We now know two of the four participants in next weekend’s Conference Championship Games. The Atlanta Falcons and New England Patriots held serve at home to advance.
Falcons 36 Seahawks 20
The Atlanta offense did not seem to miss a beat even after a bye week. Matt Ryan threw for 338 yards and 3 touchdowns in registering his second career postseason win (both of which have come against the Seahawks). Seattle did not help itself on special teams with three penalties on returns. One of them might have been the most important play of the game, wiping out an 80 yard Devin Hester return with Seattle ahead 10-7. Instead of being in business to perhaps take a 10 point lead, the Seahawks were backed up against the own goal line and took a safety. The Falcons controlled the game from there.
Patriots 34 Texans 16
The quarterback frequently gets too much credit when his team wins and takes too much blame when his team loses. That was not the case Saturday. The Texans were in position to win this game. Their defense played a pretty good game. (Despite the 34 points New England put up, 7 were on a kickoff return and 7 more were set up by one of the interceptions you’re about to hear about.) Brock Osweiler would not let them win. He threw 3 interceptions and averaged a ludicrous 5 yards per passing attempt.
This pretty much sums it all up.