Divisional weekend sort of followed the same pattern of Wildcard weekend… except all the home teams won as opposed to all the road teams. We had one blowout win (by Carolina). We had strange finishes, thanks to yet another hail Mary from Aaron Rodgers to force overtime. Poor clock management by Kansas City late that left them no time to possibly get the ball back after making it a one score game in New England. All four games ended within a score, though some didn’t feel so close.
And now we take a look at the final four standing. We have the top two seeds from both conferences left standing. I had three of these four teams making it to this point, with the exception of the Patriots.
NFC Championship Game
- Arizona (2) @ Carolina (1): Larry Fitzgerald’s renaissance continued in the divisional round, exploding for 176 yards, including a huge play to set up the winning touchdown, which he would score, on the third play of overtime against Green Bay. While the Cardinals got here in the air, the Panthers used their legs to run over and past the two-time defending NFC Champs to give themselves a shot at that title this year. Both teams defenses can shut you down at any given time, so I don’t see this being a shoot out. It’s going to come down to time of possession, and since neither team turns the ball over much, I’m going to give the edge to the home team. CAROLINA WINS
AFC Championship Game
- New England (2) @ Denver (1): Manning vs Brady take 17. The Patriots QB owns the series 11-5, but it’s even in the postseason at 2-2. And with this possibly being the final match-up, it’s fitting that it’s for the right to play in the Superbowl. The Patriots held off the hottest team in the league a week ago, thanks to big performances from Brady and Gronkowski. Denver had a tougher time holding off the injury riddled Steelers, but their defense held, and the run game got going late. I’m not sure Peyton Manning out plays Tom Brady this weekend, but I like the Broncos running game better, and I have loved Denver’s defense all season. DENVER WINS