There are only three games left in this wild NFL season.
Through all the ups and downs and starts and stops due to COVID-19, we’re left with two great matchups in the conference championship round. The winners will advance to Super Bowl LV in Tampa, Florida on February 7.
There are countless great storylines for the AFC and NFC championship games, like two young quarterback stars facing off in the AFC side (if Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes can play after suffering an injury) and two legendary quarterbacks in the NFC trying to make it back to a Super Bowl. We should be in for three more phenomenal matchups before heading into the offseason.
Both conference championship games are Sunday, and the listed times are Eastern:
NFC championship: No. 5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-5) at No. 1 Green Bay Packers (14-3), 3:05 p.m. on Fox
Aaron Rodgers has wanted a home NFC championship game for a while. He finally got it.
The Packers earned the top seed in the NFC and beat the Los Angeles Rams in the divisional round to advance to the conference title game. With another win, Rodgers will make his first Super Bowl since the 2010 season. He has had a tremendous season that will very likely end with his third MVP award. The Packers offense was sensational against the Rams’ top-ranked defense on Saturday, piling up 484 yards in a 32-18 win.
He’ll match up against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. A Brady vs. Rodgers matchup in a Super Bowl was always a dream when Brady was with the New England Patriots, and we’ll finally get a head-to-head playoff matchup with some high stakes attached. The Buccaneers moved on to the NFC championship game with a 30-20 win over the New Orleans Saints. Amazingly, it’s Brady’s 14th conference championship game, an amazing story for the 43-year-old Brady.
The Packers and Buccaneers met during the regular season. The Buccaneers won that matchup 38-10.
AFC championship: No. 2 Buffalo Bills (15-3) at No. 1 Kansas City Chiefs (15-2), 6:40 p.m. on CBS
Two young, strong-armed quarterback stars will face off for the final Super Bowl LV berth. Assuming Patrick Mahomes can return for the game.
Mahomes left Kansas City’s 22-17 win over the Cleveland Browns in the divisional round with an injury. He got up after being hit and was unsteady. He was evaluated for a concussion and ruled out, though Andy Reid did not say Mahomes suffered a concussion. Mahomes’ status will be a big story in the week leading up to the game.
Mahomes is perhaps the NFL’s biggest star. He has an MVP award, a Super Bowl MVP and a ring and is universally considered the top player in the game, especially given that he has played just four seasons and has many great years ahead.
Josh Allen joined the elite tier this season. The Bills’ third-year quarterback had a huge breakthrough, and he could end up getting more MVP votes than Mahomes (though Rodgers is considered a virtual lock to win the award).
The Bills and Chiefs are more than just their quarterbacks. Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are superstar pass catchers for Kansas City. Stefon Diggs, acquired in an offseason trade by the Bills, led the NFL in catches and receiving yards. The Bills defense had a fantastic game limiting Lamar Jackson in a 17-3 win over the Baltimore Ravens in the divisional round, but slowing down the Chiefs will be a huge challenge.
It’s the third straight AFC championship game at Arrowhead Stadium for the Chiefs. The last time the Bills were in the AFC title game, it was the end of the 1993 season and they beat a Chiefs team led by Joe Montana.
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