After an exciting divisional round of the NFL playoffs, only four teams remain in the quest for the coveted Lombardi Trophy. The conference championship games are set for Sunday January 22, 2017, with the first, a matchup between the Green Bay Packers and the Atlanta Falcons for the NFC title, and the second, an AFC tilt between the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots. The NFC was wide open for most of this season, with any number of teams having the talent to make the post season. Green Bay started out shaky but rallied to win six straight regular season games to finish with a 10-6 record, the fifth best in their conference. They were up against a tough Dallas Cowboys team in the divisional round, one that played extremely well all season long, and were the number one NFC team after Week 17. Aaron Rodgers’ laser focus and offensive weaponry proved to be too much for the Cowboys last Sunday, and Dallas fell to the Packers 34-31. They will face an Atlanta team that ended the regular season at 11-5, and have a balanced attack on both sides of the ball. The Falcons beat a solid Seattle Seahawks squad 36-20 to earn their spot in the conference championship this Sunday.
The AFC was a different story this year, with a clear top and bottom for the majority of the regular season. New England was a force to be reckoned with, even without star quarterback Tom Brady for the first four games, and finished the season with a 14-2 record. They beat the Houston Texans last Sunday 34-16, to no one’s surprise to move on to the AFC title game. Pittsburgh was solid during the regular season as well, winning 11 games despite injuries to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, and some of his receiving corps. In a cold and icy game last Sunday night at Arrowhead Stadium, they beat the Kansas City Chiefs 18-16, in a battle won by six field goals. They will need to bring more offense than that on Sunday when they face the Patriots in New England for the right to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl.
Both conference games are shaping up to be great contests, with the Packers/Falcons taking place in Atlanta first, at 3:05 EST on Sunday afternoon. The second game, between the Steelers and Patriots, is set for 6:40 EST in New England, on Sunday evening. Be sure to secure your NFC and AFC Championship tickets now because you don’t want to miss out on these exciting games, as they won’t come around again until next season.