15 fun facts for Championship Sunday
Here are 15 whimsical facts to digest before the NFL's Championship Sunday -- with each tidbit covering the title-game round in roundabout fashion:
1. Gale Sayers rushed for more single-game touchdowns against the 49ers (four) than any
other player in that franchise's history. (He tallied an NFL-record six total scores on that day in 1965.) The No. 2
entry on that list: Michael Turner rolled for three TDs against San Francisco in 2009.
2. Dating back to their old NFC West rivalry, the Falcons have beaten the 49ers twice off Hail Mary
touchdowns on the game's final play -- 1983 (Billy "White Shoes" Johnson) and 1991 (Michael Haynes).
3. Unlike Atlanta in 1977 (7-0 victory), the 49ers have never beaten the Falcons when scoring in
4. Since the NFL-AFL merger (1970), only two clubs have won their conference title game by scoring
10 points or less -- the 1979 Rams (9-0 winners over the Bucs) and 1991 Bills (10-7 over the Broncos).
5. No NFC club has ever scored 30 points in the conference title game and failed to advance to the Super Bowl.
6. Since 1978, no 10-6 club from the AFC has won a Super Bowl.
7. Tom Brady has never lost a playoff game when completing 30 or more passes.
8. Ravens tailback Ray Rice boasts averages of 133 total yards and 0.6 touchdowns in five career meetings with the
Patriots. San Francisco's Frank Gore put up 137 total yards in his only game against Atlanta.
9. Michael Crabtree (85 catches, 1,105 yards, nine TDs) didn't score a touchdown in any of the
49ers' four defeats in 2012.
10. In seven career games against the Ravens (including playoffs), Brady has averaged a pedestrian
244 yards passing and 1.29 touchdowns.
On the flip side, Joe Flacco has averaged 254 yards passing and 1.8 TDs in
five games against the Patriots. And that includes a 34-yard, zero-touchdown "clunker" in Baltimore's 33-14 rout of
New England in the 2009 playoffs.
11. Flacco is the only starting quarterback left in the playoffs to register multiple touchdowns in
each of his last four postseason games.
12. More Joe Cool goodness: Flacco is a Sunday victory away from tying Eli Manning for the most
playoff road wins by a starting quarterback (six). Currently, Flacco and Roger Staubach are holding down the
No. 2 spot in that category. (Note: Last week, Brady broke the NFL record for most playoff victories by a
13. The No. 1 seed is a perfect 7-0 in its last seven conference championship clashes. The last top seed to fall in a title game: the 2004 Steelers.
14. Here's a bad news/good news proposition involving Wes Welker: In three regular-season games
with the Patriots against the Ravens, he didn't register a single touchdown. On the positive side, Welker
increased his receptions and yardage totals with each successive outing against Baltimore (six catches/48 yards,
seven catches/53 yards, eight catches/142 yards).
So, maybe Welker can be counted on for nine catches and 147 yards on Sunday.
And finally, for those who believe in positive omens ...
15. The Patriots (1985, 1996, 2001 seasons) have never lost an AFC title game ... when a Super Bowl trip to the Superdome in New Orleans was at stake.