NFL Conference Championship Weekend
We have a solid slate this weekend. Here are the games:
NFC Championship: Green Bay Packers at San Francisco 49ers (-7 ½)
The Packers are coming off a 28-23 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Aaron Rodgers threw for 243 yards and two touchdowns, both to Davante Adams. Throwing could be difficult against the league’s number pass defense during the regular season. The 49ers pass rush took down Kirk Cousins in their 27-10 win over the Vikings last week. The Packers might be better trying to control the game on the ground with Aaron Jones, who scored two touchdowns last week.
San Francisco should be able to pile up the yardage on the ground against the 23rd ranked run defense. Tevin Coleman and Raheem Mostert ran for 163 yards and two scores against the Vikings. Jimmy Garappolo passed for only 131 yards, but he manages a game well and likely won’t need to have a huge passing game in this one.
The Packers have the edge in the kicking game with Mason Crosby over Robbie Gould. However, that only matters if the game is close. This one likely won’t be. Go with the 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl, covering the spread.
AFC Championship: Tennessee Titans at Kansas City Chiefs (-7)
The Titans are the surprise team in the playoffs, having taken down the defending champion Patriots and top seed Baltimore Ravens, both on the road. The key to their success has been the running attack of Derrick Henry, who has rushed for 377 yards in the playoffs. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has been relatively mistake-free, throwing for three touchdowns against one interception the last two weeks.
The Chiefs made a remarkable comeback, down 24-0 to pummel the Texans, 51-34. Patrick Mahomes threw for five touchdowns, three to Travis Kelce, who had 10 catches for 134 yards. The Titans’ 24th ranked pass defense won’t have answers for Kelce, Watkins, Tyreke Hill, and Damien Williams out of the backfield.
The only chance for an upset is for the Titans to control the ball on the ground and Tannehill coming up with the biggest passing game of his post season. Tennessee likely won’t have enough firepower in the end. The Chiefs will pull away late, winning and covering the spread to advance to their first Super Bowl since 1969.