Quite possibly one of the most fun Sundays of the year will take place later today with the NFC & AFC Conference Championships taking place to determine who will go to the NFL SuperBowl 49 in 2 weeks in Phoenix. As if you didn’t know all of this already……..
What this post will be about is not an in-depth preview of each game because ESPN, NFL Network & other outlets will have extensive previews telling you all of that stuff anyway. What we will talk about are the big keys to victory for each team & a big idea or think to look for during the game.
The Seattle Seahawks Will Defeat The Green Bay Packers If Russell Wilson Can Become Elite.
Russell Wilson is on his way to becoming one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, if he isn’t there already. He has been able to make plays when he needs to & get the ball to the playmakers at all times.
But on Sunday afternoon, he needs to be equal with the man across the field from him in Aaron Rodgers. The Packers will most likely put 7 men in the box to load up against Seahawks beast running back Marshawn Lynch & try to watch his every move, probably even having spies on him for each play.
The Packers are going to make Wilson have to beat them with his arms, which he has shown in the past that he has been able to do. For the Seahawks to get to the SuperBowl, Wilson needs to be able to take some of the pressure off of the elite defense Seattle has by throwing for a stat line of around 300-350 yards, 2-3 touchdowns & no turnovers.
It’s time for Russell Wilson to not only be a game manager, but a game winner, & putting up big numbers will get the Seahawks to their second straight SuperBowl.
The Green Bay Packers Will Win Against The Seattle Seahawks If Eddie Lacy Can Establish Himself Early.
It’s absolutely clear that Packers QB Aaron Rodgers is injured, & I believe that he is far more injured than anyone really knows, especially because of his limited mobility last week against the Dallas Cowboys & going back to the last week of the NFL regular season against the Detroit Lions.
If Rodgers’ mobility is any kind of question, expect the Seahawks to come after him with a slew of blitzes & different packages that will be used to make Rodgers have to make the decision to try & run or make challenging passes against Richard Sherman, Kam Chancellor, Earl Thomas & the rest of the vaunted defense.
Right now, the point of emphasis in the Packers gameplan needs to be to put the ball in Eddie Lacy’s hands & really working hard to establishing his presence early & often against the one area of the Seahawks defense that can actually be neutralized, their front four. If Lacy is able to get an average of about 3.5-4 yards per carry consistently, this will open up some of the play action passing & even with a bad calf, Rodgers is still going to be extremely dangerous in the pocket & will allow the receivers to take the top of the defense by going deep or sit down in zones & work the intermediate passing game.
The New England Patriots Will Beat The Indianapolis Colts By Allowing Rob Gronkowski To Run Wild On The Colts Secondary.
The New England Patriots already have a blueprint for beating the Indianapolis Colts & quarterback Andrew Luck – give them a lot of Rob Gronkowski.
Gronk has been the most dominant tight end in the NFL for the last several years, & was sorely missed the last 2 years when he was out with injuries. The Patriots were clearly a different franchise & even though Tom Brady made it work with the weapons that he had, many of those receivers weren’t ready for primetime due to not having enough field time.
Well, fast forward a year. After the loss last year to the Denver Broncos in the AFC Championship Game, the Patriots are far more determined, Brady has weapons healthy & he has his protective blanket in Gronkowski. The Colts will most likely have safety Laron Landry keep their eye on Gronk & occasionally try to cover him, but the fact of the matter is that Gronk is the most uncoverable player in all of the NFL right now due to his speed & very large size moving down the field. Even with previous arm & back injuries, Gronk does not shy away from contact in the least – he welcomes it.
If Gronk is getting going & has confidence, this is going to open up the running game & will just give Brady more confidence throwing to Julian Edelman, Brandon Lafell & other receivers due to the double-teams that a healthy Gronk will absolutely draw from the Colts defense.
The Indianapolis Colts Will Defeat the New England Patriots If Andrew Luck Has Other Offensive Weapons To Lean On.
Its clear that the Indianapolis Colts offense starts, runs through & ends with Andrew Luck. Luck has put up massive numbers in his first 3 years in the NFL & has proven to be an elite quarterback. In order for the Colts to defeat the New England Patriots, however, Luck is going to have to put some of the other responsibility on another member of the offensive unit.
Preferably someone in the running game, most likely Donald Brown. RB Trent Richardson did not make the trip to New England for what the Colts are calling personal reasons. Luck is going to have to spread the ball around & while it would be very much on his head to do that, the Colts coaching staff is going to need to make sure that Luck can go to some more screens, which could be extensions of the running game & just make the Patriots pass rush a bit more pensive about rushing right in & getting to Luck.
If Luck can even get some kind of runs or extended runs out about 5-6 yards per touch, it will allow Reggie Wayne & T.Y. Hilton to not have to always be matched up against Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis & take their chances against Brandon Browner. Not that Browner is a much better option to go up against this season than Revis, but if the team is going to have to take chances, go against Browner & hope.