In this case it is a recap of the only games played as we moved to the AFC and NFC championship games.
The early game pitted the two old pro quarterbacks against each other. Tom Brady, the younger guy at 36, and the New England Patriots traveled to play Peyton Manning, the old guy at 37, and the Denver Broncos. Brady has spent 14 years in the NFL, 11 as a starter. Manning has been in the league 16 seasons, all as a starter, although he missed all of 2011 with an injury. These guys have been around and have faced each other multiple times in big games. Of course Tom and Peyton don't actually face each other. They are never on the field at the same time. In the past Brady's team has usually won. I didn't see the first half. A sunny January day with temperatures in the mid 60's begs for a bike ride not a recliner, TV and remote. When I got back home, Denver was leading 13-3. Only one TD scored by these high powered offenses. The Broncos extended their lead to 23-3 before the Pats finally scored with 9:26 left in the game. Denver added another field goal which put them up by 16 with 7:00 to go. New England scored another TD at the 3:07 mark but failed on the two point conversion. The Broncos then ran out the clock. There were no turnovers in the game but Brady was sacked twice and hurried numerous times. Manning had much more time in the pocket. Denver outgained the Pats by over 180 yards. Final score was 26-16 but it didn't feel that close. Denver now heads to the Super Bowl in two weeks.
The late game featured a totally different quarterback matchup. The San Francisco quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, is 26 years old in his third pro season. He has less than two years as a starter. Meanwhile, the Seahawks QB, Russell Wilson is only 25 and in his second NFL season both as the starter. These teams split their two head to head regular season games, each team winning at home. This game was in Seattle. On the first offensive play of the game Wilson fumbled at the 15 and SF recovered it but had to settle for a field goal. The score was SF 10 Seattle 3 at halftime. The Hawks tied it early in the third quarter which ended at a 17-13 49ers lead. The fourth quarter got a little sloppy for the teams and the officials. There were fumbles, interceptions and blown calls. Seattle finally took the lead early in the fourth then held on. Kaepernick helped them by throwing two interceptions in the quarter one in the end zone with 0:22 remaining. Seattle wins 23-17. It was an amazingly close game. Each team had 11 drives, the Seahawks ran 58 plays with 54 for the 49ers and total yards were identical at 308. The difference was three SF turnovers to one for Seattle.
The Super Bowl will be the Denver Broncos against the Seattle Seahawks. Both were seeded number one in their conferences. The old pro Manning vs the new kid Wilson. The game will be played outdoors in New Jersey at MetLife Stadium. What will the weather be like? Will NJ Governor Chris Christie be closing any bridges. The stadium is in East Rutherford, hope the mayor is on good terms with Christie. I don't really care who wins the game although it might be nice for the Manning family if Peyton got a second Super Bowl ring to pull even with his brother Eli.