John Harbaugh (Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports)
Baltimore Ravens head coach John Harbaugh during the first half of the AFC championship game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium.
Will whispers follow?
As Patriots QB Tom Brady walks off the field following Sunday's 28-13 loss to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game, will people begin to question the invincibility — the legacy, even — of Brady and his head coach Bill Belichick. It has been eight years since New England last won the Super Bowl, and in Sunday's loss (the franchise's first loss in an AFC title game at home), Brady was intercepted twice while the Patriots were shut out in the second half.
The tour rolls on
Ever since Ray Lewis announced this season would be his last, the Baltimore Ravens haven't lost. At least now we know when Lewis' final game will be played, after his game-high 14 tackles helped propel the Ravens into Super Bowl XLVII with a 28-13 win at Foxboro, Mass. The only question: Will the Ravens send him out a winner?
Man of his people
As fullback Vonta Leach (No. 44) shows here, likely no man received more congratulatory hugs than Ravens' Canton-bound inside linebacker Ray Lewis.
Hope he's not looking for you
The hoodie used to be the most menacing scene on NFL sidelines. Patriots coach Bill Belichick still has the scowl, but title-less for nearly a decade now, how much luster is off what was the shiniest reputation among NFL coaches?
Bring on my brother!
Ravens head coach John Harbaugh celebrates after his team advances to the Super Bowl with its victory over New England, avenging a loss to the same team in the same round last season. The good news about being in the Super Bowl? He gets to play his brother Jim's San Francisco 49ers. The bad news? See the good news.
Not this time
The ball goes right through Brandon Lloyd's hands as the Patriots offense sputters after halftime.
Pound it out
Ray Rice moves on to play in the Super Bowl after a solid performance.
The offseason starts now for the Patriots. Start making those golf plans.
Hurts so good
Joe Flacco takes a couple of rough hits during this game, but who cares? The Ravens are going to New Orleans.
Who's elite now?
Joe Flacco earns the first Super Bowl appearance of his career.
Both teams will be nursing several bruises on Monday morning. This was a hard-hitting affair.
What a night
The fireworks explode before the Ravens and Patriots square off at Gillette Stadium.
High and tight
Aaron Hernandez carries a bigger load for the Patriots thanks to Rob Gronkowski's injury.
Patriots WR Brandon Lloyd makes a clutch grab despite some close coverage from Ravens safety Ed Reed.
Stephen Gostkowski connects on two field goals in the first half.
Just out of reach
Aaron Hernandez gives it a try but he can't come up with this pass from Tom Brady.
Joe under fire
Ravens QB Joe Flacco gets another crack at the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.
Ravens running back Bernard Pierce finds a little running room.
Tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) dunks the ball over the goal post after catching a 10-yard touchdown pass in the second quarter against the San Francisco 49ers.
Frank Gore (21) scores a 5-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game.
Walking the tightrope
San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) catches a pass ruled out of bounds against the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship game.
Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) runs after a catch against the 49ers.
Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White (84) is hit as he makes a catch by San Francisco 49ers free safety Dashon Goldson (38).
That's the ballgame
Anthony Dixon (24), defensive back Darcel McBath (28) and defensive back Perrish Cox (20) react after stopping the Atlanta Falcons on fourth down in the fourth quarter in the NFC Championship game.
Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez (88) walks off of the field dejected after losing 28-24 to the San Francisco 49ers.
Smiles all around
The 49ers' (L-R) Leonard Davis (68), head coach Jim Harbaugh and Jonathan Goodwin (59) celebrate as they walk off of the field after the NFC Championship game.
Time to celebrate
The San Francisco 49ers celebrate in the locker room after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in the NFC Championship game.
49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick bumps helmets with Frank Gore before the battle begins.
Roddy White takes a hit but doesn't drop the ball as the Falcons offense fires on all cylinders during the early going.
Nowhere to go
The Falcons running game can't do much against the stacked 49ers front line.
Defensive end John Abraham was listed as questionable to play all week, but he ends up taking the field for this game.
Set the scene
The Georgia Dome is hopping as the hometown crowd is aching for a Super Bowl berth.
Here comes the pain
The Falcons and 49ers won't budge an inch in this one.
Colin Kaepernick adjusts after some early jitters in his first conference championship game.
Julio Jones charges out of the gate, pulling down two touchdown catches in the first half.
Rock the dome
Julio Jones (11) and Roddy White excite the home crowd in the first half.
Ravens star Ray Rice leaps high after scoring a touchdown in the first half.