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NFL playoff games at their best
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By Brandon Rivera

As the divisional rounds wrapped up this past weekend, NFL fans get a glimpse into what the AFC/NFC conference championship games will look like. Both Saturday and Sunday’s games made for a pretty exciting weekend of football. On Saturday the Philadelphia Eagles hosted the Atlanta Falcons and despite being a low scoring game it still managed to keep fans glued to their sets. The Falcons put up the only first quarter points on a 33-yard Matt Bryant field goal. The Eagles scored a TD in the second quarter but miffed on the extra point. Philly added three more heading into the half down one point 10-9. The Eagles defense kept the Falcons from scoring in the second half and added two field goals to give them the win over Atlanta 15-10.

Later that day the New England Patriots exercised home-field advantage by hosting the Tennessee Titans. The Titans scored first jumping out to a 7-point lead in the first quarter. New England answered in the second quarter with three touchdowns and never really looking back as they easily beat the Titans 35-14.

On Sunday the favored Pittsburgh Steelers hosted the Jacksonville Jaguars at Heinz Field on a cold brisk afternoon, and the Jaguars jumped out to a 14 to nil lead over the Steelers in the first quarter. The Steelers finally got on the board with two touchdowns in the second quarter; however, Jacksonville also added two more as well, keeping the Steelers 14 points away. In the third quarter the Steelers were the lone scoring team cutting into Jacksonville’s lead. Despite the Steelers scoring 28 points in the second half it was too little too late as the Jags also added 17 points in the second half outlasting the Steelers 45-42.

The second game on Sunday was probably the most entertaining playoff game the NFL has seen in awhile. The Minnesota Vikings hosted the New Orleans Saints and it appeared as if the Vikings would run away with the win after heading into the half leading New Orleans 17-0. New Orleans had other ideas though, scoring 14 unanswered points. The Vikings then answered with a field goal in the fourth quarter taking a six-point lead 20-14. With only 3:01 to play the Saints scored a touchdown on a Drew Brees pass to Alvin Kamara taking a 1-point lead. The Vikings responded with a field goal at 1:29 taking back the lead 23-21. The Saints managed to move the ball down to the field to set up what everyone thought to be the winning field goal as the Saints took a 24-23 lead with 25 seconds left to play. The ensuing drive consisted of 4 plays the last of which was a pass to Stefan Diggs on a 61-yard reception which turned into walk-off TD and a Vikings’ win.  

The conference championship games are as follows: The Jacksonville Jaguars will face the New England Patriots in Foxborough Sunday, January 21 at 1:05 p.m. MST., for the AFC Championship game and the Minnesota Vikings head to Philadelphia to face the Eagles on Sunday night at 4:40 p.m. MST., in the NFC Championship game.





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