NFL Picks, Championship Round
Lindsay and I broke our deadlock on the one game we picked differently last week. Lindsay sided with the Chiefs, while I took the Steelers, and a one pick lead. Three games remain, and it's still anyone's game.
Green Bay Packers (10–6) at Atlanta Falcons (11–5)
About: Is there a better quarterback in the NFL right now than Aaron Rodgers? When the Packers were 4–6 and he said they’d run the table, people laughed. Others were skeptical. Even I didn’t believe they could do it. Eight weeks later, we all stand in awe. What he did in Dallas on Sunday was the stuff of legends. And yet, there’s Matt Ryan. Some thought Ryan should be the NFL’s regular season MVP, and what he’s done is nothing short of impressive. On Saturday, against the Seattle Seahawks, he simply threw for 338 yards and three touchdowns against no interceptions. And when these two teams met earlier in the year, it was Ryan and the Falcons that came out on top in a shootout. It’s hard to imagine a better game than that Dallas-Green Bay classic in the Divisional Round, and yet that’s probably just what we’re going to get. Expect points to be plentiful on Sunday.
The Pick: Packers 37, Falcons 35
Pittsburgh Steelers (11–5) at New England Patriots (14–2)
About: For two storied franchises in the AFC Championship Game, you’d have to be surprised at the stories this week. The Patriots are being criticized for “only” winning by 18 over the Texans, and for making it a game into the fourth quarter. While the Steelers, meanwhile, are being questioned for only scoring 18 points on field goals in a win. You’d have thought these two teams lost last week. But they didn’t. Instead, Ben Roethlisberger and Tom Brady are, again, competing for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. The Patriots are missing some good players, the Steelers have Antonio Brown’s video fiasco hanging over them this week and that’s without considering the game. There’s plenty to talk about here, and I could see this game going either way. But I picked the Steelers before the season and I still believe in the Killer Bs, especially Le’Veon Bell, who I think is the best player in this game.
The Pick: Steelers 24, Patriots 21
Last Week: 4–0