Packers & Bucs, Bills & Chiefs Set to Clash in NFL Conference Championship Games

After a hugely exciting weekend of NFL action, we now know the four teams that remain in with a chance of winning the SuperBowl in Tampa on February 7. In the NFC it is the top seed the Green Bay Packers and fifth seeds Tampa Bay Buccaneers that will go head to head at Lambeau Field in the first game on Sunday.

Then a few hours later, the top seed in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs, will host the rampant Buffalo Bills in the second Conference Championship game at Arrowhead.

All four teams came through their Divisional Round games this week with varying levels of success as the roundup of those scores (outlined below) indicates:

  • Los Angeles Rams 18 – 32 Green Bay Packers
  • Baltimore Ravens 3 – 17 Buffalo Bills
  • Cleveland Browns 17 – 22 Kansas City Chiefs
  • Tampa Bay Buccanneers 30 – 20 New Orleans Saints

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Lets’ now take a quick look at both the games this weekend to decide the Conference Champions and which teams will go on to contest Superbowl LV on February 7 in Tampa.

NFC Conference Championship

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5) @ Green Bay Packers (1)

Green Bay Packers Review

  • Regular Season Record – 13-3 – Won NFC North
  • Wildcard Weekend – Bye
  • Divisional Round – v Los Angeles Rams – W 32-18
  • Offense Rank – 2nd
  • Defense Rank – =15th
  • Special Teams Rank – =9th
  • Head Coach – Matt LeFleur

The road to Superbowl LV runs through Lambeau Field and according to Packers quarterback Aaron Bet365 NFL American footballRodgers, that is a huge advantage for the Packers ahead of their Conference Championship game with the Florida-based Buccaneers this weekend.

Despite having run the 38th fewest plays over the season, the Packers offense is incredibly efficient and is ranked second only to the Chiefs. It is an offense that has scored the most touchdowns and had the fewest turnovers and interceptions on the season.

As well as the mercurial play of Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, WR Davonte Adams and RB Aaron Jones have become key elements of a multi-talented offense and with Rodgers protected by arguably the best offensive line in football, even the top ranked defense the Los Angeles Rams struggled to pressure the quarterback.

However, the Packers will be wary of one thing. Of their three defeats in the regular season, their biggest defeat by a considerable margin was a 38-10 road loss on Week 6 against…the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers Review

  • Regular Season Record – 11-5 – Second in NFC South
  • Wildcard Weekend – @ Washington Football Team – W 31-23
  • Divisional Round – @ New Orleans Saints – W 30-20
  • Offense Rank – 5th
  • Defense Rank – 9th
  • Special Teams Rank – =26th
  • Head Coach – Bruce Arians

With wins in Washington and New Orleans already, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to pack their thermals for the trip north to face Green Bay. Florida sides tend not to do so well in the colder weather up north during the winter, but this Buccaneers does have one key element in their favour.

Superstar quarterback Tom Brady is well-used to cold weather conditions having played the majority of his career in New England, so he won’t be fazed by the cold weather. The Bucs have been solid, rather than spectacular in their two wins so far in the post-season, but this is the time of year when Brady’s experience and past history shows that he comes alive.

Add to that an experienced and balanced offense and a defense that is playing better than its 9th ranking is suggesting in the playoffs, and you have the ingredients for a thrilling match at Lambeau. Oddly enough, despite having two of the best-ever quarterbacks to play the game in this matchup, it may be the team that runs the ball most effectively and controls the clock, that comes out on top.

The Bucs defeated the Packers 38-10 on Week 6 in Florida. It will be much closer in Wisconsin this time around.

Buccaneers @ Packers Tips

  • Spread – Take Tampa Bay at +3.5 (10/11)
  • Total – Under 51 Points (20/23)
  • Money Line – Tampa Bay – 167/100

AFC Conference Championship

Buffalo Bills (2) @ Kansas City Chiefs (1)

  • Venue: Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City
  • Date: Sunday 24th January 2021
  • Kick Off: 23:40 (UK Time)

Kansas City Review

  • Regular Season Record – 14-2 – Won AFC West
  • Wildcard Weekend – Bye
  • Divisional Round – v Cleveland Browns – W 22-17
  • Offense Rank – 1st
  • Defense Rank – 10th
  • Special Teams Rank – 1st
  • Head Coach – Andy Reid

Itr was all going so well for the Kansas City Chiefs last week. In control of their game with the Browns and in the third quarter, leading 19-3, quarterback Patrick Mahomes went on one of his trademark runs but was hauled down by a Browns defender.

Mahomes was hurt and very shaky when rising to his feet. It was no surprise he played no further part in this game due to concussion and as per the new rules for this type of injury, Mahomes participation in the AFC Championship game, while likely, is not guaranteed and depends on how well he recovers during this coming week.

The Browns closed the gap to 22-17 but could not stop Chad Henne and the Chiefs converting a third down with just two minutes left on the clock and with no timeouts, the Chiefs held on, but their season now hinges on the health of Mahomes and whether he recovers this week.

A Chiefs offense without Mahomes is a very different beast to one with a fit and well Mahomes and that is something that will have Buffalo Bills fans in particular intrigued over the next few days.

Buffalo Bills Review

  • Regular Season Record – 13-3 – Won AFC North
  • Wildcard Weekend – v Indianapolis Colts – W 27-24
  • Divisional Round – v Baltimore Ravens – W 17-3
  • Offense Rank – 3rd
  • Defense Rank – =15th
  • Special Teams Rank – =11th
  • Head Coach – Sean McDermott

Prior to the post-season, the Buffalo Bills had been scoring points for fun in their last few games, but against better quality opponents, the Bills powerful offense has stuttered a little. They edged the Colts in a very tight Wildcard Weekend game and then it took a crucial interception in the end zone, returned 101 yards for a touchdown to clinch a 17-3 win over the Ravens last weekend.

Strange as it may seem, it is the Bills somewhat average 15th ranked defense that has been the driving force in the playoffs so far, playing a massive role in both their victories. However, now the Bills have to move out of Buffalo for the Championship game although the trip to Kansas City won’t be too daunting in terms of the conditions they will face.

Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs are the key elements of this Bills offense, but WR John Brown has emerged as a very useful target in the post-season too. After being held to just 32 yards rushing by the Ravens defense last week, the Bills will need to establish a much more effective running game against the Chiefs if they are to stand a chance.

One positive for the Bills is that they are relatively free from major injury concerns to their star men and while they can still give the Chiefs a game if Mahomes is fit to play, their chances of victory would increase hugely if the Chiefs quarterback is not well enough to participate in the game.

Bills @ Chiefs Tips

  • Spread – Take Kansas City at -3.0 (10/11)
  • Total – Under 54 Points (20/23)
  • Money Line – Kansas City – 5/8

*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 9.30am on Monday 18th January.

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