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9. I’d love to tap the line connecting Bill O’Brien, the Patriots‘ outgoing offensive coordinator, to Josh McDaniels, their incoming offensive coordinator. (O’Brien: “Sorry, Josh, you’re breaking up …”)

10. It never ceases to amaze me how well-played these cold-weather games are nowadays. Brady threw a record-tying six touchdown passes against Denver last Saturday despite a wind chill of 12 degrees. Compare that to the Ice Bowl decades ago in Green Bay, when Dallas’ Bob Hayes ran pass routes with his hands in his pants.

11. Patriots 23, Ravens 20.

NFC: New York Giants at San Francisco 49ers

1. The last time these teams met in the playoffs, the Giants blew a 24-point third quarter lead and the officials blew an obvious pass interference call on the final play. The time before that, the Giants ended the 49ers’ dream of three straight titles, which would have matched the Vince Lombardi Packers (1965 through ‘67) and the Curly Lambeau Packers (1929 through ‘31). What’s going to happen this time?

2. Has any coach — in all of NFL history — done a better job in his first year than the Niners’ Jim Harbaugh? To turn a 6-10 club into a 13-3 conference finalist, without the benefit of an offseason, is simply mind blowing.

3. If I were an NFL owner, I’d hire a scout off the Giants’ staff and ask him: How the heck do you come up with all these great pass rushers (e.g. Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck and now Jason Pierre-Paul)?

4. Often, when a team gets good, it gets good fast. The Rams went from 4-12 in 1998 to winning the Super Bowl. The Patriots went from 5-11 in 2000 to winning the Super Bowl. Now here come the 49ers.

5. Tom Coughlin has been on the hot seat so much, his rear end must look like a fraternity pledge’s. But if he coaches the Giants to another championship, you have to at least consider him for the Hall of Fame. Eli Manning’s Canton stock would rise appreciably with another ring, too.

6. Memo to San Francisco wideout Michael Crabtree: The NFC title game is no country for butter fingers, never mind alligator arms. (Translation: You’d better turn it up a notch from last week.)

7. Instead of politicians from the two cities placing wagers on these games — an exercise in triteness — iconic players from the two franchises should. Joe Montana could put up a bottle of his finest Montagia wine (the 2007 Cabernet, perhaps); Lawrence Taylor, meanwhile, could promise that, if the Giants lose, he’ll make another appearance on “Dancing With the Stars.”

8. Alex Smith has become the Niners’ Joe Flacco.

9. Four times in the past four years, a team that won nine games in the regular season has played in one of the conference title games (the Giants being the fourth).

10. The four divisional playoff games drew significantly larger TV audiences (31 million to 45.1 million) than the BCS championship game (24.2 million). Not to scare anyone, but the NFL might be too big to fail.

11. Giants 27, Niners 22.