Championship Round Preview

Both games will be regular season rematches.

AFC (2) New England Patriots @ AFC (1) Denver Broncos

Sunday, 3:00 PM EST, CBS

The Scoop: Despite facing a 24-0 halftime deficit, the Patriots defeated the Broncos 34-31 in OT back in November.

Both teams, however, have changed immensely from their earlier matchup. The Pats have veered to a run-heavy offense as of late, underlined by RB LeGarrette Blount’s 166-yard rushing performance on week ago.

On the opposition, Denver has increased its emphasis on the deep ball. Pending a slew of turnovers or a lopsided, Patriot-favoring time of possession, the Broncos should hang on because of the altitude affecting the Patriots and aiding the vertical attack.

Game-Changing Matchup: Broncos TE Julius Thomas vs. Patriots OLB Jamie Collins

The Pick: Broncos, 31, Patriots, 27

NFC (5) San Francisco 49ers @ NFC (1) Seattle Seahawks

Sunday, 6:30 PM EST, FOX

The Scoop: The 49ers and Seahawks split the regular season series 1-1.

The hometown Seahawks have their legendary “12th Man” fanbase in support. Their defense controlled games in the regular season, but last week, they allowed 409 to the New Orleans Saints. Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch’s power running needs to be at its finest because QB Russell Wilson has been inaccurate as of late.

The 49ers have been hot recently. After slipping past the Green Bay Packers in frigid Lambeau, they stomped on the Carolina Panthers across the country. QB Colin Kaepernick won the NFC Championship on the road last year, meanwhile the defense has been playing its best football of all season.

Game-Changing Matchup: Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch vs. 49ers LB Patrick Willis

The Pick: 49ers, 27, Seahawks, 17

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