NFL conference championships preview


Carson Field, Sports Editor

For the first time since 2004, the top seeds in the NFL will all advance to the conference championships. This could mean that both of the championship games will be as good as it gets. The AFC Championship will be the first game on Sunday and is between the Broncos and the Patriots. On the other hand, the NFC Championship is between the Panthers and Cardinals, who had the first and second-best records in the NFL this season.

The AFC Championship is a very interesting matchup, as it features two teams led by two of the longtime great veteran quarterbacks, Peyton Manning and Tom Brady. While many experts think this will be a great duel of the star QBs, this game has the potential to get out of hand in the favor of New England.

The Patriots are much more experienced in big games and have played consistently this whole season. Denver on the other hand has not played consistently in the latter half of the season, as their defense was not as stout as it was at the beginning of the season. Peyton Manning has not played as well since his injury, and some people are questioning whether to start young quarterback Brock Osweiler. In my opinion, the Broncos would have a better chance of winning with Osweiler, being he played well in Manning’s absence earlier this season.

The main factor for the game is how well Tom Brady plays against the Broncos’ defense, which has been pretty good this year. If Brady throws well, like I expect him to, the Patriots should cruise to victory and win by double-digits.

The NFC Championship, between the Panthers and Cardinals, has the potential to go down as one of the all-time greats. These are the two best teams in the NFL in my opinion, as their records are the two best in the league and have shown dominance this season.

What gives this game such potential to be great is that these are similar teams. Both of these teams have MVP candidates in Cam Newton and Carson Palmer, they both were eliminated in the divisional round or earlier last season, both have solid defenses and both were overshadowed going into the season. There is almost no chance that this game gets out of hand, with all the similarities these teams have and how they both have shown dominance this season.

The main factor for this game is which one of the MVP candidates plays the best. Ultimately, I think Palmer will get the protection he needs from his line, led by guard Mike Iupati. Like I said this game will be very close, but will be ultimately won by the Cardinals.

This weekend is one to savor, as it is the last week with more than one football game in more than seven months. Not only is it the last multiple game week in a long time, but we could see some great football on Sunday.

Conference championship score projections:


Patriots 27, Broncos 14


Cardinals 35, Panthers 31