Tebow-mania runs out of gas…
Tom Brady tied a playoff record with six touchdown passes as the Patriots pummeled the Broncos, 45-10. Five of Brady’s TD strikes came in the first half. He finished with 363 yards through the air for New England, which will host either the Ravens or the Texans in the AFC Championship Game next Sunday.
Rob Gronkowski had 10 catches for 145 yards and three scores in the one-sided affair. Deion Branch, Wes Welker and Aaron Hernandez each had TD grabs in the win.
Tim Tebow was just 9-of-26 for 136 yards for the Broncos, who trailed 35-7 at halftime. Tebow had no touchdowns or interceptions and rushed for only 13 yards. He was also sacked five times and lost a fumble. Willis McGahee rushed for 76 yards and a score for Denver, which allowed 509 total yards of offense.
Baltimore Moves on…
The Baltimore Ravens have advanced to the AFC Championship Game by defeating the Houston Texans, 20-13. Joe Flacco finished 14-of-27 for 176 yards with two touchdowns for the Ravens, who will travel to New England to face the top-seeded Patriots next Sunday.
Anquan Boldin and Kris Wilson each found the endzone via the air and Billy Cundiff added a pair of field goals in the win. Baltimore finished the season a perfect 9-and-0 at M&T Bank Stadium.
Arian Foster rumbled for 132 yards with a score on 27 touches for Houston. Rookie quarterback T.J. Yates had 17 completions for 184 yards and three interceptions for the Texans, who were coming off a 31-10 win over Cincinnati last weekend in their first playoff game in franchise history.
Shootout in the Bay…
Vernon Davis caught a 14-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the 49ers a wild 36-32 win over the Saints in a divisional playoff thriller. Davis’ grab capped a game-winning seven-play, 85-yard drive. Davis had seven catches for 180 yards and two scores for the 49ers, who will face either the Packers or the Giants in the NFC Championship Game next Sunday. Alex Smith threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.
Drew Brees passed for 458 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions for the Saints. New Orleans spotted San Francisco a 17-0 lead and turned the ball over five times in the loss. The lead changed four times in the final 4:02 of the fourth quarter. Jimmy Graham had two touchdown catches, including a 66-yard grab that gave the Saints a 32-29 lead with 1:37 left in the fourth.
No title defense…
The New York Giants have advanced to the NFC Championship Game by defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, 37-20. Hakeem Nicks hauled in seven catches for 165 yards with two touchdowns for the Giants, who will travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers next Sunday. Eli Manning completed 21-of-33 passes for 330 yards with three TD’s and an interception as New York got revenge from a 38-35 loss to Green Bay in Week 13 of the regular season.
The Giants’ defense forced three fumbles and also had an interception in the lopsided victory.
Aaron Rodgers threw for 246 yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Green Bay. Rodgers also rushed for 66 yards for Green Bay, which suffered its first loss of the season at Lambeau Field. They went 15-and-1 during the regular season.
Next Sunday the Ravens & Patriots hook up for the AFC crown at 3pm and the Giants and 49ers battle for the NFC title at 6:30.
The winner of next week’s game will advance to Super Bowl 46.
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