Who’s excited for some NFL championship football?

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2013

Atlanta vs. San Francisco.

New England vs. Baltimore.

Why not?

Ever since the end of the weekend, I’ve been really excited about the upcoming NFC and AFC Championship games on Sunday.

Like many sports fans out there in Alabama, I tend to lean more toward the rousing of college football to fill my needs, but there’s nothing like that of NFL playoff football.

Split into four rounds — a wildcard, divisional, conference championship and the Super Bowl — the professional football playoffs are simple to a degree, which makes sense in light of how long the season lasts.

After many years, the Falcons (13-3) are playing for its first bid to the big game since 1998 as they play a pesky 49ers (11-4-1) team for the right to play in Super Bowl XLVII.

If the Falcons win, it would be their first NFC title at home in franchise history.

The Patriots (12-4) — or Pats as I like to call them — are back in the AFC Championship to face rival Ravens (10-6).

For the Falcons, quarterback Matt Ryan has thrown for 32 touchdowns and 4,719 yards so far this season. His primary target is future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez, who has 93 receptions for 930 yards and eight touchdowns. Gonzalez has two touchdowns less than former Alabama standout receiver Julio Jones, who has 79 receptions for 1,198 yards.

Michael Turner leads the Falcons with 800 yards on 222 carries and 10 TDs.

San Francisco hot-hand Colin Kaepernick, who has recently earned his way into the spotlight, has only thrown for 1,814 yards and 10 TDs in the few games he’s played.

While Kaepernick’s passing stats are OK, he’s rushed for 181 yards, the most in the NFL by a QB.

On the AFC front, New England starts and ends with quarterback Tom Brady. Brady enters Sunday’s game with 4,827 yards passing and 34 touchdowns.

Brady’s favorite target will have to be Wes Welker, who has 118 receptions for 1,354 yards and six touchdowns.

Rob Gronkowski re-broke his left arm last week in the win over the Texans and will be out for the remainder of the season.

If the Patriots win, it’ll be their seventh trip to the Super Bowl. What a statistic, huh?

Baltimore’s ace is soon-to-be-retired and future Hall of Famer Ray Lewis at linebacker.

Ever since he announced his retirement, it seems to me that the Ravens have played their best football.

In six games this season, Lewis has totaled 44 tackles — 30 of which have been in the post season for the most in the NFL.

Joe Flacco, the Ravens QB, has thrown for 613 yards and five touchdowns this post season.

I could write on and on about these match ups, but I just wanted to give a little taste for what we’re in for this week.

Both games will take place on Sunday and there will be no need to clammer at trying to catch the action at the same time.

The NFC Championship will be kick off at 2 p.m. CST on FOX, while the AFC Championship will get going at 5:30 p.m. CST on CBS.

Enjoy the games because I for sure know that I’ll be glued to the tube.