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January 15, 2013

NFL Boilers: Divisional Playoffs

Yet again, Rob Ninkovich came up with a game-changing play for the Patriots.

And this one helped deliver New England to the AFC Championship game, with a 13-point victory over Houston in the Divisional Playoffs on Sunday evening.

Grantland has a thorough breakdown of the play, along with Ninkovich's emergence as an impact player for the Pats.

His interception, and the touchdown that followed, all but sealed the victory for New England, much the same way his forced fumbles vs. Indianapolis and the Jets did earlier in the season.

Anthony Spencer is going to be in line for a big payday this offseason.

The Dallas linebacker - he says he'd be willing to switch back to defensive end - will be one of the NFL's biggest free agents this summer. That is, if the Cowboys don't sign him to a long-term deal or franchise tag him for the second straight offseason.

Spencer was one of the bright spots for the Cowboys. But now Dallas is shifting to a 4-3 defense, leaving some to wonder where Spencer would fit. But considering he played end at Purdue, the adjustment might be easy.

Spencer says he'd like to return to the Cowboys, the only organization for which he's played.

Cliff Avril is a free agent too, although his future with his current club, the Detroit Lions, might be a little more mulky

Today is Drew Brees' 34th birthday. And many can find 10 reasons to like the New Orleans' star quarterback.

Now all are on board with that, however, including a former NFL player who has harsh words for the former Boilermaker.

The following is a look at the NFL Boilers, their roles and their Divisional Playoffs statistics.

New England Patriots (13-4, 41-28 win over Houston; host Baltimore at 6:30 p.m. Sunday)

No.Pos.PlayerRoleGame Statistics
#90LBNiko KoutouvidesReserve1 special teams assist
#50LB/DERob NinkovichStarter4 tackle, 1 TFL, 1QH, 1 int., 2 passes defensed

Baltimore Ravens (12-6, 38-35 double overtime win at Denver; play at New England at 6:30 p.m. Sunday)

No.Pos.PlayerRoleGame Statistics
#31SSBernard PollardStarter2 tackles, 1 pass defensed

Green Bay Packers (12-6, 45-31 loss at San Francisco)

No.Pos.PlayerRoleGame Statistics
#96DEMike NealReserveNone

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