The San Francisco 49ers are Miami bound!

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

There was a feeling right at the start of the NFC Championship game between the Green Bay Packers and the San Francisco 49ers. A feeling that the 49ers were completely dialed in. And they were. It was pretty much over right after it got going.

The 49ers scored on their second series of the game, and that was pretty much it, they never looked back. Running back Raheem Mostert was definitely the star of the game. He had over 200 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns, becoming the 1st player to score 4 touchdowns in a conference championship game.

The Green Bay Packers? Well, to put it nicely, they never really got going.

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NFL and USAA Announce Finalists for the Salute to Service Award

The NFL and USAA, an Official NFL Salute to Service Partner, announced Atlanta Falcons CEO STEVE CANNON, Detroit Lions Head Coach MATT PATRICIA, and Los Angeles Chargers Legend DONNIE EDWARDS as finalists for the ninth annual Salute to Service Award presented by USAA.

Cannon, Patricia, and Edwards were selected for their exceptional efforts to honor and support members of the military community. The Salute to Service Award recipient will be recognized at NFL Honors, a two-hour primetime awards special to air nationally on Feb. 1, the eve of Super Bowl LIV, on FOX.

USAA will contribute $25,000 in the award recipient’s honor to the official aid societies representing all five military branches. The NFL will match USAA’s donation of $25,000, which will be donated to the award recipient’s military charity of choice. The award recipient will receive a specially designed military challenge coin, recognizing their commitment to the military. In what has become a long-standing tradition, challenge coins are presented to members of the military community to encourage excellence, boost morale or to recognize a fellow brother- or sister-in-arms.

“Each having different life experiences and connections to our military, all three finalists for the ‘Salute to Service Award presented by USAA’ are connected by a shared belief in honoring and showing appreciation to our nation’s service members and veterans,” said Vice Admiral (Ret.) JOHN BIRD, USAA Senior Vice President of Military Affairs. “Steve, Coach Patricia, and Donnie are all worthy finalists and we salute them for their continued commitment to America’s military community.”

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Previewing the NFC Championship game

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

At the beginning of the season, if you’d have told me that the San Fransisco 49ers were going to be in the NFC Championship Game, I think I would’ve responded like this:

via GIPHY

And yet,  here we are. The 49ers are in the NFC Championship Game, with home field no less, and they get to face the Green Bay Packers.  Again. Had you told me at the beginning of the year that the Packers were going to the NFC Championship game, I don’t think I would’ve gone 100% “Sure, Jan” but I still wasn’t 100% sold on them either.

However, both teams have proven me wrong and will face each other to earn a spot in the Super Bowl.  So, what’s it going to take for each team to get there?

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Packers playoff victory over the Seahawks features defense

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

Green Bay Packers 28 – 23 Seattle Seahawks

I’ll start off by saying that once the San Francisco 49ers defeated the Minnesota Vikings, all I could think was “We might get to see Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch on the same field again!”  Yeah, I know, different teams, but still… those Seahawks teams were really fun to watch and even a bit of that nostalgia makes me happy.  But it was not to be.

These two teams know each other very well. Their playoff battles have been some of the best around the league. And this year was no exception. The Packers wound up victorious, however, and will move on to face the 49ers in Santa Clara for the NFC Championship while the Seahawks and their fans will have to just sit back and watch.

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The Niners head to the championship round

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

49ers 27- Vikings 10

It was the first playoff game played in Levi Stadium and it was a great one for the home team.  It started off being sorta close.  It really seemed like the Niners had some rust to dust off, and the Vikings were holding on to the momentum from their win against the Saints.

Thanks to some great throws by Niners quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and tight end George Kittle with the touchdown pass to WR Kendrick Bourne, the Niners were up 7-0.

However, Minnesota was able to score and tie the game at 7 going into the 2nd quarter.  Then all the magic started to happen.

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Seattle at Green Bay: Divisional Preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

This weekend, the Divisional Round of the NFL Playoffs will commence. The game on Sunday at 6:40 pm EST (tv: FOX) where the Green Bay Packers (13-3) will host the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) will feature two top-rated quarterbacks. A showdown between Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson is always thrilling.

Odd-makers have the Packers giving up four points. Typically the home team gets a three-point advantage but since the Seahawks have been just stellar on the road this year, I’m surprised it’s not a closer margin.

And they have the over/under at 47. Hmmm. Do I think this will be a shootout so I bet the over? Or am I predicting some great defensive plays which keep it a low scoring game? Hmmm again.

Ultimately it comes down to one simple question: Are Rodgers and Wilson the two most important players in this game? The “Keys,” if you will. Or will the outcome hinge on someone else?

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Minnesota at San Francisco: Divisional round preview

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield //@Mom23RN

After a dramatic and controversial win over the New Orleans Saints, the Minnesota Vikings now head to the Bay Area to take on the NFC West champion San Francisco 49ers who were enjoying a first-round bye.

The last time the 49ers played the Vikings was the first game of the 2018 season, and the Vikings came away with the win, however, you and I both know that the 49ers were a much different team last year. The Niners finished last year with a record of 4-12 and not expected to make any noise this year.  Ahh, but they did.

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Vikings top Saints in NFL Wild Card upset!

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

I’m not gonna lie – this game completely shocked me! This year’s NFL Wild Card Weekend had some major upsets as well as THREE road teams being victorious!

I’ve been a huge fan of the New Orleans Saints all season long and wondered why they weren’t getting any love in the media when it came to talking about the playoffs and Super Bowl contenders. After their 26-20 loss in overtime to the Minnesota Vikings, I guess I can see why no one believed in them.

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NFL Wildcard Preview

Kate Arhar
Senior Sports Editor AFC North and NFC South

By Kate Arhar // @ClvlndK8 

This year’s NFC Wildcard Round of the NFL Playoffs will start on Sunday, January 5th.

The first matchup will feature the New Orleans Saints (13-3) hosting the Minnesota Vikings (10-6) at 1:05pm EST.

Then, we’ll have the Seattle Seahawks (11-5) heading to Philadelphia to face the Eagles (9-7) at 4:40pm EST. Frankly, I’m still not sure how the Eagles get home-field for this game but that’s how it worked out.

 

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The NFC North: Let’s go caroling

Sonja Greenfield, Senior NFL Reporter NFC North, NFC East

By Sonja Greenfield // @Mom23RN

As you are well aware, it’s Christmas time. One of my favorite times of the year.  Hopefully, your Christmas (or insert whatever holiday you celebrate around this time of year) isn’t too stressful for you, and you’ve got a chance to rest and reflect on what’s past and what’s to come.

Another hallmark of this time of year is the Christmas carols and songs. My all-time favorite Christmas song is Sleigh Ride. (side note:  I didn’t realize that there were actual words to the song until I was like 10. Tweet me, we’ll talk about it!)  It’s also time for me to write my article about the NFC North, and I figured that I’d incorporate Christmas into it.

But not your typical Christmas List for Santa type of article.  NOPE….I’m going to look at what carol reflects what team in the NFC North.  Now, of course, there are only 4 teams and a bazillion carols. So, if you think I could have done better, by all means, let me know.

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