Last weekend in the NFL, we saw the Divisional Playoff matches take place, the four games, the scores of which are outlined below, produced four victors who now go on to compete in the final stage before Superbowl LIII in Atlanta, Georgia; the Conference Championship games.

For those of you who are not familiar with the NFL, the league is split into two conferences, the NFC and the AFC and in each conference, the teams compete over the regular season and then the post season to decide which two teams from each conference will become that conference champion.

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It is then that conference champion which goes forward to represent their conference in the biggest game of the season, the Superbowl. Each year the Superbowl is held in a different location, with this year being the turn of Atlanta, Georgia at the brand new home of the Atlanta Falcons.

After a gruelling season, the four teams remaining in with a chance of Superbowl glory are, somewhat unusually, the top two seeded teams in both conferences. The New Orleans Saints will host the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Conference Championship game in the early game on Sunday and then this will be followed by the AFC Conference Championship which sees the Kansas City Chiefs host the New England Patriots.

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Let’s preview both the games on Sunday night before we give you our tips for each starting with the NFC Championship Games at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.

Before we do that though, here is how the Divisional Playoff Games finished last weekend

  • Indianapolis Colts 13-31 Kansas City Chiefs
  • Los Angeles Chargers 28-41 New England Patriots
  • Dallas Cowboys 22-30 Los Angeles Rams
  • Philadelphia Eagles 14-20 New Orleans Saints

NFC Championship Game

Los Angeles Rams @ New Orleans Saints

The Season So Far

  • Los Angeles Rams

Competing in the tough NFC West alongside the Seattle Seahawks, the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals, the Los Angeles Rams went eight games unbeaten into the season before suffering their first defeat, ironically in the Louisiana Superdome to New England. The Rams freescoring offense has been their main strength this season and their only other defeats came against the Bears and Eagles on weeks 14 and 15 of the season.

The main man to watch on offense is running back. Todd Gurley, while on defence, the incredible Aaron Donald has managed 20 sacks this season and is going to be a vital part of the Rams defence against the Saints talented offense.

The Rams offense has notched up 30 points or more 13 times this season including in their NFC Divisional Playoff win against the Dallas Cowboys. Their explosive offense is their main weapon and their defense, which does give up plenty of points, is definitely the teams Achilles heel.

  • New Orleans Saints

Playing in the NFC South against the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the New Orleans Saints finished the season as the NFC’s top ranked seed with the same 13-3 record as the Rams but by virtue of having beaten the Rams 45-35 in the game between the teams during the season.  The Saints lost their opening game of the season against the Bucs, but then won their next ten before losing narrowly to the Dallas Cowboys and they then suffered their third loss in the final game of the season against the Panthers.

Drew Brees is the Saints main man at quarterback and the veteran is one of the favourites to win the league MVP for the current season. On defence, cornerback Marshon Lattimore is certainly one to watch out having come up with some clutch plays throughout the season.

The Saints have hit 30 or more points 10 times this season but have found scoring a little more difficult of late. However this game against the Rams does promise to be a battle of two high-scoring offense and it may well be which defense copes the best that decides the outcome of the game.

  • Los Angeles Rams v New Orleans Tip

Two powerful offenses are on display here and the Saints have the edge having won the game between the teams this season, but I think the Saints are not quite in the same groove as they were when defeating the Rams back then whereas the Rams still look likely to score lots of points, hence I am backing the Rams to win here.

AFC Championship Game

New England Patriots @ Kansas City Chiefs

The Season So Far

  • New England Patriots

It is incredible to think that this is the eighth AFC Championship game in a row that the New England Patriots will contest and that experience in the big game is going to be one of their most devastating assets in this game. The synchronicity between quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick is the stuff of legend in the NFL and even though they head into this game as the underdogs, it would be foolhardy to rule out the Patriots from a victory here.

As always Tom Brady has been the main man for the Patriots this season but he had had a strong supporting cast with the likes of Chris Hogan, Julian Edelman and of course Rob Gronkowski amongst the supporting cast on offence.

Bill Belichick is as close to an NFL genius as there is and if anybody can find a way to stop the rampant Chiefs in Arrowehead at the weekend, then it is the New England Head Coach and his quarterback.

  • Kansas City Chiefs

The Kansas City Chiefs season has been largely the story of their explosive offense and in particular the rise of rookie quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The youngster has been sensational in his first NFL season, throwing 50 touchdowns and setting the AFC West alight with his outstanding performances. Add to that the speed and dexterity of Tyreek Hill, the power and reliability of Travis Kelce at tight end and high quality in the receiving corps and it is easy to see why the Chiefs earned top seed in the AFC with a 12-4 record.

However, the first defeat the Chiefs experienced this season was against today’s opponents in New England, when the Patriots won a thriller 43-40 with a game clinching field goal as time expired. The other teams to beat the Chiefs this season have been the Rams, the Chargers and the Seahawks.

Similar to the Rams, the Chiefs have a very talented offense that puts up lots of points, but there are question marks about their defense which New England have already exposed once already this season to claim a win.

  • New England Patriots v Kansas City Chiefs Tip

In many ways, this game is a match between one team who knows how to win playoff games, and one that has a record of making a hash of things in the latter stages of the season. The Chiefs may have the superb offense and seemingly all going for them as the top seed but something tells me that you cannot underestimate Bill Belichick and Tom Brady and hence I am going for a Patriots upset victory.