SEATTLE (AP) — Cam Akers rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown, Darious Williams returned Russell Wilson’s interception 42 yards for a score, and the Los Angeles Rams beat the Seattle Seahawks 30-20 in the NFC wild-card playoff game Saturday.

The best defense in the league during the regular season carried its dominance into the playoffs — even while missing unanimous All-Pro tackle Aaron Donald for much of the second half. No team was better at limiting yards or points than the Rams (11-6) and they continued to torment Wilson and the Seahawks (12-5).

Seattle’s quarterback was under a siege from the defensive front and a secondary that minus one play never let DK Metcalf or Tyler Lockett break loose. Donald, before leaving with a rib injury, and Jalen Ramsey were superb. But so were other role players such as Troy Reeder, Jordan Fuller and Leonard Floyd.

Floyd had two of the Rams’ five sacks. Two of the others belonged to Donald. The Rams allowed just 278 total yards and 11 first downs.

Williams’ interception was his third of the season against Wilson after picking him off twice in Los Angeles in November. He jumped a wide receiver screen intended for Metcalf and returned it untouched to give the Rams a 13-3 lead midway through the second quarter.

Akers added a 5-yard TD run just before halftime for a 20-10 lead. It proved enough with a Seattle offense that was disjointed and confused nearly from the start.

Wilson had one of his worst playoff performances. He was 11 of 27 for 174 yards. Wilson connected with Metcalf on a pair of TDs: 51 yards in the first half off a broken play, and a 12-yard TD with 2:28 left to make the score more respectable.

The Rams pulled off the upset without a healthy quarterback for more than three quarters of the game. John Wolford started for the second straight week, but suffered a neck injury when he dived head first in the first quarter and was hit in the helmet by Jamal Adams’ shoulder. Wolford was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

BILLS 27, COLTS 24

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo earned its first playoff victory in a quarter century when Josh Allen threw two touchdown passes, scored another rushing, and Micah Hyde batted down Philip Rivers’ desperation pass for a win over the Indianapolis Colts in a wild-card game.

Buffalo snapped an 0-6 postseason skid by winning its first playoff game since a 37-22 win over Miami on Dec. 30, 1995. And it came in the Bills’ first home playoff game in 24 years, with a limited number of 6,700 fans in attendance for the first time this season.

Allen finished 26 of 35 for 324 yards, with a 5-yard touchdown to Dawson Knox and a 35-yarder to Stefon Diggs.

The game wasn’t decided until the final play, when Rivers faced fourth-and-11 from the Buffalo 47. Rivers heaved a deep pass for T.Y. Hilton, who was surrounded by defenders in the right side of the end zone. Hyde broke through the crowd of bodies, leaping up and batting the ball to the ground.

It just so happens, Hyde was one of three Bills defenders that failed to do the same thing in allowing DeAndre Hopkins’ 43-yard leaping catch in the final seconds of Arizona’s 32-30 win over Buffalo on Nov. 15.

Buffalo (14-3) has won seven in a row since that loss.

Rookie kicker Tyler Bass accounted for the decisive points by hitting a 54-yard field goal to put Buffalo up 27-16 with 8:08 remaining.

The Colts (11-6) ended a season in which they won 11 games for the first time since 2014, and reached the playoffs for the second time in three years under coach Frank Reich.

Rivers finished 27 of 46 for 309 yards and had his career playoff record drop to 5-7.

BUCCANEERS 31, WASHINGTON 23

LANDOVER, Md. (AP) — New team, same swashbuckling playoff success for Tom Brady.

Brady threw for 381 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Tampa Bay Buccaneers past Washington 31-23 in their NFC wild-card game Saturday night for their first playoff victory since the 2002 season.

“If you could win 100-0, its going to be the same result in the end,” Brady said. “It’s good to win and advance.”

In his 42nd postseason start and first not in a New England Patriots uniform, Brady made the most of a lack of pressure to carve up the NFL's second-ranked defense on 22 of 40 passing.

“He is a fighter, he plays hard, works hard and studies hard, and he is the man for the job," Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette said.

Brady had to outduel Washington’s Taylor Heinicke, who had a breakout performance in just his second pro start and first in the playoffs in place of injured starter Alex Smith. Heinicke — signed in early December to the practice squad — ran for 46 yards and a touchdown and threw for 306 yards and a score.

"He almost beat us with his legs," Tampa Bay coach Bruce Arians said. “He was very elusive. We knew he was going to scramble around, there was going to be bootlegs and scrambles. We were really hoping for Alex because we knew that part of the game wasn’t going to be in there.”

But Heinicke wasn't enough to overcome Brady's brilliance. While Bill Belichick and the Patriots watch from home with their playoff streak snapped at 11 following a 7-9 season, Brady has the opportunity to play in another Super Bowl — in his new home stadium.

The Buccaneers await the result of Chicago at New Orleans on Sunday to see if they’ll be visiting Drew Brees and the Saints or host the Los Angeles Rams next weekend. They'd need a Bears upset to play at home in the divisional round.

“It doesn’t matter,” Arians said. “We’re playing. That’s all that matters.”

Age doesn't seem to matter much to Brady, who at 43 years, 159 days passed George Blanda as the oldest player to throw a TD pass in a playoff game. A 36-yard scoring connection with Antonio Brown was Brady’s longest in the playoffs since 2011.

Brady was methodical in the first half with 12 completions for 209 yards and wasn't sacked until the final minute of the second quarter.

Heinicke made things interesting in the third, most notably scrambling for an 8-yard TD by diving at the pylon in the corner of the end zone. The play even got the attention of reigning Super Bowl champion Patrick Mahomes, who tweeted, “Bro what!?!?!”

The series after Heinicke banged up his left shoulder, Brady engineered a 69-yard scoring drive capped by a 3-yard TD run by Fournette. That made it 28-16, which was enough to withstand Heinicke's attempt to be the unlikely hero.

“We’re thrilled with the win,” Buccaneers receiver Camerton Brate said. “I hate to say that we’re relieved, but at this point we’re just pumped we got the win. No matter how ugly it was, no matter how many mistakes we made, a win’s a win this time of year.”

Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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