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

Two adorned veterans face off at Lambeau Subject, 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 must do to win: Surprisingly for 2 quarterbacks who’ve dominated the NFL for a lot of the century, there isn’t a number of historical past to go on between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers – this might be solely their fourth assembly as starters. Brady received 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 may put stress on backup Bucs guard Aaron Stinnie, who made his first ever NFL begin in opposition to the Saints final week (and did fairly properly). What the Packers must do to win: Just like the Buccaneers, the Packers have a weakened offensive line. It held up properly sufficient in opposition to the most effective 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 laborious to see him being outscored by the Buccaneers if he will get sufficient safety. Some have argued that the frigid Lambeau Subject will hand the Packers a giant benefit over a warm-weather staff like Tampa Bay. However Tom Brady performed loads of video games within the New England winter and that appeared to work out wonderful for him. Key participant: Rob Gronkowski, tight finish, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Gronk’s finest days are behind him and he’s not the unstoppable drive he was just a few years in the past. So his significance on this sport lies not a lot in his talents however who he matches up in opposition to. 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 in opposition to the Saints final week. Brady and his new teammates gel far more than they did firstly of the season, however are nonetheless not the menace they need to be, given their expertise. I don’t suppose they’re on the stage 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 injury, so shortly, via 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 unattainable 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 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 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, coming back from damage, may very well be telling. Key participant: Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Kansas Metropolis Chiefs. Mahomes is the most effective participant within the NFL, so he’s an important participant in any sport he performs. However his affect on Sunday feels significantly telling. Mahomes was pressured out of final week’s win over the Browns because of concussion – and he has been restricted in observe – however he’ll virtually definitely 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 also be affected by turf toe. Mahomes is not any Lamar Jackson, he received’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 totally match Mahomes beats Allen 90% of the time. However a restricted Mahomes, who has been superb quite than nice in his latest video games, is a unique proposition. The lingering results of the concussion and his decreased mobility will hand this one to the Payments … simply.

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