This is it, folks. The Conference Championship. Win or go home. This is for all the marbles. Additional generic sports cliche.
The AFC kicks things off at noon Pacific time, with the New England Patriots traveling to Denver to face the Broncos. You may have forgotten this game was happening, since every news outlet in the country is focused on the San Francisco 49ers coming into Seattle to face the Seahawks.
The Patriots are 13-4 and led by Tom Brady. The Broncos are 14-3 and led by Peyton Manning. The last time these two teams met in the AFC Championship game, Manning was still in Indianapolis. He hit the dirt 4 times, threw 4 interceptions and completed less than half of his passes. Brady, meanwhile, completed 59% of his passes and led New England to a 24-14 win. Peyton is having an MVP season this year, though, and seems to be laser-focused. Will history repeat itself, or is Manning ready to lead the Broncos to New York?
Then, at 3:30 Pacific, the game that everyone is talking about begins. The Seahawks and 49ers take the field and it's the stuff that legends are made of. The rivalry reaches a fever pitch in a game that the NFL must be salivating over. They couldn't have scripted it any better.
The teams split the season series, with the home team winning each time. The Seahawks won week two by a dominant score of 29-3. The 49ers got their revenge in week 14, where a last minute Frank Gore 51-yard run set up the game-winning field goal. Both teams are driven by their run game, San Francisco behind Frank Gore and Seattle behind Marshawn Lynch. The game could come down to one big run by either.
One win from one win. The time is now. #GoHawks
Also, I hope this isn't necessary, but remember to be civil and classy in your comments. I had a friend who was jumped by 49ers fans for wearing a Seahawks jersey last night in New York. These kinds of things should never happen. It's just sports. Us beating each other and insulting each other bears no outcome on the game. So let's keep it above reproach. ;)