NFL Championship Game Preview

The four best offenses in the NFL will face each other in what promises to be a memorable Sunday.

Rodgers takes a snap from center. Photo Mike Erhmann, Getty Images.

Well my friends, football’s conclusion is getting closer and closer each minute of every day. It’s somethingI dread every year; my heart becomes an empty hole of confusion and frustration whenever Sundays go by without any football, but this is no time to wallow in pity or defeat. There are two very important games this Sunday, and all eyes of the football-viewing world are on them.

These are perhaps the most hyped championship games since the 2006 NFL Championships, when the Colts and Patriots battled it out in the AFC down to the wire and the Saints and Bears played smashmouth football in the NFC. This year the matchup will be the Buffalo Bills versus the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC and the Green Bay Packers versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC. Josh Allen vs. Patrick Mahomes; Tom Brady vs. Aaron Rodgers. The table is set for something very memorable.

The Bills have been the best feel-good story of the season. After years of sub-par performances and little improvement, they have finally exploded to a 13–3 record and their first championship game appearance since 1994. Josh Allen has far and away exceeded all expectations coming into his third year, and has blossomed into the quarterback experts thought he could be. If it wasn’t for the spectacular play of Rodgers, Brady, and Mahomes, more eyes would be on him as the MVP of the league. His improvement is in large part due to the addition of WR Stefon Diggs out of Minnesota, who led the league in receptions and yards. They are now in the same position the Chiefs were three years ago, close to changing things but not quite there yet. The biggest question they face to make the last part of my previous sentence obsolete is whether they can play good enough football to beat Kansas City.

Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes moments after his injury. Photo by David Eulitt, Getty Images.

The Chiefs have replaced the Patriots as the prohibited team to beat in the NFL. For at least the next three years every team is going to try their best to dethrone them, with the odds heavily stacked against them. Their offense can best be described as too much to handle. While sporadic and prone to volatility (they’ll score 5 TDs out of 9 drives in a game but punt the ball the other 4 times), they still cause matchups nightmares with their arsenal of weapons.

All this discussion about their offense, however, has to be put on a precautionary leash. Mahomes suffered what appeared to be a scary concussion during last week’s victory against the Browns. While there are reports saying it wasn’t a concussion, there is no doubt to anyone from the viewing public that the injury looked bad enough initially. Mahomes was limping and looked extremely dizzy after taking a hit to the back of the head. While he is still more than likely to play, the suspense and build up is definitely going to keep everyone entertained until it’s time for kickoff.

From a matchup perspective, I don’t see why this game doesn’t become a high-octane shootout where both QBs just fling it until their arms fall off. At least this is what we all want on paper. Both team’s offense are very much capable of allowing these types of points, but I can’t deny the Chiefs have a much better defense than Buffalo. Just this fact alone is enough of a reason to pick the Chiefs and lament the Bills. I say this with the utmost contempt; I really wish I could pick differently, but there’s nothing I have seen that has convinced me or even make me doubt the Chiefs won’t be back to the Super Bowl. They have too much firepower, and it comes with their virtually intact swagger from last year. You can’t beat that combination. The game may get close at times, but I see the Chiefs pulling away at the last minute with some touchdown or field goal that would give them the double digit lead with very little time left.

Buccaneers QB Tom Brady relaying a play in the huddle. Photo by Chris Graythen, Getty Images.

I see the NFC Championship on a much different light. I haven’t got a clue who will win this game, and I don’t want to pick. Tom Brady is far and away my favorite human being on this planet, and while watching him tear it up with the Buccaneers has been a bittersweet experience to say the least, it has been just as mind-blowing as the things he did when wearing a Pats uniform. Forty-three total touchdowns at the age of 43 is nothing short of mesmerizing. Nothing will make me happier than to see him win a 7th ring, but standing in his way is another great quarterback who was even more amazing this year.

Aaron Rodgers got his mojo back this season. Far and away the best player in the league, Rodgers led the Packers to a 13–3 record and threw a career high in touchdown passes. Efficient is the best words to describe his season. Their offense is by far the best in the NFL, with wide receiver Davante Adams leading the way with a league-high 18 touchdown catches. Their defense remained the same as last year, very good against the pass, but average against the run.

While both teams have phenomenal offenses, the little voice in my head that knows everything about football says this game is going to be a defensive battle until the last quarter. By then the game will probably be won or lost to whoever has the ball last. I guess I’ll pick the Packers just to have some sense of an outcome, but I wouldn’t bet a single penny on it. A good game by both QBs would be more than sufficient to please me regardless of who wins.

If my shaky predictions come to fruition, the Super Bowl matchup will be Kansas City vs. Green Bay, a rematch of the first ever Super Bowl. Rodgers vs. Mahomes, the two best QBs of their respective generations. A young head coach versus and experience one of more than twenty years. Now that’s one hell of a matchup on all sides. They will all have to play their best football next Sunday if they want to make it happen. However, if my prediction doesn’t come true, the other sequential matchups sound just as fun. It really is a no-lose scenario if all you’re looking forward to is two great teams battling each other out. There really isn’t any better way to finish the season. Bring it on.

Thank you very much for reading my work.

Absurd journalist and essayist from the outskirts of Shambhala.

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