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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Kevin McKenna

Scottish duo's Super Bowl run ends as New York Giants exit playoffs

Scottish duo Graham Gano and Jamie Gillan’s Super Bowl run with the New York Giants has shuddered to a halt after crashing out of the NFL Playoffs losing 38-7 to the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Arbroath-born kicking specialists were involved in the NFC Divisional clash but had little impact as the Eagles dominated from start to finish.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts threw two touchdown passes despite only completing 16 passes from 24 attempts and ran one in himself. 

In contrast, their running efforts totalled over 250 yards as Kenneth Gainwell led the way with 112 yards and a touchdown from 12 possessions.

The NFC’s top seed will now host their first Championship game since 2017, when they defeated the Minnesota Vikings on their way to winning the Lombardi Trophy.

Elsewhere in the division, the San Francisco 49ers remain in the hunt for a sixth Super Bowl triumph after seeing off the Dallas Cowboys.

The 49ers battled to a 19-12 win over their rivals at Levi’s Stadium and will now travel to Philadelphia to face the Eagles for a place in the Super Bowl.

Led by third string quarterback Brock Purdy, San Francisco have won their last 12 games and are the NFL’s form team.

Despite forcing two first-half Dak Prescott interceptions, the 49ers had to rely on kicker Robbie Gould, whose three field goals gave the home side a 9-6 lead at the break.

An early second-half fumble handed the Cowboys the chance to move in front, but they could only manage a field goal through Brett Maher to tie the scores.

After exchanging punts, the 49ers embarked on a 91-yard drive midway through the third quarter which decided the match.

A stunning one-handed catch from tight-end Greg Kittle moved them into Cowboys territory before Christian McCaffrey ran in for a touchdown. Gould added the extra point to move his side seven points clear.

The fourth quarter brought a field goal apiece, but the 49ers defence held firm as the clock ticked down to seal the victory.

The Cowboys’ bid to add to their five titles comes to an end, while the 49ers dream is alive as they march on to their third Championship game in four years.

In the AFC, the Cincinnati Bengals upset the Buffalo Bills at a snowy Highmark Stadium, running out comfortable 27-10 winners against the pre-season Super Bowl favourites.

Having suffered only one home playoff defeat in their history, the Bills would have been hoping the treacherous conditions would play into their hands, but things didn’t go according to plan.

The Bengals raced into a 14-0 lead inside the first quarter thanks to touchdown catches from Ja’Marr Chase and Hayden Hurst, and never looked like being caught from there.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen reduced the advantage with a short run into the endzone before a field goal got them to within a score in the third quarter. 

A Joe Mixon touchdown then put the game beyond reach and sent the Bengals to their second successive AFC Championship match, where they will meet last year’s opponents, the Kansas City Chiefs.

On Saturday, The Chiefs overcame an ankle injury to star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to get past the Jacksonville Jaguars 27-20 and make it to their fifth straight AFC Championship decider.

Tight-end Travis Kelce had 14 catches for 98 yards and two scores, while Marquez Valdez-Scantling grabbed the game-winning touchdown catch midway through the fourth quarter.

The Jaguars did have opportunities to level the score in the final moments, but a fumble from Jamal Agnew followed by an interception pass thrown by Trevor Lawrence ended their chances.

The Chiefs will now host Cincinnati at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday for the second successive AFC Championship game seeking revenge after losing out last season.

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