The Birds and Steelers Advance

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The Birds and Steelers Advance

The top two seeds in both conferences hosted the divisional round of the playoffs, but there was little home cooking for any team. The Baltimore Ravens, Arizona Cardinals, and Philadelphia Eagles won on the road, while the Pittsburgh Steelers were the only home team to advance to the conference title.

On Saturday, kicker Matt Stover lifted the Ravens to a 13-10 win in Nashville, while the Titans committed turnover after turnover, basically handing Baltimore a trip to the AFC title game.

In the nightcap the Panthers were favored by 10, the most of any team in the playoffs, and were expected to breeze past the Cards. After scoring three minutes in, the Panthers committed six turnovers, five interceptions and a lost fumble, and gave up 33 unanswered points, falling to Arizona 33-13.

On Sunday, the Eagles went back into the Meadowlands and smacked the G-men around, picking up a 23-11 road win. The Steelers, led by Big Ben, manhandled the San Diego Chargers in the second half, en route to a 35-24 win.

Next Sunday, the Steelers and Ravens will meet for round three at Heinz Field, with the winner being the AFC representative in the Super Bowl.

No one thought this would be the NFC title match-up when the playoffs started, let alone at the start of the divisional round. The Philadelphia Eagles will travel to the desert to face the Arizona Cardinals, with the winner being crowned NFC champs.

The winners of next week's games will head to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, on Feb. 1 to try and capture the Lombardi Trophy.

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