Falcons Blanking Seahawks...Later It's Texans-Pats 1/13/13
January 13, 2013
The final two conference championship participants in the NFL playoffs are being decided today.
First, it's Atlanta hosting Seattle in an NFC matchup at the Georgia Dome. It's been all Atlanta so far with the Falcons racing out to a 20-0 lead at the half. Matt Ryan has been on fire. He's connected with tight end Tony Gonzalez on a 1-yard TD catch in the first quarter. Ryan and Roddy White hooked up on a 47-yard bomb near the end of the first half.
Atlanta is trying for its first playoff victory under coach Mike Smith. They entered today with an 0-3 playoff mark under Smith with Ryan at the helm.
Today's winner moves on to play San Francisco in the NFC Championship next Sunday. The 49ers eliminated Green Bay 45-31 Saturday night.
Later, it's Houston visiting New England in the AFC divisional semifinal. The second-seeded Pats are coming off a bye week while the Texans beat Cincinnati 19-13 last weekend.
The Texans lost three of their last four regular-season games, starting against Patriots when Tom Brady threw four touchdown passes on Dec. 10.
Houston QB Matt Schaub threw for more than 4,000 yards for third time in four seasons. In last five games, starting with loss to New England, he's thrown one touchdown pass and four interceptions.
New England QB Tom Brady needs one win to break a tie with Joe Montana for most victories in postseason by a quarterback. It would be Brady's 17th. Brady is 6-6 in last 12 playoff games after starting 10-0 in the postseason.
Brady's favorite target, Wes Welker, tied for second in NFL with 118 catches and leads the league over past six seasons with 672.
The winner advances to play Baltimore in next Sunday's AFC Championship. The Ravens outlasted Denver 38-35 in double overtime Saturday.