Championship Sunday first impressions
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - By this time in two weeks, you'll know more about the Harbaugh family than you ever wanted.

That's because the Harbaugh brothers, Jim and John, will be squaring off in Super Bowl XLVII in New Orleans.

Jim's 49ers knocked off the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game, likely ending future Hall of Famer Tony Gonzalez' career. Meanwhile, another future Hall of Famer's career will live on for one more game as Ray Lewis helped John's Ravens send New England packing in the AFC Championship game.

Here are our first impressions of Championship Sunday.

San Francisco at Atlanta

Colin Kaepernick barely had to leave the backfield against the Falcons. He only ran twice for 21 yards after rushing for a quarterback-record 181 yards on 16 carries last week. Kaepernick completed 16-of-21 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown and didn't turn the ball over to lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl after trailing Atlanta 17-0 at one point.

Frank Gore (21-90-2) and LaMichael James (5-34-1) combined for 124 yards and three touchdowns.

Matt Ryan was sensational in a losing effort, throwing for 396 yards on 30- of-42 passing and three touchdowns with one pick.

Julio Jones could not be contained by San Francisco's pass defense. Jones caught 11 passes for 182 yards and two touchdowns. There was still enough balls to go around to satisfy Roddy White (7-100) and Tony Gonzalez (8-78). The three receivers combined to catch all 26 of their targets.

Baltimore at New England

Joe Flacco's stock continues to rise. The fifth-year quarterback finally won an AFC Championship after losing in his first two trips. Flacco threw for 240 yards and three scores and has knocked off Peyton Manning and Tom Brady on the road in consecutive weeks.

Anquan Boldin recorded 101 yards in last season's AFC Championship at New England and picked up 60 more with two touchdowns on Sunday. Boldin has racked up 276 yards and three scores in three games during the postseason this year.

Stevan Ridley was the latest Patriot to feel Bernard Pollard's wrath. Ridley left with a head injury after getting lit up by Pollard in the fourth quarter when the game was still within one possession. Ridley lost a fumble on the play and the Ravens marched down the field for a score to make it 28-13.

Tom Brady threw for 320 yards but wasn't sharp. He only completed 29-of-54 (53.7 percent) and threw two picks with one touchdown.

In what may have been his final game with New England, Wes Welker caught eight passes for 117 yards and a touchdown, his second 100-yard game this postseason. If Welker is indeed finished with the Patriots, he'll walk away with 672 receptions in 93 regular-season games with the team.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at

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