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January 21, 2015

NFL Conference Championship Wrap-Up

by Cody Powers

There was much to talk about for one of the two games on Sunday, and not much to talk about the other. An impossible comeback…and a savage beating that has resulted in a team under investigation.

Let’s start with the blowout. The Indianapolis Colts, who upset the Denver Broncos last week, would travel to Foxborough, Massachusetts to face off against the New England Patriots with a trip to Arizona on the line.

The first Indianapolis possession lasted only a minute, and three seconds. They would force The Pats to punt, which then backfired so to say when the ball bounced off the facemask of the Colts reciever, Joshua Cribbs. The Patriots first play of the drive was a 6 yard completion from Tom Brady to Shane Vereen. The pass would be Tom Brady’s 6,802 career postseason passing yard, a new NFL record for most career postseason passing yards. the drive ended with a one yard touchdown run by Legarrette Blount.

The only good thing that came out the Colts next drive would be the fact that kicker Adam Vinatieri would play in his 30th career playoff game, which is the most in NFL history. He would however miss the 51 yard field goal attempt.

Fast forward to the second quarter, the Colts are already down 14-0, the Patriots with the ball, driving down the field, when Brady tries to hit tight end Rob Gronkowski deep down the middle, and linebacker D’qwell Jackson picks it off and puts an end to the Patriots drive. It would lead to a 10 play, 44 yard drive for the only Indianapolis touchdown of the game. It was a drive kept alive by two Patriots penalty’s, including one that placed the Colts at the one-yard line and set up the touchdown pass from Andrew Luck to Tipton. The score would be 17-7 at half. The third the quarter is where things went terribly wrong for Andrew Luck and the Colts. The Patriots reported one of their lineman as eligible, and Tom Brady hits tackle Nate Solder for the 16-yard score. 24-7. After a Colts punt, the Patriots once again drove down the field and Brady hits Gronk for the score, once again for five yards and the score would be 31-7. Next Colts drive, Luck threw an interception to Darrelle Revis, and the next play, Blount took the handoff 13 yards for yet another touchdown. 38-7. The Patriots would add a touchdown in the fourth on their way to the Super Bowl. Let’s just hope their balls don’t run out of air ;).

The Green Bay Packers, against the Seattle Seahawks was possibly one of the greatest games in NFC Championship history. After two field goals by Packer kicker Mason Crosby in the first quarter, the Packers led 6-0. In those two drives, the Packers also got down to the one yard line, and two yard line, but couldn’t punch it in. The last play of the first quarter was a 13 yard pass from Aaron Rodgers to Randall Cobb, and the Packers went into the second quarter with a 13-0 lead. In that quarter, the Seahawks had two turnovers and a punt. The first turnover was an interception thrown by Russell Wilson and a fumble on a kick return by Doug Baldwin. They only resulted in six points. The Packers added a field goal in the second quarter to take a commanding 16-0 lead into the half.

Here is where things get interesting. Midway through the third quarter the Seahawks had a fourth down, and lined up for a field goal. Or so it supposed, they snapped the ball to punter Jon Ryan, who was the “holder”, before Green Bay knew it, they were watching a punter throw a 19 yard touchdown pass to a wide open Garry Gilliam, an offensive tackle. A lineman, turned wide open receiver. Suddenly the momentum has changed and the Seahwaks were on the board, 16-7. It was the only score of the third quarter.

Mason Crosby added a field goal early in the fourth to extend the lead to 19-7. Nobody scored for about eight minutes. The it happened. The comeback, the blown game, the outcome. Russell Wilson decided it was time for him to show up,after already having thrown four interceptions at this point in the game, along with the rest of the Seattle Seahawks offense. Wilson staged a 7 play, 69 yard drive in a minute and 43 seconds to score a one yard touchdown run with 2:09 left in the game. After an onside kick that bounced off a Packers helmet, the Seahawks had the ball and a chance to take the lead. Which they did after a 24 yard run by Marshawn Lynch and a two point conversion. Seattle was rocking with a 22-19 lead, and only a minute and 25 seconds remained. Rodgers brought Green Bay down the field and Mason Crosby hit another field goal to send the game into overtime.

In overtime, the Seahawks won the coin toss, got the ball, and ended any hope of a super bowl appearance for the Packers. Russell Wilson throws a beautiful pass down the middle of the field in a perfect spot to Jermaine Kearse for a 35 yard touchdown. Just like that. Game. Set. Match.

The Super Bowl will pit the New England Patriots against the Seattle Seahawks. I want to apologize to any Packer or Colts fan, because both losses, are truly embarrassing.

Super Bowl Prediction-

Seahawks 31

Patriots 26

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