Jan 13, 2013 8:28 PM by Bill Halter

Falcons and Patriots advance

AP- The Atlanta Falcons were up, down, but in the end are going to the NFC championship.

After losing a 20-point lead in the fourth quarter, the Falcons escaped a furious Seattle rally on Matt Bryant's 49-yard field goal with eight seconds left in their 30-28 win over the upset-minded Seahawks.

The Falcons appeared ready to allow the biggest fourth-quarter comeback in NFL playoff history when Marshawn Lynch scored on a 2-yard run with 31 seconds left.

But Matt Ryan completed two long passes after the kickoff, setting up Bryant's winning kick. Ryan finished 24 of 35 for 250 yards. He tossed three TD passes and two interceptions.

Rookie Ryan Wilson passed for two touchdowns and ran for another, but it wasn't enough for the Seahawks

The Falcons move on to host San Francisco in the NFC Championship next Sunday. The 49ers eliminated Green Bay 45-31 Saturday night.

FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - Tom Brady became the winningest quarterback in postseason play, throwing for three touchdowns Sunday to beat Houston 41-28 and lift the New England Patriots into the AFC championship game.

Brady got his 17th victory, surpassing his childhood hero, Joe Montana, by throwing for 344 yards. Seldom-used running back Shane Vereen scored three times, twice on receptions.

If Brady can lead the Patriots (13-4) past Baltimore (12-6) in next Sunday's conference title game, then win the Super Bowl, he'll equal the 49ers' Hall of Famer for NFL championships.

The Patriots and Ravens are meeting for the AFC title for the second straight year. Baltimore, which stunned top-seeded Denver in double overtime Saturday, lost 23-20 at Gillette Stadium last January.

Houston (13-5) performed far better than in a 42-14 loss here last month. But the Texans couldn't slow down Brady.



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