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

Two adorned veterans face off at Lambeau Discipline, whereas the most effective 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 have to do to win: Surprisingly for 2 quarterbacks who’ve dominated the NFL for a lot of the century, there isn’t plenty of historical past to go on between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers – this might be solely their fourth assembly as starters. Brady gained their earlier sport, 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 largely flawless since, is unlikely to be bullied once more although. So Tampa Bay might must beat the Packers in a shootout, hoping their formidable offensive weapons all click on without delay. That can put strain on backup Bucs guard Aaron Stinnie, who made his first ever NFL begin towards the Saints final week (and did fairly effectively). What the Packers must do to win: Just like the Buccaneers, the Packers have a weakened offensive line. It held up effectively sufficient towards the most effective protection within the league, the Rams, final week however Los Angeles’ greatest menace, Aaron Donald, was hampered by a rib harm. Rodgers has been so good this 12 months that it’s onerous to see him being outscored by the Buccaneers if he will get sufficient safety. Some have argued that the frigid Lambeau Discipline will hand the Packers an enormous benefit over a warm-weather workforce like Tampa Bay. However Tom Brady performed loads of video games within the New England winter and that appeared to work out effective for him. Key participant: Rob Gronkowski, tight finish, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gronk’s finest days are behind him and he’s now not the unstoppable pressure he was a number of years in the past. So his significance on this sport 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 midst of the sector as this sport goes on. Prediction: Packers. The Buccaneers struggled to shake off 7-9 Washington within the wildcard spherical and had been helped by a sequence 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 have to 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 sport, maybe by not packing the field, is one possibility. Josh Allen has developed past recognition in a brief area of time, partly due to the array of weapons he has, from the just about not possible to cowl Stefon Diggs to Cole Beasley to tight finish Dawson Knox. The Payments might want to preserve that chemistry occurring Sunday. What the Chiefs have to do to win: As talked about above, Allen’s progress this season has been extraordinary and he’s now not the turnover machine he was. However he nonetheless makes errors and the Chiefs’ standout defensive abilities, 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 sport, the health of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, getting back from harm, might be telling. Key participant: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. Mahomes is the most effective participant within the NFL, so he’s a very powerful participant in any sport he performs. However his affect on Sunday feels significantly telling. Mahomes was compelled out of final week’s win over the Browns because of concussion – and he has been restricted in follow – however he’ll nearly actually begin. The query is what model of Mahomes performs. The concussion doesn’t seem to have been too damaging (not less than 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 frenzy is a vital a part of his sport. Prediction: Payments. A completely match Mahomes beats Allen 90% of the time. However a restricted Mahomes, who has been superb slightly than nice in his current video games, is a distinct proposition. The lingering results of the concussion and his lowered mobility will hand this one to the Payments … simply.

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