Championship Sunday will feature one game that should feature plenty of fireworks and another that many Ravens fans are likely going to pass on watching (or, at the least, watch with a barf bag handy). RSR Staff give their predictions here:
Packers at Falcons
Each week towards the tail end of games I search for the anticipated betting lines of the following week’s games. I thought this one would have a top-end over/under line but 60 1/2? Wow! And you know what? The more I think about it, the more I think that’s LOW!
This will be the last game played at the Georgia Dome and the scoreboard will look like a pinball machine as the league’s two hottest quarterbacks put on a show!
And the Pinball Wizard is…
Packers 41, Falcons 38
Steelers at Patriots
As a contrast to the NFC Championship this game will be, relatively speaking, a defensive struggle that will turn on one key play.
Ben Roethlisberger barely throws for less than 200 yards
Le’Veon Bell dances his way to 3 carries for losses and is held to less than 75 yards
The red zone struggles continue as the Steelers convert just 1 of 4 red zone opportunities
Mike Tomlin is caught 3 times on camera dropping an F-Bomb while the crucifix dangles outside his sweatshirt.
The struggle is real and the Yinzers “Stairway to Seven” battle cry will have to wait another year.
Patriots 24 Steelers 19
Tom Brady throws for 350+ yards.
Roethlisberger throws at least two interceptions.
Le’Veon Bell is held under 100 total yards.
The Patriots win by at least 10.
There are fewer than 40 total combined points.
Neither Matt Ryan nor Aaron Rodgers throws for more than 300 yards.
Falcons win on a late Rodgers interception.
Steelers @ Patriots: The Steelers offense waffled immensely last week against the Chiefs and failed to find pay dirt. While they’ll surely find the end zone this week, it will be sparingly as Matt Patricia’s defense will be well prepared. Brady will do stupid Brady things, there will be a trick play somewhere in there on offense, and begrudgingly (not that I wanted either team to advance) the Pats head to Houston.
Packers @ Falcons: Sorry guys. Still can’t get on the Matt Ryan train. He was solid against the Seahawks last week but come on folks, that Seattle D had been fizzling for weeks now. Color me unimpressed. Same for the Falcons D who thrived against Russell Wilson & Co but that anemic offense wasn’t a challenge whatsoever. Give me A-A-Ron Rodgers with 3 TD’s and the Packers win in a shootout this week.
The Ravens two biggest rivals face off again for the AFC Title. Ravens fans are split amongst who they hate more but for me it’s the Patriots and based on the way they played last week and the way the Steelers have been playing I think the top three Steelers offensive weapons beat the Patriots Sunday night. Believe it or not I will actually be rooting for the Steelers as the last thing I ever want is a Patriots Super Bowl.
The Atlanta Falcons will end the amazing streak of the Packers. The Falcons don’t have much of a home field advantage as the Atlanta crowd is usually not that big of a deal but I think it gives Matt Ryan enough to shred the Packers defense and pull out the victory.
Steelers vs Falcons in the Super Bowl
A-a-ron continues his string of next-level play with four touchdown passes. Matt Ryan matches him as the Swiss Cheeshead Packers defense again can’t compete with the Atlanta offense. This one will look more like a college game with the lack of stops.
Mason Crosby wins it in overtime.
Packers 44 Falcons 41
That’s the only game this weekend.
No, YOU’RE in denial.
The Steelers will make Patriots fans nervous for the first thirty minutes. An Antonio Brown punt return for a touchdown before the half will give Pittsburgh a 17-14 lead going into the break. But Tom Brady and the Patriots impose their will in the second half and the Patriots win with a big game from LeGarrette Blount.
On paper Atlanta looks good and their win over Seattle was impressive. There’s just still something about Matt Ryan in the playoffs that I don’t trust, and Aaron Rodgers is playing with more confidence than anyone right now.