Outrageous Predictions for NFL Conference Championship Games

Don't look for recent results to be an indicator of what's about to go down this weekend

You can't get much more outrageous than what happened in the NFL's divisional round last weekend. Aaron Rodgers threw one of the greatest passes in NFL playoff history. The Atlanta Falcons out-muscled and physically dominated the Seattle Seahawks like we haven't seen a team do in years. The Pittsburgh Steelers won a playoff games without scoring a touchdown. The New England Patriots beat the NFL's best defense by double digits with Tom Brady having his worst game of the season.

 

That was my kind of weekend.

 

You can expect much more outrageousness as the NFL's four hottest teams battle it out on Sunday for a couple of spots in the biggest event in American sports.

 

Outrageous Predictions for the NFL Conference Championship Games

 

DeAngelo Williams scores two touchdowns for the Steelers

Williams didn't touch the ball once against Kansas City. Look for him to be much more involved this Sunday — especially near the goal line. After getting pass-happy and coming up empty-handed in the red zone last weekend, look for Pittsburgh offensive coordinator Todd Haley to switch things up and lean on the run inside the 20 on Sunday. New England will be keying on Le'Veon Bell in this area, so keep an eye on whether or not Williams checks into the game inside the 10-yard line and takes a couple of draw plays to paydirt.

 

Vic Beasley Jr. logs at least four sacks

The second-year phenom had 15.5 sacks on the season. He was shut out in that department last weekend, but his presence was felt. This Sunday, he'll pin his ears back and chase the hottest player in the league, Aaron Rodgers. The circumstances and shootout nature of this game will call for Rodgers to drop back somewhere in the range of 50 times. Look for an underrated secondary to cause Rodgers to hold the ball longer than he normally does, giving Beasley plenty of chances to record a career high in the sack department.


Aaron Rodgers throws at least two interceptions

Rodgers has thrown just one interception since mid-November — and that was last weekend against Dallas. Those 50-or-so previously mentioned pass plays are also going to include a couple of balls he's going to need to force in an attempt to keep pace. Between tight coverage and that aforementioned pressure, you can expect at least two of Rodgers' passes to end up in the hands of Falcon defenders. It's worth noting that Rodgers is 0-3 against Dan Quinn as a head coach or defensive coordinator.

 

Chris Hogan leads all Patriot receivers in yards and touchdowns

Dion Lewis got it done last weekend. Martellus Bennett will get attention. Everyone knows about Julian Edelman. Look for Hogan to take advantage of the extra attention the Steelers pay to New England's usual suspects and take the top off of the Pittsburgh defense multiple times on Sunday. I like Hogan to approach the 150-yard mark with at least one touchdown — likely two.

 

— Written by J.P. Scott, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. His work has appeared on SI.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo! and Bleacher Report. Follow him on Twitter @TheJPScott.

Event Date: 
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 20:06

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