Friday, June 14, 2024

NFL Championship Sunday Preview

Championship weekend is upon us in the NFL. On Monday, we will know which two teams will be playing in Super Bowl 55 on February 7th.

There is no underdog story that we have seen in previous years, with the Titans last season and the Eagles in their Super Bowl-winning 2017 season. This Sunday, we will be seeing the best four quarterbacks in the NFL this season.

Who will win on Sunday?

AFC Preview

(2) Buffalo Bills vs Kansas City Chiefs (1)

This game all depends on the health of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Against the Browns in the NFL divisional round last weekend, Mahomes suffered a concussion as well as a foot injury earlier in the game.

He did not return as Kansas held on against the battling Browns.

The Chiefs quarterback has been cleared to play, but will we see the same Mahomes?

Bills quarterback Josh Allen has had an excellent season and would be a hero in Buffalo if he can guide them to the Super Bowl and potentially win it.

Reaching a Super Bowl is something that the Bills Mafia deserves. They are one of the more passionate fanbases in the entire NFL. The team have suffered a lot since they last reached the AFC Championship game during the 1993 NFL season.

Mahomes vs Allen is a battle worth watching.

However, the key matchup will be the Bills defense vs the Chiefs defense.

The Bills defense, led by defensive coordinator Leslie Frasier, impressed against the Baltimore Ravens.

They were able to stop the running threat that got the Ravens to the NFL’s AFC Divisional Round. They now have to try and stop the pass against the best offense in the league.

Equally, the Chiefs will have to stop the Buffalo offense led by Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Bills offensive coordinator Brian Daboll has elevated this offense this season and the arrival of Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings has certainly helped.

Whichever defense can stop the other’s offense will win this game.

Only 53 yards separate the Bills and Chiefs defenses for passing yards allowed this season. Just 40 rushing yards allowed separate Kansas City and Buffalo. Both teams have similar defenses.

For me, I feel this will be a tight game but will ultimately be won by whichever defense turns up.

If Mahomes was fully fit and didn’t have the concussion last week, then the Chiefs would win this game by 10 points. Mahomes may not be quite 100% so as long as Buffalo turns up on both sides of the ball, they have a great chance to win this game.

My Prediction: Bills 23-20 Chiefs

NFC Preview

(5) Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs Green Bay Packers (1)

For many years, neutrals wanted to see a Tom Brady vs Aaron Rodgers Super Bowl. The two best quarterbacks of the past ten years came close to a meeting in the big game but never got the opportunity.

Now they are both in the same conference, the NFC Championship is the next best thing.

NFL MVP favourite Rodgers is playing his first NFC Championship at Lambeau Field. Since becoming the starting quarterback for Green Bay, Rodgers has played in four NFC Championship games and this will be his fifth. He has only won one of the four and all of them have been on the road.

The cold weather of Wisconsin will be a test for the Buccaneers players who are used to the warm weather of Tampa.

One man who is used to the cold is Tom Brady. The Buccaneers quarterback played in New England for twenty years and has won more playoff games than any other player in NFL history.

He has seen his offense improve week on week.

He will have a tough test against Packers shutdown corner Jaire Alexander, who excelled in week 6, despite the heavy 38-10 loss to Tampa Bay. He held Buccaneers wide receiver Mike Evans to zero catches from just one target.

This will be the key matchup. Once again it’s the Tampa Bay offense involved, this time against the Packers secondary.

Whether it is Kevin King who is questionable or Josh Jackson, Alexander will need help from his other corner if they are to stop this Tampa Bay offense.

Safeties Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage will also have to be at their best if they want to be the team to stop this outstanding Buccaneers team.

We saw the Buccaneers beat the Saints last weekend, despite losing to them twice in the regular season. Green Bay will hope to also get a different result than in the regular season.

Another matchup to look out for is the Tampa Bay run defense against the Packers run offense.

The number one run defense in the regular season belonged to Tampa Bay. Packers running back Aaron Jones recorded 99 yards and a touchdown in last weeks 32-18 win over the Los Angeles Rams.

If the Tampa Bay run defense can stop the production of Aaron Jones then Rodgers will need to rely on his go-to guy Davante Adams. Only eleven teams have allowed more passing yards this season than the Buccaneers.

Noone caught for more touchdowns in the regular season than Adams. The Packers will need him and Rodgers to keep their great relationship on the field going if they are to win this game.

For me, despite how good Green Bay has been this season, I think that the Buccaneers and Tom Brady will become the first team to play a Super Bowl in their own stadium. If we’ve learned anything from the NFL in the last few years it’s that you cannot bet against Brady in the postseason.

My Prediction: Buccaneers 42-39 Packers

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