As scary as it sounds, it's the truth: We are down to the last three games of the NFL season. While that is a tad depressing, the stakes for the final 180 minutes of the season couldn't be higher, with the top two remaining teams in each conference battling for the rights to appear in Super Bowl LV.
For the NFC, the road to Tampa Bay first must go through Green Bay, where the number one seeded Packers host the Buccaneers. A Tom Brady-Aaron Rodgers match-up is more than enough to sell the game, yet each team's respective defense will look to step up and prevent either of the future Hall of Fame quarterbacks from reaching another Super Bowl.
On the opposite side of the coin, the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs look to reach a second straight title game appearance, perhaps without the assistance of Patrick Mahomes.
Should the Chiefs not emerge victorious, that means two things: The Josh Allen-Stefon Diggs connection remains potent, and every table in a one hundred mile radius of Buffalo should seek shelter.
Either way, we are primed for two phenomenal matchups that should deliver. Speaking of delivering, that's exactly what the staff of AllSteelers managed to do last week, missing a collective two games (All from Connor, no shade though) in our picks. The current pick'em standings are as followed:
1. Noah (9-1)
T2. Cody (8-2)
T2. Donnie (8-2)
4. Connor (6-4)
Staff predictions for the conference championship games:
#5 Tampa Bay Buccaneers at #1 Green Bay Packers
Date: Sunday, Jan. 24
Time: 3:05 pm ET
Spread: Packers -4
Donnie Druin- This game could go down as an all-time classic. When these two met earlier in the season, Tampa Bay throttled Green Bay in a four possession game. While it's not wise to bet against Tom Brady, I have to feel a tad different about this game. I believe Green Bay's offense (in it's current form) looks to be too much for any defense, and the Buccaneers haven't exactly boasted consistency despite having the potential to drop 40 points in any game. After getting embarrassed in last year's NFC title game, I think the Packers aren't keen on it happening again in Lambeau Field. I'll take Green Bay.
Noah Strackbein- Tom Brady has led this Bucs team to an incredible run, he proved it wasn't just Bill Belichick that got him this far, but unfortunately, the run will come to an end this weekend. Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the NFL right now, and this Green Bay Packers team is dangerous. They're headed to the Super Bowl.
Cody Flavell- Tom Brady vs Aaron Rodgers has never happened in the playoffs. With Brady’s move to the NFC, this matchup was on a crash course from the time the season kicked off and now it’s a reality. Brady’s Buccaneers have won seven road games this year while a Rodgers-led Packers team has never hosted an NFC Championship game. What Brady is doing at the age of 43 is ridiculous and is something we may never see again. However, the 37-year old Rodgers posted an MVP season and shows no signs of stopping. Despite the Packers drafting quarterback Jordan Love in the first round this year and neglecting to give Rodgers an offensive weapon for the umpteenth time, he used that as motivation to lead the Packers to this point. I’m not betting against the NFL’s soon-to-be-MVP in this matchup. Packers 28, Buccaneers 24.
Connor Deitrich- The matchup we’ve always wanted to see in a super bowl, we’ll finally see in the NFC championship game. And what a matchup it is. There are easily the two best offenses in the NFC. Green Bay has the advantage on offense, Tampa Bay has the advantage on defense. If the Bucs defense flies around like it did against New Orleans, they could win this. But their secondary probably isn’t slowing down Rodgers and company. Packers in a close one.
#2 Buffalo Bills at #1 Kansas City Chiefs
Date: Sunday, Jan. 24
Time: 6:40 pm ET
Spread: Chiefs -3
Donnie Druin- Personally, I'm rooting for a Packers-Chiefs Super Bowl. I'd love to see a Rodgers/Mahomes finale to the season. While the status of Mahomes is still up in the air, I'm of the belief that the Bills are more than capable of getting the job done in Kansas City. The Chiefs have proven themselves worthy of beating down the stretch of the season, and I believe Buffalo has the better of the two defenses to match a streaking hot Josh Allen at quarterback. Gimme the Bills.
Noah Strackbein- Wow, this is tough. There's a part of me that says the Buffalo Bills are the hottest team in the NFL, and then there's a part of me saying "but the Chiefs." Honestly, in most situations, you go with the hot hand, but even now it seems too risky to bet against Patrick Mahomes and company. So, I'm sticking with Kansas City to return to the Super Bow.
Cody Flavell- I predicted Bills-Packers in the Super Bowl prior to the playoffs and now that they’re both a game away I’m sticking to my guns. Buffalo is an unstoppable force right now and has been dating back to November. They’re as hot as any team left and that goes for both sides of the ball. The Chiefs haven’t been blowing teams out like they’ve been expected to. In fact, the Chiefs have struggled to even put teams away in recent memory. The Browns made Kansas City sweat late into the fourth quarter last weekend. It looks like Patrick Mahomes is on track to play Sunday. With Josh Allen leading the Bills into this game, the AFC Championship represents two of the new age quarterbacks. Regardless of the outcomes of the games, it’s going to be a new old vs old age Super Bowl that will be exciting regardless of the two teams that are fortunate enough to succeed Sunday. I’m taking the red-hot Bills solely based on my early playoff prediction and the likelihood of Mahomes playing at less than 100%. Bills 30, Chiefs 28
Connor Deitrich- Like the NFC game, these are the two best offenses in their conference. The bills had an impressive defensive performance against the Ravens, but there’s Lamar Jackson, then there’s Patrick Mahomes. Kansas City is the best coached team in the league and that will matter here. It will be a shootout, and Josh Allen won’t make it easy on them, but the Chiefs take this one and get back to the Super Bowl for the second straight season.