The Baltimore Ravens are back in the playoffs, and the 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. They will play at AFC North champion Pittsburgh, their division rival, Saturday night.
“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 CenturyLink Field, and have a bye. They will play on Saturday, Jan. 10.
Green Bay won the NFC North by handling Detroit 30-20 and got the No. 2 seed in the conference and a bye. The Packers, Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys finished 12-4, with the three-way tiebreaker giving Seattle the No. 1 seed.
Detroit (11-5) will play at NFC East champ Dallas (12-4) in the wild card round on Sunday. Green Bay’s first game will be the following Sunday.
“We prefer to play here. So, yeah, but this is playoff football now,” said Packers coach Mike McCarthy. “Everything changes once we get going in two weeks. Playing at home doesn’t guarantee you anything.”
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. That game is Saturday.
“The beautiful thing – record doesn’t matter,” coach Ron Rivera said.
AFC East champion New England (12-4) owns home-field advantage in the conference and will be off next weekend before resuming on Jan. 10. Denver (12-4), the West winner, also will have a bye after defeating Oakland, 47-14. The Broncos will play next on Jan. 11.
The AFC North champion Steelers (11-5) beat Cincinnati 27-17 for that title. The Bengals (10-5-1) got a wild card berth and are at South champion Indianapolis (11-5) on Sunday.
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