Picking the NFC and AFC Champions
We are in store for some great football this weekend.
The final four gives us great storylines across the board. The quarterback names by themselves is such a huge draw to the weekend. Rodgers, Brady, Mahomes and Allen are four of the best the NFL has to offer and we all get to watch them hopefully at their best on Sunday.
Let’s take a closer look at the title games:
Tampa Bay at Green Bay
Green Bay finally gets to host an NFC Championship game and they earned that with an impressive (13-3) regular season record and by virtue of their win over the Rams last weekend.
One of their losses however was to Tampa Bay back in October when they really got worked by the Buccaneers. Rodgers two big mistakes flipped the game around and Tampa got a great home victory 38-10. This position isn’t foreign to Green Bay as they were in the NFC Championship last year and have been in this game for the 4th time in the last 7 years.
For Tampa Bay they are trying to become the first team to play in the Super Bowl in their home stadium. To do so they need to keep their road win streak going which stands at 7 straight wins. A lot of this feels about Brady vs. Rodgers and will likely come down to the two quarterbacks. Who makes the big mistake at the key time? Which defensive can get to the quarterback and force those miscues? What role will the running games have? This season Aaron Jones has chewed up yards to make him a 1,000 yard rusher.
It feels like so much more is on the line in this game for Aaron Rodgers. The team experience of going through this last year, the desire to break through and Aaron Rodgers playing at the top of his game has me leaning towards Green Bay on Sunday. Tampa will be without Antonio Brown giving them one less weapon. In a close one, give me: Green Bay 27, Tampa Bay 21.
Buffalo at Kansas City
#1 seed vs. #2 seed.
This is what was supposed to happen and the AFC layout played to form. This also features another matchup from earlier in the season. The Chiefs took out Buffalo in week 6. One of the storylines from that game was how Buffalo played Kansas City in that game. The Bills were understandably fearful of Patrick Mahomes and didn’t want him to beat him. He didn’t but the Chiefs ran for a season best 245 yards. Mahomes didn’t have a deep pass all game. Will the Bills change their strategy? Will they go with the same thing and see if they can improve their run defense?
On offense the Bills can help themselves out if they can find any kind of running game. They only rushed for 32 yards last week which was the 4th lowest ever for a playoff team in a win. They may utilize Josh Allen as a designed runner just to loosen some things up a bit.
Patrick Mahomes is cleared and out of protocol. The Chiefs have been flirting with danger in quite a few games this season. They do find ways to win and now 15 wins on the season shows you how good they are. In their last 9 games, 8 of those have been decided by 1 score or less. They win the close games, the other game was actually a loss. They are good, they play with fire and this week I think they finally get burned. Kansas City has more ways to beat you but Buffalo has been really good for 2 months. They have won 8 in a row and only 1 of those was decided by 1 score or less and that was 2 weeks ago against the Colts in round 1.
My pick: Buffalo 34, Kansas City 24.