Storylines on Conference Championship Sunday
This is the Sunday where the NFL gives out the second most important t-shirts and hats. It’s Conference Championship Sunday! The Panthers are hosting the Cardinals. The Patriots will host the Broncos. By seeding, these are the two best teams in the NFC and AFC. Let’s start on the NFC side of the bracket.
Two of the best defenses in the whole league the Arizona Cardinals and the Carolina Panthers. Both teams have one of the elite corners in the game. The Cardinals have Patrick Peterson, a corner that has been playing at an elite level since he has been in the league. The Panthers have Josh Norman, who is now emerging into that elite category.
On the offensive side of the matchup, the Panthers love to run the ball with either Cam Newton or their two Pro Bowl backs Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart. While the Cardinals love to throw the ball around. The only real parallels the two teams have is that they have QB’s that are at the top of their game. Both QB’s were number 1 overall picks in the draft, before this season have been selected to two Pro Bowls, and both have won the Heisman Trophy. Carson Palmer being somewhat of journeyman this being his third team in his career and enduring many ACL injuries and he is now getting rewarded for his hard work and dedication. Since Cam Newton’s car crash in the latter part of last season, he has been on a terror putting up crazy numbers ever since and playing winning football. Now this year he only had one loss and is the leading candidate for the MVP.
Prediction: I predict the game to have a good bit of points. Around a 28-24 point game, coming down to a game winning TD on the last drive of the game. The winner being…the Cardinals! It would be a perfect gift to Larry Fitzgerald. He is really one of the best role models this game has seen. In this offense, one of the best receivers in this game is used as a blocker. He is the shining examples of a hard working team first kind of player.
It’s the NFL’s version of Magic-Bird, it’s Tom Brady-Peyton Manning. Brady has 11 wins in their 16 previous meetings. And this is going to be the 17th meeting this Sunday. On this Sunday, Peyton wants to get his first win against Tom in championship games. Tom Brady has won the only two times they have played for the AFC title.
As always, Tom Brady’s offense is almost solely wrapped around his right arm throwing the ball. But this year in Denver, the offense is solely on Peyton’s ability to hand the ball off to a running back and his ability to not throw interceptions. It is also a little different because their personal integrity is being questioned. Tom and his role in Deflategate and Peyton being accused of using PED’s. Brady is having one of his best seasons to date, while Manning has had a season he would rather forget. He is tops in the league in interceptions thrown and is coming off an injury.
Prediction: I predict the tides will turn on Tom Brady and Peyton’s Broncos will be victorious. This is one of Manning’s best defenses and best run game in his career and both are better than Brady’s defense and run game this time. I see the game being a score like 31-17 or 38-24, a 14-point game. Brady will be under constant pressure and will have a turnover or two. Peyton will then be in position to get his second Super Bowl Ring and tie his brother.