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Patriots Win Big, Niners Win Thriller in NFL Playoffs

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Saturday, January 14, 2012 - 10:49pm

What a day in the NFL! New England defeated Denver, 45-10, and advances to the AFC Championship to host either the Ravens or Texans next sunday.

The win is New England's ninth straight this season as Tom Brady threw for 363 yards and tied a playoff record with 6 Td's. The Pats' defense has been in question all season but tonight played an impressive game, holding Denver to 252 total yards. Tim Tebow was 9 of 26 for 136 yards.

"We came in and started fast and it was a big win for us," said Brady, who even got off a 48-yard punt on third down. "He's been around the block a few times. He knows how to win games," the Broncos' Champ Bailey said of Brady. "If you're not ready to punch him in the mouth he's going to eat you up all night."

The San Francisco 49ers ordered in pizzas and watched last weekend's playoff games at the team's facility before discovering who their opponent would be Saturday afternoon at Candlestick Park. The 49'ers defeated New Orleans in a wild affair, 36-32.

"It stings right now because of the expectation level that we had coming into this tournament and understanding that if we win here we're into the NFC championship game and anything can happen," Brees said. "That's tough. Tough to swallow at this point."

The 49ers head to the NFC Championship game to face the winner of Giants-Packers game Sunday afternoon. It's the 3rd career 400+ yd game for Drew Brees, an NFL record. 30 years ago this week, Joe Montana threw the touchdown pass to Dwight Clark in a win over Dallas, becoming the play known as "the catch."

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