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Houston 19 Cincinnati 13. Bengals' offense was largely kept in check as it could only manage two field goals. its lone touchdown was an interception return on a ball that was thrrown late and the cornerback undercut the passing route. Cincinnati was also unable to stop Houston's running game.

Green Bay 24 Minnesota 10. Vikings struggled without starter Chris Ponder who was deactivated with a bruised triceps. Adrian Peterson was held somewhat in check with 99 yards on 22 carries.

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Today: Indianapolis - Baltimore 1:00 P.M. Aging Baltimore defense that has struggled against the run and an offensive front line that has given up too many sacks might not be enough to expose Colts quarterback Andrew Luck's inexperience.

Seattle - Washington 4:30 P.M. Washington's has shown an inconsistent pass rush and suspect safety play. There had to be a reason why Washington was 30th in the league in pass defense. The question will be if Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson will have the experince and maturity to exploit it.

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Seattle 24 Washington 14. This a game Robert GRiffin III should have been deactivated as his knee was still not 100% and was gimpy after throwing an ill advised pass. However, that won't change the fact Seattle was able to exploit Washington's less than stellar defensive front running up 224 yards rushing and a pass defense that was ranked 30th in the league scoring on a four yard pass against blown coverage.

Baltimore 24 Indianapolis 9. Indianapolis was unable to finish off drives settling for three field goals and throwing an interception to end another potenital scoring drive. Baltimore, however, continued to give up yard, something Peyton Manning might able to exploit.

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Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III underwent successful surgery, actually, another reconstruction of the right knee, to repair a torn LCL and redo of the ACL that occured in 2009 while at Baylor. In hindsight, he should have placed on the injured list, if not injured reserve given the fact Kirk Cousins has proven to be a capable backup.

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Cleveland Browns search for new head coach continues after Oregon coach Chip Kelly was found to be hestitant about jumping to the NFL. Candidates being interviewed have included current Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman, current Carolina offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski, and Cincinnati defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer.

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Today: Baltimore at Denver 4:30 P.M. Baltimore must establish a running attack to keep Peyton Manning off the field and force turnovers and also disguise its coverage and force Denver into third and long. More than likely, Manning exploits a defense that has struggled against the run and in the lower half against the pass.

Green Bay at San Francisco 8:00 P.M. Green Bay must plug holes in its offensive line that has given up a second worst 51 sacks. Packers' receiving corps is healthy again and could have a chance to exploit a defense that got exposed against New England and Seattle.

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Baltimore 38 Denver 35. Three turnovers, an interception returned for a 39 yard touchdown, a fumble that set up another, and an ill advised throw that set up the game winning field goal, allow Baltimore to advance to the AFC title game. A defensive lapse by Denver allowed the Ravens to tie the game on a 70 yard pass from Joe Flacco to Jacoby Jones with 31 seconds left in regulation. Blown coverage by cornerback Tony Carter allowed Jones to streak by him and safety Rahim Moore who failed to stay stride for stride with Jones and made a futile attempt to knock the ball down. The winning field goal goal came at 1:42 of the second overtime after Manning threw late and across his body and also down the middle.

San Francisoco 45 Green Bay 31. San Fransisco dominated the line of scrimmage in running up 579 yards total offense, 323 on the ground. Green Bay also failed to account for quarterback Colin Kaepernick who rushed for 181 yards and two touchdowns, one a 56 yard end run that completely fooled the Packer defense. Kapernick was also 17 for 31 for 263 yards.

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Today: Seattle at Atlanta 1:00 P.M. Atlanta must resuscitate a high powered offense that has been nonexistent in the playoffs and one that laid an egg against Tampa Bay in the regular season finale. Seattle, in turn, needs to establish a running game against the league's 21st ranked defense against the run. Seattle must also shut down Atlanta's receiveing corps.

Houston at New England at 4:30 P.M. Houston obviously needs to establish its run game for a chance to exploit New England's weak secondary that has been prone to giving up big plays, a large part of the reason the Patriots were 29th in the leauge in pass defense. The Texans need to shore up its own defense which has tended to struggle against elite quarterbacks.

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Atlanta 30 Seattle 28. Atlanta barely sheds a reputation for choking in the playoffs on a 49 yard field goal by Matt Bryant with 8 seconds left. Seattle had made adjustments and had comeback from a 27-7 fourth quarter deficit effectively shutting down in the process. A three yard pass put Seattle ahead 28-27 with 31 seconds left. The Seahawks went to soft coverage on Atlanta's nest possession nand got burned giving up a 29 yard sideline pass to Harry Douglas and a 19 yarder over the middle to tight Tony Gonzalez and Atlanta used used its final timeout. Granted, you don't want to give up the 70 yard bomb like Denver did, but you also want to get pressure on the quarterback which Seattle also failed to do.

The next move was one Seattle coach Pete Carroll would like to have back. They called a timeout just before Bryant's first attempt sailed wide right. Bryant would make good on his second chance.

The Falcons nearly blew this chance when the squib kick was covered on the Seahawk 40 yard line. While you don't want to give up the long kickoff return, but you also want to get get the squib kick down to a least the 20 yard line and increase your opponents' handicap. A final desperation pass was intercepted in the end zone.

Two lost scoring opportunities would prove crucial. The first was after Seattle had driven to the Atlanta 11 yard line and were stuffed on fourth one. The second came at the end of the first half after another drive reach the 6 yard line. Seattle used up its tiemouts after two incomplete passes and Russell Wilson took a sack and time ran out before a fourth time pass could be attempted and also due to the lack of opportunity to get field goal unit on the field.

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Today: San Francisco at Atlanta 3:00 P.M. How San Francisco wins - Force Matt Ryan out of the pocket and especially to his left where he apparently has accuracy issues. Secondary must be able to stay with Atlanta's receiving corps.

How Atlanta wins - First, establish the run to slow down the pass rush and especially to keep Kaeprnick on the sidelines. They must account for Kaepernick, stay in their lanes, keep him in the pocket and force him to beat them with his arm. Mobile quarterbacks have given Atlanta problems as big plays are often made on the perimeter of the defense. Speed up the tempo of the game as New England did to wear down the 49ers' pass rush and exploit the 49ers' secondary.

San Francisco is the only remaining team to rank in the top ten in defense, 3rd in total defense and fourth against both run and pass.

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Today: Baltimore at New England at 6:30 P.M. How Baltimore wins- Run the ball to keep Brady on the sidelines, exploit the Patriots' secondary which was 29th in the league in pass defense, and disrupt Brady and force him into mistakes. Success by Ravens wide receiver would enhance the running game. And drag the game into a dark alley. Baltimore must also account for Patriots wide receiver Wes Walker.

How New England wins. Speed up the tempo of the game before the Ravens can get set. Shut down the run and force Baltimore to be one dimensional which would improve their odds of stopping the pass. Also build an early lead to force Baltimore to play catchup.

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San Francisco 28 Atlanta 24. In a game neither team could stop the other, San Francisco overcomes the largest deficit in playoff history, an early 17-0 deficit, by making needed adjustments on defense and staying with its strategy of pounding the ball between the tackles to advance to the Super Bowl.

The 49ers nearly did themselves in by failing to take advantage of scoring opportunities and shoddy tackling by the Falcons, a season long problem, did them in. In the end, the 49ers were able to make plays when they needed to.

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Baltimore 28 New England 13. Baltimore effectively shut down New England forcing it one dimensional in the second half after trailing 13-7 forcing two interceptions and a fumble that stopped scoring drives. Failure to execute was the Patriots undoing, dropped passes and inaccuracy by Brady. Despite the fact Brady was able to throw for 320 yards, he was effectively outplayed by Flacco. The loss of conerback Talib further exposed the Patriots' secondary.

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