Months ago, it was a question as to whether or not the 2020 NFL season would even take place. Now, however, we are on the precipice of the NFC and AFC Championship games, which will determine this year’s Super Bowl contestants. As we prepare for this once farfetched reality, I take an in-depth look at each game.
NFC Championship: Packers vs. Buccaneers
The Green Bay Packers were the NFC’s number one seed. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers the top Wild Card recipient. In this matchup, football fans are treated to the first high-stakes game between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.
This game, indeed, on paper looks to be an offensive battle. The Packers and Bucs both ended the regular season as two of the top three scoring offenses in the NFL. The Packers were first averaging 31.8 points per game. The Bucs finished third with 30.8 points per game.
Not only is this a battle of top offenses, but also of top ten defenses. The Buccaneers ended the season sixth in average yards allowed. The Packers finished ninth.
Needless to say, this game is truly a matchup of the two best teams in the NFC. The Buccaneers famously defeated the Packers in Week Six 38-10. Since that game, though, much has changed. The Packers defense went from near the bottom of the league to near the top. The Bucs offense has shown that it struggles to move the ball down the field on a consistent basis.
Case in point: the Bucs only touchdowns last week against the Saints came off of turnovers. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers offense are notorious for taking care of the ball (something they did not do in Week Six). If the Buccaneers are unable to force any turnovers, all signs point to a Packers’ victory.
AFC Championship: Chiefs vs. Bills
As in the NFC game, this AFC matchup pits two high scoring offenses against each other. The Bills finished second in the NFL with 31.3 points per game. The Chiefs led the NFL in yards gained per game and also finished sixth in points per game with 29.6.
While the NFC matchup also sees two top ten defenses on the field, this matchup sees two mediocre defenses face off. The Bills and Chiefs finished the season ranked 14th and 16th respectively in terms of yards given up per game. In terms of scoring, though, the Chiefs ended 11th in points allowed per game. The Bills finished 16th, though less than one point per game separated the two.
The Bills, however, are coming off of a dominating defensive performance against the Baltimore Ravens. Meanwhile, the Chiefs defense is coming off of an adequate performance against the Browns. All said, this game is going to come down to which defense can make a stop when it matters.
Both of these teams are capable of putting up 40 points on any given Sunday. However, the key to the game may come down to experience. That edge goes to the Chiefs. They have been here before and have home field advantage. Look for the Chiefs to win in a shootout.