NFL Conference Championships
The NFC Championship spots have been finalized with a last second 34-31 victory by the Green-Bay Packers over the Dallas Cowboys. Likewise the AFC Championship gets its final bid in the form of the Pittsburg Steelers with their victory over the Kansas City Chiefs.
In the NFC championship Green-Bay will face another opponent with a High powered Offense in the Atlanta Falcons. Matt Ryan made quick work of the depleted Seattle Defense throwing for 338 yards on 26/37 through the air adding 3 touchdowns. What was even more impressive about the clinic Matt Ryan put on display was his ability to spread the ball and not rely solely on Julio Jones to carry the load through the air. Six players on the Flacons offensive side of the ball were targeted more than four times, this will be the Packers biggest cause for concern heading into the NFC championship game as they gave up 308 yards through the air and four players on the Cowboys offense were Targeted more than Six times.
Although Coleman and Freeman are dynamic tandem at running back for the Atlanta Falcons – both averaging over 3.2 yds/carry – its safe to say they are no Ezekiel Elliott. With The Cowboys in the Rearview it will give McCarthy the Ability to Focus on the Passing gaming when Heading into Atlanta on the 22nd.
Despite Montgomery’s 47 yards rushing against the Dallas Defense the 11 carries he had moved the chains and extended drives which is all thats to be done need when Rodgers is throwing for 356 yds on 28/43.
What it comes down to is the Packers Secondary, Not overplaying the Routes and not being fooled by Matt Ryan Scanning the field. In contrast, The Atlanta defensive Line putting Pressure on Rodgers – and finishing the pursuit because of Rodgers ability to Complete the pass on the run – will be the major factor for Falcons.
Expect another Shoot out Like the week 8 33-32 Packers Loss.
Packers 38 – Falcons 35
In Week 7 the Steelers Hosted the Patriots without their Future Hall of Fame Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. Patriots came out with an Easy victory winning 27-16, and although this game was not close, there are several aspects that can be taken into consideration when going into the AFC Championship Game.
Landry Jones was able to connect with Antonio Brown 7 times for 106 yards, but because of Landry’s inability to preform at the level Roethlisberger does, the receiver with the second most yards was Bell with 68. Bell also, only contributed 81 yards on the ground which we can most likely attribute to the lack of passing gaming without the Steelers Starting Quarterback. Even without Big Ben, the Steelers were able to produce, maybe not convert, or sustain Drives, but the yards in a sense are still prevalent in the Box Score, meaning that we can only expect the Steelers Offense to Produce in a more efficient manner Against the Patriots in the Playoffs.
The Lack of Efficiency and sustainability that the Steelers showcased in week 7, was exactly the opposite of what Tom Brady and Patriots offense was able to display against the Steelers Defense. 19/26 for 222 yards and 2 Tds by Tom Brady is not flashy, but the lack of incompletions, while adding Blounts 5.3 yds/carry on 127 yards, shows the complete dysfunction the New England Offense Caused the Pittsburg Defense.
Expect a lot Closer Game That Puts More Pressure On Brady.
Patriots 27 – Steelers 25