12 Jan 2015

Colts and Packers win in NFL play-offs

5:35 pm on 12 January 2015

Andrew Luck outdueled the quarterback he succeeded in Indianapolis as the Colts advanced to the AFC championship game in NFL American football with a 24-13 playoff win over Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos in Colorado.

Luck passed for two touchdowns and 265 yards as he won the highly anticipated matchup with Manning, who was released by the Colts in 2012 and became Denver's quarterback.

Denver Broncos NFL quarterback Peyton Manning.

Denver Broncos NFL quarterback Peyton Manning. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Manning was limited to one touchdown, a one-yard pass that staked Denver to an early 7-nil lead.

The Colts will meet the New England Patriots next weekend in Massachusetts for the AFC title.

New England beat Indianapolis 42-20 in a November regular-season meeting.

Aaron Rodgers battled through pain to rally the Green Bay Packers to a thrilling 26-21 playoff victory over the Dallas Cowboys, sending them to the NFC title game to face defending Super Bowl champions, the Seattle Seahawks.

Rodgers, despite struggling with a calf injury, threw two touchdown passes in a row as Green Bay fought back from a 21-13 third-quarter deficit.

Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers.

Green Bay Packers' quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

He passed for three touchdowns and 317 yards for the game.

The Cowboys though were left fuming about a controversial incompletion ruling late in the fourth quarter where instead of being at the Packers one-yard line after a brilliant Dez Bryant leap for a Tony Romo pass, they were forced to give Green Bay the ball back on downs.

Rodgers had struggled in the final two games of the regular season and the first signs that a two-week break had not allowed for a complete recovery of the calf came when the Packers took the lead on their first drive.

Now they face the toughest of tasks in Seattle, where they lost 36-16 to open in the regular season in September.