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NFL Playoffs 2014: Conference Championships

By Alex Jordan,

It all came down to this weekend. Four teams were left to battle it out in the AFC and NFC championship games. A trip to Super Bowl XLVIII in New York was on the line, with the winners going to the big game. So who is going to the Super Bowl? Here’s a recap of Sunday’s conference championship games.

New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos: This game was all about Peyton Manning and the Broncos as they beat the Patriots 26-16. The Broncos had the ball for a total of almost 36 minutes. Manning’s pass to Demaryius Thomas gave the Broncos a 20-3 lead halfway through the third quarter. Tom Brady, who threw for 277 yards and one touchdown, led the Patriots to two fourth quarter touchdowns. That cut the Broncos lead to 26-16 with three minutes left, and the Broncos took over from there. Manning threw for 400 yards and two touchdowns. Manning is now 5-10 in his career against Brady and is 2-1 in AFC championship games, according to CBS Sports. The Patriots came up just short of making it to the Super Bowl for the second straight year.

San Francisco 49ers vs. Seattle Seahawks: The Seahawks defeated the 49ers 23-17 in a tightly contested game to advance to the Super Bowl. The 49ers had a 17-13 lead when Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Jermaine Kearse. Steven Hauschka then kicked a field goal to give the Seahawks the lead and eventually the win. Malcolm Smith intercepted Colin Kaepernick’s pass of Richard Shermon's tip with 22 seconds left to seal the win for the Seahawks. The Seahawks forced three turnovers in the fourth quarter and that was the difference in the game.

The Broncos and the Seahawks had the best records in the NFL this season. This is the second time that the top seeds have gone to the Super Bowl in 20 years, according to the Associated Press. It’s the first trip to the Super Bowl for the Seahawks since losing to the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2005. The Super Bowl should be a great game with the top seeds going at it. I think that the Broncos will be because Manning is having a career year and they seem to be unbeatable right now.

image: Wikimedia Commons

 
 

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