It'll be the Battle of Brothers in New Orleans in two weeks. John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens topped New England 28-13 to win the AFC title game and set up a Super Bowl meeting with his brother Jim. It will be the Ravens first Super Bowl appearance in 12 years. Joe Flacco threw three second-half touchdown passes while the Ravens shutout Tom Brady and the Patriots offense after intermission. New England held a 13-6 halftime lead. Brady had been 67-0 at home when leading at the intermission. The Baltimore victory avenged a loss to New England in last year's conference title game. The win extends Ravens' linebacker Ray Lewis' career and gives him a chance to go out on top. He's announced this is his last season.
Earlier Sunday, Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers staged their own comeback, rallying from 17 points down to beat Atlanta 28-24 in the NFC title game. Frank Gore scores on a 9-yard run with 8:23 to go to complete the comeback and send San Francisco to the Super Bowl for the sixth time in franchise history. Gore had two touchdowns. Niners quarterback sensation Colin Kaepernick shredded the Atlanta defense, completing 16 of 21 passes for 233 yards and a score. Atlanta raced out to the 17-0 lead early in the second quarter on the strength of two of Matt Ryan's three touchdown passes and led 24-14 at the half. The 49ers pulled off the biggest comeback victory in an NFC championship game, according to STATS. The previous NFC record was 13 points. But it's the 49ers that are Super Bowl bound this time. It'll be the sixth appearance in the NFL's big game for the franchise, but the first since 1995. The Niners have won the previous five.
Checking the NBA the Detroit Pistons returned from Europe with a 103-88 victory over the Boston Celtics last night. The Pistons lost to the New York Knicks in London on Thursday, but they didn't look particularly tired in their first game back. Kevin Garnett scored 16 points for Boston, and Rajon Rondo had eight points, 15 assists, nine rebounds and nine turnovers.
Elsewhere in the NBA Toronto topped the L-A Lakers 108-103. Dallas beat Orlando 111-105. Denver defeated Oklahoma City 115-113.
In the NHL Thomas Vanek scored twice and added three assists in leading the Buffalo Sabres to a 5-2 season-opening win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Pittsburg doubled down the New York Rangers 6-3. Minnesota trumped Dallas 1-0. Chicago tied Phoenix 1-1. In College basketball 2nd ranked Indiana bettered Northwestern 67-59. And NC State topped Clemson 66-62.