The dust settled, whistles were blown and the Super Bowl matchup is set. Now it's time to look back on the games that were and see who made the best plays of the conference championship round.
JUMP PASS (caps required)
A great GIF tells a story and offers amazement -- that is why this is a great GIF.
We can shovel effusive praise on Colin Kaepernick for making this throw, a seemingly impossible toss following a relaxed skip, but that's not why this is so great.
It's an example of how three seconds can tell the story of a player, make us understand his entire career arc. Kaepernick is not a perfectly precise quarterback with a laser for an arm, but for all the moments that make you shake your head, he comes up with a throw like this that makes him intoxicating to watch, a player who's never boring, for better or worse. It's not a dissimilar situation to that of Cam Newton, and we want to see every snap from both passers.
Nobody knows Knowshon
Knowshon Moreno quickly became one of the most fun players to watch in 2013. It took a while for the light to come on, but it came on with fury.
The Denver line does a great job blocking here, but the story is Moreno's ability to make numerous players on the Patriots defense miss. That first lateral hurdle is one of the best moves a running back has made all year by combining vertical and horizontal movement to mystify the defense and make them all forget how to tackle.
Russell Wilson is kind of good, Part 1
Just as Colin Kaepernick's GIF highlights his career, so too this throw by Wilson is an example of his ability pre- and post-snap.
This clip doesn't show that this was a free play caused by a hard count that caught the 49ers offside, but the throw itself is poetry -- a perfect deep pass that split three defensive backs and found the receiver in the end zone. Wilson wasn't perfect in the NFC Championship, but he's a quarterback gifted at picking his spots and on Sunday he waded through several throwaways to wait for this play to come open and strike.
Yet another Harbaugh freakout
Harbaugh freaking out is nothing new, but this GIF sets a land speed record for sideline movement while screaming. He crab walks down the sideline in an effort to get noticed by the referees and garners the attention of a single defender confused by what should be a regular event.
Russell Wilson is kind of good, Part 2
We have nothing else to say. This shouldn't be possible.
NOT THE PLAY OF THE WEEK: Y U STOP THE STAMPEDE?
This single drumming Bronco is that character. He's the bastion for all that is good, pure and hopeful. He was put to a stop and that security guard should be ashamed of himself.