NFL CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
The weekend provides us with two competitive clashes, to determine who makes it to the Super Bowl on February 7th.
The Kansas City Chiefs host the Buffalo Bills, while the Tampa Bay Buccaneers travel to Lambeau Field to take on the Green Bay Packers.
Buffalo Bills @ Kansas City Chiefs
Sunday 11:40PM (UK)
The unknown status of Patrick Mahomes’ condition will leave many Chiefs fans with a fright, up until gameday. The game literally hangs in the balance of the QB, where in my opinion, the Bills take advantage if he is on the side-lines and the Chiefs clinch the AFC division if Mahomes does play. Despite Chad Henne producing the late heroics against the Browns last week, this Bills defence is a different story all together. The defensive backs will have to be ready for even more checkdowns if Henne starts, where the Cornerbacks will likely be in more flat coverages if they face the backup QB. Josh Allen has also put himself on the radar, with a season that has seen him create a formidable partnership with Stefon Diggs. The Former Minnesota Viking caught 8 passes last week for 106 yards and a TD. The Chiefs defense will try to double up on him, but Allen will happily find his other receivers in Cole Beasley and John Brown, who can cause any defense major problems on a good day.
The game is in the hands of Mahomes, the Bills are worth backing if you think he won’t start, yet the Chiefs are worth backing to cover the handicap if Mahomes is at the top of the realm.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Green Bay Packers
Sunday 8:05PM (UK)
The closer matchup comes in the form of Brady v Rodgers, perhaps the top two QBs of the past decade. Rodgers had his worst game of the season, back in week 6, where he came up against this Tampa team in Florida and threw two interceptions, one of which went back for a pick 6. Will the tables turn this time around? I don’t think so. Aaron Rodgers will be expecting many Blitz packages by this Tampa defence, it becomes a case of whether he can read them quicker this time, albeit his receivers will need to get open too. Star players Aaron Jones and Davante Adams had 76 yards between them, an alarming amount of yards considering that their offense lies upon their shoulders so heavily.
If the Bucs defense can produce a similar fate of which they did back in October, then Tom Brady’s life will be made a lot easier. Although the Green Bay defense does not have the firepower at their disposal, to hold off Mike Evans, Antonio Brown, Gronk, Chris Godwin and Scotty Miller, if Tampa go 5 wide. I will be expecting another relentless performance from RB Leonard Fournette, who I think will be the key in Tampa’s success in Wisconsin, this weekend. The former Jaguar would create more of a passing threat coming out the backfield, with multiple checkdowns from Brady leading to Fournette gaining his TD last week, through the air.
Tom Brady will be able to produce the goods, and by goods, I mean a performance that entails over 300 passing yards and 3 passing TDs, against a defense that has it all to do. The Bucs win in my opinion and cover a handicap of (-6).