The NFL Conference Championship Round is finally here. The four best teams in the NFL remain, competing for the right to be the AFC and NFC champions.
Who’s ready for conference championship weekend? 🙌
— NFL (@NFL) January 22, 2021
This championship round features some very intriguing matchups in both conferences. In the NFC, you have the GOAT quarterback going up against perhaps the most talented quarterback and probable MVP of the league right now.
Meanwhile, the AFC side pits Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs against Josh Allen and the Bills. Mahomes and Allen are both known for being able to air the ball out as they lead two high-octane offenses.
Fans grab your popcorn. This Sunday is about to be good.
NFL Conference Championship:
#1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers: 3:05 pm ET on FOX
Brady vs. Rodgers. That’s what headlines this marquee matchup of the last two teams remaining in the NFC. This is the first time the two are going head to head in the playoffs and it’s sure to be a delight.
The Green Bay Packers were absolutely destroyed in their first meeting against Tampa Bay in Week 6 this season as the Bucs defense shut down Rodgers.
Rodgers threw two interceptions that day and the Packers only managed 10 points on offense. Surely, that won’t be the case again. The Packers offense is in an unstoppable groove right now.
Last week, Rodgers and the Packers shredded the number one ranked pass defense as they put up 296 passing yards and 32 points in a dominant victory.
Jalen Ramsey, one of the best cornerbacks in the league, couldn’t contain Devante Adams and Aaron Donald failed to notch a sack against the Packers o-line.
The Bucs have no players of either Ramsey or Donald’s caliber and so clearly a mismatch emerges. However, they do have a strong linebacking core in Devin White and Lavonte David. Additionally, Vita Vea’s return should bolster the defensive line.
Additionally, the Bucs offense has finally found its groove as they’ve scored 30 or more in five straight games now. Antonio Brown is set to miss this game, but he only tallied one catch for 10 yards last week.
The biggest matchup to watch will be superstar receiver Mike Evans vs. shut down corner Jaire Alexander. The Packers will have a tough time against the Bucs, but ultimately they have the better team.
This game will be close, but Rodgers will make it back to the Super Bowl.
NFC Conference Championship Pick:
Packers: 31, Bucs: 28
Brady vs. Rodgers. Bucs vs. Packers. NFC Championship.
Can’t wait. 🍿 pic.twitter.com/wkd4ZK30o2
— theScore (@theScore) January 18, 2021
#2. Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs: 6:40 pm ET on CBS
This game is as unpredictable as it gets. While we all mostly saw this game coming, the way we’re looking at this game now, compared to how we saw it a week ago is much different.
The reason? Patrick Mahomes’ injury. Mahomes has been cleared to play after passing concussion protocol, but we still don’t know if that means he’ll be at 100%.
A healthy Mahomes is a frightening sight for any defense, but an injured one is much different. Additionally, this is no ordinary defense the Chiefs are playing.
The Bills defense is only allowing 13.5 points per game in this playoff run. Last week, they gave up only three points to Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens.
The Chiefs defense also faces a far greater threat this week. Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs had an electric connection through the air this season as Diggs led the league in receptions and yards.
Allen has been a dark horse MVP candidate throughout the year and now he has a prime opportunity to show why he’s one of the best quarterbacks in the league.
The Chiefs and Bills also met back in week six where the Chiefs took a close 26-17 victory. The weather that day dictated the pace of the game as neither quarterback had crazy throwing numbers.
However, the difference maker for the Chiefs that day was their running game. Clyde Edwards-Helaire racked up 161 rushing yards as the Chiefs dominated time of possession, holding the ball for 37:45.
If the Chiefs can control possession like that again, they’ll keep the high-powered Bills offense off the field, letting their offense work its magic.
Additionally, a strong running game will keep pressure off of Mahomes if he’s still feeling the effects of a concussion. Edwards-Helaire is likely to play after being listed questionable earlier.
The Bills will give the Chiefs a tough fight to the end, but Mahomes and company will make it back to the Super Bowl.
AFC Conference Championship Pick:
Chiefs: 27, Bills: 24
The game will also be streamed on fuboTV or the CBS Sports App.
Chiefs vs. Bills for a trip to the Super Bowl.
This is gonna be fun 🍿 pic.twitter.com/yN78dWGQCo
— ESPN (@espn) January 17, 2021