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NFL conference championship picks: Brady v Rodgers, and a Chiefs shock

Two adorned veterans face off at Lambeau Area, whereas the perfect of the following era play in Kansas Metropolis. Who makes the Tremendous Bowl? Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers met earlier this season and the Buccaneers emerged as victors. {Photograph}: Mark LoMoglio/AP Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Inexperienced Bay PackersSunday, 3.05pm ET/8.05pm GMT What the Buccaneers must do to win: Surprisingly for 2 quarterbacks who’ve dominated the NFL for a lot of the century, there isn’t loads of historical past to go on between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers – this will likely be solely their fourth assembly as starters. Brady gained their earlier recreation, a 38-10 beatdown in Week 6 of this season, when the protection harried Rodgers all day, sacking him 5 instances. Rodgers, who has been principally flawless since, is unlikely to be bullied once more although. So Tampa Bay could should beat the Packers in a shootout, hoping their formidable offensive weapons all click on directly. That can put stress on backup Bucs guard Aaron Stinnie, who made his first ever NFL begin towards the Saints final week (and did fairly nicely). What the Packers must do to win: Just like the Buccaneers, the Packers have a weakened offensive line. It held up nicely sufficient towards the perfect protection within the league, the Rams, final week however Los Angeles’ largest menace, Aaron Donald, was hampered by a rib damage. Rodgers has been so good this yr that it’s arduous to see him being outscored by the Buccaneers if he will get sufficient safety. Some have argued that the frigid Lambeau Area will hand the Packers a giant benefit over a warm-weather group like Tampa Bay. However Tom Brady performed loads of video games within the New England winter and that appeared to work out fantastic for him. Key participant: Rob Gronkowski, tight finish, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gronk’s greatest days are behind him and he’s not the unstoppable pressure he was just a few years in the past. So his significance on this recreation lies not a lot in his skills however who he matches up towards. If the Packers have one apparent weak spot, it’s their linebackers. Search for Brady to return to a well-recognized security blanket and discover Gronk in the course of the sector as this recreation goes on. Prediction: Packers. The Buccaneers struggled to shake off 7-9 Washington within the wildcard spherical and had been helped by a collection of Drew Brees turnovers towards the Saints final week. Brady and his new teammates gel rather more than they did initially of the season, however are nonetheless not the menace they need to be, given their expertise. I don’t assume they’re on the degree the place they will beat Rodgers and Davante Adams this time round. Buffalo Payments at Kansas Metropolis ChiefsSunday, 6.40pm ET/11.40pm GMT Patrick Mahomes is the reigning Tremendous Bowl MVP. {Photograph}: Jason Behnken/AP What the Payments must do to win: The Chiefs can achieve this a lot harm, so rapidly, by the air with the likes of Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill that encouraging them to go to the run recreation, maybe by not packing the field, is one choice. Josh Allen has advanced past recognition in a brief area of time, partly due to the array of weapons he has, from the virtually unimaginable to cowl Stefon Diggs to Cole Beasley to tight finish Dawson Knox. The Payments might want to maintain that chemistry happening Sunday. What the Chiefs must do to win: As talked about above, Allen’s progress this season has been extraordinary and he’s not the turnover machine he was. However he nonetheless makes errors and the Chiefs’ standout defensive skills, whether or not it’s Tyrann Matthieu or Chris Jones, are able to forcing him into making errors. If the Payments do handle to make the Chiefs flip to the run recreation, the health of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, coming back from damage, may very well be telling. Key participant: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. Mahomes is the perfect participant within the NFL, so he’s a very powerful participant in any recreation he performs. However his impression on Sunday feels notably telling. Mahomes was compelled out of final week’s win over the Browns on account of concussion – and he has been restricted in apply – however he’ll nearly actually begin. The query is what model of Mahomes performs. The concussion doesn’t seem to have been too damaging (at the least within the short-term) however extra worrying for the Chiefs is the truth that Mahomes can be affected by turf toe. Mahomes isn’t any Lamar Jackson, he gained’t scorch you for 50 yards, however his mobility and skill to beat the push is a crucial a part of his recreation. Prediction: Payments. A completely match Mahomes beats Allen 90% of the time. However a restricted Mahomes, who has been superb fairly than nice in his current video games, is a special proposition. The lingering results of the concussion and his lowered mobility will hand this one to the Payments … simply.

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