The NFL Playoffs 2014 schedule for Sunday, Jan. 19 brings the AFC and NFC Championship games to football fans, with the two winning teams earning trips to the Super Bowl at MetLife Stadium in early February. Four teams remain and will be vying for a shot at the Lombardi Trophy, including the New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks. The championship games will be presented on TV via various channels for fans to enjoy.
According to a Jan. 12 USA Today report, the San Francisco 49ers took out the Panthers 23-10 on Sunday, to advance back to the NFC Championship game for their second-straight year. Colin Kaepernick threw for one touchdown while scoring another on the ground himself, to help lead the way in what was a tight 13-10 battle at the half. With the win, Kaepernick moved to 4-1 in the playoffs and 3-0 on the road for his postseason career.
In the first of the NFC Divisional games on Saturday, the No. 1 seed Seattle Seahawks also advanced. Seattle defeated Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints 23-25 behind 140 yards and 2 touchdowns from running back Marshawn Lynch on just 28 carries. Russell Wilson threw for just 103 yards in the game, compared to Brees throwing for 309 yards and 1 touchdown, but ultimately the Seattle environment proved tough for the road team to win at, once again.
With those wins, the NFC Championship is all set and will feature the San Francisco 49ers visiting the Seattle Seahawks for what could be a classic championship game. The two teams met twice during the regular season with the games split 1-1. In the first meeting, Seattle won 29-3 at home, while the 49ers took the second game later in the season at their own home, 19-17. Now the two teams meet up on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. EST on NBC with the NFC Championship and a trip to Super Bowl XLVIII on the line.
The San Francisco 49ers are looking to get back to the big game after coming up short against the Ravens just last postseason. The game ended up close, with the Ravens prevailing 34-31, leaving a bad taste in Colin Kaepernick and the 49ers' mouths. Now they'll have to get past Seattle for another shot at the trophy. However, Seattle has been among the top favorites to win it all since the start of the season and remains there, thanks to one of the league's best defenses and rising young quarterbacks in Russell Wilson.
In the AFC, the New England Patriots took down the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 on Saturday, Jan. 11 to advance to the championship round. Surprisingly, it wasn't Tom Brady slinging touchdown pass after pass, but instead the Patriots' rushing attack that scored the most and helped win the game. Bill Belichik's team will play the Denver Broncos for a shot at the Super Bowl with game time on CBS set for 3 p.m. EST. The Patriots' last trip was in 2012 when they fell 21-17 to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. Should the Patriots earn a trip there, it would be a record-tying eight appearance along with current leaders the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dallas Cowboys.
The Super Bowl XLVIII is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014 at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, with kickoff scheduled for 6:25 p.m. EST in the first-ever "cold weather environment" for the game.