Ladies and gentlemen, the NFL playoffs are down to just four teams. The Divisional Round is officially in the books after this weekend’s action, and we’ve already got our conference championships on the schedule. You know what that means, right? It’s time to look ahead to the final matchups before Super Bowl LV!
Below, you’ll find instant previews of both conference championships, including information on how to tune in and an early outlook for each contest:
Date: Sunday, Jan. 24 | Time: 3:05 p.m. ET | TV: Fox
Opening line: Packers -4
Last meeting: Week 6 (Buccaneers 38, Packers 10)
Overview: Who says old men can’t play quarterback? OK, so neither Drew Brees nor Tom Brady looked spectacular in the Divisional Round, but between Brady and Aaron Rodgers, the QBs of this showdown, there’s plenty of reason to tune in. Brady pretty much just didn’t have to stumble over himself to beat the Saints, with Tampa Bay’s defense feasting on misfired passes. Rodgers, meanwhile, remains maybe the hottest arm in football after dispatching the Rams. Green Bay has been the more complete team all year, but one of its few major slip-ups in 2020 came against … the Buccaneers, who’ve now won six straight dating back to mid-December.
Early outlook: Tampa Bay may have trounced them early in the season, and the Bucs can go toe to toe with anyone when they’re actually throwing downfield. But the Packers deserve to be favored. They’re at home with an extra day of rest, and more importantly, Rodgers is playing with authority. Green Bay’s also been more consistent as a whole. Still, get your popcorn ready. This’ll be fun.
Date: Sunday, Jan. 24 | Time: 6:40 p.m. ET | TV: CBS, CBS All Access
Opening line: Chiefs -3
Last meeting: Week 6, 2020 (Chiefs 26, Bills 17)
Overview: Kansas City is back in the AFC title game for the third time in three years, proving Andy Reid’s brilliance atop the staff. The real question, however, is whether surviving the Browns cost the Chiefs something even greater: Their superstar QB Patrick Mahomes‘ status is up in the air after No. 15 suffered a concussion against Cleveland, and while the Chiefs have proven capable of winning without their top dog before, this is a different kind of stage. Buffalo, on the other hand, has yet to fully hit its stride offensively in the playoffs but sure showcased its defense against the Ravens, bottling up one of the game’s best rushing attacks and coming up especially big near the red zone. Whether or not Mahomes is good to go, this will be must-see TV.
Early outlook: It all depends on Mahomes, doesn’t it? If he’s cleared to play, the Chiefs will obviously remain favorites. But even if he were fully healthy, this wouldn’t be a gimme for K.C. The Bills are due to break out at some point with Allen under center, and their “D” doesn’t quit. If ever there were a time for someone to unseat the Chiefs, it feels like it could be now.