It’s the Conference Championship round, ladies and gentlemen. All remaining teams are a win away from going to Tampa Bay for Super Bowl LV. In the NFC, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Green Bay Packers will square off at Lambeau Field, while the AFC will determine its champion when the Kansas City Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium.
Picks and Predictions for the AFC/ NFC Conference Championship Games for the 2020-21 NFL Playoffs
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+3.5) vs Green Bay Packers (-3.5): Sunday Jan 24 (3:05 PM EST)
It’s just amazing how Tom Brady is still going strong and it’s even more impressive that he’s gone this far with a different team. Brady finished the regular season with 4,633 passing yards and 40 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. However, it wasn’t Brady who impressed the most for the Buccaneers in the win over the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional Round nor in their 38-10 win over the Packers back in Week 6 at home. Rather, it was the Bucs’ defense that had the most striking performance. In those two games, the Bucs’ stop unit combined for four sacks and five interceptions off of Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers. As for the Packers, their defense hasn’t been shabby of late, either. They have not allowed more than 20 points since Week 12 and finished the regular season eighth in total defense with just 328.7 total yards allowed per game. But at the end of the day, the fate of the Packers will be dictated by how great Rodgers will play. Rodgers has been fantastic all season long. He is, after all, the favorite to win MVP. Rodgers ended the regular season with 4,299 passing yards and 48 touchdowns against just five interceptions while leading Green Bay’s offense that averaged the most points in the NFL, with 31.8 per contest.
Prediction: The Packers win, 29-26.
Buffalo Bills (+3) vs Kansas City Chiefs (-3): Sunday Jan 24 (6:40 PM EST)
First of all, is Patrick Mahomes going to be ready to play on Sunday? That’s the biggest question in all of football this week is whether he’d suit up against the Bills after suffering a concussion. Mahomes is currently in the concussion protocol, and if we know anything about it, it’s that predicting when a player will recover from such a head injury is always a dart throw. Mahomes got the injury in last Sunday’s 22-17 win over the Cleveland Browns. If he can’t go, Chad Henne will take over the quarterbacking duties for Kansas City, which, in that case, will likely turn to its ground attack more. Clyde Edwards-Helaire is questionable to play, but the Chiefs can still rely on Darrell Williams and Le’Veon Bell. Plus, Henne will still have Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce downfield to look for in passing plays. As for the Bills, there isn’t much injury concern for them, with just defensive end Darryl Johnson labeled as questionable. Josh Allen will have his full slate of receivers, as they aim to avenge their 26-17 loss to the Chiefs at home back in October. The Bills defeated the Indianapolis Colts in the Wild Card round, 27-24, before taking down the Baltimore Ravens in the Divisional Round, 17-3.
Prediction: The Bills win, 27-24.
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