Super Bowl LI: Championship Round Previews and Predictions

Jason Owen, Sports Editor


AFC:


  

Last week the Steelers’ win over the Chiefs came down to a failed two-point conversion, and I think this week’s matchup will as well, only this time it will be the Steelers on the losing end. Pittsburgh has a great offense that had a considerable amount of trouble scoring in the red zone last week, coming with no touchdowns. While I am willing to admit that that was most likely a fluke, similar production against the Patriots won’t get you far. New England themselves looked average in the first half against Houston but came out swinging through the last 30 minutes. The Patriots’ defense forced Texans QB Brock Osweiler into three interceptions and only allowed a single touchdown. Ben Roethlisberger is obviously a much better quarterback than Osweiler, but it shows how difficult it can be to score against the New England defense. The Steelers’ defense also looked impressive last week against a hit-or-miss Kansas city offense, but few defenses in the league can successfully stop the Patriots’ offense. Le’Veon Bell has been a beast on the field these last two games and another huge game from him could swing things in Pittsburgh’s favor, but it will likely be Tom Brady and the Patriots representing the AFC in the Super Bowl for the 7th time of Brady’s career.


NFC:


  

Green Bay is the talk of the league after a crazy game against the Cowboys last week. That game solidified one thing: Aaron Rodgers is the best quarterback in the league. He is playing at the top of his game right now, but the Packers won’t win this game. Atlanta looked dominant against Seattle last week offensively and showcased a ton of defensive talent. Atlanta has been just has hot down the stretch as Green Bay. This year’s MVP race will likely come down to these two signal callers as both have had fantastic seasons, but Matt Ryan simply has more talent around him. The Packers’ downfall in this game may be their lack of a true running back and lack of secondary depth. This will most likely be a high scoring game and both these teams are built to thrive in a shootout. However, in the end, the Falcons’ receivers, along with Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman, will create too many matchup problems for the Packers’ defense.


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