NFL playoffs, 2007–08

NFL playoffs, 2007–08

The National Football League playoffs for the 2007 season lead up to Super Bowl XLII on February 3 2008 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. Playoffs are divided with AFC teams playing AFC teams and NFC teams playing NFC teams in single knockout games each week until an AFC and NFC champion remains. The Wild Card playoff round games which pitted the sixth seeds against the third seeds and the fifth seeds against the fourth seeds were played on January 5-6, 2008. The Divisional Playoff games on January 12-13 matches the top seed in each conference with the lowest seeded team to win in the Wildcard round while the two remaining teams in each conference face each other. The two winners in each conference in the Divisional Playoff round advanced to the Conference Championship games on January 20.

NFL seeds 2002-
AFC 1 = New England Patriots
AFC 1 div = East
AFC 2 = Indianapolis Colts
AFC 2 div = South
AFC 3 = San Diego Chargers
AFC 3 div = West
AFC 4 = Pittsburgh Steelers
AFC 4 div = North
AFC 5 = Jacksonville Jaguars
AFC 6 = Tennessee Titans
NFC 1 = Dallas Cowboys
NFC 1 div = East
NFC 2 = Green Bay Packers
NFC 2 div = North
NFC 3 = Seattle Seahawks
NFC 3 div = West
NFC 4 = Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFC 4 div = South
NFC 5 = New York Giants
NFC 6 = Washington Redskins

Wild Card playoffs

aturday January 5, 2008

NFC: Seattle Seahawks 35, Washington Redskins 14

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Redskins
R1=0
R2=0
R3=0
R4=14
RT=14
Home=Seahawks
H1=7
H2=3
H3=3
H4=22
HT=35
"at Qwest Field, Seattle, Washington"
*Game time: 4:30 p.m. EST/1:30 PM PST
*Game weather: convert|42|°F|°C, partly sunny
*TV announcers (NBC): Tom Hammond (play-by-play), Cris Collinsworth (color commentator), and Bob Neumeier (sideline reporter)
*Referee: Walt Coleman
*Game attendance: 68,298

The Redskins rallied back from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter, but Seattle responded by intercepting two passes from Todd Collins, who hadn't thrown an interception in any of his games since replacing injured starter Jason Campbell, and scoring 22 points during the last 6 minutes of the game.

Midway through the first quarter, Seattle receiver Nate Burleson returned a punt 20 yards to the Washington 45-yard line, setting up Leonard Weaver's 17-yard touchdown run. In the second quarter, Burleson returned a punt 19 yards and a caught a 25-yard pass to set up a 50-yard field goal by Josh Brown, giving the Seahawks a 10-0 lead by halftime. Meanwhile, Seattle's defense forced the Redskins to punt on all of their possessions and did not allow them to move the ball more than 30 yards.

In the third quarter, Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck completed four consecutive passes for 47 yards, including a 35-yard completion to D. J. Hackett, setting up Brown's second field goal to increase their lead to 13-0. Collins led the Redskins 84 yards in 12 plays and finished the drive with a 7-yard touchdown pass to Antwaan Randle El on the first play of the fourth quarter. Then shortly after the ensuing kickoff, Redskins safety LaRon Landry intercepted a pass from Hasselbeck and returned it to the Seattle 42-yard line. Two plays later, Collins threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Santana Moss, giving them their first lead of the game at 14-13.

The ensuing kickoff took an odd bounce away from Seattle and was recovered by Washington at the Seahawks 14-yard line. But the Redskins failed to gain a first down after three plays and came up empty when Shaun Suisham missed a 30-yard field goal attempt, the shortest miss of his career. A few plays after the missed field goal, Landry recorded his second interception on the game, picking off a deep pass from Hasselbeck on his own 9-yard line. But Washington was forced to punt again, and Derrick Frost's punt went just 33 yards to the Seattle 42. Four plays later, Hasselbeck threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to Hackett, and then followed it up with a 2-point conversion pass to Marcus Pollard, giving the Seahawks a 21-14 lead. Then on the first play after the ensuing kickoff, Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant intercepted a pass from Collins and returned it 78 yards for a touchdown. The Redskins responded with a drive to Seattle's 31-yard line, but turned the ball over on downs. Then after a punt, Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux intercepted Collins and returned the ball 57 yards for a touchdown with 27 seconds left in the game, making the final score 35-14.

Burleson finished the game with 167 total yards, including 6 punt returns for a franchise playoff record 84 yards.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***SEA - Leonard Weaver 17 yard run (Josh Brown kick), 3:45. "Seahawks 7-0. Drive: 6 plays, 45 yards, 3:21."
**2nd Quarter
***SEA - Josh Brown 50 yard field goal, 8:58. "Seahawks 10-0. Drive: 5 plays, 33 yards, 1:42."
**3rd Quarter
***SEA - Josh Brown 33 yard field goal, 4:30. "Seahawks 13-0. Drive: 8 plays, 52 yards, 4:24."
**4th Quarter
***WAS - Antwaan Randle El 7 yard pass from Todd Collins (Shaun Suisham kick), 14:53. "Seahawks 13-7. Drive: 12 plays, 84 yards, 4:37."
***WAS - Santana Moss 30 yard pass from Todd Collins (Shaun Suisham kick), 12:38. "Redskins 14-13. Drive: 3 plays, 42 yards, 1:19."
***SEA - D. J. Hackett 20 yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Marcus Pollard pass from Matt Hasselbeck), 6:06. "Seahawks 21-14. Drive: 5 plays, 42 yards, 1:57."
***SEA - Marcus Trufant 78 yard interception return (Josh Brown kick), 5:38. "Seahawks 28-14."
***SEA - Jordan Babineaux 57 yard interception return (Josh Brown kick), 0:27. "Seahawks 35-14."

AFC: Jacksonville Jaguars 31, Pittsburgh Steelers 29

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Jaguars
R1=7|
R2=14|
R3=7|
R4=3|
RT=31
Home=Steelers
H1=7|
H2=0|
H3=3|
H4=19|
HT=29
"at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania"
*Game time: 8:00 p.m. EST
*Game weather: convert|39|°F|°C, light rain
*TV announcers (NBC): Al Michaels (play-by-play), John Madden (color commentator) and Andrea Kremer (sideline reporter)
*Referee: Scott Green
*Game attendance: 63,629

Jacksonville gained only 239 yards of offense, but still managed to win on Josh Scobee's 25-yard field goal with 37 seconds left in the game. The Jaguars defense sacked Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger six times, intercepted three of his passes, and forced him to lose a fumble on the final drive of the game.

Pittsburgh opened up the scoring by marching 80 yards in 10 plays on their first drive and finishing it off with Najeh Davenport's 1-yard touchdown run. But Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew returned the ensuing kickoff 96 yards to the 1-yard line, and Fred Taylor scored a 1-yard touchdown run on the next play.

Early in the second quarter, Jacksonville defensive back Rashean Mathis intercepted a pass from Roethlisberger and returned it 63 yards for a touchdown. Then shortly after the kickoff, Mathis intercepted another pass at the Steelers 46-yard line, setting up David Garrard's 43-yard touchdown pass to Jones-Drew and making the score 21-7. Later in the second quarter, the Steelers took advantage of a missed Scobee field goal by driving all the way to the Jaguars 21-yard line. But defensive tackle Derek Landri intercepted a short pass from Roethlisberger, and the score remained 21-7 at halftime.

In the second half, the Steelers scored on their first four drives. Three plays after the opening kickoff, linebacker James Farrior's interception of a Garrard pass set up Jeff Reed's 28-yard field goal. Jacksonville responded by driving 82 yards in 8 plays, with Garrard rushing for 15 yards and completing two passes to Ernest Wilford for 39, while Jones-Drew capped the drive with a 10-yard touchdown run, increasing their lead to 28-10. But the Steelers drove right back, and on the first play of the fourth quarter, facing fourth down and 12 on the Jags 37-yard line, Roethlisberger threw a 37-yard touchdown pass to Santonio Holmes. Then after a punt, Roethlisberger completed six passes for 65 yards on a 69-yard drive that ended with his 14-yard touchdown pass to Heath Miller. The Steelers attempted a two-point conversion to cut the lead to three points, and Rothlisberger initially completed a pass to Hines Ward, but the play was nullified by a holding penalty and Pittsburgh's second attempt was incomplete, keeping the score at 28-23.

Three plays after the ensuing kickoff, Steelers defensive back Ike Taylor intercepted a pass from Garrard and returned it 31 yards to the Jacksonville 16-yard line. Following a pass interference penalty against the Jaguars in the end zone on a fourth down play, Davenport scored his second 1-yard touchdown run of the day. The two point conversion failed again, but the Steelers took the lead, 29-28.

Jacksonville was unable to score on their next drive, but they forced the Steelers to punt after three plays and Dennis Northcutt returned the punt 16 yards, giving the Jaguars the ball at their own 49-yard line with 1 timeout remaining and 2:38 left to play. Three plays later on fourth down and 2, Garrard dropped back to pass, but then ran back to the line and took off for a 32-yard burst to the Steelers 11-yard line. In April 2008, "Mike Pereira, the NFL's head of officiating, admitted... that his crew... erred in not calling a holding penalty against Jacksonville on [that] crucial play."cite web | first=Ed | last=Bouchette | url=http://www.postgazette.com/pg/08093/869712-66.stm | title=NFL Spring Meetings Notebook | publisher="Post-Gazette" ] After a few more running plays, Scobee kicked a 25-yard field goal, giving his team a 31-29 lead. The Steelers got the ball back with 37 seconds left, but Jaguars defensive end Bobby McCray sealed the victory by forcing and recovering a fumble from Roethlisberger.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***PIT - Najeh Davenport 1 yard run (Jeff Reed kick), 10:03. "Steelers 7-0. Drive: 10 plays, 80 yards, 4:57."
***JAC - Fred Taylor 1 yard run (Josh Scobee kick), 9:39. "Tied 7-7. Drive: 1 play, 1 yard, 0:24."
**2nd Quarter
***JAC - Rashean Mathis 63 yard interception return (Josh Scobee kick), 10:19. "Jaguars 14-7."
***JAC - Maurice Jones-Drew 43 yard pass from David Garrard (Josh Scobee kick), 8:34. "Jaguars 21-7. Drive: 3 plays, 46 yards, 0:56."
**3rd Quarter
***PIT - Jeff Reed 28 yard field goal, 9:24. "Jaguars 21-10. Drive: 8 plays, 33 yards, 4:45."
***JAC - Maurice Jones-Drew 10 yard run (Josh Scobee kick), 4:39. "Jaguars 28-10. Drive: 8 plays, 82 yards, 4:45."
**4th Quarter
***PIT - Santonio Holmes 37 yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger (Jeff Reed kick), 14:53. "Jaguars 28-17. Drive: 10 plays, 69 yards, 4:46."
***PIT - Heath Miller 14 yard pass from Ben Roethlisberger (run failed), 10:25. "Jaguars 28-23. Drive: 10 plays, 69 yards, 3:49."
***PIT - Najeh Davenport 1 yard run (pass failed), 6:21. "Steelers 29-28. Drive: 7 plays, 16 yards, 2:29."
***JAC - Josh Scobee 25 yard field goal, 0:37. "Jaguars 31-29. Drive: 8 plays, 44 yards, 2:01."

unday January 6, 2008

NFC: New York Giants 24, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 14

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Giants
R1=0
R2=14
R3=3
R4=7
RT=24
Home=Buccaneers
H1=7
H2=0
H3=0
H4=7
HT=14
"at Raymond James Stadium, Tampa, Florida"
*Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
*Game weather: convert|70|°F|°C, sunny
*TV announcers (FOX): Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color commentator), Pam Oliver and Chris Myers (field reporters)
*Referee: Walt Anderson
*Game attendance: 65,621

Eli Manning completed 20 of 27 passes for 185 yards and 2 touchdowns, while the Giants' defense forced three turnovers and held the Buccaneers to 271 total yards for a Giants victory.

Tampa Bay scored first with Earnest Graham's 1-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter. Early in the second period, a 14-yard punt return by Giants cornerback R. W. McQuarters gave New York the ball on their own 47-yard line. Following three receptions by Amani Toomer for 40 yards, Manning threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Jacobs to tie the game. Then after a punt, Manning completed four consecutive passes for 50 yards on a 65-yard drive that ended with Jacobs' second touchdown on an 8-yard run.

Micheal Spurlock fumbled the second half kickoff, and it was recovered by New York defensive back Corey Webster, setting up a 25-yard field goal from Lawrence Tynes to make the score 17-7. Tampa Bay responded with a drive to the Giants 25-yard line, but Webster ended it by intercepting a pass from Jeff Garcia in the end zone. Following an exchange of punts, the Giants drove 92 yards and increased their lead to 24-7 with Manning's 4-yard touchdown pass to Toomer.

With 3:25 left in the game, Garcia's 6-yard touchdown pass to Alex Smith cut the score to 24-14. The Buccaneers then managed to force a punt, but McQuarters picked off a pass from Garcia with less than two minutes left to put the game away.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***TB - Earnest Graham 1 yard run (Matt Bryant kick), 1:49. "Buccaneers 7-0. Drive: 10 plays, 54 yards, 5:13."
**2nd Quarter
***NYG - Brandon Jacobs 5 yard pass from Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes kick), 10:02. "Tied 7-7. Drive: 8 plays, 53 yards, 4:04."
***NYG - Brandon Jacobs 8 yard run (Lawrence Tynes kick), 4:06. "Giants 14-7. Drive: 7 plays, 65 yards, 4:23."
**3rd Quarter
***NYG - Lawrence Tynes 25 yard field goal, 9:56. "Giants 17-7. Drive: 9 plays, 23 yards, 4:54."
**4th Quarter
***NYG - Amani Toomer 4 yard pass from Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes kick), 8:03. "Giants 24-7. Drive: 15 plays, 92 yards in 8:37"
***TB - Alex Smith 6 yard pass from Jeff Garcia (Matt Bryant kick), 3:25. "Giants 24-14. Drive: 12 plays, 88 yards, 4:38."

AFC: San Diego Chargers 17, Tennessee Titans 6

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Titans
R1=3
R2=3
R3=0
R4=0
RT=6
Home=Chargers
H1=0
H2=0
H3=10
H4=7
HT=17
"at Qualcomm Stadium, San Diego, California"
*Game time: 4:30 p.m. EST/1:30 p.m. PST
*Game weather: convert|57|°F|°C, showers
*TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (color commentator)
*Referee: Ed Hochuli
*Game attendance: 65,640

San Diego held the Titans to 248 yards and two field goals, while also forcing two turnovers, en route to their first playoff win since the 1994 AFC Championship Game.

The Titans started off the scoring with a field goal from Rob Bironas on their opening drive. Early in the second quarter, Tennessee drove all the way to the Chargers' 13-yard line, but running back Chris Brown fumbled the ball while being tackled by Shawne Merriman and linebacker Shaun Phillips recovered it. Meanwhile, the Chargers offense was limited to three punts and a missed field goal, while Titans cornerback Cortland Finnegan also intercepted a pass from Phillip Rivers in the end zone. And on the last play of the half, Bironas kicked another field goal to give Tennessee a 6-0 lead.

However, the Chargers scored 17 points on three consecutive possessions in the second half. First, two 19-yard receptions by Chris Chambers and a 34-yard catch by Vincent Jackson set up Nate Kaeding's 20-yard field goal to put San Diego on the board. Then seven plays after forcing the Titans to punt, Rivers threw a 20-yard scoring strike to Jackson, giving the Chargers their first lead of the game. Tennessee responded with a drive to the San Diego 20-yard line, only to have Bironas miss a 38-yard field goal attempt. On San Diego's ensuing drive, Rivers completed a 39-yard pass to Chambers at the Titans 8-yard line. Three plays later, faced with fourth down and goal on the 1-yard line, San Diego decided to go for the score. Running back LaDanian Tomlinson took a handoff, dove over a pile of players and stretched the ball over the goal line for the touchdown, which was upheld after a Titans challenge, increasing the Chargers' lead to 17-6. The San Diego defense then took over the rest of the game, forcing a punt and an interception on the last two Tennessee drives.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***TEN - Rob Bironas 30 yard field goal, 9:37. "Titans 3-0. Drive: 13 plays, 61 yards, 5:23."
**2nd Quarter
***TEN - Rob Bironas 44 yard field goal, 0:00. "Titans 6-0. Drive: 11 plays, 39 yards, 3:06."
**3rd Quarter
***SD - Nate Kaeding 20 yard field goal, 9:41. "Titans 6-3. Drive: 12 plays, 86 yards, 5:19."
***SD - Vincent Jackson 25 yard pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick), 2:35. "Chargers 10-6. Drive: 7 plays, 78 yards, 3:54."
**4th Quarter
***SD - LaDainian Tomlinson 1 yard run (Nate Kaeding kick), 8:45. "Chargers 17-6. Drive: 12 plays, 72 yards, 5:18."

Divisional playoffs

aturday January 12, 2008

NFC: Green Bay Packers 42, Seattle Seahawks 20

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Seahawks
R1=14
R2=3
R3=3
R4=0
RT=20
Home=Packers
H1=14
H2=14
H3=7
H4=7
HT=42
"at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin"
*Game time: 4:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. CST
*Game weather: convert|31|°F|°C, light snow
*TV announcers (FOX): Kenny Albert (play-by-play), Daryl Johnston (color commentator), Tony Siragusa (field reporter)
*Referee: Mike Carey
*Game attendance: 72,928

Despite falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, Green Bay gained 400 yards of offense and scored touchdowns on six consecutive drives to defeat the Seahawks and advance to their first NFC Championship Game in 10 years. Meanwhile the Packers' defense limited Seattle to just 200 total yards, with only 28 yards on the ground. Packers running back Ryan Grant, who fumbled twice in the first quarter, ended up with a franchise playoff record 201 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns.

Both of Grant's fumbles in the first quarter were converted into Seattle touchdowns. On the first play of the game, Seahawks linebacker Lofa Tatupu recovered Grant's fumble and returned it 12 yards to the Green Bay 1-yard line, setting up Shaun Alexander's 1-yard touchdown run on the next play. Then shortly after the ensuing kickoff, Grant, who only fumbled once during the regular season, lost another fumble which was recovered by Jordan Babineaux at the Packers 49-yard line. Five plays later, Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselbeck threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to Bobby Engram, giving the Seahawks a 14-0 lead just four minutes into the game.

However, the Packers responded with a touchdown on all of their ensuing possessions until early in the fourth quarter. First, quarterback Brett Favre completed four consecutive passes for 65 yards and finished the drive with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings. Then after a punt, the Packers drove 64 yards in 9 plays, with Grant rushing the ball four times for 43 yards and finishing it off with a 1-yard touchdown run to tie the game.

On the first play of the second quarter, with heavy snow falling, Green Bay defensive end Aaron Kampman recovered a fumble from Marcus Pollard on the Seahawks 18-yard line. Following two carries for 16 yards by Grant, Favre threw a 2-yard touchdown pass to Jennings. Aided by a 16-yard roughing the punter penalty against Green Bay on fourth down, Seattle responded by driving to the Packers 10-yard line where Josh Brown kicked a field goal to cut the score to 21-17. But Green Bay then moved the ball 70 yards in 14 plays and scoring with Grant's 3-yard touchdown run to give them a 28-17 lead at halftime.

After a Seahawks punt began the second half, Favre completed a 24-yard pass to Jennings and Grant broke off a 24-yard run to the Seahawks 12-yard line, setting up Favre's 13-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Jackson. Hasselbeck responded by completing 6 of 7 passes for 68 yards en route to another Brown field goal, but Grant's 43-yard run on the Packers next drive set up his third touchdown of the day, making the final score 42-20.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***SEA - Shaun Alexander 1 yard run (Josh Brown kick), 14:40. "Seahawks 7-0. "'Drive: 1 play, 1 yard, 0:03."
***SEA - Bobby Engram 11 yard pass from Matt Hasselbeck (Josh Brown kick), 10:59. "Seahawks 14-0. "'Drive: 6 plays, 49 yards in 2:52."
***GB - Greg Jennings 15 yard pass from Brett Favre (Mason Crosby kick), 7:08. "Seahawks 14-7. "'Drive: 6 plays, 68 yards, 3:51."
***GB - Ryan Grant 1 yard run (Mason Crosby kick), 1:02. "Tied 14-14. "'Drive: 9 plays, 64 yards, 4:50."
**2nd Quarter
***GB - Greg Jennings 2 yard pass from Brett Favre (Mason Crosby kick), 13:22. "Packers 21-14. "'Drive: 3 plays, 18 yards, 1:32."
***SEA - Josh Brown 29 yard field goal, 7:18. "Packers 21-17. "'Drive: 11 plays, 63 yards, 6:04."
***GB - Ryan Grant 3 yard run (Mason Crosby kick), 0:26. "Packers 28-17. "'Drive: 14 plays, 70 yards, 6:52."
**3rd Quarter
***GB - Brandon Jackson 13 yard pass from Brett Favre (Mason Crosby kick), 10:25. "Packers 35-17. "'Drive: 6 plays, 66 yards, 3:29."
***SEA - Josh Brown 27 yard field goal, 2:46. "Packers 35-20. "'Drive: 14 plays, 70 yards, 7:39."
**4th Quarter
***GB - Ryan Grant 1 yard run (Mason Crosby kick), 13:26. "Packers 42-20. "'Drive: 7 plays, 65 yards, 4:20."

AFC: New England Patriots 31, Jacksonville Jaguars 20

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Jaguars
R1=7
R2=7
R3=3
R4=3
RT=17
Home=Patriots
H1=7
H2=7
H3=14
H4=3
HT=21
"at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts"
*Game time: 8:00 p.m. EST
*Game weather: convert|37|°F|°C, cloudy and cool
*TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play) and Phil Simms (color commentator)
*Referee: Jerome Boger
*Game attendance: 68,756

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady set the NFL record for completion percentage in a single game (92.9%) with 26 of 28 completions for 263 yards and 3 touchdowns, while running back Laurence Maroney added 162 total yards (122 on the ground). Overall, New England gained 401 yards and didn't punt the ball until 31 seconds remained in the fourth quarter.

Jacksonville took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in 9 plays, featuring two receptions by Marcedes Lewis for 57 yards, on the way to David Garrard's 9-yard touchdown pass to Matt Jones. The Patriots then went on a 74-yard drive and scored with Tom Brady's 3-yard touchdown pass to Benjamin Watson. On Jacksonville's next possession, New England lineman Ty Warren forced a fumble while sacking Garrard, and linebacker Mike Vrabel recovered it at the Jaguars 29-yard line. Several plays later, Maroney scored a 1-yard touchdown run to give New England a 14-7 lead.

Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew muffed the ensuing kickoff and was downed at his own 5-yard line. The Jaguars then moved the ball 95 yards in 11 plays without even facing a third down and scoring with Garrard's 6-yard touchdown pass to Ernest Wilford. For the third time in a row, New England drove deep into Jacksonville territory. But this time the drive stalled at the 17-yard line and ended with no points when Stephen Gostkowski missed a 35-yard field goal with 53 seconds left in the first half.

On the opening drive of the second half, Brady completed 7 of 8 passes for 54 yards on an 82-yard drive. On the last play, he took a snap in shotgun formation with Kevin Faulk to his right, Brady jumped in the air with his arms raised to make it look like a play used by the Patriots before where Faulk took the direct snap. The Jaguars defense followed Faulk, leaving Wes Welker open in the end zone, and Brady threw him the ball for a touchdown to give the Patriots a 21-14 lead. Jacksonville responded with a drive to the New England 21-yard line, but receiver Dennis Northcutt dropped a pass on third down, forcing them to settle for a Josh Scobee 39-yard field goal, cutting the score to 21-17. On New England's next drive, Jacksonville's Derek Landri was assessed a roughing-the-passer penalty, turning Welker's 6-yard catch into a 21-yard gain. Maroney gained 40 yards with his next two carries, and following two more Welker receptions, Brady threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Watson giving New England a 28-17 lead.

An unnecessary roughness penalty and a 25-yard reception by Reggie Williams on the Jacksonville's next drive set up a 25-yard field goal by Scobee, which cut the Jaguars deficit to one touchdown, 28-20. On the second play after the kickoff, Brady completed a 52-yard strike to Donté Stallworth, setting up Gostkowski's second field goal attempt to put New England back up by two scores, 31-20.

Then, with 3:46 left in the game, Pats safety, Rodney Harrison, intercepted a pass from Garrard at the Patriots' 31-yard line, ending any hope of a Jacksonville comeback. Harrison's interception was his 7th career postseason pick, a Patriots record. This was also his fourth consecutive postseason game with an interception, tying an NFL record held by Aeneas Williams.

With this win, the Patriots advanced to the AFC title game for the second year in a row and extended their perfect record to 17-0, matching the final record of the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***JAX - Matt Jones 8 yard pass from David Garrard (Josh Scobee kick), 10:50. "Jaguars 7-0. "'Drive: 9 plays, 80 yards, 4:10."
***NE - Benjamin Watson 3 yard pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick), 5:01. "Tied 7-7. "'Drive: 10 plays, 74 yards, 5:49."
**2nd Quarter
***NE - Laurence Maroney 1 yard run (Stephen Gostkowski kick), 14:57. "Patriots 14-7. "'Drive: 7 plays, 29 yards, 3:33."
***JAX - Ernest Wilford 6 yard pass from David Garrard (Josh Scobee kick), 7:46. "Tied 14-14. "'Drive: 11 plays, 95 yards, 7:11."
**3rd Quarter
***NE - Wes Welker 6 yard pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick), 8:49. "Patriots 21-14. "'Drive: 11 plays, 82 yards, 6:11."
***JAX - Josh Scobee 39 yard field goal, 4:04. "Patriots 21-17. "'Drive: 9 plays, 48 yards, 4:45."
***NE - Ben Watson 9 yard pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick), 0:49. "Patriots 28-17. "'Drive: 6 plays, 76 yards, 3:15."
**4th Quarter
***JAX - Josh Scobee 25 yard field goal, 9:44. "Patriots 28-20. "'Drive: 13 plays, 86 yards, 6:05."
***NE - Stephen Gostowski 35 yard field goal, 6:39. "Patriots 31-20. "'Drive: 6 plays, 63 yards, 3:05."

unday January 13, 2008

AFC: San Diego Chargers 28, Indianapolis Colts 24

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Chargers
R1=0
R2=7
R3=14
R4=7
RT=28
Home=Colts
H1=7
H2=3
H3=7
H4=7
HT=24
"at RCA Dome, Indianapolis, Indiana"
*Game time: 1:00 p.m. EST
*Game weather: Played indoors, domed stadium
*TV announcers (CBS): Greg Gumbel (play-by-play) and Dan Dierdorf (color commentator)
*Referee: Gerald Austin
*Game attendance: 56,930

Despite the loss of starting quarterback Phillip Rivers and running back LaDanian Tomlinson (the NFL's leading rusher during the season), San Diego still managed to defeat the defending Super Bowl champion Colts, forcing them to turn the ball over on downs twice in San Diego territory in the final minutes of the game.

The Colts started out the game on a 76-yard drive and scored on a Peyton Manning 25-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dallas Clark. Then defensive back Kelvin Hayden intercepted a pass from Rivers on the Colts 24-yard line and the Colts moved the ball to the San Diego 40-yard line. However, Indianapolis receiver Marvin Harrison, playing in his first game back from an injury in nearly 3 months, fumbled the ball while being tackled by Antonio Cromartie, and defensive back Marlon McCree recovered it. Following the turnover, San Diego drove 78 yards and tied the game with Rivers' 14-yard touchdown pass to Vincent Jackson. Manning responded by completing 3 passes for 42 yards on a 44-yard drive that ended with an Adam Vinatieri field goal to give the Colts a 10-7 lead. Both teams blew scoring opportunities on their next drives. First the Chargers drove to the Indianapolis 31-yard line, only to have Nate Kaeding miss a 48-yard field goal. Then the Colts advanced to the Chargers 35-yard line, but on their last play of the half, Manning's pass was intercepted by Cromartie. Cromartie's 89-yard touchdown return was called back by a holding penalty, but he managed to prevent the Colts from scoring and it remained 10-7 at halftime.

The Chargers took the second half kickoff and quickly took the lead with a 30-yard touchdown catch from Chris Chambers. Once again the Colts drove into Chargers territory, moving the ball all the way to the San Diego 4-yard line. But on third down and 3, Manning's pass was intercepted by Eric Weddle. However, the Chargers could only move the ball to their own 6-yard line and T. J. Rushing returned their punt 12-yards to midfield. This time the Colts drove 50 yards and scored with Manning's 9-yard touchdown pass to Reggie Wayne. Wayne was initially ruled out of bounds at the 7, but a Colts challenge showed he remained in bounds on the way to the touchdown, and the Colts took the lead, 17-14. On the Chargers ensuing drive, Rivers threw a 22-yard completion to Chambers and followed it up with a 56-yard touchdown pass to Darren Sproles, a special teams returner who was brought in on offense as an extra receiver.

With 10:50 left in the fourth quarter, Indianapolis retook the lead with Manning's 55-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Gonzalez, who caught the ball along the left sideline and narrowly managed to keep his feet in bounds en route to a score, which was upheld after a Chargers challenge. But San Diego, now led by second-string quarterback Billy Volek, drove 78 yards in 8 plays and scored with Volek's 1-yard touchdown run, giving them a 28-24 lead with 4:50 left in regulation. Manning led the Colts down the field, moving the ball 70 yards and converting a 4th down and 5 with a 16-yard completion to Clark. But he threw three consecutive incompletions from the Chargers 7-yard line, turning the ball over on downs. Indianapolis' defense managed to force a punt, but the Colts turned the ball over on downs again with 53 seconds left and San Diego ran out the rest of the clock to close the RCA Dome for good.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***IND - Dallas Clark 25 yard pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick), 9:13. "Colts 7-0. Drive: 9 plays, 76 yards, 5:47."
**2nd Quarter
***SD - Vincent Jackson 14 yard pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick), 8:38. "Tied 7-7. Drive: 10 plays, 78 yards, 7:16."
***IND - Adam Vinatieri 47 yard field goal, 5:10. "Colts 10-7. Drive: 8 plays, 44 yards, 3:28."
**3rd Quarter
***SD - Chris Chambers 30 yard pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick), 11:33. "Chargers 14-10. Drive: 6 plays, 83 yards, 3:27."
***IND - Reggie Wayne 9 yard pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick), 2:53. "Colts 17-14. Drive: 5 plays, 50 yards, 3:02."
***SD - Darren Sproles 56 yard pass from Philip Rivers (Nate Kaeding kick), 0:00. "Chargers 21-17. Drive: 5 plays, 74 yards, 2:53."
**4th Quarter
***IND - Anthony Gonzalez 55 yard pass from Peyton Manning (Adam Vinatieri kick), 10:07. "Colts 24-21. Drive: 3 plays, 56 yards, 0:43."
***SD - Billy Volek 1 yard run (Nate Kaeding kick), 4:50. "Chargers 28-24. Drive: 8 plays, 78 yards, 5:17."

NFC: New York Giants 21, Dallas Cowboys 17

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Giants
R1=7
R2=7
R3=0
R4=7
RT=21
Home=Cowboys
H1=0
H2=14
H3=3
H4=0
HT=17
"at Texas Stadium, Irving, Texas"
*Game time: 4:30 p.m. EST/3:30 p.m. CST
*Game weather: convert|59|°F|°C, clear skies
*TV announcers (FOX): Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color commentator), Pam Oliver and Chris Myers (field reporters)
*Referee: Pete Morelli
*Game attendance: 63,660

With :09 left in the game, Giants defensive back R. W. McQuarters intercepted a Tony Romo pass in the end zone to preserve a victory over the Cowboys, who had defeated New York twice during the season. The win marked the first time in 20 years that the NFC's #1 seeded team had been eliminated in the divisional round and sent the Cowboys home with their sixth consecutive playoff loss since 1996 and the Giants to the NFC Championship Game for the first time since 2000.

The Giants scored on their opening drive when Eli Manning threw a pass to Amani Toomer, who caught the pass on a curl route at the Dallas 39 before spinning away from the defense and running down left sideline for a 52-yard touchdown reception. Following an exchange of punts, Dallas running back Marion Barber rushed twice for 56 yards on a 9-play, 95-yard drive that ended with Romo's 5-yard touchdown pass to Terrell Owens. Then after a punt, Dallas scored on one of the longest drives in playoff history, moving the ball 90 yards in 20 plays and taking 10:28 off the clock. Barber capped the drive with a 1-yard touchdown run to give Dallas a 14-7 lead with 53 seconds left in the second quarter. But New York managed to tie the game before halftime. First, Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 13 yards and then Manning completed two passes to Steve Smith for 34 yards, with a facemask penalty adding another 15 yards. Following a 19-yard reception by tight end Kevin Boss, Manning threw a 4-yard touchdown pass to Toomer with just 7 seconds left in the half.

Dallas took the second half kickoff and retook the lead with a 62-yard drive that ended with a field goal by Nick Folk. The rest of the quarter was scoreless, but with 53 seconds left, McQuarters' 25-yard punt return gave New York the ball on the Cowboys 37-yard line. Five plays later, Brandon Jacobs scored a 1-yard touchdown run, giving the Giants a 21-17 lead. After an exchange of punts, Dallas got the ball on their own 44-yard line with 7 minutes left in the game. But following several penalties, could only move the ball to the 49 and had to punt. Their defense managed to force New York to punt again after only three plays, and Patrick Crayton returned it 8 yards to the Giants 48-yard line, giving them a first down with 1:50 left to play and 1 timeout Romo threw a 9-yard pass to Barber and an 18-yard completion to Jason Witten at the 27-yard line. But on fourth down from the 23, his pass was intercepted in the end zone by McQuarters and New York was able to run out the clock.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***NYG - Amani Toomer 52 yard pass from Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes kick), 11:50. "Giants 7-0. Drive: 6 plays, 77 yards, 3:10."
**2nd Quarter
***DAL - Terrell Owens 5 yard pass from Tony Romo (Nick Folk kick), 14:56. "Tied 7-7. Drive: 9 plays, 96 yards, 4:57."
***DAL - Marion Barber 1 yard run (Nick Folk kick), 0:53. "Cowboys 14-7. Drive: 20 plays, 90 yards, 10:28."
***NYG - Amani Toomer 4 yard pass from Eli Manning (Lawrence Tynes kick), 0:07. "Tied 14-14. Drive: 7 plays, 71 yards, 0:46."
**3rd Quarter
***DAL - Nick Folk 34 yard field goal, 6:53. "Cowboys 17-14. Drive: 14 plays, 62 yards, 8:07."
**4th Quarter
***NYG - Brandon Jacobs 1 yard run (Lawrence Tynes kick), 13:29. "Giants 21-17 Drive: 6 plays, 37 yards, 2:24."

Conference Championships

unday, January 20, 2008

AFC: New England Patriots 21, San Diego Chargers 12

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Chargers
R1=3
R2=6
R3=3
R4=0
RT=12
Home=Patriots
H1=0
H2=14
H3=0
H4=7
HT=21
"at Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, Massachusetts"
*Game time: 3:00 p.m. EST
*Game weather: convert|23|°F|°C, partly cloudy, windy and cold
*TV announcers (CBS): Jim Nantz (play-by-play), Phil Simms (color commentator) and Steve Tasker (sideline reporter)
*Referee: Jeff Triplette
*Game attendance: 68,756

Despite 3 interceptions from Tom Brady, the Patriots still managed to defeat San Diego, holding them to four field goals while Laurence Maroney rushed for 122 yards and a touchdown for the second game in a row. With this win, the Patriots became the first NFL team to start with a 18-0 record and advanced to their fourth Super Bowl appearance in seven years.

With just over 5 minutes left in the first quarter, Chargers defensive back Quentin Jammer intercepted a pass from Brady on the Patriots 40-yard line, setting up a 26-yard field goal by Nate Kaeding. New England responded by driving 65 yards and scoring with a 1-yard Maroney touchdown run to take a 7-3 lead.

Kaeding kicked a 23-yard field goal in the second quarter to cut the score to 7-6, but after a punt, Patriots defensive back Asante Samuel intercepted a pass from Philip Rivers and returned it 10 yards to the Chargers 24-yard line. One play later, Brady's 12-yard touchdown pass to Jabar Gaffney increased their lead to 14-6. Later on, a 26-yard run by Darren Sproles moved the ball to the New England 34-yard line. But once again, the Patriots defense kept San Diego out of the end zone, stopping them on 3rd and 1 and forcing them to settle for another Kaeding field goal, making the score 14-9 at halftime.

On the opening drive of the second half, Brady threw his second interception of the game, this one to Drayton Florence at the New England 49-yard line. San Diego then moved the ball to the 4-yard line, but on 3rd and 1, linebacker Junior Seau tackled Michael Turner for a 2-yard loss and the Chargers had to settle for Kaeding's fourth field goal. New England responded with a drive to the San Diego 2-yard line, with Maroney gaining 39 yards on four running plays, but Chargers cornerback Antonio Cromartie ended the drive by intercepting Brady in the end zone.

On their first drive of the fourth quarter, New England moved the ball 67 yards and scored with Brady's 6-yard touchdown pass to Wes Welker, making the score 21-12. Following a Chargers punt, the Patriots ended the game with a 15-play drive that took the final 9:13 off the game clock.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***SD - Nate Kaeding 26 yard field goal, 2:55. "Chargers 3-0. Drive: 7 plays, 32 yards, 2:12."
**2nd Quarter
***NE - Laurence Maroney 1 yard run (Stephen Gostkowski kick), 13:48. "Patriots 7-3. Drive: 10 plays, 65 yards, 4:07."
***SD - Nate Kaeding 23 yard field goal, 9:14. "Patriots 7-6. Drive: 9 plays, 65 yards, 4:34."
***NE - Jabar Gaffney 12 yard pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick), 3:51. "Patriots 14-6. Drive: 2 plays, 24 yards, 0:45."
***SD - Nate Kaeding 40 yard field goal, 0:08. "Patriots 14-9. Drive: 6 plays, 43 yards, 1:38."
**3rd Quarter
***SD - Nate Kaeding 24 yard field goal, 8:36. "Patriots 14-12. Drive: 8 plays, 43 yards, 3:56."
**4th Quarter
***NE - Wes Welker 6 yard pass from Tom Brady (Stephen Gostkowski kick), 12:15. "Patriots 21-12. Drive: 8 plays, 67 yards, 4:17."

NFC: New York Giants 23, Green Bay Packers 20 (OT)

Linescore Amfootball
Road=Giants
R1=3
R2=3
R3=14
R4=0
R5=3
Home=Packers
H1=0
H2=10
H3=7
H4=3
H5=0
"at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin"
*Game time: 6:30 p.m. EST/5:30 p.m. CST
*Game weather: convert|-1|°F|°C, clear
*TV announcers (FOX): Joe Buck (play-by-play), Troy Aikman (color commentator), Pam Oliver and Chris Myers (field reporters)
*Referee: Terry McAulay
*Game attendance: 72,740

Seventeen years to the day after their win over the 49ers in the 1990 NFC Championship game, the Giants won the exact same way as they did in that particular game: on a late field goal. In doing so, New York set an NFL record with their 10th consecutive win on the road. For the third playoff game in a row, Giants quarterback Eli Manning didn't throw a single interception, finishing the game with 254 yards. His top target was Plaxico Burress, who set a franchise postseason record with 11 receptions for 154 yards. Donald Driver was the Packers top receiver with 5 catches for 141 yards.

The Giants drove twice into Packers territory early. However, they were unable to score a touchdown and had to settle for two Lawrence Tynes field goals. On the first play following Tynes' second field goal try, Brett Favre hit Donald Driver on a 90-yard touchdown pass (the longest play in Packers postseson history) to give the Packers their first lead. They would add a Mason Crosby field goal toward the end of the first half, and it would hold for the remainder of the half as the Giants were unable to mount a half-ending scoring drive like they had the previous week.

The Giants got the ball to start the second half and drove the ball 69 yards for a score, a one-yard run into the end zone by Brandon Jacobs. On the play prior to the touchdown Jacobs fumbled the ball at the one yard line but tight end Kevin Boss of the Giants recovered the ball. The Giants benefited from four Packer penalties on the drive, including one that negated an Al Harris interception and a roughing the passer penalty on a failed third down conversion. Green Bay responded, starting in New York territory after Tramon Williams' 49-yard kickoff return. The Packers took it into the end zone in 6 plays, with Favre hitting Donald Lee on a short touchdown pass set up by a Sam Madison penalty. Trailing 17-13, the Giants went on a 7-play drive which was capped off by an Ahmad Bradshaw touchdown run.

On the next Green Bay drive, Favre again led the Packers into the New York end of the field. Then, on a 1st down play from the Giants 31, he threw an interception to R. W. McQuarters, which was his third interception in as many games. However, as McQuarters was returning the interception, Ryan Grant tackled him and forced a fumble, which went right into the arms of Green Bay lineman Mark Tauscher at the New York 19, essentially netting the Packers 12 yards and a fresh set of downs. However, the Packers were unable to move the ball any further and Crosby was called on to kick a field goal, which he converted to tie the game at 20. The Giants attempted to drive down the field and score on their third consecutive drive and got into position for a go-ahead field goal, but Tynes missed from 43 yards.

The next three drives (two for Green Bay and one for New York) resulted in punts. On the third punt, McQuarters received the kick but on the return was stripped again. Luckily for the Giants Domenik Hixon recovered the ball after a scrum. New York had the ball at the Green Bay 48 yard line with 2:15 remaining. On the first play from scrimmage Bradshaw took a hand-off from Manning and ran all the way for the apparent go-ahead touchdown, but a holding penalty on Chris Snee nullified it. The Giants then drove down the field and reached the Packers' 18-yard line with four seconds remaining. Tynes missed his second consecutive fourth quarter field goal attempt, as the ball wobbled wide left, sending the game into overtime.

Green Bay won the coin toss to start the extra period, but on the second play of overtime Favre's pass, which would be his last as a Packer, was intercepted by Giants defensive back Corey Webster, who returned the ball 9 yards to the Green Bay 34-yard line. The Giants gained five yards on three plays and then sent Tynes out to try his fifth field goal of the game, and his longest attempt of the day (47 yards). Just as Matt Bahr had done , Tynes connected on the game-winning field goal, clinching a fourth NFC Championship for the Giants and their first since . The Giants, the NFC's #5 seed, became just the second NFC wild card team ever to win a conference championship (the Dallas Cowboys being the other) and the third team ever (and first NFC team) to reach the Super Bowl with three road playoff wins (joining the 1985 New England Patriots and 2005 Pittsburgh Steelers).

The game was the first conference championship game to go to overtime since the and the third conference championship game overall to do so (joining the 1998 game and the ). Tynes joined Rich Karlis ('86) and Morten Andersen ('98) as the only players to score the winning points in an overtime conference championship game (all three games have been won with field goals by the visiting team). The Packers have lost 3 of their last 5 home playoff games after starting 10-0. Tynes' 47-yard field goal was the longest kick ever made by a visiting kicker in a playoff game at Lambeau Field.

*Scoring
**1st Quarter
***NYG - Lawrence Tynes 29 yard field goal, 4:53. "Giants 3-0. Drive: 14 plays, 71 yards, 7:48."
**2nd Quarter
***NYG - Lawrence Tynes 37 yard field goal, 11:46. "Giants 6-0. Drive: 7 plays, 38 yards, 3:04."
***GB - Donald Driver 90 yard pass from Brett Favre (Mason Crosby kick), 11:33. "Packers 7-6. Drive: 1 plays, 90 yards, 0:23."
***GB - Mason Crosby 36 yard field goal, 1:34. "Packers 10-6. Drive: 8 plays, 29 yards, 2:58."
**3rd Quarter
***NYG - Brandon Jacobs 1 yard run, 8:01. "Giants 13-10. Drive: 12 plays, 69 yards, 7:04."
***GB - Donald Lee 12 yard pass from Brett Favre (Mason Crosby kick), 5:07. "Packers 17-13. Drive: 6 plays, 39 yards, 2:56."
***NYG - Ahmad Bradshaw 4 yard run, 2:19. "Giants 20-17. Drive: 7 plays, 57 yards, 2:48."
**4th Quarter
***GB - Mason Crosby 37 yard field goal, 11:51. "Tied 20-20. Drive: 4 plays, 0 yards, 2:14."
**Overtime
***NYG - Lawrence Tynes 47 yard field goal, 12:34. "Giants 23-20. Drive: 4 plays, 5 yards, 1:39."

uper Bowl XLII

New York Giants (NFC) 17, New England Patriots (AFC) 14 at University of Phoenix Stadium, Glendale, Arizona.

Bracket

NFLBracket
G1=NFC
G2=AFC
January 6 - Raymond James Stadium|5|N.Y. Giants|24|4|Tampa Bay|14
January 5 - Qwest Field|6|Washington|14|3|Seattle|35
January 6 - Qualcomm Stadium|6|Tennessee|6|3|San Diego|17
January 5 - Heinz Field|5|Jacksonville|31|4|Pittsburgh |29
January 13 - Texas Stadium|5|N.Y. Giants|21|1|Dallas|17
January 12 - Lambeau Field|3|Seattle|20|2|Green Bay|42
January 13 - RCA Dome|3|San Diego|28|2|Indianapolis|24
January 12 - Gillette Stadium|5|Jacksonville|20|1|New England|31
January 20 - Lambeau Field|5|N.Y. Giants|23|2|Green Bay|20
January 20 - Gillette Stadium|3|San Diego|12|1|New England|21
RD4=Super Bowl XLII
February 3 - University of Phoenix Stadium|N5|N. Y. Giants|17|A1|New England|14

References

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*cite web|url=http://www.nfl.com/liveupdate/gamecenter/29519/SD_Gamebook.pdf|title=NFL Gamebook - TEN @ SD|publisher=NFL.com|date=2008-01-06|accessdate=2008-01-07
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