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The Lasso’s predictions for the NFC and AFC Championship Games

David Miller

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Packers QB Aaron Rodgers jogs on the field. Despite a slow, 5-6 start, Rodgers has led the Packers to a perfect second half, while making a case for MVP along the way. (Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

NFC Championship: Packers: 36, Falcons 33

Bottom line: This game will be an absolute shootout, but the Packers can pull out a win in the end due to the seemingly unstoppable Aaron Rodgers.

Here we have two teams with seemingly unstoppable offenses and weak defenses, with a veteran, MVP candidate at QB, a recipe for a score every single drive. Not to say that Matt Ryan can’t perform, or that he hasn’t led the Falcons to a great year, but it seems that nothing can stop Aaron Rodgers right now. With top receiver out last week, Rodgers didn’t seem even phased, throwing for 355 yards and 2 TDs, including a game winning drive to set up a field goal. It also helps the Packers to have a kicker with ice in his veins in tight games like these.

 

AFC Championship: Patriots 20, Steelers 23

Bottom line: Le’Veon Bell is unstoppable, Tom Brady isn’t.

I’m a huge Pats fan, and it pains me to say this, but I really don’t think we can stop Le’Veon Bell. Pats run D, please prove me wrong, but for now Bell has been on an absolutely ridiculous second half hot-streak, largely due to his pacient running style. Even though the Pats do have a pretty solid run defense, that has actually had little impact on Bell. During the regular season, he had an absolutely ridiculous game against a solid Bills defense, and against a top-tier Ravens defense, he rushed for 122 yards and a TD, adding 15 yards and a TD receiving. Even if Bell is kept under control, the Steelers obviously have other offensive weapons (Big Ben, Antonio Brown).

Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell warming up before a game. Bell has gained recognition for inventing a new style of running, with more patience. He will try to break apart the Patriots defense this Sunday January 22nd in New England in the AFC Championship game. (Photo Credit Wikimedia Commons)

Even if the Pats D steps up and controls Pittsburgh’s big three, they will need Tom Brady to step up and play better than he has been recently. Although the scoreboard might indicate otherwise, Brady had a subpar game against the Texans last week. He threw for 287 yards and 2 TDs, but added 2 interceptions. Granted, one of them was not his fault, but those numbers aren’t the spark that the Patriots will need to beat the Steelers. No Patriots fan in their right mind is looking to Dion Lewis for another 3 TD performance this week, so the bottom line is that Brady has to play like he did in the first half of this season.

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The Lasso’s predictions for the NFC and AFC Championship Games