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Eric Walden’s NFL Four Downs: There’s no snubbing your rival now
First Published Jan 18 2014 08:52 pm • Last Updated Feb 03 2014 11:30 pm

First down

New England at Denver, 1:30 p.m., Ch. 2 » When the Oscar nominations were announced, the most agreed-upon "snub" was Tom Hanks’ omission from the Best Actor category. It’s a virtual expectation to see him there every year. Much like Peyton Manning and Tom Brady in the AFC championship game. Didn’t it seem inevitable it would come down to these two? Sure, we had dalliances with the streaking Chiefs and the comeback Colts. Still, it would’ve been a bigger surprise for someone else to make it than for Hanks not to get recognized for "Captain Phillips."

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Second down

San Francisco at Seattle, 4:30 p.m., Ch. 13 » While Friday’s Lakers-Celtics game featured a dramatic finish, it didn’t approach a matchup between those teams circa 1986, or even 2008. Proper rivals must feature both relatively equal talent bases and a healthy level of vitriol. Check and check, then, for the 49ers and the Seahawks. They’ve been pretty inarguably the top two teams in the NFC all year. And you can all but see the disdain and contempt they have for each other dripping off their tongues. And now a Super Bowl berth is added to the mix? This is a rivalry.

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