AFC & NFC championship game predictions

Liam McNeish

The AFC and NFC championship games will feature four teams battling it out for a spot in Super Bowl 50. Tensions are sure to be high. Here are this week’s matchups and predictions:

Patriots vs. Broncos
Last weekend, the Patriots stole the Chiefs’ chances of heading to the AFC Championship like they were taking candy from a baby. Led by star quarterback Tom Brady, the Patriots greatly benefited from the return of wide receiver Julian Edelman. The Patriots defense also held KC to 20 points and shut down any opportunity the Chiefs had to get back into the game.

This weekend, the Pats will face off against another veteran team, the Denver Broncos. The Broncos are also led by a star QB, Peyton Manning, so it will definitely be a close game. Denver looks to take advantage of the Patriots’ weak offensive line and put pressure on Brady. Denver will also look to use its strong run game against the Patriots this weekend in Denver.

PREDICTION: Patriots: 32, Broncos: 24

Cardinals vs. Panthers

Both the Cardinals and the Panthers have had great seasons. Both are led by terrific offenses and equally great defenses. Arizona is led by quarterback Carson Palmer, who played in his first playoff game last week. Palmer will look to receivers Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd and John Brown. Arizona hopes to use them as deep threats against a Carolina defense that is used to holding back formidable opponents.

The Panthers sure have had a highlight season. Quarterback Cam Newton stepped up big this year, as well as RB Jonathan Stewart. Carolina plays a conservative ball game that has led them to a terrific 16-1 record, keeping them as super bowl favorites from the start of the season. A versatile team like the Panthers are a huge threat to anybody that plays them; however, the majority of the team are young players, and the thing that might get them past the Cardinals this weekend is experience.

PREDICTION: Cardinals: 30, Panthers: 24