- Associated Press - Sunday, January 8, 2012


Sat. Jan. 14

New Orleans (14-3) at San Francisco (13-3), 4:30 p.m. EST. The high-scoring Saints earned a trip to the next round of the playoffs with a convincing 45-28 win over the Detroit Lions on Saturday night. Drew Brees threw for 466 yards, the most in a regulation playoff game, and three touchdowns. After a first-round bye, Jim Harbaugh’s 49ers head into their first postseason appearance in nine years.



_Eli Manning, Giants, threw three touchdown passes to lead New York to a 24-2 victory over the Atlanta Falcons. Manning finished 23 of 32 for 277 yards, and had a 14-yard dash on third down in the second quarter that got the Giants rolling.


_Brandon Jacobs, Giants, ran for 92 yards on 14 carries as New York combined to rush for a season-high 172 yards to help New York beat Atlanta 24-2.


_Hakeem Nicks, Giants, had six catches for 115 yards and two touchdowns as New York topped Atlanta 24-2.


_The New York Giants held the Atlanta Falcons to 247 total yards, 4 for 14 on third downs and 0 for 3 on fourth downs in a 24-2 victory.


New York’s 24-2 win over Atlanta on Sunday was the Giants‘ first home playoff victory since a 41-0 rout of Minnesota for the 2000 NFC title. It was also the Giants‘ first postseason victory since their Super Bowl upset of undefeated New England four years ago in Arizona.


New York twice stymied Atlanta on fourth-and-1 as quarterback Matt Ryan’s sneaks went nowhere in the Giants‘ 24-2 win Sunday. The defense also stopped Michael Turner on a third-and-inches late in the third period. The Falcons couldn’t gain any traction on the ground and were held to 64 yards rushing.


There were no turnovers by either team in New York’s 24-2 win over Atlanta on Sunday. … Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez is 0-5 in playoff games in his 15-year career.


Atlanta’s last playoff win was in 2005 over St. Louis when Michael Vick still was the Falcons‘ quarterback. They have also lost three straight postseason games under coach Mike Smith and quarterback Matt Ryan.


“If we can play defense like that, we will continue to make ourselves heard in this tournament.” _ Giants coach Tom Coughlin after New York stymied the Atlanta Falcons in a 24-2 victory Sunday.

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