One Super Bowl matchup.
Championship Weekend is here with two amazing and somewhat surprising matchups slated for throw-down tomorrow morning.
At 7am, it’s Thunder versus Lightning as the force and physicality of Tennessee meets the incredible octane of Patrick Mahomes and Kansas City.
Then, the NFC’s combatants collide in the Bay Area with San Francisco hosting Green Bay in what looks like an epic battle between a ferocious defence versus an all-time great quarterback.
Let’s go inside both games to determine who will be booking themselves a trip to Miami…
TENNESSEE at KANSAS CITY
Tackle Derrick Henry or slow down Patrick Mahomes.
Both are unenviable tasks but whichever is accomplished will determine the outcome of this game. Since week 10, these two teams are a combined 14-3 and amazingly have both averaged 31.3 points per game.
The Titans get theirs through power thanks to Henry on the ground. In his two playoff matches this post-season, he’s had 64 carries for 377 yards. Oh, and, he also threw for a TD in last week’s dismantling of Baltimore.
His play has been the stuff of legends but coach Mike Vrabel will again be looking to the Alabama Heisman-winning running back to carry them to victory.
KC got down 24-0 last week and eroded that lead within 15 minutes of football and shot away to win by 20. Simply breathtaking offensive football from Mahomes, Travis Kelce – who had three scores – Tyreek Hill and Damien Williams.
The Chiefs are an even touchdown favourite and should they be able to keep Henry in check, could really give Tennessee troubles as Ryan Tannehill is asked to throw them back in the game.
Why Tennessee can win: Controlling the game through Henry is key. Whilst Henry is running over defenders, Mahomes is watching from the sidelines. Some play-action shots to receivers AJ Brown and Corey Davis will also be needed.
Why Kansas City can win: They’re at home, they’re confident and they have the best player in the NFL. Just keep Henry under some kind of control and Mahomes will razzle dazzle the Chiefs to the big dance.
Tip: KC 33, Tennessee 17
GREEN BAY at SAN FRANCISCO
When Aaron Rodgers led the Pack into Santa Clara in November they got handled, 37-8. In that match, SF’s defence sacked Rodgers five times and he made him uncomfortable throughout as he could only manage a season-low 104 pass yards. Rodgers was hit 10 times as the Niners rolled to a dub.
For the Packers to be more competitive here, the three A’s will need to fire. Aaron (Rodgers), Aaron (Jones) and (DaVante) Adams.
Jones is tied for the most touchdowns in the NFL across the season and has amassed 1,500 yards from scrimmage. Adams has been Rodgers’ go-to-guy since Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb left town. Adams torched Seattle last week for 8, 160 & 2 and will need to win his match-up with Richard Sherman for the Pack to have any hope.
Why Green Bay can win: Aaron Rodgers. He’s a bad man. He’s an MVP and he’s a Super Bowl-winning QB. He needs to overcome all obstacles and put in a historical performance to carry the Cheeseheads to the Super Bowl.
Why San Francisco can win: A balanced diet of defence and playmaking. Kyle Shanahan is a sensation and he regularly puts Jimmy G, Tevin Coleman and co. in a position to succeed whilst Nick Bosa, Sherman and the gang will be looking to dominate Rodgers for the second time this season and advance.
Tip: San Francisco 24, Pack 21
Enjoy Championship Monday morning!