The NFL Playoffs have officially reached the final four with the completion of Divisional round. Next weekend, the final four will face off in the respective conference championship games, before moving on to the Super Bowl on February 1 in Arizona.
The first game of the weekend saw the Baltimore Ravens go into Foxboro to face the AFC's top seeded New England Patriots. The Ravens were able to jump out to 14 point leads twice in the game, but were unable to hold off the Patriots, who came back to win 35-31. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady threw for 367 yards in the game, surpassing Peyton Manning for the most passing yards in playoff history, as well as surpassing Joe Montana for the most career touchdown passes thrown, adding three scores for a career total of 46 touchdown passes. Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco threw for 292 yards and four touchdowns in the losing effort, while Just Forsett added 129 yards on the ground.
With the win, the Patriots will host the AFC Championship game next weekend, but would have to wait until the last of the four games this weekend to know their opponents.
The second game of the weekend again featured a number one seed, this time the NFC's Seattle Seahawks hosting the Carolina Panthers. The game started as a defensive duel, with the Panthers trailing by just four at the half. The second half would see Seattle turn on the scoring, jumping out as high as 21 points in the lead before the game ended with a 31-17 score line in favor of the home team. The Seahawks' Russell Wilson threw for 268 yards with three touchdowns, giving him a 149.2 passer rating; Carolina's Cam Newton threw for 246 yards of his own, with two touchdowns, but also had two interceptions.
The Seahawks will host the NFC Championship next week.
The Sunday games started with the Dallas Cowboys visiting the Green Bay Packers. The Packers would score first, only to see the Cowboys put up two touchdowns in response. For the rest of the game, Green Bay would chase the Cowboys before putting up the fins score of the game on an Aaron Rodgers touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers with nine minutes remaining in the game. The Packers would hold on for the 26-21 win. Rodgers would finish the game with 316 passing yards for three touchdowns, while Dallas' Tony Romo would have 191 passing yards and two scores. The ground game for both teams would also show up, with the Cowboy' DeMarco Murray carrying the ball 25 times for 123 yards and a score, and the Packers' Eddie Lacy tallying 101 yards on 19 carries.
The win solidified the NFC Championship game, with the Packers visiting the Seahawks.
The final game of the weekend featured the Peyton Manning led Denver Broncos hosting the Andrew Luck helmed Indianapolis Colts. Luck would win over the future Hall of Famer he replaced in Indianapolis, using two second quarter touchdowns to take a lead they would never relinquish. Luck ended the contest with 265 yards passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions, while Manning would throw for 211 yards and a score. The Colts would win with a 24-13 final score.
The AFC Championship contest will feature the Colts at the Patriots.
Both games will be held next Sunday.