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Road wins continue in NFL wild-card playoff games as Seahawks, Vikings advance

Working overtime paid off for Minnesota and Houston this weekend.

Seattle Seahawks' D.K. Metcalf catches a touchdown pass as Philadelphia Eagles' Avonte Maddox trails during the second half of an NFL wild-card playoff football game. Source: Associated Press

Seattle avoided the extra session and made it a wild-card bonanza, with three of the four road teams winning.

One day after the Texans rallied from a 16-0 deficit to beat Buffalo 22-19 in an AFC wild-card game, the Vikings stunned New Orleans 26-20 this morning.

Then fifth-seeded Seattle edged undermanned Philadelphia 17-9.

The Texans (11-6) will travel to Kansas City (12-4) next Monday in the divisional round. Tennessee (10-7), which ended New England's run of three straight Super Bowl appearances with its victory yesterday at Foxboro, gets a trip to Baltimore (14-2) next Sunday.

Seattle (12-5) goes to Green Bay (13-3) next Monday because Minnesota's victory meant it would head to top-seeded San Francisco next Sunday.

Kirk Cousins hit tight end Kyle Rudolph with a 4-yard fade on third-and-goal on the only drive of overtime. Minnesota (11-6) had blown a 20-10 lead before marching 75 yards in nine plays to win. Cousins' 43-yard completion to Adam Thielen got the ball to the Saints 2-yard line to set up the winning score.

“I'm so proud of our team, the way we fought,'' Rudolph said. "We knew it wasn't going to be easy coming here. We expected 60 minutes and we got a little bit more. I'm so proud of our guys. Nobody gave us a chance to win here today — except everybody in our organization. We believed.”

Both No. 6 seeds went on the road and won for the second straight year. Not only were both No. 3 seeds eliminated, but their forty-something Hall of Fame caliber quarterbacks, the Saints' Drew Brees and the Patriots Tom Brady, took quick exits.

The Vikings faded in December, losing three of five outings to fall short in the NFC North behind Green Bay and wind up as the lowest NFC seed. But with a staunch defense and strong pass rush that had Brees and the Saints off-balance for much of the game, it appeared Minnesota would not need extra time.

Then Brees found Taysom Hill for a 20-yard touchdown to cap an 85-yard drive, and Wil Lutz made a 49-yard field goal in the dying seconds to force overtime.

It was the second straight time the Saints' season had ended in OT in the Superdome. New Orleans (13-4) fell to the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC championship game last January, damaged greatly by an egregious missed penalty call.

At Philadelphia, Russell Wilson threw a 53-yard touchdown pass to DK Metcalf, Marshawn Lynch had a rushing score, and Seattle held the Eagles to three field goals. Wilson threw for 325 yards and led the team with 45 yards rushing. Metcalf had seven catches for 160 yards.

“You’ve got to step it up in the playoffs,'' Seahawks edge rusher Jadeveon Clowney said. ``We knew it was going to be an upfront game, the whole game. They’ve got a great offensive line, great veteran players.”

The Seahawks are 8-1 away from Seattle, so Lambeau Field won't likely intimidate them.

Seattle, which had lost three of its last four regular-season games, has played some classic games with Green Bay. Most notable was the 2014 NFC title game in which the Seahawks rallied from a 16-0 halftime hole to win in overtime.

Another 40-year-old QB lost. Josh McCown was forced into action in the first half as yet another Eagles starter, this time quarterback Carson Wentz (concussion) went down. McCown, who was retired when the season began, looked rusty and Philly flopped several times in the red zone.