John Harbaugh has no doubt Lamar Jackson will rebound from a difficult evening after the Baltimore Ravens were shocked by the Tennessee Titans in Saturday's Divisional Round game.

The Titans earned an upset 28-12 victory on the road to earn a spot in the Conference Championships, with the top-seeded Ravens unable to cope with Tennessee's physicality.

Jackson has racked up sensational numbers in his first full season as a starter, becoming the first player to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards, while breaking Michael Vick's single-season rushing record for a quarterback.

But it just did not happen against the Ravens for Jackson, who ended with 21-of-59 passing for 365 yards and was intercepted twice.

Ravens coach Harbaugh has no concerns over 23-year-old Jackson in the long term, though.

"I won't have to say much to him. We will talk for sure and we will see where that conversation goes, just from a standpoint of two people talking," he told reporters.

"But I know how he's going to respond. He is going to respond by being extremely motivated and determined to improve as a football player.

"I think the strategy made between last year and this year are pretty indicative of that, and we expect him to get better. That's what he should do.

"It's simple – [for] him and everybody else. That's what we all should strive to do and I just know his character and who he is as a person. That's what he will be thinking about."

Jackson was pretty forthright with his own assessment, saying: "We just beat ourselves. I had a lot of mistakes on my behalf. Three turnovers, that shouldn't happen. But they came out to play."

When it was pointed out he is winless in the postseason, Jackson replied: "I don't really care about what they say.

"This is my second year in the league. Most people [aren't] able to bring it to the playoffs. I don't really worry about [what] people say. We're going to keep going [and] get ready for next year."

The giant-slaying Tennessee Titans produced a stunning performance to eliminate Super Bowl favourites the Baltimore Ravens from the NFL playoffs.

Tennessee caused an upset when they shocked reigning champions the New England Patriots in the wild-card clash last week to earn a trip to the divisional round.

And the Titans – 9-7 in the regular season – defied the odds again with a sensational 28-12 victory away to Lamar Jackson's Ravens in Baltimore, where Derrick Henry starred on Saturday.

Through to their first AFC championship game since 2002, the Titans will next face either the Kansas City Chiefs or Houston Texans.

Coming off the bye week and a franchise-record 14-2 season, confidence was high within the Ravens camp, but the top seeds found themselves trailing from the outset.

Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who finished seven of 14 for 88 yards and a pair of touchdowns to go with a rushing TD, and his 12-yard throw to Jonnu Smith with less than four minutes remaining in the opening quarter gave Tennessee a 7-0 lead.

Another Tannehill pass, this time a 45-yard throw to Kalif Raymond early in the second quarter, extended the Titans' lead amid silence in front of Ravens fans in Baltimore.

A pair of Justin Tucker field goals gave the Ravens their first points as they went into the half-time break trailing 14-6.

The Titans oozed confidence in the second half and a sequence of brilliance from running back Henry stretched Tennessee's advantage against Baltimore.

After his breathtaking 66-yard run, Henry put the Titans in the red zone and he capped the drive with a jump-pass touchdown throw to Corey Davis as back-up quarterback Marcus Mariota motioned out of the backfield.

Tannehill returned to the field moments later and rushed for a one-yard touchdown – the Titans ending the third period with a commanding 28-6 lead.

Frustrated, Ravens star Jackson – 31 of 59 for 365 yards, a touchdown, two interceptions and four sacks – gave Baltimore some hope with a TD pass to Hayden Hurst with just over 11 minutes remaining in the contest but the Titans were too good.

Richard Sherman hit out at his critics after helping the San Francisco 49ers advance to the NFC championship round in the NFL playoffs.

San Francisco cornerback Sherman was influential as the 49ers outclassed the Minnesota Vikings 27-10 in Saturday's divisional clash.

A five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion with the Seattle Seahawks, Sherman intercepted Kirk Cousins in the third quarter which led to a Tevin Coleman touchdown as the 49ers' defense suffocated the Vikings.

"I get tired of hearing 'oh man, he's a zone corner'. I get tired of hearing the excuses for why I'm great," the 31-year-old told reporters. "It was zone coverage. I covered the man and picked the ball off. In the playoffs, in big games, I show up.

"I show up year in, year out. Whether it's 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014. Unless I tear my Achilles, I'm out there doing my job at a high level.

"I get tired of excuses for why I'm good. 'Oh my god they're playing zone, oh my god it was this guy, oh my god the receiver slipped'. Why don't other people get those opps then?

"It's odd. It's like people got frustrated that I was so confident early on in my career, so people wanted me to fail. When I didn't fail, it's like how do we tear him down in other ways. I'm too consistent on a yearly basis. Since I got in the league, every category that matters to a corner, I'm number one."

The 49ers – buoyed by the bye week – will face either the Green Bay Packers or the Seahawks for a place in the Super Bowl after winning their first playoff game since 2013.

49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan added: "I was pumped for the defense. We had a goal going into this game. We thought the team that got over 30 runs would win this game. We truly look at that as a team goal and we ended up getting 47 on offense.

"It's a lot easier to do when the other team goes 2-of-12 on third down. I think we were 45 percent. I think they only ended up being able to get 10 [runs] and when you just see the way the defense is playing, it makes it so much easier to stay with that and I think our whole team kind of fed off it."

Tom Brady said he is not concerned about his future at the moment, with the New England Patriots quarterback unwilling to put a timetable on his 2020 plans.

Brady is set to become a free agent after defending Super Bowl champions the Patriots were eliminated by the Tennessee Titans in the NFL playoffs earlier this month.

The 42-year-old star, who said retirement was "pretty unlikely" following New England's wild-card loss, has already made it clear he still has more to prove in the NFL.

Amid question marks over his future in New England, six-time Super Bowl champion Brady told Westwood One: "The contract things, a week after the season, I would say these things haven't even started to pick up. It's really not my concern at this point.

"It's been about decompressing, and resting my mind a little bit, and resting my body and spending time with the people who have supported me over the last six months."

Brady added: "I love playing football. I love playing for this organisation. I really don't know what it looks like moving forward, and I'm just taking it day to day.

"We are a week removed from the end of our season. There is a lot of time to figure these things out. I don't think any player or team is ready to make any commitments at this point and I'm sure as the offseason progresses those things will take care of themselves."

On the continued speculation, Brady said: "I can only say how I feel and that's what's the truth to me and what's authentic to me. And I have no decision that I have made and there won't be for some considerable time, so I know there is speculation; there always is that's just part of being in professional sports, that's part of being a professional athlete.

"When people aren't talking about this season, they want to talk about next season, and the reality is that next season is quite a ways away. I have some other things that are happening at this time. Like I said, spending some time with my family, my loved ones and giving them the time they need. And then as people begin to plan for next season like I said, these things will take care of themselves."

"It's always been proving it to myself and being motivated internally to push myself to the limits. Sometimes the limits push back. I've experienced that," Brady continued. "But I also think I'm inspired by so many people who push the limits. I love watching documentaries of incredible human feats. They're inspiring. People climb these mountains, and do things that people never thought were possible. I'm at a certain point in my career where people think what I'm doing is to a degree impossible.

"For me, it's about continuing to prove to myself that I can lay it on the line and we can still try to achieve the ultimate goal, which is winning Super Bowls."

The San Francisco 49ers advanced to the NFC championship after seeing off the Minnesota Vikings 27-10 in the NFL playoffs.

San Francisco were a class above against Minnesota in the divisional-round clash on Saturday as the 49ers moved a step closer to the Super Bowl.

The 49ers will face either the Green Bay Packers or Seattle Seahawks for a place in the Super Bowl after Tevin Coleman rushed for two touchdowns, while quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo threw one TD.

Garoppolo finished 11 of 19 for 131 yards and an interception as he claimed his first playoff victory as a starter.

A week after their dramatic overtime win against the New Orleans Saints, the Vikings were dominated by San Francisco's suffocating defense in Santa Clara.

The 49ers drew first blood after Garoppolo's three-yard throw to Kendrick Bourne capped a 61-yard drive for a 7-0 lead, though the Vikings responded four minutes later following Kirk Cousins' pass to Stefon Diggs.

Midway through the second quarter, Eric Kendricks forced a fumble on Deebo Samuel, which was recovered by Irv Smith Jr., but the call was overturned because the replay concluded a knee was down.

The 49ers then proceeded to complete the touchdown drive – a one-yard run by Coleman finishing it off and putting San Francisco ahead 14-7.

As Minnesota tried to reduce the deficit, Dee Ford sacked Cousins – who was 21 of 29 for 179 yards, a touchdown and interception – to restrict the Vikings to a 39-yard Dan Bailey field goal.

The 49ers extended their lead in the third quarter thanks to Robbie Gould's field goal and another rushing TD from Coleman with less than five minutes remaining.

Gould nailed a 21-yard field goal in the final quarter to seal the 49ers' passage through to the next round of the postseason.

Lamar Jackson said he thinks about playing in the Super Bowl "every day" as he discussed his aim to be "the Tom Brady" of his era in the NFL.

Quarterback Jackson is two wins away from reaching the grandest stage of all after producing a stunning individual campaign that is likely to lead him to the league's MVP award.

The Baltimore Ravens went 14-2 in the regular season and host the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round on Saturday, with the second-year pro fully aware of the high stakes.

"Every day I think about the Super Bowl," Jackson, who threw 36 touchdowns and rushed for another seven, told Good Morning Football.

"It's been on my mind since the first game of the season. When I got drafted I told Baltimore that's what I was going to do. I want to be like the Brady of my era."

The Kansas City Chiefs host the Houston Texans in the other AFC contest, while the NFC playoffs will see the San Francisco 49ers host the Minnesota Vikings and the Green Bay Packers take on the Seattle Seahawks.

Yet the Ravens won 12 straight games to finish the regular season with some incredible momentum and, with Brady's New England Patriots already out courtesy of the Titans, John Harbaugh's team are the favourites to go all the way this year.

"We started the season 2-0 and then we lost to the Chiefs and we lost to the [Cleveland] Browns," added Jackson.

"Coach said, 'We're gonna find out what we're made of'. After that it was go time and we just knew we've just got to keep stacking, we can't look back. 

"No matter how we win we've just got to win. When we played the Seattle Seahawks [in Week 7] I was taking a shower that morning and it fogged up and I put on the thing '14-2' and I told [quarterbacks] coach James Urban that we're gonna go 14-2. 

"We ain't losing no more games, I ain't losing no more games."

Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper are the "obvious" impending free agents the Dallas Cowboys will look to re-sign, says chief operating officer Stephen Jones.

Quarterback Prescott and wide receiver Cooper are two of 25 Cowboys players whose contracts are set to expire in the offseason.

Jones, who serves as the team's vice-president of player personnel, is focused on tying the star duo down before looking at the rest of the team.

"[Prescott's contract is a] huge priority for us. Obviously, that will find its way in a hurry," said Jones, quoted on the Cowboys website.

"We have to be back interacting with Dak and his representation and Amari and his representation. And then working with coach [Mike] McCarthy and his staff to give us a third-party evaluation.

"Certainly, Dak and Amari are obvious ones, then after that, we have to make sure these guys fit systematically.

"We don't think there's going to be a lot of difference in opinions, but part of what is good about a change, you get to have people come in and give you outside opinions on our personnel and our team in what we need to do to improve and try to win a championship."

Prescott threw for 4,902 yards - the second most in the NFL - 30 touchdowns and 11 interceptions in the 2019 season. Cooper had 1,189 receiving yards and eight touchdowns.

Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen remains hopeful of facing the San Francisco 49ers in the NFL playoffs despite being listed as questionable due to an ankle injury.

Thielen was limited in practice on Wednesday before missing Thursday's session in a worry for the Vikings.

The 29-year-old starred with 129 receiving yards during the Vikings' 26-20 win over the New Orleans Saints in their wild-card clash on Sunday.

The Vikings listed Thielen as "questionable" in their injury report on Thursday, but he is still hoping to be ready for Saturday's clash against the 49ers.

"For me, it's just like anything – you do what you have to do every day to be there on Saturday and try to help this team win," Thielen said, via the team's website.

In a boost for the Vikings, wide receiver Stefon Diggs practised on Thursday after battling the flu earlier in the week.

Offensive coordinator Mike Groh and wide receivers coach Carson Walch have been relieved of their duties by the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Eagles missed out on the Divisional Round when they were beaten 17-9 by the Seattle Seahawks last weekend.

Head coach Doug Pederson suggested Groh and Walch would retain their roles on Wednesday, but revealed just a day later that they had departed.

"After much consideration and discussion, I have decided to make a change at the offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach positions," Pederson said in a statement.

"It was not an easy decision for me to make and I appreciate everything that Mike Groh and Carson Walch contributed to the organisation and to my staff.

"As I said yesterday, they were a big part of our success down the stretch this past season.

"This is one of the most difficult parts of the job and something that weighs on me, but ultimately I have to make decisions that I believe are in the best interest of the football team moving forward

"I apologise for any confusion that I created during yesterday's press conference, including my comments on coach [Jim] Schwartz, who has done a great job as our defensive coordinator.

"It was my intent not to comment on any of my staff during the ongoing evaluations, because I wanted to be able to go through the process and communicate any decision directly with the individuals.

"I did a poor job of explaining that the first time I was asked. I will continue to evaluate everything, and consider all possibilities to improve our football team."

The Tennessee Titans will be hoping history repeats itself when they face the Baltimore Ravens after the San Francisco 49ers lock horns with the Minnesota Vikings in the NFL Divisional playoffs.

Mike Vrabel's Titans sensationally dethroned the New England Patriots with a 20-13 playoff victory last weekend and must defy the odds again to topple the Ravens.

All three postseason encounters between the Titans and the Ravens have been won by the road team, a record Tennessee will fancy their chances of maintaining after stunning the Patriots.

The 49ers host a Vikings side on a high after ending the New Orleans Saints' season, while the Kansas City Chiefs and Green Bay Packers have home advantage against the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks respectively.

We take a closer look at all the games using Stats Perform data.


SATURDAY (All times Eastern)

Vikings (10-6) at 49ers (13-3) 4:35pm

- The two sides will meet in the postseason for the sixth time and first time since the 1997 Divisional Round, with the 49ers holding a 4-1 advantage.

- Minnesota won a first road playoff game since 2004 with a 26-20 overtime victory over New Orleans last week. The Vikings had gone 2-12 in their previous 14 road playoff games dating back to 1988. 

- The 49ers have won at least one playoff game in 13 of their last 15 playoff appearances, most recently winning twice before losing to Seattle in the 2013 NFC Championship. 


Titans (9-7) at Ravens (14-2) 8:15pm

- The Ravens have twice won at the Titans in the postseason, 24-10 in the 2000 Divisional Round and 13-10 the same stage 12 years ago. The Titans won the other playoff game 20-17 in the Wild Card Round in 2003.

- Baltimore have had a takeaway in all 24 postseason games in franchise history, the fourth-longest streak in NFL playoff history (Dolphins: 31 from 1970-95, Redskins: 26 from 1983-present, Bears: 25 from 1933-90).

- Lamar Jackson set NFL records for carries (176) and rushing yards (1206) by a quarterback this season, while his 6.85 yards per carry was the highest in NFL history by a player in any position with at least 150 carries.



Texans (10-6) at Chiefs (12-4) 3:05pm

- The only previous postseason game between the teams saw the Chiefs win 30-0 at Houston in a 2015 Wild Card Game, the largest margin of victory in franchise postseason history. 

- The Chiefs closed the regular season with a six-game winning streak; only the Ravens (12) won more games in a row ahead of the playoffs.

- Deshaun Watson completed 80 per cent of his passes (20-for-25), in the Wild Card defeat of the Buffalo Bills. That was the highest mark among starting quarterbacks last weekend, the top mark in Texans postseason history, and tied for second highest in any game in his career. 


Seahawks (11-5) at Packers (13-3) 6:40pm

- The Packers have won two of their three playoff clashes with Seattle, but the Seahawks came out on top in their most recent encounter 28-22 in the 2014 NFC Championship match.

- Seattle defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 17-9 last weekend, improving to 8-1 on the road this season. They have never won multiple road games in a single postseason and the last team to do so was the 2013 49ers. 

- Since 2010, only the Patriots (23) and Seahawks (16) have played more postseason games than the Packers (15). 

Logan Paul is "serious" about boxing NFL wide receiver Antonio Brown and believes a bout is close to being arranged.

Paul called out Brown last month and the seven-time Pro Bowler appeared keen on the idea of a fight as he replied telling the YouTuber to "square up" while revealing he intended to enlist the help of former five-weight world champion Floyd Mayweather Jr.

While current free agent Brown has yet to swap the gridiron for a boxing ring, Paul has donned the gloves already for two fights against fellow vlogger KSI, who won their rematch in November after the first contest ended in a draw.

Asked by TMZ whether he genuinely wanted to return to the ring to fight Brown, Paul replied: "I'm f***ing serious, bro. You know how serious I take fighting.

"I love talking smack; I also love backing it up."

Brown has not played an NFL snap since the middle of September and experienced a tumultuous 2019.

The former Pittsburgh Steelers wide-out was traded to the Oakland Raiders in March but never played a down for them as he was released following a series of controversies.

He then wound up in New England but was cut after just one Patriots game amid allegations of sexual assault and rape.

Paul believes fighting him would give the out-of-work Brown a renewed focus.

"I think we might be closer than anyone expected, than even we expected," Paul added.

"In my mind, this whole thing seems...They say if it's too good to be true it probably is. In my mind, I'm getting that feeling because I genuinely do not know how serious AB is.

"Coming from a person who was in a s*** position after Tokyo [when Paul was criticised for posting a video showing the body of an apparent suicide victim], and in many ways the KSI fight gave me a purpose, I think this would do that for Antonio Brown, give him a nice payday, give him a chance to redeem himself.

"It would be one of the greatest events of 2020."

Green Bay Packers star Aaron Rodgers said he thinks about winning the Super Bowl daily as the quarterback eyes a second NFL ring.

Rodgers won his one and only championship in 2010 after the Packers topped the Pittsburgh Steelers in Super Bowl XLV.

As the Packers prepare for Sunday's NFC divisional playoff against the Seattle Seahawks, Rodgers is eyeing another ring.

"It's on my mind every day," the two-time MVP told reporters on Wednesday. "That's why we play the game.

"That's why you put in the time in the offseason, that's why you do the little things. It's to put yourself in this position, where we're two games away from being able to compete for that.

"I'm 36, I know what this is all about. This is an important opportunity for us. I feel like I've got a lot of really good years left, but you never know. A lot of things happen year to year.

"We've had some great teams that have been an injury away or a play away from being special, so I want to make the most of this opportunity."

"When I was 31, I thought I was going to play into my 40s and that was still a decade away," the eight-time Pro Bowler added. "Now, I'm 36, so now we're a half a decade away."

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule refused to comment on Cam Newton's future, saying it is too early to decide on the team's quarterback situation.

Rhule was introduced as the Panthers' new coach on Wednesday after Ron Rivera's sacking in December, and attention quickly turned to star NFL quarterback Newton.

Newton endured another injury-hit season, with the 2015 MVP making just two appearances due to a foot problem as the Panthers finished 5-11.

There are doubts over Newton – out of contract in 2021 – and the 30-year-old's future in Carolina but Rhule said he needs time to study the Panthers' roster.

"I probably haven't had a chance with regards to really any player to get to talk to Marty [Hurney] and Mr. Tepper in terms of long-term vision, so I would never want to speak out of school or uneducatedly," said first-time NFL coach Rhule, who arrived from college team Baylor.

"What I will say is this: I had a chance to talk to Cam yesterday, and I have the utmost respect for him and what he's done, and I love the way he talked to me, to be quite honest. He didn't want to talk about the past. He wanted to talk about the future.

"But other than that, I would much rather talk to those guys and kind of get a feel for not just Cam but all those players on the roster and really have a good process moving forward for the entire roster."

Rhule added to NFL Network: "At the end of the day I know this: I know you need to win with a quarterback. And I know Cam's done a lot of winning and so I look forward to working with him but at the same time I'll talk to our ownership and GM and kind of really establish all the guys in the locker room -- him, Kyle Allen and Will Grier as well."


The New York Giants have confirmed the appointment of Joe Judge as their new head coach.

Judge replaces Pat Shurmur, who was fired after going 9-23 in two seasons at the helm.

The 38-year-old had previously served as the special teams coordinator and wide receivers coach for the New England Patriots.

"I am humbled and honoured,” Judge said. "I want to thank John Mara, Steve Tisch, Dave Gettleman and Kevin Abrams for this opportunity.

"Over the past couple of days we had great conversations about where this team is and where it is headed and how we are going to get there.

"My job is to lead our players and coaches. The mission is clear, to win games.

"There is a process to reaching that objective, and we will implement that process and work that process starting today."

General manager David Gettleman said: "Joe has prepared for this moment and is ready for the challenge of leading our team.

"His beliefs and principles are all about the team. Because of his background with special teams working under Bill Belichick, he has had the experience of evaluating and managing the entire roster. Can't wait to work with him."

Mike McCarthy revealed he jumped up and hugged Jerry Jones after being told he was to become head coach of the Dallas Cowboys.

McCarthy was officially presented as the replacement for Jason Garrett on Wednesday at the Cowboys' Ford Center in Frisco.

The former Green Bay Packers coach spent the 2019 season out of the league having been fired from his previous position in 2018.

However, Jones was impressed enough at interview to hand him the reins to one of the most storied franchises in the NFL.

McCarthy spoke of his excited reaction to Jones' comments, telling a media conference: "I jumped up and hugged him. That's a moment and a story I'll be telling the rest of my life."

Asked what expectation he faces taking arguably the highest profile job in the league, McCarthy replied: "The tradition and history here is so unique, it's an iconic franchise.

"When you think about expectation, the goal will never change here, it's about winning championships, but the expectation is to trust the process."

Quarterback Dak Prescott is due to be a free agent in the offseason. However, the Cowboys are expected to eventually sign him to a lucrative extension.

McCarthy has worked with Joe Montana, Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers in his career, and he is relishing the prospect of providing tutelage for Prescott.

"I'm excited about the opportunity to work with Dak. What he's done so far is very impressive," he added. 

"I've always been impressed with him, you're going to be able to run the whole offense and then some.

"Our offensive system will be based around making the quarterback successful. We've got a great one to work with."

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