I'm looking for the biggest football fan I can find!! Send me a photo that best showcases your support for your team and says why you should be my favorite fan. Just click the email button at the bottom of this page (next to the twitter feed) and send me your pic. I'll post the favorites on my website and on twitter right before kick-off on Super Bowl Sunday!

February 3, 2013  --  Go to the MY FANTASY page to see who won the Chik's Favorite Football Fanatic! 

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AuthorWilliam Tuttle

Atlanta Falcons, 30 - Seattle Seahawks - 28

--  This was Tony Gonzalez's first career playoff win. This is his 16th year in the NFL.

--  I'm not going to lie...I was really into the Seahawks. I loved the swag. I loved the uniforms. I LOVED Russell Wilson. In 1937, Sammy Baugh threw for 335 yards in a postseason game for the Redskins. That record stood until yesterday, when Wilson had 385. Bye-bye, Russell (tear).


--  Matty Ice finally got one. This is how he did it: 7-for-9, 111 yards and 2 touchdowns when facing a defensive back blitz. This scheme was the bread and butter for Seattle all year. When blitzing a defensive back during the season their opponents completed 47% of their passes and threw 5 interceptions. Ryan figured it out and burned them on it.

--  That 111 yards included 41 on Atlanta's final drive, which of course set up the final score from Matt Bryant.

--  Matt Bryant is money. On his last 10 field goal attempts past 49 yards, Matty Ice II has hit all 10.

New England Patriots, 41 - Houston Texans, 28

--  Tom Brady passed Joe Montana for most postseason wins with 17. Best. Quarterback. Ever.

--  Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen have given New England a new wrinkle to their offense this season: a running game. They combined for 123 rushing yards (219 if you add receiving) and 4 touchdowns yesterday. Ridley himself had 1,263 rushing yards during the season, which was 7th in the league. The last time the Patriots had a rusher in the top 15 was Corey Dillon in 2004. 


--  To me, the Texans lost this game on their first drive. Danieal Manning (who had a great day in the return game) took the opening kick back to the New England 12. Three plays later - a short run, a sure TD drop by Graham, a bad throw by Schaub - and the Texans were settling for a field goal. What a statement a touchdown would of made. Two minutes in and the Patriots would have already been on their heals. Instead, they're only down by 3 and the defense has a sense of momentum. The Texans had their moments and put some points on the board, but I think the game was over after the first minute.

--  It was surprising that Wade Phillips blitzed as often as he did. I don't pretend to know what schemes a defensive coordinator should call when playing in a divisional playoff game on the road against the greatest quarterback ever, but history shows that blitzing Brady is a backfire waiting to happen. You need to get pressure with your front four (think both Super Bowls against the Giants). Case in point: Brady was 12-for-19 with 208 yards and 2 touchdowns against 5+ pass rushers. This is not new. When the Pats played the Texans a month ago, he was 13-for-19 with 148 yards and 3 touchdowns!

--  This will be the first AFC Championship rematch since "The Drive" and "The Fumble" (Broncos at Browns, '86 and '87). Sorry Browns fans. Prepare for Elway and Byner highlights all week.

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Baltimore Ravens, 38 - Denver Broncos, 35

--  This was the fourth longest game in NFL history. It lasted 76 minutes and 42 seconds.

--  Joe Flacco just earned himself a new contract. He entered the league in 2008 and has led the Ravens to the playoffs every season since. He's only 27 years old and has 5 playoff road wins. Not 5 playoff wins total - 5 playoff ROAD wins! That ties Eli Manning for most in NFL history. His playoff performances have been getting better every season: 2008 - 1 TD, 3 INT; 2009 - 0 TD, 3 INT; 2010 - 3 TD, 1 INT; 2011 - 4 TD, 1 INT; 2012 - 5 TD, 0 INT (of course, this year is still going). Congratulations Joe, you're an elite quarterback.


--  Peyton Manning tied Brett Favre for most postseason losses among starting quarterbacks with 11. Ironically, Manning lost his 11th playoff game the same way Favre did - by throwing an interception across his body.

--  Credit the Baltimore coaching staff for figuring out a way to get pressure on Manning. In the first half, Manning wasn't hurried or sacked once. In the second half, he was pressured 10 times and had 2 turnovers (including the interception referenced above).

San Francisco 49ers, 45 - Green Bay Packers, 31

--  Prior to last night, Michael Vick had the best single game rushing day of any quarterback in NFL history (he also had the 2nd best and 4th best). Colin Kaepernick now holds that record. Kaepernick ran for 181 yards and 2 touchdowns, helping the Niners set a franchise playoff record for yards gained in a postseason game (579). 

COLIN KAEPERNICK, SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS  (Macio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press)

--  Did Kaepernick (and Jim Harbaugh) just change the way offense is played in the NFL? The read option has been used by many teams this year - Washington with RGIII, Seattle with Wilson, even Miami with Tannehill (trust me, I saw it happen) - but this was arguably the most successful it's been all season and it happened on the biggest stage. In the short run, I see more team's adopting it just like they did the Wildcat a few years ago. In the long run, I see the NFL changing to more of an "option" league, with athletic, accurate quarterbacks who can dictate a game on multiple levels (hmm...maybe I'll write more about this).

--  The key to Kaepernick's running was that he never took hits. Do you remember him taking one shot from Matthews, Hawk or Woodson? I don't. Well the stats back it up. Of the 181 yards he had on the ground, 178 came before he was touched.

--  Michael Crabtree is blowing up. As I wrote about in yesterday's fantasy predictions, Crabtree's stats have soared since Kaepernick took over. In plays that go for 15 or more yards since Kaep took over, Crabtree has 11 catches, 286 yards and 3 touchdowns. With Alex Smith he had 3 catches for 66 yards and 1 touchdown.

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