NFL conference championship predictions

The Packers will take on the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game / USA TODAY Sports

 

After a wild card round filled with blowouts, the divisional round of the NFL playoffs were much more entertaining this weekend. The Atlanta Falcons easily took down the Seattle Seahawks 36-20 at home, followed up by the New England Patriots dominating 34-16 victory over the Houston Texans. It was then the NFC’s number one team, the Dallas Cowboys, falling just short of a victory over the Green Bay Packers, 34-31. The Packers won the game after yet another unbelievable throw by quarterback Aaron Rodgers that put Mason Crosby in range to hit the game winning field goal as time expired. In the last game of the weekend, the Pittsburgh Steelers narrowly took down the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16.

Next Sunday, both the AFC and the NFC Championship games will take place. The former consisting of the Falcons and Packers, and Patriots and Steelers squaring off in the latter. Here are my predictions of both the games, including my thoughts on
key players.

NFC Championship

The Packers are looking dangerous. After starting the regular season 4-6, Aaron Rodgers once again proved he is worthy of the league’s MVP trophy by winning the table and leading his team to the NFC North Championship at 10-6. Rodgers will be the deciding factor in this game, and if he can outplay the other MVP candidate, Matt Ryan, and his dangerous offence, then I think the Packers can take the game.

These are two teams that seem to be able to put up 30 points every week, but both have trouble keeping points off of the board too. I think this game will be a shootout with the Packers narrowly advancing to the Super Bowl. Rodgers and Matt Ryan will combine for nearly 600 yards passing and five touchdowns.

Prediction: Packers 38,
Falcons 34

AFC Championship

The Patriots have had a pretty easy road to the Super Bowl so far, matching up with the Texans in the divisional round after a first round bye. The Steelers will be no easy task, however, and Tom Brady needs to come out and take care of business for his team. The Steelers defence will be a tough test, and I don’t think that the Patriots will be able to have an effective running game.

Le’Veon Bell has been nothing short of phenomenal so far in the Steelers’ two playoff games. He has totalled 337 rushing yards and two touchdowns. I truly believe that the Patriots’ coaching staff will find a way to limit both Bell and Antonio Brown from having huge games. In the end, I think Brady throws for 210 yards and two touchdowns. Ben Roethlisberger will be throw for 235 but only one touchdown (not Antonio Brown) and Le’Veon Bell will have another 100 yard game but will not find the endzone.

Prediction: Patriots 17, Steelers 10

 

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