WEEK 20 REVIEW – CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS
After an entertaining Divisional Playoff weekend, it comes down to 4 teams battling it out to determine the AFC and NFC Champions who will then go on to face one another in Super Bowl XLVIII.
At this point in the season, there were two Conference Championship Playoff games and both games were very entertaining.
New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
The first game of the day involved the New England Patriots coming to Denver to face the Denver Broncos. The Broncos were the first on the board when Matt Prater kicked a 27 yard field goal with 3:43 left in the half. About halfway through the Second Quarter, Peyton Manning threw a 1 yard touchdown pass to Jacob Tamme putting the Broncos up 10-0. The Patriots were able to answer with points of their own when Stephen Gostkowski kicked a 47 yard field goal with 2:54 remaining in the half. Peyton Manning moved the Broncos in to scoring range before the half ended and Prater kicked a 35 yard field goal with 25 seconds left in the half and the Denver Broncos led at halftime 13-3. Midway through the Third Quarter, Manning completed a 3 yard pass to Demaryius Thomas and the Broncos increased their lead to 17 points. In the Fourth Quarter, Prater kicked a 19 yard field goal and the Broncos led by 20 points. Three minutes later Tom Brady threw a touchdown to Julian Edelman from 7 yards out decreasing the Broncos lead to 13 points. With seven minutes left in the game, Prater kicked a 54 yard field goal and increased the Broncos lead to 16 points. Tom Brady put together a good drive and with 3:07 left in the game ran in a touchdown from 5 yards out and then Shane Vereen failed to run in the two point conversion and the Broncos lead was cut back to 10 points. The Patriots attempted an onside kick and the Broncos recovered the ball and were able to complete a couple of first downs and run out the clock to win 26-16 in the 15th meeting of Brady and Manning and sending Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos to New Jersey and play in Super Bowl XLVIII.
San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks
The action continued in the second game of the day which pitted the San Francisco 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks. The game started fast and San Francisco moved the ball with ease and Phil Dawson kicked a 25 yard field goal to put the 49ers on the board less than 3 minutes into the game. Early in the Second Quarter, Anthony Dixon ran in a touchdown from 1 yard out and put the 49ers up 10-0 with 10:03 left in the first half. Seattle was able to end the shut out when Steven Hauschka kicked a 32 yard field goal and the 49ers led 10-3 at the half. In the Third Quarter Marshawn Lynch ran in a touchdown from 40 yards out and changed the feel of the game at that point tying the game at 10 points. Three minutes later, Anquan Boldin caught a pass from Colin Kaepernick and was able to score a touchdown from the 26 yard line giving the 49ers a 7 point lead. The Seahawks countered quickly and Hauschka kicked a 40 yard field goal with 3:56 left in the quarter. San Francisco was not able to move the ball and ended up punting and the Seahawks were able to capitalize when Jermaine Kearse caught a 35 yard touchdown pass from Russell Wilson and took the lead for the first time in the game with a score of 20-17. San Francisco was not able to move the ball with any regularity in the second half and the Seahawks got the ball back with 6 minutes left in the game and with 3:37 remaining, Hauschka kicked a 47 yard field goal and increased the Seahawks lead to 6 points. Even with sufficient time on the clock, the 49ers were not able to get a first down and gave the ball back to Seattle who ran the clock and won the game 23-17 and will be moving on to face the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII in two weeks.
Sunday February 2nd
SUPER BOWL XLVIII
Denver Broncos vs. Seattle Seahawks
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF GAME SCORES
- Denver Broncos defeated the New England Patriots 26-16
- Seattle Seahawks beat the San Francisco 49ers 23-17
WEEK 20 CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFF HIGHLIGHTS
- Peyton Manning completed 74.4% of his passes throwing for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns with zero interceptions.
- Marshawn Lynch carried the ball 22 times for 109 yards and 1 touchdown.
- Demaryius Thomas caught 7 passes for 134 yards and 1 touchdown averaging 19.1 yards per reception.
- Colin Kaepernick threw for 153 yards and 1 touchdown along with 2 interceptions. He also rushed 11 times for 130 yards in the game.
- Julian Edelman caught 10 passes for 89 yards and 1 touchdown.
- Doug Baldwin caught 6 passes for 106 yards averaging 17.7 yards per reception.
- Tom Brady completed 63.2% of his passes for 277 yards and 1 passing touchdown and he also ran in a touchdown.