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#NFL Championship Game News and Notes - January 24, 2011

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#NFL Championship Game News and Notes - January 24, 2011

Green Bay Packers 21, Chicago Bears 14

A resilient Packers team became the first #6-seed to knock off the top three seeds to make the Super Bowl.

Bringing the Lombardi Trophy home is the new mission for the Packers.

Packers nose tackle B.J. Raji came up big as a 337-pound spy.

Undrafted rookie cornerback Sam Shields also came up big for the Pack.

He didn't play particularly well for most of the game, but after a poor throw, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers made a huge tackle.

Punter Tim Masthay helped the Packers win the field position battle.

Packers left tackle Chad Clifton left the game briefly with a stinger.

General manager Ted Thompson deserves all the praise for building a deep, talented Packers roster.

Third-string quarterback Caleb Hanie couldn't pull off a miraculous comeback.

Hanie should have been the top back-up, writes Mike Mulligan of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher and his teammates came to Cutler's defense.

Question Lovie Smith's decision-making, not Cutler's toughness, writes David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune.

Cutler will have an MRI today.

Cutler's biggest problem on Sunday was that he wasn't very good.

Inactive for much of the season, Bears tight end Desmond Clark doesn't think he'll be back in 2011.

Pittsburgh Steelers 24, New York Jets 19

A dominant first half have the Steelers in the Super Bowl for the eighth time in franchise history.

Steelers president Art Rooney will take as many Super Bowls as the team can get.

The Steelers running game got going against the Jets.

Steelers' fans toasted the late Myron Cope, who would have turned 82 on Sunday.

Steelers Pro Bowl rookie center Maurkice Pouncey plans to play in Super Bowl XLV.

Pittsburgh's running backs and special teams were "A" students on Gerry Dulac's report card.

Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor's sack/forced fumble in the first half was a decisive play.

Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez could only watch as his second season once again ended in the AFC title game.

Veterans on the Jets are left to ponder another missed opportunity, writes Connor Orr of The Star-Ledger.

Jets wide receiver Santonio Holmes was critical of the game-plan and his playing time.

The Jets' defense let the team down on Sunday, writes Filip Bondy of the New York Daily News.

Letting Big Ben out of the pocket was the first mistake on the final meaningful play of the game.

Moments after his team was eliminated, Rex Ryan began talking about next year's Super Bowl.

Today's NFL birthdays: Texans linebacker Brian Cushing (24), Giants tight end Travis Beckum (24), 49ers linebacker Parys Haralson (27), Buccaneers wide receiver Edward Gant (26), Titans wide receiver Justin Gage (30), free agent punter Danny Baugher (27), linebackers Rocky Boiman (31) and Michael Okwo (26), and defensive tackle Vince Oghobaase (24).

Retired Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Warren turns 43.

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"A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall. "
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