SOUTH JERSEY, January 16, 2014 — By the end of Sunday, Americans will know which teams are going to the Super Bowl. Two of the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, one of the all-time defenses, and a plucky upstart looking to begin a changing of the guard make for a thrilling Title Game Weekend.
Sunday, January 18, 2015
3:00 p.m. on FOX
NFC Title Game: Green Bay Packers at Seattle Seahawks (-7.5) — The Season began with the Seahawks thrashing the Packers 36-16. After starting 1-2, Aaron Rodgers told the Green Bay faithful to relax. The Packers finished 12-4 and their offense is every bit as good as the 2010 team that won it all. Rodgers deserves to win the MVP award this year.
The Seahawks bring the Legion of Boom. Richard Sherman gets most of the media attention but Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor and the rest of the defense lead a group of superstars looking to become the best ever. Rodgers led the 2010 squad to road wins, but Seattle is 27-2 at home in their last 29 contests. After starting 3-3, Seattle has been almost unstoppable in romping to a 12-4 record. This game will be closer than the first one, but give the 12th man the edge, especially if the weather is rainy. If it comes down to a field goal, watch out for Kam Chancellor. Seahawks win, but fail to cover.
6:30 p.m. on CBS
AFC Title Game: Indianapolis Colts at New England Patriots (-6.5) — Teams often play the “No respect” and “Us against the world” card, but this time the 11-5 Colts have every right to feel that way. Virtually nobody expected them to beat the Denver Broncos and possibly end Peyton Manning’s career. Plenty of football prognosticators saw the Colts Divisional win as a fluke. Others saw it as a passing of the torch, a changing of the guard from Manning to Andrew Luck.
New England has been outplayed in several home playoff games in recent years, losing most of them. This time Bill Bellichick and Tom Brady deserve to be favored. Brady played like a demon possessed in rallying the 12-4 Patriots twice last week from 14-point deficits over the Baltimore Ravens. The Patriots want to be considered the greatest dynasty in football history with Brady as the top quarterback ever. While that may be a stretch, they should dispatch Indianapolis with ease. This is the men against the boys. Patriots cover.