I think everyone outside of Kansas City is a little bummed we’re not getting a Browns vs. Bills AFC Championship, but honestly, it’s for the best. It would have really taken the wind out of the end of the season to see both the Bills and Browns benefit from two of the league’s best young quarterbacks being forced out in crunch time due to concussion protocol.
The Chiefs are the runaway favorites in the AFC Championship game, which is understandable. Kansas City remains one of the scariest teams in the NFL for a reason, and so long as Patrick Mahomes is on the field they will always have a chance. However, the Bills are hungry, gritty and incredibly talented on both sides of the ball. It’s going to be interesting to see whether having the weight of a city on the shoulders will improve their play, or make it all a little more difficult.
Don’t get me wrong, the Chiefs will still be hungry — but trying to a second straight Super Bowl is a little like wanting dessert after a really good meal. You’ll make room, but you’re not exactly starving. Buffalo, on the other hand, is STARVING for a Lombardi Trophy. I don’t think there’s anything the players and fans won’t do in order to get their hands on it, and part of me feels like it would be good for the national economy. How much money will table manufacturers get if Buffalo wins? They’ll be breaking left and right for two solid weeks. That’s job creation.
I’m spending considerably more time discussing the AFC this week because I think the NFC is a foregone conclusion. The Buccaneers are obviously a good team, but I think you’re kidding yourselves if you think they have more than a slim chance against Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers is playing phenomenal football, the team is rolling (and having fun doing it), and it’s just difficult to see Tom Brady and Co really mounting a challenge.
Brady largely struggled against the Saints, he just happened to struggle less than Drew Brees. The Tampa Bay defense was the biggest single reason the Bucs are at this point, but there’s a chasm of difference between the Saints and the Packers — especially the Green Bay offensive line, who dismantled the Rams over the weekend.
I know, I know ... “never count out Tom Brady.” I’m kind of counting him out here. Sue me.