Daily Archives: January 13, 2013

Brady and Patriots Dominate Texans 41-28

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Tom Brady leads his New England Patriots to a 41-28 in the AFC Divisional Playoff (Photo: BRIAN SNYDER/REUTERS)

Tom Brady secured his 17th career playoff win as the New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans in the AFC divisional playoff. Methodical and unrelenting the Patriots played a nearly perfect game with Brady completing 25 of 40 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns.

The Texans who defeated the Cincinnati Bengals last week could not stop the Patriots offense and though Quarterback Matt Schaub was nearly as good as Brady completing 34 of 51 passes for 343 yards and two touchdowns, but giving up a critical interception. The interception by Linebacker Rob Ninkovitch stopped a Houston drive and resulted in a New England Touchdown.

The Texans who were demolished by New England last year held the game close in the first half, coming back from a 17-3 deficit to end the half behind just 17-13. However in the second half the Patriots took control and despite the loss of Tight End Rob Gronkowski to an injury early Brady was able to make use of his favorite receiver, Wes Welker for 130 yards and third string Running Back Shane Vereen for two touchdown passes and a rushing touchdown.

The Texans trailing 38-13 at the beginning of the 4th quarter did attempt a comeback and scored two touchdowns but the effort was too little too late.

The Patriots will host the resurgent Baltimore Ravens next week. The Ravens coming off their upset win against the Broncos in Denver will face a rematch against an old foe. The AFC championship game has the distinct possibility of becoming a classic.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Falcons Win the Battle of the Birds: Defeat Seahawks 30-28

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Atlanta Falcons kicker Matt Bryant kicks the winning field goal to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL NFC Divisional playoff. (Photo: REUTERS/Chris Keane)

It has been a long time coming and it looked for a moment that it wouldn’t happen yet again. The Atlanta Falcons finally broke their playoff drought and defeated the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 30-28 to advance to the NFC Championship game against the San Francisco 49ers.

It looked early on that the Falcons would run away with the game. Ahead 20-0 at the half and taking a 27-7 lead into the 4th quarter it seemed that they could do little wrong. But the Seahawks, an explosive offense with rookie Quarterback Russell Wilson at the helm stormed back and went ahead with just 31 seconds left on the clock. The Seahawks led by Wilson who set a team record 385 passing yards passed for 2 touchdowns and ran for another.

The Atlanta 4th quarter meltdown was of epic proportions. It seemed the the Seahawks who appeared to be on the verge of certain defeat were on their way to the biggest 4th quarter comeback in NFL history. Fox Sports commentator Brian Billick seemed to think so even after the game that they had won stating: “This win legitimizes the Seattle Seahawks as the #1 seed and the team to beat.” It was a great quote and misstatement as Billick obviously meant the Falcons who are the number one seed in the NFC but who was outspoken in his belief that Seattle would win the game. One thing is sure is that Pete Carroll and Seattle will be undefeated next week especially since they will be watching the 49ers and Falcons play. It is hard to lose when you don’t play. Come to think of it it is hard to win as well, but I digress.

The only problem was that Seattle hadn’t won. Somehow the Falcons managed to come back. Jacquizz Rodgers returned the kickoff 34 yards and then Matt Ryan struck. Hit hit Harry Douglas for 29 yards and completed a 19 yard pass to Tony Gonzalez. Calling their final timeout the Falcons set up for a 49 yard field goal by Matt Bryant. Just before the snap Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called timeout to freeze Bryant. It was a critical call. Bryant’s kick went wide and would have given the Seahawks the win. However on the second attempt his kick went straight through the uprights to put the Falcons up 30-28 with 8 seconds left in the game. Despite an onside kick by the Falcons that gave the Seahawks great field position Wilson could not rally rally Seattle his last pass, a Hail Mary being intercepted with no time left on the clock.

For the Falcons it was a vindication and for their fans a relief. Over the past 5 years they have won more games in the regular season than any time other that the New England Patriots. Until today they had never won a playoff game and Ryan was 0-3 in previous playoff appearances.

The Falcons now move on to host the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship game next week.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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Run Away By the Bay: 49ers Thrash Packers 45-31 in NFC Division Matchup

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San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick runs for a 56-yard touchdown against the Green Bay Packers during the NFC divisional playoff NFL football game. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The San Francisco 49ers ran all over the Green Bay Packers in the first NFC Divisional Playoff Game on Saturday night. Second year Quarterback Colin Kaepernick led the 49ers to a 45-31 win over the Packers, going through the Packer defense like a knife through hot Brie. The 49ers offense pounded the Packers defense gaining 579 yards against a defense that had only allowed 324 against the Vikings a week ago and forced 3 turnovers.

Kaepernick passed for 263 yards with 2 touchdowns and an interception. Michael Crabtree was Kaepernick’s primary target catching 9 passes for 119 yards and 2 touchdowns. Kaepernick ran for 181 yards and an addition two touchdowns. Running Back Frank Gore ran for 119 yards and a touchdown. Kaepernick recovered from a pick six interception during the 49ers first possession on his way to a record setting playoff performance.

The 49ers led at the half by a core of 24-21 and never looked back dominating the second half. Although the Packers and Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had decent offensive numbers they never really got completely in sync while the Packers defense was no match for Kaepernick and the 49ers machine. The 49ers also capitalized on Packers turnovers including a fumble on a punt near the Green Bay goal line.

The win demonstrated why 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh stayed with Kaepernick even after starter Alex Smith recovered from an injury sustained in week nine. Kaepernick’s passing was deadly and his running ability was impossible for the Packers to counter.

San Francisco will now advance to play the winner of the Seahawks and Falcons game on Sunday.  It will be the first back to back appearance in the NFC Championship for the 49ers since 1993-1994. Should the 49ers and the Ravens both win next weekend it would set up the first matchup between brothers serving as head coaches of Super Bowl teams.

Well until tomorrow.

Peace

Padre Steve+

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