It’s down to the final four teams in the NFL. Two squads will earn the right to represent their respective divisions at Superbowl XLVIII on February 2nd in New Jersey. No one is surprised that the Denver Broncos, New England Patriots, San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks are the last teams standing. All four have dominated in their division and each have strong quarterbacks with solid head coaches.
Let’s take a look at the matchups for next Sunday.
AFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
New England Patriots @ Denver Broncos
Kick off: 3 pm
Opening Vegas Line: Denver -4.5
Here we go again, another Tom Brady versus Peyton Manning matchup. No doubt that the rivalry has become one of the best in all of sports. The two quarterbacks have squared off a total of 15 times in the regular and post season. This will be the third time that they have faced off in an AFC Championship Game. They each have one win.
It’s been nine yeas since Brady won his third Super Bowl ring. He doesn’t have the key receivers he’s had in the past but Terrific Tom usually seems to find a way to make due. In the last Manning/Brady Bowl in November of this year, Brady pulled off a Houdini Act for the ages when he erased a 24 point half-time deficit over the Broncos in New England. Meanwhile, Manning has not played in a Super Bowl since 2007 when his Colts beat the Bears 29-17.
NFC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:
San Francisco 49ers @ Seattle Seahawks
Kickoff: 6:30 pm
Opening Vegas Line: Seattle -3.5
Two heated division rivals will go head to head on Sunday evening. San Francisco will have to find a way to score points against one of the best defenses in the league and the dreaded “12th man.” No doubt that Seattle holds one of the best homefield advantages in all of sports. The Seahawks only had one loss at home this year against the Arizona Cardinals, so the 49ers will certainly study that game to see how an average Cardinal team was able to come away with a victory.
If Seattle wins, it will only be the second time in their franchise history that they’ve gone to the Superbowl. They lost in 2005 to the Steelers. The 49ers, on the other hand, will look for a return trip to the big game after losing a heart breaker to the Baltimore Ravens last year.
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