The AFC and NFC Conference Final games are set as the divisional rounds finished up Sunday, with the four final teams moved on.
The action started Saturday as the Saints tried to keep some magic after their game winning field goal last weekend vs Philadelphia. Marshawn Lynch and the rest of the Seattle team had different plans. Lynch rushed for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns as the Seahawks took down the Saints 23-15. This was the third time Lynch has rushed for more than 130 yards in a post season game. Only Terrell Davis and Thurman Thomas have more 130 yard performances in the playoffs since the format started in 1990.
4 was the number most noticed Saturday night in New England, as the Pats took on the Andrew Luck and the Colts. Colts QB Andrew Luck looked to see if he come live up to his last name this week following a 2nd half comeback last week vs the Chiefs. It was a different story as Luck threw 4 interceptions. The Patriots would capitalizes on the turnovers, as Pats RB LaGarrette Blount would rush for 166 yards and 4 touchdowns. "We just had to keep our foot on the gas pedal," Blount told ESPN, "and make sure that they didn't do to us what they did to Kansas City." Patriots took down the Colts 43-22.
After a weekend in below zero temperatures in Green Bay, the 49ers took a trip down to Carolina Sunday to take on the Panthers. This was the first time people were able to see Panthers superstar Cam Newton in the playoffs. Newton threw for 267 yards but it wasn't enough to take down San Francisco. 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick threw for a touchdown and rushed for another to lead San Francisco has Carolina 23-10.
A year later, Peyton Manning took a knew at the end of regulation. This time Manning walked off the field happy and ready to play another week as Payton and the Broncos took down the Chargers 24-17. Manning lead the charge throwing 230 yards and 2 touchdowns. The game plan for Denver was to control the time of possession in which San Diego had control the first 2 meetings this season. Denver did so having the ball for close to 11+ minutes.
Manning will try and get back to the Super Bowl next week as Tom Brady and the Pats will head to Mile High City to battle for the AFC Title Game. Tom Brady rallied the Pats back from a 24 point deficit Week 12 of the regular season to win in overtime 34-31.
The 49ers will make this their third straight trip to the NFC Title Game. This time a trip to the Super Bowl runs through Seattle where the Seahawks are 8-1 at home this season including a blow out win over San Francisco Week 2. San Francisco and Seattle split during the regular season.