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Playoffs proving exciting


If you are drained from watching a weekend of dramatic twists and turns, you have some time to get ready for this weekend, which should be equally exciting.

The four margins of victory added up to only 18 points -- the smallest since the divisional round began in 1970. From 1990-2005, the average combined margins of victory was 61.6.

The hero in the Seahawks-Bears game was Chicago kicker Robbie Gould, whom New England signed as an undrafted free agent in 2005. The Patriots and Ravens waived him before he signed on with the Bears for the final 13 games of the 2005 season. In September 2005, Gould was working in construction. Now instead of pounding nails, he's nailing game-winning field goals.

Chicago's Israel Idonije, who forced the 18-yard punt that helped set up Gould's game-winner, was another undrafted free agent. He signed with Cleveland and was waived before he signed with Chicago. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and played college football at the University of Manitoba.

Adam Vinatieri, who tied a postseason record with five field goals against Baltimore, now has an NFL-record 34 in his postseason career. In his four years at South Dakota State (1991-94) he converted only 27 of 53 attempts and never made first-team all-conference. In 1993, an offensive lineman replaced him as the extra-points kicker, and he sat out the 1995 season. In the spring of 1996, he attended Doug Blevins' kicking camp in Florida, and the rest is history. In his career, he has made 287 of 348 field goals.

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