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Seahawks' Wilson last rookie QB left in playoffs


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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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

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Ravens sign Crabtree to three-year deal

The Baltimore Ravens have signed WR Michael Crabtree to a three-year deal on Friday according to general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome.

The deal is apparently worth $21 million, according to Adam Shefter.

After being released by the Raiders Thursday following the signing of Jordy Nelson, Crabtree heads to the Ravens less than 24 hours later.


The 31-year-old is coming off a 2017 season when he recorded 58 receptions for 618 yards and eight touchdowns. In 2016 he posted 89 receptions for 1,003 yards and eight touchdowns.

Since 2015, the Texas Tech product has scored 25 receiving touchdowns, the fifth-most in the NFL. Crabtree and Steelers WR Antonio Brown are the only NFL players to post at least eight touchdown catches in each of the past three seasons.


In all, Crabtree has played nine NFL seasons – six of them with San Francisco (2009-14) and three with Oakland (2015-17). The former first-round draft pick (10th overall, Texas Tech) has registered 579 receptions for 6,870 yards (11.9 avg.) and 51 touchdowns in 125 career games (122 starts).

“Michael has played very well against the Ravens, so we know firsthand the attributes he brings to the game,” Newsome said in a team statement. “He is a smart, tough, physical receiver who battles for the ball. We like his temperament and believe he is a good fit for our football team, on and off the field.”

Since he entered the NFL in 2009, Crabtree’s 51 receiving scores rank 10th among active wide receivers, while his receptions (579) are seventh, and his receiving yards (6,870) are 12th.

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

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Ryan Grant's health issue and why the Ravens couldn't control voiding his contract

The most obvious move in the NFL this offseason was the Ravens signing a new wide receiver (or three). It was less obvious why the team decided to commit so much money to former Redskins receiver Ryan Grant.

Grant has long been beloved by his coaches and teammates, but the results have never been there on game day. He has some potential to improve if given a larger role in a team's offense, which he likely would have had in Baltimore, but it never made much sense to offer him a 4-year contract worth nearly 30 million, with $14.5 million guaranteed.

Thankfully for fans who were uninspired by the reported agreement, Grant was unable to pass his physical and will not be joining the team.


At a press conference Friday morning, GM Ozzie Newsome called the void a "medical decision" that Newsome had no control over. 

NFL insider Ian Rapoport reported that Grant is recovering from a Grade 2 sprained ankle that would need two months rest.

You have to feel for Grant, who by all accounts has worked his tail off for many years just waiting for his chance. It's never easy missing out on nearly $15 million dollars guaranteed, but Grant should be able to find work with another team.

The timing of this news, coming so soon after former Raider Michael Crabtree became available, seemed fishy to some.

At Friday's press conference, Newsome also said the team would have still pursued Crabtree if they signed Grant. 

It's probably not fair to suggest that an NFL franchise would actually so publicly back out of a deal just because another option came along, as any team with that reputation would struggle to attract future free agents. That said, it could end up working out splendidly for the team.

Besides, if all else is equal, shouldn't a team located in Baltimore be going after a guy named CRABtree?