Bill Belichick and the Patriots host the red-hot Steelers in the AFC Championship Game
The path to Super Bowl LI will finally be paved on Sunday with the outcome of the AFC and NFC Championship Games determining who will meet in Houston on Feb. 5. The NFL’s final four features a quartet of the game’s best quarterbacks who have already won a combined seven Super Bowls. The two conference title games also serve as rematches from the regular season.
The NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons will get things started. This game is set to kick off in the Georgia Dome at 3:05 p.m. ET and can be seen on FOX. The Packers have already beaten the Giants at home and last week knocked off the No. 1 seed Cowboys in Dallas to advance to the conference title game, while the Falcons beat the Seahawks at home last Saturday.
This game features the NFC’s hottest team, as Green Bay has won eight games in a row against the NFL’s No. 1 scoring offense led by potential MVP Matt Ryan. Aaron Rodgers has been playing light outs for the Packers of late, so don't be surprised if this contest features plenty of scoring. These two teams met back in Week 8 with the Falcons winning 33-32 as the two Pro Bowl quarterbacks combined for 534 passing yards and seven touchdowns.
In the AFC, New England hosts Pittsburgh at Gillette Stadium. That game will kick off at 6:40 p.m. ET and can be seen on CBS. The Patriots are the AFC’s top seed and considered the favorite, but the Steelers have won nine in a row, including last Sunday’s 18-16 victory in Kansas City over the AFC West champion Chiefs.
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This will be Tom Brady’s 11th AFC Championship Game, the most of any player at any position in NFL history, but Ben Roethlisberger is no stranger to playoff success himself with two Super Bowl victories on his resume. The winning franchise also will take the lead in terms of total Super Bowl appearances, as Pittsburgh and New England are currently tied with Dallas and Denver with eight each.
The Patriots went on the road and beat the Steelers 27-16 back Week 7, but it should be pointed out that Roethlisberger didn’t play in that game because of a knee injury.
Today’s winners will advance to play in Super Bowl LI, which will take place on Sunday, Feb. 5 at NRG Stadium in Houston.