR: 1982

SIGNIFICANCE: Dwight Clark caught a game-winning TD on his fingertips to advance SF to Super Bowl XVI

Related: Significant Sports History

 

 

 

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