There are only three NFL games left. This is Championship Sunday, which means that two teams will be headed to Tampa Bay for Super Bowl 55 while two teams are going home.
The first game of the day will be in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where the snow covers the field, so it will be a cold game. It won’t affect Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady, who spent 20 seasons in New England and is used to the cold. It also won’t affect Green Bay quarterback Aaron Rodgers, who had a big game in the snow a few weeks ago.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Green Bay Packers
Key to Bucs victory: The offense will need to be balanced. They need to make sure that Leonard Fournette and Ronald Jones are given the ball to control the game while also changing the pace. Both backs are different. Fournette is a bruiser while Jones is more speed, which could tire out the defense and open it up for Brady. On defense, they will need to rely on their linebackers to control the game. In their meeting earlier in the season, after the Packers took a 10-0 lead, the linebackers settled down and started making Rodgers uncomfortable. They need to do the same thing, especially with defensive tackle Vita Vea back from injury.
Key to Packers victory: The Packers will need to count on both the Aaron’s, which is Aaron Rodgers, and running back Aaron Jones. They need to use both players effectively, which they didn’t do in the first meeting. Rodgers wanted an AFC Championship at home after losing the last few on the road, and here is his opportunity to shine. Expect Rodgers to spread the ball around but find receiver Davante Adams in crucial situations. On defense, the cheese heads will need to get pressure on Brady. The Smith Brother’s will be looked at to provide the pressure, especially on third downs. Also, linebacker Rashan Gary had a sack against Jared Goff last week, expect him to generate pressure on Sunday.
X-Factor: Tom Brady. He has been here before and could be the first team in history to host the Super Bowl. Brady loves making history.
Prediction: Bucs 28 Packers 24
Buffalo Bills vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Key to Bills victory: Last week, Buffalo threw the ball on every play of the first half, and it worked, but that is not a trend they should continue. They will need to mix the run and pass, especially because this is the first AFC Championship of Bills quarterback Josh Allen. The Bills have a secret weapon that should be expected to contribute in receiver Kenny Stills. Buffalo had him in their practice squad, and he is good at the home run ball, so expect them to use him while also counting on Stefon Diggs. On defense, these two teams faced off earlier in the season, and the Chiefs ran for over 200 yards. The Bills didn’t want to give up the big pass play, so they decided to give up the run. Expect defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier to put together a balanced defensive game plan.
Key to Chiefs victory: Kansas City needs to be smart on Sunday. Last weekend, knowing Patrick Mahomes had a toe injury, they made him run the ball, and he got even more hurt. If that toe is still bothering him, don’t expect him to run around the field as smoothly as he has in the past, so that means they could use running backs Clyde Edwards-Helaire and Le’Veon Bell quite a bit. If they run the ball against Buffalo the way they did earlier in the season, Mahomes will not need to do anything that could risk further injury. On defense, they need to take away Stefon Diggs. That is the player whom Josh Allen looks for in key third-down situations, so the Chiefs need to take him away and make the other receivers beat him. They also need to get pressure from Chris Jones and Frank Clark to make Allen uncomfortable in the pocket.
X-Factor: Tyrann Mathieu. The Honey Badger can change the momentum of any game with a big hit or turnover.
Prediction: Chiefs 23 Bills 17