Sunday, Jan. 18
Green Bay at Seattle, 3:05 p.m. EST (FOX). In the NFC championship game, the Packers (13-4) and Seahawks (13-4) are set for a rematch of this season’s NFL regular-season opener. The defending Super Bowl champions dominated Green Bay in a 36-16 win Sept. 4. Marshawn Lynch ran for 110 yards and two TDs as the Seahawks blew past Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers was 23 of 33 for 189 yards, one TD and one interception.
Indianapolis at New England, 6:40 p.m. EST (CBS). The AFC title game is also a rematch as the Patriots (13-4) beat the Colts 42-20 at Indianapolis in Week 11 as Jonas Gray ran for a franchise-record four TDs. Indianapolis (13-5) reached its first conference championship game since Peyton Manning led them past the New York Jets in January 2010.
-Aaron Rodgers, Packers, was 24 of 35 for 316 yards and three touchdown passes in Green Bay’s 26-21 win over Dallas.
-Andrew Luck, Colts, was 27 of 43 for 265 yards and two touchdown passes and two interceptions in Indianapolis’ 24-13 win over Denver.
-Tony Romo, Cowboys, was 15 for 19 for 191 yards and two touchdowns in Dallas’ 26-21 loss to Green Bay.
-DeMarco Murray, Cowboys, had 25 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown in Dallas’ 26-21 loss to Green Bay.
-Eddie Lacy, Packers, had 19 carries for 101 yards in Green Bay’s 26-21 win over Dallas.
-C.J. Anderson, Broncos, had 18 carries for 80 yards in Denver’s 24-13 loss to Indianapolis.
-Davante Adams, Packers, had seven catches for 117 yards and a touchdown in Green Bay’s 26-21 win over Dallas.
-Randall Cobb, Packers, had eight catches for 116 yards in Green Bay’s 26-21 win over Dallas.
-T.Y. Hilton, Colts, had four catches for 72 yards in Indianapolis’ 24-13 win over Denver.
-Jason Witten, Cowboys, had six catches for 71 yards in Dallas’ 26-21 loss to Green Bay.
-Mason Crosby, Packers, was 2 for 2 on field goals in Green Bay’s 26-21 win over Dallas.
-Connor Barth, Broncos, made both of his field-goal attempts in Denver’s 24-13 loss to Indianapolis.
-Nick Perry, Packers, had 1½ sacks in Green Bay’s 26-21 win over Dallas.
-Rahim Moore and Bradley Roby, Broncos, had interceptions in Denver’s loss to Indianapolis.
-D’Qwell Jackson, Colts, had 11 combined tackles in Indianapolis’ 24-13 win over Denver.
Andrew Luck, who replaced Peyton Manning in Indianapolis in 2012, enters Championship Sunday as the only one of the four starting QBs without a Super Bowl ring. The others are New England’s Tom Brady, Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers and Seattle’s Russell Wilson. … Manning, who joined the Broncos in 2012 after his release from Indy, has gone one-and-done in the playoffs a record nine times in his otherwise stellar career, including twice in Denver, where he’s 38-10 in the regular season, but just 2-3 in the playoffs. Overall, he’s 11-13 in the postseason.
The Cowboys’ Dez Bryant appeared to make a spectacular 31-yard catch on fourth down to give Dallas the ball a yard away from the go-ahead touchdown in the final minutes of Sunday’s 26-21 divisional round playoff loss to the Green Bay Packers. Replays showed that Bryant bobbled the ball as he rolled into the end zone, with part of it touching the field. After reviewing the play, officials overturned the call, saying Bryant didn’t maintain control all the way to the ground.
The rule states:
“If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.”
Bryant said there was never a doubt in his mind that he caught the ball.
“I had possession of the ball coming down. That’s possession, right? One, two, reach,” Bryant said. “Bam, that’s possession.”
Dallas linebacker Rolando McClain left the Cowboys’ playoff game against the Green Bay Packers with concussion symptoms. McClain got hurt in the middle of the first quarter during the Packers’ first drive. He was ruled out for the game at halftime. McClain had cleared concussion tests and practiced Friday after missing the first two workouts of the week dealing with symptoms coming out of the win in the wild-card game over Detroit.
“Look, I’ll tell you this, I’ve never seen that a day in my life. I want to know why it wasn’t a catch.” - Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant on his fourth-down catch late in the fourth quarter that was overturned after a review.
“I’d like to think I am a better quarterback and would like to think we’re a better team” now. “We are well equipped to handle the unknown, the unforeseen.” - Colts quarterback Andrew Luck on facing the Patriots in the AFC championship game. Luck and Colts lost to the Patriots 42-20 during the regular season.
AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL
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