Conference championships: Sunday games rewind

Recapping the NFL's conference championship games, with Scoreboard, Sunday stars, Brother Bowl, Stats &Streaks, Comeback Kids, Brady Bombs, Sidelined and Speaking.


SUNDAY, FEB. 3: San Francisco vs. Baltimore, 6 p.m. EST. It'll be Harbaugh vs. Harbaugh when Big Bro John's Baltimore Ravens (13-6) play Little Bro Jim's San Francisco 49ers (13-4-1) in the Super Bowl at New Orleans. On Thanksgiving Day 2011, the Harbaughs became the first brothers to coach against each other in any NFL game. Now they'll be squaring off in the biggest one of all. The 49ers open as 4½-point favorites against the Ravens and Ray Lewis, who will retire after the game.

Sunday's stars


Joe Flacco, Ravens: Tthrew three touchdown passes in the second half to lead Baltimore to its first Super Bowl in 12 years with a 28-13 victory over New England on Sunday for the AFC championship.

Colin Kaepernick, 49ers: Was 16 of 21 for 233 yards and a touchdown, and ran for 21 yards to lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl with a 28-24 victory over Atlanta.

Matt Ryan, Falcons: Was 30 of 42 for 396 yards and three TDs with an interception in a losing cause as Atlanta fell to San Francisco in the NFC championship game.


Frank Gore, 49ers:
Ran for 90 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the winner with 8:23 remaining for San Francisco's first lead of the day in a 28-24 victory over Atlanta.

Ray Rice, Ravens: Had a touchdown run in Baltimore's 28-13 win over New England.


Julio Jones, Falcons: Caught 11 passes for 182 yards and two TDs as Atlanta fell to San Francisco.

Anquan Boldin, Ravens: Had two touchdown receptions in the fourth quarter of Baltimore's win at New England.

Vernon Davis, 49ers: Had five catches for 106 yards and a TD in San Francisco's Super Bowl-clinching victory.

Wes Welker, Patriots: Made eight receptions for 117 yards and a touchdown in a losing cause as New England fell to Baltimore.


Patrick Willis, 49ers:
Had a game-high 12 tackles – 11 of them solo – as San Francisco topped Atlanta.

Cary Williams, Ravens,: Picked off Tom Brady in the end zone with 1:06 left to seal the game and a Super Bowl appearance for Baltimore.

Chris Culliver, 49ers: Intercepted Matt Ryan to halt a drive by Atlanta in San Francisco's Super Bowl-clinching win.

Ray Lewis, Ravens: Had 14 tackles in Baltimore's win over New England. He now has 44 tackles in three playoff games after missing 10 weeks with a triceps injury.

Brother bowl

Baltimore's John Harbaugh and San Francisco's Jim Harbaugh will celebrate the first brother-vs.-brother coaching matchup in Super Bowl history when their teams won their conference championship games Sunday. They became the first pair of brothers to coach against each other in any NFL game on Thanksgiving Day 2011.

Stats & streaks

Baltimore's Joe Flacco won his fifth road playoff game, the most in NFL history by a starting quarterback, by beating New England on Sunday. ... New England lost a home AFC title matchup for the first time in five games. The loss denied Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick a shot at their sixth Super Bowl. They've gone 3-2, losing their last two times in the big game. ... After beating Atlanta in the NFC championship game, San Francisco is looking to join Pittsburgh as the only franchises with six Super Bowl titles. It's the 49ers' first Super Bowl appearance since 1995. ... New England, which had the highest-scoring offense in the NFL this season, was held to a season-low point total in its loss to Baltimore and more than 20 below the team's average. ... Brady was 67-0 at home when leading at halftime before the loss to the Ravens.

Comeback kids

San Francisco erased a 17-0 deficit and beat Atlanta 28-24, pulling off the biggest comeback victory in an NFC championship game, according to STATS. The previous NFC record was 13 points – Atlanta's victory over Minnesota in the 1999 title game, which sent the Falcons to what remains the only Super Bowl in franchise history. In the AFC, the record is 18 points, when Indianapolis rallied past New England in 2007.

Brady bombs

Tom Brady, who had 37 touchdowns and eight interceptions in the first 17 games this season, was intercepted twice in New England's loss to Baltimore. Brady completed 29 of 54 passes for 320 yards and a touchdown, and dropped to 5-3 in his eight games against the Ravens, including the playoffs. The Ravens are the only team he has thrown more interceptions against (10) than touchdowns (eight).

Swan song?

Following Atlanta's loss to San Francisco, Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez still has a 13th Pro Bowl to play in, but after spending the season saying he was 95 percent certain he'll retire after the season, he sounded like he's now at 100 percent. ''I'm not going to cry about it,'' the 36-year-old Gonzalez said after his 16th NFL season. ''I walk away with the satisfaction I left everything, absolutely everything, every time I was on the field. I wish it would have culminated with the Super Bowl, but it didn't.''


New England Patriots running back Stevan Ridley left Sunday's AFC championship game after being hit in the head in the fourth quarter of the team's loss to Baltimore. Ridley did not move his legs for a minute or so. The Patriots' training staff and coach Bill Belichick rushed onto the field to check on him as the officials tried to sort out who had recovered the fumble. Cornerback Aqib Talib hurt his thigh and defensive tackle Kyle Love injured his knee. Backup safety Patrick Chung was helped off the field after one play.


''He just competes like a maniac all the time. It's always the same when I'm looking in through the facemask.'' - San Francisco coach Jim Harbaugh on Colin Kaepernick, who helped lead the 49ers to the Super Bowl with a 28-24 win at Atlanta.

"'Hey, Jim, congratulations. You did it. You're a great coach. Love you.'' - Baltimore coach John Harbaugh, whose Ravens topped New England 28-13 to set up a Super Bowl showdown with brother Jim, the coach of the 49ers.

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