An incredible divisional round is over, but there are still three games left in the 2013 NFL postseason.
None of the eight teams this past weekend scored fewer than 28 points and two of the four games came down to game-winning field goals. As ESPN Stats & Info notes, fans were just treated to the highest scoring set of games in NFL playoff history:
The 2012 Divisional Playoffs were the highest scoring round of the postseason in NFL history (276 points).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 14, 2013
Now, the teams facing off in the conference championship games have a tough act to follow. But several of the NFL’s biggest stars will be on the field next Sunday, and there is an excellent chance that more fireworks lay ahead.
Here is how to watch every last bit of NFL action left in the 2012 season.
NFC Championship Game: San Francisco 49ers vs. Atlanta Falcons
When: Sunday, January 20, 3 p.m. ET
If not for Matt Bryant’s last-second field goal, the storylines coming out of Atlanta would be very different today.
The Falcons were dangerously close to blowing a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter against the Seattle Seahawks, and a third straight disappointing playoff loss would have led to a severe amount of criticism. But the team showed exceptional resolve and will now face the 49ers with a trip to the Super Bowl on the line.
San Francisco left no doubt in their game against the Green Bay Packers, and Colin Kaepernick started his postseason career by setting an all-time record for rushing yards by a quarterback.
If the 49ers offense is able to put up 45 points again, it is difficult to imagine the Falcons coming away from this game as NFC champs.
AFC Championship Game: Baltimore Ravens vs. New England Patriots
When: Sunday, January 20, 6:30 p.m. ET
Lewis is retiring after this season, and his farewell tour has sparked Baltimore to a convincing victory over the Indianapolis Colts and a thrilling overtime win over the favored Denver Broncos.
The Ravens will once again be underdogs and will also have to try and stop a quarterback on his way to the Hall of Fame for a second straight week.
But Lewis has legendary credentials as well, and the star power in this matchup will make for a fascinating contest.
Super Bowl: AFC Champion vs. NFC Champion
When: Sunday, February 3, 6:30 p.m. ET
There are several intriguing scenarios for the four possible Super Bowl matchups, starting with a Harbaugh brothers bowl if the Ravens and the 49ers advance.
If the Patriots move on to face San Francisco, it will be a rematch of a wild Week 15 showdown in which the 49ers jumped out to a 28-point lead, only to see it disappear in the fourth quarter. Kaepernick was able to pull out a victory, and fans would not be disappointed to see these two teams battle again in football’s grand finale.
But the Falcons have an excellent chance to make their first Super Bowl under Mike Smith, and there would certainly be a stark contrast if their opponent was New England. If Bill Belichick leads his team to another victory on Sunday, he will be playing for an NFL championship for the sixth time since taking over the Patriots.
Lastly, a matchup between Atlanta and Baltimore may not carry the same intrigue as other potential showdowns, but any Super Bowl involving Lewis and the Ravens will attract plenty of interest.