AFC Championship – Patriots at Broncos (Sunday 3pm)
Both teams have injuries. Both teams can run the ball. And oh yeah, both teams have marquee QB’s as it’s Brady vs. Manning for the 15th time in their storied rivalry. In the passing game, Denver has the more talented weapons (D.Thomas, J.Thomas, Welker, Decker, Tamme vs. Edelman, Amendola, Vereen and crew). Certainly revenge is on the Broncos mind after blowing a gift-wrapped 24-0 lead in Foxboro in November. But, can the Pats do just enough to keep Manning off his game (as they have in the past)? Heart says Pats, head says Broncos.
Players to watch: (NE: Shane Vereen / Den: Monte Ball).
NFC Championship – 49ers at Seahawks (Sunday 6:30pm)
Hands down, the 49ers are playing their best ball right now. Three straight road wins (Arizona, Green Bay and Carolina) speak to that. The difference could come at QB. Colin Kaepernick has had less than stellar results in two straight one-sided losses in Seattle. On the other side, Russell Wilson’s in a prolonged month-long slump. If Seattle’s offense can’t make big plays, they won’t make it to NY/NJ.
Players to watch: (SF: Anquan Boldin / Sea: Doug Baldwin)
Last week: 4-0