Tebow never had a shot against the Pats. The game was over on the first drive as Brady out on a show by doing just about everything Tebow couldn't do, like throwing the ball. Terrific Tom would lead the Brady Bunch by tossing 6 TDs (an NFL playoff record) with three of them to his pass-catching tight end, Rob Gronkowski. The Broncos defense simply never showed up as Brady ripped them for big play after big play and touchdown after touchdown. Tebow definitely didn't help Denver's cause as he went 9-26 with only 136 yards. In the end, New England was simply the better team as they will host next week's AFC Championship game.
Alex Smith was once a first overall pick and now a QB that has failed expectations and lowered the expectations of a once proud San Francisco franchise. But for one day, Alex Smith was Joe Montana. All those expectations for the Niners turned around this season as they earned an impressive 13-3 record with a rookie head coach in Jim Harbaugh. The second seed in the playoffs still did not prove anything to the football fans of America as the Saints came marching into Candlestick, expected to win. The Niners would have to use every second of their BYE week to formulate a game plan to wrangle the Saints offense. The plan worked. Put pressure on Brees and take away the run, which Resulted in 3 sacks and 63 pass attempts from Breesy. The 49ers took advantage of some early turnovers and took a surprising 17-0 lead in the second quarter. New Orleans offense would fight back though as they took a 24-23 lead with four minutes left in the game on an explosive Darren Sproles screen play. Then things got interesting. With two minutes and in field goal range, Alex Smith ran a QB draw for 28 yards and a TD. The two-point attempt failed and San Fran held a five point lead. The crowd at Canldestick was rejuvenated; however, the unspeakable would occur. The explosive Saints offense scored a 66 yard TD from a pass to Jimmy Graham, which led to a 3 point lead after a successful two-point conversion. Then NFL history would occur. Alex Smith became Joe Montana as he led the Niners down the field to the 14 yard line with 9 seconds left. On the very next play, Vernon Davis became T.O. As he caught and hung on to a TD pass, which marked the return of the Niners to the NFC Championship game.
I can not stress how important it is to win at home in the Pac 12. Going 9-0 at home then splitting games on the road can set you up with a decent record and possibly a spot in the NCAA Tournament; however, losing to a team like Oregon after you beating their more explosive rival school will get you nowhere in such a weak conference. Oregon dominated early offensively and their zone defense left the Cats scratching their heads. By the time Arizona could get something going, Oregon had jumped out to a 34-22 halftime lead. Though Arizona has always been a victim to sluggish starts but the benefactor of explosive second halves, something wasn't quite right. The Cats did end up having that great 2nd half run that we've grown accustomed to and they even took a one point lead, but the Ducks wouldn't stay flat-footed for much longer. Down the stretch, their guards and team leaders stepped up more that Kyle Fogg did for Arizona. Solo pushed the Cats within striking distance and the frosh took advantage, but the game boiled down to a late trey by Oregon and a missed buzzer-beater by Kyle Fogg.