(WWLP-AP) – The New England Patriots are headed to the AFC Championship following Saturday’s thrilling win over the Baltimore Ravens in an AFC Divisional playoff game. The Pats will now take on the Indianapolis Colts in Foxborough this weekend for the right to play the NFC champion in Super Bowl XLIX.
Here are some highlights from the four playoff games this weekend:
Pats make history with win over Ravens
- The Patriots faced 14-point deficits twice during Saturday evening’s game against the Ravens, making them the first team to do so ever in NFL playoff history. The Pats’ win brings them to the AFC title game for the fourth year in a row.
- Brady completed 33 of 50 passes for 367 yards for an offense that ran for only 14, the second fewest in team playoff history. Brady’s 46th career playoff touchdown pass, a decisive 23-yard toss to Brandon LaFell with just over five minutes left, surpassed Joe Montana’s 45 for most in NFL history.
- Fans were reminded of Julian Edelman’s past as a quarterback thanks to a trick play in the third quarter. Edelman caught a short pass from Brady, which he then threw 51 yards to Danny Amendola for a touchdown.
Seattle ends drought for defending Super Bowl champs
- Seattle used a bevy of big plays in its 31-17 win over Carolina on Saturday night in an NFC divisional playoff game, becoming the first defending Super Bowl champion to win a playoff game since New England in January 2006.
- The Seahawks opened up a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter following a Kam Chandler 90-yard interception return for a touchdown.
- Russell Wilson’s passer rating of 149.2 is the fifth-highest in postseason history. He now has the all-time highest career playoff passer rating of any quarterback with at least 150 attempts.
Colts beat Broncos, leading to questions about Manning’s future
- Andrew Luck threw for two touchdowns as the Indianapolis Colts beat the Denver Broncos 24-13 to earn the right to face the Patriots in New England for the AFC championship.Luck completed 27 of his 43 passes for 265 yards, and Dan Herron ran for a touchdown.
- Peyton Manning finished with just 211 passing yards and had one turnover, losing a fumble while being sacked in the first half.
- Manning was murky about his future following Denver’s 24-13 loss to the Colts in the AFC divisional round Sunday, the Broncos’ first loss at home in 13 months. After saying last month that he planned on coming back for an 18th season, the five-time MVP wasn’t so certain after his latest playoff fiasco
Controversial call leads to Green Bay win over Dallas
- Aaron Rodgers completed 24 of his 35 passes for 317 yards and three touchdowns as the Green Bay Packers downed Dallas 26-21 in the NFC divisional playoffs.
- The Packers trailed 21-20 until Rodgers engineered an 80-yard drive that ended with his 13-yard touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers with 9:10 remaining.
- The Cowboys came close to taking the lead on the next possession, but Tony Romo’s pass to Dez Bryant near the goal line was ruled an incompletion following replay, giving the ball back to the Packers on downs with 4:06 left.
- Bryant jumped high for the 31-yard grab to the Packers 1 over cornerback Sam Shields, who had solid coverage on fourth-and-2 with 4:42 left in the game. But the play was ruled incomplete on replay review after Packers coach Mike McCarthy challenged the call. The NFL rule states the receiver must maintain control all the way to the ground. Replays showed Bryant bobbled the ball as he rolled into the end zone, with part of it touching the field.
22News is working for you all this week, covering all the excitement leading up to the AFC Championship game on Sunday, from analysis to what it means to local businesses and how fans are getting ready. 22News will be going to the game, if you are going as well, let us know by using our Report It feature!