NFL Playoffs — Divisional Recap: Falcons Beat Seahawks on Late FG; Patriots Down Texans
The Atlanta Falcons nearly suffered an epic collapse before rallying, and the New England Patriots continued their dominance. Here's a recap of Sunday's NFL playoff games:
Atlanta 30 — Seattle 28
Matt Bryant kicked a 49-yard field goal with eight seconds to play, and the top-seeded Atlanta Falcons beat the Seattle Seahawks, 30-28, in Atlanta on Sunday. Bryant's kick came less than 30 seconds after Marshawn Lynch ran for a 2-yard touchdown to give the Seahawks their first lead of the game and overcome a 20-point deficit. Atlanta advanced and will host the NFC Championship Game against San Francisco next Sunday.
The Falcons thoroughly dominated the first half, taking a 20-0 lead into halftime. Seattle began its comeback when rookie quarterback Russell Wilson led the team on an 80-yard touchdown drive on their first possession of the second half. The Seahawks scored three more touchdowns in the fourth quarter, edging ahead on Lynch's run with 31 seconds left.
After Atlanta received the ensuing kickoff, Falcons' quarterback Matt Ryan quickly completed two long passes, setting up Bryant's game-winning kick. Seattle had a last-chance on a desperation heave by Wilson, but the pass was intercepted by the Falcons' Julio Jones. Normally a receiver, Jones was inserted into the game to prevent such a pass.
Ryan finished 24 of 35 for 250 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Atlanta receiver Roddy White caught five passes for 76 yards and a score.
Wilson passed for 385 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for another score. Seahawks' tight end Zach Miller caught eight passes for 142 yards, including a score. Receiver Golden Tate had six catches for 103 yards and a touchdown For Seattle. Lynch was held to 46 rushing yards on 16 carries for the game.
New England 41 — Houston 28
Tom Brady threw for 344 yards and three touchdowns, and the New England Patriots beat the Houston Texans, 41-28, in Foxborough, Mass. on Sunday. The Patriots advanced and will host the AFC Championship Game against Baltimore next Sunday.
New England broke out to a 17-3 lead when Brady connected with Shane Vereen for an 8-yard touchdown with 3:38 left in the first half. The Texans rallied, closing within 17-13 on Shayne Graham's 55-yard field goal at the end of the second quarter.
Brady led the Patriots to touchdowns on three of their first four second-half possessions to put the game out of Houston's reach. The Texans tallied 15 fourth-quarter points, but could not complete the rally.
Wes Welker caught eight passes for 131 yards for New England. Vereen had five catches for 83 yards and two scores. Patriots' running back Stevan Ridley ran for 82 yards and a touchdown.
Texans' quarterback Matt Schaub threw for 343 yards, two scores and an interception. Houston running back Arian Foster carried 22 times for 90 yards and a touchdown.
[Scores and stats via NFL.com]