Category - NFL

1
The Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular Returns to Boston
2
NFL Free Agent Frenzy
3
Fanatics Authentic Game Used Memorabilia
4
Top Moments from the 2014-2015 NFL Season
5
Super Bowl XLIX Memorabilia Collection
6
Top Sports Gifts for Valentine’s Day
7
Patriots Prevail in Thrilling Super Bowl XLIX
8
Super Bowl XLIX – A Battle of Former and Current NFL Dynasties
9
Remarkable Upset Names the Ohio State Buckeyes 2014 National Champions
10
Ravens and Colts Move On in NFL Postseason

The Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular Returns to Boston

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Fanatics Authentic is heading back to Boston, Massachusetts on June 5th for the second time and will bring over 40 prominent athletes along for three days of events. At the Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular in Boston, the Royal Plaza Trade Center is scheduled to host a variety of New England sports icons and the biggest names from all major leagues to provide fans with the rare chance to meet some of their favorite athletes.

From Friday June 5th until Sunday June 7th, the Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular will give Boston area sports fans a weekend of family fun that includes autograph sessions with future superstars, champions, and Hall of Famers. In addition to headliners, David Ortiz, Dan Marino, Malcolm Butler, and Pedro Martinez, the Boston show features an impressive lineup of athletes from the NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL. In honor of the show opening, there will be roll back pricing for “Today’s Stars at Yesterday’s Prices” with discounts on autographs from  Steve Grogan and Dennis “Oil Can” Boyd on Friday night. On Saturday, June 6th, Fanatics Authentic will honor the 40th Anniversary of the 1975 Red Sox with appearances by more than 15 former Boston stars, including Carlton Fisk, Fred Lynn, Dwight Evans, Jim Rice, and more. Fans of all loyalties can get closer than ever to some of their most idolized athletes, ranging from the second overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft Marcus Mariota to the legendary Bo Jackson, at the Fanatics Authentic show courtesy of many exclusive signing sessions and photo opportunities all weekend long.

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The Boston show caters to a wide range of sports fans and collectors by offering a diverse assortment of ticket options. General admission is free of charge for the entire weekend and every person in attendance will receive a raffle ticket to enter to win a deluxe framed Tom Brady jersey with a value of $1,500. For serious collectors and the most die-hard fans, there is an all-inclusive $99 VIP package, which includes an express line pass to cut autograph lines, early admission that allows entry 30 minutes before the show each day, tickets for an autograph and inscription from Gaylord Perry, one random autograph ticket, and raffle tickets. Tickets for athlete autographs, special inscriptions, and photo-ops are available for athletes in attendance and can be purchased at different price points depending on each player. For $10 each, items signed at the Boston show can also be certified authentic by the Fanatics Authentic and will be fully backed by our authenticity guarantee.

For more information regarding the Fanatics Authentic Sports Spectacular in June, visit the show website, here.

NFL Free Agent Frenzy

RevisSBIn one of the craziest weeks of the NFL off-season, football fans nationwide have seen dozens of their favorite superstars shipped from their old teams to new homes for the 2015 NFL season. Some of the biggest names in football will be packing their bags this spring with the hopes of leading their new teams on the journey to Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California, which will be held on February 7, 2016.

The landscape of the AFC was just shaken up big time as a handful of teams are on a mission to overthrow the New England Patriots from their championship throne. In arguably the biggest signing of the off-season, the Miami Dolphins acquired perennial All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh from the Detroit Lions. Suh’s presence on the Dolphins defensive line will surely propel Miami from middle-of-the-pack team to legitimate AFC East contender. Suh will be making over $110 million with his new contract with $60 million of that money guaranteed. After teasing the idea of joining the Philadelphia Eagles, long-time San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore will join the Indianapolis Colts. The Gore signing is especially valuable for Indianapolis as they struggled to find a consistent force in their backfield throughout their 2014 season. The Eagles became the first team since 2008 to lose their leading rusher and receiver from the previous season, as Philly moved franchise cornerstone LeSean McCoy to the Buffalo Bills and star wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to the Kansas City Chiefs. Down South, Blake Bortles just picked up a downfield target that could turn him into one of the AFC’s best young quarterbacks in 2015. The Jacksonville Jaguars signed two-time Pro Bowler and AFC Champion Julius Thomas to ignite their offense and bring them out of the cellar of the league standings.

SuhDespite losing their defensive powerhouse, the Detroit Lions very quickly made up for the departure of Suh by trading draft picks to the Baltimore Ravens for five-time All-Pro defensive tackle Haloti Ngata. Ngata will join the likes of Ziggy Ansah to form one of the leagues most feared defensive lines in the Motor City. Not all has been lost in the City of Brotherly Love as well. The Eagles lost McCoy and Maclin but were able to acquire future NFL superstar linebacker Kiko Alonso, who played his college ball under Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly at Oregon, and former Legion of Boom member Byron Maxwell. The Seattle Seahawks were just seconds away from being crowned back-to-back Super Bowl champs and heavily increased their chances for a second championship in three years with a big time free agent signing. Seattle acquired three-time Pro Bowler Jimmy Graham from the New Orleans Saints. Since his entry to the league from the University of Miami, Graham has made his name as one of the biggest play-makers in the league, hauling in an incredible 26 touchdowns in the past two seasons alone. As for the Super Bowl XLIX Champion New England Patriots, the team lost dominant cornerback Darrelle Revis to AFC East foe New York Jets. The Super Bowl champion and AFC Defensive Player of the Year is heading home to likely close out his career with the Jets and hopes to make New York a contender in the coming football season.

With many surprising roster moves and huge change-ups across every team in the NFL, the 2015 football season should be quite interesting. As the New England Patriots look to defend their title and the rest of the league preps to dethrone the former Super Bowl champion, the competition will be fierce and full of exciting moments. While football fans longingly await the start of the 2015 NFL season, they’ll have to live off the thrill of their team’s latest roster moves as the free agency frenzy continues and the draft approaches. In the meantime, NFL fans can gear up for next season and invest the future of their team by shopping for football memorabilia autographed by all of their favorite players, here.

Fanatics Authentic Game Used Memorabilia

MoGameusedbaseballAutographed sports collectibles are a great way to commemorate a beloved athlete or preserve fond sports memories, but there’s nothing quite like game used sports memorabilia to get close to your favorite athlete. These one of a kind sports collectibles are items that are used or worn during a game, allowing sports fans to bring home a piece of the action and preserve unforgettable sports moments. Game used memorabilia ranges across a variety of sports collectibles, from a jersey worn by a player in a game, a piece of equipment like a football used during an NFL game, or a hat worn by an MLB player in the outfield.

FAGameWornIn an effort to bring sports fans and collectors authentic game used collectibles that they can trust are genuine, Fanatics Authentic developed exclusive relationships with various players and professional sports teams to receive these pieces right out of play. By working directly with these teams and players, Fanatics Authentic is able to serve as a first-party authenticator for all of its game used collectibles. With a system that requires a representative to witness the use of every piece of game used memorabilia, Fanatics Authentic is able to diligently document the authenticity of each item. Whether it be on the field or in the locker room, Fanatics Authentic representatives remove each item from play to certify with its exclusive authentication hologram and a unique alpha-numeric combination. Sports fans can use this code to reference their collectibles at any time in the massive Fanatics Authentic Verification database to prove its authenticity and get background information on the item.

In addition to game used memorabilia, Fanatics Authentic offers other similar, but more affordable sports collectibles that allow fans and collectors to own their very own piece of the action. Practice-used jerseys and equipment brings fans items that touched their favorite athletes’ hands, but are at a slightly lower price because they weren’t featured in an official game. Game-issued collectibles, which are items designated to be used in play or worn during a game, like a kicking football issued for a specific game that wasn’t used, are also a great addition to any sports collection. Player issued and team issued memorabilia are also very uncommon and valuable sports collectibles that include items that were not actually used in a game but were selected for a certain player or team and may or may not feature an athlete’s name or number, in addition to the team name or logo.

On the sports memorabilia market, game used collectibles are much fewer in number than typical sports collectibles, like signed jerseys and autographed balls, which makes them even more valuable. With only a limited number of items used by players in a specific game, and even less that are sold to the public, game used memorabilia is very rare. For example, a Peyton Manning signed jersey already holds a high worth, ranging from $600-$1,200, but a Peyton Manning autographed game-used jersey values more of $10,000 to $15,000. Since buying game used collectibles is an investment that has the ability to acquire a large amount of value over time, it is vital to take every precaution to ensure that these collectibles are authentic. Therefore, purchasing game used memorabilia is an asset to any sports collection and must be done so according the tips below.

MarteGameUsedBatTips for Buying Game Used Collectibles:

  • Buy Based on Athlete – Game worn or used items from sports heroes, such as Derek Jeter, or Hall of Famers, like Joe Montana and Michael Jordan, are valued most due to their legacy.
  • Invest in Potential Breakout Players – The biggest financial returns in sports memorabilia occur when an athlete’s autograph is affordable because they have yet to break onto the professional sports scene and then drastically increases in value when that player skyrockets to fame. For example, Malcolm Butler signed collectibles weren’t nearly as valuable before his game-winning interception at Super Bowl XLIX as they are now.
  • Look for Items from a Significant Event – Items used during the Super Bowl, World Series, All-Star Game, or game in which an Athlete reached a milestone are even more valuable.
  • A Certificate of Authenticity is a Necessity – Fraud is a major problem in sports memorabilia and can be an even bigger issue when shopping for game used collectibles. Therefore, documentation from a reputable authenticator is of absolute importance when purchasing game used items.
  • Choose a Reputable Retailer – Many work exclusively with athletes and teams to guarantee the authenticity of each piece with a certification system that pulls collectibles directly from play and documents its use.
  • Shop Smart – Although it may seem like common sense, game used collectibles should not look brand new or untouched and if a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Get Educated – Knowing the habits of an athlete, as well as details about a player’s uniforms and equipment are simple ways to avoid being scammed. Athletes always wear a specific size in their uniform and typically have brands they represent consistently.

Top Moments from the 2014-2015 NFL Season

BeckhamJrTheCatchWhile the confetti is settling in Arizona and the New England Patriots start their off-season celebration as Super Bowl XLIX Champions, NFL fans everywhere mourn the end of football season. Instead of moping until August, let’s take a trip down memory lane to revisit some of the greatest moments the 2014 NFL season had to offer.

Forget play of the year, the New York Giants Odell Beckham Jr. may have recorded the play of the century in a Week 12 match-up against the Dallas Cowboys. G-Men quarterback Eli Manning lobbed a pass up to newest wide receiver target near the end zone. After being mauled by a Dallas defensive back and drawing a pass interference flag, Beckham managed to haul in the ball using only his finger tips as he was falling to the ground. The play in the Meadowlands was the icing on the cake for the wide receiver, as this was just one of his many spectacular plays that earned Beckham the Rookie of the Year award.

No player had a better year on the defensive side of the ball than Houston’s J.J. Watt. The former Wisconsin Badger put together the season of his life to put his name in the NFL MVP conversation, racking up a whopping 20.5 sacks that led all defensive linemen and earned himself a third career Pro Bowl trip. Watt capped off the year named both a First-Team All-Pro and won his second NFL Defensive Player of the Year award in only three short seasons.

Seattle Seahawks running back and mystery media man Marshawn Lynch was up to his usual tricks in the 2014 NFL season. Football fans saw déjà vu in a Week 16 match-up against the Arizona Cardinals when Lynch went “Beast Mode” on a 79 yard touchdown run that looked an awful lot like his famous scramble from the 2011 Playoffs. Filled with stiff arms, shook tackles, and capped off with his infamous crotch grab celebration, Lynch’s 79 yard run reiterated the fact that he’s one of the best backs the league has seen in recent football history.

bestmodeAlthough he just fell short of taking home is second Vince Lombardi trophy, Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a season to remember. The four-time Pro Bowler put together another magnificent season on the field at the Frozen Tundra, where he finished the season with nearly 4,400 yards in the air, 38 touchdowns, and only five interceptions. Rodgers stellar campaign earned him his second NFL MVP award since 2011.

Deion “Primetime” Sanders found himself in some good company this season. The NFL’s most recent kick return hero, Devin Hester, accomplished one of the most spectacular feats in NFL history. The longtime Chicago Bear and current Atlanta Falcons special teams player broke Deion Sanders’ league record of most return touchdowns of all-time with a 62-yard touchdown in a September match-up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. To cap off the record breaking play, Hester appropriately high stepped in to the end zone, much like Prime Time during his playing days.

Few players had bigger breakout seasons than Seattle wide receiver Jermaine Kearse. After the team released do-it-all wide out Percy Harvin, Seattle counted on Kearse to fill his shoes. The undrafted free agent out of the University of Washington did all that and more. Kearse reeled in two key touchdowns in the playoffs, including an iconic overtime touchdown catch in the NFC Championship Game that earned the Seahawks an appearance in their second consecutive Super Bowl.

In what was a wildly entertaining NFL season, there was no more appropriate way to the end the year than Malcolm Butler’s game-winning Super Bowl interception. With Seattle only a yard away from winning back-to-back championships, the no-name defensive back out of Western Alabama made one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history. Butler jumped a slant route and made an incredible interception on the one-yard line to secure the Patriots an improbably Super Bowl victory.

Revisit your favorite moments from the 2014 NFL season with Fanatics Authentic’s truly unique selection of NFL memorabilia to preserve all of your favorite memories from throughout the year. Celebrate the New England Patriots’ fourth Super Bowl title or invest in the bright future of up-and-coming stars by shopping the one of a kind football product offering for athlete autographs from all of your favorite teams and players.

Super Bowl XLIX Memorabilia Collection

Butler_GWIntFebruary 1st, 2015 marked a historic championship match-up between the Seattle Seahawks and the New England Patriots when the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona hosted Super Bowl XLIX. In a thrilling Super Bowl that had NFL fans everywhere at the edge of their seats until the very last minutes of the game, the Patriots reclaimed the throne and Tom Brady solidified his place in football history as one of the greatest quarterbacks ever to play the game and a four-time champion. As the game came down to the wire in the fourth quarter and it seems as though the Seahawks would be back-to-back champions, Patriots rookie Malcolm Butler grabbed a Russell Wilson throw out of the air for the game-winning interception and Super Bowl XLIX title.

Commemorate your Super Bowl XLIX champions and preserve NFL history by shopping the unique selection of sports memorabilia signed by all of New England’s biggest stars, including Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Malcolm Butler, Darelle Revis, and Vince Wilfork. The collection of Super Bowl XLIX memorabilia allows NFL fans and sports collectors to take home an iconic piece of Patriots memorabilia to celebrate the 2015 Super Bowl Champion forever with an assortment of signed footballs, autographed Patriots jerseys, and signed helmets in New England colors, as well as framed and unframed photos with athlete autographs and rare Super Bowl inscriptions.

Check out the features Super Bowl XLIX memorabilia below or click here to shop the full collection for New England Patriots Super Bowl Champion autographs.

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Top Sports Gifts for Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day 2015 will be the best ever for a special sports fan in your life if you use our gift guide that outlines the best gift for him and top gifts for sports fans. Rather than typical Valentine’s Day gifts, like chocolate and roses, authentic sports collectibles are a truly one-of-a-kind holiday gift that a sports fan can cherish forever. By browsing the wide assortment of autographed sports merchandise for items that commemorate all of their favorite players and teams, you’re sure to find an amazing gift for your Valentine. Whether you’re shopping for the casual spectator or a die-hard fan, sports memorabilia from our list of the best Valentine’s Day gifts for sports fans provides unique gift ideas that will excite anyone.

Best Sports Gift for Valentine’s Day:

1. Signed Photos – Autographed sports photos capture remarkable moments from throughout an athlete’s career and allows fans to relive every amazing play forever. With images that feature the best memories in sports history, including incredible plays and championship celebrations, you can make Valentine’s Day unforgettable by giving a special sports fan a present that will truly pass the test of time. Be sure to browse the In Focus and Film Strip product lines to give the ultimate sports fan a unique gift that is the perfect dedication to their favorite athlete.

2. Autographed Baseballs – A signed baseball is a traditional piece of sports memorabilia that celebrates some of the most iconic players from all generations of America’s favorite pastime. Hit a home run on Valentine’s Day by shopping for a baseballs autographed by an MLB fan’s childhood hero, like Cal Ripken Jr. and Derek Jeter, or favorite stars, such as 2014 World Series MVP Madison Bumgarner.

3. Autographed Jerseys – There are few things closer to a sports fan’s heart than the teams they root for. With a signed jersey you can show your loyalty on Valentine’s Day by giving your love one a piece of sports memorabilia that truly honor their favorite teams and players. Don’t forget to create a present as special as your relationship by adding a customized frame to display the autographed jersey in a man cave or sports bar.

4. Display Cases – Provide your Valentine’s most prized sports collectibles protection to last a lifetime or support a collector’s beloved hobby with a display case as a gift this holiday to preserve the quality of their favorite possessions forever. A display case proves that your love will stand the test of time and is a must-have for anyone with cherished piece of sports memorabilia.

5. Signed Mini Helmets – NFL fans live for the excitement of each season and after an unforgettable year of play that named the New England Patriots Super Bowl Champs, you can’t go wrong on Valentine’s Day with a mini helmet signed by the game’s biggest stars, such as Tom Brady and Odell Beckham Jr. Give the sports fan you love an autographed football mini helmet this holiday to bring back all of their favorite NFL moments and can be easily displayed in any office or bedroom.

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Patriots Prevail in Thrilling Super Bowl XLIX

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Tom Brady can now officially claim his title as the greatest postseason quarterback of all-time. The quarterback with the most playoff wins in NFL history capped off his fourth Super Bowl championship with an improbable ending to Super Bowl XLIX at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona and dethroned the former champion Seattle Seahawks.

The Pats came in to the big game after a dominating performance against the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Championship Game that was tainted by the Deflategate debacle. Despite an absolute beat down of Indianapolis, the Patriots were accused of playing with deflated footballs that may have given the team an advantage. On the other hand, the Seahawks entered their second consecutive Super Bowl after a thrilling come from behind victory against the Green Bay Packers in the semi-finals. Russell Wilson and company were looking to ride off their NFC Championship Game momentum to become the first repeat Super Bowl champions since New England in 2003 and 2004.

Despite all the hype leading up to the biggest NFL game of the year, both teams came out flat in the first quarter. Tom Brady threw a costly red zone pick for New England while Russell Wilson struggled to even complete a pass. Things shaped up quickly the second as Brady threw a pair of touchdowns, while Seattle’s Beast Mode Marshawn Lynch found the end zone and Wilson tossed a touchdown pass to rookie Chris Matthews to tie the game 14-14 with two seconds left in the half.

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After a breath taking half time performance by Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, and Missy Elliott, Seattle took charge on the field entering the second half. The Seahawks offense was clicking on all cylinders as they jumped out to a 24-14 lead going in to the final quarter of the NFL season and looked as though they’d repeat as champions. If there’s one thing football fans have learned during the Patriots dynasty of the 2000’s, it’s that you can never count out Tom Brady. Despite a 10-point deficit with under 10 minutes left to play, the Patriots orchestrated several fantastic drives to take a 28-24 lead courtesy of receivers Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman.

With only two minutes left to play, Russell Wilson took charge of the Seattle offense en route to what looked like it would be a classic Super Bowl winning fourth quarter drive. In one of the greatest plays in Super Bowl history, Wilson lobbed up a prayer to Jermaine Kearse who reeled in a jaw dropping bobbling catch while falling on his back to put the Seahawks at the New England one yard line with under a minute to play. What would occur next is one of the wildest endings to any pro sporting event ever. Seahawks coach Pete Carroll drew up a shot-gun pass play from the one-yard line that was intercepted by undrafted Pats rookie Malcolm Butler. The Butler pick sealed the deal for New England and secured Bill Belichick his fourth Super Bowl ring as Patriots head coach.

Congratulate your Super Bowl XLIX champion New England Patriots with entirely unique sports memorabilia autographed by all of the team’s unforgettable players. Within an exclusive collection of hand signed memorabilia from the four-time Super Bowl champions, including can’t miss pieces from MVP Tom Brady, every NFL fan and collector will find the perfect way to commemorate one of the greatest Super Bowl games of all time. Don’t miss out on taking home a piece of football history from the 2015 NFL champs, by shopping the entire collection, here!

Super Bowl XLIX – A Battle of Former and Current NFL Dynasties

NFCChampsSince 30 NFL teams have been eliminated from contention, just two remain standing for a chance to take home the coveted Lombardi Trophy as the 2015 Super Bowl Champion. After a season full of huge hits, unforgettable catches, and legendary match-ups, the stage is set for an epic Super Bowl XLIX match-up between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks that will go down at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona on February 1st.

Entering the NFC Championship Game, it took just 15 minutes to question whether the Seahawks were capable of remaining in the game, let alone repeating as Super Bowl champions. Throughout the first two quarters of the game, the NFC’s number one seed scored no points and struggled to keep their defense off the field against the Green Bay Packers. A fake field goal touchdown late in the third quarter provided Seattle with an ounce of hope late, but the Seahawks found themselves down by double digits until only minutes remained on the clock. As the two minute warning approached, Russell Wilson scrambled in to the end zone and the Seahawks followed it up with a incredible onside kick recovery. With the perfect opportunity for Marshawn Lynch to go “beast mode” on Green Bay, the Seahawks running back bust open a 25-yard touchdown run to give Seattle the lead. Regardless of the Seahawks miraculous comeback, all hope was not lost for the Packers with Aaron Rodgers at the helm to orchestrate a quick drive to set up kicker Mason Crosby for an 48-yard field goal to force overtime. After winning the coin toss before the start of overtime, Wilson left his performance in the first three quarters of play behind and led the Seahawks to a game-winning touchdown drive to win the heart-pounding contest with a score of 28-22.

AFCChampionsMeanwhile in Foxborough, two AFC rivals were pitted again each other with higher stakes than usual for a trip to the 2015 Super Bowl. Fresh off an upset of the Denver Broncos, Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts took on Tom Brady and a Patriots team that cruised through the entire season to the Conference Championship. From the very beginning, New England completely dominated the field, while the Colts fell deeper into misery. Only four minutes into the game, Patriot’s mid-season free agent running back LeGarrette Blount made it the end zone for the first of three times and there was no stopping him from that point on. While running for 148 yards, Blount opened up the passing game for Brady to throw for 226 yards and three touchdowns for the win. Seven Patriots player caught passes during the AFC Championship Game for a 45-7 dismantling of the Colts to bring Tom Brady to his sixth Super Bowl for a chance at his fourth championship ring.

On Sunday February 1st, Phoenix, Arizona will play host a Super Bowl that will go down in NFL history. As the Patriots look to their future Hall of Fame quarterback to bring New England its fourth title and reclaim its place at the top of the league, the newly dominant Seahawks strive to add to their legacy and bring Seattle another Lombardi Trophy. In just two weeks, the match-up of the season will answer every football fan’s questions and declare either the Seattle Seahawks or the New England Patriots as the greatest team in the NFL.

Remarkable Upset Names the Ohio State Buckeyes 2014 National Champions

14nationalchampThe College National Championship on Monday January 12, 014 was the moment football fans have been waiting for over the course of years. AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the home to the first ever College Football Playoff National Championship, would play host to match-up between Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota at the helm of a dominant Oregon Ducks team and an Ohio State squad that overcame great odds for a chance at the title.

For the right to play for the CFP Championship, the Oregon Ducks destroyed the defending champion Florida State Seminoles in the Rose Bowl. In a match-up between the two previous Heisman winners, Marcus Mariota dominated the Seminoles’ defense throughout the entire game. After a 59-20 romping of Florida State, the Ducks seemed like they were on pace to win the first college football national championship in University of Oregon history.

Meanwhile, the Ohio State Buckeyes pulled off a huge upset over the number one seed Alabama Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl for the trip to the championship. In second start of quarterback Cardale Jones’ career, he threw for 243 yards and ran for an additional 43. Sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott also broke onto the scene of the national stage while posting an incredible 230 yards, which featured a pivotal 85-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter to seal an Ohio State victory.

Monday night provided a title game that college football fans across the country will remember for many years. The Buckeyes jumped to an early 21-7 lead in the second quarter and went in to the half with double-digits separating them from Oregon’s upbeat and oftentimes unstoppable offense. Not going down without a fight, the Ducks bounced back in the third quarter, bringing the score to within one point, but the Ohio State offense would prove too much for Oregon. For the win, Ezekiel Elliot commanded the field, while Cardale Jones threw just seven incompletions in his third ever start and proved to the world that “third-string quarterback” is nothing but a title.

Upon winning the 2014 College Football Playoff National Championship, the Buckeyes made NCAA history and brought the Ohio State University its eighth title. In a 42-20 victory, Jones became the first Buckeye signal caller to win three postseason games, Elliot set a career high with 246 rushing yards for an Ohio State record, and Urban Meyer won his third national championship.

Ravens and Colts Move On in NFL Postseason

flaccoIn two of the most intriguing matchups of the 2015 postseason, the Indianapolis Colts and Baltimore Ravens were both victorious in Wild Card Weekend behind stellar play from their respective quarterbacks. The Colts defeated the Cincinnati Bengals 26-10 in Indianapolis and the Ravens took down the division rival Pittsburgh Steelers 30-17 at Heinz Field.

Steelers versus Ravens has quickly emerged as the elite rivalry game in the NFL. Both teams are prided by their hard-hitting defenses, who are not afraid to lay the lumber against a divisional opposing offense. However, in 2014 the Steelers have been carried by their offense, which ranked first in the AFC in yards per game. Pittsburgh’s defense would have their work cut out for them in this game, as they faced one of the league’s best postseason quarterbacks in Joe Flacco. In an underwhelming first half, Ravens held a 10-9 lead behind a Bernard Pierce touchdown run and Justin Tucker field goal. Despite having such a high tempo offense, Pittsburgh would only find the end zone one time in this contest, as Ben Roethlisberger found Martavis Bryant for a six-yard strike in the third. Behind a turnover-free game from their quarterback, Baltimore upset Pittsburgh with a double-digit win in on the road. The Ravens will face the New England Patriots next weekend in Foxborough for a shot at the AFC Championship Game.

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Behind head coach Marvin Lewis and quarterback Andy Dalton, the Bengals have seen a tremendous amount of regular season success in Cincinnati. However, with their Pro Bowl quarterback under center, Cincy has yet to win to win a game in the NFL postseason. The Bengals would hit the road to Indianapolis where they would face the Colts and their elite young quarterback Andrew Luck. Unfortunately for Bengals fans it would be more of the same from their head coach and quarterback. Indianapolis came out of the gates firing with an opening drive touchdown and a pair of field goals from future Hall of Famer Adam Vinatieri. Rookie running back Jeremy Hill would be the only Bengal to find the end zone on Sunday afternoon, as the Colts shut down Cincinnati’s offense in the second half with 13 unanswered points scored and none allowed. Luck added to his impressive on-field resume with 376 passing yards and no interceptions thrown. Indy will travel to Denver next week where they will take on their former fan favorite Peyton Manning and his Broncos squad.

The AFC postseason is about to get even more interesting as the Ravens and the Colts look to take on two of the best teams in the NFL respectively. The Patriots and the Broncos are both tough teams to beat in general, but with a trip to Super Bowl XLIX at stake, Baltimore and Indianapolis have a difficult task ahead of them. Football fans better gear up for a thrilling divisional round, because the road to Glendale is about to get very interesting.

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