Denver, CO – It took a 49-yard field goal from Matt Bryant with less than 10 seconds remaining, but Matt Ryan finally got the proverbial playoff monkey off his back. The fifth-year Falcons quarterback threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns en route to his first playoff victory, as Atlanta fought off a second-half surge from the Seattle Seahawks to earn a 30-28 win in an NFC Divisional Playoff at the Georgia Dome. Ryan, who had dropped his first three playoff appearances, finished 24-of-35 with two interceptions, while Michael Turner rushed for 98 yards on 14 carries for the Falcons, who had lost their last four postseason games. Atlanta will host an NFC Championship game for the first time next Sunday when the Falcons welcome the NFC West champion San Francisco 49ers to the Georgia Dome. Russell Wilson finished 24-of-36 for a postseason team record 385 yards with two touchdown passes and one interception, but the rookie's sensational season ended on a sour note, as the Seahawks saw their six-game win streak come to an end. Wilson also rushed for 60 yards and a score on seven carries, while Marshawn Lynch added 46 yards and a touchdown on 16 rushes for the Seahawks, who have lost their last four NFC Divisional Playoff games.
Final Score: New England 41, Houston 28
Foxboro, MA (Sports Network) - After putting the New England Patriots back in a very familiar position, Tom Brady now finds himself in an unprecedented place in the record books. The star quarterback threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns to lead New England to its second straight trip to the AFC Championship Game, with the defending conference champions advancing with a 41-28 triumph over the Houston Texans in Sunday's Divisional Playoff from Gillette Stadium. Brady completed 25-of-40 passes without an interception en route to his 17th career postseason victory as a starting signal-caller, moving him past Hall of Famer Joe Montana and into sole possession of first place on the NFL's all-time list in that category. Shane Vereen hauled in two of Brady's scoring strikes and accumulated 83 yards on five catches, while also adding a rushing touchdown to help get the Patriots back in the AFC title game for the seventh time overall under the combination of Brady and head coach Bill Belichick. New England will host Baltimore, a 38-35 double-overtime winner over top-seeded Denver in Saturday's other Divisional bout, next Sunday in a rematch of the 2011 conference championship. The Patriots rolled up 457 total yards on Houston's highly regarded defense despite playing most of the way without Pro Bowl tight end Rob Gronkowski, who exited the contest on New England's second offensive series with a reported re-fracture of his surgically repaired left forearm, an injury that sidelined him for five weeks during the regular season. Matt Schaub finished with 343 yards and two touchdowns with one interception on 34-of-51 passing for the Texans, who saw their season end in the Divisional Round for a second consecutive year. Arian Foster compiled 153 yards from scrimmage and scored both a rushing and receiving touchdown in the loss, Houston's fourth in six outings since beginning the season 11-1.