The NFL’s version of the Final Four has arrived as the two #1 seeds in each conference will try to meet in the Super Bowl for the second straight year.
Sunday, January 18th at 3:20 PM: #2 Green Bay Packers at #1 Seattle Seahawks (-7.5)
One of the final three games of this NFL season will be a rematch of the very first game of the season. Seattle easily beat Green Bay in the first matchup, but both teams have had their ups and downs since then. Green Bay was able to squeak by Dallas on a controversial overturn of Dez Bryant’s fourth down catch, while the Seahawks haven’t been tested yet having only faced a losing Carolina team. This will be a matchup of the NFL’s top scoring offense (GB 30.4 PPG) against the top scoring defense (SEA 15.9 PPG). Seattle has two advantages in this game besides their defense and playing at home. Aaron Rodgers has struggled since suffering a calf tear and the Packers have not played well on the road this season, going just 4-4. Eddie Lacy is going to have to step up for Green Bay to create some sort of running attack and keep the Seahawks secondary honest so that Rodgers doesn’t face many blitzes. Even then, it may not be enough. Green Bay +7.5, Seattle straight up.
Sunday, January 18th at 6:40 PM: #4 Indianapolis Colts at #1 New England Patriots (-6.5)
Just like the first game, this game will also feature a matchup in which the home team destroyed the underdog during the regular season. In fact, since Andrew Luck joined the league in 2012, the Patriots have outscored the Colts 144-66 in three games including the playoff game last year, all of which have been wins. The Patriots come in to this game off a hard fought victory over Baltimore while Indy pulled the upset over a reeling Denver squad. If not for past history, you could make a case for this being a close game with two division winners and two great quarterbacks. However, it’s hard to see how the Colts will win this game after getting blown out three straight times. The Patriots will have to be aware of screens out of the backfield with Colts RB Daniel Herron, which will effectively serve as their run game. They will also need to keep Luck in the pocket to prevent him from extending plays and finding deep threats Reggie Wayne and T.Y. Hilton. Finally, the Patriots need to keep an eye on Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener in the middle. Tight ends in the seam have given the Patriots problems this year. New England -6.5 and straight up.