49ers complete comeback with victory over Packers while Ravens advance to AFC Championship for 1st time since 2012 season

The San Francisco 49ers are heading to the NFC Championship game following a victory over the Green Bay Packers on Saturday, while earlier, the Baltimore Ravens played in bitterly cold temperatures to dominate the Houston Texans and secure their spot in the AFC Championship for the first time since the 2012 season.

The last time the Baltimore Ravens advanced to the AFC Championship game, the franchise won the Super Bowl. The team is now back in the conference title game following a 34-10 victory over the Houston Texans.

Later Saturday, San Francisco defeated the Green Bay Packers 24-21 on a rainy evening at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California

The 49ers will head to their fourth conference title game in the last five years and will host the winner of Sunday’s NFC Divisional matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Detroit Lions on January 28. The Ravens will also host the Super Bowl deciding game for the first time in franchise history on January 28 and play the winner of Sunday’s AFC Divisional matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills.

Here are some of the highlights from Saturday’s games.

San Francisco 49ers heading to NFC Championship game

Dre Greenlaw #57 of the San Francisco 49ers tackles Emanuel Wilson #31 of the Green Bay Packers during the first half in the NFC Divisional Playoffs at Levi's Stadium on Saturday in Santa Clara, California. - Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The first half was a defensive battle with the 49ers scoring the first and only touchdown of the half on a 32-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Brock Purdy to tight end George Kittle to go up 7-3.

After the Packers tacked on a field goal to make it a 7-6 game, the 49ers drove down the field just before halftime. With 10 seconds left in the second quarter, the Packers blocked kicker Jake Moody’s 48-yard field goal attempt to keep it a 7-6 game heading into the half.

Green Bay finally found the endzone in the third quarter after a 19-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jordan Love to wide receiver Bo Melton to give them a 13-7 lead.

Both teams traded scores to make it a 21-14 game heading into the fourth quarter.

With just over a minute left in the game and the 49ers offense in control, San Francisco star running back Christian McCaffrey found the endzone for his second rushing touchdown of the game to take a 24-21 lead.

Despite getting the ball back, the Packers’ attempt to win the game fell short. Love threw his second interception of the game to 49ers linebacker Dre Greenlaw to seal the victory for San Francisco.

Purdy would finish the game with 252 yards passing and a touchdown. McCaffrey added 98 yards and two touchdowns on the ground.

After the game, the 24-year-old Purdy was asked what his thoughts would be when he rewatches that final drive later on in his life.

“Obviously, it’s four quarters for a reason, you know,” Purdy told the FOX broadcast. “So the way I started, it’s like ‘man I got to be better, I got to play efficient football’ but when it comes down to it, with the season on the line, you got to make it happen for your boys around you. So, when I watch the film down the road in my life, it’ll be a good one to watch.”

Ravens victory over the Houston Texans

Lamar Jackson #8 of the Baltimore Ravens scores an 8 yard touchdown against Sheldon Rankins #98 of the Houston Texans during the fourth quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on Saturday in Baltimore, Maryland. - Patrick Smith/Getty Images

It was a close first half of football in the cold conditions at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore.

The score was knotted up at 3-3 through the first quarter until Ravens star quarterback Lamar Jackson found wide receiver Nelson Agholor for a three-yard touchdown to give Baltimore the lead.

The lead wouldn’t last long.

Steven Sims took a punt return 67 yards for a touchdown to tie the score again at 10. The Texans scored three non-offensive touchdowns in two playoff games this postseason.

Just before the half, the Texans’ offense marched down the field to Baltimore’s 29-yard line. Houston kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn missed a potential go-ahead field goal from 47 yards.

On the first drive of the second half, Jackson found the endzone on a 15-yard run to grab a 17-10 lead. The Ravens never looked back.

Jackson added one more passing touchdown and another rushing touchdown to extend the lead to 31-10. The Ravens would add a late field goal.

The 27-year-old Jackson, who is seen as a potential favorite to win his second career MVP award, finished the game with 152 yards passing and two touchdowns. He added 100 yards on the ground with two touchdowns.

Jackson, while donning a “Top 10” chain, called his team a “great group of guys” after the game.

“We just working together and it’s working out fine for us,” Jackson told the ESPN broadcast.

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