NFL

Metro previews 2021 AFC, NFC Championship games

Josh Allen Bills Chiefs
Josh Allen and the Bills take on the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game Sunday.
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Bring on the drama. 

It’s conference championship week in the NFL with a trip to Super Bowl LV on the line and some of the tastiest matchups you could have dreamed of on deck. 

The NFC will feature two of this generation’s greatest quarterbacks as the Green Bay Packers try to prevent the Tampa Bay Buccaneers from becoming the first team ever to make a Super Bowl hosted at their home venue at Raymond James Stadium. 

The AFC puts two of the game’s youngest stars on display in a matchup of AFL founding members. The Buffalo Bills descend upon Arrowhead Stadium to meet the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Here is what to keep an eye out for on championship Sunday:

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers will play the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers (Sunday, 3:05 p.m. ET, FOX)

The battle of the bays is featuring the oldest combined age for a quarterback matchup in conference championship game history. 

It’s also providing one of the best we’ve ever seen. 

The 43-year-old Tom Brady proved that he didn’t need Bill Belichick to succeed in the NFL. After throwing for over 4,000 yards and 40 touchdowns in his debut season in Tampa Bay, Brady hasn’t missed a beat in the playoffs, throwing for over 500 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions in two games. 

At 37, Aaron Rodgers not only starred but will be in the running for MVP honors with nearly 4,300 yards, 48 touchdowns, and just five interceptions. 

In the Divisional Round, he picked apart the NFL’s top defense in the Los Angeles Rams, completing 23-of-36 passes for 296 yards with two passing touchdowns and an additional rushing score. 

This is going to come down to whichever defense can find a way to make the most plays. The Buccaneers forced four turnovers last week against the New Orleans Saints, including three interceptions of Drew Brees while the Packers held Jared Goff and the Rams to just 244 yards of total offense.

Tampa Bay dominated the Packers 38-10 in Week 6.

Buffalo Bills at Kansas City Chiefs (Sunday, 6:40 p.m., CBS)

There’s plenty on the line for both of these teams and their fan bases on Sunday evening. 

For the Chiefs, it’s the hopeful continuation of what could very well be the next dynasty in the NFL. But there is a chance they’ll have to get to Super Bowl LV without star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, who suffered a concussion in the Divisional Round victory over the Cleveland Browns. 

In his absence, a comfortable lead quickly evaporated into a one-possession nail-biter, but veteran backup Chad Henne did just enough to steer the Chiefs through — and that was with a full complement of weapons. 

Obviously, the Chiefs’ chances of winning the AFC for a second-straight year nosedives if Mahomes is unable to go, especially against an aggressive Bills defense that held the mercurial Lamar Jackson and the Baltimore Ravens to just three points last week. 

Those very same Bills ended a torturous drought for their fans this postseason, delivering a first playoff win in 25 years during the Wild Card Round against the Indianapolis Colts. They answered it with an immovable showing against the Ravens and now have an opportunity to advance to their first Super Bowl in 27 years. 

That of course was the final loss of a run that saw the Bills make four-consecutive Super Bowls from the 1990-1993 seasons, only to come out on the wrong end of each one. 

Josh Allen continues to build his legacy as the savior of the Bills as he’s passed for 530 yards with three touchdowns, no interceptions, and a 103.4 quarterback rating this postseason. His favorite target, Stefon Diggs, has been unstoppable with 14 catches for 234 yards and two touchdowns in the playoffs. 

He is battling an oblique injury, but he still is expected to go on Sunday. 

The Chiefs and Bills also met during Week 6, like the Packers and Buccaneers. Kansas City narrowly came out on top 26-17.

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