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Falcons, Patriots Notch Sunday Playoff Wins

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images Sport

There’s an old adage about scoring too soon at the end of the game, allowing the opposition to come back.

The Seattle Seahawks thought scoring with :31 left would be enough to stage a great comeback win, but the Atlanta Falcons had other ideas.

Matt Bryant kicked a 49 yard field goal with :08 left, giving the Falcons a 30-28 win and sending the top seed to the NFC Championship game next Sunday against the San Francisco 49ers.

The Seahawks trailed 27-7 entering the final period but roared back with 21 unanswered points and Marshawn Lynch capped the rally with a one yard run.  Ryan Longwell’s extra point gave the Seahawks the lead, setting the stage for the Falcons comeback.

Matt Ryan hit Harry Douglas with a 29 yard pass and Tony Gonzales with a 19 yard completion to set up Bryant with the game winnner.  Bryant actually missed the field goal, but the Seahawks had called a timeout just before the kick.  Bryant’s next one went right down the middle.

In the second game, the New England Patriots defeated the Houston Texans 41-28 to advance to the AFC title game, where they will host the Baltimore Ravens.  Tom Brady threw for 335 yards in the game with Wes Welker catching eight passes for 131 yards.

The win came at a costly price as tight end Rob Gronkowski re-broke his arm and will be lost for the rest of the playoffs.

Shane Vereen caught two touchdown passes and ran for a third to help lead the Pats.

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