Conference Championship Predictions

Edelman will surely make many plays on Sunday, but it could be the one or two drops he tends to have in big games that could make the difference.
Conference Championship Predictions
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Welcome to the AFC North weekly predictions!


Each week, our AFC North featured writers will list their picks for that week and be forced to explain why they voted as they did. Keep in mind that these picks are for entertainment purposes only, and in no way should be used to influence gambling or illegal activity, unless you’re smart enough to recognize that we know more than you because we publish things.

AFC North writers had a decent divisional week, going 5-3 as your’s truely missed the early game when Matt Ryan earned his second playoff win in his 10-year career. Jack Crawford also missed with Seattle as well as with the Cowboys, a game that looked as if it would end with Dallas showing off their ridiculous offensive line in an amazing comeback, but they fell just short.
Championship schedule:

Green Bay Packers (12-6) @ Atlanta Falcons (12-5), 3:05pm, FOX

For the first time this postseason, the Packers game is not the marquee contest of the weekend, partially due to their opponent, but mostly due to the more recent success and combined Super Bowl history of the teams battling for the AFC Championship. That said, what southern hospitality the hometown Falcon fans have displayed this week. They were gracious enough to not buy tickets to the NFCC so that tens of thousands of Packers fans could join them in the Georgia Dome. They certainly do deserve a brand new stadium from that display of sportsmanship.

Pittsburgh Steelers (12-6) @ New England Patriots (15-2), 6:40 pm, CBS

This is the marquee game of the week for many reasons. The Patriots are coming off their first Super Bowl win since the 2004 season, and the franchise has yet to have a scandal or controversy in 2017. The Steelers are searching for their first Super Bowl appearance since the 2010 season, and have arguably the most dynamic offense in the playoffs. They do have a balanced offense this year, but it may be an imbalanced coach Joey Porter who could cause the team to lose focus.
On to the predictions!
Paul Johansson’s picks (7-1):
Packers @ Falcons
The Falcons have more talent, especially with the injury discrepancy. It’s just tough to overlook how well the Packers offense is moving the ball, at least most of the time, especially when they absolutely have to make a play. The Falcons left some openings for the Seahawks last week, but they didn’t take advantage. This will be a high scoring game won by the QB who has the ball last. My money is on Rodgers Sunday.
Packers 38, Falcons 34
Steelers @ Patriots
If the Steelers can pressure Brady with 4 rushers, 5 max and make him squirm like the Texans did last week, they have a good shot. If they can’t, Brady will pick the middle of the Steelers D apart. On the flip side, the Patriots will attempt to make the Steelers one dimensional. My guess is both teams will be looking at Ravens film to see how best to attack each other (I had to give my team some love. Steelers and Patriots have been the only games worth watching over the past 4 years).
Jack Crawford’s picks (5-3):
Packers @ Falcons
Packers 31, Falcons 28
Steelers @ Patriots
Steelers 27, Patriots 35


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