Saturday’s NFL Divisional Playoffs recap

Published On January 13, 2013 | By Karoline Zacharer

AFC Saturday Divisional Game Recap

Baltimore (10-6) v. Denver (13-3)

Final score: Ravens 38, Broncos 35

The Ravens advance to the AFC title game after taking it to double-overtime with one of the best teams in the league. Denver was the overwhelming favorite coming into the game as the top-ranked team in the AFC, and they enjoyed a first-round bye. Meanwhile, the Ravens were the definite underdogs, having beat out the Colts last Sunday to grab a Wild Card spot.

One of the main factors of Baltimore’s win was great defense. They forced three Peyton Manning turnovers, including one in double-overtime that put the Ravens in field goal position. That’s not an easy feat. Manning went 28-for-43 in passes and was intercepted twice. The turnovers led to two touchdowns and that game-winning field goal for the Ravens.

Keys to the win

  • The Ravens’ defense. Heads-up play when it mattered led to turnovers. They won the game based on their ability to convert interceptions into scoring plays.
  • Joe Flacco‘s Hail Mary fourth quarter touchdown pass to Jacoby Jones that tied the game up with just under a minute left in the fourth quarter.

Keys to the loss

  • Denver had a number of questionable missed opportunities throughout the game. With a tie score and 31 seconds left in the fourth quarter, they took a knee to send it to overtime instead of trying to get into field goal range and end it then.
  • The Broncos also could have worked harder on their coverage of the Ravens. When Flacco threw that pass to Jones, no one was even around him.

Player of the Game

Joe Flacco‘s Hail Mary pass to Jones will forever be remembered by Ravens fans. He threw the ball deep from the 25-yard line all the way to Jones for a 70-yard pass.

Quote of the Game

“I didn’t even dance, I had to thank God. And you know I’m a dancing fool,” said Jones.

Looking Forward

The Ravens will intently be watching Sunday’s 4:30 p.m. matchup between the New England Patriots and the Houston Texans. Depending on the winner, Baltimore will travel to either Foxboro or Houston next week for the AFC title game.

NFC Saturday Divisional Game Recap

San Francisco (11-4-1) v. Green Bay (11-5)

Final score: 49ers 45, Packers 31.

The 49ers second-string QB, Colin Kaepernick, did it again, leading San Francisco to a big win over the Packers. The story of Kaepernick is starting to be reminiscent of a young Tom Brady: earning the reigns to the team during the season and leading them on to an improbable but awesome playoff run. Kaepernick’s performance against the Packers was impressive; he set the record for running yards by an NFL quarterback in a regular or postseason game with 181, which included two touchdown runs. He also went 17-for-31 passing with 263 yards in the air.

However, Kaepernick’s amazing game wasn’t without its flaws. In the first quarter, he was intercepted by Green Bay’s Sam Shields, who ran it 52 yards for a touchdown. That was one of the highlights in an otherwise lackluster Packers performance. Green Bay held a lead into the second quarter, but the 49ers took hold after that and dominated. They went into half time leading by three points. The Packers tied it in the third with a field goal, but the 49ers scored a touchdown and didn’t relinquish the lead after that.

Keys to the win

  • Kaepernick’s heads-up play with a blend of running and passing proved to be a hard match for the Packers defense. The second-year quarterback kept them guessing.
  • Two receivers, Frank Gore and Michael Crabtree, each had 119 yards. Gore had one touchdown, Crabtree had two.

Keys to the loss

  • This game was pretty well-matched on paper, but you had to give the edge to Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers who has experience in high-pressure playoff settings. However, Green Bay’s defense couldn’t keep up with the resiliency of Kaepernick and the 49ers offense.

Player of the Game

Colin Kaepernick, whose record-breaking game has almost definitely assured him a starting position with the 49ers next season. In total, he had over 400 offensive yards and four touchdowns. That’s impressive in any game, let alone the playoffs. It’s always fun to see a young quarterback perform well when it matters, and Kaepernick is really dazzling fans.

Quote of the Game

“I don’t want to be categorized,” Kaepernick told reporters when asked if he’d want to be referenced as a rusher or a passer.

Looking Forward

The 49ers will retain home field advantage next week when they face off against the winner of Sunday’s 1 p.m. game between the Seattle Seahawks and Atlanta Falcons.

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About The Author

Karoline Zacharer is a senior at Bridgewater State University majoring in communications. For the past four years, she has covered everything from football to women's lacrosse as a reporter for BSU's Bears Sports Network. She has also written minor league baseball news for You can follow Karoline on Twitter at @KarolineZ.