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Manning throws 3 TDs, Giants stun Packers 37-20

Posted: January 16, 2012 1:03 PM ; Updated: January 16, 2012 1:03 PM

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- With their own star quarterback and a dominating defense, the New York Giants exposed the Green Bay Packers for what they now are - former Super Bowl champions.

The Packers dropped passes, fumbled the ball and simply couldn't stop Eli Manning and his receivers in the Giants' shocking 37-20 divisional playoff victory Sunday. To the Giants' delight, a Green Bay team that had a real shot at an undefeated season less than a month ago is heading home.

And that the win came at Lambeau Field, well, that was just as sweet. The site has become a familiar launching pad for the New Yorkers. After beating the Packers (15-2) at home for the second time in four years, they only hope this trip ends the same way - in the NFL title game.

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Ravens beat Texans 20-13, move into AFC title game

Posted: January 16, 2012 12:59 PM ; Updated: January 16, 2012 12:59 PM

BALTIMORE (AP) -- If style points and offensive fireworks meant anything, the Baltimore Ravens wouldn't stand a chance of making it to the AFC championship.

Playing defense and protecting the football are what they do best, and that formula led to a 20-13 victory over the Houston Texans on Sunday, putting Baltimore in the AFC title game against the New England Patriots .

"I always say there is a right way to do things, there is a wrong way to do things and there is just the Ravens' way of doing things," linebacker Terrell Suggs said. "It wasn't pretty but we're not really a pretty team. We got the W and now it's on to the AFC championship."

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Patriots rout Broncos 45-10 in AFC playoffs

Posted: January 16, 2012 12:57 PM ; Updated: January 16, 2012 12:57 PM

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) -- Tebowmania had no chance against Tom Brady 's playoff pedigree.

All the heroics, all the big plays and quite a few records belonged to Brady and the New England Patriots on Saturday night in a 45-10 rout of overmatched Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos . Brady threw six touchdown passes, five in the first half, putting the Patriots into the AFC championship game and silencing the nationwide frenzy surrounding Tebow.

The Patriots (14-3), winners of nine straight games, will host either Baltimore or Houston next Sunday for a spot in the Super Bowl. Saturday night's romp snapped a three-game postseason losing streak, two of those at Gillette Stadium, and lifted the Patriots to the verge of their fifth Super Bowl appearance in 11 seasons. They've won three of those, two with Brady as the game's MVP.

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Stingy 49ers hold down Drew Brees, Saints 36-32

Posted: January 16, 2012 12:54 PM ; Updated: January 16, 2012 12:54 PM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- In one triumphant afternoon, playoff first-timer Alex Smith joined a pair of 49ers Hall of Fame quarterbacks with his own indelible postseason moment.

Joe Montana had "The Catch." Steve Young had "The Catch II." Now, Smith added another epic play to the 49ers' storied history: "The Grab."

Smith completed a 14-yard touchdown pass to Vernon Davis with 9 seconds left just after Drew Brees had put the high-powered Saints ahead, and resurgent San Francisco capitalized on five New Orleans turnovers for a thrilling 36-32 playoff victory Saturday.

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No. 2 Alabama beats No. 1 LSU 21-0 for BCS title

Posted: January 10, 2012 10:12 AM ; Updated: January 10, 2012 10:12 AM

NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The Alabama defense took no chances in the rematch.

When Jordan Jefferson dropped back to pass, he was swept under by a tide of crimson. When the LSU quarterback took off running, he must've felt like Alabama had a few extra players on the field.

Courtney Upshaw, Dont'a Hightower and Co. sure made it seem that way.

With a smothering display of old-school football, the No. 2 Crimson Tide blew out the top-ranked Tigers 21-0 in the BCS championship game Monday night.

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Tebow rules in OT, too: Broncos 29, Steelers 23

Posted: January 09, 2012 12:25 PM ; Updated: January 09, 2012 4:09 PM

DENVER (AP) -- "Pull the trigger," John Elway told his Denver Broncos star, Tim Tebow , trying to shake the quarterback from a three-game funk.

Tebow went one better - he pulled off an upset.

A rejuvenated Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas on an electrifying 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime and the Broncos defeated the stunned Pittsburgh Steelers 29-23 in the AFC wild-card game on Sunday.


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Giants rout Falcons 24-2 in NFC wild-card game

Posted: January 09, 2012 12:24 PM ; Updated: January 09, 2012 12:24 PM

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- All the missing pieces - defense and a running game - are aligning at the right time for Eli Manning and the New York Giants . And just in time to play the Packers.

After routing the Atlanta Falcons 24-2 Sunday in the NFC wild-card game, the Giants head to Green Bay next weekend, a place where they will need all the help they can muster.

Manning carried the Giants (10-7) for much of the season, hoping the defense would get stingy, the pass rush would materialize and the running game would get on track. Now, all of that is happening.

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