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NFL Championship Weekend Predictions

By Matt Haake
On January 20, 2017

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It’s that time of year when many people are anticipating the first Sunday in February, most popularly called Super Bowl Sunday. This past weekend, Jan. 14, the National Football League’s (NFL) divisional winners prevailed with the chance at another Sunday matchup in the Championship weekend with hopes at earning the opportunity to play in the Super Bowl.


The NFC Championship game at 2:05 p.m. on Jan. 22 will showcase the Atlanta Falcons hosting the Green Bay Packers. The two high-powered teams will square off in what will be the last NFL game hosted in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia, due to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium expected to open June 1, 2017.

This matchup will feature two strong teams with ambitious offenses lead by their MVP-caliber quarterbacks. The Green Bay Packers look to continue to ride their eight-game win streak led by arguably the hottest player in the NFL, quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and directed by their Baker University alumnus, head coach Mike McCarthy.

With a Super Bowl championship already on their resume, the Packers bring certain experience that the young and flashy Falcons can’t compete with. However, experience can be defeated by the Falcon’s best overall offense, as awarded by the NFL, with an average of 33.8 points per game.

The ESPN analysts expect a Falcons victory of 33-28. Despite their projections, I am siding with the Packers finding themselves with their ninth straight victory and sixth Super Bowl appearance via the score of 35-33.

The AFC Championship game is scheduled for 5:40 p.m. at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts, home of the New England Patriots, who will host the Pittsburgh Steelers.

This matchup features two of the premier organizations in the National Football League. These combine 10 Super Bowl wins in the past 50 years. The Steelers will enter this matchup with Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, the two most dynamic players in the game today. Led by a two-time Super Bowl champion, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Patriots will be caught with their hands full.

However, the Patriots hold the greatest combination that has ever been associated with the National Football League. It’s not a player-to-player combination that makes the Patriots so dominant for such a long time: It’s the player-coach dynasty that is Tom Brady and Bill Belichick.

Since the year 2000, the two have four Super Bowl victories and hold the title as most winningest team in the NFL. Despite the 75 percent victory confidence that ESPN has in favor of the Patriots, I am once again siding with the “underdog” that is the Steelers with a 35-27 victory and a chance at winning their seventh Super Bowl in the organization’s history.

With my predicted matchup of the Packers and Steelers facing off in the 51st Super Bowl, like the rematch of the 45th Super Bowl, I predict another Packer victory of 43-35 on the shoulders of Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers.


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