The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens have won their way into the Super Bowl in New Orleans, setting up a battle of the Harbaugh brothers.
The playoffs are mostly in the books. And then there were two...
Just like last weekend against Seattle, Atlanta jumped out to a big early lead at 17-0, before the Niners got on the board with a LaMichael James touchdown run and a once-thought-missing Vernon Davis touchdown reception. The Falcons scored heading into the half to lead 24-14, but after that it was all Niners, as Matt Ryan threw his one interception and fumbled and the Falcons failed to tack on any more points. Colin Kaepernick was quiet but effecient with 233 passing yards and only 21 rushing yards, but Frank Gore closed out the game with two big touchdowns, giving the Niners the lead with 8:23 left, one they would not relinquish.
Davis finished the game with 5 receptions for 106 yards and a touchdown. Michael Crabtree had 6 catches for 57 yards.
Meanwhile, the Falcons couldn't get anything going on the ground, as MIchael Turner suffered an ankle injury and Jacquizz Rodgers could muster only 32 yards on 10 carries. Ryan finished with 396 yards on 42 attempts for 3 touchdowns and a pick. Julio Jones had a monster game, with 11 catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns, torching the Niners' defense early and often, especially in the first half. Roddy White had 7 catches for 100 yards, and Tony Gonzalez in possibly his last game ever had 8 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown.
The Ravens avenged their defeat at the hands of the Patriots last season as they took down New England 28-13. The Patriots took a 13-7 lead at the half, but Joe Flacco picked up the slack with a third quarter touchdown pass to Dennis Pitta and two fourth-quarter strikes to Anquan Boldin as the Ravens pulled away.
If you'd have told me one of the quarterbacks had a quarterback rating above 100 and another around 60, I'd've said that sounds about right - but it was just the reverse, as Flacco threw for 240 yards and 3 touchdowns and Brady threw for 320 yards, one touchdown and two picks despite being not sacked for the game. Wes Welker caught 8 balls for 117 yards and Brady's lone touchdown, and Stevan Ridley took 18 carries for 70 yards. The divisional hero Shane Vereen only took six touches (4 carries, 2 catches) after getting three touchdowns last week.
For the Ravens, Ray Rice took 19 carries for 48 yards and a touchdown, and no receiver broke the 70-yard barrier. Torrey Smith led the way with four catches for 69 yards, while Boldin scored his two touchdowns on 5 catches for 60 yards.
So that sets up the Harbaugh Super Bowl (Not the HarBowl, you crazy cretins...) two weeks from today, with the Niners being the de facto home team.
Even though it's two weeks away, who do you have? What'd you think of today's games?