The future is certainly bright for the Kansas City Chiefs after they were crowned Super Bowl LIV champions on Sunday.

A 31-20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers at Miami's Hard Rock Stadium earned veteran Andy Reid his first ring as head coach, while quarterback Patrick Mahomes became the youngest player to be named both MVP - an honour he won a year ago - and Super Bowl MVP in NFL history.

With Mahomes just 24, the Chiefs will have aspirations of dominating for the foreseeable future and replicating the two dynasties the New England Patriots and Tom Brady enjoyed with six Lombardi Trophies across two decades.

However, winning back-to-back Super Bowls is no mean feat - no team has done it since the Patriots 16 years ago - so we take a look at which teams could prevent Kansas City from winning it all again in Tampa Bay next February.

BALTIMORE RAVENS

The best team in the NFL's regular season fell at the first hurdle in the playoffs as the 14-2 Ravens were upset at home by the Tennessee Titans.

That was a deflating note to end on for quarterback Lamar Jackson, who was voted the NFL's MVP by unanimous vote 24 hours before Mahomes won his first ring.

Jackson is just 23, most of the Ravens' star players are expected to return and coordinators Greg Roman and Wink Martindale will likely be back alongside Coach of the Year John Harbaugh.

If Jackson is able to replicate or even exceed what he did in his first full year as the starter, the Ravens might be bound for Tampa next year.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Long live the kings? Don't count on it.

The 2019 season felt like the end of an era as Father Time looked he had finally caught up with 42-year-old quarterback Brady.

Yet those who have written off New England in the past have often ended up looking incredibly foolish.

The Patriots have 19 straight winning seasons, the best head coach in the game in Bill Belichick and had the NFL's number one defense in 2019. Brady's future remains uncertain but one final push for a Lombardi is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility.

 

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

The nearly men of the past three seasons; Saints fans have been crushed by a trio of playoff defeats featuring walk-off plays.

New Orleans will believe they will be playing January football again after three straight seasons with double-digit wins.

Sean Payton remains one of the preeminent offensive minds, Michael Thomas broke the single-season record for receptions in 2019 and an underrated defense complements a free-scoring offense.

At 41, Drew Brees' career is coming to an end, but, presuming he decides to return next season, the Saints will surely be contending again.

 

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

The Steelers only went 8-8 in 2019 but San Francisco's transformation from 4-12 to 13-3 and a Super Bowl berth is evidence of how the NFL can quickly turn on its head.

What should give Steelers fans cause for optimism is that they won eight games without their starting quarterback, Ben Roethlisberger.

Roethlisberger was still playing at an elite level prior to his 2019 season-ending injury, leading the league in passing yardage with a career high 5,129 yards in 2018.

Combine that with an impressive young defense and a head coach tried and tested in the postseason and you have the recipe for another Super Bowl run.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

A left-field suggestion, sure, but look at the significant strides both Mahomes and Jackson took in their second years in the league.

Offensive Rookie of the Year Kyler Murray believes he can make a similar leap in 2020 and, if he can, look out.

Arizona's offense under rookie head coach Kliff Kingsbury hummed at times in going 5-10-1 in 2019 and the addition of more weapons in free agency would significantly aid Murray's development.

Their biggest problem, beyond fixing a porous defense, is finding a way to come out on top in a division that contains the NFC's last two Super Bowl representatives - the 49ers and Los Angeles Rams - as well as postseason regulars the Seattle Seahawks.

Lamar Jackson joined Tom Brady in becoming a unanimous NFL MVP on Saturday, but the Baltimore Ravens quarterback now wants to emulate his success in Super Bowls too.

Jackson was confirmed as the MVP of the 2019 NFL season in Miami having starred for the 14-2 Ravens in his first full year as the starter.

As well as breaking Michael Vick's single-season rushing record for a quarterback, Jackson also led the league in passing touchdowns with 36 scores and delivered a series of astounding plays with both his legs and arm.

That earned him all 50 first-place votes for the MVP award, making him only the second winner by unanimous vote after New England Patriots great Brady in 2010.

However, collectively Jackson's season ended in disappointment as the Ravens lost a Divisional Round clash to the Tennessee Titans, and it is Super Bowl rings – of which Brady has six – that the newly crowned MVP wants now.

Informed that he was only the second unanimous MVP winner, Jackson replied: "I'm trying to chase Brady.

"I'm not worried about any other quarterback because he's got six Super Bowls.

"I've got to get my first one and then it's on."

Reaching the pinnacle of a sport is usually a time for reflection, yet Jackson, who turned 23 last month, highlighted how he is still at the start of his NFL journey.

"I'm still young, I've got a lot of work to do," he added.

"I'm not really trying to dwell on what I just did. [If] I win a Super Bowl, you'll probably see a lot more emotion.

"I'm good with what I've got now. I'm satisfied."

The Ravens coaching staff reaped the rewards of altering their offense to suit Jackson's unique skillset.

Their 14-2 record also earned John Harbaugh the NFL Coach of the Year award, not that he wanted to take any credit for Jackson's MVP campaign.

Instead he lauded Felicia Jones, Jackson's mother, for fighting her son's corner when others said the athletically gifted player should switch position to running back or wide receiver.

"You know who deserves the credit for Lamar? Lamar. The good lord who gave him the talent and his mum," Harbaugh added.

"I think his mum is the hero in this whole thing. His mum had his back the whole way. We raise our kids, and you want to see them do well and fight for them a little bit.

"All the way, because of the circumstances and situations of football, he wasn't supposed to be a quarterback. And his mum made sure he was a quarterback and here he is, playing at the highest level, differently."

Lamar Jackson was drained.

On January, 6, 2019, in his first NFL playoff game, the Baltimore Ravens rookie quarterback had been restricted to under 200 yards passing by the Los Angeles Chargers, he was sacked seven times and the offense he led failed to score a touchdown until midway through the fourth quarter, at which point the game was gone.

Boos from his own fans ringing in his ears; critics questioning whether he could make it as an NFL quarterback.

He told his personal quarterback coach Josh Harris he needed some time off before they reconvened for their offseason work.

When they did, two weeks after the New England Patriots won Super Bowl LIII, the aim was to get back to basics.

"This is going to be a very slow offseason and it's going to be boring," Harris told Jackson.

Sometimes they would spend an hour mimicking the basic action of the throwing motion. Some days that was all they did.

Other days Harris would swing a broom at Jackson's legs, abdomen and head to replicate the pressure he feels in the pocket.

"He hates the broom drill," Harris told Omnisport.

"I always do this after he frustrates me to scare him. 'If you don't listen to me, I will hit you with this broom!'"

The mantra all offseason was "finding your rhythm" and Harris preached it for four days a week. It was supposed to be five but Jackson "always found a way to get out of Fridays".

On September 8, 2019, in his first NFL game of the season, Jackson got the chance to put the lessons he had learned with Harris just 26 miles away into practice.

He threw for 324 yards, torched the Miami Dolphins in their own stadium with five touchdown passes and had a perfect passer rating. It was the start of a campaign that would end with the MVP award, given to him in the same city on Saturday night.

--

Harris has known Jackson since his college days at Louisville. Jackson's mother, Felicia Jones, and his youth football coach, Van Warren, believed Harris could take the quarterback's game on. They were right, he won the Heisman Trophy later that year.

"He never acted like a person that was this gifted at football," Harris said.

"He's very teachable. He's a perfectionist, he gets frustrated when things aren't going well."

And if Harris wants the perfect rep out of Jackson, he knows just which buttons to push.

On his iPhone Notes app are a series of criticisms pundits have levelled at Jackson. Comments from the people who didn't think he could throw. Those who, like former Buffalo Bills, Carolina Panthers and Indianapolis Colts general manager, Bill Polian, thought he should change position.

"You can see when you give him a criticism, it turns into fuel," Harris explained.

"I've had other players, they wither under it. It motivates him, he's seen that [criticism] every step of the way."

-- 

The critics did not think Jackson, unquestionably an elite talent with his legs, would ever be able to lead the NFL in touchdown passes - as he did in 2019 with 36 scores.

So when Harris was designing Jackson's unique pro day before the 2018 NFL Draft, the aim was to prove to those in attendance that he could win from the pocket. Jackson took every snap from under centre and threw to multiple receivers instead of just one.

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was there and so was Baltimore's quarterback coach James Urban, who impressed Harris by showing a keen interest in his drills.

When it came to draft night, Harris wore a purple tie, hoping it would prove a lucky omen and that his pupil would be selected by the Ravens.

One by one the players on the tables next to Jackson that night in Texas were drafted. Saquon Barkley to the New York Giants. Josh Rosen to the Arizona Cardinals. Jaire Alexander, Jackson's college team-mate, to the Green Bay Packers.

Soon only one pick remained in the first round. Amputee linebacker Shaquem Griffin was in the green room, though he was never going to be selected that high, as were running back Derrius Guice, and Jackson, whose entourage had flights booked back for the following morning thinking he would be chosen in the first round.

All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey had stuck around too, an interested observer in Jackson's fate.

When Guice's phone rang with the Philadelphia Eagles on the clock, Harris figured he knew what that meant. But there was another call coming into that room, to Jackson's phone.

"Everybody's in a daze," Harris said.

"He's just sitting there. I slapped him, 'Man, pick up the phone!'"

It was the Baltimore Ravens. They had traded up to select Jackson with the final pick of the first round, a move that would look incredibly shrewd less than two years later when he led them to an NFL-best 14-2 record.

-- 

Harris was a little worried as Jackson continued to compile an MVP-calibre campaign. The sensational 47-yard touchdown run against the Cincinnati Bengals. The ludicrous touchdown pass to Mark Andrews when off-balance in Cleveland. The accumulation of yards on the ground (1,206) that would see him break Michael Vick's single-season record for most among quarterbacks.

"He's the media darling now," Harris thought.

Where then was he going to find the criticism to fuel Jackson?

Then came the shock 28-12 Divisional Round playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans, which happened despite Jackson producing over 500 yards of total offense.

Not only did the Titans' defensive scheme give Harris and Jackson something to mull over this offseason, it also provided the coach with some new entries for his iPhone Notes.

"They're saying you're 0-2 in playoff games," Harris intends to tell Jackson when they next meet.

"They were even critiquing your precision passing in the Pro Bowl skills challenge. 

"I know it's silly but cool, I can use it."

Jackson will trot back out onto the practice field in Pompano Beach in two weeks' time as the freshly crowned MVP - the best player in the entire NFL.

But Harris will be ready, with his iPhone Notes, and his broom.

"I already know how to motivate him," Harris concludes.

"I've got a couple of bullets in the chamber for the MVP!"

Lamar Jackson has been named the NFL's MVP for the 2019 season.

In his first full season as the Baltimore Ravens' starting quarterback, second-year signal caller Jackson threw for 3,127 passing yards, a league-leading 36 touchdowns and tossed only six interceptions.

He also broke Michael Vick's single-season record for rushing yards for a quarterback, amassing 1,206 yards on the ground as the Ravens went 14-2 in the regular season.

They exited the playoffs at the first hurdle, falling 28-12 against the Tennessee Titans, though Jackson still had over 500 yards total offense during that Divisional Round clash.

Jackson started in sensational fashion, torching the Miami Dolphins for 324 passing yards and five touchdowns in a game where he had a perfect passer rating.

The 23-year-old had two other games with five touchdown passes and also had a perfect passer rating against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 10, when the Ravens were in the midst of a 12-game winning streak.

That victorious run also helped Jackson's coach John Harbaugh win the Coach of the Year award at the NFL Honours on Saturday night.

Elsewhere, New Orleans Saints wide receiver Michael Thomas was voted Offensive Player of the Year, New England Patriots cornerback Stephon Gilmore claimed the Defensive Player of the Year award and Tennessee Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill won Comeback Player of the Year.

San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman Nick Bosa was named the Defensive Rookie of the Year ahead of his appearance in Super Bowl LIV, with Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray the Offensive Rookie of the Year.

Lamar Jackson is the NFL's MVP - an honour that comes as no surprise.

The Ravens quarterback delivered a sensational season in his first full year as Baltimore's starter, guiding them to an AFC-best 14-2 record.

Jackson, 23, not only proved how potent he is with his legs but showed he could win with his arm too, leading the league with 36 touchdown passes.

We look at five defining moments in Jackson's MVP campaign.

 

NOT BAD FOR A RUNNING BACK!

A Week 1 matchup against a Miami Dolphins roster that had been gutted of most of its star power allowed Jackson to feast. However, it was through the air, rather than on the ground, where he did his damage.

Jackson completed 17-of-20 passes for 324 yards and five touchdowns - including two bombs to rookie receiver Marquise Brown - while rushing for just six yards on three attempts.

It was a defiant response to those who thought Jackson could not win with his arm. After posting a perfect 158.3 passer rating, he took aim at his critics by saying: "Not bad for a running back!"

BOUNCING BACK AGAINST THE BENGALS

Five of Jackson's six interceptions in 2019 came in Weeks 4 and 5, so he needed a response in Week 6 and, boy, did he deliver one.

He became the first quarterback in the Super Bowl era to pass for at least 200 yards (236) and rush for at least 150 (152), burrowing in for a 21-yard score on the ground too.

Jackson fell 21 yards shy of Michael Vick's single-game rushing record for a QB in the regular season, though another of his marks would soon be surpassed...

YOU MADDEN, BRO?

Four weeks later and the Bengals once again had no answer to the man quickly establishing himself as the best dual-threat QB in the NFL.

In going 15-of-17 for 223 yards and throwing three touchdowns, Jackson posted his second perfect passer rating of the season.

Yet it was his jaw-dropping 47-yard TD run that justified the MVP chants as Jackson spun away from three defenders as if he was being controlled by a Madden video game player.

LIKE MIKE... ONLY BETTER

Another primetime outing, another primetime performance; this time on Thursday Night Football against the New York Jets in Week 15.

The Ravens clinched the AFC North title, and Jackson possibly the MVP award, with a 42-21 demolition of the Jets in which the quarterback once again threw five touchdowns.

He also broke Vick's single-season rushing record (1,039 yards) for a QB on the opening drive, finishing with another 86 yards on the ground on just eight carries.

DEFYING LOGIC AGAINST CLEVELAND

If the spinning TD against the Bengals showcased Jackson's running ability, his connection with Mark Andrews in Week 16 highlighted his pocket presence, touch and poise as a passer.

With 15 seconds left before the half and no timeouts left, blitzing Cleveland Browns cornerback T.J. Carrie looked to take Jackson down.

Yet the former Louisville quarterback juked past the onrushing Carrie, kept his eyes downfield and, from an unbalanced platform, dropped a dime over Damarious Randall to Andrews in the endzone.

Derrick Henry was keen to praise the collective effort rather than take individual praise after starring in the Tennessee Titans' Divisional Round upset win over the Baltimore Ravens.

The Titans were physically a step above of the top-seeded Ravens in a 28-12 triumph that booked a Conference Championship berth.

Running back Henry made history by becoming the first player in NFL history to finish with 180 or more rushing yards in three consecutive games, including the playoffs.

Henry rushed for 195 in total and threw a three-yard touchdown pass in a fine showing, but the 26-year-old said the win was a mark of the efforts of the whole team.

"I am more happy that we won [than making history]. The stats and all of that stuff is good. But we got the win, and we are advancing. That's the most important thing to me," Henry told reporters.

"It's not just me. It's a team effort. We're all playing collectively as an offense, as a whole. We're just locked in. We believe in each other. We communicate. It's working out there."

Head coach Mike Vrabel added: "They handed me a sheet that said, 'the only player in NFL history...'

"Whatever comes after that is pretty much self-explanatory when it's the only player in NFL history. It's fun to get to coach him."

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill described his team-mate as a "special" talent and explained what makes Henry so unique.

"He's special. I think he is special because he has the size that is extremely rare in a running back. But he also has the speed to go with it," Tannehill said.

"So he has the size to run those two or three-yard runs that are physical when there's no hole. He's getting the yards to keep us ahead of the chains.

"But also if he breaks free and gets past the first level, he has the speed to take it 60 or 70 yards, which is extremely rare and what makes him special."

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.

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."

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.

 

SUNDAY

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). 

Sam Darnold was selected third overall by the New York Jets in the 2018 NFL Draft, 29 spots ahead of Lamar Jackson, but it is the Baltimore Ravens star who is on course to win the MVP award.

The Jets are on the long list of teams who look foolish for passing on Jackson, and one celebrity Gang Green fan tried to convince the franchise hierarchy the former Louisville quarterback was a better option than Darnold back in 2018.

Speaking on the Michael Kay Show on WEPN-FM 98.7 ESPN New York, Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm creator Larry David revealed he told then Jets general manager Mike Maccagnan to draft Jackson.

Maccagnan's response was not a positive one.

"I did call Mike Maccagnan before the 2018 draft and I recommended that he draft Lamar Jackson. I have a witness," David said.

"He kinda gave me the most condescending ... he laughed at me. But, who can blame him?"

Darnold has a career record of 11-15 in his 26 games for the Jets. He has completed 59.9 per cent of his passes for 5,889 yards, 36 touchdowns and 28 interceptions, having missed much of the 2019 campaign due to a bout of mononucleosis.

Jackson, meanwhile, is 19-3 as a starter with the Ravens, who face the Tennessee Titans in the Divisional Round of the playoffs on Saturday. 

He threw for 3,127 yards, 36 touchdowns and just six interceptions in the regular season, while also breaking Michael Vick's single-season quarterback rushing record by running for 1,206 yards and seven touchdowns.

The Ravens are two wins away from the Super Bowl while the Jets are once again watching from home. David may be known for his comic genius, but perhaps Maccagnan should have taken him seriously.

Baltimore Ravens star Mark Ingram missed practice on Tuesday as the running back continues to deal with a calf injury.

Ingram missed the Ravens' final game of the regular season – a 28-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on December 29 – after hurting his calf a week earlier.

The 30-year-old sat out practice on Tuesday, just four days out from the Ravens' clash against the Tennessee Titans.

Ingram scored 15 touchdowns during the regular season – the fourth most in the NFL – in his 15 appearances.

The Ravens, who finished the regular season with a 14-2 record, host the Titans in the AFC Divisional Round.

Lamar Jackson says the Cleveland Browns need to "chill out" after interviewing Greg Roman, with the Baltimore Ravens needing him to focus on their pursuit of a third Super Bowl win.

Baltimore offensive coordinator Roman spoke with the Browns, who are looking for a new head coach after firing Freddie Kitchens last week, on Thursday.

However, quarterback Jackson, named on the first-team All-Pro squad by the Associated Press on Friday, says Roman has enough on his plate as the Ravens - top seeds in the AFC - gear up for the NFL playoffs.

"They need to chill out," Jackson said when asked about the Browns' interest in Roman. "We got something to do right now.

"We need him to focus because we need to focus. We're trying to get somewhere. You guys are going to have your own turn when the season is over with."

Quizzed if he had told Roman what he thinks about the issue, he replied: "Nah, he should know that."

Jackson says a playoff defeat to the Los Angeles Chargers last year in his rookie season has given him extra motivation to avoid more postseason heartbreak.

He said after the Ravens' last practice session of their bye week: "That game still motivates me. I still haven't played my second playoff game yet.

"That game is over with. We've been having a great year this year. We just got to keep it going. I want a Super Bowl. I'm not worried about that. That was my rookie season."

The San Francisco 49ers edged the Seattle Seahawks 26-21 in a wild clash to clinch the NFC's number one seed and a first-round bye in the NFL playoffs.

San Francisco emerged as NFC West champions and the top seeds thanks to Sunday's incredible victory in Seattle.

The Philadelphia Eagles and Tennessee Titans booked their postseason berths with wins on the final day of the regular season.

Meanwhile, AFC top seeds the Baltimore Ravens head into the bye on the back of an impressive 28-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

 

NINERS DOWN SEAHAWKS IN THRILLER 

The Seahawks appeared dead and buried against the 49ers, trailing 26-14 with less than four minutes remaining.

However, the final minutes were unbelievable as the 49ers somehow denied the Seahawks a first-round bye and top spot in the NFC.

Down 26-21 in the final seconds, Seahawks tight end Jacob Hollister charged towards the endzone and fell just inches short of the goal-line on a fourth-down play. It came after a delay of game penalty when Seattle had the ball at the one-yard line.

Dre Greenlaw made the tackle to hold out Hollister with nine seconds remaining as the 49ers earned homefield advantage throughout the postseason after sealing their first division crown since 2012, while the Seahawks will face the Eagles in the wildcard game.

49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo was 18 of 22 for 285 yards and no touchdowns, while Raheem Mostert (two) and Deebo Samuel (one) both rushed for TDs.

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson completed 25 of his 40 throws for 233 yards and two touchdowns.

 

EAGLES SOAR INTO PLAYOFFS, TITANS JOIN THEM

The Eagles moved through to the wildcard round after capturing the NFC East championship by beating the New York Giants 34-17.

Philadelphia (9-7) finished ahead of rivals the Dallas Cowboys (8-8), who eased past the Washington Redskins 47-16.

Failing to reach the playoffs thrust the future of out-of-contract Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett further into the spotlight but owner and general manager Jerry Jones said: "I'm not going to get into it at all, an evaluation or an assessment. I'm not. I'm going to do exactly what I always do and get up, go forward and do the best job that I can. We'll make those decisions accordingly."

The Titans, meanwhile, used a 35-14 victory against the Houston Texans to advance to the playoffs and set up a wildcard showdown with defending Super Bowl champions the New England Patriots.

The Oakland Raiders missed out on the playoffs following a narrow 16-15 defeat to the Denver Broncos.

 

RAVENS CAP SEASON WITH 12TH STRAIGHT WIN

Despite the absence of their star starters, the Ravens ended the regular season with another victory, this time against the Steelers.

The Ravens extended their winning streak to 12 as they improved to 14-2 for the season without Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, Marshal Yanda and Earl Thomas.

"That puts an exclamation point on an excellent season," said Ravens head coach John Harbaugh.

Pittsburgh required a Tennessee loss to have any chance of becoming only the seventh team since 1970 to reach the playoffs following a 0-3 start.

 

RAMS SAY GOODBYE TO COLISEUM

The Los Angeles Rams farewelled LA Memorial Coliseum with a 31-24 triumph against the Arizona Cardinals.

As the Rams prepare to relocate to SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, they celebrated one last victory at the historic 96-year-old venue.

"I will miss playing in the Coliseum," said quarterback Jared Goff said. "I'm really excited for SoFi. What Mr. [Stan] Kroenke has done there is going to be something that I don't think the world has ever seen, honestly. It'll be a lot of fun, but I will miss the Coliseum and will miss the history of it, the lighting of the torch, the fireworks, the whole thing. The fanbase we've built here, how much louder it was this year compared to my first year, and just seeing it grow, is really cool."

 

Week 17 results

New York Jets 13-6 Buffalo Bills
Cincinnati Bengals 33-23 Cleveland Browns
Green Bay Packers 23-20 Detroit Lions
Kansas City Chiefs 31-21 Los Angeles Chargers
Chicago Bears 21-19 Minnesota Vikings
Miami Dolphins 27-24 New England Patriots
Atlanta Falcons 28-22 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (OT)
New Orleans Saints 42-10 Carolina Panthers
Dallas Cowboys 47-16 Washington Redskins
Denver Broncos 16-15 Oakland Raiders
Los Angeles Rams 31-24 Arizona Cardinals
Philadelphia Eagles 34-17 New York Giants
San Francisco 49ers 26-21 Seattle Seahawks
Jacksonville Jaguars 38-20 Indianapolis Colts
Baltimore Ravens 28-10 Pittsburgh Steelers
Tennessee Titans 35-14 Houston Texans

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