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“We made history,” said rookie defensive end J.J. Watt, whose sensational leaping interception and 29-yard return for a touchdown was decisive for Houston. “We’re excited about another chance to make history up there in Baltimore.”

That matchup of AFC division winners is followed by defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay (15-1), which swept its games at Lambeau Field, taking on the Giants. The NFC North winners won at the Meadowlands 38-35 in early December.

But that was when the Giants were sliding. They’ve won four of five since as their defense has come alive. The hot streak earned the Giants (10-7) the NFC East title and, now, a rematch with the Packers.

“If we can play defense like that,” coach Tom Coughlin said, “we will continue to make ourselves heard in this tournament.”

The last time the Giants were in a playoff game at frigid Lambeau Field, they won the NFC championship 23-20 in overtime, then stunned the undefeated Patriots two weeks later in the Super Bowl.

“Cold, I remember that. I remember coach Coughlin’s face. I remember (tackle) David Diehl sweating and it froze on his hair and he had icicles on his hair,” defensive end Justin Tuck said. “And I remember us winning. Hopefully, we can go back there and do it again.”

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Broncos 26, Steelers 20, OT

After Pittsburgh (12-5) rallied from 14 points behind to force overtime, Denver won the coin toss and called the perfect play for the defense the Steelers were in.

Thomas hauled in a high play-action pass from Tebow at the Denver 38, stiff-armed cornerback Ike Taylor and then outraced backup safety Ryan Mundy to the end zone.

“I was just saying, `Man trust your speed. Trust your speed. Don’t cut back. Don’t cut back.’ And he kept it straight. He outran the guy,” said Willis McGahee, whose fourth-quarter fumble helped Pittsburgh tie it.

Tebow, who led five fourth-quarter comebacks and three OT wins in the regular season, finished with 316 yards through the air. He completed just 10 of 21 passes, with Thomas catching four of them for 204 yards. Tebow had two TD passes and ran for a score.

The Steelers lost despite Ben Roethlisberger rallying them. Limping on a sprained left ankle, and with his team severely undermanned because of other injuries, Roethlisberger found Jerricho Cotchery for a 31-yard TD pass with 3:48 left in regulation to tie it.

“Any loss stinks for me and this is no different,” Roethlisberger said. “It’s hard to put into words right now. It’s a frustrating thing.”

Giants 24, Falcons 2

Story Continues →