NFL Conference Championships Preview

NFL+Conference+Championships+Preview

Michael Howes ‘22, Staff Writer

Previous Weeks:

Week One, Week Two, Week Three, Week Four, Week Five, Week Six, Week Seven, Week Eight, Week Nine, Week Ten, Week Twelve, Week Thirteen, Week Fourteen, Week Fifteen, Wild Card Preview, Divisional Round

NFL Conference Championships Preview

Happy New Year!!! The NFL regular season has ended at last. 256 games completed, not a single game missed due to Covid-19. This season was special in many ways. A game was played on every single day of the week this year, something we may never see again! So enough talking, let us get to the games.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (11-5) at Green Bay Packers (13-3)

How to Watch: Sunday 3:05 EST on FOX

Game Preview: A rematch of their week six meeting, the Buccaneers will travel to the Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers. The last time these teams met, the Buccaneers won 38-10. That game was played in sunny Tampa Bay, this time, it will be played in the Frozen Tundra with projected temperatures of below freezing and possible snow showers.

          The Buccaneers this year, are led by their bevy of offensive weapons. The group of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, and Scotty Miller have combined for a total of 2,830 receiving yards and 27 touchdowns. Tight end Rob Gronkowski has rejuvenated his career after a year of retirement. Gronk has had 623 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns in the regular season. Quarterback Tom Brady has also played great this year, topping 4,500 passing yards and having 40 touchdowns in the regular season. The defense is also spectacular, featuring a trio of Devin White, Shaquil Barrett, and Jason Pierre-Paul with 8 or more sacks. The defensive backfield, featuring safety Antione Winfield Jr. and cornerback Carlton Davis have also played amazing.

          The Packers come in trying to avenge the Conference Championship loss from last year. Quarterback Aaron Rodgers has played out of his mind this year. The likely MVP has passed for over 4000 yards and 45 touchdowns this year. His go-to-guy, Davante Adams, has caught 115 passes for 1300 yards this season. Running back Aaron Jones has also played great in a contract year. Jones rushed for 1104 yards and nine touchdowns in the regular season. Led by cornerback Jaire Alexander, the defense has stepped up too, allowed an average of 23 points per game in a year where the high scoring offense is not hard to come by.

Score Prediction: Packers 28-25

 

Buffalo Bills (13-3) at Kansas City Chiefs (14-2)

How to Watch: Sunday 6:40 EST on CBS

Game Preview: The AFC Championship will feature a dual of two of the brightest young stars in the league.

          On the Chiefs side of the field, it features generational talent Patrick Mahomes. After winning a Super Bowl last year, Mahomes and the Chiefs look to repeat. This year, Mahomes threw for 4,000 yards once again and had 38 passing touchdowns. The offensive weapons on the Chiefs are stronger than ever, featuring wide receiver Tyreek Hill and tight end Travis Kelce. Hill caught 87 passes for 1276 and 15 touchdowns. He also had 2 rushing touchdowns and 123 rushing yards. Travis Kelce cemented his stone as the best tight end in the league this year. Kelce caught 105 catches for 1,416 yards and 11 touchdowns. Though Mahomes had exited Sunday’s win early with a head injury, from early reports it seems likely that Mahomes will indeed play against the Bills. However, it is worth mentioning that he will still have a toe injury that could affect him.

          On the Bills side of the field, they feature strong-armed quarterback Josh Allen and a defense that can be dangerous when it clicks. The improvement that Josh Allen made this year is incredible. After having a 58.8% completion percentage last year, his completion percentage shot up to 69.2% this year. He had also passed for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns. Much of his improvement can be traced to the addition of Stefon Diggs this off-season. This year, Stefon Diggs caught 127 passes for 1,535 yards and 8 touchdowns. On the defensive side, the defensive backs lead the group. Jordan Poyer, Micah Hyde, Tre White, Levi Wallace, Josh Norman, and Taron Johnson have all played significant roles in the defense this year. The six have combined for 40 pass deflections and 10 interceptions. Linebacker Tremaine Edmunds has also played great, having 119 combined tackles.

Score Prediction: Bills 28-27