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49ers Roll Over Seahawks to Advance to Divisional Round

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This was not the sort of history Trevor Lawrence desired to make in his first playoff appearance: The Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback became the primary player within the Super Bowl era to throw three interceptions in the primary quarter of a playoff game.

It got worse.

Lawrence threw a fourth interception within the second quarter, and by the point half-hour of football was within the books, Jacksonville was in a 27-7 hole.

Three of the interceptions went to Asante Samuel Jr., who became the primary player with three defensive interceptions in a playoff game since Recent England’s Ty Law and Carolina’s Ricky Manning each did it on Jan. 18, 2004.

No worries. Lawrence led Jacksonville to 24 second-half points to finish the third biggest playoff comeback in N.F.L. history to defeat the Los Angeles Chargers, 31-30.

As an alternative of quitting, Lawrence and the Jaguars forgot about their first-half yips and mounted a determined effort to advance to the divisional round of the A.F.C. playoffs.

“It’s unbelievable,” said Lawrence, who finished 28 for 47 for 288 yards and 4 touchdowns. “You couldn’t write a crazier script.”

Lawrence, in his second yr in Jacksonville, had led the Jaguars to their fourth division championship because the franchise’s inception in 1995. Despite the awful first half, the Jaguars regrouped at halftime.

That they had been down and out before — starting the season 4-8 before winning their last five games and earning their place within the playoffs. At halftime, Lawrence reminded his teammates of their penchant for locating success when their backs were against the wall.

“We said within the locker room that’s sort of how our season’s going. We’re never out of the fight. I’m sort of speechless, truthfully, simply to see what belief can do and to see when a team believes in one another what you may accomplish,” Lawrence said.

Within the second half, Lawrence guided the Jacksonville down the sphere with three sustained and efficient drives. He threw touchdown passes to Zay Jones, Christian Kirk and Marvin Jones.

Lawrence then added a 2-point conversion leap over the pile to make it 30-28 with 5:25 to go. When the Jaguars’ defense forced a punt, Lawrence had 3:09 left in the sport and the ball at his own 21-yard line.

It didn’t take long for Jacksonville to search out their way into Chargers’ territory. With 1:28 left in the sport and facing fourth-and-1 from the Chargers’ 41-yard line, Jacksonville Coach Doug Pederson decided his team was too far out for a game-winning field-goal attempt.

As an alternative, he called for Jacksonville’s work horse, running back Travis Etienne Jr., to hold his team closer to a victory.

“I feel just like the running back, when it gets to that time of the sport, you’re presupposed to be the closer,” Etienne said. “Coach believed in me on that fourth-and-1, to present me the ball. I needed to make something occur for my teammates.”

Etienne did. He took the handoff from Lawrence and bounced outside to the proper sideline for a 25-yard scamper that made for straightforward work for field-goal kicker Riley Patterson.

With three seconds on the clock, Patterson booted a 36-yard field goal for the victory that finished the season for the Chargers.

The Jaguars? They will forget a dismal first half. They’re playing on, advancing to the A.F.C. divisional round for the primary time because the 2017 season.

The storms which have battered California for 2 weeks and knocked out power for hundreds of residents, including San Francisco 49ers tight end George Kittle, were presupposed to significantly affect Saturday’s early wild-card game between the 49ers and the Seattle Seahawks. But just before kickoff, the rain paused, and because the sun shined, the 49ers went on to dominate the Seahawks, 41-23, to advance to the divisional round.

Brock Purdy, the 49ers’ rookie quarterback, also shined in his playoff debut. Purdy, who was chosen with the last pick of the 2022 N.F.L. Draft and commenced the season because the team’s third-string quarterback, threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Christian McCaffrey added 119 yards on the bottom, and receiver Deebo Samuel collected 165 total yards and a touchdown.

Seattle led, 17-16, after the primary half, but San Francisco responded with 25 unanswered points to begin the second.

Purdy’s best play of the sport got here within the fourth quarter when he spun out of what looked like a surefire sack and located 49ers running back Elijah Mitchell for a touchdown. Purdy then threw a pass to Kittle on a successful two-point conversion to place the 49ers up by 14. Later within the quarter, Samuel caught a brief pass and ran for a 74-yard touchdown.

The sport effectively ended after that drive. Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith threw an interception on the Seahawks’ next possession. Smith threw for 253 yards and two touchdowns, and receiver DK Metcalf caught 10 passes for 136 yards and two touchdowns.

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