The Young Stud QBs in the AFC Championship
Did you hear that? It was the collective sigh of everyone in Kansas City when Patrick Mahomes announced he cleared the concussion protocol and will start in Sunday’s AFC Championship game.
Mahomes still has that toe situation to deal with and Harrison Butker is going to have to stop missing kicks, but the Chiefs find themselves in a much better position as they prepare for the arrival of Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills. No offense to Chad Henne, who’s lovely.
These teams are on fire, and we are in for one very fun football game. In the Bills’ Divisional Round win over the Ravens, Allen was 23-of-37 for 206 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Stefon Diggs caught eight passes for 106 yards and a TD. What Buffalo lacks, however, is a commanding run game. The Bills are going to have to find variety on offense to keep up with a Chiefs team that has, like, all the variety on offense. Like literally ALL OF IT.
The Bills defense had success blitzing against the Ravens, but again, they’re going to have to mix it up a bit against Kansas City. This game is going to be close, but experience may be the difference in this one, and Mahomes and the Chiefs have it. Expect the defending champs to earn a trip to Tampa. Kickoff is at 6:40 pm ET/3:40 pm PT on CBS.
Brady vs. Rodgers in the NFC Championship
Tampa Bay quarterback Tom Brady will play in his 14thconference championship on Sunday, when he and the Buccaneers head to Green Bay to take on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers. Brady needs 32 yards passing to reach 12,000 in hispostseason career.
In last week’s 30-20 win over the Saints, the Buccaneers defense shined with three interceptions and a fumble recovery. Brady and the Bucs offense were able to capitalize to the tune of 21 points and here we are. This is the same Bucs defense that held Rodgers to 160 yards passing and forced two interceptions in the Bucs 38-10 win over the Packers in Week 6. But that same Aaron Rodgers made the Rams #1 pass defense look like, well, very much not #1 last week.
Though Green Bay running backs Aaron Jones, Jamaal Williams and A.J. Dillon have been outstanding this season, they will be up against LBs Devin White and Lavonte David and Tampa Bay’s #1 run defense.
That being said, this game may very well be won in the air. The Packers have the incredible Davante Adams, and while the Buccaneers will be without wide receiver Antonio Brown, they still have the dynamic duo of Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. In 11 of his past 12 games, Adams has at least one touchdown, and as good as that Bucs defense is, it was ranked 20th in the red zone this year. This is a tough one to predict. All eyes on kickoff at 3:05 pm ET/12:05 pm PT on FOX.
There Will be Fans
About 7,500 vaccinated health care workers from mainly the Tampa and central Florida area will attend Super Bowl LV as guests of the NFL to thank them for their service during the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, all 32 teams will invite vaccinated health care workers from their areas to attend the game as well.
14,500 additional fans will be in attendance at the game, bringing the grand total of fans at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa on Feb. 7 to 22,000.
Now, who will those fans be rooting for? Two more sleeps to find out!
Hall of Famer Henry “Hank” Aaron has passed away at the age of 86.
In his 23-year career, Aaron hit 755 home runs, a record that was not broken until 2007 by Barry Bonds. Aaron is the all-time leader in career RBIs (2,297), total bases (6,856) and extra-base hits (1,477).
It was in 1974 that Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s home run record when he hit his 715th off of Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Al Downing. He spent 21 seasons with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves and the final two seasons of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers.
Aaron was a civil rights activist, as he was a victim of racial inequality and death threats as he came close to breaking Ruth’s record.
Former Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig once called Aaron a “true Hall of Famer in every way.” He was right. RIP.
Washington Football Team
Today the Washington Football Team announced the hiring of Martin Mayhew as its new GM. Mayhew was most recently the Vice President of Player Personnel for the San Francisco 49ers.
With the move, WFT becomes the first team in NFL history to have both a Black general manager and team president (Jason Wright). It is also the first team to have minorities in the head coaching (Ron Rivera), GM and president positions.
Yesterday, Washington also named Jennifer King a full-time offensive assistant, making it the first team to have a Black woman as a full-time assistant coach. Representation matters. #LFG