NFC Championship: 2 Green Bay Packers @ 1 Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET, Century Link Field. On FOX
The first match-up on Sunday to determine the NFC Champion is the Green Bay Packers vs. Seattle Seahawks. The red hot Seattle Seahawks are coming off of 31-14 victory over the surging Carolina Panthers. This game was all about Seattle’s defense who forced 3 turnovers and one that lead to a pick six by Strong Safety Kam Chancellor. Richard Sherman had and interception as well and almost had another, but dropped it. Russell Wilson also had a big contribution to the win that out played Carolina’s quarterback Cam Newton. Wilson threw for 268 yards and 3 touchdowns. 2 of which were big plays. A 63 yard touchdown to wide receiver Jermaine Kearse, and a 25 yard touchdown to tight end Luke Wilson. Seattle’s defense forced Cam Newton into 2 fumbles, 1 of which were recovered by Michael Bennett. They also forced a fumble on running back Jonathan Stewart. Against Green Bay, Seattle is going to need to establish the running game and get Marshawn Lynch going. Marshawn Lynch only ran for 59 yards against Carolina. If they can get him going and work the read option with Russell Wilson, then Seattle should have a good day running the ball.
Defensively the Seahawks “Legion of Boom” will try to keep in check wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb. If they can do that then it can allow their front seven to try and get to Russell Wilson for a sack. The Green Bay Packers are coming off of a hard fought five point victory against the Dallas Cowboys, 26-21. In that game, Aaron Rodgers who was still playing with an injured leg threw for 316 yards and 3 touchdowns. Green Bay’s running back Eddie Lacey also had a very strong game as well. He ran for a total of 101 yards on 19 attempts. Green Bay’s defense sacked Tony Romo 4 times. Against Seattle, Green Bay is going need to establish the running game like they did the previous week against the Cowboys to take pressure off of Aaron Rodgers who is still going through some minor pain in his leg. Aaron Rodgers will also need to rely on the underrated rookie wide receiver Davante Adams who led the way for Green Bay against Dallas with 117 receiving yards and a touchdown; since most of the focus will be on the two star wide outs Randall Cobb and Jordy Nelson. On defense, the Packers will need to find out a way to stop the dynamic duo of Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch who have rushed together for a total of 2,155 yards. All and all this game could come down to the play of the two running backs and who can get to the quarterback the fastest. In the previous two meetings with Russell Wilson at quarterback, the Seahawks are 2-0 against the Packers.
AFC Championship: 4 Indianapolis Colts @ 1 New England Patriots, Sunday, 6:40 p.m. ET, Gillette Stadium, on CBS
The second and final match-up on Sunday evening is to determine the AFC Champion between the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots. The Patriots are coming off of a nail bitter victory against the Baltimore Ravens 35-31. Tom Brady led the Patriots to victory by overcoming two 14 point deficits to the Ravens. Brady threw for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns and rushed for 1 touchdown as well. Rob Gronkowski and Danny Amendola had great games
. Gronkowski led the way in receiving with 108 yards for 1 touchdown. Amendola had 2 touchdowns on 81 yards. On defense, New England forced Baltimore’s quarterback Joe Flacco into two interceptions. One made by free safety Devin McCourty and the other by strong safety Duron Harmon. Against Indianapolis, Tom Brady is going to need to have another strong game against the Colts. New England cannot be one dimensional against the Colts and need to run the ball. The Patriots only ran the ball for 14 yards against the Ravens.
On defense, they will need to force Andrew Luck into some turnovers and try to stop T.Y. Hilton and Dan “Boom” Heron. The Colts are coming off of an upset victory against Peyton Manning and the Broncos 24-13. Andrew Luck threw for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns. Daniel Heron ran for 65 yards, and a touchdown on 23 attempts. For the Colts, they need to get T.Y. Hilton more involved and have a big game on offense. On defense they need to force Tom Brady to throw interceptions. If they cannot force any interceptions, the Colts chances of beating the Patriots are slim. This game should come down to the play of the quarterbacks. Whoever out plays the other should end up wining this game. Since Andrew Luck has been the quarterback for the Colts, they are 0-2 against the Patriots and have lost to them by a combination of the last 2 meetings 102-46.