Sunday, January 15, 2012

NFL Playoffs - Divisional Playoff Review

Just what we expected and then some surprises as well.

The defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers were eliminated by the surprising New York Giants, 37-20 in Lambeau Field while the San Francisco 49ers get some late heroics to knock off the New Orleans Saints, 36-32 in the NFC Divisional Playoffs.
The AFC went according to script as the New England Patriots completely destroyed the Denver Broncos, 45-10 while the Baltimore Ravens defeated the Houston Texans in a defensive minded game, 20-13 to set up the AFC title game next weekend.

Eli Manning and the Giants defense strolled into Lambeau Field and punched the Packers in the mouth on Sunday afternoon.
Manning threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns with one interception to lead the way. Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks made seven catches for 165 yards and two scores, including a 66-yard touchdown grab to give New York a 10-3 lead.
Aaron Rodgers and the Packers got roughed up by the Giants
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers suffered through a miserable game, passing for 264 yards and two scores with one interception. In addition, the Packers lost three fumbles and Rodgers was sacked four times by the Giants defense.

On Saturday, Drew Brees saw his team's record setting season come to a close in San Francisco as the 49ers used a late 14-yard TD pass from QB Alex Smith to tight end Vernon Davis to beat the Saints, 36-32 and advance to the NFC Championship Game.
Brees attempted 63 passes in the loss, completing 40 of them for 462 yards and four touchdowns, but the 49ers defense also picked off two passes as they raced out to a 17-0 lead in the first half.
Smith (299 passing yards and three TD) and Davis, who made seven catches for 180 yards, hooked up twice for scores for the 49ers and their defense forced FIVE Saints turnovers in the win.
So it is on to the NFC title game for the upstart Giants and 49ers.

The AFC will have the New England Patriots hosting the Baltimore Ravens in the Championship Game as Tom Brady (pictured left)  passed for SIX touchdowns (A PLAYOFF RECORD) and 363 yards as the Pats made a huge statement against the Broncos, who stunned Pittsburgh in the Wild Card Round last week.
The Patriots roared out to a 35-7 halftime lead as Brady hooked up with Rob Gronkowski (10 catches for 145 yards) for three touchdowns as they outgained Denver, 509-252 in total yardage.
New England's much maligned defense bottled up the Broncos running game and sacked quarterback Tim Tebow five times.

On Sunday, the Ravens exploded out to a 17-3 first quarter lead behind a pair of touchdown passes from QB Joe Flacco, who threw for 176 yards in the win.
The Baltimore defense intercepted Houston QB T.J. Yates three times and forced a fumble as well to keep the Texans at a distance.
Texans running back Arian Foster rushed for 132 yards and a touchdown in the loss.

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