The Baltimore Ravens have been famous for prevailing in road playoff games, especially under the leadership of quarterback Joe Flacco. They looked to be well on their way after 2 separate 14-point leads, but it was the Patriots who showed no quit on this night.
New England became the first team to come back from two 14-point deficits in NFL playoff history. Tom Brady led the comeback by throwing 33 of 50 for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns. He surpassed Joe Montana for the most postseason touchdown passes with 45. This came on a night where the Pats' offense managed just 14 yards on the ground, the second fewest in team playoff history.
Flacco finished 28 of 45 for 292 yards and 2 interceptions to go with his 4 touchdown passes. Justin Forsett had 129 yards on 24 carries in the loss.
The defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks were coming off a bye week to host a Carolina Panther team who stymied the Arizona Cardinals last week. The Seahawks started off a little rusty, but ended up pulling away for the 31-17 victory, despite a good effort from the Panthers.
Russell Wilson threw for 268 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Kam Chancellor returned an interception 90 yards for a score to help pull away in the 4th. The Seahawks become the first defending champion to win a playoff game since the 2005 Patriots.
Cam Newton found Kelvin Benjamin for 2 scores in the loss, as the Panthers fall in the divisional round for the second consecutive year.
Wilson finished with a passer rating of 149.2, and was 8 for 8 for 199 yards on third downs.
The Dallas Cowboys had a controversial call lead them to a Wild Card win over the Detroit Lions, but it seemed that karma had found them at Lambeau Field Sunday.
Trailing by 5 in the 4th quarter, Tony Romo completed a pass to Dez Bryant at the 1-yard line, setting up what could be a game-winning drive. Replay showed that Bryant did not "complete the process" of the catch, as they ruled it incomplete on 4th down, giving the Packers the ball and the victory 26-21.
Aaron Rodgers played through a calf injury to lead the Packers back from an 8-point deficit. Rodgers heated up in the second half, throwing 15 of 20 for 227 yards in the half. The Packers will visit the Seahawks next week in the NFC Championship Game. They come out as 7-point underdogs, after Seattle got the best of them 36-16 in week 1.
DeMarco Murray ran for 123 yards, while Romo threw for 191 and 2 TDs in the Cowboys' first postseason trip to Green Bay since the 1967 Ice Bowl.
The struggles of Peyton Manning for the past month of the season continued into Sunday's divisional game, as the Denver Broncos fell to the Indianapolis Colts 24-13. Manning was outplayed by the Colts' Andrew Luck, who threw for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Manning finished the night 26 of 46 for 211 yards and a touchdown pass. He seemed out of sorts yet again, overthrowing too many of his targets throughout the game.
It was revealed on Monday that Manning has been playing the past month of the season with a torn right quad. This might signal the end of Manning's career, depending on his ability to recover from the injury. The Broncos also announced that they had agreed with head coach John Fox to part ways. Needless to say, it will be a brand new Denver Bronco team by the 2015 season.
The Colts will go on to visit the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game on Sunday. The Patriots come out as 7.5 favorites, and do have a 42-20 win over the Colts on November 16th.
The Seattle Seahawks are looking to become the first repeat champions since the 2004-05 Patriots. New England looks to find its way to the top for the first time since those 2 years, despite a couple of close calls. Rodgers is out to prove to Packers' faithful that they can "R-E-L-A-X" when it comes to his injury. Andrew Luck hopes to fill the shoes of Peyton Manning with a Super Bowl appearance. Something has to give this Sunday, as the NFL is down to its' final four.