(Matthew Emmons/USA Today Sports)

NFL playoffs – second round

Top Story Lines | Injury NewsGame Analysis


Tom Brady and the New England Patriots downed the once-but-no-longer-streaking Chiefs, 27-20, to advance to the AFC championship game. It will be Brady’s 10th conference championship game appearance, an NFL record he already owned. They’ll face Peyton Manning and the Broncos, who beat the Pittsburgh Steelers to set up the 17th meeting between Brady and Manning in the playoffs.

Over in the NFC, the Cardinals and Packers played an OT thriller that had left plenty of impressions (and not all of them good). In Charlotte, the Panthers put their near-perfect season on the line against the ever-dangerous Seahawks and survived.

Top Story Lines

Broncos advance, will face Patriots AFC title game

Peyton Manning does just enough to help Denver beat Pittsburgh and set up another meeting with Tom Brady. (Read More)

Panthers jump out to huge lead, hold on to beat Seahawks

Carolina advances to NFC title game despite letting a 31-0 lead dwindle to 31-24. (Read More)

Seahawks’ comeback salvages their dignity but not their Super Bowl hopes

Seattle’s bid for a third straight Super Bowl appearance falls short with loss at Carolina in an NFC semifinal. (Read More)

Panthers have a perfect comeback to being trolled by Dwight from ‘The Office’

We assume Michael Scott is a Steelers fan. (Read More)

Thanks for the lesson, Panthers-Seahawks: We all risk looking stupid on Twitter during sporting events

Hey, we can own it. (Read More)

Andy Reid is latest coach to mention headset issues against Patriots

The Chiefs coach wasn’t quite as upset as the Steelers’ Mike Tomlin was in September. (Read More)

Michael Jordan is at the Panthers game, so naturally the Internet is freaking out

So many Crying Jordan memes. (Read More)

Young Panthers goes wild after getting a touchdown ball

Watch and feel your heart melt. (Read More)

Without Antonio Brown, Steelers will have trouble passing against Broncos

Only Atlanta’s Julio Jones (3.04) averaged more yards per route run than Brown (2.89) this season. (Read More)

21 questions to ponder after the Packers-Cardinals playoff classic

After a game that rendered no simple conclusions, we have some questions. (Read More)

If Cardinals want to go to the Super Bowl, they must improve their run defense

Should Arizona bottle up Seattle or Carolina’s running game, the team’s likelihood of moving on to the Super Bowl spikes. (Read More)

Aaron Rodgers’s Hail Mary forces overtime, but Larry Fitzgerald takes over for wild Cards’ win

Packers QB’s 41-yard touchdown as time expires in regulation isn’t enough as Arizona advances to the NFC title game. (Read More)

Larry Fitzgerald sent a touching message to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen

Network’s NFL reporter is battling throat cancer. (Read More)

Tom Brady gets angry — and Patriots get a ticket to the AFC championship

New England quarterback jaws with Chiefs, who run out of answers in divisional playoff loss. (Read More)

Rob Gronkowski can’t be stopped, and with him healthy, the Patriots won’t be

The Pro Bowl tight end accounted for two of New England’s three touchdowns in Saturday’s playoff win. (Read More)

Julian Edelman is the engine that makes the Patriots go

The wide receiver played for the first time since November and proved just how valuable he is to New England. (Read More)

Patriots have enough for a Super Bowl run — even without much of a running game

New England’s offense hasn’t eclipsed 100 yards on the ground in more than a month. (Read More)

Randall Cobb leaves game with chest injury

The Packers wide receiver hurt himself making a great play that didn’t count. (Read More)

Chiefs QB Alex Smith gets jaw-droppingly shifty to convert key third down

Just watch. (Read More)

See the cheap shot that earned Patriots’ Danny Amendola a flag

The hit was clearly illegal but only only cost the Pats roughly 2 1/2 yards. (Read More)

Patriots don’t punish Chandler Jones for bizarre report, instead start him

The defensive end was back in his normal spot six days after being hospitalized for what was reported to be a bad reaction to synthetic marijuana. (Read More)

Larry Fitzgerald, slot machine, inspires team and fuels Cardinals Super Bowl dreams

The veteran receiver has taken to his new role in the slot and has put up one of his best seasons ever. (Read More)

The Seahawks are a nightmare matchup for the Panthers. Here’s why.

Even if Seattle didn’t look their best in their last-second escape from Minnesota, there are plenty of reasons for Carolina to be worried. (Read More)

The important evolution of Russell Wilson and Cam Newton

The quarterbacks made big strides in their development this season that have raised them into elite status. (Read More)

Sputtering offense or no, the Broncos are a Super Bowl sleeping giant

With a defense as good as any in the Super Bowl era, Denver might be able to succeed despite any shortcomings by its quarterbacks. (Read More)

Injury News

Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers (head injury) … He will not play after suffering a concussion from a hit by the Bengals Vontaze Burfict in the first round.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Steelers (shoulder) … Roethlisberger is listed as questionable with multiple issues in his throwing shoulder.

Marshawn Lynch, RB, Seahawks (abdomen) … He was a full participant in practice this week and declared himself ready for Seattle’s game in Carolina.

Second-round scores and more

[Full second-round scoreboard]

Divisional round schedule

Patriots 27, Chiefs 20

Cardinals 26, Packers 20 (OT)

Seahawks at Panthers, Jan. 17, 1:05 p.m.

Steelers at Broncos, Jan. 17, 4:40 p.m.

Which games to watch … and which to skip

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