Here’s Everything You Need To Know About The NFL Conference Championship Games

David Hookstead Smoke Room Editor-in-Chief
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The NFL divisional championship games are set, and it appears that football fans everywhere are in for a set of great games on Sunday.

Here is everything you need to know about the divisional championship games.

AFC Championship:
New England Patriots vs. Denver Broncos
3:05 p.m. ET

Patriots: Tom Brady has led the Patriots through a great season, especially when you consider the different injuries the team has suffered throughout the season. The Patriots have been incredibly successful at blocking out all the outside noise, and playing with a “next man up” mentality. Some pundits wrote off the Patriots when running back Dion Lewis went down for the season with an injury, but James White has excelled as the passing back option for Brady. There’s no doubt that Bill Belichick will have Brady, Gronk and the rest of his team ready to go.

Broncos: Denver has managed to squeeze out every remaining ounce of football in Peyton Manning. Manning missed several game because of an injury, but he played extremely well against the Steelers. Manning vs. Brady for likely the final time will certainly make for an interesting storyline, but Demaryius Thomas is the real star that will have to show up and make big plays for the Broncos to compete.

NFC Championship
Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers
6:40 p.m. ET
TV: Fox

Cardinals: Carson Palmer and the Cardinals have been one of the most dominant teams in the football for the past month, and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald was in prime form in the first playoff game against the Green Bay Packers. Arizona’s defense is capable of stopping anybody, and the offense can pile on the points in a hurry. They are without a question one of the most balanced teams in the NFL.

Panthers: Quarterback Cam Newton has been dominant all season, and the Panthers offense has been largely unstoppable through the air and on the ground, where Newton does lots of his damage. The first half against the Seattle Seahawks was a display of what the Panthers offense is capable of doing when it’s clicking, but the second half showed the Panthers are not immune to poor play. If the Panthers plan on beating the Cardinals, they will need to play a more complete game than they did against Seattle.

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