NFL Playoffs Championship Round review

The Conference Championship is the final step to reach the Super Bowl. One more win means a ticket to New York for the Lombardi Trophy. On Sunday Jan. 19 the (2) New England Patriots took on the (1) Denver Broncos in the AFC and the (5) San Francisco 49ers clashed with the (1) Seattle Seahawks in the NFC.

In the first game on Championship Sunday, the Patriots traveled to Denver to take on the number one offense in the league. The Broncos came out swinging, putting pressure on Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and forcing a 3-and-out on the first drive of the game.

On the next drive for New England, another 3-and-out gave Denver’s offense the ball back. During the following drive Denver scored on a field goal to put them up 3-0 at the end of the 1st quarter.

On the first drive of the 2nd quarter, Peyton Manning rolled out and threw a 1 yard touchdown to tight end Jacob Tamme, which was Tamme’s first career post season TD. After field goals were exchanged, the Broncos led 13-3 at halftime.

Receiving the ball in the second half, the Broncos looked to capitalize on an opportunity to build on their lead. 80 yards later, Manning threw a strike towards Pro Bowl wide out Demaryius Thomas, scoring a TD, to make the difference at 17. After another unsuccessful drive by the Patriots, the quarter ended.

At the start of the 4th, kicker Matt Prater added 3 to give the Broncos a 23-3 lead. New England was able to score two touchdowns, but ultimately failed to comeback. The Denver Broncos won 26-16 and are the 2013-14 AFC Champions. Peyton Manning threw for 400 yards and 2 touchdowns. Manning’s 400 yards was more than the entire New England offense at 320 yards. This Super Bowl appearance is the first since 1998 when the Broncos had won their last Super Bowl.

In the NFC Championship game, the 49ers went on to Seattle to face the Seahawks and the 12th man. In a very defensive 1st quarter only a field goal was scored by San Francisco. In the 2nd quarter, the 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick showed off his legs scrambling for runs of 12 and 58 yards, driving San Francisco to a touchdown. Seattle was later able to score 3 but the 49ers were able to respond with a field goal of their own.

Within a few minutes of the 3rd quarter Marshawn Lynch (AKA Beast Mode) broke a 40 yard touchdown run, tying the game at 10. The 49ers and Kaepernick answered quickly with a 83 yard drive in a little over 3 minutes. The drive ended in a 26 TD strike from Kaepernick to Anquan Boldin, putting San Francisco up by 7.  The Seahawks were able to put up another field goal before the start of the 4th quarter.

Having the ball at the start of the quarter, Russell Wilson drove his team down the field and scored a touchdown through the air, giving Seattle its first lead of the game. After getting the lead, the Seahawks’ defense locked down. Led by Richard Sherman and the “Legion of Boom” (Nickname for the Seahawks secondary) completely shut down the 49ers offense forcing the 49ers to punt 2 more times.

Seattle was up 23-17 with 3:37 remaining in the game. Kaepernick and the 49ers receiving core were able to drive to Seattle’s 18. On first-and-10 Kaepernick dropped back and lobbed a pass towards Michael Crabtree in the back of he end zone. Richard Sherman was right there. Jumping and extending completely, Sherman tipped the ball back and falling into the hands of linebacker Malcom Smith. Sherman was flagged for taunting but sealed Seattle’s ticket to the Super Bowl.

Head Coach Pete Carrol enjoyed his first NFC Championship. This is the Seahawks 2nd appearance in the Super Bowl, their only other appearance was a loss to Pittsburgh in 2005.

On Sunday Feb. 2 the Seattle Seahawks will take on the Denver Broncos in New York for the Super Bowl title game. Seattle’s top ranked defense and the Legion of Boom will try and stop Denver’s top ranked offense and Peyton Manning in what should be an explosive game.