The Baltimore Ravens charged into the postseason with a performance that typified their astonishing turnaround season.
Needing a victory to secure the final AFC wild-card berth, the Ravens built a 17-point halftime lead and never let up in a 27-7 rout of the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.
The playoffs open for Baltimore next Sunday on the road against AFC East champion Miami, but to get there, the Ravens had to adopt a postseason mentality against Jacksonville.
After taking a 24-7 lead at halftime, Baltimore kept pressuring the stumbling Jaguars (5-11), who committed four turnovers and were held to a season low in points.
A year ago, Baltimore went 5-11 and finished last in the AFC North. They entered this season guided by a first-year coach, and their offense was placed in the hands of a rookie quarterback.
Yet the Ravens reversed their record, finishing the regular season with nine wins in 11 games.
"Back in training camp, we just knew how special this team could be," linebacker Ray Lewis said.