The conference championships are set for the right to play for Super Bowl XLVIII in the Meadowlands. After going 4-0 last week, my overall record for the playoffs is now 6-2, and I am back to break down the matchups for Sunday.
Sunday, January 19th 3:00 PM: New England Patriots (+6.5) at Denver Broncos o/u 54.5
Football fans could not have asked for a better matchup in the AFC Championship. It will be a rematch of arguably the greatest game of the regular season when the Patriots overcame a 24-0 deficit to beat the Broncos 34-31 in overtime. It will be yet another battle of two of the greatest quarterbacks of this generation. The Patriots have overcome all odds to reach yet another AFC Championship, their 3rd straight. However, it will be their first road playoff game and first time as underdogs in the playoffs since the 2006 postseason, also the last time that Brady and Manning faced off in the playoffs. The Broncos were able to finally get their first win with Manning as quarterback last week, knocking off division rival San Diego. I expect this game to be quite different from the regular season meeting. The Broncos will look to pass the ball a lot more often, while the Patriots will try to take advantage of their newfound running attack. Both defenses have been playing better as of late also. Belichick always finds a way to slow down Manning, and Broncos will come with the pressure against an inconsistent New England offensive line. In the end, I think the fact that this game is in Denver will give the Broncos the edge they need to get past the Patriots. Denver wins 27-23.
Sunday, January 19th 6:30 PM: San Francisco 49ers (+3.5) at Seattle Seahawks o/u 39
Much like the Patriots, the 49ers are in the conference championship for the third straight season and are on the road against a bitter rival. This game features division rivals which split the season series during the regular season. The teams are very similar, with great defenses, great running games, good coaching, and two young dynamic quarterbacks. Seattle is known as being a hostile environment to play in, but San Francisco has already won two road games in the playoffs and Kaepernick is 3-0 on the road in his postseason career. The 49ers will not be overwhelmed by the noise in Seattle. I think both defenses will step up big time and it will be a very hard-fought game with several penalties until the very end. I am a strong believer that the team with momentum always has the advantage in the postseason. San Francisco has won eight straight games, and they are very familiar with playing the Seahawks. The Cardinals proved that a division rival can win in Seattle last month, and I think the 49ers keep the momentum going. San Francisco wins 17-16.
Who do you guys think will play for Super Bowl XLVIII? Let me know by voting in the poll down below.
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