OK folks, the long road to the biggest game in sports is a lot shorter now as there are just two games left to decide who will play in Super Bowl XLVII Sunday February 3 in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.
This weekend we have two great match-ups in both conferences. First up Sunday here on WWL Radio will be an old NFC West fivalry renewed when the 49ers of Rice-a-Roni Land visit the ATL to face the Dirty Birds. Atlanta is hosting the NFC Title Game for the first time in franchise history, while the 49ers are now just two wins away from tying the Pittsburgh Steelers for most SB wins with six.
Now the game should be a very good, but leading up to it the notes and story lines are very fun to take a peak at. My main man Brian Duval is the best in the business when it comes to stats and crunching numbers. Brian is one with the pencil as he has mastered the art of throwing out numbers in game and when he has time the dude is as good as it gets. So let me stop bumping my gums for a moment and let you check out the interesting numbers that Brian has crunched for the NFC Title Game.
The Atlanta Falcons are the #1 seed in the NFC, and #1 seeds are 6-0 in last 7 postseason. The last to lose was PIT to NE in 2004 AFC Championship game
- Atlanta won last 4 meetings vs. SF (including last 2 with Ryan at QB)
- The Falcons last loss to SF was in 2001, lost to them twice that season, both in OT
- 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh is the 4th coach to reach conference championship game in each of first two seasons, following George Seifert, Barry Switzer, and Rex Ryan. Only Ryan didn't reach the Super Bowl at least 1 time.
- Falcons QB Ryan has completed 70% of passes in final 2 minutes of either half this season, and Ryan was at 50% in previous 4 years
- San Francisco QB Colin Kapernick in 8 starts as QB on throws of 20+yds downfield, 17/32 554yds and 8 pass plays of 30+yds. Alex Smith in 9 starts at QB this season was 8/17 in throws of 20+yds downfield 273 yds and 3 pass plays of 30+yds.
- Kapernick has a total of 15 plays of 30 or more yards and Alex Smith had 6.
Since Kapernick became starting QB, 49ers WR Michael Crabtree is 5th in NFL in catches (50,) 4th in recieving (714,) and T-2nd with 7 TD's
- Kapernick is sacked on average once every 17.4 drop backs, compared to Alex Smith's 10.6
AFC Title Game - Baltimore Ravens @ New England Patriots
There is some serious history on the line when the Ravens and Pats meet Sunday night in New England. Tom Brady won a record 17th post season game last week as New England beat the Houston Texans.
A win would put the Patriots in New Orleans for a fourth time playing in the Super Bowl. The Pats lost to the Chicago Bears in their first Super Bowl game as Chicago handled New England 46-10.
Then a decade later, the Pats were victimized by Brett and the Packers 35-21. But the third time was the charm for New England as the second biggest underdog in Super Bowl History. New England was facing the greatest show on turf as the St. Louis Rams were predicted to blow out New England. What ensued was one of the greatest post season games in sports history as New England secured an upset 20-17 win with a last-second field goal.
On the flip side Sunday will be either the last game, or the second to the last game, for future Hall of Fame LB Ray Lewis. Lewis and the Ravens are red-hot and they are looking to erase last season's heartbreaking loss to the Patriots in the AFC Championship.
My favorite two stats that B-Love has crunched for me are these: #1 Tom Brady has played 101 home games with the Patriots. Brady is an incredible 86-15 at home as the Pats QB!
And my second favorite stat is about the #4 seeds. Baltimore is the #4 in the AFC, and #4 seeds have compiled a 6-1 overall record in the AFC Championship.
So as we get ready to close out what should be a very exciting weekend of NFL Football let's take a look at some interesting numbers that co-inside with the AFC Title Game!
- This is the first time the same two teams the meet for the conference Championship since Dallas and San Francisco faced each other in 3 straight NFC Title Games from 1992-1994. This is also the first time its happened in AFC since Cleveland played Denver in 1986 and 1987.
- NE QB Tom Brady is 86-15 at home, including playoffs. (85.1% is #1 in NFL for QB's with at least 20 starts in Super Bowl era)
- Baltimore QB Joe Flacco has 5 playoff road wins, which ties him with Eli Manning for most in NFL history
- The Baltimore Ravens have 8 playoff road wins in its history (since being in Baltimore,) and only Green Bay (10) and Dallas (9) have more
- The Ravens defense allows opponents only 49% completions when sending 5 or more rushers on field with Ray Lewis on field. Without Lewis, BAL opponents complete at 65%