Matt Mosley's game balls
Game 1: Green Bay 42, Seattle 20
completed 18 of 23 passes for 173 yards and three touchdowns.
We'll be watching his underhanded toss to tight end Donald Lee
for the next 50 years. He calmly told running back Ryan Grant
not to worry about the two early fumbles, and the rookie responded with a phenomenal effort.
Grant finished with 27 carries, 201 rushing yards and three touchdowns.
After the two early fumbles, Grant was unstoppable. He froze Seahawks defenders with his moves and showed the speed that has made him a threat to go the distance on every play. He did an excellent job of setting up his blocks. He used his two fullbacks brilliantly throughout the game.
Green Bay wide receiver Greg Jennings
had six catches for 71 yards and two touchdowns.
In only his second season, Jennings has developed great chemistry with Favre. When Seattle cornerback Marcus Trufant
had him covered in the second half, he used a subtle move to free himself along the sideline. And he's tremendous after the catch.
Packers right tackle Mark Tauscher
did an excellent job against Seahawks All-Pro defensive end Patrick Kerney
, who finished without a tackle.
Green Bay safety Atari Bigby
had seven tackles and a forced fumble.
Bigby picked a nice time to have the best game of his career. His hit that caused a Marcus Pollard
fumble set up the Packers' second touchdown. He then had two more jarring hits in the first half that seemed to demoralize the Seahawks.
Green Bay defensive end Cullen Jenkins
: three tackles and 1½ sacks.
Jenkins nearly doubled his total for the season. He came into Saturday's game with one sack in the regular season. He made sure Seattle's anemic running game didn't get going, then broke down the pocket several times. He deserved to be in on a couple of sacks.
• Special teams:
had a 15-yard roughing the kicker penalty, but he bounced back with two great open-field tackles on kickoff coverage. He also had a 13-yard touchdown catch and rushed for 34 yards.
Game 2: New England 31, Jacksonville 20
Patriots quarterback Tom Brady
was 26 of 28 for 262 passing yards and three touchdowns. His 92.9 completion percentage was an NFL record for both the regular season and the playoffs.
Halfback Laurence Maroney
had 22 carries for 122 yards and a touchdown. No one thought the Pats would try to run the ball against the Jags, and that's probably why they did it. Maroney also had two catches for 40 yards, including a 33-yard reception after Jacksonville had taken an early lead.
New England defensive back Rodney Harrison
had seven tackles and the game-sealing interception.
• Special teams:
The University of Maine's Montell Owens
had three tackles in coverage for the Jaguars.
• Scouts Inc.'s Buzz
Packers 42, Seahawks 20:
The Seahawks got on the board quickly as the Packers gave them a short field in the first quarter. Green Bay drew a line in the snow and roared back with four touchdowns behind great zone blocking by the Packers' offensive line and pinpoint passing by a confident
. -- Ken Moll
Patriots 31, Jaguars 20:
New England's Tom Brady
stayed calm throughout the game and calmly took what the soft Jacksonville coverage gave him. The Jags were unable to pressure Brady into any interceptions as they pretty much stayed with their base front four rushing him in passing situations. -- Doug Kretz
• Experts' picks: How did we do? Sunday Countdown | ESPN.com
An early look at looming story lines:
1. Get ready for this statistic: Brett Favre
obviously will be rooting for the New York Giants
on Sunday, but you get the feeling he'd love another shot at the Dallas Cowboys
You'll read this 300 times this week, but I'll say it anyway: Favre is 0-9 at Texas Stadium, including an 0-3 record in the playoffs. Moments after Saturday's game, Favre was asked about a potential trip to Dallas.
"I haven't won in Dallas," he said, "but there's always a first time. The worst thing that could happen is we lose."
It won't matter which team Favre plays if the next defense plays like the Seahawks' unit did.
How come the Packers were so successful?
"Brett getting rid of it, seven-man protection and the running game," Seahawks Pro Bowl lineman Patrick Kerney
said. "You have to stop the run to earn the right to rush the passer. We at no point neutralized their running game."
2. Why Favre should want the Giants:
The Green Bay Packers
beat the Giants in the Meadowlands, 35-13, in Week 2. Favre was 29-of-38 for 286 yards passing and three touchdowns. We now know the Giants have one of the best pass rushes in football, but on that day, they had one sack. It took new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo about three games before his players started to feel comfortable in his scheme, which is very similar to what Jim Johnson does in Philadelphia.
By the way, DeShawn Wynn
led the Packers with 50 yards rushing that day.
3. Have the Packers learned from their last visit with the Cowboys?
Most of you will recall Dallas' winning the NFC showdown against Green Bay in November. I was baffled by Mike McCarthy's game plan that night. Favre had been taking what the defense gave him all season, but on that night, he wanted to throw deep every time he went back. Reserve defensive back Nate Jones
knocked Favre out of the game in the first half on a blitz. Backup Aaron Rodgers
came in to throw for 201 yards and a touchdown, but Tony Romo
threw for 309 yards and four touchdowns.
-- Matt Mosley
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