Conference Championship Previews

Conference Championship Previews

Conference Championship Previews 

By: David Dzienis

#5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ #1 Green Bay Packers

The GOAT facing off against this year’s likely MVP. This matchup isn’t just for the NFC Championship, it’ll also decide which of these future Hall of Famers will represent the old guard in this year's Super Bowl. Tom Brady and his stable of weapons annihilated the Packers in week 6. Looking back at that game will show you that it wasn’t the offense that won that game for Tampa but their defense. This unit forced Aaron Rodgers to throw 2 of the 5 interceptions he tossed on the year and held Green Bay to 5 second half punts, including 3 three-and-outs. Brady was held to under 200 yards passing on the day and the only real bright spot for the team was the run game. They did manage to get several key penalties go their way.

Can they repeat that performance this weekend? Up until last week the Buccaneers hadn’t beaten a winning team since the game against Green Bay. Brady has looked like his old self again and his receivers seem to finally be on the same page. The Packers defense has stiffened up down the stretch and Davante Adams has been as electric and reliable as usual. So, who will win the battle of the Bays? I’m going to stick with the home team due to the completely different environments these teams play in.

Prediction: TB 21-GB 27

#2 Buffalo Bills @ #1 Kansas City Chiefs

The reigning Super Bowl champ facing off against a strong MVP candidate. This matchup isn’t just for the AFC Championship, it’ll also decide which of these young stars will represent the new generation in this year's Super Bowl. These teams also happened to play in week 6 this year with the Chiefs getting away with a 9-point win. Of course, that was before the Bills defense remembered how to play. The biggest question here will be how Patrick Mahomes bounces back after being knocked out of last week’s contest with a concussion. It appears he has cleared protocol and will play, but can he be as fearless and electric as usual or will Andy Reid call a more conservative game to protect his QB?

These teams are very similar. Both sport a young QB who has been impressive all year. They also both have a subpar but still dangerous run game and stellar wideouts. The main difference to me will be how Buffalo’s defense handles Travis Kelce. Quite possibly the greatest tight end to play the game, Kelce is a mismatch for almost anyone in the league. I think the Bills can get it done and will eke out a win in a very close game.

Prediction: Buf 28 -KC 27


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