The Seattle Seahawks beat the New Orleans Saints 23-15 in the divisional round of the National Football Conference playoffs, while the New England Patriots crushed the Indianapolis Colts 43-22 in the American Football Conference divisional playoff round.

The star for Seattle was running back Marshawn Lynch, who rushed for 140 yards and scored two touchdowns.

"I just think we played a good team game," Lynch said. "The defense did a good job. Getting this win just means we get another opportunity to play another game."

Kicker Steven Hauschka nailed three field goals to help the Seahawks reach the NFC Championship Game for only the second time in franchise history. Seattle first played for the conference championship in 2005.

The Seahawks will play the winner of Sunday's NFC divisional playoff game between the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship Game.

In Saturday's AFC divisional playoff game, running back LeGarrette Blount scored four times to help the Patriots upend the Colts.

"I thought it was a great job by all our players tonight. I thought they really did a terrific job. We had a good week of preparation. Everybody was ready to go. We got some big plays from all three phases of the game; got off a good start, we were able to play from ahead. We just had a lot of big plays there at the end of the third, fourth quarter. Just have to give credit to everybody," Patriots head coach Bill Belichick said.

New England will play the winner of Sunday's AFC divisional playoff game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers in the AFC Championship Game.

"Everybody contributed. The games only get bigger, so it will be a fun week to get ready. You don't take it for granted and try to go play our best game next weekend," Patriots quarterback Tom Brady said. EFE